Saltwater vs Chlorine Hot Tub

While hot tubs have been around for quite some time, more and more people are straying away from the traditional hot tub and moving towards saltwater hot tubs. You’ve come to the right place if you’re thinking about getting a new hot tub for your backyard, but you’re unsure what kind of water to use.

If you plan on getting a new hot tub, or maybe you’re even thinking about switching to one with saltwater, then keep reading to learn why saltwater hot tubs are gaining popularity and why they’re being compared to chlorine hot tubs.

What is a Salt Water Hot Tub?

saltwater hot tub maintenance

Many people have chosen to use salt water in their hot tubs over regular water because of the therapeutic properties of saltwater. Saltwater hot tubs have an added salt cell chlorinator, which is the main difference between them and regular hot tubs. You don’t have to add chlorine to your saltwater hot tub regularly since the salt cell chlorinator is actually responsible for releasing the chlorine!

Benefits of Using Salt Water?

As we said before, people are switching from regular chlorine hot tubs to saltwater hot tubs at a rapid rate. This is because saltwater has an incredible number of health benefits for the human body. If you’re thinking about switching to saltwater, then check out these benefits and you might just be convinced to make the switch!

Increased Blood Flow

According to dermatologists, submerging your body in hot water is not only invigorating but also helps increase blood flow. This is not only therapeutic for those who suffer from circulation problems, but it’s also beneficial for those who suffer from constant aches and pains.

Better for Sensitive Skin

There’s no denying that chlorine can be extremely irritating to the eyes and skin. Because saltwater hot tubs have a salt cell chlorinator, you don’t have to worry about the harsh chemical sting and odor that chlorine tends to leave on your skin and eyes. This also means that you don’t have to worry about your skin becoming cracked and dry every time you get into your hot tub.

Stable Water Quality

Since the salt cell chlorinator balances the chlorine levels for you, you don’t have to spend as much time treating the balance of your water. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the maintenance of your water altogether. You still need to check levels on a daily basis, and you need to perform weekly and monthly maintenance checks, as well.

Bye, Bye, Drainage Hassle

Luckily, saltwater hot tubs only need to be drained once a year, as opposed to once every four months with regular hot tubs. Also, saltwater hot tubs are less likely to get foamy and they have fewer scum lines, so the water is able to stay cleaner longer. This also means that you don’t have to spend as much time cleaning the hot tub every single time you use it.

What is a Chlorine Water Hot Tub?

chlorine dispenser for hot tub

Typically, a person who thinks of pure spa water thinks of chlorination. Chlorine has been used for decades to keep hot tubs and pools clean. Adding small quantities of chlorine to our drinking water has proven to help remove harmful (or just egregious) bacteria and other contaminants from spa water.

How Chlorine Eliminates Harmful Bacteria

In spa water, chlorine is typically added as a liquid or dissolvable solid. Water is a mixture of chlorine, oxygen, and hydrogen that, when combined, produces hypochlorous acid. Bacteria such as E. coli are highly susceptible to this compound. Influenza virus and E. coli are among the pathogens. Common sense dictates that keeping someone with an infection out of a hot tub until they are no longer infected is the best way to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Side Effects of Chlorination

It produces chloramines as a byproduct of attacking contaminating substances in water. It is, frankly, unpleasant to smell these byproducts. You’re probably familiar with the smell of a public pool if you’ve ever visited one. Despite being a weak acid, hypochlorous acid is still acid. Although these acids are entirely safe for you to consume, they can irritate sensitive areas, including skin and eyes. Swimming in a chlorinated pool without goggles causes more discomfort to your eyes than swimming in a mountain lake.

Proper Chlorine System Maintenance

It’s important to maintain several conditions in your spa water in order to keep it clean using chlorine, such as the right amount of chlorine concentration. In general, paper strips with treated surfaces are used to test for concentration levels. It is not necessary to add more chlorine if the level is too low; it is sufficient to drain some chlorine and add untreated water if the level is too high. Your hot tub’s size, as well as the level of concentration you require, will determine how much chlorine you should add or how much water you should remove. Fortunately, instructions should be included with the chlorine packaging, so you don’t need to worry. A great way to keep your hot tub chlorinated is to check it once a week, or more often if you use it a lot.

