Are Saltwater Hot Tubs Worth It? (Yes, Here’s Why…)

By Dillon •  Updated: 03/17/21 •  14 min read

Are saltwater hot tubs worth it?

Yes, saltwater hot tubs are worth it because of lower maintenance costs and better quality water resulting in a more comfortable spa experience. Saltwater hot tubs are easier to maintain, require fewer chemicals, don’t need to be drained as often, and are more user-friendly to the spa owner.

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

For converting your hot tub into a saltwater hot tub, I recommend the ControlOMatic SmarterSpa Saltwater System. Remember to always check with the manufacturer of your hot tub to make sure the product is capable.

I’ll discuss saltwater hot tubs in more detail throughout this article.

Let’s get started!

Are Saltwater Hot Tubs Worth it?

As mentioned above, saltwater hot tubs are worth it. A saltwater hot tub is not just a system whose water has been infused with salt. Its contents are neither a mixture of water and table salt nor any other forms of salts. Instead, it is a specially designed system whose working mechanism supports a continuous supply of chlorine from water and salt mixture in electrolysis.

The little amount of chlorine generated during the electrolysis process is usually sufficient to keep the hot tub water free from contaminations. It also maintains freshness throughout the use process. When you choose to use saltwater in the hot tub, you will be able to eliminate smells in your system and skin irritants. The saltwater hot tub is worth it does not have the unwanted side effects of constant amounts of chlorine throughout the spa water.

Check out our article on how long hot tubs last for more information on the lifespan of hot tubs.

What are Saltwater Hot Tubs?

A saltwater hot tub can be any hot tub, provided a salt-chlorine generator is incorporated. Saltwater hot tubs require you to add salts, and then chlorine will be generated automatically. The salt chlorine added serves the same purpose as the purification chemicals in the hot tub. The recommended dosage of salts is 2 pounds for every 100 gallons of hot tub water. After dissolving, natural chlorine responsible for keeping the tub water clean is produced.

In recent years, people are increasingly familiar with saltwater hot tubs for recognizing their health benefits. I have seen that saltwater offers superior experiences to the traditional methods. A user will get increased gentleness and a relaxing experience when soaking.

I recommend Hot Tub Salt from Peak Products. This salt will work with any saltwater sanitizing systems for hot tubs and pools.

Are Saltwater Hot Tubs Good For Your Skin?

Yes, saltwater hot tubs are good for your skin. With the correct salt, water, and chlorine mixture in the spa, your skin will feel soft and not feel irritated. Also, saltwater is a more natural disinfectant than water loaded with chlorine.

Traditional hot tub chlorination leads to chloramines entering the hot tub water, making the water irritating and unpleasant over time. Chlorine is weakly acidic and can affect the skin and eyes. People have discovered this pitfall and are looking for healthier and more comfortable purification mechanisms such as saltwater systems or bromine.

The saltwater hot tub is the solution to your skin irritation problems. The system is designed to address the traditional systems gap that causes sensitivity to the eye and skin vulnerabilities. When you use a saltwater hot tub, you will be less likely to be affected by chloramines, given that the saltwater tubs generate chlorine naturally. As a result, your skin and eyes are usually free of irritation.

It would also be worth noting that saltwater hot tubs help safeguard the skin by acting like a gentle exfoliate. It helps remove the dead skin cells from the outer surface of your skin. This leaves your skin looking healthier and smoother. More so, the salts in the saltwater hot tub can improve the health of your skin by opening up the pores, decreasing the acne-causing bacteria, and balancing the oil production.

Similarly, you could minimize the traditional hot tubs’ chemical side effects when you use saltwater systems. When the chemicals and fillers for hot tub purification are minimized, the skin will be less dry. You will also be free of the lingering chemical smells when you soak in the saltwater hot tubs. By all means, therefore, a saltwater hot tub is suitable for you and your skin.

are saltwater hot tubs worth it

Saltwater Hot Tub vs Chlorine Hot Tub

The two systems are slightly different because the chlorine generated in the saltwater hot tubs is natural and free from binders and additives. On the other hand, the chlorine hot tubs rely the manually mixed chemicals for purification.

The working mechanism is also different between the two systems. In saltwater systems, sodium chloride salts are used to make cells for water purification. But chlorine oxidizes contaminants and bacteria that exist in the hot tub water in the traditional setting. In both cases, the ultimate purification goal is attained, but the saltwater system is more natural.

Both the saltwater and the chlorine hot tubs differ in the costs of purchasing and maintenance. When buying a saltwater hot tub, you will incur a significantly higher price than it will cost to buy a chlorine hot tub. The increased costs of saltwater hot tubs are associated with the cost of purchasing salt cell replacements. The cells expire after about 2 to 5 years. The other cost arises from buying the salt chlorine injection system. You will forgo these costs if you decide to buy a non-salt water hot tub.

