View Full Version : What's better: salt water or chlorine pool?

03-15-2017, 04:40 AM
I'm just beginning the consultation process--getting quotes from various pool companies, deciding design details, etc. I want a rectangular pool without too many bells and whistles, so the biggest decision that I have to make is whether to get a chlorine pool or a salt water pool.

I have already done a significant amount of research on the internet about the pros and cons of each system. I'm aware that a salt water pool is still technically a chlorinated pool, just with a different way of producing the chlorine.

What I'm really asking for are personal experiences from current and former pool owners. Did you own a salt water or a chlorine pool? What was easy or convenient about it? What was expensive or difficult to maintain? Is it possible to have a chlorine pool without too strong of a smell, or one that isn't harsh on your skin, hair, and eyes? Any personal input would be appreciated.

Dom D'Agostino
03-15-2017, 06:37 AM
Here is Florida, I see plenty of each type of system. Frankly, it doesn't matter too much.

If you maintain your own pool, it may be easier to not transport liquid chlorine to and from the yard, vehicle & pool store. If you hire a pool service, it won't matter at all.

If you install a salt-chlorine generator, be aware the in-line cell is a maintenance item, and it periodically requires cleaning. After a certain amount of time (can be short in some instances) the cell must be replaced. Factor that in to your budget, they are not cheap.

Additionally, the chlorine generator is an electronic device, subject to the whims of circuit board failure (such as power surges, random failures, error codes, etc.). A chlorine tablet dispenser, however, requires very little maintenance.

A properly balanced pool doesn't have a "strong chlorine odor"; that odor typically indicates too little "free" chlorine, or other chemical imbalances.

If anyone in the household is sensitive to chlorine, a slat system is likely a little better, but everyone is different.


Bill Bryan
03-15-2017, 06:49 AM
IMHO, I am spoiled by salt water pools. I grew up on chlorine pools. I would never have another chlorine pool. I get out of my salt pool, dry off, and get back to what I was doing. No need to shower and rinse the chlorine off. It is that good.

initial setup costs are higher (control box, salt cell, salt). I have to buy about a quart of acid a week. Salt cell every 4 years. 4 bags of salt a year.

I don't buy or store chlorine. Although, I did use 2 bags of shock this month the week this heat hit us.

It is possible to maintain a chlorine pool to the point of very little smells, burning eyes, etc... but, I have 3 dogs that love to swim (They refuse to shower before they get in and I suspect the female pees every time she gets in). Chlorine demand and byproducts of chlorine doing its thing would stink. If it's just you and your wife in the pool, you could do it with once a week maintenance.

Dog equals 10 kids.

Pool boys don't do well with salt pools. They would rather add 2 lbs of chlorine and be done.

Get a variable speed pump! Generate chlorine and filter water longer for less $.

After salt generated chlorine disinfects ammonia, it turns back into salt (no smell/burn). After chlorine disinfects ammonia, it turns into chlorimine (stinks!)

For the refreshing feel of the water alone, I would have a salt pool.

Gary Burnett
03-15-2017, 05:38 PM
I've seen too many salt water pools that have destroyed the sandstone installed around the pool for the coping and fountains. It also will rust out the chrome ring and screws around the pool light. If you have a heater for the pool & spa it will rust out the heat exchanger and leave little rust spots in the bottom of the pool while its doing its damage. It is salt water!
If you don't have any stone or metal to worry about the salt system feels a lot better on your skin than chlorine.