If you are building a custom pool, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of salt water pools. You may have heard about how salt water systems are generally more gentle on your skin and eyes, or you may be interested in the money you’ll save by not purchasing chlorine. However, you may also know that a salt water pool costs more to build and install than a traditional chlorine pool.
In order to make the best decision, you should know all the factors that impact the cost of a salt water pool.
One thing to keep in mind is that the construction of a pool with a salt water system is actually going to be the exact same to start as the construction of any other pool. You don’t need to build the pool in differently in order to accommodate the salt water system. This is good news for two main reasons. For one, you can still build any sort of pool you want, from contemporary to classic to infinity edge. In addition, you don’t pay more for the construction costs.
Salt Chlorine Generator vs. Standard Chlorine
If the pool isn’t constructed differently, then why do you pay more for salt water pools? The main difference is in the cost of pool equipment and technology. A salt water pool requires a salt chlorine generator to create chlorine, which is the main difference between upfront costs.
Traditional Chlorine Pool
For a traditional pool, you may need a standard chlorinator to mix the water and chemicals. You may also use pumps for this purpose. In general, though, there’s no special equipment to mix chlorine in traditional pools. You may only need a chlorine float and chlorine tablets to get started.
While these methods are cheaper upfront, keep in mind that you will need to continue to buy chlorine tablets or liquid to keep the chlorine level where it needs to be. This means that while the original equipment costs are not as high, you can end up paying more each month by adding chlorine to the pool.
The main cost associated with salt water pools is the addition of a salt chlorine generator. This machine takes the salt in your pool and runs through a generator where it undergoes electrolysis. This is a chemical reaction that produces the chlorine that sanitizes your pool.
These machines can vary in cost, but generally, the installation and equipment will cost between $1,500 and $2,000. You will also need to replace the generator regularly, about every 5-7 years. This means that in the end, you pay one or two thousand dollars more upfront for a salt water pool compared to a standard chlorinated pool. This does not take into account the savings from not purchasing chemicals, however.
Is a Salt Water Pool Worth It?
In the end, it’s up to you whether the extra cost up front is worth it to construct a pool with a salt water system. Many pool owners report that salt water feels better on their skin and that they prefer not smelling like chlorine after swimming. However, plenty of pool owners are happy with their chlorinated systems.
Salt Water Pools
Whatever type of pool you want, Pools by Design can build it! We work with you to determine exactly what swimming pool fits your needs and desires.