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What is a Saltwater Pool – and Why You May Want One?

what is a saltwater pool

Nothing is quite as refreshing as sliding into a swimming pool for a relaxing dip. But imagine creating a swimming experience that makes you feel as though you are at a tropical resort basking in the sun with the taste of salt on your lips. Sound appealing? Then you may be interested in a saltwater pool. If this concept is new to you, however, you may be wondering, “What is a saltwater pool?”

Saltwater pools can be explained in terms of chloramines and the differing approaches to chlorination. Plus, Fixr estimates the average pool owner lowers their yearly maintenance costs nearly $500 when they switch to a saltwater pool! After considering the ongoing costs and other benefits, we will take a closer look at why a saltwater pool is the healthier choice.

What Is A Saltwater Pool?

To understand why saltwater pools are so great, it helps to know what chloramines are. Chloramines are “a type of combined chlorine that form in water,” per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While there are some chloramines in saltwater pools, there are not as many as in chlorine pools.  

Chloramines exist in saltwater pools because saltwater systems are sanitized with chlorine, too, just through a different process. The two types of sanitization are essentially as follows:

Traditional chlorine 

With this type of pool, you need to regularly check the chlorine level, as well as the calcium hardness, pH, and alkalinity. You will need to sample the water. Then use a tablet or liquid chlorine to restore balance.


Via electrolysis, saltwater pools — outfitted with chlorine generators — produce their own chlorine from pool-grade salt. They do so by shooting water containing salt across a pair of electrically charged plates, which converts it to chlorine. That process through which salt is converted to chlorine is central to the question, “What is a saltwater pool?”

While the idea with a saltwater pool is not to introduce chlorine directly, you will sometimes have to shock it – adding chlorine simply to get the levels within the safe range. Typical times that saltwater pool owners use shock treatments are the following:

  • when the temperature of the water drops under 60°F (below which the conversion process stops); or
  • when your filter or pump stops working correctly, causing water not to flow through the salt cell and allow the generation of chlorine.

Some people also use them at intervals.

How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Saltwater Pool?

A key reason people choose this type of pool is maintenance, in terms of ease as well as cost.  It is simple to add salt to a saltwater pool, which can self-maintain for as long as two weeks. Some saltwater system owners have said that their alkalinity and pH stay in better balance than with chlorine systems too.

A saltwater swimming pool is a more budget-friendly option long-term because of maintenance. Specifically, how much does it cost to maintain a saltwater pool? While maintenance chemicals for a traditional chlorine pool are $300 to $800 annually, the yearly cost for saltwater pool maintenance is only $70 to $100, according to Fixr. Notably, the annual estimate for chlorine pool maintenance from HomeAdvisor is significantly lower at $100 to $400 per year. Regardless of that difference, clearly a typical chlorine pool is costlier to maintain than a typical saltwater pool.

Other Benefits of a Saltwater Pool Beyond Maintenance

Beyond maintenance advantages, other reasons people are increasingly choosing saltwater pools include the following:

  • there is not as much chlorine in the pool;
  • you do not need to conduct maintenance as often;
  • you do not need to add chlorine to the pool, except for occasional shocking;
  • you are freed from having to conscientiously store chlorine;
  • you do not experience the skin drying and itching; and
  • swimsuit colors do not fade.

The Best Pool Builders For Your Saltwater Pool

Do you think a saltwater pool might be right for your backyard? Make sure you have the expertise you need. Olympus Pools offers luxury swimming pool design & construction throughout Tampa, Lakeland, and Bradenton, FL. Want to discover how they can transform your backyard into a tropical paradise? Schedule an appointment today to start your new pool design.

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