Salt Water Pools: Fact vs. Fiction

There are many myths about salt water pools, and today we’re going to give you the facts!  Then you can weigh the pros and cons, and decide if a salt water pool is for you!

Myth: salt water pools don’t use chlorine

Salt water pools DO actually use chlorine.  Here’s how it works:

  • You start off by purchasing and installing your salt cell.
  • Next, when you start up your pool, you add an initial dose of salt.  This salt in the water goes through your salt cell.
  • Inside the salt cell, the salt is actually being converted into chlorine!  No matter what system you’re on, you will always need chlorine, because chlorine is what sanitizes the water and keeps it safe for you and your family.  You can definitely look at it like a more natural approach though.
  • Throughout the pool season, you may need to top up the salt level in your pool.  Salt pools are great in the sense that you don’t need to add chlorine every week, you can go on a vacation and not have to worry so much about coming home to a green pool.


 Myth: Salt water pools are way less expensive

When you break the numbers down, salt pools can actually be quite a bit more money than fresh water pools;

  • You still need your weekly or monthly maintenance.  The easiest way you can go is using Pristiva monthly Primer and Shock. You toss those bad boys in the water at the beginning of the month, and you don’t have to worry about doing it for the rest of the month.
  • It’s important you understand how the cell and equipment work very well, because issues with salt pools can be tricky to figure out.  If you aren’t able to establish a chlorine level it could be an issue with your cell and that is pricy to fix.


 Myth: Salt water pools make your skin dry

People often assume salt water pools will dry out your skin because of the salt in the water.

  • Salt water pools actually tend to feel better than fresh water pools.  They don’t cause that itchy dry feeling, they aren’t harsh on the eyes, and some people even find their hair is more manageable after.
  • The concentration of salt in the ocean is 10 times higher than in a residential pool, and in simple terms, the high concentration of salt in the ocean actually draws water out of the body, whereas our bodies have an even higher salt concentration than in a residential pool, so our bodies actually absorb the moisture.


For more information about salt water pools, speak to one of our Water Lab experts!


  1. Bart Wilfong


    I have a salt water pool in Florida, the pool has a infinity edge on it as does the hot tub. The pool was just completed in the spring and appears to be going through a lot of salt and water. Around the swimming pool I have a sidewalk down about 2 feet below the height of the water in the pool, this sidewalk is getting a build up of what looks to be dried salt. Brown stain that keeps building up. Does anyone know what dried salt from a pool looks like?

    • Kathi B


      Hi Bart: great question! salt presents differently depending on the brand and quality of salt added to the pool water so this is difficult to diagnose without a little more information. If you like, feel free to email photos of the deposits you are getting, a picture or the name brand of the salt you add to the pool and a picture of your home test kit or strip after you dip it in the pool water and i am happy to help! Happy Swimming!

  2. Reply

    Two questions: Does higher salt levels dry the skin? Making it look chalky?

    What causes the white flakes we see some times? Hard water? I thought salt was to soften the water.

    Dry skin and calcium like flakes..? Thoughts?

    • Kathi B


      It sounds like you have more going on…..salt in a water softener uses a mechanical process to remove calcium from water so yes, it ‘softens’ it chemically but the skin feel is a different thing….is this from your pool or hot tub that you are having challenges?

  3. Lynn


    I have a salt pool but my skin is so dry and itch after swim for long hours

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