Saltwater Swimming Pools: The Pros & Cons in Oklahoma

Saltwater Pool vs Chlorine Pool

Salt water pools are a staple of the summertime. In fact, they're so popular that many people have them installed in their backyards. But what makes salt water pools so great?

Salt water pools use no chlorine or other chemicals to keep them clean. A saltwater pool is an alternative to a traditional chlorine pool. Although you don’t add chlorine tablets to a saltwater pool, it does still contain chlorine. It just has a smaller amount that’s generated through the filter system. The salt will also act as a natural disinfectant killing bacteria on contact.

If you're looking for an environmentally friendly way to enjoy your backyard, then you might want to look into getting a salt water pool.

Saltwater pool Advantages and Disadvantages

Saltwater pool advantages

Safer than Chlorine

The ability to sanitize your backyard pool with salt through the process of electrolysis means you don’t have to store chlorine in its solid or powdered form on your property. This produces chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid, which are capable of neutralizing bacteria and algae just as effectively as chlorine additives.

It is Good for People with Allergies

People with sensitive skin know all too well how difficult it is to find non-irritating exfoliants.

Especially for an indoor pool, salt water is a better alternative to a traditional chlorinated pool. One of the best saltwater pool benefits is that there is no strong chlorine smell that can irritate the nose. If you have allergies, this strong smell will have adverse reactions.

Stress Reliever

Swimming is already a great way to relax, but swimming in saltwater is known to promote the body’s natural relaxation process even more effectively.

The many benefits of the saltwater pool also include its ability to help you get rid of stress. It promotes the natural relaxation of the body after every swim.

Strengthens Immune System

Salt is one of the groundbreaking components of ancient Chinese medicine. Until now, it is believed to be effective in promoting the best for the immune system. With this, one of the benefits of a saltwater pool is that it strengthens your immune system.

Cost Effective

Though expensive upfront because of the purchase of a saltwater generator, saltwater pools are actually more cost effective in the long run. With saltwater pools, homeowners can forgo buying pool chemicals on a regular basis.

Disadvantages of a Saltwater pool

Many people have the impression that the water in a saltwater pool will be similar to ocean water, but that isn’t quite how it works. A saltwater pool actually has about 10 times less salt in the water than the ocean, and this amount needs to be maintained for the pool to remain clean and clear. Here are some of the cons if you're going for a saltwater pool:

  • Salt water pools require a larger initial investment, making them more expensive than traditional pools. However, operating costs are usually low in the long run, except for replacing the salt cell, which typically lasts anywhere from 3 to 7 years.
  • More complex than traditional pools salt water pools often require experienced technicians even for minor problems.
  • Salt can cause damage to certain materials, so you may have to avoid using specific types of heaters, fixtures, underwater lighting, liners and even some types of masonry work.
  • Corrosion is the other major downside. To avoid corrosion, we recommend that you use special equipment like hand rails and light covers that are made specifically for salt water pools and use zinc anodes.

Saltwater for pets

Saltwater Pool Safe for Pets

When the weather is great, there is nothing better than taking a dip in a crystal clear salt pool. If the whole family is partaking in fun in the pool, you’ll probably be wondering if your furry family members can as well.

Saltwater pools use salt, as opposed to chlorine, to cleanse and sanitize pool water. Much less corrosive than mass amounts of chlorine, saltwater pools are safer for your pets than traditional chlorinated pools, if well-maintained of course.

However, don’t expect the pool to taste and feel like the ocean; saltwater pools have a salt content of approximately 3,200 parts per million, while ocean water’s salt content is roughly 35,000 ppm.

Saltwater from the ocean is harmful for animals, but because of the salt pool’s extremely low salinity. It isn’t much of an issue unless a large amount has been consumed.

Furthermore, there are few things to be considered for your furry friend: Salt can be toxic to your dog in large quantities. Always provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your buddy to drink as he frolics, so he’s not tempted to lap up the salty stuff.

Stay vigilant for signs of salt poisoning. These include initial vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, stumbling, excessive thirst or urination, tremors and seizures.

Saltwater Pools Pros and Cons in Oklahoma

The difference between saltwater swimming pools and chlorine

Chlorine is the chemical of choice for sterilizing swimming pools, primarily because of its cleanliness, oxidation levels, and low price point. Regular chlorine pools ask you to add chlorine as needed to maintain a more-or-less constant level within the pool.

Saltwater pools also use chlorine, It is a common misconception that saltwater systems do not have chlorine. But rather than dumping chemicals in, they pass water through a unique system known as a salt chlorine generator. When you add electricity to the water and salt, the chemicals change into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid. The acid sanitizes the pool while the hydrogen bubbles out of the water and into the air.

