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Can You Change Your Swimming Pool from Chlorine to Salt Water?

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You’ve had a chlorine pool ever since day one of being a pool owner. But, after seeing and experiencing salt water pools you decide it’s time for a change. The big question is, can you change pool from chlorine to salt water? The answer is yes! But, if you think all salt water pools are free from chlorine, think again. Salt water pools have a salt water chlorinator that is used to create chlorine. Instead of adding chlorine to treat the pool, you add salt. This creates a slight saltwater solution that your pool filters. During this process, the saltwater passes through a salt cell and gets a small electrical current. This creates a pool’s own chlorine which helps to keep it clean.

So why switch?

People make the switch from chlorine to salt water because the presence of salt in the water lowers the eye and skin irritation you may get from swimming in a regular chlorine pool. Also, the chlorine produced by a salt water pool is of higher quality than that of the chlorine found in a regular pool.

How to change your pool from chlorine to salt water

There are many things to consider when switching from chlorine to salt water, the first being the type of salt system. This is determined by the size of your pool. You also need to take into consideration how much you want to spend on a salt system. The price starts around $400 and goes up from there.

The next big decision comes in whether to do it yourself or hire a company to do it. With such a big job, it’s best to spend a little more and hire a professional. Clear Choice Pool Care & Maintenance can help you make the switch as well as make sure you are choosing the right equipment.

Depending on the size of your pool and the equipment chosen, making the switch from chlorine to salt water can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500.

Benefits of a salt water pool

When you’re thinking about changing from chlorine to salt water there are several pros and cons to consider. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of making the switch:

  • You don’t need to buy chlorine or shock. Since a salt system makes its own chlorine, no need for those items anymore. You’ll save a lot of money because the cost of both can really add up.
  • Eliminates chlorine smell and irritation. One of the many reasons people make the switch from chlorine to salt water is because chlorine can irritate the skin and the eyes. With a saltwater pool you’ll soon realize you can open your eyes under water without them getting itchy and red.
  • Eliminates fading. Chlorine pools have a tendency to fade swimsuits as well as turn blonde hair green. No worries about either happening with a saltwater pool. Your blonde hair will stay that way and your red swimsuit won’t turn pink mid-season.

Disadvantages of a salt water pool

While there are several advantages of a salt water pool, there are some drawbacks as well.

  • High pH & calcium build-up. Salt water pools have a tendency to see their pH levels rise. If you don’t maintain your pool properly this can lead to a calcium building up as well.
  • Cost of salt cells. Although you’re not paying for shock and chlorine tablets anymore, you will have to change the salt cell every 3-4 years. Expect to pay anywhere from $200-$700 depending on the type of equipment you have.
  • Investing to convert. Since there is a cost associated with converting from chlorine to salt water you need to decide whether it’s worth it for you. Do you intend to stay in your home and use your pool for years to come or are planning on selling in a couple of years? The answer could determine whether you want to make the switch.
  • More frequent parts replacement. Salt is corrosive which means metal parts may need to be replaced more frequently. This is another cost that can add up.

Maintaining a salt water pool

Although you’re not changing chlorine tablets, there is still maintenance that goes into having a salt water pool. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Skim your pool daily or every other day to keep debris out
  • Test for free chlorine & test pH level weekly. The free chlorine level should typically be 1-3ppm. If it’s not, you can adjust it on the output control on the control box or cell. The pH level should typically be 7.2-7.6. If the pH is too low you can use muriatic acid to give it a boost. If it’s too high, use soda ash or sodium bicarbonate to lower it. Since all pools are different it’s always a good idea to check your manual for specific level numbers.
  • Scrub the sides of your pool and vacuum at least once a month to prevent algae build-up
  • Every three months check your salt cell to see if it needs to be cleaned. If so, use hydrochloric acid to clean it

Pool maintenance takes time whether you have a chlorine pool or a salt water pool. The easiest way to maintain your pool after you’ve switched from chlorine to salt water is to hire someone to do it for you. That’s where Clear Choice Pool & Maintenance comes in. Set a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule with us so the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to your pool is enjoying it.

For the past 14 years, we have proudly served Argyle, Carrollton, Coppell, Corinth, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lake Dallas, Lantana, Lewisville, Plano, McKinney and Frisco and continue to do so today. We have helped countless customers make the switch from chlorine to salt water pools and maintain them.

Call Clear Choice Pool Care & Maintenance today at (214) 995-3556 to learn more about changing from chlorine to saltwater as well as maintaining your pool so you don’t have to.

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