Form. Pool Design

The Pros and Cons of Saltwater vs. Chlorine Pools

When it comes to maintaining a clean and safe swimming environment, choosing the right type of pool sanitation system is crucial. Saltwater and chlorine pools are the two most popular options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. At Form. Pool Design, we aim to help homeowners make informed decisions about their pool maintenance. Here’s a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of saltwater versus chlorine pools.

Saltwater Pools

  1. Gentler on Skin and Eyes:

    • Saltwater pools are known for being less harsh on the skin and eyes compared to traditional chlorine pools. The lower chlorine levels in saltwater systems mean swimmers are less likely to experience irritation or dryness.
  2. Lower Chemical Use:

    • Unlike chlorine pools that require regular additions of chlorine, saltwater pools use a salt chlorinator to convert salt into chlorine. This process results in a more consistent and lower concentration of chlorine, reducing the need for frequent chemical adjustments.
  3. Reduced Odour:

    • Saltwater pools typically have a milder, less pungent smell than chlorine pools. The reduced presence of chloramines, which are responsible for the strong chlorine smell, makes for a more pleasant swimming experience.
  4. Softer Water:

    • The water in saltwater pools is often described as feeling softer and silkier. This is because the salt in the water acts as a natural softener, enhancing the overall comfort for swimmers.
  1. Higher Initial Cost:

    • Setting up a saltwater pool involves a higher upfront cost due to the need for a salt chlorinator and possibly other specialised equipment. However, these costs may be offset over time by the lower expense of chemicals.
  2. Potential for Corrosion:

    • Saltwater can be corrosive to certain pool materials, such as metal fixtures, pool liners, and some types of stonework. Regular maintenance and choosing compatible materials can mitigate this risk.
  3. Complex Maintenance:

    • While saltwater pools generally require less frequent chemical additions, they do need regular monitoring and maintenance of the salt chlorinator and salt levels. Professional servicing may be needed to ensure optimal performance.

Chlorine Pools

  1. Lower Initial Cost:

    • Chlorine pools generally have a lower initial setup cost compared to saltwater pools. The chemicals and equipment needed for a chlorine pool are readily available and less expensive upfront.
  2. Effective Sanitisation:

    • Chlorine is highly effective at killing bacteria and algae, ensuring the pool water remains safe and clean. The sanitising process is straightforward and well-understood, making it easy for pool owners to manage.
  3. Easier to Adjust:

    • Adjusting the chlorine levels in a pool is relatively simple. If the water chemistry is off, adding the necessary amount of chlorine can quickly bring it back to the desired level.
  1. Regular Chemical Handling:

    • Maintaining a chlorine pool requires frequent handling and storage of chemicals. Homeowners need to regularly test the water and add chlorine and other balancing chemicals, which can be time-consuming and potentially hazardous if not done correctly.
  2. Stronger Odour:

    • Chlorine pools can develop a strong chemical smell, especially if the chlorine levels are too high or if chloramines build up in the water. This odour can be off-putting for some swimmers.
  3. Potential for Irritation:

    • Higher chlorine levels can cause skin and eye irritation, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Swimmers may experience dryness, redness, and discomfort after prolonged exposure.


Choosing between a saltwater and a chlorine pool ultimately depends on your priorities, budget, and maintenance preferences.

  • Saltwater pools are gentler on the skin and eyes, have lower chemical use, and offer a more pleasant swimming experience. However, they come with higher initial costs and potential maintenance complexities.

  • Chlorine pools are cost-effective, easy to adjust, and provide reliable sanitisation. On the downside, they require regular chemical handling and can cause irritation and odour issues.

At Form. Pool Design, we’re committed to helping you make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget. Whether you prefer the low-maintenance allure of a saltwater pool or the tried-and-true reliability of a chlorine pool, our team of experts is here to guide you through the process. Contact us today to discuss your pool options and start creating your dream backyard oasis.

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