Monday, January 30, 2017

Is A Saltwater Pool for You?

A new pool completed the renovation of one of the pre-war homes I owned and fully renovated.

Question: What do saltwater pools and saltwater aquariums have in common?
Answer: Water.

That’s about all. When some house hunters see “saltwater pool” in Greenwich listings, the first thing that may come to mind is that last trip to the ocean seashore or swaying palm trees.  Visions of having their own playful pet dolphin in the backyard might flit through their consciousness (training: easy; maintenance: not so easy) before the practical questions begin to intrude— like having to rinse salt off after every dip, worrying about salt spray wrecking the lawn. Ultimately, the question would probably be, who in their right mind wants a saltwater pool instead of freshwater?

 The answer: some practical-minded Greenwich homeowners might. Saltwater pools aren’t filled with seawater.   The “saltwater” moniker refers to the way the fresh water is filtered and recirculated. There is a slight amount of saltiness to the water, but nowhere near what’s found in the oceans.

In a way, it’s really a shame that the name is what it is—especially when it causes potential buyers to make the connection with saltwater aquariums. People who’ve dealt with one of those know how difficult they are to maintain needing to keep all sorts of chemical balances in equilibrium—and that takes constant vigilance. 

Saltwater pools sidestep that drawback. They use electricity to manufacture the chlorine needed to battle microorganism growth—then continually monitor the result. These systems automatically start the pool pump when needed, resulting in less demand for homeowner monitoring.  

That same convenience has a downside, however, because pool pumps have to run longer than they do in manually chlorinated pools. The reason is a complicated technological explanation having to do with the difference between the filtration systems (electrolysis vs. added cyanurates)—the long and short of which is fewer expensive chemicals (traditional) vs. higher energy costs (saltwater systems).  You can learn a lot about salt water pools on the internet at sites such as Research Funding or by talking to your local pool company.  Haggerty Pools in Stamford helped me make the change to a saltwater pool a few years ago and are very knowledgeable.

With a background in project management in the residential building industry and being a real estate broker in Greenwich CT,  I am happy to talk to you on the impact of home improvements on future resale value—even if that future sale isn’t an immediate prospect. 

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