How Much Does It Cost to Convert to a Saltwater Pool?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

A swimming pool could turn out to be a fantastic addition to your property. In the short term, you can use your new swimming pool for having fun or even working out. Long term, potential buyers may find your property may attractive thanks to the presence of the swimming pool.

If you want to maximize your investment in your new pool, you may want to consider a saltwater pool. Turning your current swimming pool into a saltwater model is also an option. So, how much will you have to pay if you want to convert your swimming pool into something that uses saltwater?

Converting an in-ground swimming pool to a salt water model costs $2,000. The new salt water system costs $1,300, labor is about $400, and $300 for the salt (or 44 cents per pound). Simply converting your above-ground pool will cost just $800. For above-ground pools, expect to pay a total of $800 for the salt, system, and labor.

Consider converting your current swimming pool into a saltwater model if you want to maximize its value and usefulness. The short and long term benefits you’ll get from that are substantial and well worth the money. Discover how much converting your swimming pool into a saltwater pool will cost by reading the rest of this article.

Should You Convert Your Swimming Pool to a Saltwater Pool?

Have you ever considered converting your swimming pool into a saltwater pool? It may seem like a strange suggestion at first, but there are real reasons why you should consider it.

Let’s use this section to highlight the reasons why making the switch to a saltwater pool makes sense. You can check out those reasons below.

Saltwater Swimming Pools Are Gentler on Your Body

First and foremost, turning your pool into a saltwater model will be good for your skin. Conventional chlorinated swimming pools are harsher on your skin. If your skin feels very dry shortly after you leave the pool, the chlorine in the water is likely responsible for that. Chlorinated water can even irritate your eyes.

Instead of enjoying your time in the water, you may find yourself in pain. Chlorinated swimming pools can be especially harsh on young swimmers. They may not enjoy their experience in the swimming pool at all.

In contrast to chlorinated pools, saltwater pools are gentle on the body. They will not irritate your eyes or harm your skin. Even your swimming gear will last longer if you bathe in saltwater pools instead of chlorinated pools.

Your Swimming Pool Will Not Reek of Chlorine

You may sense a strong odor while walking around your chlorinated swimming pool. That unpleasant odor is the byproduct of chlorine’s presence in the water.

Hanging around your pool is no fun if you’re constantly being assaulted by that harsh odor. Get rid of that odor for good by using saltwater in your swimming pool.

Saltwater Pools Are Easier and Cheaper to Maintain

Swimming pool maintenance can be a real pain. We are all well aware of that fact. However, not all swimming pools are equal in terms of how difficult they are to care for.

Compared to chlorinated swimming pools, saltwater pools are significantly easier to maintain. You do not have to store the chlorine yourself. On top of that, adding salt to your pool is also less of a hassle.

We also want to point out that buying salt for your pool is cheaper than keeping the chlorine at the recommended level. You can effectively reduce your maintenance expenses by using saltwater.

Cost to Convert an Above-Ground Pool to Saltwater

Expense TypeCost
Salt Water System$350
Cost of Labor$400

The total cost of converting an above-ground swimming pool to a saltwater pool is around $803. Note that the estimate mentioned applies to a standard-sized 10,000-gallon above-ground pool.

We can break down that cost estimate even further so you can fully understand what you’re paying for. The relevant details are included below.

Saltwater System

The main component of your saltwater pool is the saltwater system. That system is made up of saltwater generators and a control board. The entire system costs around $350.

The saltwater generator is tasked with converting table salt into chlorine. Those generators use a process known as electrolysis to execute the conversion.

When the generator is active, it allows water to pass through it and blades that are covered with either iridium or ruthenium. At that point, the control board kicks into gear and charges the water.

The beauty of this system is evident in how it regulates the chlorine level in your pool. As long as that chlorine level is controlled properly, you won’t experience its ill effects.

Cost of Labor

Next up, you have to account for the cost of labor when converting an above-ground pool into a saltwater pool. On average, labor costs for this kind of project end up around $400.

The process of converting an above-ground pool into a saltwater pool is fairly straightforward. The workers will start by balancing your pool’s chemistry and they follow that by installing the saltwater system. You can also the workers to check for leaks.

