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How much does a salt water pool cost?

Install a saltwater swimming pool on your home or business property and enjoy the benefits of this lower-maintenance recreational option. Swimming pool installation specialists can either convert an existing pool into a saltwater pool or construct and install a new saltwater pool at your location. "A saltwater pool is no different in structure and construction than a traditional pool," explains Stan Ushev of Millennium Pool Service in Springfield, Virginia. The main difference is that instead of adding chlorine to keep the pool clean, salt is used to naturally produce chloride, or chlorine.

The benefits of a saltwater pool system are lower maintenance, the ability to do without added chemicals to chlorinate and shock the pool, and water that can be easier on the skin and eyes.

A saltwater pool doesn’t have salty ocean water in it. A saltwater swimming pool won’t make swimmers extra buoyant like the Mediterranean, nor does the salt itself keep the water disinfected. Instead, a saltwater pool uses a saltwater chlorine generator to convert the salt (regularly added by the pool owner or maintenance person) into chlorine. The saltwater chlorine generator takes in the dissolved salt through the pool’s filter system and, through electrolysis, attracts the sodium from the salt (sodium chloride) and filters the chloride (chlorine) back into the pool.

Adding a saltwater chlorine generator

Any pool can be transformed into a saltwater pool, explains Ushev with Millennium Pool Service. Pricing and labor costs can vary by region and by brand of generator, but on average, Ushev says that Millennium Pool Service charges approximately $2,000 to install a saltwater chlorine generator for a new or existing pool, including parts and labor.

Constructing a salt water pool

Because constructing a saltwater pool is no different from constructing a traditional pool, aside from the additional cost of the saltwater chlorine generator, the cost factors are similar. Factors that impact the cost of new pool construction are excavation of the pool site, installation, the cost of the concrete or pool shell, the cost of labor, materials, deck installation, and any additional features such as a pool cover, slide, underwater lighting or heating system. Here are two examples of total pool construction costs. The first example includes the cost of the saltwater chlorine generator, and the second is for a standard pool.

  • Total project cost to customer: $77,800 from Millennium Pool Service for pool installation complete with saltwater chlorine generator.

    • Cost included concrete deck, autocover for the pool and pool heater. This is a higher-end pool with extra features and may cost more than starter pools.

      • Pool size: 512 square feet of water surface.

      • 3.5-foot to 6-foot depth.

      • 2-month installation time.

  • Total project cost to customer: $50,000 from U.S. Pools in Roswell, Georgia.

    • Cost included decorative concrete coping around edge of pool, a vinyl liner with no ground prep and no extra grading, and standard equipment plus a heat pump and automatic sweep system.

      • 18-foot by 36-foot pool with minimal ground work and heating system.

      • Construction took approximately three weeks to complete.

Pool deck costs

If you are installing a newly constructed pool, another cost to consider is the cost of pool decking. Once the pool is installed in-ground, you’ll want to finish the surrounding area with a safe and comfortable surface for walking around and accessing your new pool. Pool deck materials come in everything from concrete and concrete pavers to brick, tile, stone, wood and more. The cost per square foot for installing a pool deck can include labor and materials. The more elaborate your pool deck, the higher the cost per square foot. Here is one example of cost:

Price range per square foot: $10-$25, depending on the deck, from Millennium Pool Service.

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