3+ Disadvantages of Salt Water Pools

Disadvantages of saltwater pools include corrosion to metal fixtures, high upfront cost for equipment, and expensive maintenance needs over time.

what are the disadvantages of salt water pools

Saltwater pools are becoming increasingly popular in residential and commercial settings because of their many benefits. Unlike traditionally chlorinated swimming pools, saltwater pools require much less chlorine to maintain a healthy balance. 

The pool chemistry is easier to manage and leads to softer water, reducing skin irritation and eye redness for swimmers.

Many people love the idea of a pool that does not require maintenance and is easier on the skin & hair. However, despite the impressive advantages, you may wonder, “what are the disadvantages of saltwater pools?”

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1. Salt Water Can Cause Corrosion to Metal Fixtures and Components

pool corrosion

So, what are the disadvantages of saltwater pools? The saltwater in the pool can corrode metal fixtures and components like copper, bronze, and stainless steel used for piping and other pool equipment.

Saltwater accelerates oxidation and can cause damage to metal fixtures and other equipment in the pool. Some at-risk parts include the following:

  • Pump motors
  • Ladders
  • Handrails
  • Heater elements
  • Filter parts

The corrosive nature of salt water can also damage pool liners and cause them to leak. 

Additionally, these pools can damage the surrounding landscape and plants near the pool due to salt runoff from splashing or overflowing water. 

It is essential to have regular maintenance and inspections done on a saltwater pool to prevent corrosion and other damages that may occur over time.

2. Saltwater Pools Require a High Upfront Cost

Saltwater pools are more expensive than traditionally chlorinated pools due to the high initial investment required. Salt water systems require a chlorine generator, which can cost up to several thousand dollars depending on the size and type of pool. 

Salt must also be purchased in large quantities and often costs more than standard chlorinating chemicals used for treating regular pools.

Saltwater pools also require installing unique pumps and filters designed to handle the corrosive effects of salt water.

3. The Maintenance Cost of Saltwater Can Be Expensive

Saltwater pools may not need regular cleaning compared to traditional pools. But the equipment used for this type of pool needs more attention. The chlorine generator also needs to be inspected periodically, usually every three months, to ensure it is working correctly. 

The salt system must also be balanced regularly by adding quality pool-grade chemicals such as chlorine and a stabilizer.

It is important to remember that the system will need more frequent attention than a traditional chlorinated pool to maintain a healthy balance of salt, minerals, and pH. 

The saltwater pool often requires experienced technicians to maintain it, even for those minor pool problems. Not all regular pool cleaning services are familiar with saltwater systems, so it’s a good idea to find someone experienced in the maintenance of a saltwater pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now you know the answer to the question, “what are the disadvantages of saltwater pools?” Here are some other common questions about this topic.

How long do saltwater pools last?

Generally, a saltwater pool can last 3 to 7 years, depending on how well it is maintained. It’s essential to check the chlorine levels regularly and keep debris out of the pool. 

With extra care, you can ensure that your saltwater pool lasts as long as possible. Additionally, it’s vital to regularly shock the pool with chlorine and adjust the pH levels. Keeping up with these routine maintenance tasks can extend the life of your saltwater pool for years. 

How often do you have to shock a saltwater pool?

Shocking a saltwater pool is vital in keeping the pool clean and safe. Generally, it would be best if you shocked your saltwater pool once a week. If you notice any cloudiness in the water, it’s time to shock your pool. 

Additionally, it can help remove bacteria, algae, and other contaminants. It’s important to note that the frequency of shocking your pool may vary depending on its usage. A frequently-used saltwater pool will need more frequent shock treatments than a less-used pool. 

Remember to test the pool’s pH levels after shocking your pool to ensure they are balanced. 

Do you need to drain your saltwater pool yearly?

Generally, saltwater pools require less draining than traditional chlorine pools due to the lack of harsh chemicals and their self-cleaning capabilities. However, some saltwater pools still need to be drained every couple of years, depending on the salinity levels in your area and how often you use the pool. 

It’s essential to keep track of your saltwater pool and do regular maintenance, such as testing the salinity levels, adding chlorine when needed, and backwashing the filter regularly. 

If you pay attention to these tasks or if the salinity levels become too high, then it’s likely that you will need to drain your saltwater pool every year.

Do saltwater pools freeze in the winter?

Saltwater pools can freeze in the winter because they still have a freezing point. However, most saltwater systems include heating, so the pool’s temperature stays high. Additionally, salt helps reduce the amount of ice buildup around the pool’s edges, which helps protect it from freezing solid. 

