Saltwater pools are all the rage nowadays. Unfortunately, a majority of people who wish to switch from a chlorinated pool to a saltwater pool fail to realize that saltwater pools still require the use of chlorine for bacteria elimination. When properly installed, a saltwater pool can be incredibly relaxing. The human body’s salt balance can be perfectly aligned with that of a pool, which would then result in a smoother swimming experience.
“An additional benefit is that the salt generator breaks the atom and produces pure chlorine,” explains John Tortorella of J. Tortorella Custom Gunite Pools. “You have an automation system that doesn’t allow for the typical spikes of chlorine. What happens is, once you maintain that nice level, it’s better for the equipment, it’s better for the service, it’s better to swim in.”
One of the more attractive aspects of saltwater pools comes from the easier maintenance. With a typical chlorine pool, you’re “shocking” it by lobbing chlorine powder in, or using little hockey puck-like discs in a filtration system to better chlorinate the pool. With a saltwater pool, regular maintenance is still necessary, but it’s only recommended every two to three weeks. “They are a chlorine pool, but a lot of times, they’re misrepresented,” said George Kazdin of Kazdin Pools & Spas. “As long as the pool has the appropriate level of salt in it, it continues to generate chlorine out of the salt. A lot of people think there aren’t chemicals involved, but a saltwater pool requires the same kind of maintenance of a normal pool, though it is more forgiving.”
Both Kazdin and Tortorella talked about how a saltwater pool is a more positive swimming environment. Swimming in saltwater has apparent benefits to the immune system, skin problems, as well as bronchitis and other respiratory issues according to studies performed by Livestrong.com.
Energy efficiency is a huge positive with saltwater pools, as well, all tied to automation. Typically, a saltwater pool costs more upfront than a traditional, chlorinated pool, however; over time, a salt water pool pays for itself by reduced maintenance, less chemicals and better efficiency overall.
“Some of the more energy and cost-efficient measures we use save people anywhere between $1,800 and $18,000 per year, with the proper hydraulic pumps and whatnot,” Tortorella said. Where most pools require backwashing, the process through which water is expelled from the pool, there are ways to avoid the hassle and wastewater of backwashing, all of which add to the energy efficiency and lessened environmental
Some of the bigger trends in saltwater pools include automation, where the pool automatically performs certain maintenance tasks. Most customers who spring for automation also enjoy mobile control over their pools from inside the house. They can turn on heaters, lights and more with the click of a button on their iPhone or touch-screen device, or, more commonly, with a remote control in the house.
Another popular trend in pools involves the construction of a small spa or a hot tub near the pool. Both spas and hot tubs are easily automated, as well, and can be controlled from a mobile device, offered by just about any dealer on the East End. “You can turn temperatures on and off, pumps on and off, it’s quite a nice system,” Kazdin said.
One of the more interesting trends I learned of while researching this article was the development of a pool into something a pond, through green measures. “The pond uses a natural filter system, which isn’t particularly common, but is also very expensive,” Kazdin said. “It basically turns your pool into a koi pond through green measures like using silver and copper in the water, which is strange because introducing metals into your water isn’t the greatest thing in the world, to be honest, but people go for it.”
Saltwater pools are where it’s at this summer. While taking a dip in any kind of pool on a hot day is a great way to cool off a bit, a saltwater pool’s physical benefits are far greater than your run-of-the-mill, heavily-chlorinated pool.