Salt Water Hot Tubs vs Chlorine




Salt Water Hot Tubs vs Chlorine

Congratulations on your decision to invest in a hot tub! With this purchase, you will be walking into a completely new world filled with health advantages and enjoyment. Rejuvenation, relaxation, enhanced interpersonal relationships, and a more focused and keener state of mind are benefits you should expect with your investment.

However, appreciating the need to buy a hot tub does not necessarily imply you are sure of the right model to fit your needs. It would be best to make this decision, including choosing the right water care system.

Purification of spa water plays a critical role in how you relate to a new home spa. This is because regardless of whether you opt for a chlorine system or a saltwater system, the process is continuous and needs sustenance. To guide you in choosing the best system for you, we have created the following overview of the saltwater system and conventional chlorine purification.

Conventional Chlorine Water Treatment

When thinking about spa water purification, the first thought that comes to mind is chlorination. Pools and hot tubs use chlorine to ensure the water remains clean. Chlorine added to the water in controlled amounts makes the water safe for drinking. This method is proven effective in the elimination of harmful bacteria as well as other spa water contaminants.

How Does Chlorine Eliminate Harmful Bacteria?

Chlorine is essentially introduced into the spa water in dissolvable or liquid forms. The chlorine element is naturally gaseous at room temperature and combines with hydrogen and oxygen in water, forming hypochlorous acid.

This acid is significantly lethal to bacteria like salmonella and E. Coli and viruses like influenza. The most practical means of preventing bacteria from spreading is keeping all infected individuals away from the hot tub until they overcome the infection.

Does Chlorination Have Side Effects?

When the hypochlorous acid becomes in contact with the contaminants present in water, the reaction results in smelly byproducts known as chloramines. If you happen to walk into public pools, this smell is distinct. Though the hypochlorous acid is weak, it is still acidic.

Although it is harmless to you, sensitive areas like the skin and eyes can experience some irritation. The acid is the reason behind your eyes hurting whenever you go swimming in a chlorinated pool without goggles.

Proper Maintenance of Chlorine Systems

You need to adhere to certain conditions to ensure the continued usage of chlorine to keep spa water pure. This includes using the right chlorine concentration in water. Concentration levels are usually gauged using treated paper strips.

You can add more chlorine for too low levels, whereas too high a concentration necessitates water dilution. Dilution is realized by draining some chlorinated water and topping up untreated water.

The precise chlorine amount you are required to add or the amount of water to remove varies according to the hot tub size and concentration level you wish to realize. However, the chlorine packaging typically features guide instructions to ease the task for you. You should test the chlorine levels at least weekly if your tub is frequently used.

Aside from chlorine testing, it is also necessary to take pH level measurements of the spa water. The hypochlorous acid is most effective if the water has pH values ranging from 7.2 to 7.8. If the pH value of the water is outside this bracket, hypochlorous acid will not readily form.

To ensure the water is maintained within the correct range, pH tests should be carried out every time you test the chlorine concentration. You can find pH test strips at local hot tub dealers and the chemicals used to adjust the alkalinity or acidity of water. The majority of modern hot tubs are fitted with water care beginner kits to aid in setting up the hot tub after delivery.

Couple in love relaxing in a hot tub

Saltwater vs. Freshwater: What are the Differences?

Hot tubs utilize plain water, whereas saltwater hot tubs use saltwater. However, the difference between the two goes beyond just that. They are technically different and differ in how they function and the necessary maintenance.

Saltwater Hot Tub

By incorporating a salt-chlorine generator, you can convert any hot tub into a saltwater hot tub. Here, you will not need to add chemicals to the hot tub directly but instead will add salt (approximately two pounds for every 100 water gallons). The salt then dissolves, producing natural chlorine to maintain the cleanliness of the hot tub.

Since it becomes necessary to buy a salt-chlorine generator, the price of a saltwater hot tub is considerably higher. However, the reduced maintenance costs compared to conventional hot tubs make it a worthwhile investment.

Simple hot tubs and saltwater hot tubs differ in the salt cell chlorinator addition. The chlorinator introduces chlorine into the saltwater hot tub, eliminating the need to add chemical chlorine into the tub directly. The chlorine from the chlorinator dissolves, generating natural chlorine, which helps keep the tub safe, hygienic, and clean.

In a saltwater system, chlorine comes from the saltwater, making it a more basic procedure to introduce chlorine instead of directly introducing the chemical into the water. Direct introduction can result in a generally harsher reaction with the skin.

Advantages of a Salt Water Hot Tub

  • Relaxing
  • Has a better smell
  • Safer
  • More eco-friendly
  • Cost-effective in the long run
  • More natural

Disadvantages of a Salt Water Hot Tub

Salt cells used in saltwater hot tubs are titanium-coated electrolytic cells. This means they eventually lose their power following years of service and produce insufficient chlorine. Changing the salt cell and the associated costs vary according to your saltwater system and spa brand.


A saltwater hot tub is perfect for you as a homeowner if you desire to enjoy the gentle and relaxing hot tub adventure. The extra salt cell cost can be compensated with easier maintenance and an enjoyable user experience. As you decide on your hot tub, go for one that features most of your desirable characteristics while still being easy and affordable to maintain. Also, be sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

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