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cost of saltwater pool

You’ve probably heard how great saltwater is for the skin and hair, and now you’re looking into taking advantage of all the benefits they offer. However, before you jump the gun on that new saltwater pool, it’s essential to understand the costs involved.

On average, saltwater pool costs can range anywhere from $25,000 to $80,000.

What goes into those costs, you ask?

Come dive in with us as we explore the answer to that question in-depth!

How Much Does A Salt Water Pool Cost?

The average cost for a new salt water swimming pool is between $25,000 and $80,000. Note that installing a salt water swimming pool will cost a bit more than installing a traditional chlorine pool. This is because the price of a salt water pool includes the salt water chlorine generator, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500 depending on the size of the salt water pool.

Salt water pools are great in that they don’t require chemicals like a traditional chlorine pool. Instead, through the work of a salt-chlorine generator, a salt water pool will make its own chlorine. Without additional chemicals, you get fewer chloramines, which is much better for the skin, hair, and eyes.

Here are some of the average costs of saltwater pools based on size:

  • 10′ x 16′ – $15,000 to $25,000
  • 10′ x 30′ – $25,00 to $42,000
  • 12′ x 24′ – $27,000 to $50,000
  • 14′ x 28′ – $36,000 to $55,000
  • 16′ x 32′ – $48,000 to $70,000

Along with the construction of your pool, you will also need to install a pool pump and filter. Here are the average costs for pool pumps and filters:

  • Pump – $150 – $800
  • Filter – $200 – $1,400

Other Factors That Can Impact Your Salt Water Pool Cost

Ground Preparation

Depending on the necessary preparation, a contractor might charge you more for your project. The cost to prepare the ground alone can easily go up to $20,000. One way to lower your saltwater pool costs is to level the ground before getting a quote from a contractor.

Costs can quickly add up if your contractor needs to build retaining walls, remove trees, or level the ground.

Materials

You can choose between various materials when installing a salt water pool, including concrete (gunite), fiberglass, vinyl, and more.

Vinyl

If you want to go with the cheapest option, go with a vinyl inground pool.

Expect to pay around $20,000 on average for vinyl materials, though keep in mind that you may end up spending more in the long run for maintenance and care, as vinyl is the weakest material choice. Our Vinyl Pool Costs article dives deeper into pricing.

Pros:

  • Less installation time compared to other pools
  • Easy delivery process
  • Low initial cost

Cons:

  • Saltwater can corrode a vinyl pool’s metal frame
  • Liners need replacement often

Fiberglass

Fiberglass pools are the second-most expensive option out of the three most popular pool types.

You can expect to fork over anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000 for your average fiberglass pool.

Note that you don’t get the same customization freedom with fiberglass pools as with a vinyl liner pool, as they are pre-fabricated molds that get delivered to your backyard.

Pros:

  • Delivered as one piece
  • Less expensive than concrete
  • Best for saltwater systems

Cons:

Concrete pools are the most expensive option. Depending on the size and included features, you can expect to spend anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 for a concrete pool. Learn more from our Concrete Pool Cost guide.

However, the beauty of concrete pools is that they are entirely customizable to fit your needs.

Pros:

  • Highly customizable
  • Long-lasting
  • Can raise home value significantly

Cons:

  • Longer building process
  • Most expensive

Heating System

Can you rely on the temperature to keep your salt water pool warm, or do you need a heater?

Pool heaters come in all shapes, sizes, and types, including solar, gas, and heater. For pool heater installation, you can expect to spend anywhere from $400 to $4,000.

When it comes to energy costs, you can expect to spend anywhere from $60 to $1,800 depending on where you live, whether your pool has a cover, and what temperature you choose to maintain.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Saltwater Pool?

The beauty of owning a saltwater pool is that the maintenance costs are pretty low. You can expect to pay as little as $100 per year to maintain your inground saltwater pool. A lot of this comes down to the fact that you don’t need as many chemicals as you would with a chlorine pool.

Chlorine pool owners often spend anywhere from $300 to $800 on pool chemicals.

However, one cost that saltwater swimming pool owners must take on is the cost of the salt cell, which must be replaced every 3-5 years. Depending on the size of your salt water pool, your salt cell can cost anywhere from $200 to $700.

Lastly, you will need to replace your control board every 3-7 years. The control board is the portion of your salt water system that provides electricity to the salt cell. Expect to fork over anywhere from $500 to $900 when replacing your control board.

In terms of energy costs, you can expect to pay an additional $30 to $50 each year to run your saltwater system.

Converting Chlorine Pool To Saltwater Cost

The cost to convert a traditional chlorine swimming pool into a salt water pool will cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500.

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to spend on a 10,000-gallon salt water pool transformation:

  • Salt Water Chlorination System – $100-$500
  • Labor for Installation – $300-$500
  • Salt – $25-$35

For a 10,000-gallon inground saltwater pool, you will need around 5-6 bags of salt. At $5 to $6 per bag, you will end up spending anywhere from $25 to $35. It is up to you to determine how much salt you need to add to your pool water by testing your pool water. A saltwater test kit will provide you with information on your salt levels and chlorine levels.

PRO TIP: We recommend going with mined salt. Mind salt is the purest form of salt for swimming pools. It is also very easy on salt cells, making it easier for your salt water system to produce chlorine. However, it is also the most expensive type of pool salt out there, which is why some new pool owners tend to gravitate towards solar salt or mechanically evaporated salt.

FAQ

Should I Convert My Chlorine Pool To A Salt Water Pool?

Some of the main reasons people decide to transform their chlorine pools into saltwater pools include:

  • Fewer chemical expenses
  • Lack of chlorine smell
  • No need to add chemicals manually
  • Less skin and eye irritation

However, there are some downsides of saltwater pools that are worth noting, including:

  • Cost of salt cell replacement
  • Potential pool equipment corrosion
  • Potential calcium build-up and pH imbalances

We’ve got an entire article dedicated to Converting Chlorine Pool To Saltwater Cost where you can take a closer look at the exact pricing involved in this process.

Should I Install An Inground or Above-Ground Salt Water Pool?

You can choose to install an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool with a salt system.

Most pool owners tend to build above-ground pools when they are trying to save money. More often than not, above-ground pools are sold in kits.

The cost to install an above-ground pool is also much cheaper, as you can do it yourself if you’re handy.

For an above-ground kit, expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500. The price typically includes a pump, liner, and ladder.

Of course, depending on the quality of the salt chlorine generator that you get, you might end up paying a bit more.

Above-ground pool construction will also take less time than in-ground pool construction.  Head over to our How Long Does It Take To Install An In-Ground Pool article for the average expected construction timeline. 

Final Thoughts – Estimating Your Salt Water Pool Costs

Trying to budget for your saltwater pool can be quite tricky if you’re a first-time pool owner. With so much price variation, it can be quite challenging to determine whether you’ll end up paying $30,000 or $100,000.

The first thing you must do is consider your needs. What kinds of materials do you want to use for your pool? How big do you need your pool to be, and what kinds of features do you want to install?

Once you’ve made a list of the features you want, get in contact with reliable local pool contractors to get quotes. Make sure to compare quotes from various contractors so you can get the best price.

We wish you the best of luck on your new salt water pool!