Similarly, maintenance is different between the two systems. The chlorine hot tubs require defined levels of pH that you ought to keep testing. With the saltwater system, the process is automated and often requires less maintenance.

The saltwater and the chlorine systems can also be compared from the damage risks. The risk is higher for the saltwater systems because salt is naturally corrosive. As such, it could affect the liners, underwater lighting, and heaters. More so, temperatures must be maintained above 60 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that the system runs smoothly. However, draining the hot tub once or twice a year and adding fresh water will allow the hot tub to remain in good condition.

I can also compare Saltwater vs. Chlorine systems from the general comfort. The chlorine option is less comfortable to use because of the strong, distinct odor it produces. It can also irritate the skin’s sensitive areas and the eyes. This effect could continue even after you are done soaking. On the other hand, the saltwater systems will leave a softer feeling on your skin. The system is less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Check out our article on chlorine tablets for information on how to take care of a regular chlorine hot tub.

How Much Do Saltwater Hot Tubs Cost?

The cost to buy a saltwater system for a hot tub could cost $500 to $5000. Hot tubs that include the saltwater system are often slightly more expensive than spas that don’t come with the salt system. The monthly cost to maintain a saltwater hot tub could range between $20 and $40 a month, depending on how much you use the spa.

This is means that you will incur an extra amount when you decide to buy a saltwater system instead of a chlorine hot water tub.

Another cost factor associated with the saltwater hot tub is the salt cells’ short shelf life, usually about 1.6 years. Every time you replace the salt cells, you will incur between $300 and $500. ‘

In addition to these costs, users of a saltwater hot tub will be expected to purchase the following items:

But the saltwater hot tub’s running costs are much lower than that of the traditional hot tub. I have tested and found that a saltwater hot tub will cost you less during the month because you don’t need to test and add chlorine to the spa water constantly. Also, you won’t need to empty the hot tub nearly as much throughout the year.

The initial cost of buying a saltwater hot tub is higher because you will be required to include purchasing the salt chlorine generator. However, these hot tubs have relatively low maintenance costs than other hot tubs. Suppose you choose to get the saltwater spa. In that case, you will incur an extra $500 to $5000 compared to regular hot tubs.

I have found the saltwater hot tubs to be more efficient and economical to run and maintain. The hot tub has a self-purifying mechanism that runs independently after dissolving the salts generate chlorine to purify the hot tub water. The purification mechanism is far more efficient than the weekly preparation of chemical solutions for purifying the hot tub water.

Check out our article on how much does it cost to run a hot tub for more information.

Saltwater Hot Tub Benefits

Saltwater hot tubs have many benefits as follows: 

  1. No Bad Smells
  2. Fewer Hot Tub Chemicals
  3. Improved Wellness
  4. Fewer Drains
  5. Affordability
  6. Ease of Use
  7. User-Friendliness
  8. Water Conservation
  9. Simple Instructions to Understand

No Bad Smells

The chlorine smells associated with the traditional hot tub systems are absent in the saltwater systems. The odors result from the chemical residues in the spa that arise from the inconsistent mixing of chlorine into the hot tub water. In the saltwater hot tubs, a consistent amount of chlorine is maintained, eliminating the formation of chemical residues and the associated foul odors.

Fewer Hot Tub Chemicals

Saltwater hot tubs will only generate the required amount of chlorine because they can monitor the hot tub water’s chlorine levels. As a result, your hot tub water will not have unwanted chemical deposits. This makes the water in the hot tubs last longer, softer, purer, and smoother than sanitized water in the traditional system.

Improved Wellness

The density of the saltwater is greater than that of the traditional hot tub system. When you use the saltwater system, it will be much easier to float. As the buoyance increases, the weight of gravity on your muscles and joints is reduced, creating a soothing tension as it lifts your spirit and the body. Experts advise that you only require 20 minutes of soaking in a day to restore your muscle tension, improve your overall wellness, and soothe your mind.

Check out our article on hot tub aromatherapy for some great wellness tips and products!

Fewer Drains

The draining requirements for the saltwater hot tubs are less than that of the chlorine hot tubs. In saltwater systems, drainage is required once a year under regular use. The hot tubs using traditional chlorine will require 3 to 4 times draining in a year. This means that you will spend less time maintaining your hot tub if you own a saltwater system.

Check out our full article on how to drain a hot tub for more information.

Affordability

The saltwater systems are expensive to buy but less costly to maintain.

