Are Saltwater Pools More Expensive?

Saltwater pools are a popular pool choice, and so is the belief that this advanced pool system is overwhelmingly expensive which, well, to a great extent is true. Saltwater pools use specialized machinery such as salt chlorine generator and salt filter system to produce chlorine in limited quantities. This advanced machinery is relatively costly and results in an overall average cost of about $50,000, which is considerably higher than traditional pools.

At this stage, however, it is imperative to mention that just because saltwater pools have a higher initial investment does not mean that they are more expensive overall. In fact, the long term maintenance and chemical requirement of a saltwater pool is relatively cheaper and easier. This greatly balances out the high cost invested initially.

Costs of different components of a salt water pool

To make the math easier for you, here is a breakdown of the various components of a saltwater pool system, and their expected costs.

Salt Chlorine Generator

 A salt chlorine generator is a very important part of the salt chlorination system. It performs the vital function of generating free chlorine from the salt through the process of electrolysis. This chlorine then purifies the pool water. On average, this chlorine generator costs between $500 to $600, with some budget friendly options ranging around $400 as well. If you want to take no risks and prefer a premium option for your chlorine generator, you can get one for about $1800.

Saltwater Pool Pump

A saltwater pool pump performs essentially the same function as a regular pool pump, that is, to pump water into it. The price of this pump for a pool that is above the ground is comparatively lower, beginning at around $480. However, if you have an inground pool, your pump will cost almost twice as much, with around $800 on average.

Saltwater Pool Filter

The water in a saltwater pool is known to be cleaner and much more sparkly than other traditional pools. Well, the credit goes to its pool filter system, which uses sand to purify the water. Like the pool pump, there is variation in the price range of this pool filter for pools that are above the ground and those that are in it.

For the former, a filter would cost between $200 and $300. However, the sand filters for inground pools are comparatively heavier on your pocket, averaging at around $1000, and $1500 for a top quality premium option. Nonetheless, you can get cheaper pool filters for as low as $450.

Saltwater Pool Heater

A saltwater pool heater isn’t a compulsory component of the system. However, there is a great chance that you might need one if you live in colder climates, or wish to swim in your salt water pool in winters. A wide range of options are available for a pool heater, and likewise there is great variation in their prices.

If you are looking for something that is lighter on the budget, you might want to consider a tank-less pool heater which costs around $500. Similarly, gas powered heaters are also relatively cheaper with the cheapest ones available for as low as $750. A top quality gas powered heater can go up to $2500 as well.

 If you plan on investing in an excellent pool heater, you can opt for electric or solar pool heaters. The former can cost between $1200 to $3000, while the much advanced solar heaters would require a budget of around $5000, rising all the way up to $9500 for premium options.

The total cost of installing a saltwater pool

When the overall cost of installing a salt water pool is considered, a highly fluctuating range of $25000 to $100,000 is obtained. On average, the installation of an entire salt water pool costs around $50,000.

Maintenance of a saltwater pool

All you have to do is put in the recommended amount of salt, which is far cheaper, and you are good to go. The overall yearly chemical cost for a regular pool begins at $300, and can rise up to $800. For a saltwater pool, however, the total yearly cost for chemicals and salt almost always stays lower than $100. Accordingly, the chemical balance does not need to be altered using external means.

With the hefty purchase price and installation costs, you might think that the maintenance of a saltwater pool would also cost you an arm and a leg. Surprisingly, however, this is not true. Unlike other regular pools, a saltwater pool is capable of producing chlorine from salt according to the requirements. This means that chlorine does not have to be added frequently, which can save you a fortune.

Saltwater pools are also much cleaner and have lesser algae, which means that the cleaning of these is also cheaper.

Other Options

Saltwater pools are undoubtedly a great option for swimming enthusiasts. However, there are various other pool systems available today.

1. Chlorinated Pools

These are the traditional pools that have been used for a long time. These pools use free chlorine to disinfect and purify the water. The cost of a typical chlorine pool is around $23,000.

2. UV Pool Sanitizer System

A UV pool system is also an alternative to salt water pools. It uses UV rays emitted from a bulb to kill microorganisms in a pool. The price of this sanitization system falls between $500 to $600, with some top quality options at around $2000 as well. The overall budget for a UV pool system, thus, is around $24,000.

3. Ozone System

This is a relatively less popular option. In an ozone pool system, ozone gas is added to the pool in addition to chlorine. Since ozone is a strong chemical, it has the tendency to kill microorganisms that escape the effects of chlorine. On average, an ozone generator costs around $2000. The overall cost of the pool with an ozone system averages at approximately $25,000.


At this point, it is easy to infer that the saltwater pool system is, in fact, a highly expensive pool option. However, considering its low maintenance cost, minimal harmful effects on health and longevity combined with a cleaner, more sparkly pool, one can conclude that it is totally worth the price.

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