This question is not a difficult question to answer, but there’s not an easy answer that fits everyone’s application. There are many opinions on this subject. While making this important decision for your aquatic facility, you should search and learn as much information as possible before committing to this conversion. One needs to first ask several questions to see if a salt pool (also known as a saline pool) is right for them. The first question to ask is why are you considering changing?
- Maintenance Costs
Saltwater pool systems became very popular because they were marketed, by the industry, that these systems require low maintenance. They have are been marketed as requiring very little chemicals and day-to-day upkeep. The convenience of the concept of always being swim ready and always having soft-water sure beats the harsh red eye and dry skin experiences that can result with the, “sometimes reality”, chlorinated pool system. A saltwater pool requires less free chlorine since it creates chlorine as needed. Chlorinated pools require chlorine to be constantly added to maintain safe levels.
After a swim in a saltwater pool, it is very possible for you to be easily convinced that a saltwater pool system is the way to go.
- Chemical Costs:
Looking to save money on chemical cost? Saltwater system allows a lower monthly chemical costs since you do not have to use manufactured chlorine. You can easily save over $1,000 a year in expenses by converting your chlorinating system to a saltwater system. These savings in chemicals over a 3-year time period makes the decision to switching to a saltwater system an easy decision to make. A salt water pool creates chlorine as needed and only when needed.While saltwater systems will definitely be environmentally friendly they are also be more stable for sanitizing your swimming pool water.
But, after putting salt through your pool’s chlorine generator cell for 3 years, you will have decreased its life and a new chlorine generator cell will soon be necessary. That expense will pretty much wipe out any savings from chemicals that you might have initially experienced.
This video explains how chlorine generator cells work, and what makes them fail:
Now For The Good News
Many of these types of corrosion issues pop up when an existing pool that was designed for chlorine is converted to a salt water system. IF the original construction didn’t account for corrosive materials (such as salt), the effect of continual salt saturation can quickly destroy much of your pool.
Much of the above kinds of damage from salt can be avoided by building from scratch with materials known to withstand the effects of salt.
In the end, deciding between a salt pool system and a chlorine pool system means doing some homework first. It’s important to understand the long-term cost implications before you jump in and convert a chlorinated pool to a salt water pool.