The pros and cons of salt water hot tubs

One of the best parts of visiting the ocean is the salty water. Before you hear the waves breaking, before you even get close enough to see the sand and surf, you can smell the salt in the air, clean and invigorating. It’s this scent that gives many beach towns part of their special charm. Bathing in salty ocean water, with its increased buoyancy, is its own pleasurable experience. Now, some hot tub owners are able to bring the ocean into their backyards with salt water-based hot tub sanitation systems.

It’s not only possible to have a hot tub full of salt water, it’s amazing. By using a salt water sanitation system with your hot tub, you’ll have constant access to soft, clean water with simple, low-maintenance upkeep. As with everything in life, there are drawbacks as well as advantages. Here’s an overview of what to expect with a hot water sanitation system:

A salt water hot tub brings the ocean to your home.

BENEFITS OF SALT WATER HOT TUB SYSTEMS

A salt water hot tub system is not just a hot tub filled with seawater, nor can it be achieved by dumping a bunch of table salt in your tub and hoping for the best. A salt water sanitation system is carefully designed and engineered to create a constant supply of chlorine in your hot tub from the interaction of salt and water through a process known as electrolysis. The small amount of chlorine produced by this process is more than enough to keep the water constantly fresh and contaminant-free, while remaining too low to generate a smell or irritate the eyes or skin. It’s the best of both worlds—clean water without the possible side effects of chlorine.

The primary benefits of salt water hot tub sanitation systems include the following:

  • Irritant-free water. Salt water hot tubs are free from chloramines, a potentially irritating byproduct produced in hot tubs when chlorine interacts with ammonia or other substances. For chloramine-sensitive individuals, a salt water hot tub system is a perfect solution: It keeps the water constantly clean and free from any harmful microorganisms while limiting exposure to chloramines.
  • A soft, buoyant soaking experience. Salt water increases buoyancy, which many find especially conducive to relaxation in a hot tub. In addition, the salt water produced by a salt water sanitation system feels especially soft and gentle against the skin.
  • Simplified maintenance. Traditional hot tub water care systems involve regular testing and monitoring to make sure pH levels are correct and that the chemicals are properly balanced. While most hot tub owners find it easy enough to follow a consistent schedule for water care and maintenance, salt water sanitation systems make the process even simpler. After the initial setup, the system practically takes care of itself, constantly producing clean, pure water on its own for months of continuous use.
  • Longer-lasting water. With traditional hot tub water care systems, owners generally must drain and refill their hot tubs every three or four months. While this is a relatively simple and straightforward process, changing the water can be time-consuming and tedious. Salt water sanitation systems can keep spa water clean for up to twelve months before needing to be replaced.

Salt water systems offer hassle-free maintenance.

While the benefits of a salt water sanitation system are many, there are a couple of drawbacks. Here’s a rundown of the possible sticking points that hot tub owners should know when considering a salt water system:

  • Initial cost. Salt water hot tub sanitation systems cost more to purchase and install than traditional water care systems. While this cost is offset by eliminating the ongoing costs of water care supplies and test kits, you will spend more up front on your salt water system.
  • Corrosion. While salt is corrosive, corrosion isn’t a serious concern with salt water hot tub systems—the level of salt in a salt water hot tub is far lower than that found in the ocean, and most high-end hot tubs are made primarily of non-corrosive materials, like molded acrylic. However, there’s a slightly increased risk of damage to certain parts, like rubber seals or metal fixtures, from constant exposure to salt water.
  • Salt water cell replacement. After a few years of use, the salt water cell that powers the purification process in a salt water sanitation system will need to be replaced.

Salt water systems cost more to install than traditional water systems

WHERE TO FIND SALT WATER SANITATION SYSTEMS

Now that you’re equipped with some knowledge about the differences between salt water systems and traditional water care systems, the next step is finding hot tub in your area. It’s important to note that salt water systems are not available for use with every brand or model of a hot tub. At Hot Spring® Spas, our Highlife® Collection and Limelight® Collection spas are all capable of using the exclusive FreshWater® salt water system. Your local Hot Spring dealer can help you decide if a salt water sanitation system is right for you.

Hot Spring Spas is committed to bringing you the highest quality hot tubs available anywhere. We have a full range of options available, including both salt water and traditional water systems. We’re here to support you every step of the way, from providing valuable information via our website to helping you find a great local dealer, to making sure your hot tub is still making you happy years after your purchase.

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