Salt Water Systems vs Chlorine In Swimming Pools

Florida swimming pool with palm tree in the backyard. We don’t currently have a pool, but we DID!

Er, well we actually rented a house in Pensacola, Florida for a year that did.

It was a full-size in-the-ground swimming pool — with a diving board, a deep end, and everything! We were so thrilled.

Empty swimming pool under repairs - needs a new liner. Example of the green slimy algae that overtook our beautiful<br /> swimming pool.That is, until the liner along the inside of the pool started sagging, and the cleaners and filters quit working altogether.

The result: A limy green moss-filled swimming pool.

…This stuff practically grew overnight!


How’d It Get So Bad?

Unfortunately, since dialog with our landlord (who lived out of town, but planned to move back into the house at a later date) was hit-and-miss at best, it took a few months to actually get the liner repaired and the pool chemicals regulated back to normal.

The landlord had given the “pool boy” who regulated all the chemicals some time off until the liner could be repaired, so Jim and I took it upon ourselves to purchase the proper pool chemicals for the water — just so we could get a few more weeks of enjoyment out of this pool.

After all, it was the main reason that we chose to rent this house in the first place!

As a result, we are somewhat familiar with pool chlorination and filtering procedures… which is what makes the following information so interesting.

Jim repairing the underwater light in the pool under the diving board. Swimming pool gone bad... blue water turned green from algae.

Salt Chlorinators For Swimming Pools

Did you know that there’s a way to “chlorinate” your swimming pool without all the harsh effects of chlorine — like red, irritated eyes and itchy skin?

The answer is a salt-water system!

No, it doesn’t turn your swimming pool into the Atlantic Ocean. Nor does it make you feel like a seasoned salad after swimming in it. It simply gives you all of the benefits of traditional chlorinated water, without the negative side effects.

  • No red, burning eyes
  • No itchy skin
  • No harsh pool chemicals (like chlorine or algaecides) to buy

Lynnette relaxing in the shallow end of the pool. In sum, with a salt-chlorinator, pool maintenance is easier, so you’re able to keep your swimming pool looking great with much less hassle.

Too cool.

If I owned my own pool, I’d seriously consider salt-chlorination.

By choosing a saltwater sanitizing system, you can reap the benefits of traditional chlorinated water without many of the negative side effects. –Landscape Solutions

#1 It’s more comfortable. Salt softens pool water so it’s gentler and less likely to cause red, burning eyes or dry, itchy skin.

#2 It’s easier on swimwear. Fabric swimwear won’t fade or disintegrate over time.

#3 It smells better. Lower chlorine levels eliminate chlorine taste and smell. The water tastes slightly salty instead.

#4 It inhibits algae naturally.

#5 It’s safer around kids and pets. Saltwater pools reduce the need to purchase, store, add, and handle chlorine, but salt can be corrosive over time.

#6 It saves time. Saltwater systems are easy to maintain once the system is learned.

#7 It’s cost-effective. Saltwater systems are more expensive initially but less costly over time.

For more about salt water pool systems, read Salt Water Pool Systems: Facts From A Pool Expert.

Need equipment, parts, or chemicals for a salt water pool?

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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Fun From Around the Web

  • Lisa Watlington

    Can the salt water systems for pools be used in above ground pools? Thank you.

  • Donna M.

    Hello, I just bought a saltwater cloinater and am using for the first time . I can’t seem to get it to produce chlorine. I stated out with a low level of salt and corrected that. I have increased my running time from the suggested time of 3 hours for my size pool to 8 hours today. I shocked it about 3-4 days ago and now it is registering very little if any chlorine. What should I do? HELP!!!
    Thanks for your time!

    • Philchrismon

      are you getting any error codes?

  • Donna M.

    I just got a saltwater chloinater but I can’t seem to get it to produce chlorine. I have gone from running it the recommended 3 hours to running it 8 hours today. I shocked it 3 days ago and today it registered vey little if any chlorine. Any ideas? I am about to give up. HELP!!!!
    Thanks for your time.

    • Machenpool

      Do you have enough salt in the pool for it to work. Most salt system require 3000ppm of salt.

  • Etkansas

    Where is a good salt water pool to swim in the Kc area??

  • Colin P.

    Chloramines AND improper pH will cause eye irritation. Chlorine, whether in tablet, or salt form, is dependent on proper pH levels to be effective in sanitizing and disinfecting. Most tablets contain cyanuric acid, which has a tendency to pull the pH down. SW generators produce chlorine which is high on the pH scale, which raises the overall pH. If your sole purpose is to save money, I would not suggest salt as an alternative. Every backyard is different, like most pool maintenence routines. Where I am, and with the products I’ve dealt with first hand, it simply does not cost less. Swimming pool supply companies will turn the same profit either way. Summary: Slighty more maintanence and slightly softer water.

  • Oriental Rug Cleaning Miami

    This is so cool!!! Great idea.

  • Machenpool

    It will not work in the winter at all. But you do not have the sun burning the the clorine away either just keep some puck in you’re skimmer and you should be ok but still test the water.

  • guy

    Soooo — you never actually OWNED a saltwater pool… So, you don’t really know if it works, or if it’s more comfortable, or anything else on your list.

  • Anna Borden

    HELP!!! My Saltwater, in ground pool is SHOCKING Me!!! The Ladder is also has corrosion! Please Help! PS, its only on one side! The ground wires look intask .