With all that done, the workers can proceed to add the salt to your pool. They will test the pool water again to see if it is balanced. The project is done once the water has been properly balanced.

Salt to Be Added

Don’t forget about the cost of salt when calculating the total cost of pool conversion. You may need about six to seven 40-pound bags of salt for a 10,000-gallon above-ground pool. Purchasing that many 40-pound bags of salt will cost you about $53.

In addition to the salt you will need for the initial conversion, you will need more bags for maintenance. Three to four 40-pound bags of salt will be required for maintaining your saltwater pool.

Cost to Convert an In-Ground Pool to Saltwater

Expense TypeCost
Salt Water System$1,100
Cost of Labor$400

The cost of converting to a saltwater pool increases significantly if you’re starting with an in-ground pool. With all the cost factors accounted for, you’ll probably end up paying approximately $1,800 for the conversion.

You’re still paying for the same expenses even if you have an in-ground pool. That means you’re paying for the new saltwater system, the cost of labor, and the 40-pound bags of salt.

We’re just ramping things up because you need enough items to cover a 50,000-gallon pool. A 50,000-gallon pool is the standard size for in-ground models. For a single year, you will also need about 15 to 20 40-pound bags of salt for maintenance purposes.

Cost of Saltwater Pool Equipment

Type of Pool EquipmentCost for Above-Ground PoolCost for In-Ground Pool
Pool Pump$500$1,050
Pool Filters$250$1,000
Pool Heater$130$5,000

Installing additional pieces of equipment can make your new saltwater pool more enjoyable. A new pump, a heater, and some filters would be ideal additions.

Let’s use this section of the article to go in-depth on the pieces of equipment you can add to your new pool. Find out what those additional items do and how much they cost depending on the type of pool you have.

Pool Pumps

The first piece of pool equipment you should get for your new saltwater pool is a pump. A new pump for an above-ground saltwater pool costs around $500. For in-ground pools, new pumps cost about $1,050 each.

Remember that saltwater pools rely on good circulation to remain sanitary. The generator cannot handle that task by itself. Pairing the generator with a pump is necessary if you want a consistently clean saltwater pool.

Pumps for saltwater pools are very easy to find these days. Some even come with sophisticated tracking features so you can quickly gauge the condition of the saltwater. Those pool pumps double as maintenance and monitoring tools and they are great purchases.

Pool Filters

You should also look to purchase new filters for your saltwater pool. Filters for above-ground pools cost around $250, while the ones needed for in-ground pools are priced closer to $1,000.

Filters are there to keep the saltwater clean. If any bits of dirt or debris fall into the water, the filters will get rid of them. Homeowners can choose from the sand, cartridge, and DE pool filters.

Sand filters are the most common and the most affordable, but they are also the worst performers. Cartridge filters are reasonably priced and offer solid filtration capabilities. DE pool filters are the best at cleaning up the water, but they also require the most maintenance.

Pool Heaters

Unlike the filters and the pump, a new heater is not a must-have piece of pool equipment. Still, a heater does give you the option of adding a hot tub and it also makes your pool usable year-round. Heaters for above-ground pools cost around $130 on average and that number jumps closer to $5,000 for in-ground pools.

The wide discrepancy in pricing is due to capacity. Heaters for in-ground pools need to process more water so they usually cost more. Getting a tankless heater is an option, but it can only be paired with a small saltwater pool.

Related Questions

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Saltwater Pool?

Professional saltwater pool maintenance costs right around $170 per year. That total accounts for the cost of labor and the necessary supplies.

Is It Cheaper to Run a Saltwater Pool?

Yes, running a saltwater pool is cheaper than maintaining a conventional chlorinated pool. Yearly maintenance for a saltwater pool will only cost you about $170. For chlorinated pools, that number skyrockets to $550.Saltwater pools use more electricity than chlorinated pools. Even so, the added electrical cost is not enough to make up the gap in maintenance-related expenses. Long term, you will still pay less to operate a salt water pool.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Salt Cell for Your Saltwater Pool?

After a few years, you may need to replace one of the cells in the saltwater system. Replacing a single salt cell costs approximately $750.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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