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Hot Tub Saltwater Systems

Dec 17, 2015 | Salt Water Systems

There has been a quiet revolution going on in the pool and spa industry.

You won’t hear much about it and you probably won’t read much about it either, not as long as there are profits to be made on chemicals, but the days of the chemically treated spas and pools, in this authors mind, are numbered. Hot tub saltwater systems are rapidly gaining popularity.

Never mind the rising costs for water treatment chemicals, or about the fact that chemicals like Chlorine and Bromine are toxic and deadly. Never mind the Government regulators telling us they have established what they feel are “safe” levels of toxic poisons for us to consume and be exposed to. I don’t know about you but I am NOT alright with that, at all! And, never mind that our Government seems to think it’s perfectly OK for us to drink water that is treated with toxic poison to make it sanitary and potable.
People are finally starting to wake up, take a stand and say “enough is enough”! We want to be safe and we want our children to be safe as well and not suffer the long term ill effects of being exposed to these toxic and deadly poisons, no matter how small the dosage. By the way, there are a number of documented long term effects that result from this kind of chemical exposure, but our Government doesn’t seem to be worried, so I guess that means we shouldn’t be to worried either, after all, don’t we trust our Government officials not to lead us astray?

I’m not trying to be an alarmist and I am not a medical professional, but I do read a lot of medical reports and information on what’s harmful to us as well as tons of information on the subject of water treatment in my industry. Nobody in this industry will argue against the fact that chemical free water is the best water for you to be exposed to, period!

So let me just cut right through the chase and give you the bottom line! Custom Built Spas wants all of our customers to enjoy their spas or pools as often and as long as they want without having to worry about what chemicals they may be exposing themselves to. So to help solve this problem, Custom Built Spas now offers a selection of “Top of the Line” Salt Water Sanitizer Systems for your spa or your pool.

  • Here are just some immediate benefits you will realize from using a salt water treatment system:
  • No more packaged chlorine, shock treatments or algaecides
  • No more exposure to chlorine powders, liquid spills, dangerous storage etc.
  • Crystal clear water, containing very low levels of natural salt, looks and feels great
  • No more red eyes, green hair, dry irritated skin or smell of chlorine
  • Designed for easy inspection and cleaning. Backed by a 5-year limited warranty
  • No more worries about your children or pets getting into dangerous stored chlorine or bromine

The long term benefits: Although I can’t make any medical claims, common sense should tell you that you should enjoy better health if you reduce or eliminate your exposure to toxic chemicals, wouldn’t you agree? Hot tub saltwater systems can help achieve this.

The Salt Water system units are not difficult to install either on new spa or pool system or retrofitted to an existing spa or pool system. Several Models are offered depending on the amount of water to be treated, Below are our discounted prices which also include FREE ground shipping to anywhere in the “continental USA only”. For areas outside the continental USA, you’ll need to call first for shipping costs.

Starting with the Benefits Again:
Salt water pools used to be the exception, but now they are becoming a widely accepted method of water treatment in swimming pools and spas. A lot of pool installers are now making salt water systems standard on their new pools. Most equipment manufacturers have also become aware of the fact that salt water pools are not just a passing fad. They are here to stay.

Why have hot tub saltwater systems become so popular?

One common belief is because most people who consider themselves sensitive or allergic to chlorine are not reacting to the chlorine at all. What is creating a problem is packaged chemicals and the additives and carriers in those chemicals. Those same swimmers and bathers who claim allergic reactions to chlorine, typically experience no problems when they are in a salt water pool or spa. The answer isn’t the absence of chlorine. Salt systems create their own chlorine. The answer is the absence of all the packaged chemicals and by-products in those chemicals. This is one reason hot tub saltwater systems are getting attention.

What is the cost benefit of a salt water pool or spa?

Most people do not buy a salt water system for the sole purpose of saving money. They buy it for increased water comfort. With that said, they do save quite a bit of money on purchased chemicals, but it usually takes about 2-3 years before the system pays for itself.

Here is one rationale for buying a salt water system: People spend maybe $25,000 and up to build a beautiful pool, so doesn’t make sense to spend a thousand to twelve hundred dollars on the water system? In the end, you get what you pay for. A little money spent on a hot tub saltwater systems or for a pool salt water system will allow the typical pool or spa owner to enjoy their pool or spa experience so much more with little if any adverse health risks as associated with exposure to chemically treated water!

What is the down side to a salt water system?

The only real thing that we see people struggle a little with is the fact that it does change the way you handle your water chemistry and people are sometimes slow to adapt. It is very important to follow directions carefully with regard to water chemistry. Some system owners have experienced problems trying to keep pH down, but it’s simply a matter of keeping up with the water chemistry and not letting pH get too high before trying to adjust it. Overall, the water chemistry does get easier, but there is a small learning curve.

