Salt Water Pool vs. Chlorine Tab Pool - Our Breakdown of the Pros and Cons
If you're a pool owner, or even have spent any time around a pool, you've probably heard the terms "salt water" or "chlorine"!
In our experience with pools, these are both the most common and best options for running your system! Chlorine tabs and salt water pools will both work in most climates/situations, however we find there are some pros/cons to each type!
We'll go over each type of system and give you pros and cons of each. At the end we'll tell you OUR pick!
Let's start with the salt water pool system.
Salt Water - If you have a salt water pool, it means that you have a salt system that produces chlorine that goes right into the pool. The salt system includes a control box, salt cell, flow sensor. Fortunately, the salt system fits into existing equipment setups and once installed, all you need to do to maintain the chlorine level in your pool is add the designated amount of salt to pool based on your pool volume (we measure this in gallons).
Salt comes in 40lb bags and are dumped directly in to the pool and then brushed out with your pool brush! From there, balanced (and salty!) water goes through the salt cell and the salt cell converts salt to sodium hypochlorite (chlorine).
-Consistent flow of chlorine into the pool
-Low maintenance (typically adding 1-2 bags of salt/month)
-Does not add extra undesired chemicals (cyanuric acid)
-Sodium hypochlorite is much better for your skin, hair, eyes
-Salt boxes have other capabilities like water temperature readings, timers, remote capabilities, relays to control different parts of the pool (lights, pumps, etc).
-Salt is inexpensive (about $10/bag)
-Greater start up cost
-Salt bags are heavy! If you're unable to lift/carry 40lbs, you may require assistance to maintain.
Chlorine Tabs - "Chlorine" pools are usually chlorinated by three inch chlorine "pucks". These pucks are packed with cyanuric acid and trichlor (chlorine). They can be administered in a few different ways:
First, tabs can be added into a pool floater, which floats and releases chlorine at a slow rate. However, if you live in a warm/hot climate, this is not a good option for your pool.
Next, tabs can be put directly into your skimmer. Water running through the skimmer dissolves chlorine tabs at a much faster pace than in a floater. The potential issue with this method is that when the system is off, tabs will continue to dissolve and highly chlorinated water will flow out of the skimmer and settles on bottom of pool. When this happens, it can cause liner bleaching near skimmer opening along the bottom.
The final option is to use a chlorinator/feeder, which stores 8-15 tabs and is plumbed into your equipment. If you use chlorine tabs, this is going to be the preferred and most standard option.
-Floaters can be inexpensive and don't over-chlorinate the pool
-Skimmers come with the pool, therefore no added cost
-Skimmer method is quick
-Chlorinators can hold a good amount of tabs and slowly release them over a 1-2 week period without having to be replaced
-Chlorinators give you control over output
-Chlorine tabs are the cheaper up-front option
-Chlorine tabs are pretty efficient at chlorinating
-Too much cyanuric acid is a common problem resulting in the need for frequent dilution or draining (and rebalance)
-More chlorine needed to compensate for additional cyanuric acid
-Lack of a consistent level of chlorine as tabs dissolve and are replaced
-Trichlor is harmful for your skin, hair, and eyes
-Tabs can be harmful to handle
We recommend salt systems for their many benefits! If you're interested in getting more information on switching your pool to a salt system, please let us know and we'd be happy to chat with you!