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Traditional Pools vs Saltwater Pools: What’s the Difference?

Maintaining clear, fresh-feeling water is essential to making your pool the relaxing oasis you deserve. When you’re shopping for a new swimming pool or pool water treatment options, one common question that will come up is, “What’s the difference between a saltwater pool and a traditional, chlorinated pool?” A common misconception is that saltwater pools have zero chlorine in them. Actually, saltwater pools use salt chlorinators to naturally generate chlorine.

So, what is the difference between traditional and saltwater pools? Here are a few of them:

Chlorine Levels

Saltwater pools typically have lower levels of chlorine than traditional pools because they produce chlorine at a steady pace. Traditional pools add chlorine tablets or liquid to the pool water, which makes it more difficult to keep the chlorine level consistent. With saltwater pools, a generator produces chlorine through a process called electrolysis, where electricity breaks down the salt into hypochlorous acid. This allows for a slow, steady, production of chlorine.

Health Advantages

Because saltwater pools have a lower chlorine concentration than traditional pools, they are gentler on your skin, eyes, and lungs. The water feels silkier and won’t cause the itchiness or irritation that traditional chlorination can cause for people with sensitive skin, which is a big reason saltwater pools are so popular.


Saltwater pools require less maintenance than traditional pools. While chemically-chlorinated pools usually need to be treated with more chlorine weekly, saltwater pools can maintain ideal chlorine levels for weeks. Both pools require basic pool care, such as testing and balancing. However, saltwater pools can save you both time and money on pool chemicals in the long run.

Cost Difference

Compared to traditional chlorine, saltwater systems are more expensive upfront because of the need for a saltwater chlorinator. But, if you love swimming in silky, low-odor salt water, or you’re looking for a pool with less maintenance, the perks may be well worth the initial expense.

Both salt and traditional pools are great options for anyone looking to create a retreat in their own backyard. While each has its own pros and cons, both water treatment methods will keep your pool healthy and ready to enjoy. Whichever kind of pool you decide on, having your own backyard paradise will add health and happiness to your life!

Are you ready for a backyard oasis of your own? Contact Parnell Pool & Spa today and let’s get the ball rolling on your new pool!

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