I have heard this many times from customers that have a saltwater system installed. They tell me the salesperson or pool service company told them they would save a lot of money on chlorine with a salt system and it was the way to go. It may indeed be the way to go but if you get one because you think you will save money on chlorine you are mistaken or have been misinformed.
You really don’t save any money when you convert to a salt pool. In fact, it cost a lot more than using Chlorine or Bleach in your pool. Factor in the cost of the unit plus install, say $1,000 and then a new salt cell every 3-5 years at $500 and the salt to start $150 and you’re looking at over $1,600 for the first 5 years. So, you would have to spend over $320 a year on chlorine to match that number. Typically, you are not spending over $100 a season for your chlorine.
I am pretty honest about the true benefit of a saltwater system, the fact that it adds chlorine to the pool without you having to do anything. This means no more trips to the pool store for shock or liquid chlorine. It is a great time saver for sure. But for me, that is the one and only benefit.
With that said, a saltwater system is a preference. And if you can absorb the cost of the system and don’t mind the extra overall cost of a salt pool, then it is the way to go. I mean who wants to add tablets and liquid chlorine or shock every week to their pool? With a Saltwater Generator connected to your pool equipment, you can basically set it and forget it. Of course, there is some maintenance required like cleaning the salt cell, making sure the salt level is good and setting the output to the correct setting to chlorinate your pool, but for the most part it is much easier than trying to maintain a steady chlorine reading during the season by manually adding chlorine to the pool.
But in the long run, as stated above there is no way it can beat the overall cost of maintaining your pool with chlorine. So, if the salesperson tries to convince you that a Saltwater Pool is cheaper to operate he is misinformed. Basically, upgrading is a personal choice and one you should make according to your overall pool care budget. Everything depends on how much more you are willing to spend on not worrying about adding chlorine each week to your pool. I personally have a Saltwater Pool and I am so used to the convenience of it that I wouldn’t be able to go back to a manual chlorine pool. So, once you convert you probably will not go back either.
There are many very good Salt Systems to choose from in today’s market. And many with installation will be under $1,000 so it is getting more and more affordable. I would suggest looking into the Jandy TruClear and the Pentair iChlor Salt Water Systems to start with. Both are great compact systems loaded with the latest technology. Both are rated for about 30,000 gallons so even if you have a very large pool these systems will work fine for you. There are also some off-brand salt systems that start around the $500 range so shop around for the best system depending on your budget.
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