How much does installing a saltwater pool cost? The average price to install an in-ground saltwater pool is $37,315, with a typical range of $25,375 to $64,060. At minimum, you can expect to pay about $12,515, and the project can rise to $100,000 or more.
What is a saltwater pool? A saltwater pool uses a salt chlorine generator to keep itself clean instead of relying on a traditional chlorination system. The salt is added directly to the water and the generator converts it into chlorine. Otherwise, it’s functionally similar to a regular swimming pool.
A saltwater pool is a great alternative to a traditional chlorine pool. Saltwater pools have several benefits, such as lower maintenance costs and you don’t have to deal with harsh chemicals.
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
- FAQ About Saltwater Pools
Average Cost of a Saltwater Pool
|Typical Price Range||$25,375 – $64,060|
|Extreme Low-End Price||$12,515|
|Extreme High-End Price||$100,000|
If you want to save money on your saltwater pool project and get closer to the extreme low-end average of $12,515, you can forgo extra features and just get a basic pool. But if you go for all the bells and whistles, you’re likely to end up with a price closer to the high-end $100,000 cost.
Saltwater Pool Cost Estimator by Size
One of the biggest factors that will determine the cost of your saltwater pool is its size. The bigger your pool, the higher the price. A small pool is typically 160 square feet. A medium-sized pool is around 288 square feet, while a large pool is around 800 square feet.
|Pool Size||Average Price|
|Small (10’ x 16’)||$15,250 – $25,500|
|Medium (12’ x 24’)||$24,330 – $40,780|
|Large (20’ x 40’)||$68,300 – $103,065|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Many other factors besides size will also affect the overall price of your new saltwater pool. Some of these include the type of pool, what it’s made of, and the various costs associated with it.
Here are some of the factors that you should take into account when budgeting for your saltwater pool:
Type of pool
When planning for your saltwater pool, you’ll have your choice between an in-ground pool and above-ground pool. In-ground pools are the more expensive choice, while an above-ground pool is best for homeowners on a budget. Semi-inground pools fall in between, offering similar beauty as an in-ground pool while being slightly more expensive than an above-ground pool.
|Type of Saltwater Pool||Typical Range|
|Above-ground||$3,620 – $15,500|
|In-ground||$25,375 – $64,060|
Conversion from chlorine
If you want a saltwater pool but already have a chlorine one, you won’t have to get a whole new pool. You shouldn’t even have to change the water. All your pool needs is a saltwater chlorine generator. Converting an existing pool to a saltwater system typically costs $500 to $2,110.
Another big factor in the cost of your saltwater pool is the your pool’s surface material. You have a few materials to choose from, such as fiberglass pools and concrete pools, each with their own price points and maintenance needs.
Here is a closer look at pool materials along with their average costs:
|Fiberglass||$12,285 – $25,500|
|Vinyl||$26,430 – $65,005|
|Concrete||$47,785 – $100,000|
|Shotcrete||$50,000 – $100,000|
|Gunite||$50,000 – $120,000|
One of the expenses over time in a saltwater pool is the salt that powers the generator. How much you’ll have to buy depends on the size of your pool. An average 40-lb bag of salt is $11, but this will vary depending on brand. You can expect to pay between $100 to $400 annually on salt for your saltwater pool.
Here’s a chart detailing how much salt you’ll need to buy for your pool size and its associated cost:
|Pool Size (In Gallons)||Pounds of Salt||Estimated Cost|
|8,000||213||$70 – $150|
|10,000||267||$85 – $175|
|12,000||320||$100 – $200|
|14,000||373||$120 – $250|
|16,000||427||$135 – $275|
|20,000||533||$140 – $350|
Cost of water
Water is, understandably, another expense over time when it comes to any pool, saltwater or not. You can always use your garden hose to fill your pool, but this takes time. If you want to enjoy your pool right away, or if your water comes from an underground well and a hose is not an option, you can have water delivered via truck.
With a water truck, you’ll be able to get about 9,000 gallons at once, which will cost between $175 and $380. For larger pools of 15,000 to 30,000, it will cost between $525 and $1,800.
You’ll need some basic pool care equipment that you’ll need to keep your pool clean and ready to use. Filters and pumps are necessities. On average, you can expect to pay between $500 to $2,500 for a saltwater pool filter. Installing a pool pump generally costs $775 to $1,675.
Once the necessities are taken care of, there are a few bits and pieces that you can add to your pool if you have some room left over in your budget. These include things like diving boards, waterfalls, and pool covers.
|Waterfall||$550 – $11,000|
|Diving Board||$366 – $5,000|
|Pool Cover||$392 – $2,400|
|Enclosure||$6,333 – $19,666|
|Retaining Wall||$4,000 – $8,000|
|Fence||$1,700 – $8,133|
Lastly, you need to consider how much a saltwater pool will add to your utility bills over time. Unlike a traditional chlorine pool, saltwater pools need electricity to run the salt chlorine generator. Expect annual electric costs will increase by about $300, while your annual water bill might see a $720 to $1,440 increase as a result of your saltwater pool.
