saltwater pool systems become more prevalent ó
industry experts say about half of all new pool
installations feature saltwater systems ó homeowners
are curious about their advantages, disadvantages and,
most important, how much they cost.
youíre building a new pool (which averages $50,000 for
a concrete, shotcrete or gunite pool) or converting a
standard chlorinated pool, it will cost between $1,500
and $2,500 for the saltwater chlorination system,
depending on the size of the pool.
many homeowners donít realize is a saltwater pool
still contains chlorinated water.
pour salt into your pool; the salt goes through the
generator, which produces chlorine," says Chuck
Burris, owner of Classic Pools Lubbock in Lubbock, Tex.
"The cell ó or generator ó emits a charge that
frees the chlorine from the salt molecule. It then
reverts back to salt to be used again in the
process eliminates the chlorine smell associated with
chemically chlorinated pools.
are the benefits of a salt water pool?
addition to getting rid of the chlorine smell, salt
water is gentler on your skin.
biggest advantage is health and maintenance," says
Damian Maroney, owner of Hydotech Pools in Naples, Fla..
"Chlorine tablets contain harmful impurities, which
some people react negatively to. Salt can alleviate
this, as the pool owner can eliminate the use of
chlorine tablets. Thereís less of a need to shock the
pool (which can cause dangerous chemical conditions) and
less bleaching of bathing suits from super-high chlorine
Steininger, owner of Everything 4 Pools & Solar in
Orange City, Fla., says with a saltwater pool, his
clients can save between $300 and $400 a year on
maintenance is required for a saltwater pool?
Marzetti, owner of Marzetti Pools in Columbus, Ohio,
says a 20,000-gallon pool might need 11 to 12 bags of
salt after the installation of a new saltwater system.
costs around $6 a bag, and you wonít have to put any
more salt in for two years," he says, conceding
that salt might need to be added more frequently when
pools are used year-round. Look for a pool salt thatís
at least 99.4 percent pure and doesnít have rust
inhibitor or other additives.
while saltwater pools may require less maintenance,
thereís no such thing as a maintenance-free pool.
"You do need to inspect the cell once a month to
see if itís scaled up," Steininger says. "If
it is, youíll have to clean it in order to preserve
the integrity of the cell."
clean the cell, turn off the power, remove it from its
casing and soak it in white vinegar for a few hours.
Steininger says cells typically need to be replaced
every five to seven years, at a cost of $400 to $650.
efficacy of a saltwater system in fighting bacteria
relies on proper parameters of pH and alkalinity,"
says Dave Cox, owner of Tamarack Pools in Carlsbad,
Calif. "Weekly maintenance is important." Of
course, highly rated pool service companies are
available to help with the regular maintenance.
pool owners can add a muriatic acid, if necessary, to
maintain the proper pH balance between 7.4 and 7.6.
keep in mind that salt is a corrosive substance. When
building a saltwater pool, avoid using soft stones (like
limestone) as coping or decking materials, as the salt
will erode the stone.