Saltwater pool will have lower levels of chlorine than a traditional chlorine pool because the chlorine is produced at a steady level rather than added to the pool with chlorine sticks or tablets.

Which is better saltwater or chlorine?

Inground Pools

When installing a new inground pool, a saltwater system is a smart option because you can choose salt-resistant liners and fixtures from the beginning.

Inground pool installation costs between $35,500 and $64,500, depending on the type of pool and the water system you choose.

Suppose you’re thinking of remodeling a pool or converting a chlorine pool to a saltwater system. You may need to resurface the existing pool or even replace the liner entirely.

Saltwater damages many common pool materials, including concrete. You’ll also need to replace fixtures and fittings such as lights with salt-resistant ones, which can get expensive.

Above Ground Pools

Saltwater and freshwater chlorine systems are tied. The choice depends on your budget and any concerns you have around using higher concentrations of chlorine. Above-ground pools cost between $800 and $4,700, with chlorine systems on the lower end and above-ground pools on the higher end.

Above Ground Saltwater Pools

Not all above ground pools are compatible with saltwater systems. Whether you are converting an existing above ground pool to saltwater, or buying a new pool, you must be aware of the materials your pool is made from.

Above ground pools are commonly constructed from one of three types of materials: steel, aluminum, and resin. Simply put, steel and aluminum above ground pools are not compatible with saltwater systems. Even when such pools have protective coatings, they remain far too vulnerable to corrosion and oxidation.

The only type of above ground pools compatible with saltwater sanitation systems are those made from resin. Be aware that even resin pools still contain many components made of steel.

For instance, nuts and bolts. This is an industry standard, and should not pose any long-term stability problem when using a salt system. Keep in mind that these items are susceptible to rust but can be easily replaced as needed.

Saltwater swimming pool maintenance

Maintaining a saltwater pool isn’t quite like maintaining a regular chlorine pool. In fact, if you try to maintain it the same way, you could end up damaging your pool and its support systems.

  • The first step to maintaining your saltwater pool involves the proper circulation in your pool. If there isn’t proper circulation in your pool, saltwater will manifest in concentration levels throughout your pool.
  • Next, you will have to clean the pool weekly to remove any salt build-up or debris in your pool. So when owning a saltwater pool, you will need to invest in cleaning equipment built to withstand the saltwater compared to a regular chlorinated pool.
  • Making sure that the equipment doesn’t splash water outside of the pool liner will be something to look out for because it can cause significant damage over time. Using a hose to sporadically add the saltwater back in the pool can also prevent any damage outside of the pool. Just like a chlorinated pool, be sure to check your filter, pool pump, and skimmer to make sure they are clean and working smoothly.

While a salt water pool will save you money on chlorine, remember that your pool will still need upkeep to maintain clean, crystal clear water.

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Saltwater Pool Cost

Installing a saltwater pool can vary in price significantly from one project to the next, due to considerations like the size, material, shape, and type of pool installed. Included in the installation price is the saltwater chlorination system that converts a standard pool into saltwater.

The benefits of saltwater pools are that they offer lower maintenance and they don’t need chemical treatments like chlorine pools. They are a great long-term option and like a standard pool, they can be built or bought in any number of shapes, sizes, and materials.

Homeowners pay an average of $25,000 to install a new salt water swimming pool, compared to the cost of installing a traditional pool, which has a price tag of about $23,000 on average. Cost to build a standard, 20,000-gallon pool can be as low as $12,000 or as high as $67,000. This price includes the salt water chlorination system, which costs $500 to $2,500 to buy and install.

Unlike traditional chlorine versions, salt water swimming pools do not rely on added chemicals to keep the water clean. Instead, a chemical reaction breaks down the salt in the water to generate chlorine. The process results in fewer chloramines, reducing eye irritation and smell. It's important to monitor the salt levels. A pro can help you choose the correct system and install it properly.

Convert Your Chlorine Pool to a Saltwater Pool

If you’re concerned about the pitfalls of chlorine and you’re tired of green hair, saltwater conversion may be the perfect solution for you.

Whether you need maintenance or you want to completely convert your pool to a saltwater pool, Elite Pool Services can help you. Our professional training is continuous, and we are always learning new and improved ways to take care of your pool and make it better.

Talk to an Elite Pool Service Professional - Oklahoma

We build or convert pools based on the project scope and our clients’ needs to create a truly unique experience just in your backyard. Our award-winning pools use only the best products and we have created strong relationships with highly qualified partners to work with our crews to give our clients the best experience possible.

You can convert your chlorine pool into a saltwater swimming pool and enjoy the benefits of saltwater instead of chlorination right in your own backyard.

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