Many people have the impression that the water in a saltwater pool will be similar to ocean water, but that isn’t quite how it works. A saltwater pool actually has about 10 times less salt in the water than the ocean, and this amount needs to be maintained for the pool to remain clean and clear.
Standard chlorine pools rely on regular additions of chlorine or bromine to disinfect the water, while saltwater pools have an electrolytic chlorine generator that breaks down the salt in the pool to generate chlorine. The chlorine that’s released into the water when the salt is broken down sanitizes the pool water in much the same way as store-bought chlorine with one major difference: Saltwater pool chlorine doesn’t produce the same amount of chloramines, which are the byproduct of store-bought chlorine and are primarily responsible for strong chlorine smells, eye redness, and skin irritation.
PRO: Saltwater pool is softer on your eyes and skin.
The electrolytic chlorine generator in a saltwater pool uses electrolysis to split the salt into its component parts, releasing chlorine into the pool water to disinfect the pool. By avoiding the use of store-bought chlorine products, the occurrence of chloramines in the water can be reduced.
This helps to prevent the uncomfortable side effects—and the strong chemical smell—that are common with traditional chlorine pools.