Should you go with salt water or chlorine for your inground pool?

Homeowners in the Greater Toronto area (GTA) who are interested in installing an inground pool have many questions about the process. In addition to learning about the permit requirements for a swimming pool, what size and depth their pool should be, and what costs are associated with the pool build, one of the choices inground swimming pool owners must make is which system to use for their water treatment: saltwater or chlorine.

While chlorine and saltwater pool systems both have advantages, in this article, we will outline why saltwater is becoming the more popular option for swimming pools in the GTA.  There are no wrong answers in this decision, and fortunately, switching water treatment systems after the pool build process is also possible.

How saltwater systems work

Without going too in-depth about the chemistry behind how saltwater pool systems work, it is worth noting that salt is a mineral compound that is also known as “sodium chloride”. Instead of adding chlorine into swimming pools, saltwater pools create its own chlorine through a chlorine generator (or salt cell) that you install near your inground pool. By adding pool-grade salt to your saltwater pool system, the chlorine generator zaps the salt cells through a process called electrolysis, and in very simple terms, separates the sodium compound from the chloride compound to create the chlorine. This chlorine eventually becomes hypochlorous acid which is what kills the germs and bacteria in the pool.

Benefits of saltwater systems

While chlorine tablets have been the traditional choice for pool water treatments, there are several benefits to using saltwater systems for residential inground pools in the GTA.

Saltwater pools are much gentler on your skin and eyes than chlorine pools, making them much more pleasant to swim in. You also don’t get the chlorine smell that comes in traditional chlorine swimming pools due to the harsh chemicals in the solution.

Saltwater pools are also easier to maintain. The salinity level remains more consistent than chlorine pools and does not require frequent adjustments. You do still need to periodically check the pH and alkalinity levels of your pool and replenish the salts in the chlorine generator.

Cost of saltwater systems

The one drawback for saltwater pools is that the initial investment is higher compared to chlorine pools.  In the Toronto area, chlorine generators used in saltwater pools are around $2000 compared to $500 for chlorine systems.  However, in the long term, saltwater pools are most cost-effective as pool-grade salt is cheaper to purchase than chlorine tablets.

Contact us to learn more

Overall, choosing a saltwater swimming pool over one treated with chlorine has many advantages: lower maintenance costs, gentler on skin and eyes, no odour or bleaching effects from multiple chemical applications—just to name a few! If you’re considering installing an inground pool at home, whether it’s a fiberglass or vinyl over concrete, going with a saltwater option could be just what you’re looking for! Contact Mayascapes Pools and we’d be happy to go through options for your inground pool installation.

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