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Are There Saltwater Hot Tubs?

  • By: Adam
  • Date: October 2, 2021

Hot tubs provide a great way to relax whilst delivering several health benefits. There are many different types of hot tubs available, some that have chlorine systems and others that have saltwater systems.

Hot tubs with the latter have a salt cell chlorinator installed, either when the hot tub is made or at a later stage if it is converted. Salt is then added to the water and salt produces chlorine which is slowly released into the water.

As such, chlorine is added naturally rather than manually. There are many reasons why saltwater hot tubs are highly sought after. Saltwater is gentler on the skin and has more buoyancy which some may feel is key for relaxation. 

Are saltwater tubs better than chlorine?

Many would suggest that saltwater hot tubs are better than chlorine hot tubs and there are many benefits of using a saltwater tub that support this. First and foremost, the chlorine inside the tub is produced naturally and slowly released into the water.

Because of this, the water doesn’t have an odor which can be rather unpleasant depending on the intensity of the chlorine. Saltwater hot tubs are also easier to maintain and are less likely to cause the skin and eyes to become irritated upon contact with the water as it has a less chemical content.

Additionally, saltwater adds softness to the water which in return means that it is much more gentle against the skin. Saltwater requires less preparation beforehand which means that you can spend more time enjoying your spa and relaxing.

They also don’t need to be drained as regularly as standard hot tubs as it is recommended to drain them once a year rather than once a quarter. Furthermore, the water inside saltwater hot tubs tends to remain cleaner for longer as it produces less foam and scum so you can relax in greater quality water.

Despite these benefits, saltwater hot tubs aren’t completely fault-free. The initial cost of purchasing a saltwater tub is higher than that of a regular chlorine hot tub and replacing the cells when needed adds an extra expense.

Chlorine hot tubs also claim to last longer than saltwater hot tubs and chlorine that is added rather than being put through the process of being dispersed into the water naturally will also clean and oxidize the water to a level that other chemicals will struggle to achieve. 

A saltwater hot tub is certainly going to be the preferred option amongst those who would prefer to bathe in a tub that doesn’t include harsh chemicals as this will enhance the overall experience. 

Are saltwater tubs more expensive?

The upfront costs of a saltwater tub are more expensive than regular tubs. This is because, unlike chlorine hot tubs, those with saltwater require a generator that is responsible for converting the salt into chlorine and maintaining a high concentration of sanitizer.

Some of these generators can cost up to $600. The cost of the hot tub itself can begin at around $2000 and reach up to $32,000, so there is a considerable difference in price regarding what you can expect to pay.

The cells will also need to be replaced, however, this isn’t going to be a regular occurrence because they are likely to last for at least two years before this is necessary. Saltwater tubs must also remain above a certain temperature which may result in increased power costs. Also factor in the expense of maintaining the hot tub. 

Although the initial costs of purchasing a saltwater hot tub are higher, the salt will not need to be purchased frequently so this isn’t going to be a regular additional expense. The cells will also last for a decent amount of time before requiring replacement.

Furthermore, unlike traditional hot tubs, saltwater hot tubs only need to be emptied once a year so you aren’t going to be paying to completely refill the hot tub multiple times throughout the year.

Ultimately, the initial costs of purchasing and installing the hot tub with the correct equipment will be higher but the cost of maintaining and running the tub will be lower. 

Are saltwater tubs sanitary?

As saltwater hot tubs use a chlorinator to convert the salt into chlorine, they are just as sanitary as standard hot tubs.

It is important to ensure that the equipment and generator are functioning properly and in optimum condition because it may otherwise struggle to sanitize the water to the same standard. 

Many individuals prefer saltwater hot tubs because they sanitize the water to the same standard as chlorine tubs but the water doesn’t contain a high volume of chemicals so it isn’t likely to trigger a reaction or irritation.

The chlorinator will also ensure that only the right amount of salt is converted into chlorine and follows a slow process to prevent it from exceeding a certain level. 

Are saltwater tubs easier to maintain?

Many manufacturers claim that saltwater tubs are easy to maintain, however, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Before you can even begin using your hot tub you have to allow a sufficient amount of time for the salt to convert into chlorine and this can take a couple of days to occur.

Salt is also corrosive so you may find yourself replacing metal components more frequently than you would like. Although the cells don’t need to be replaced often, they will still need to be inspected regularly to ensure that they are functioning correctly and haven’t begun to deteriorate in quality.

You will also need to purchase multiple cleaning products to ensure that it is maintained properly. It is important to consider the area surrounding the hot tub to ensure that it is protected against stains caused by contact with the salt.

Whilst you will need to follow several steps to maintain the hot tub, you don’t need to invest in costly chemicals like chlorine regularly. The water can also remain in the hot tub for a long time before needing to be changed.