This or That: Salt pool vs Chlorine pool
June 24, 2014 in Polls
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Thos. Baker
Salt. You get the same benefits as chlorine without the chemicals. It's much nicer to swim in.

Christi, on behalf of Thos. Baker
1 Like   June 24, 2014 at 5:07AM
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Wise Pool & Spa Service, Inc.
Salt all the way! First you must understand the difference between the two and how they are alike.

Chlorine refers to a pool that typically uses tablets (can also be liquid or granular). Let's talk about tablets. Chlorine tablets can be broken down into 3 main components: chlorine (sanitizer), stabilizer (a.k.a. cyanuric acid, helps protect the chlorine level from being depleted from the sun), and inert ingredient (binders that hold the tablets together). Each time you add a chlorine tablet into the pool, you are adding these 3 components. Tablet dosage needs to be monitored and adjusted to maintain a 2-3 ppm level of chlorine.

After a period of time, the cyanuric acid level will increase, in turn causing the pH and alkalinity to decrease. At this point, it is near impossible to raise the pH and alkalinity to proper levels with chemicals, due to the high cyanuric acid. When pH and alkalinity aren't at proper levels, the chlorine will not sanitize as effectively as it could. The best way to reduce the cyanuric acid is through water dilution. Through dilution, you will find that the pH and alkalinity will rise on their own. So, if you use chlorine tablets, it's best to be diligent on keeping the stabilizer level in check.

When we talk about salt pools, we are talking about converting salt into chlorine through an electrolytic process, by use of a salt chlorine generator (electrolytic chlorine generator), or SCG (ECG). You are still using chlorine to sanitize the pool. The difference is, instead of buying the tablets in buckets, your generator is creating the chlorine on demand and on site. Initial costs of these units may shock you, but its well worth it in the end, with the ease of maintenance, more tolerable water chemistry, and feels better on hair, skin, and eyes. You will still balance all water parameters like pH, alkalinity, etc. as usual, but the only cyanuric acid introduced into the water is what your pool professional tells you, meaning no high accumulation like with tablet use. Your pool professional will also tell you when and how much salt you need to add to the pool water. With an SCG pool, if you need to increase/decrease the chlorine you can do it with the simple touch of a button, and same for shocking.

You can also ask your pool professional if combining either of these methods of sanitizing with a mineral or ozone system would be beneficial to you. The total cost of maintaining a chlorine tablet pool compared to a ECG pool is higher.

If you would like to learn more about SCGs, please visit

Good luck!
4 Likes   July 19, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Hearthstone Environments
Great answer wise pools! to simplify, a salt pool is a chlorine pool. The device simply changes the way that chlorine is added into the water.
0 Likes   August 20, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Republic Gardens
Good point about the salt pool being a chlorine pool....without the smell or the chlorine residue left on bathing suits, etc. Salt water pools are so pleasant to swim and and your skin is left feeling so much better than with chlorine only pools.
0 Likes   August 20, 2014 at 10:35AM
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