Should you choose a Saltwater or Chlorine Pool?

No home in The Bahamas, whether it is a primary residence, your second home, or an income producing property, is complete without a crystal clear, sparkling pool. Perfect for cooling off in on the hot summer days, your pool will be the spot in the long summers where you chill, hang and relax, the focal part of your outdoor space.

The age old question when installing a new pool, and one which the pool contractor should ask you is, 'Do you want a Saltwater pool or a Chlorine pool?'. To make the right choice,  we need to understand the difference between the two, and pick the one that suits. Note, the jury is still out on which one is better!

Here Are The Pros And Cons Of Both Systems

The first is cost. A saltwater pool will initially cost a bit more but is designed to save you money over time. Many think that the water in a saltwater pool is actually salty like the sea. Not true. A salt pool has about 3500 parts per million of salt. Only 10% of the salinity of the Atlantic Ocean. Salt is simply added to the pool weekly or monthly to take part in a chemical reaction within a cylindrical unit, called a chlorinator, that is inserted into your water line, producing chlorine as the water with salt passes through. So a salt pool constantly makes its own chlorine instead of you having to add it in tablet or liquid form.

Chlorine in a pool is used to destroy bacteria and algae, keeping your pool sparkling and clear. All pools must be monitored for chlorine levels and ph balance. One of the things you have to watch with a saltwater pool is the chemical “balance’’ which must be monitored more closely and kept in check to ensure that the pool is producing and retaining sufficient chlorine and is within pH limits to keep the pool both safe, and producing chlorine. If the salt level runs low, the pool will no longer produce chlorine.

Another concern with a saltwater pool, especially in sunny climates like the Bahamas, is that the chlorine you are making can burn off quickly due to the sun. When this happens you must add cyanuric acid or stabiliser, which acts like a chlorine sponge so to speak, and slows down the evaporation of the chlorine from the pool. In a non salt pool, chlorine is added weekly in the form of chlorine tablets, which already contain the cyanuric acid or stabiliser. Ph and other levels must also be monitored in a chlorine pool the same as a saltwater pool and kept within proper limits.

It is said that saltwater pools are less harmful, easier on the hair, skin and especially the eyes, because the chlorine is added a bit at a time as it is made, rather adding the required amount of chorine all at one time with the tablets or liquid. Bottom line is, no matter whether you use a saltwater pool or a chlorine pool, you must keep your pool in balance with proper levels of chlorine, pH and cyanuric acid to ensure that sparkling bright and clear pool water.

Posted by Helen Dupuch on
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