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Saltwater vs Chlorine Pools: What is the difference?

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Saltwater vs Chlorine Pools: What is the difference?

Are you having trouble deciding between a chlorine and saltwater pool? You’re not alone! 

Saltwater pool systems have gained popularity in recent years, and as a result, pool owners are starting to wonder if their chlorine pool systems are becoming a thing of the past. 

But, while there are some advantages to saltwater pools, there are also plenty of reasons why chlorine pools are still the best choice for anyone looking for a reliable and cost-effective pool system. 

To settle this saltwater vs chlorine pool debate, we’re exploring some key differences between these two pool systems.

What is a chlorine pool?

Chlorine pools are the most common and trusted pool systems on the market. They’re also the easiest to operate. A chlorine system distributes chlorine throughout your pool, maintaining a proper chemical balance and preventing bacterial growth. 

Chlorine tablets can be added by hand, or with the aid of a floating chlorine dispenser. As long as the proper chemical balance is maintained, your pool water will stay healthy and safe to swim in. 

What is a saltwater pool? 

Contrary to what the name implies, saltwater pools also use chlorine to maintain water health. Once salt is added to the pool, a unit called a salt chlorinator converts the salt crystals into chlorine gas. 

While the concentration of chlorine isn’t as high in saltwater pools, salt does not evaporate with water. Instead, it lingers in the pool, supplying a continual source of chlorine. This means a saltwater pool’s chemical balance requires less monitoring as time goes on. 

Luxury Outdoor Swimming Pool with Seating

What is the difference between a saltwater and a chlorine pool? 

The main difference between these two types of pools comes down to the technology used by the systems. 

Chlorine pools are relatively straightforward: a pump circulates chlorinated water through a filter to keep it clean. The parts are easy to replace and maintain and are widely available.

On the other hand, saltwater pools are a little more complicated due to the addition of the salt chlorinator. This specialized piece of equipment uses an advanced process called electrolysis to convert salt into chlorine. When salt chlorinators experience issues, a saltwater pool specialist is often required to diagnose the problem and make repairs. 

Installation Cost

The cost of installing any type of pool will vary depending on factors such as: 

  • The shape of the pool 
  • The size of the pool
  • Materials used
  • Custom features 

But the cost of the pool system is one of the biggest expenses to consider. 

In general, saltwater pools are much more expensive to install than chlorine pools due to their specialized equipment. Considering the availability and price range of chlorine pool system parts, it’s no wonder these pools are more budget-friendly. 


Chlorine pools require routine maintenance to stay crystal clear and bacteria-free. 

As the water level in your pool fluctuates due to factors like evaporation and rain, you’ll need to balance your chlorine levels accordingly to maintain the proper pH. Chlorine tablets can be bought cheaply in bulk and pH test strips are available almost anywhere pool supplies are sold. 

We recommend checking your pool’s pH once a week to stay ahead of chemical imbalances. 

While the chlorine level of a saltwater pool won’t fluctuate as much and will require less continual upkeep, there are other factors to consider: 

  • Saltwater systems accumulate calcium that can damage the system if not cleaned out periodically 
  • Over time, saltwater will corrode metal system components, leading to costly repairs
  • Saltwater systems require specialized service, even for minor issues, resulting in higher maintenance bills. 

When it comes to any pool system, occasional maintenance is expected. Fortunately, the team at Burleson Pool Company can help you with that! Our pool experts will quickly diagnose any issues and make the necessary repairs to get your pool working properly within your budget.

If you’re considering a chlorine pool installation in Alabama or Tennessee, reach out to the pool professionals at Burleson Pools today for a consultation.


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