Saltwater Pool Vs Chlorine [Which Is Better?]

In recent years the traditional chlorine pool has been surpassed in popularity by the more common saltwater pool. If you’re considering a pool for your family it’s important to understand the differences and know which is better for you and your family as well as the pros and cons of each pool sanitization system.

Saltwater Pools

Saltwater pools obviously have salt in them but people are often surprised when we tell them that the salt in the pool is actually converted into chlorine through a process called electrolysis which in turn is what keeps the water sanitized. So saltwater pools actually do contain chlorine. Although the saltwater pools do have salt in them, they contain far less salt than the ocean. Most saltwater pools have a salt level of 3000 ppm (parts per million) while the ocean has around 35,000 ppm. So what are the pros and cons of a saltwater pool?


  • Saltwater pools contain less chlorine than a traditional pool with a chlorine sanitization system, because of the reduced amount of chlorine in the pool it is gentler on the user’s eyes, skin, pets and swimwear.
  • In comparison to chlorine pools, saltwater pools generally require less maintenance, fewer chemicals and less care throughout the year.
  • The harsh chlorine smell associated with chlorine pools is non-existent with saltwater pools.


  • Saltwater pools are more expensive than chlorine pools. The initial set up of the salt chlorine generator typically costs between $2000-$3000 more than a traditional chlorine pools system
  • The costs of repairing the salt system are more expensive than that of a chlorine system
  • Salt is corrosive. Salt can cause corrosion to heaters, lights, vinyl pool wall panels and anything else it comes into contact with. It’s important to select equipment and pool fixtures that are resistant to saltwater.

Chlorine Pools

Once upon a time, chlorine pools were the most common type of pool sanitization system. They are still very popular due to the lower cost and effectiveness of the system but close to 95% of the pools we install here at Hipel use saltwater systems. Having said that chlorine systems are still a terrific option and have their own pros and cons.


  • The initial investment for a chlorine system is $2000-$3000 less than a salt system
  • Repairs to the chlorine sanitization system are very simple and typically inexpensive
  • Chlorine is less likely to damage pool fixtures and components when compared to saltwater pools


  • Chlorine can be irritating and harsh on the eyes and skin of the pool users
  • Chlorine pools typically require more care and attention to keep the chlorine at the right levels in the pool.
  • A safe place is needed to store the chlorine and careful handling and safety must be practiced when using chlorine.

Which is better?

Saltwater pools have become the most common type of pool we install in Southern Ontario. The saltwater pools benefit of being gentler on the skin and eyes is often enough for most people to justify the additional cost of a saltwater pool. Couple the softer water with easier care and maintenance it’s clear to see why saltwater pools have taken over the market. Although chlorine pools are still a great and more affordable option the harsh water that tends to irritate eyes and skin often steers people away. Having said that we would have to name saltwater pools as the winner of the saltwater pool vs chlorine challenge.


Hi, I'm Rocken. An Expert in gardening and landscape. I love traveling and hearing music.

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