The three most popular options for pools over the last year seem to be salt water chlorinators, underwater pool lights and security covers. Let's take a look and the pros and cons of each of these options.
Salt Water Chlorinators
THE PROS: Salt water chlorinators provide superb water quality without odor and irritation that usually goes along with traditional chlorine pools. Many people are surprised to learn that a salt water pool is actually a chlorine pool. The salt is converted into chlorine and when it does this, it eliminates the gross odors and eye irritation that typically accompany chlorine.
Another great factor about salt water chlorinators is that they're very low maintenance. All you have to do to maintain chlorine levels is add four to eight bags of granular salt directly to the pool each season. Salt costs about $12 a bag and can be purchased many places. However, you should still monitor water chemistry weekly.
THE CONS: The upfront cost of a salt water chlorinator is usually around $2,000. The salt will typically cost between $50 to $100 each season. Also, every six years or so, you will have to replace the salt cell at a cost of almost $1000. Compared to a typical chlorine system, the overall costs are about the same, it's just the initial cost that is higher.
THE PROS: Once you've seen a pool lit up at night you can see why it's almost a need more than a want. Also, when comparing the cost to other accessories that make your pool gorgeous, lighting gives you the most bang for your buck. The life of the bulb is extremely long and it's easy to replace when you need to.
THE CONS: Lights usually cost around $800.
THE PROS: Security Covers are primarily for protecting children and pets but also keep debris out of the pool and require no maintenance during the winter while the pool is shut down for the season. They are strong and secure and worry free.
THE CONS: They cost almost $3000. For THIS reason, some opt for the cheaper tarp cover which is only around a couple hundred dollars. However, this is not recommended as they are not as strong, and therefore do not protect children and pets as well. Furthermore, they almost always fall into the pool at least once per winter.
There you have it. The three most popular in ground pool options. To learn more about pools and maintaining them see:
- Getting Your Pool Spring and Summer Ready
- Dry Drowning: How to be Aware
- Back Wash it's a Good Thing