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Are salt water hot tubs worth it?

Are salt water hot tubs worth it?

It’s a hotly debated topic in the hot tub world, and my own personal opinion is that salt hot tubs are more trouble than they’re worth.

First, it’s not using salt to sanitize. It’s actually more accurate to call it a “chlorine generation” system because it takes salt and makes its own chlorine.

So it is still a chlorine tub – it’s just another way of adding it to the water.

You still need to do almost everything you’d need to do on a regular hot tub.

Also, the setup can be complicated.

I’m working towards becoming the foremost expert on hot tubs in all of Manitoba, so while doing some research I read through the setup and maintenance section of the manuals of saltwater tubs…

I’m not going to name brands here, because they are pretty good hot tubs, but you can find all of this stuff yourself in their manuals.

For one well known Canadian brand,  there’s like 30+ pages of stuff to setup and maintain the system. It’s way more complicated than the folks selling them let on. It’s far beyond “set it and forget it.”

There’s also a special sensor it uses, and I’m quoting this directly from the manual:  The sensor  must never be permitted to freeze and must always remain in contact with water. If the Sensor freezes or is not left in contact with water at all times the sensor will fail and will require replacement”

This means if your tub ever leaks out or freezes then you are on the hook for  a $200+ sensor not covered by warranty!

Another brand says that as part of the startup of the salt system, you need to add your own chlorine anyway.

This is copied and pasted directly from the manual, so there is no disputing it: “SUPERCHLORINATE THE SPA WATER by adding 1½ teaspoons of chlorine (sodium dichlor) per 250 gallons (950 liters) of spa water”

So you’re just adding your own chlorine anyway.

Plus, none of these salt systems work if you have phosphates in the water, so if you’re on well water, then you’re out of luck unless you constantly add phosphate removers to your salt tub.

What I would recommend instead is to keep it simple and use an enzyme product to reduce the amount of chem you need to use, add your own

So far, there is no “set it and forget it” solution to hot tub water care, but I have it down to about 15 minutes a week. If you can handle that, then you’re good to go with a little education (which we provide free of charge)