In recent years, salt water pools have gained a lot of traction. As saltwater pools have increased in popularity, many people are looking for an alternative to bromine or granular chlorine for their hot tubs and spas.
Most hot tubs can be converted to a salt water hot tub with the addition of a salt-chlorine generator. Instead of adding chemicals directly to your hot tub, you add salt (roughly two pounds per 100 gallons of water), which dissolves to produce the chlorine that is needed to keep your hot tub safe.
Are Salt Water Hot Tubs Better?
The answer depends on your priorities and preferences. Some people prefer the silky feeling of saltwater and don’t mind the higher initial cost. Salt chlorine generators make saltwater hot tubs significantly more expensive than their traditional counterparts.
Others are more budget-conscious. They prefer the lower initial investment and don’t mind traditional chlorine or bromine.
Salt Water Vs. Chlorine
Both types of spas effectively sanitize the water for a healthy and safe hot tub experience. Many people don’t realize that both types of hot tubs actually use chlorine. In a traditional hot tub, chlorine or bromine is added manually. However, in a saltwater hot tub, chlorine is created through a chemical reaction.
Saltwater hot tubs have what is called a salt generator or salt cell. The salt generator uses electrolysis to convert table salt (sodium chloride) into chlorine.
Benefits of a Salt Water Hot Tub or Spa
Here’s what the people who have saltwater hot tubs say they enjoy about their experience:
- Increased Buoyancy & Water Softness
Salt raises the buoyancy of water. Some users report they enjoy the extra buoyancy saltwater provides. The saltwater also adds a soft, silky feeling to the water. The warmth of the water combined with the weightless feeling the water provides promotes relaxation and eases muscle tension.
- Gentle on Sensitive Eyes and Skin
Some people with sensitive eyes and skin are prone to irritation when soaking in chlorinated water. Saltwater hot tubs are considered to be gentle on your hair, skin and eyes.
- No Unpleasant Odor
Chlorine solutions tend to have an odor that lingers after you swim. You might find a slight chlorine smell on your swimsuit or in your hair, for example. Salt systems prevent the mutation of chlorine into chloramines – the molecules that produce the signature chlorine scent. Most people find that they don’t smell any chlorine in a saltwater hot tub.
- Increased Buffering capacity of the Water
Adding the right amount of salt to your hot tub water makes it less prone to water chemistry fluctuations. The minerals in the salt help withstand changes in alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness.
- Lower Chemical Costs
Although a salt-chlorine generator is more expensive from the onset, the actual salt needed to maintain your hot tub or spa typically costs less than chlorine on an annual basis. Some advanced saltwater hot tub models are even able to boost chlorine during times of heavier use. However, both types of spas still require you to test the water at least once a week. Saltwater also eliminates the need to purchase or handle hot tub chemicals like chlorine tablets or bromine that may be dangerous to children and pets if not properly stored.
Salt Water Systems Are Easy to Use
Both saltwater systems and traditional systems are easy to maintain. If you can remember the Three Cs of hot tub maintenance you’ll be good to go:
- Maintain good CIRCULATION.
- Stick to a simple CLEANING schedule
- Balancing your water CHEMISTRY
Circulating the water helps keep your hot tub clean and free of contaminants by passing it through your hot tub’s cartridge filters.
Most modern models have automatic circulation schedules that ensure your hot tub’s circulation system runs once or twice daily. If your hot tub doesn’t have an automatic cycle, make sure you turn it on for 15 to 20 minutes, twice daily to keep everything clean.
Indoor and outdoor hot tubs tend to develop scum over time. If your spa is outdoors, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for debris like leaves, dust and dirt. Clean your hot tub with a sponge and some white vinegar weekly. Focus on your hot tub’s shell – especially around the waterline.
Balancing your hot tub’s water is similar to your swimming pool. However, the size difference means small adjustments can have a big impact on your hot tub’s water chemistry. Take a baseline reading of your water chemistry before adding salt or chemicals. It’s especially important to test your water to determine the pH and alkalinity levels.
Find your Perfect Hot Tub or Spa
The experts at Texoma Country Pools and Spas can help you find the perfect hot tub for you and your family. A hot tub is a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day. Whether you decide to purchase a saltwater system or go the traditional route, a hot tub or spa is an investment you will enjoy for many years to come.
Check out some of our latest models for ideas and inspiration.
Ready to relax? Request a quote to get started today!