Deciding Between a Saltwater vs. a Freshwater Pool

When creating a garden, homeowners want it to be an extension of their living space. It needs to be a sanctuary away from the everyday. That means the pool water has to rise to the occasion.

When dipping in after a hectic day of work and household chores, an increasing number of people choose to luxuriate in a pool. But what kind should you choose? Saltwater isn’t the answer for everyone, and each offers its own advantages and downsides.

Why have a saltwater pool, and what would be the reason to indulge in freshwater? Let’s consider the two sides.

Deciding Between a Salt Water Pool vs. Fresh Water Pool

A saltwater pool, of course, uses salt, whereas a freshwater pool does not. But the functionality of the pools is a primary difference in that salt generators are key to a saltwater pool’s chlorination process. 

The generators separate the salt into (dissolved chlorine), hypochlorous acid and hydrogen through electrolysis to sanitize the pool. The water is constantly sanitized through this process without adding chlorine.

It’s important to note though a saltwater pool is undoubtedly salty, the indication is the water is roughly 3000 ppm (parts per million) salt compared to the ocean, which comes in at approximately 40,000 ppm. 

You won’t experience the salty sensation you usually would after a swim at the beach.

With traditional pool water, the pool’s owner manually places "granules" or chlorine tablets into the pool for sanitation at various intervals to sanitize the water. This can mean more intense chlorination with that familiar odor associated with a traditional chlorinated pool and potentially harsh effects.


  1. Gentler: The smell of chlorine is less evident. Salt chlorination doesn’t irritate in the same way as a traditional chlorination process, especially for those more sensitive to chemicals.
  2. Budget-friendly / Easy care: There’s no need to buy extra chemicals or pool supplies. Through the life of the pool, you’ll save money. You will still need to maintain the water, tests, and make adjustments, but the time and effort are less intensive.
  3. Constant sanitation: The chlorination process works continuously, allowing a minimal chance for poor sanitation and standard pool problems, plus greater pool safety.
  4. Softer water: The water simply feels softer and allows for a longer, more enjoyable swimming experience.


  1. An investment: The investment is less than budget-friendly, primarily depending on the pool size. This is due to the intricacies of the chlorination generators. While the process is more efficient and will save time, effort, and expense in extra supplies over the life of the pool, it does come with an investment.
  2. Corrosion: Salt acts as a corrosive making it both good and bad. From the perspective of the components of a pool and the surrounding hardscaping, it can be detrimental. The best way to prevent damage is to follow maintenance guidelines to ensure adequate salt levels and find materials, furnishing, and salt-friendly equipment.
  3. Complex: Standard pool issues could take more effort to determine the cause with a saltwater pool since the configuration is more complex. With a traditional pool, usually adjusting the chlorine is a simple fix. It would take a more in-depth thought process in this situation.

Which Pool Is Most Suitable?

When making a purchase, it’s a matter of personal preference after weighing the pros and cons. A saltwater pool is the less harsh of the two options, with a lower albeit more complex maintenance threshold. 

If you want to be able to control the pool and every aspect therein, freshwater would be your go-to. If manually adding chemicals and testing is a frustration and a source of stress, that’s not what you’re supposed to be getting from your pool. 

For a gentle, soothing, not wanting to get out of the water experience, saltwater is it. You decide.


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