The Pros and Cons of Using Salt Water for Your Pool

June 1, 2017

If you are looking into alternatives to water chlorination or you are about to have an in-ground pool installed, and beginning the consultation process with your trusted pool cleaning service San Diego company, you might be asking whether to get chlorine pool or a salt water pool system.

Considering the pros and cons of each system, you may have questions regarding which one is easier and less expensive to maintain, maybe even if it’s possible to have a chlorine pool that isn’t so harsh one the skin, hair and eyes, without the characteristic chlorine odor.

Payan Pool’s experts have prepared several factors you should consider when deciding on which system is your perfect fit to keep your pool sparkling clean.

You should be aware that a salt water pool system still uses chlorine to sanitize water and keep algae away, but it has a different way of producing it. Chlorine is generated by a salt cell which converts the salt into chlorine through a process called chemical electrolysis. Salt water is:

Gentler to the skin

One of the main advantages of a salt generating pool is that you get the sanitizing effect of chlorine with more ability to adjust the chlorine level. There is just a mild scent of chlorine and the water has a soft feel to it. It’s easier on the eyes and less drying to the skin. Salt water is also gentle to your sinuses and overall more pleasant to be in and around.

Safer than chlorine

The benefit of a salt water pool system is that you don’t need to buy chlorine. Whether in tablets or liquid form, chlorine can be dangerous to store and transport. On the other hand, salt bags are sturdy to carry and pour.

Potentially damaging to pool equipment

Salt can be corrosive, so it can damage the pool liner, fixtures, lighting, pumps and other pool equipment and surfaces. Make sure you consult a trustworthy pool service professional, who will suggest the right materials and equipment to avoid possible damage.


Salt usually comes in 40-pound bags. Adding salt to your pool is simple. After dumping necessary amount of salt in the shallow end of the pool, you should wait till it’s dissolved and then turn on the salt chlorinator.

It’s essential to keep your pool well-balanced and maintain proper levels of alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness. The chlorine generator doesn’t do it automatically, but you can always program it to convert a higher percentage of salt into chlorine for a bigger sanitizing effect.

You’ll also need to add a stabilizer to the water so that the generator can maintain chlorine levels more easily. Chlorine generators have difficulty maintaining recommended pH levels. Because the pH in salt water tends to be higher, it requires increased and continuous monitoring. In most cases, it will need to be adjusted at least once a week. The salt water pool cell usually requires cleaning at least once a season and it’s advisable to check it every two or three months to make sure the plates are free of a mineral build-up.


If you decide on the salt water pool system, you’ll need to have a salt water pool cell and a control panel installed. The cost for converting a traditional system of a 25,000-gallon pool runs between $400 and $3,000. The good thing is that salt water systems work with DE, sand and cartridge filtration systems so you won’t need to convert the filtration system.

You might also consider installing an automatic pH dosing system, which will automatically adjust the pH levels by dispensing muriatic acid. These systems range from $600, for basic models, to $5000, for elaborate ones.

Ongoing maintenance is more pocket-friendly, given that the salt cell needs to be replaced every three to five years, which can cost between $200 and $700.

Premier pool cleaning service San Diego

For 30 years, Payan Pools, Inc., a reputable swimming pool service in San Diego, has been providing pool and spa repair, cleaning, maintenance and remodeling to San Diego residents. If you are looking for your go-to pool service company and need professional, reliable and fast help and advice, our certified technicians with vast experience are at your service. For more information, call (619) 817-8092 or contact us via email or through the contact information on our website.