Just What Exactly Is A Salt Pool?

If you’ve ever heard a friend or neighbor talking about their salt system for their swimming pool, you’ve probably wondered what exactly a salt pool is, especially if you currently pool.

In fact, you’ve probably heard them talking about how much better it is and how much easier it is to take care of than a basic chlorine pool. 

If you’re wondering what a saltwater pool is, what it feels like, if it really tastes like the ocean (it doesn’t!), if it really is easier to maintain, or any other question you may have, all the information can be found below in this helpful guide! We’ll go over what a salt pool is, what it does, and why it’s better.

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What Is a Salt Pool?

Don’t worry- if you’ve ever assumed that salt pools would taste or feel like the ocean, it’s an understandable assumption! Usually people do associate salt water with ocean water, but luckily, that is not actually at all what salt water pools are like! 

Saltwater pools simply means that it is using a “salt chlorinator” on your pool instead of the typical and costly process of adding chlorine manually . A salt chlorinator (also called a salt system, or saltwater chlorine generator) is a simple and ingenious electronic device that does one thing for your pool - it creates free chlorine. 

The levels of salt (salinity) in a salt water pool is quite minimal! They are at safe, low levels and most people can’t actually taste it because the level is so low! Most people don’t even know it has salt in it! 

This is because most modern salt systems operate at 3,000- 3,500 parts per million, or PPM, salinity. The ocean’s salt level is upwards of 35,000 to 40,000 PPM! Compared to that, technically the water inside salt water pools is almost considered fresh water1!

Another thing you may or may not have heard from those around you who have salt pools is how soft and silky the water is - the water feels nicer. This is because a salt chlorinator system actually improves the water’s quality and gets rid of chloramines. 

Chloramines are by-products of traditional chlorination, and because the salt chlorinator gets rid of the chloramines and is what causes those harsh chemical effects. So with no chloramines in the water, you can expect a luxurious, natural swimming experience with no red eyes, itchy skin or bleached or damaged hair or swimsuits.

This means also that people who have not been able to experience a pool due to skin sensitivities can now enjoy the pool without having to worry!

How Does It Work?

With all of these great benefits a salt pool has to offer, you’re probably wondering how it’s all possible- it’s possible because of electrolysis, a process that creates a pure form of chlorine from the low levels of salt present in the pool water. 

The installation of the saltwater chlorinator system couldn’t be easier, and is actually very DIY friendly. You have a lot of freedom to choose the best system for your pool, because you don’t have to pick a generator that matches the same brand as your existing pool equipment, nor do you have to remove equipment, drain the pool first, or do too much work. 

All you have to do is add the salt chlorinator system to your existing setup, which consists of two main parts:

  • A controller that hangs on the wall and gets connected to your existing pool equipment’s power

  • A cell that is easily added to your pool plumbing

The cell is what converts the salt you will eventually put in after you install your system. It converts the salt into a safe, pure form of chlorine automatically every day in unison with your other pool equipment so you can consistently have a clear and beautiful pool that is safe for your family.

So Why Choose a Salt Pool?

Saltwater pools are just swimming pools, but without all of the hassles  and harsh effects  that come with a conventional chlorine pool- and without the need to buy chlorine the savings can really stack up in a big way!

Typical maintenance with salt water pools, with general good upkeep, is just replacing the cell every few years, keeping an eye on your Ph and salinity levels, and when things are unbalanced with those, just adding a bit of salt to level it back out. 

Compared to how much you have to do with a chlorine pool, it’ll save you a lot of time from measuring and adding pool chemicals- time you could be using to enjoy your pool, instead of maintaining it. In fact, salt water pools eliminate the need to buy, store, or handle chlorine, shock or algaecide.


1. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/saline-water-and-salinity?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

Ready For What Comes Next?

Converting your pool to salt just means adding a chlorine generator! Use our intelligent product recommendation system to see what the best choices for you might be. See more now ►

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Bozidar Simic

Date 4/5/2019

Please send me the total cost for your salt pool system including filters, pumps etc but for large public pool of 350 m3 ( please convert to gallons ). It's for exporting in Serbia, Europe. Thanks is urgent !

DSP Staff

Date 4/5/2019

Bozidar, there are a number of options and your specific pool use isn't going to have a one-size-fits-all solution. We're happy to help you determine exactly what you need if you can give our exports more information at 866-766-5243.


Date 2/14/2022

We've recently had a salt water pool installed and we love it! (2 months) What we didn't love was our experience with the pool company and lack of proper training for us as homeowners. MY QUESTION IS, I've noticed some build up on the sides of the pool, rough to the touch and whitish in color. The brush doesn't remove it at all. How can we remove the build up safely and efficiently with damage to the pool? Any advice welcomed. Thanks, Ray F Arizona


Date 2/15/2022

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