Besides normal and good water balance, all you need for a salt water pool is a chlorine generator and enough pool salt to raise the level to the salt system manufacturer's recommendation. You will still need to maintain good water balance on a salt water pool.
This chlorine production process is necessary for keeping salt water pools clean, free of chloramines and bacteria, and healthy for swimming. Additionally, a salt chlorine generator will ensure that your pool's salinity (salt level) isn't too high.
A saltwater pool is an alternative to a traditional chlorine pool. Although you don't add chlorine tablets to a saltwater pool, it does still contain chlorine. It just has a smaller amount that's generated through the filter system. A saltwater pool contains 10 times less salt than the ocean.
So, not only is shocking a saltwater pool okay, but it's actually important to your pool's health. Shocking is the process in which you overload your pool with chlorine (3-5 times the normal amount) to improve your pool's cleanliness and kill off organic matter.
Pros of Saltwater Pools
There's less chlorine and less of the heavy chemical scent and content. They're gentler on the skin, with less irritation to the eyes, hair and swimsuits. The water has a softer, silkier feel to it compared to chlorine water. They have lower maintenance costs than chlorine pools.
Saltwater pools can definitely be heated just like freshwater pools. The saltwater chlorinator does not affect heating units, so you will not have to worry about this when installing a heater in your swimming pool. The heating units will also be set up and installed in the same way as in chlorine pools.
Saltwater Pools Come With Health and Environmental Concerns
Providers have also linked higher heart mortality risks to sodium absorption through the skin, particularly among people with: High blood pressure.
You definitely need to drain some water from the pool when salinity reaches a 6,000 ppm level. Most salt water pools should be maintained with a salinity level of 2,500-4,000 ppm. The amount you drain depends on how elevated salinity levels are.
For most people, the big selling point for saltwater pools is, well, the salt! The lower-chlorine saltwater is better for swimmers' hair, skin and eyes. Additionally, it also tends to be less harsh on pool toys and swimsuits. So saltwater offers better longevity for your accessories.
Salt Water Pool Cost
The average cost to build a new salt water pool is $36,400, with most spending between $29,000 and $57,000 depending on the size, shape, and material of the pool. This price includes the salt water chlorination system which converts a chlorine pool to a saltwater pool for $600 to $2,200.
After adding pool salt to your swimming pool, it is always recommended to wait for at least 20 to 45 minutes so that you can swim in the pool.
Sometimes a saltwater pool's chlorinator isn't creating enough chlorine, and the water can become cloudy or develop algae. When this happens, a bit of chlorine can save the day, said Hunker. You can add extra chlorine to the pool through calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite, or chlorine tablets.
While green algae are endemic in salt water pools, they are the easiest to kill. Green algae tend to grow during summers when the temperatures can get high. They float freely in the pool, making the water green. You might even see them growing on the bottom of the pool, on the walls, or in the crevices.
Certain species of mosquitoes breed in saltwater pools. Two of the most common species are Aedes taeniorhynchus (also known as Saltwater mosquito) and the dangerous Asian Tiger mosquito that spreads diseases like encephalitis.
Salt Is More Expensive Than Chlorine
Although saltwater pools require a different generator than chlorine pools, chlorine is actually much more expensive than salt is. This is especially true with the chlorine shortage happening right now.
Salt cells convert salt into active chlorine for a lower cost as compared to the traditional form of liquid or solid chlorine. Salt water pools reduce skin and eye irritation and greatly reduce the chlorine smell.
While all pools require chemicals to maintain clean, clear water, salt water pools are more stable than traditional chlorinated pools, so they require fewer chemicals.
While they do cost a bit more on the front end than a chlorine set up, the ongoing maintenance for saltwater pools is typically far less expensive. Generally, you can expect to pay somewhere around $300 to $800 a year on the chemicals you'll need to maintain a chlorine pool.
A saltwater pool is more expensive than a traditional pool because it requires a higher initial investment. Compared to chlorinated pools, a saltwater pools system is more complex. Both minor and major repairs will call for the expertise of a licensed (and specialized) technician.
Generally speaking, skin problems occur twice more in chlorinated water than in salt water. In most cases, salt water causes dry and itchy skin but chlorine triggers irritated skin and sometimes even a nasty rash.
Also known as cercarial dermatitis, swimmer's itch is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds, but it occasionally occurs in salt water. Swimmer's itch is a rash usually caused by an allergic reaction to parasites that burrow into your skin while you're swimming or wading in warm water.