A pinch of salt versus a pinch of chlorine – no, we’re not gearing up to give you a poolside dinner recipe. Instead, we’re getting ready to talk about what the perfect recipe is for your inground pool. While chlorine pools are an industry standard, saltwater pools are also a viable option. Before making a final decision, it is important to understand not only the operating logistics of both chlorine and saltwater pools, but also the pros and cons of each.

Chlorine Pools

This type of pool uses a chemical powder or tablets to maintain water cleanliness. The chlorine molecules or ions kill microorganisms by slashing through the cell walls and destroying them so they are no longer hazardous to humans.


  • Extremely effective and efficient at preventing algae and bacteria.
  • Cost-effective when compared to other options.
  • Simpler to maintain since there are no complex electronic systems.
  • Lower initial cost.


  • Requires regular maintenance in order to keep chlorine levels properly balanced.
  • Unpleasant odor or smell.
  • Potential for skin, eye and / or respiratory irritation.

Saltwater Pools

This type of pool has a chlorine generator, also known as salt cell, salt generator, salt chlorinator, or SWG. The system uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt to produce certain acids and sodium, which act as sanitizing agents. It’s important to understand that while saltwater pools do not use chlorine, they do make their own in order to keep the water cleanly.


  • Gentle on eyes, skin and hair.
  • Safer than chlorine; no chemicals to transport or handle.
  • Less time spent cleaning pool surfaces and changing the water.
  • Less long-term maintenance since the system automatically maintains its levels.


  • Higher initial cost (potentially $5,000 or more when compared to a chlorine pool).
  • Potentially complex to repair if the electronic system malfunctions.
  • Premature damage is a potential side effect for certain components such as filters, pool liners and submerged lighting.

While there are upsides and downsides to both chlorine and saltwater, it is important to consider all the factors when selecting the right type of pool for your home. Asking the opinion of a professional with decades of experience is always helpful so contact us to chat about chlorine verses saltwater today.