Is a Saltwater Hot Tub Right for You?

You may have heard the latest buzz about salt water hot tubs. Like saltwater pools, they are all the rage. But is all the hype because of an incredible new type of spa maintenance, or is this just the latest craze?

Let’s explore the option of a saltwater hot tub to see if it might be the right fit for you.


What to Expect with Salt Water Treatment

You may already have a water softener installed in your home. Or you’ve been in a hotel or resort that has a saltwater filtration system. So, you know the luxurious, silky feeling that comes from using water that has been filtered by salt. Your skin is ultra-smooth, your hair is soft and manageable, and your whole body feels unbelievably clean and refreshed.

The same thing happens in a saltwater spa. You’ll notice right away when you slip into your spa that the water feels softer, leaving your skin feeling oh-so-good. Saltwater spas use sodium chloride, which is incredibly inexpensive ($7 per 40-pound bag). You’ll no longer need to buy bromine or chlorine tablets. Salt water systems make their own chlorine, which is natural and pure, with no binders or additives. With a saltwater spa, comes both amazing perks. There are also a few things that some people might consider downfalls. Let’s explore these further.


  1. No More Sanitizers: Can you even imagine a hot tub that doesn’t use chlorine? It’s possible with the amazing maintenance of a saltwater spa. Goodbye chlorine and bromine tablets! No more sanitizers for saltwater system owners.
  2. Irritant-Free: Saltwater 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 saltwater hot tub system is a perfect solution. It keeps the water constantly clean and free from any harmful microorganisms while limiting exposure to chloramines.
  3. Buoyancy: Salt adds buoyancy to the water, making the stress of gravity on your body less. This can increase your hot tub therapy results, while decreasing stress and strain on your body. In turn, you’ll have a much more enjoyable spa experience.
  4. Fresh Scent: If the strong smell of a chlorinated hot tub bothers you, a saltwater spa may be a great option. Gone are the days where you smell like a public swimming pool. Unlike chloramines or bromines, which can interact with other chemicals in your spa, the pure quality of saltwater leaves the air quality equally as pure.
  5. Water Balance: The addition of salt is a stabilizer, balancing out your water and making it more consistent. The mineral of salt in the water acts as a buffer, which, in turn, manages your chemicals and helps the pH and balance not fluctuate.
  6. Easier Maintenance: After the initial set-up of your saltwater system, the cleaning process is simple. You’ll keep your pH and alkalinity balanced, occasionally shock the spa, and follow the user manual instructions.
  7. Less Water Replacement: Owners of traditional hot tubs should drain and replace their spa water with clean water every three to four months. This is not the case with a saltwater spa. If maintained and balanced correctly, the salt water in your tub can last for up to twelve months.

While the benefits of a saltwater system are many, there are a few drawbacks that you need to consider when deciding if a saltwater spa is right for you.

  1. Price: A saltwater spa costs more to purchase and install up front. This is offset by a lower cost in maintenance. Although the incredible savings in chlorine, bromine and water will accumulate over time, some people feel like the increase in spa purchase price is too much for them.
  2. Not Chemical-Free: No hot tub is chemical-free. Saltwater hot tubs still use chlorine to sanitize the spa. However, this isn’t the type of chlorine from tablets like you might be familiar with. You will still need to test and balance your water and shock it. However, the elimination of processed chlorine and bromine tablets with chemical binders in your spa water makes for a MUCH different clean-water experience.
  3. Cell Replacement: A titanium coated electrolytic cell reacts with the salt to cause a chemical reaction. This produces pure chlorine that saltwater spas are famous for. Over a period of two to five years, the cell will lose enough of its coating that it will need to be replaced. You’ll just need to replace the cell, not the power supply or salt system. Keeping your cell clean can help extend it to its full life-span.
  4. Salt Water Systems are for Hot Water: Saltwater systems have trouble producing chlorine at lower temperatures. This should not be a problem if the temperature in your hot tub is kept above 65 degrees. Spas should be kept active and running at all times. If you plan on letting your spa sit inoperable during cold temperatures, or if you are wanting to incorporate the CoolZone system into your hot tub, a saltwater system might not be right for you.


Overall, the benefits of a saltwater hot tub are many. From the luxurious feel of the water to the decrease in time spent on maintenance, many people feel like a saltwater hot tub is the best option for their spa needs. Now that you are equipped with more information on saltwater systems, the next step is finding the hot tub that is perfect for YOU. One of the best jobs at Backyard Oasis is pairing our favorite owners with their favorite spa. As the premier authorized dealer of Hot Spring spas, we offer you a private, in-store test soak to try out the different models and options available to you. Call us at 936-327-2531 to schedule your private session. Whether it’s a saltwater spa or a traditional hot tub, we will walk you through each step of the decision process. We know your perfect hot tub match is waiting for you.