What you Should Know About A Saltwater Pool
Maybe you’ve heard about saltwater pools, but don’t really know much about them. You might wonder if it will be the same as swimming in the ocean. If you’re confused about how saltwater pools work, what makes them different, and what the benefits are, you’re not alone. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions to help clear up the confusion around this alternative to chlorinated pools.
What’s the difference between a saltwater pool and a pool with chlorine?
It’s pretty simple – you add salt instead of chlorine to your pool. The generator does the rest. Many people think that a saltwater pool will be as salty as swimming in the ocean. But the salt level of your pool will only about 1/10th of ocean water. Leaving your pool clean, comfortable, and gentle on the skin.
What’s it like to swim in a saltwater pool?
The low level of salt actually makes the water feel silky and if it gets in your mouth it is slightly salty – similar to the taste of tears. However, unlike chlorinated pools, saltwater pools don’t hurt your eyes. So even if it tastes like tears you can rest assured that bloodshot eyes and crying children are not to blame.
Does salt work as well as chlorine?
Yes, it kills bacteria and algae quickly. The generator works its magic (through a couple of very complex chemical reactions) and changes the salt into hypochlorous acid. That’s what quickly kills bacteria and algae to keep your pool fresh, clean, and ready for summer fun.
Are there other benefits?
Your skin will love you! Afterall, soaking your skin in chlorine can’t be good for you, right? Salt is gentle on your skin, hair, and swimming suits. Plus, you don’t end up smelling like chlorine for the next week.
How much does it cost?
Saltwater pools are cheaper to maintain annually than chlorine pools. Maintenance costs for a saltwater pool run about $50 to $100 a year, while a chlorine pool costs $250 to $300 a year.
But there is an additional cost that you don’t have with a chorine pool. The “cell” is part of the generator and it needs to be replaced every 3-7 years. It costs $700-$900! Yikes! This means that the cost of saltwater and chlorinated pools works out to be pretty similar.
You can reduce this cost by minimizing how often you need to replace the cell. By keeping up with regular maintenance and monitoring the salt level of your pool, the cell will last longer leaving more money in your pocket.
Is it safe?
Saltwater pools are just as safe to use as any other pool. And after reading through this list, we think you may even feel that they are better for your family than chlorinated pools.
However, there are safety risks with any pool, but there are things you can do to limit those risks:
- Check for safety requirements from local ordinances and codes.
- Wet surfaces can get slippery, so make sure to use non-slip materials on any surfaces that could get wet. (pool deck, ladders, diving boards, etc.)
- The Red Cross also suggests using a pool alarm that sounds if someone enters that pool.
- Remove toys and floats after use. These may entice children to get into the pool without proper supervision.
- Teach children to swim or float at a young age. USA Swimming says children can learn to swim even before they can walk.
Limit Access to the Pool
Aside from supervising children while in or around the pool the best precaution is to prevent access to the pool with a pool safety fence.
- The American Red Cross recommends installing a 4-foot-high fence, with a self-closing, self-locking gate, around any pool.
- Fences should be made in a way that makes climbing over them difficult.
- Don’t build the fence near trees or other things that a child could use as a “boost” over the fence.
- Lastly, avoid using the wall of a house as one side of the fence, so that children cannot slip into the pool area through a window or door.