How Much Does a Saltwater Pool Conversion Cost?

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated March 7, 2022
A swimming pool in tropical garden
Photo: Stock PK / Adobe Stock


  • Saltwater pool conversion can offer both health and budget-reducing benefits.

  • The price you'll pay to convert your pool depends on its size and gallon capacity.

  • Saltwater pool conversion can be affordable and save you money on maintenance costs.

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Converting to a saltwater pool offers homeowners pretty clear advantages. From swimming in water that’s gentler on your skin to having fewer maintenance costs, there are definitely good reasons to make the jump to salt.

If you already have an in-ground or above-ground pool, the cost to convert isn’t too steep—at least when compared to putting a new pool in from scratch. Learn how much a saltwater pool conversion may cost in this guide.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Saltwater Pool?

Homeowners should expect to pay $500 to $2,500 on average to convert their chlorinated pool into a saltwater pool. Factors that can influence this cost include the size and type of pool you already have, and if it requires any additional work to your outdoor living space in the process.

Considering a saltwater pool installation costs up to $50,000, converting is much easier than building a new pool from scratch. Some higher-end salt system features, such as self-cleaning mechanisms, can drive the price up if that’s what you’re looking for.

What Saltwater Pool Conversion Can I Get on My Budget?

Consider these four budget brackets when shopping for your pool conversion device, from a basic saltwater converter to higher-end features.


Installing a basic saltwater system to a 10,000-gallon above-ground pool (1,337 cubic feet of space) is doable for around $500. This covers the fee for a new control module, which is the electrical component that monitors salt levels, and the salt cell, which converts purified chlorine.

To stay under $500, you may consider shopping for a system in the winter or early spring when pool supply companies have deals to get you prepared for summer.

$501 to $1,000

For under $1,000, you can likely get a similar system as described above for up to a 25,000-gallon (small- to medium-sized) in-ground pool. Basic units come with a control switch but may not offer things like smartphone app monitoring capabilities or self-cleaning mechanisms.

You may be able to save money by opting for a more expensive kit but installing it yourself.

$1,001 to $2,000

In this price range, additional features that make maintaining your saltwater levels simpler become available. For example, you should be able to find saltwater pool converters with automatic boost modes, which add more salt when your pool gets diluted by heavy rains, in this price range. 

Larger pools—in-ground pools can hold up to 50,000 gallons of water—may require a more powerful device fitting in this price range, too.

Similarly, you can save money by self-installing here. However, with more features, it may be worth opting for a model you understand or one you can afford to have installed so you know how to operate it correctly.


PPM (parts per million) salinity readings, which help you narrow in on exactly the right salt levels for your comfort, are available past the $2,000 mark. Self-cleaning functions and app capabilities also are attainable. For particularly larger pools, higher-end models will likely exceed $2,000.

Homeowners looking to renovate their outdoor living space simultaneously may wind up paying thousands more dollars to install things like an outdoor cooking grill or new patio tiles. 

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

A common misconception about saltwater pools is that you have to remove all the chlorine before adding salt, which detracts many homeowners from tackling the DIY project.

Actually, saltwater pools still contain chlorinated water. The salt cell works to free chlorine from the salt, then pumps it back into the pool. Converting can take as little as 24 hours, and the process begins simply by putting pool-grade salt in the water and hooking up your generator. 

Homeowners can save at least $100 on labor by tackling this part on their own.

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

A large blue swimming pool
Photo: Ursula Page / Adobe Stock

The two types of pools can vary greatly in gallon capacity, which may influence the final price tag.

Above-Ground Pools

Above-ground pools tend to require a substantially less amount of water than their in-ground counterparts. A smaller above-ground pool, which might measure 15 feet around and 5.5 feet deep, needs slightly less than 6,000 gallons of water to fill it.

Because saltwater pool systems are based on the amount of water, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your kit if your pool is above-ground. A good price range for DIY installation of the product is $500 to $1,500.

In-Ground Pools

In-ground pools are generally deeper, which requires more water. 10,000 to 15,000 gallons is an average for 10 by 20 feet, while a bigger pool (20 by 40 feet) could need twice that much or more.

A higher-powered device, and additional features to maintain salt levels, may be warranted. Expect to pay $1,000 to $2,500 to convert your larger in-ground pool.

FAQs About Saltwater Pool Conversion

How does a saltwater pool convert chlorine?

The generator in your saltwater pool conversion kit transforms sodium chloride—the same salt as table salt—into chlorine. A process called electrolysis sends electricity through the water to interact with the chlorine ion. This ultimately creates the chlorine that keeps your pool safe and clean.

Is it worth converting to a saltwater pool?

It’s certainly an investment on the front end, but homeowners stand to save money on maintenance by switching to a saltwater pool. You’ll need to replace the salt cell every five years or so, but you won’t have to clean your pool as frequently, either. The smell of chlorine also won’t be on your swimsuits or skin, which is a benefit many appreciate.

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