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Saltwater Vs. Chlorine Pool Systems

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If you’re looking to put a pool in your backyard, one of the biggest questions you are probably asking yourself is chlorine or saltwater? While both chlorine and salt water have pros and cons, it all comes down to what will work best for your South Florida Pool.

Chlorine Pools

When you think of a pool, you probably automatically think of chlorine. That’s because chlorine pools are the most popular choice. They are very easy to install and overall very easy to maintain. With chlorine pool systems, your water is kept clean through the use of chlorine.

Pros of Chlorine

Chlorine pools initially cost much less to install. They also use less energy, which means your electric costs will not spike after installing a chlorine pool. This type of pool only requires a pump that will help circulate water throughout the pool as well as the pool cleaning elements to ensure that no bacteria or other dirt begin to build up in the pool system. Additionally, with a chlorine pool, you can typically do any repair that may need done on your own. Even if you aren’t able to fix them, it’s much easier to find an expert on chlorine pool systems than it is to find someone who knows a lot about saltwater pools.

Cons of Chlorine

Chlorine is a strong chemical that can negatively impact your eyes, skin, hair, and swimsuit. As a result, those swimming in chlorine pools a lot will want to purchase products that will effectively remove it from their skin. Not to mention, when dealing with chlorine in its pure form, you’ll need to be very careful that you don’t get it on your skin or clothing. It can burn the skin, eat away at the fabric of your clothing, and be harmful to your health if you inhale it too much. In addition to its harsh effects on your skin, chlorine can also damage any painted wood on your pool deck, so you’ll have to keep that in mind when choosing the type of decking you put around your pool.

Chlorine pools can also be a lot of maintenance since you have to monitor bacteria levels all the time and add any additional chemicals to balance out the water’s PH level. You must also store your chlorine for your pool in a safe place. This will likely mean dedicating a specific area just for the purpose of storing your chlorine.

Saltwater Pools

Many people believe that a saltwater pool contains no chlorine. Saltwater pools are not free of chlorine. In fact, they go through a process that is called electrolysis in order to produce chlorine in smaller amounts so that your pool will be disinfected.

Pros of Saltwater

The chlorine levels in a saltwater pool are much lower than one that only uses chlorine. This means that the water doesn’t dry your skin out as much, which is good for those with younger children or who plan to use the pool on a daily basis. Since the chlorine levels are so low, this also means that bathing suits and clothing won’t fade as fast if they are worn in the pool. Saltwater systems also require less upkeep since there aren’t as many chemicals to keep track of.

Cons of Saltwater

A saltwater pool is more expensive than a chlorine pool, especially given that the amount of money you have to pay up front is much larger. Saltwater systems are also a lot more complex than chlorine ones. If your system ever needs to be repaired, you’ll have to hire a specialized technician, which can be pricey. Saltwater can also cause damage to your pool’s parts. You have to be sure to purchase special pool fixtures that can withstand this.

What PH Levels Should These Systems Maintain?

For your typical chlorine pool, a PH scale goes from 0 to 14. If the PH is below 7, the water is too acidic. It’s best to keep the PH level above 7. A level of 7.4 is ideal. This allows for optimum chlorine disinfection. The PH level in a saltwater pool should be kept at a similar level. A level ranging from 7.2 to 7.8 is ideal. If your PH is too low, the saltwater can cause corrosion. If it’s too high, you risk your pool not being sanitized properly.

Which System Is Better for Your Health?

A salt water pool is definitely healthier for your body than a chlorine one. The saltwater is less harsh on your skin and pool owners don’t have to worry about handling chlorine, which can be dangerous if inhaled or exposed to bare skin.

What Does Each System Cost?

To install a saltwater pool, you should expect to spend anywhere from $400 to $1,800 upfront to pay for a saltwater generator. On top of that, the cost to install the pool ranges from $300 to $500. Maintaining the pool is significantly cheaper, with costs ranging from $70 to $100 per year for salt and other chemicals. A saltwater pool also uses more electricity. Users typically spend $36 to $48 more each year than those who use chlorine. Chlorine pools, on the other hand, can be much cheaper to install, but cost anywhere from $300 to $500 per year to maintain.

What Does It Take to Maintain Each System?

If you’re looking for a lower maintenance option, saltwater is definitely the way to go. Saltwater systems can maintain good water levels for up to two weeks without the owner having to get involved. A chlorine pool typically requires weekly maintenance, often requiring the owner to add chlorine to the pool by hand. A saltwater pool can be adjusted by using controls. Chlorine pools will also need to be shocked regularly to minimize the presence of any algae and thoroughly disinfect. A saltwater pool only needs this shocking treatment occasionally.

Which Pool Is Better For South Florida?

A saltwater pool is typically the better option for South Florida weather. The hotter it becomes, the more chlorine you’ll need to use in order to disinfect. While the hot weather will also make your saltwater generator work harder, you at least won’t have to be constantly adding chlorine manually as you would to a chlorine system. Since saltwater is also more gentle on the skin, it combines better with the sun and humidity that’s common in South Florida.

Choosing a type of pool can be tricky. There are many pros and cons for both chlorine pools and saltwater ones. The best pool for you is the one that fits both your budget and your needs. Be sure to consult with a professional to price out each option and discuss maintenance techniques in order to choose the option that’s right for you.

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