Can Any Hot Tub Use Salt Water?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Can Any Hot Tub Use Salt Water?


If you’re in the market for a hot tub or are already a proud hot tub owner, you may have heard good things about saltwater systems. Proponents of salt water hot tubs often speak of odour-free, soft and smooth water, simpler maintenance regimes and less reliance on harsh chemicals. And while most of these claims are absolutely true, you might be inclined to think that it’s too late or too expensive for you to join the ranks. But how easy is it to convert a conventional hot tub to run on salt water?  Can any hot tub use salt water? The fact is that there are salt water hot tub conversion kits that can be installed on any hot tub allowing you to reap the benefits of a salt water system without having to forgo the hot tub you have or are looking to purchase. For those looking to learn more about converting theirhot tubto run on salt water, we’ve come up with this article.


How Does A Salt Water Hot Tub Work?


Conventional hot tubs rely on the addition of chlorine or bromine to keep the water clean, safe and fresh. Salt water hot tubs, instead, require the addition of salt to the water which is subsequently broken down by electrolysis into its constituent parts of sodium and chlorine by a mechanism known as a salt water chlorinator or chlorine generator. The hot tub water is still sanitized with chlorine, but you no longer need to directly apply the corrosive substance to the water. The chlorinator slowly and systematically breaks down the salt to create a constant and balanced supply of sanitizing chlorine.


What Kind of Salt Is Used?


Although hot tub or swimming pool salt is chemically the same as table salt, it comes in a much coarser form that is designed to be broken down by the chlorinator. Swimming pool and hot tub dealerships and supply stores sell this specialized salt by the bag or container. When properly added to the hot tub water, the concentration of salt is actually as much as 10 times less than that found in ocean water. It’s at even a lower concentration than that found in human tears. Because of this low concentration, rust and corrosion of metal parts is not as big a problem as might be thought. Simply wiping down metal hot tub parts can prevent any damage from being done.


Can Any Hot Tub Use Salt Water Chlorinators?


With the installation of either an in-line or drop-in salt water chlorinator, it’s possible to convert any hot tub to use salt water. In-line systems are attached directly to the plumbing system of the hot tub which makes them somewhat more difficult to install than drop-in systems, but the finished product is far less intrusive. Drop-in systems are simple plug-and-play operations that are composed of a small chlorinator cell that’s attached to a control panel and hung over the edge of the hot tub and submerged in the water. Because most chlorinators don’t need to run constantly, it’s possible to remove the chlorinator cell while the hot tub is being used.


What About Salt Water Hot Tub Maintenance?


Salt water hot tubs are actually simpler to maintain than chlorine-based systems. Salt water systems are less prone to large fluctuations in chemical levels meaning that you’ll spend less time adjusting the water chemistry and use fewer chemicals while doing so. However, you’ll need to clean and replace the chlorinator cell on a regular basis and keep an eye on any metal components to ensure that rust isn’t forming, and corrosion isn’t taking place.


To learn more about the different kinds of hot tubs, download a free hot tub buyer’s guidetoday.

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