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Chlorine vs Salt Pools – 4 Myths to Help You Decide

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There are two types of water sanitation for swimming pools: chlorine and salt. Houston swimming pool service Manning Pool Service is proud to offer pool maintenance and other services to salt and chlorine pool owners.

Salt or Chlorine?

While the traditional choice for swimming pool owners is chlorine, the popularity of salt pools is on the rise. In fact, according to The Salt Institute:

“Today there are more than 1.4 million salt pools in operation nationwide and an estimated 75 percent of all new in-ground pools are salt, compared with only 15 percent in 2002.”

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Salt pools didn’t come about until the ’60s in Australia – where now over 80 percent of pools use salt instead of chlorine. The trend didn’t reach the U.S. until the 1980s, though. Perhaps the dramatic increase in the use of these pools signals a new age for swimming pool service in Houston (and all over). Perhaps it’s only a phase or a unique preference held by certain people.

Whatever the case, it’s important to understand the difference between the two types so you can choose what’s best for you.


Understand the difference so you can choose what’s best for you.


How They Work

  • Both use an ECG (electrolytic chlorine generator)
  • Chlorine pools dose chlorine directly
  • Salt pools convert salt into chlorine

Yes, both salt and chlorine pools use what’s called ECG, or an electrolytic chlorine generator, to keep your pool clean. They just do it in different ways.

Whereas chlorine pools have chlorine added directly to the water, salt pools simply convert salt into chlorine. Basically, this means you don’t have to dose it with chlorine yourself.

This distinction may seem small, but it matters! Proper maintenance may change depending on the type of pool you have.

For example, shocking your salt pool with certain types of shocks meant to not impact pH balance or calcium hardness is an important part of maintaining salt pools. Doing proper maintenance meant for salt-based pools extends the life of your pool.

Myth: There’s No Chlorine in Salt Pools

  • Both pools contain chlorine
  • Salt pools convert salt into chlorine
  • Chlorine pools are dosed with chlorine directly

The most common misconception about salt pools is that they are chlorine-free. This is not true!

Salt-based pools simply turn salt into chlorine, rather than starting with a direct dose of chlorine to the pool.

Many people prefer salt pools because they don’t have to dose them with chlorine. However, you still have to balance chemicals for these types of pools. Thankfully, modern salt systems make it so easy nowadays.

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Myth: Both Types Have the Same Feel

  • Salt pools have softer water

Salt-based pools have much softer water than chlorine-based pools. Salt pool owners have told us how much they love how much better they feel getting out of a salt pool vs a chlorine pool.

So why do salt pools feel so much better on our bodies than chlorine pools?

It’s not just the salt, but rather about how much.

Think about swimming at the beach. Ocean water often burns your eyes and causes itchy, dry skin. This is because of the high concentration of salt in the ocean, which is about 10 times higher than in a residential salt-based swimming pool.

When the amount of salt is too high, it drains water from our skin and eyes. The right amount of salt is key. Here’s how it works:

If the concentration of salt in the water around our bodies is higher than that inside our bodies, we will actually lose skin moisture to that saltier water. If, however, the concentration of salt around our bodies is significantly lower (such as in a fresh water swimming pool), then our skin and eyes will actually absorb water, causing our skin to feel tight and stretched, sometimes wrinkling it and cause our eyes to swell and sting and turn red.

Hence, the closer your pool’s salt level is to your body’s natural concentration, the better it’s going to feel on your skin and eyes. And there’s no strong chlorine smell left on your skin with a salt pool, another perk.

Myth: Salt Pools Don’t Require Maintenance

  • Both types need proper maintenance from Houston swimming pool service
  • Easier to clean salt pools after rain
  • Shocks prevent bad weather from hurting your pool

Both chlorine pools and salt pools require maintenance to keep working at their best.

Salt pools are very easy to maintain because they keep creating chlorine through the ECG. However, when heavy wind, rainstorms, or large amounts of pollen come in contact with your salt pool, shocks are necessary.

So how do you take care of your pool when bad weather strikes? Check out our Houston swimming pool service guide below.

How to Maintain Your Pool in Bad Weather

Myth: Salt Pools are More Expensive

  • Chlorine: cheaper to install, more expensive to maintain
  • Salt: more expensive to install, cheaper to maintain

While salt pools are generally more expensive to install than chlorine pools, it is actually cheaper to maintain a salt pool.

Chlorine pools need to be shocked more often and the chemicals required lead to more frequent and expensive maintenance.

However, salt pools use more electricity than chlorine pools, so keep that in mind when choosing the right type for you.

The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to find a Houston swimming pool service that is knowledgeable, experienced, and willing to lead you through the process.

houston swimming pool serviceLearn How to Take Care of Your Pool With Houston Swimming Pool Service at Manning’s Pool School

So you’re getting a new pool, but don’t jump right in just yet! With Manning’s Pool School, you can learn everything you need to know about owning and maintaining your pool – whether it’s salt- or chlorine-based. Call us at 713-812-9098 or contact us online to join our pool start-up program today!

Join the Pool School!

Chlorine vs. Salt Pools: 4 Myths to Help You Decide | Manning Pool Service – Houston, TX



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