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Pros and Cons: Saltwater VS Chlorine Swimming Pools

Dec 12, 2023

 Saltwater pools are beating out traditional chlorine pools in popularity for a number of reasons - mainly being that the lack of chlorine makes saltwater pools gentler on the skin and eyes - but that doesn't mean that a traditional chlorine pool doesn't have its own merit.

Pool owners often think that a saltwater system means their pool water is chlorine-free, but that's just not the case. Saltwater pools utilize a salt-chlorine generator that will produce chlorine. Salt chlorine generators actually convert salt into chlorine because even saltwater pools require something to sanitize them.

The chlorine levels of saltwater pools are certainly lower than straight-up chlorine pools, but let's visit all the pros and cons of each so that you finally have enough information to answer the question, "Saltwater or chlorine?"

What is the Difference Between a Saltwater Pool and a Chlorinated Pool?

To some, a swimming pool is a swimming pool and that's that. However, to those of us who are considering spending several thousand dollars on a lifelong investment, it's important to know what saltwater or chlorine pools require of us, both in the moment and long term.

Saltwater Pool Pros

  • Easier on the eyes and skin: The elimination of a large quantity of the chlorine chemicals in traditional chlorine pools is one of the big reasons why homeowners are drawn to saltwater pools.
  • Usually less maintenance: Chlorine pools require a lot of checking and balancing. With saltwater pools, you add the salt, and let the pool equipment do all the heavy lifting. As all levels are monitored and adjusted automatically by the system. 
  • You don't have to store dangerous chemicals: With chlorine pools, it's necessary to have those chemicals on hand, which can be tempting to a little child or pets.
  • Saltwater feels softer: That's right. Swimming through saltwater feels like swimming through clouds. The chemical usage in chlorine pools makes the water feel rough against the skin.
  • Longevity - Salt is much more gentle on the pool surface materials and will prolong their lifespan. 

Saltwater Pool Cons

  • More upfront cost: Saltwater pools have a higher cost than chlorine pools when you sign the deal. Not huge difference though when you consider that they save you lots of money in the long term. 

Chlorine Pool Pros

  • Less upfront cost: Chlorine pools don't have as many advantages as saltwater pools, but the low upfront is a big plus.
  • Maintenance experts are easy to find: Everybody deals in chlorine pools making them easy to find help for.
  • Chlorine is a great sanitizer: It’s does the job and it’s why it’s so widley used. 

Chlorine Pool Cons

  • Requires continual water testing and maintenance: Chlorine pools are an ongoing test of your commitment and consistency.
  • Irritating to skin: Chlorine is a harsh chemical that can be difficult for sensitive skin.
  • Chlorine has a strong odor: No matter what you do, chlorine has a distinct smell.
  • High long term cost - While chlorine is cheaper upfront, you will pay for it longterm with the ever rising cost of chlorine, and pool maintenance professionals. 

Which Costs More: Saltwater Pool VS Chlorine Pool

A lot of prospective pool owners shy away from saltwater pools because of the upfront cost. However, if you actually look at the continued maintenance costs of chlorine pools vs saltwater, you will quickly find that saltwater is incredibly less expensive to maintain. Not only is saltwater easier on your skin and eyes, it's easier on the pocketbook as well.

On average, a saltwater pool is going to run you anywhere from $30 to $60 a year, but a chlorine pool will easily run $300 to $800 per year. Over five years of owning a saltwater pool, you could potentially save as much as $3,700!

The initial setup of a saltwater pool may sound intimidating, but we believe it's worth it in the long run. Plus if you work with us, we help you obtain your salt system wholesale and connect you with the contractors required for

Durability: Saltwater Pool VS Chlorine Pool

Chlorine is a corrosive substance. Over time, chlorine can cause issues with your surface materials, especially if you are going with a standard pool plaster.  Salt systems on the other hand, don't cause any major damage to pool parts or materials. The best gauge for the durability of your pool is going to be the material that it's made of, but the quality of the water is a major factor to consider. 

While you are constantly refilling your chlorine supplies and checking chemical levels with a chlorine pool, a salt cell that will likely need to be replaced every five to seven years. It's worth considering how well and how often you can care for your pool before determining the type you want to install. For those looking for a lower maintenance pool salt systems are definitely the way to go. 

Which is Better for Your Health: Saltwater Pools VS Chlorine Pools

Chlorine pools, as the name implies, expose swimmers to a much higher level of chemicals than saltwater pools. People with asthma or allergies should probably stay away from chlorine pools as much as they can. Some research shows chlorinated pools putting children at greater risk for lung inflammation and asthma development. These risks are much lessened when the proper steps are taken and situational awareness is practiced, and traditional pools are great, but if you already struggle with breathing issues, a chlorine pool might not be best for you.

Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, chlorine probably isn't the best choice for you since it's a harsh chemical. Every person is different with different needs, so it's important to consider what is most important to you and your family.

Consider the fact that chlorine can burn a hole in your jeans if you spill it on your pants. That is the chemical you are exposing your skin, and eyes too on a regular basis. So we feel that salt systems are a much healthier option for pool sanitation. 

What are the Health Benefits of a Saltwater Pool?

Recently, we've seen a rise in homeowners choosing saltwater over chlorine. When you glance at these health benefits, maybe you'll be among those making the switch!


  • ...promotes healthy breathing: Chlorine can sometimes bother your senses, but breathing in salt actually improves breathing and helps reduce allergies!
  • a gentle exfoliant: Saltwater is incredibly easy on the skin. In fact, you will soon see your skin becoming healthier and happier after just a few dips in the pool.
  • ...helps sore muscles and joints: Not only is it great for a post-workout relaxation session, but for those with chronic conditions such as arthritis, saltwater pools can be life-changing.
  • ...means you don't have to store dangerous chemicals: With chlorine pools, you aren't only breathing in the chemicals every day, you're also exposing yourself to some risks that come with storing these chemicals. Chlorine is very flammable and, when stored incorrectly, it can become poisonous and corrosive.


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At DIY Pools and Spas, we understand just how important it is to get the right pool for your family and how hard it can be to find what you're looking for. This is why we're dedicated to getting you the pool of your dreams.

Having a pool is about more than just beautifying your backyard adding to your home value, or having access to relaxing exercise. Though those things are all massive benefits, there's one thing a pool does that can't be replaced with a gym membership or a few extra plants on your back porch: pools create memories with your family in a way that's unmatched. Swimming pools create a healthy and happy family culture that will nourish the relationships between you and your loved ones. 

Our company and program is commited to your family’s dream pool and that is why we are helping families everywhere build wholesale. Don’t make the costly mistake of hiring a pool builder. There is a better more affordable way and we want to show you how anyone can be a DIY pool builder. 

Learn more here: Homeowner Builder DIY Pool Installation Program (>