When we first upgraded from a kiddie pool to one with a filter, I was on cloud nine! Our kids were still pretty young so our new pool was tiny, but it was deep enough for me to relax in with enough room for the girls.
The only problem was, we rarely got to swim in it.
The first reason we stayed away from the pool was due to the chemicals we had to put in it. I could never get the balance right so it eventually turned a nasty green within a couple of days.
The second reason was also the chemicals we had to put in. When the water turned green, we would shock it and the effects were so strong I didn’t want to get in the pool, much less put my toddlers in there.
Summertime became pretty frustrating for me.
Finally, after a year or two of this, I had had enough! I began researching other ways to keep our pool chemical-free and that’s when I came across the term “saltwater pools”.
Our summers were changed forever.
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Saltwater Filtration System
Have you ever heard of a salt-water pool?
It is a pool that uses an Ozone Saltwater System that “provides virtually complete, instantaneous, odorless, all-natural sanitation of pool water. Ozone eliminates bacteria over 3, 000 times faster than chlorine and because it has up to 100 times the oxidizing power of chlorine, it cleans pool water without the chemical smell that swimmers often associate with chlorine.” (Amazon’s description; they say it better than me.)
How does it work?
Basically, it uses something called electrocatalytic oxidation, which produces powerful oxidants to clean the water then converts the salt into natural chlorine that is much gentler than packaged pool chemicals.
What are the benefits of a saltwater pool?
- Safer to swim in. I already mentioned I hated putting my kids in the pool with all the chemicals. I don’t worry about that anymore.
- Gentler on the eyes. I can hardly stand being in a pool with chlorine. My eyes are irritated for hours afterward. I don’t have that problem with a saltwater pool.
- It’s less maintenance. I love that we get to spend more time in the pool instead of treating it.
- Gentle on skin. After we swim in our saltwater pool, our skin feels amazing, not dry and irritated as it can be after swimming in chemically treated water.
- You breathe easier. Ever walk into a motel pool room and start coughing from the chlorine? You will not have side-effects like that with a saltwater pool.
- Feels amazing. Not only does salt water help with your skin, but it also has properties to aid in relaxation and detoxification. Feels almost like you’ve spent the day at the beach or a spa.
What do I need for a saltwater pool?
Sand Filter Pump
If you hate changing out your filter cartridge, there’s also a cost-effective filter out there that works in tandem with the Filtration system, called a Sand Filter Pump
You add one bag of fine sand to the pump and that one bag can last up to five years! (We’ve had our system six years and last summer was the first time we’ve had to replace the sand.)
I spend 30 seconds a week backwashing the pump (which rinses the sand) and that’s it!
No adding chemicals, no buying filters.
Just beautiful water. All summer long.
If you like bundle options, they even sell both systems as a Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System set. I wish they had that option when we bought ours!
Oh well, ours are still working fine six years later, no need to replace them with a newer model! (Speaking of models, make sure you buy the right system for your size pool.)
Is it Easier to Maintain a Saltwater Pool?
The straightforward answer? YES!
After the pool is completely set up, the system does everything. It even tells you when you need to add more salt. (Two bags usually last us all summer.)
Literally, we fill our pool, add salt, then backwash the system for 30 seconds every week. Aside from vacuuming leaves out, this is the extent of my pool maintenance and yearly pool expenses.
Our swims are now chemical-free and I no longer worry about the effect of harsh chemicals on my kid’s skin.
I’m telling you, this stuff is amazing!
Let me prove it. This was our pool at the start of the summer:
This is how it looked two months later:
This is without a single drop of chemicals! (Let me clarify, the pool isn’t chlorine-free since the ozone filter makes its own chlorine, but the amount is substantially lower and gentler.)
I didn’t even sift out leaves that made its way into the pool before taking the last picture.
But what happens if the power goes out during a summer storm and the pool gets cloudy? The filter has a “boost” button, you push it and by next morning the water looks amazing again.
It’s that easy!
What are the Pros and Cons of a Saltwater Pool?
If you are still not convinced switching to a saltwater pool is right for you and your family, I’ll reiterate some things I love about our pool and some things I don’t:
- Better for your eyes and skin. Instead of adding chlorine into your pool, the ozone filter makes its own, only it’s much gentler. With little kids swimming, I love that our pool won’t bother them.
- The water feels amazing. When you use a water softener in your home, you have silky-feeling water. The saltwater pools produce the same water which feels so good on a nice hot day!
- The water is not as salty as the sea. I gagged the first time I got a mouthful of seawater. This is nothing like it, thank goodness!
- Low-Maintenance. Did I mention I only spend 30 secs a week keeping my water clean?
- It could pay for itself in a few years. I felt like we were always buying chemicals and filters. Now, we buy two bags of salt a year, that’s it.
- The initial investment is expensive. If you wait until they go on sale, you can get an impressive deal. Even then you are still spending a couple of hundred dollars. (It was worth the investment to me!)
- Setup may look intimidating. It’s nothing a few YouTube videos can’t help with. 🙂
- Salt rusts metal. Last year, the metal parts of our pool had rust by the end of the summer, including our ladder. We upgraded our pool slightly this year and almost everything is coated or covered with heavy-duty plastic. So far, no rust.
I hope this post was informative for those of you who wish to cut down on the chemical footprint from your daily lives. Every summer I’m so grateful we made the switch to a saltwater pool.
Now that we’ve been chemical-free for going on six years, there’s no way we’re going back to the traditional method!
Looking for other ways to cut back on chemicals in your life? Check out these healthy-living tips!
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but if I am recommending an item in my post, it is only because I have used it myself or have done enough research on the product to feel it is a good fit for my readers.
About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.