Salt Water Systems vs Chlorine In Swimming Pools

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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.

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.

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…This stuff practically grew overnight!


How Did 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.

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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

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.

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I like to help people find unique ways to do things that will save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" Household Tips and Life Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I'm super-organized. And I LOVE to clean! I even enjoy doing laundry (but not ironing). I’m also a lifelong dog owner -- so I often share my favorite tips for living with dogs inside your home (like smart home design choices and dog-friendly cleaning & decorating ideas). Career-wise, I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). Prior to that, I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about instead. For example, 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. When I’m not cleaning, organizing, decorating, or fixing something… you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've personally written over 200 articles about cleaning, organization, DIY repairs, and household hacks on this site! A few have over 2M shares; many others have over 100K shares.

12 thoughts on “Salt Water Systems vs Chlorine In Swimming Pools

  1. 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!

  2. Hello,
    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 .

  7. I could not disagree more strongly. I have been maintaining a salt water pool for 8 years by myself with no prior experience.
    Every 3 weeks to a month I take a water sample to the pool store (hint: large chain, rhymes with ‘heslies’) and they use sophisticated equipment to analyse my pool water. I swear on my oath, my pool has been ‘shocked’ 3 times in 8 years, after monster rain falls of 3 to 4+ inches. I am located in central East Texas.

    I keep my salt level spot on at 3000ppm, and occasionally add additional chemicals such as muriatic acid or stabilizer.

    My salt water pool is simple to care for and has saved me THOUSANDS of savings for not having to buy chlorine, hire a “pool guy”, or other such non-sense.

    We had a “pool man” as I was to be out of town for about three months. This criminal idiot wanted to do a $800 “protein treatment”

    I asked my wife to put him on the phone and I said “Get off my property now and never come back!”

    Turned their little butts into the BBB and that is a done deal.

    Guess what my profession is? I am a research analyst!!
    Don’t listen to what people who are compromised by having an interest in your money! Do your own research!!!!

    After reading most of these posts… the majority are from “Pool Crooks” who want your money.
    Salt water pools have hurt them BAD.

    Which is good.

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