Riddle: What do saltwater pools and saltwater aquariums have in common?
That’s about all. When some house hunters see “saltwater pool” in Lacey listings, the first thing apt to come to mind is that last trip to the ocean seashore or swaying palm trees—or perhaps some NatGeo TV show about endangered species on the Great Barrier reef. 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 Lacey homeowners might. Saltwater pools aren’t filled with seawater (sorry, Flipper and Shamu: you’d find the accommodations unsuitable). 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. Dedicated fish fanciers go to the effort because most brilliant varieties of fish inhabit the world’s oceans rather than freshwater rivers and lakes. But the price hobbyists pay for having all those bright colors on display is having 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).
Whenever Lacey homeowners consider an improvement, I can help with advice regarding the impact on future resale value—even if that future sale isn’t an immediate prospect. The type of filtration system in a pool (or even the addition of a pool itself) is part of that equation. Whenever you consider major value-building improvements to your Lacey home, I hope you will give me a call. Let’s chat!