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Using Salt Water in Your Hot Tub – Pros and Cons Revealed

Can use Salt Water in Hot Tub The pros and cons (1)


Do you have any experience putting salt into a hot tub? In order to prevent you from running to tell your friends to pour salt directly into the water of outdoor hot tub , you should know the following relevant knowledge in advance.

First, to properly add salt to your outdoor hot tub, you should understand what a saltwater chlorinator is. Not all hot tubs come with a saltwater chlorinator, so you must understand what it is, why it’s needed, and how to convert an existing hot tub into a saltwater one.
For regular hot tubs that use regular water, typically, chlorides are used to disinfect and maintain cleanliness. However, salt contains natural chlorine, which is used as a natural disinfectant in many cultures. In chemistry, salt is called sodium chloride. This natural chloride is essential for keeping outdoor hot tub water clean.

Let’s understand “salt chlorination”: Salt chlorination is a method of disinfecting pool water by generating chlorine using salt and an electrolysis process. Unlike directly adding liquid or tablet forms of chlorine to the pool, a salt chlorinator system generates chlorine on-site by dissolving salt (sodium chloride) in pool water and undergoing electrolysis.

Can use Salt Water in Hot Tub The pros and cons 2

How salt chlorination typically works

  1. Salt is added to the pool water to achieve a certain concentration, usually around 2500 to 4000 ppm. This concentration is much lower than seawater salinity.
  2. The saltwater passes through an electrolytic cell installed in the pool circulation system. Inside the electrolytic cell, the saltwater is subjected to an electric current, causing electrolysis to occur.
  3. During electrolysis, the sodium chloride molecules in the saltwater are broken down into sodium ions and chlorine gas. The chlorine gas then reacts with water to form hypochlorous acid, which is an active disinfectant that kills bacteria, algae, and other contaminants in the pool water.
  4. After disinfection, the hypochlorous acid eventually reverts back to salt, completing the cycle. This means that the salt chlorination system continuously recycles salt in the pool water to generate chlorine, eliminating the need for regular manual chlorine addition.
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Some benefits of using saltwater in a hot tub

Now that we’ve discussed the principles of salt chlorination, let’s also add some benefits of using saltwater in a hot tub:

  • Cost-effective: As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to use additional chlorine in the water. This is a win-win situation as it means you don’t have to buy as much chlorine, saving money while reducing maintenance work! Although the initial installation cost of a salt chlorinator system may be higher than traditional chemical chlorine systems, operational costs may be lower over time.
  • Softer water: Chlorine generated from salt is more beneficial for the eyes and skin. Compared to pools treated with traditional chlorine chemicals, pools treated with salt chlorination often feel softer on the skin and eyes, eliminating the burning sensation of regular chlorine chemicals.
  • Reduced scaling: Typically, calcium can form scale on the cathode of the cell. When you use regular water in a hot tub, you must regularly clean the scale to prevent the cell from losing effectiveness. However, some designs of salt chlorinators use a “polarity reversal” design. This design periodically switches the roles of the cell’s anode and cathode. This can reduce the buildup of scale.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s more environmentally friendly because salt is a natural product.

Pros & cons of use salt water in outdoor hot tub

Of course, everything has its pros and cons. When we talk about the benefits of using saltwater in a hot tub, there are also drawbacks. Saltwater is corrosive, which means it can easily damage parts of the outdoor hot tub that are not coated or protected. This could lead to thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs. Therefore, if you choose to use a saltwater system, you must ensure that metal components, especially, are protected.

However, as you can see, there are many good reasons to use saltwater in a hot tub. In addition to using saltwater as a natural disinfection system, another method is to use sodium bromide in a hot tub. The chemical reaction that occurs with sodium bromide is similar to salt (sodium chloride). The only difference is that bromine generated from sodium bromide is more stable at high temperatures than salt. Since the water temperature in a hot tub is likely to be higher than in a pool, sodium bromide is an excellent alternative to saltwater. Learn more about our hot tub accessories.


What are the negatives of salt water hot tubs?

Metal is attacked by salt, which breaks it down and causes corrosion and rust. It is possible to experience corrosion inside a hot tub when metal components, such as heaters, heater elements, and jet escutcheons, are exposed to high doses of sodium.

Can I use table salt in hot tub?

May contain binders and additives. It’s not a good idea to dump this in your outdoor hot tub. In addition, table salt has not been tested as a hot tub salt solution, so these additives can interfere with your spa chemicals.

Is salt water or chlorine hot tub better?

Saltwater pools and tubs are gentler on the skin, scalp, and eyes even though they carry chlorine. In addition to fostering buoyancy, it can help make the hot tub experience more relaxing in general. There is no unpleasant smell associated with salt water.

How much salt should be in a hot tub?

It is recommended that salt levels in a outdoor hot tub be between 2,500 and 4,000 parts per million (ppm).

Why are salt water hot tubs better?

As a result of the lower chlorine concentration in saltwater hot tubs, this reduces the unpleasant chlorine smell, thereby making them more skin-friendly. As a result of their softening properties, ease of maintenance, and lower long-term costs, they are an environmentally friendly option.

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