What’s the difference between a Salt Water Pool and a Chlorine Pool? — Discounter's Pool & Spa Warehouse Skip to content
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Effective December 26th, all of our locations are closed for in-person shopping, due to the recent COVID-19 Ontario retail lockdown measures. We remain open with CONTACTLESS STORE PICKUP in order to serve your ongoing pool and spa needs.
What’s the difference between a Salt Water Pool and a Chlorine Pool?

What’s the difference between a Salt Water Pool and a Chlorine Pool?

Technically, a salt water pool is a chlorine pool. Salt water pools use a salt water generator (chlorinator) to electrically convert salt into chlorine. Salt water pools come with many water quality and maintenance benefits. Chlorine pools, on the other hand, don’t require an increased initial investment and can work with all pool types and equipment. 

Chlorine Pools

Chlorine Pools use chlorine tabletsshock, or liquid chlorine as the main source of sanitation. This has been the most popular sanitation method for over 50 years because each of these chlorine choices are fairly inexpensive and easy to acquire.
Pool owners have the option of using a floating chlorine dispenser or an automatic chlorine feeder to slowly distribute their chlorine tablets. The most common method for chlorine tablets is a floating chlorine feeder. These dispensers float around the entirety of the pool, distributing chlorine to all areas. If you use a chlorine tab floater, be cautious that the floater does not become stuck in one section of the pool or in the wall skimmer. We recommend tying the floater in front of the skimmer or a return jet to optimize the circulation of chlorine. 

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Chlorine Tablets are affordable, easy to maintain, and stabilized to be effective over an extended period of time. Just drop the tablets in your chemical floater or feeder and let the chlorine do the work! 
 

Pros:

  • Simple chlorine addition via floater or adding directly to water
  • Can work with all pool types & pool equipment
  • Small routine expenses, no-one time big purchase needed
  • Variety of methods available to add Free Chlorine

Cons:

  • Weekly, sometimes daily, addition of chlorine needed
  • Frequent purchase of chlorine
  • Tablets and pool shock will contain chemical by-products, some of which can negatively impact your pool chemistry
  • Chemical levels are prone to move more drastically up and down, dependent on your attention to your pool

Salt Water Pools

First, salt water pools are actually chlorine pools. Salt water pools have Free Available Chlorine automatically generated via the salt particles (NaCl) in your water from being exposed to an electric charge within the Salt Cell. This charge separates the salt particle into ready & available Chlorine (Cl). This is all happening automatically and without any manual work of mixing shock with water or lugging chlorine tablets out to your pool. Salt water pools require a very low amount of chlorination that the average swimmer will not detect.

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Ready to upgrade your pool to a salt water system? For in-ground pools, we recommend the popular Hayward Aqua Rite Chlorine Generator

Pros:

  • Easy automatic maintenance
  • No chemical by-products that can cause imbalances
  • More consistent Free Chlorine levels = less opportunity for algae growth
  • Soft, natural feeling water that won’t irritate your skin or eyes
  • Customizable settings to create the ideal amount of Free Chlorine
  • Save on weekly & monthly chemical costs & store trips

Cons:

  • Larger initial investment
  • Not ideal to use with certain pool equipment (Salt corrodes some metals)
  • Recommended to clean or replace your salt cell periodically, depending on usage.
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