Saltwater Pool vs. a Chlorine Pool

The Big Question: Saltwater Pool vs. a Chlorine Pool

Owning a swimming pool in Arizona defines living the good life. With a state that gets blisteringly hot, arid summers, there’s nothing quite as blissful as being able to change and hop into a pool for a relaxing swim or lounge in the water in the comfort of your own home.

While it’s not true of all of Arizona, especially the northern end of the state, areas such as Mesa, near Phoenix, and the surrounding communities get the kind of heat that can lay people to waste if they’re not careful. Temperatures here routinely break 100, but it doesn’t matter if it’s a “dry heat” when the wave hits hard and temperatures are above 110° F. Hot is hot!

That’s why swimming pools in Mesa, Phoenix and beyond can feel like a sinful luxury on some days, and if you’ve worked hard and earned that pool, you should enjoy it! But if you’re considering getting a swimming pool built in your home, you’ve got a lot of choices ahead of you.

One of the big questions you’ll need to ask before any digging starts in your yard is what kind of pool you want. There’s a lot of debate about a saltwater pool vs. a chlorine pool, but which one works for you?

Chlorine Pool

In the debate of a saltwater pool vs. a chlorine pool, it’s essential to understand the significant differences. So let’s look at the more common choice first, chlorine. You should probably already be familiar with this if you’ve ever hopped into a public pool in Arizona or other parts of the country.

Chlorine is a common choice in pool alternatives, but that doesn’t necessarily make it superior. A chlorine pool is one where chlorine is deliberately added to the water whenever required to ensure proper chemical balance.

This is done because chlorine, once present, starts to break down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. These two substances destroy the structures and enzymes inside cells, oxidizing them and rendering them harmless. In other words, they kill a whole host of harmful germs and bacteria.

Saltwater Pool

This is where the debate gets a little confusing. A saltwater pool will also have chlorine in it, provided by the saltwater itself! However, the two types distinguish themselves in terms of method. With a saltwater pool vs. a chlorine pool, a saltwater pool creates chlorine through a process known as electrolysis, where electricity is run through a compound. When electrolysis occurs in saltwater, it causes a chemical reaction that creates and releases chlorine into the water.

So in this sense, the swimming pool debate is unclear. They both create chlorine! So why choose one over the other?

The Cost Difference

What you choose will decide whether to get a saltwater pool vs. a chlorine pool, and one of the first places your preferences will come to bear is cost. With a chlorine pool, you’re going to pay less upfront.

Chlorine pools are cheaper than saltwater pools to build. This is because Initially, in addition to a pump and heater, a saltwater pool requires a saltwater chlorinator or generator to be installed into the pool. A chlorine pool doesn’t require this extra piece of equipment, nor do you need to pay the additional electricity over the months and years to keep that generator running.

However, a saltwater pool vs. a chlorine pool also saves some costs in the long run! Even though the chlorine pool is cheaper to build, you’ll likely experience more recurring fees as time passes. And that’s because of the chlorine itself! The chlorine in your pool must be regularly replenished to remain safe, so you must keep buying more of it. When it comes to a saltwater pool vs. a chlorine pool, it constantly generates the chlorine itself.

The Maintenance

Another area where these pools differ is how maintenance works for them. Chemical levels need to be carefully monitored and maintained in a chlorine pool, and it’s recommended that you stay attentive in watching these levels. The much higher chlorine concentration added this way can be “fussy” and require a lot of adjusting to remain safe. Saltwater pools don’t need the same degree of attentiveness. They can generally “look after themselves” much better, so people wanting less maintenance might be tempted to go with saltwater pools.

However, saltwater pools may sometimes require maintenance in other ways. Salt is a corrosive substance, and so if salt gets into the air and then settles, it can rust out metal, such as ladders and handrails, to get in and out of pools, or even kill plants like grass, causing them to brown and whither.

Which Will Be Best For You? Saltwater Pool vs. a Chlorine Pool

If you’re unsure which pool is right for you, contact the Arizona pool builder experts at No Limits Pools & Spas with your questions. We can help you decide what works best for you and your pool.