Can You Make A Hot Tub SaltWater?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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There’s a myth that turning your hot tub into saltwater will mean that you don’t have to do any maintenance.

This is exactly that; a myth, but this then leaves people wondering whether you can even convert your hot tub to saltwater at all. 

The good news is that you can easily make a hot tub saltwater but you will need some special equipment. 

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know to create a salty back yard oasis for you and your family. 

adding salt to a hot tub

What Do You Need To Turn A Hot Tub Into SaltWater?

There are a lot of pieces of equipment you will need to get your hot tub up and running as a salt water tub. But there are two main things that are vastly different to a regular chlorinated tub; salt and a salt chlorinator. 

When it comes to salt, it’s important to keep in mind that you cannot merely choose any old salt. In theory, it would work but there are special products known as pool salts.

These are great as they’re designed to dispense just the right amount and the grind is a little coarser which means that the salt will work better with your hot tub systems.

You will also need a salt chlorinator and the great thing about this is that you typically won’t have to use chlorine sanitizers as well meaning less hassle for you.

Salt chlorination involves using salt water for chlorination and this happens using your built in salt chlorinator. Salt is a natural chlorinator and so does a great job at keeping your hot tub clean. 

The process works by taking chloride within the salt and turning this into a type of acid known as hypochlorous acid which is what keeps your hot tub clean and free from bacteria.

There are two different types of salt chlorinators so it’s a good idea to weigh up your options and choose one that is right for your hot tub.

There are drop in chlorinators and this is by far the easiest method of converting your tub as you don’t need to make any permanent changes to the set up.

However, you should consider that these chlorinators require a cord that sits over the side of the tub. Some people do not like the look of this. 

Saltron Mini Salt System Drop-In Saltwater Chlorine Generator for Hot Tubs & Swim Spas - up to 2000 Gallons

If you want a more permanent solution then you might go for an in-line chlorinator. This does require some permanent alterations to the hot tub’s plumbing but there are no unsightly lines to ruin the aesthetic of your tub.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you’ll probably need the assistance of a qualified plumber to install one of these which will increase the cost of conversion. 

What Are The Benefits Of A SaltWater Hot Tub?

There are several reasons that people choose to convert their hot tubs to saltwater. Remember that there are lots of myths out there that tell you this will mean zero maintenance and the like, but this isn’t the case.

However, there are some great benefits. 

Primarily, you won’t be putting so many harsh chemicals in contact with your skin as you would when using chlorine.

The byproducts of this can cause irritation to the skin and eyes as well as difficulty breathing, especially in more sensitive people. However, using salt is far gentler and more natural.

While you will still have some hot tub maintenance to do when converting to salt, it will be minimal. The reason for this is that you are consistently adding sanitizers so the overall chemistry won’t need to be adjusted quite as much.

checking the salt in a hot tub

However, you will need to keep in mind that your salt chlorinator will need to be replaced every so often; around once every couple of years should be enough and don’t forget that you’ll need to keep the chlorinator clean.

Finally, the maintenance of your hot tub will cost less when using saltwater as salt is not as expensive as liquid chlorine

Step By Step Salt Water Hot Tub Conversion

Now you’re ready to convert your hot tub, the good news is that it’s really simple.

While you might need a plumber if you’re installing an in line chlorinator, the rest can be done by any hot tub owner. Here’s our easy to follow step by step guide. 

  1. Start by fully draining your hot tub and giving it a good clean. This is to ensure that all previously used sanitizers and any other contaminants are completely removed. Also remember to pay attention to the filter which will need to be cleaned or replaced.
  2. Once the hot tub is squeaky clean, you can use your garden hose to refill it to the fill level. 
  3. Don’t add anything to the water until you have tested the salinity. There is a small amount of salt present in tap water and knowing how much is present will allow you to add the right amount. The last thing you want is to add too much. 
  4. You will also need to test the water pH using hot tub test strips. It may be that you need to adjust something and now is the prime opportunity to do this.
  5. With your new salt chlorinator, you will have a control panel as well as a way of mounting this. This is the next step and you can either place it on a nearby structure or on the side of your hot tub. Ensure that wherever you place it, that it will be able to reach your power supply.
  6. Now connect the cell cord and power cable but at this point, don’t plug it into the mains.
  7. You’ll need to put your salt chlorinator into the deepest part of the tub as this will allow for better distribution.
  8. Now plug in the chlorinator and turn on the power. It really is as simple as that!

Can You Make Any Hot Tub Salt Water?

Regardless of the hot tub model you are using, you should have no issues in turning it into a saltwater tub. This is because you can easily install either a drop in or an in-line chlorinator without the need for any special equipment; other than the chlorinator itself.

Remember that an in-line device will likely require professional installation but it’s worth it to make sure that it’s done safely and correctly. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of benefits to using a saltwater hot tub. Many say that it’s better for the skin and there’s reason to believe this since salt is a natural sanitizer that won’t irritate the skin.

Plus, it’s generally cheaper and easier to maintain a saltwater hot tub. Since it’s so easy to do , it’s no wonder that so many tub owners are jumping on board.