Salt vs. Chlorine Pools: Pros and Cons

Posted on: October 17, 2016
Posted in: Salt vs Chlorine
Tags: Chlorine Water Pools , Pros and Cons , Salt Water Pools


Chlorine pools have been common for residential pools ever since their inception. Adding chlorine to your swimming pool to maintain clean and healthy water is relatively simple and cheap. However, recently there has been a push towards salt water pools as the advantages of setup and maintenance seem to outweigh those of a chlorinated pool. This article will discuss the pros and cons of both, so that you can decide which is the better fit for your pool.

Pros of Chlorine Pools

Highly Efficient

Chlorine is highly efficient. The reason why chlorine has been the top method of pool cleaning for so many years is because it is extremely effective at preventing algae and bacteria growth.


Chlorine is affordable. It is still the most popular pool sanitation, so more pools exist that have already been created for chlorine, and switching to salt water costs money.

Cheaper to Install

Chlorine costs less to install. While a salt water pool system is initially expensive to set up, a chlorine systems offer lower starting costs for the homeowner.

Cons of Chlorine Water Pools

Chlorine Makes Chloramines

Chlorine can mix with bodily fluids and cosmetic products, which changes it into chloramines. This can be harmful for human skin, eyes and hair.


Chlorine require maintenance. A chlorine system needs to be closely monitored and tested to ensure that the levels of chlorine stay balanced. Often times, homeowners hire a professional to clean the pool for them and keep chemicals at acceptable levels.

Chlorine Can be Hard on Humans

Chlorine has been shown to cause respiratory problems in individuals with asthma, and has been linked in studies to certain types of cancer.

Pros of Salt Water Pools

Gentle on Eyes and Skin

With a salt generator, chlorine levels are typically lower. Many who are sensitive to chlorine often report fewer irritations when using these pools.

Safer than Chlorine

Regardless if it’s in table or liquid form, chlorine can be dangerous to store and transport. Studies have found that chlorinated water may also pose long-term health risks, which may not apply to salt water systems to the same extent. However, they do still produce the same disinfection byproducts as traditional pools.

“Soft Water” Feel

If you have a water softener in your home, you know that the addition of salt makes water feel smooth and silky to the touch, similar to rain water. Most individuals prefer this to the somtimes-abrasive feel of chlorinated water.

Less Maintenance

With a salt water system, pool maintenance is more “hands-off”, as the salt cell simply produces chlorine as needed. However, you still need to monitor chlorine levels periodically to make sure everything is working properly.

Cons of Salt Water Pools

More Expensive

Salt water systems require a hefty initial investment, which may total $5000 or more. Of course, with the money you’re saving on chlorine, the system could pay for itself in a few short years. However, any potential savings are theoretical and dependent on a lot of factors. Simply put, it’s quite possible that you’ll never recoup your money.

More Complex

If you have a sanitation issue with a typical swimming pool, the answer is often to add more chlorine (or some other chemical). With modern electronic salt water systems, any issues that happen are more likely to require the help of an experienced technician.

Potentially Damaging to Pool Accessories

There are reports of salt water systems damaging fixtures, heaters, liners, underwater lighting and even masonry work. However, some of information may be outdated or only apply to older equipment. Also, with any system, much of it depends on whether it is properly installed and maintained.

These are just a few pros and cons of both chlorine and salt water swimming pools. Ultimately, the best choice will be up to you and what best fits your needs. Contact us here at Paradise Oasis Pools with the link below for more information!