Chlorine vs. Salt Water: What’s the Difference?

October 5, 2016 9:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Thinking about installing a pool? If you are, then you’ve probably encountered a lot of varying opinions on the salt water vs. chlorine debate. The truth is that there is really no wrong answer; however, there may be a right answer depending on your lifestyle. To help you determine what type of pool is best for you, we’ve broken down the salt water vs. chlorine debate into three simple categories: health benefits, maintenance and cost.

Health benefits

Chlorine is used in chlorine swimming pools to kill off bacteria. However, chlorine mixes with all kinds of human secretions, from saliva to sweat, and creates chloramines. Chloramines are what cause the chlorine smell of pools and can irritate the skin and eyes. Even though the chlorine kills bacteria, the chloramines remain in the water and require even more chlorine to remove them.

There is a misconception that salt water pools don’t use chlorine. Although no chemically produced chlorine is added to the pool, salt water pools use a salt water generator that creates a natural chlorine through electrolysis that is much milder. You won’t notice the chlorine smell or irritating effects, yet salt water systems will kill chloramines faster than chlorine pools.


Chlorine pools require a lot more regular care than salt water pools. It’s important to add chemicals to your pool weekly to maintain the proper pH levels. You also have to shock your pool to kill off any algae blooms, destroy any combined chlorines and rid your pool of organics from swimmers. Most of the time, it’s smarter and less expensive in the long run to hire a
professional service for pool maintenance in Mandeville, LA to handle this.

Salt water pools only require a cleaning once a year, which can be done by a local service offering pool maintenance in Mandeville, LA. The yearly cleaning should include draining the pool, scrubbing all surfaces and then checking and changing the filters for the salt water generator system. One thing to remember about salt water, however, is that it can be corrosive and cause salt stains on pool furniture, decks, patios and even ladders and lights.


At startup, chlorine pools are less expensive to install than a salt water pool because they do not require a salt water generator. However, it’s important to remember that the cost of chemicals to
care for your chlorine pool can add up to hundreds of dollars per year.

Salt water pools do not cost as much to maintain, but they are more expensive to install because of the salt water generator. A salt water generator also needs to be run pretty consistently—about 10 to 12 hours per day in the summer months—which can add up in utility costs.

Your new pool can be a source of fun and relaxation, if you choose the right one. By taking into consideration these three points, not to mention consulting a local professional, you can choose the perfect pool for you. For more information about pool installation and pool maintenance in Mandeville, LA, get in touch with the team at Tropical Pool Services & Renovations, LLC today.

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