Saltwater pools use a generator system which includes a power box and a salt cell which work together to convert salt into chlorine. Salt pools require that owners pour several hundred pounds of salt into the water at the beginning of each season. The salt cell then splits the salt (NACL) into NA and CL. The CL is used to sanitize your pool the same way manually adding chlorine would. Many people believe that salt pools are non-chlorine pools, but that is not true! Salt pools are chlorine pools. The benefit of a salt system over chlorine is simply that the chlorine is added continuously by the generator which eliminates that step from your weekly maintenance routine.
Salt pools are very similar to chlorine pools so people transitioning from chlorine to salt will not have to learn a new system.
Salt pools add the chlorine to the pool automatically so it requires slightly less maintenance than a typical chlorine pool.
The investment in a salt system is about 30% less than the investment required for a CLFree.
Though salt systems cost less up front, they are significantly more expensive than CLFree in the long run. This is due to the equipment replacement costs. The salt generator part of the system gets worn out every two to four years and costs $1,000 to replace.
Salt systems do not kick on to generate chlorine until the water temperature rises above 75 degrees. Until the water warms up in the spring, the pool owner must manually add chlorine.
Salt is corrosive and damaging to equipment like your pool pump, filter, and heater. It could also shorten the life of your vinyl liner or gunite plaster.
The type of chlorine that is created by a salt system is not the kind of chlorine required to treat an algae bloom should one occur. For that reason, salt pool owners still must handle and store other types of chlorine.
A byproduct of chlorine in all chlorine pools is chloramine, a known carcinogen. It is unavoidable in chlorine pools.
Cl Free pools use the sanitation power of natural minerals to keep your pool clear! CL Free is a two-part system which comes with a control box and a CL Free cell. The cell contains two copper bars and two titanium bars. The control box sends electricity to the bars and slowly erodes the copper into your water to keep it crystal clear and sanitary. Meanwhile, the titanium bars oxidize the water to burn off contaminants and act as shock for your pool. CL Free pools are truly natural and eliminate chlorine from your pool completely. The benefit of a CL Free pool over salt or typical chlorine is fewer chemicals, less maintenance, and gentler water.
Water in CL Free pools is safe just like swimming in bottled water.
CL Free pools are gentle on skin, swimsuits, and equipment
CL Free is easy to learn and is simpler than chlorine.
CL Free pools stay clearer than chlorine pools.
CL Free eliminates the need to handle or store dangerous chlorine chemicals.
CL Free cuts down on chemicals needed for your pool which shortens your weekly maintenance routine.
Most people see a return on their CL Free investment (in terms of chemical and equipment savings) within 5 years.
CL Free pools are less likely to develop an algae bloom, but it can be more difficult to treat algae in a CL Free pool.
Copper bars need to be replaced every two to four years (unique for each pool based on setting, gallonage) at a cost of $200 for the pair.
CL Free requires a large upfront investment at $3,000.
The copper in the water can occasionally turn blonde hair a slight copper green color. This can be avoided by rinsing blonde hair out with fresh water before getting it wet in the pool.
In our opinion, the cost of a salt system outweighs the small benefit they provide over chlorine – not having to manually add chlorine to your pool. For a $1,800 upfront cost and an additional $1,000 to replace equipment every two to three years, we think it makes more sense to stick with a normal chlorine pool or to consider other sanitation options like CL Free.
CL Free pools require the least chemicals, the least pool maintenance time, and are the gentlest on skin and equipment. Though CL Free is the most expensive option up front, it will pay for itself over the course of a few pool seasons making it definitively the best option! We have weighed the pros and cons of all sanitation systems on the market and have chosen to use CL Free in our own pools. Check out their website (clfree.com) or call Oasis today with questions!