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What Is a Salt Water Pool?

Traditional pools using chlorine can be converted to saltwater pools.
Salt is added periodically to salt water pools.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2014
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A salt water or saltwater pool is a swimming pool which is filled with a mild salt solution. Many companies which install pools can construct salt water pools and outfit them with the necessary sanitization systems, and these pools can vary radically in size from small lap pools to large community pools used for recreation. Swimmers sometimes enjoy saltwater pools because the water feels softer and gentler than that in some other types of pools.

Salt water pools are not chlorine free, but it is not necessary to add chlorine to the pool. Instead, using a device known as a chlorine generator, the pool makes its own chlorine products for hygiene though electrolysis which breaks down the salt. Periodically, salt must be added to the pool to keep the salt solution strong enough for the chlorine generator to work. When a salt water pool is maintained properly, it should stay clean and safe to use, and it lacks the strong odor associated with chlorinated pools.

Setting up a salt water pool can be expensive, as the chlorine generator and associated equipment can be costly. However, the salt used is significantly less expensive than chlorine additives for pools, which can save money in the long term. The pool will also require cleaning and maintenance, just like any other pool, and people who use pool services may want to confirm that their service is accustomed to working with salt water pools.

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People can install salt water pool systems in existing pools or they can install a brand new pool with a salt water system. The chlorine generator produces enough chlorine to inhibit the growth of bacteria, although the pool can still develop algae which needs to be cleared with a filtration system. Filtration will also clear leaves, debris from the bodies of swimmers, and other materials. Consumers concerned about pool hygiene who dislike the caustic nature of traditionally chlorinated pools may choose a salt water pool as an alternative which is more pleasant to swim in. Others simply enjoy swimming in saltwater.

Consumers attached to municipal water and sewer systems may want to check with local authorities about regulations concerning salt water pools. Some municipalities ban the connection of salt water pools to the sewer system, or require people to treat the pool water before draining it into the sewer. A pool installation company should be able to provide consumers interested in salt water pool installation with more information and recommendations.

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GiraffeEars
Post 3

@ ValleyFiah- Saltwater pools are reasonably priced. You can convert an existing pool to a saltwater pool, or you can purchase a new pool package that includes a salt water pool chlorinator. If you purchase a package, you will probably spend about a thousand dollars more than a conventional pool package.

If you are purchasing just the chlorinator to convert an existing pool, you will spend about $1000- $1500 on the chlorinator as well as the installation costs. You may also spend a little more on extra features like waterproof remote programmers, control panels that control pool lights, etc. You will also spend a little more for a salt water pool chlorinator designed for larger pools. The biggest benefit however, is you only add table salt and save on the expensive pool chemicals.

ValleyFiah
Post 2

@ Aplenty- I stayed at a Hyatt timeshare in Arizona a few summers ago and was able to use their salt water pool. I never knew that a salt water pool supplies its own chlorine, but it sure is a nice swimming pool. I usually end up with itchy dry skin after just a half hour in a chlorinated swimming pool, but I spent hours in that pool and my skin was fine.

I also noticed that the salt water pool at the Hyatt pool is easier on the eyes. I was able to open my eyes in the pool with little irritation, and it did not look like I drew circles around my eyes with a red marker after I got out of the pool.

Does anyone know how much a saltwater pool costs for a residential installation? I would love one if I could afford it.

aplenty
Post 1

Salt water pools are great for people with sensitive skin. The continuous processing of the salt water by the chlorine generator ensures that there is only enough chlorine in the water to clean the pool. If you are one of those people that cannot swim in a pool the day after it has been chlorinated without breaking out in hives, then a salt water swimming pool may be for you.

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