During your saltwater pool installation, there are a few other things you might want to consider if there’s room left in your budget. This includes optional features like a pool deck or pool house, but also necessary expenses such as pool maintenance.
- Pool maintenance
- Pool deck
- Pool house
A saltwater pool will require periodic maintenance to keep it ready for use. Although it will need less maintenance than a chlorine pool, you’ll still need to clean and scrub your saltwater pool on a semi-regular basis and use a skimmer to remove debris. In addition, the salt cell that the generator uses is prone to calcium buildup, so it will need to be replaced every few years.
|Annual Professional Maintenance||$1,065 – $1,800|
|Salt Cell Replacement||$275 – $750|
If you’re getting an above-ground saltwater pool, you may want some decking to go along with it. A pool deck can enhance your pool’s beauty and give you a good place to soak up some rays poolside.
The cost of a deck for an above-ground pool will depend on how big you want your deck to be. The cost per square foot is about $15 to $30. Decks for in-ground pools tend to cost an average of $3,600 to $15,733.
A pool house is a small structure by the pool where you can store things like towels and pool supplies and where you or your guests can change into swimwear. Having one will increase the value of your home and make your outdoor space much more entertaining and enjoyable.
If you want to build a pool house, it can cost between $100 and $600 per square foot, so take care when you’re planning it so that you don’t rack up too big a bill too quickly.
You might want a hot tub to go with your new saltwater pool. Hot tubs cost about $6,900 on average to install, though this price can vary widely depending on what kind you get and any additional features. If you’d like, you can even have a saltwater hot tub, though this will require a second chlorine generator.
If you’re installing a new pool, you may need to rework the landscaping or hardscaping of your outdoor space. The cost of both will depend on what you’ll be getting done, costing anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Most people pay between $1,960 and $7,220 to hire a landscape designer.
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
Any pool, especially a saltwater pool, is not the kind of thing you want to try to DIY. Unless you’re a professional contractor, it’s a good idea to hire a pro to install your pool. There’s simply too much that can go wrong, from damaged utility lines to construction accidents.
The exception to this is an above-ground pool kit. Installing a pool above ground is considerably easier than an in-ground one, and DIY above-ground pool kits can allow you to construct your own pool without the need for a professional. The typical price range for an above-ground pool kit is between $1,460 to $6,150.
Cost of a Saltwater Pool by Location
Another big factor that will affect the cost of your saltwater pool is location, especially if you’re having it built from scratch. Contractor commutes and material transportation costs will increase the price. Areas with higher costs of living can also expect to see the overall price of their pool go up.
In addition, especially if you’re getting an in-ground pool built, the terrain of your yard may present additional expenses. If you have a soil type that is hard to work with, the price of excavation may increase. You might also have utility lines or pipes running through your yard that will force you to adjust your plans, leading to setbacks or more expensive construction costs.
FAQ About Saltwater Pools
Is a saltwater pool better than a traditional pool?
Saltwater and chlorine pools have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether one is better than the other is more of a matter of personal preference than anything else.
Understanding the pros and cons of saltwater pools can help you make an informed decision before you pull the trigger. Here are some of the pros and cons of a saltwater pool:
|Water feels gentle and smooth||Regular replacement of salt-chlorinator electrode cell|
|Gentler on skin, hair, eyes, and clothes||Regular cleaning of salt cell|
|Salt is easier to purchase and store than chlorine||Bulk salt is still heavy and hard to store|
|Little to no chlorine smell||High cost of generator|
|More environmentally friendly||Generator requires experts to repair|
|Salt is more affordable than regular pool chemicals||Salt is corrosive and can degrade metal objects such as heaters and ladders|
Is getting a saltwater pool worth it?
That’s for you to decide. A saltwater pool is no small expense, and it carries additional maintenance and upkeep costs over time. If you’re not much of an outdoor person, then it may not be worth it to you to install and maintain a saltwater pool.
However, if you’re planning to sell your house down the line, you can use a pool to increase the value and add a selling point.
Are saltwater pools safe?
Saltwater pools carry no more dangers than a standard chlorine pool. The salt level is not high enough to present a danger to any people or animals drinking it. In fact, the salt can help with skin conditions such as eczema that harsh pool chemicals would aggravate.
How much salt is in a saltwater pool?
The average saltwater pool has a salinity level of 3,000 ppm (parts per million). For reference, the ocean has a salinity level of 35,000 ppm.
When to Hire a Pool Professional
With the average price of $37,315, a saltwater pool will be quite the project, but it will add to the resale value of your home.
If you want to install a saltwater pool but don’t know where to start, we can connect you to your local pool experts.
Note: PoolGnome may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.