Most people are familiar with chlorinated pools; they grace backyards, community centers and parks. They are a beautiful shade of blue, but come with the side effects of sore red eyes, irritated skin, bleached swimsuits, and damaged hair. One great innovation in pools and spas is the use of salt water. They are low maintenance, use fewer harsh chemicals and don't cause the same side effects as chlorinated pools. Here are 4 other things you should know about saltwater pools.
1) Saltwater pools aren't chlorine free
While you won't have to handle or store chlorine for a saltwater pool, it isn't chlorine free. Instead, saltwater pools use a process called electrolysis to produce chlorine from salt water. The levels are lower, however, and the side effects generally seen with chlorine aren't normally a problem for a saltwater pool. It also uses about a tenth of the salt found in the ocean, similar to human tears. This makes opening up your eyes underwater a not-unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, the salt water also tends to ruin any gardens in the area around the pool, so that is also a consideration.
2) Saltwater pools aren't high maintenance
Saltwater pools are definitely a lower maintenance choice over chlorinated pools. But that doesn't make them maintenance free. The water still has to be monitored, and high quality salt still has to be added. If there is a plumbing problem with a saltwater pool, you need to contact a plumber specializing in pools, just like with a traditional pool. There's no argument, however, that it's less work than traditional pools.
3) Saltwater pools aren't cheap
Despite the lowered maintenance and incurred costs of such, a saltwater pool is more expensive in other areas. Installation, wear and tear on the pool, accessories and equipment are all more expensive for saltwater pool owners. The cost of repairing the plumbing or structure of the swimming pool is high because you need a swimming pool service who is familiar with the unique needs of salt water. Electricity costs are also higher for owners of saltwater pools.
4) Saltwater pools aren't going to be hard on your body
Because of the very low chlorine levels, you won't have the bloodshot eyes, itchy skin or discoloured hair you can expect from chlorine pools. In fact, the salt water is soft water and can make your skin feel softer after using it.
Saltwater pools are starting to take a larger share of the pool and spa market, and with good reason. Decreased maintenance, lowered harmful chemical usage and little to no side effects, but with a bigger price tag. However, a pool is a long-term investment, so perhaps it makes sense to spend a little more for a better experience.