If you live in a cold climate, it’s essential to use an appropriate pool cover and keep up with regular maintenance to ensure your saltwater pool doesn’t freeze over.

Can saltwater pools be heated?

Saltwater pools can be heated. They are typically easier to heat than traditional chlorine pools because the salinity helps absorb and retain more of the sun’s energy. Plus, a saltwater pool will feel less harsh on your skin than a chlorinated pool. 

Heating a saltwater pool is also more cost-effective than a chlorinated pool as the chlorine generator will not need to run as long to maintain the pool’s temperature. However, for a saltwater pool to be heated effectively, it must have an appropriately sized heater, and its water chemistry needs to be adequately balanced.

Most experts recommend that you size a pool heater to raise the temperature by 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit in 8 hours or less. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your saltwater pool is not too salty; if the salinity gets too high, it can damage equipment and impact safety.

More FAQs

What are the bad things about saltwater pools?

The bad things about saltwater pools are the corrosive properties of salt, which can cause gradual damage to metal components in and around the pool, including ladders.

Do salt water pools affect your body?

Salt water pools do affect your body by acting as a natural moisturizer and exfoliator, which enhances the skin’s capacity to retain moisture. Additionally, salt water aids in promoting the body’s innate relaxation process, leaving us feeling revitalized after every swim, especially when we are experiencing high levels of stress that can hinder our overall bodily functions.

Why is my skin so dry after swimming in salt water pool?

Your skin becomes dry after swimming in a saltwater pool due to the combination of salt, sun, and sand, which can irritate and dry out the skin, particularly for individuals with dry skin or conditions such as eczema.

Do saltwater pools still have chemicals?

Saltwater pools still contain chemicals, as mentioned before. They are not chlorine-free or chemical-free. Although they use a different method of delivering chlorine, they still require other pool chemicals to maintain proper water balance.

How long do salt pools last?

The lifespan of a salt cell can vary depending on usage conditions and the frequency of pool maintenance. Typically, salt cells are expected to last approximately five to seven years.

What’s better salt water pool or chlorine?

Saltwater pools are better than chlorine pools because they have lower levels of chlorine, making them more gentle on the eyes and skin. Studies suggest that saltwater systems may be safer compared to chlorine pools, as they eliminate the need for pool owners to store and handle harsh chemicals. Additionally, saltwater pools provide a more pleasant experience due to the softer-feeling water they produce, which is preferred by many.

Do salt water pools get algae?

Salt water pools can indeed get algae if proper water chemistry levels are not maintained. Algae growth can be a significant issue for owners of salt water pools, as these organisms have the ability to quickly contaminate and spread within the pool. Therefore, it is crucial for both chlorinated and salt water pools to ensure that the water chemistry is properly balanced in order to prevent the growth of algae.

Does salt water pool feel slimy?

The answer to the question “Does salt water pool feel slimy?” can be rephrased as follows: Saltwater pools may give a slightly slimy sensation in the water due to the reaction between the salt in the pool and the salt in your body, making the water feel thicker compared to chlorine pools.

Is it OK to swim in a salt water pool?

Swimming in a saltwater pool can be a suitable choice, especially if you find the scent of chlorine bothersome or if you have asthma or allergies, although further investigation is required. If you are interested, you can search for a saltwater pool available for swimming in your local area.

Can you open your eyes in a salt water pool?

You can open your eyes in a saltwater pool without experiencing any stinging sensation. The salt concentration in a saltwater pool is comparable to that of human tears, making it gentle on the eyes. This is in contrast to the fumes often encountered in indoor hotel pools.

How often should you backwash a salt water pool?

You should backwash a saltwater pool when the pressure gauge reads above the normal levels. Additionally, it is necessary to rinse and soak cartridge filters in filter cleaning solution periodically.

Is it expensive to maintain a saltwater pool?

Maintaining a saltwater pool can be costly. On average, you can expect to spend around $100 annually on pool salt and chemicals. Additionally, monthly cleaning expenses can range from $80 to $100. Furthermore, every three to seven years, you may need to invest approximately $800 for a new salt cell. It’s important to note that the salt used in the pool can potentially cause damage to pool equipment, leading to additional repair costs.

Do salt water pools need other chemicals?

Salt water pools do require other chemicals despite the misconception that they do not. It is completely false to believe that using only a salt-chlorine generator is sufficient for maintaining a balanced pool. Neglecting to use other necessary chemicals could result in pool damage or potential harm. Therefore, it is important to regularly check and balance all parameters of the pool water.

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