chlorine to saltwater pool conversion cost

If you’re thinking of converting your chlorine pool to a salt water pool, it is important that you understand all of the associated costs. The last thing you want is to throw away your hard-earned money on an overpriced salt water pool upgrade. Unfortunately, we see it happen to way too many people.

Come dive in with us as we explore all of the associated salt water pool costs so that you know you’re getting the best deal.

Cost Of Converting A Chlorine Pool To Saltwater

To convert a salt water pool into a chlorinated pool, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,500. 

Of course, the overall saltwater pool costs will ultimately depend on the type and size of your pool.

Here are a few associated costs with salt water pool conversion:

  • Salt water chlorine generator system: $100 – $1,800
  • Salt: $25 – $180 (depending on how many bags your salt water pool requires).
  • Installation: $300 – $500
  • Salt Water Pump: $690 – $920 for an inground pool
  • Filter: $500 – $1,600 for an inground pool
  • Heater: $550 – $10,000+

When it comes to determining how much salt you need to add to your pool, you can use a standard 20,000-gallon salt water pool as an estimate, which requires anywhere from 10 to 12 40lb bags of salt.

Typically, 40lb bags of salt run about $5 to $6 each. On salt alone, you’ll probably spend around $50 to $70.

When it comes to salt water pool maintenance, you can expect to pay about $100 per year.

This cost includes chemicals and salt. Compared to a traditional chlorine pool that costs around $300 to $800 per year to maintain, saltwater is far more cost-effective. You’ll also need to account for the salt cell, which you’ll have to replace every 3-5 years. Salt cells can run from $200 to $700 and can add to your electricity bill when running. Expect to spend around $40 more on your electricity bill each month.

Lastly, you should account for testing your pool water chemistry. Test kits for saltwater pools cost anywhere from $15 to $55. Buying these is necessary if you want to keep your saltwater pool clean. On average, we recommend testing your saltwater pool at least once per week.

Overall, you’ll likely end up spending anywhere from $500 to $2,5000 minimum to convert your chlorine pool into a saltwater pool. For annual maintenance, expect to spend anywhere from $950 to $1,700.

Salt Water Pool Conversion – The Pros and Cons


  • No Chlorine Smell: Salt water pools don’t have the same chlorine smell that is present in traditional pools.
  • Gentler on the Body: Salt water pools won’t irritate your skin or eyes like a chlorine pool.
  • Cheaper To Maintain Over Time: The annual cost of maintaining a salt water pool is often less than maintaining a traditional chlorine pool. Plus, without having to manually add chemicals and constantly check pH levels, the maintenance process is much easier.


  • Salt Water Causes Corrosion: If you have a pool with metal parts, a salt system can cause corrosion, which can lead to serious damage.
  • Higher Initial Cost: The initial cost of converting to salt water pool can be a lot for some to swallow.

Which Costs More – Chlorine Pools or Saltwater Pools?

While chlorine pools are cheaper than most salt water pools initially, salt water pools are far easier and cheaper to maintain in the long run.

For example, a chlorine pool requires manual chemical addition over time, as there isn’t a chlorine generator.

To keep your pool clean, you’ll need to routinely check the pH levels. 

Of course, you could hire a pool cleaning service to clean your chlorine pool for you, but that just adds to your costs.

So, while chlorine pools might be cheaper in the beginning, they end up costing more time and money in the long run.

Final Thoughts – Is It Worth Converting To A Saltwater Pool?

Most pool owners we’ve spoken to who have converted their traditional pool to a saltwater pool say they are happy with the choice.

Converting your existing pool to a salt water pool offers many benefits, including the fact that you won’t need to buy as many chemicals, you won’t have that undesirable chlorine smell, and you won’t experience nearly as much skin, eye, and hair irritation.

Of course, conversion doesn’t come without its disadvantages. Expensive salt cell replacement, equipment corrosion, and potential calcium buildup due to higher calcium hardness are just a few reasons why you might refrain from converting your chlorine pool to a salt water pool. 

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