Ease of Use

You do not require any tools to maintain the saltwater hot tub. The hot tubs use a titanium cartridge for the conversion of salt. Each of these cartridges is designed to last three months and are sold in a pack of four.

This means that a single package could take you a year to use. Importantly, you require a few seconds to replace each of the cartridges. The user does not require any tools or special skills to replace these cartridges after expiring.

User-Friendliness

The saltwater hot tub systems are more users friendly because they produce clean water containing fewer chemicals. Besides, they offer the user a much more excellent experience than the traditional soaking tubs.

Water Conservation

The minimum frequency of draining the hot tub water means that less water will be required to refill the hot tub after draining. If you own a saltwater system, you will enjoy the soaking experience while conserving water.

Simple Instructions to Understand

Systems like the FreshWater Salt System have easy-to-read prompts. You can easily follow the guidelines to be able to run and operate the hot tub.
A saltwater hot tub senses and notifies you to adjust the sanitizer levels. It can also alert you to replace the old cartridges. This system’s simplicity allows you to spend much of your time relaxing and not thinking about the chemical mixture or cartridge conditions.

Check out this great article from calderspas.com about the benefits of saltwater spas.

Saltwater Hot Tub Disadvantages

Saltwater hot tubs have higher initial costs. Unlike the traditional systems, the saltwater hot water hot tubs will cost you higher to buy the salt chlorine injection.

Similarly, saltwater systems require salt cell replacement. The cell replacement means that you will be required to incur an extra cost after a period of 2 to 5 years. The maintenance frequency is determined by the use frequency, the cell quality, and the care and maintenance given to the hot tub.

It is also good to note that the saltwater hot tub is prone to corrosion risks because of salt. Salts corrode metals. I have seen most saltwater hot tubs pose a significant risk of corrosion to underwater lighting, liners, and heaters. This corrosion usually takes many years and is often covered by a warranty.

Another disadvantage associated with the saltwater systems is the cost of maintaining temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When you allow the water temperatures to fall below this level, your hot tub system will experience difficulties producing chlorine purifiers. Some saltwater systems shut off completely when they sense low water temperatures, increasing the chances that microorganisms will breed.

Saltwater hot tubs could still be your best option if you weigh these limitations against the benefits and compare them with regular hot tubs.

Check out this article from consumeraffairs.com about some disadvantages of saltwater hot tubs.

Who Should Buy a Saltwater Hot Tub?

Saltwater hot tubs are for you and anyone who understands what it means to own a great hot tub. Unlike other hot tubs, the saltwater system offers additional relaxation benefits and minimizes the skin’s possible irritation and dryness.

I recommend you buy a saltwater hot tub if you are cautious about the maintenance costs. It is also suitable for people who may not have a lot of time to drain their spa regularly. However, these explanations do not hinder anyone from owning a hot tub. Saltwater spa is the hot tub I would recommend the most because of its overall benefits.

Consider Using a Water Care Monitor

Monitoring the health of your hot tub can often be challenging if you are not testing the water on a regular basis. This can also be a problem if you go on holiday or you are unable to take care of your hot tub due to mobility issues.

The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for pools, hot tubs, and inflatable spas continuously tests the water and alerts you when to add chemicals with the integrated mobile app.

The mobile app will inform you when to add chemicals such as chlorine, and how much chemical is recommended. This is done by entering your hot tub or pool’s unique dimensions.

Simply scan the bar code of any chemical brand and the pHin app will calculate how much chemical is to be added to the water. Most products and brands are recognized by the application.

The pHin device will sample water more than 1000 times per week to give you an accurate reading compared to using test strips.

The pHin device works with different water types including chlorine, bromine, and saltwater hot tubs, swim spas, inflatable hot tubs, and pools.

This unique device comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure your water remains clear and ready for you to use at all times.

Are Saltwater Hot Tubs Worth It: Conclusion

are saltwater hot tubs worth it

I hope it’s now clear to you that saltwater hot tubs are worth it. I have broken our explanation in detail.

Although the saltwater systems have chlorine like the traditional system, the regular hot tubs leave chemical residues that might cause irritation and dryness to your skin. I have seen that the saltwater hot tubs are expensive to buy but cheap and more beneficial to run. This is why I have concluded that saltwater hot tubs are worth it.

I hope you found this article on saltwater hot tubs helpful.

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Dillon

I'm Dillon, creator of SpaToolKit.com. During the day I'm a software developer for an engineering company. At night I enjoy sitting in my hot tub and relaxing. My hope is that Spa Tool Kit will be a place where you can find the best information on hot tubs, spa equipment, setups, parts, and accessories. Let's get started!