Your spa water should also be tested for pH level in addition to chlorine level. The best conditions for the effectiveness of hydrochloric acid are water pH values between 7.2 and 7.8, which is slightly above neutral. The pH value of your spa water should be within this range in order to minimize the formation of hypochlorous acid. Every time you test the chlorine concentration, test the pH of your water. In addition to pH test strips, your local hot tub dealer may also sell chemicals that can be used to adjust the pH level of your water. Water care starter kits are often included with new hot tubs, helping to get your hot tub ready right after delivery.

To keep the water levels in your spa where they should be, you can use chlorine. It takes some effort, but the method works. FreshWater® Salt Water Systems, on the other hand, make maintenance easier and include fewer side effects compared to traditional systems for maintaining spa water.

Are Salt Water Hot Tubs Better Than Chlorine Hot Tubs?

chlorine alternative for hot tub

Choosing saltwater or chlorinated water is pretty dependent on your own preferences, but there are some significant differences between the two that you may want to take into consideration.

Friendlier to Skin

Saltwater hot tubs are gentler on the skin than regular chlorinated water, but they can still cause a little bit of irritation to those who have extremely sensitive skin. Typically, though, saltwater doesn’t cause itchy eyes or skin like chlorine.

Say Goodbye to Harsh Odors

If you’ve ever been in a regular hot tub, then you’ve surely noticed the strong odor that comes with it. The smell of chlorine tends to keep people away from hot tubs, but you don’t have to worry about that when you use salt water. Since saltwater systems don’t change the chlorine to chloramine, you don’t have to worry about that pungent smell with a saltwater hot tub.

The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

There’s no denying that suspending yourself in hot water is unbelievably beneficial to your body, especially when you have aches and pains. But when you suspend yourself in saltwater, you’re getting a whole new world of benefits. If you suffer from constant aches and pains or arthritis, then a hot saltwater dip can actually help reduce stiffness and inflammation in your joints, which is a godsend for anyone who suffers from these conditions!

Which Type of Hot Tub is Right for You?

type of hot tubs

It may be difficult to determine which type of hot tub is right for you, given their similar features. In order to make an informed decision, you need to compare and contrast saltwater with chlorine hot tubs. In making your decision, keep these factors in mind:

Cost: An additional saltwater hot tub you add to your existing hot tub will typically cost $500 to $5,000. Moreover, salt cells need to be replaced every 2 to 5 years.
Maintenance: Since chlorine hot tubs require specific pH levels that must be tested regularly, they tend to be harder to maintain overall. Children and pets can be harmed by chlorine tablets and bromine if they aren’t stored safely.
Risk of damage: Saltwater hot tubs can eventually suffer damage due to corrosion due to the salt in the water, so both heaters and liners may corrode over time. A temperature of fewer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit will also cause the system to stop working properly.
General comfort: It is the odor of chlorine hot tubs that can cause skin irritation and eye irritation long after you leave the tub and can linger long after leaving. The skin will be softer, and there is less likelihood of you developing an allergic reaction, with saltwater systems.

The Downsides

Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to buying a saltwater hot tub instead of a regular one. First off, the cost of a saltwater hot tub is a bit more expensive than a regular hot tub. Also, the salt cells only last for approximately 18 months and can cost quite a bit of money to replace, but you are spending less money on chemicals, so there’s that.

You’re also going to notice an increase in your electric bill when you buy a saltwater hot tub. Because the water temperature needs to be constantly maintained, you’re going to spend more money on your monthly bill.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that saltwater hot tubs are designed out of a material that is resistant to corrosion, which is wonderful. Unfortunately, if you choose to convert a regular hot tub into a saltwater hot tub, then you’re going to have to pay close attention to the equipment that can corrode from saltwater.

Obviously, there are usually pros and cons to weigh no matter what you’re deciding to do. As long as you’re comfortable with the start-up cost of a saltwater hot tub, then we say go for it! Saltwater hot tubs are not only relaxing, but they’re also therapeutic for your body, so if you’re willing to pay, then go all the way with a saltwater hot tub!

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