The Complete Guide To Salt Water Hot Tubs
Saltwater systems are found on many high-end hot tubs and are widely regarded as the pinnacle of water care systems due to their ease of use and low maintenance. With just a little salt added to your spa's water, the system will automatically generate chlorine when needed to keep your spa water clean and clear for up to a full year until you have to drain and refill.
Some of the benefits of Saltwater systems include:
- More natural-feeling water with no itchy, dry skin or eyes
- Fewer chemicals added and no harsh odors
- Simple water care means more time enjoying your spa
- Conserve water by reducing spa drain and refills to once a year*
Saltwater System Maintenance
Maintenance varies between brands, but let's use the ultra-popular Freshwater Salt System for our example. This system is found on Highlife and Limelight models. Although the system regulates chlorine on its own, environmental factors mean the system needs adjustment around every 10 days. A handy control panel prompts you to dip a test strip in the tub and adjust the salt system accordingly.
Other than simple routine adjustment, the system runs off of disposable cartridges that last 4 months. So with three cartridges and routinely adjusting your system, you can avoid having to drain and refill your water for up to a year!
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What About Other Water Care Systems?
Traditional Water Care
Traditional water care means the spa owner manually adds Chlorine or Bromine to the spa once a week and before each use. You should only purchase chemicals from an authorized hot tub dealer to make sure you get the highest quality products to assure your spa and water stay healthy. The amount of maintenance required by the spa owner depends on how frequently they use the hot tub. With regular hot tub use, the spa water should be checked with a test strip each time the hot tub is used.
Ozone with MPS and Silver Ions is slightly more expensive than traditional water care. It is still a fairly manual process but requires a little less interaction from the spa owner than manually adding chlorine or bromine. Spa owners enjoy this system because it only requires a very small amount of chlorine and chemicals.
Ozone systems were once considered the best water care option for hot tubs, and has since become the industry standard for hot tub water care in most middle tier hot tubs. Ozone water care systems use powerful oxidizers - ozone and MPS - with silver ions to decrease the need for chlorine. Once the Ozone unit is installed, it continually releases tiny ozone bubbles into the spa water. The silver ion cartridge then automatically releases silver ions into the water that inhibit the growth of bacteria. The spa owner then has to manually add MPS to the spa with each use, and a small amount of chlorine once a week. The silver ion cartridge should be replaced every three months, and the ozone unit will need to be replaced every 4-5 years.