So What’s Different with Salt Water Pools and Spas?

Saltwater Pools – 0.5 to 1.0 ppm chlorine: Traditional Pools – 3.0 – 10.0 ppm chlorine.
NO packaged chlorine needed. NO algaecides needed. NO soda ash or baking soda.
Better swimmer or bather comfort because you eliminate the need for harsh chemicals, therefore you eliminate the source of the irritation that plagues swimmers and bathers in pools and spas.

Controlled Stabilizer Levels: If you are using chlorine tablets, you are adding 1lb. of stabilizer for every 2lbs of tablets you put into a pool. Your stabilizer level rises to over 100ppm and your chlorine becomes ineffective and yellow algae and poor sanitation results.

With a salt system, you add stabilizer as needed and are able to keep the level low! your chlorine remains VERY effective and you need much less in the water to do the job. On commercial pools, state code requires that a pool be drained when stabilizer levels exceed 100ppm. The salt system avoids this problem. Saltwater systems virtually eliminate algae problems. This is because the chlorine in the water is not inhibited by high stabilizer levels.

How Does a Salt Water System Work?

Salt systems have three main components. The first component is plain old salt. You have to have a minimum level of about 3500 parts per million of salt in the water. Salt makes the water conductive so that the electricity can pass between the plates of the “cell”. If the salt level is to low, then the chlorine production stops. Salt is the raw material from which the chlorine is produced.

The second component is the control box. This is the unit that sends power to the third component, the “salt cell”. This unit controls how much chlorine is produced by regulating how long the power is applied to the cell. If you turn the control knob way down, then the unit might apply power to the cell only 25% of the time, thereby producing less chlorine. If you turn the control knob up, then the unit would apply power to the cell for a longer period of time. The amount of power applied to the cell does not increase or decrease, just the duration. The control unit will often sense the level of salt in the water and indicate the need to add more salt. Some units have a self cleaning feature built in that reverses the polarity of the voltage through the cell in order to clean any scale buildup from the cell plates.

The “Salt Cell”, (the third component), is made up of a series of plates with opposite charges within the cell. As the water passes between the plates, electrolysis takes place, releasing the chlorine within the salt.

Choosing a Salt Water System

Once you decide to convert your pool or spa to salt water, you have to find a system best suited for your pool or spa. There are several things to consider: One, the brand that you are comfortable with. (Look at the box. Are the controls easy to read? Is it weatherproof? do the controls give you enough information to be able to easily diagnose any problems)? Second, find a unit that will produce enough chlorine. Make sure that it will be able to handle your chlorine needs even during times of highest usage. Third, Make sure you pool or spa equipment is compatible with a salt system.

Most pool and spa equipment is compatible with salt, but there may be a few pieces that are not. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer of the equipment to see if your pump, filter and heater are compatible. Some warranties may be voided by the installation of a salt system. In particular some heaters and newer stainless steel filters are not designed for use with a salt system. Example, the older stainless steel filters like a “Swimquip” DES series filter handle salt just fine, but the newer Pentair NS stainless steel filters may develop corrosion issues and the manufacturer will not warranty it.

“I love the way the water in my spa feels with our new salt system”

NOTE: Technically water is not officially considered to be “salt water” until you reach a threshold of 6000ppm of salt. Up to that point it is considered to be “fresh water”, but the salt in the water even at 3500ppm can accelerate corrosion under some adverse conditions.

Salt Water System FAQ’s:

Q. Is this like swimming or bathing in the ocean?

A. No, the ocean can have over 20,000ppm (parts per million), of salt in the water. A salt water pool or spa has only about 3200 parts per million of salt. At 3500 ppm, you generally cannot even taste the salt. Any water under 6000ppm is still considered to be fresh water. Your eye contains about 9000ppm of salt.

Q. Is the pool or spa water still blue?

A. Yes, since in hot tub saltwater systems chlorine is created, the water is still blue and also very clear. A salt system gives your pool or spa the best water quality you have ever seen.

Q. Can hot tub saltwater systems or pool saltwater systems be installed with my existing pool equipment?

A. Yes, since the water is still considered fresh water, it is compatible with all standard pool and spa equipment, (pumps, filters, heaters, pool sweeps, etc.) If you have a stainless steel filter, check with the manufacturer.

Q. Does this system soften the pool or spa water?

A. Yes, and this is another benefit of the salt system. Many pool and spa owners appreciate the soft feel of the water in hot tub saltwater systems.

Q. Where does the salt go?

A. The salt, (looks a lot like table salt, but without any additives), quickly dissolves in the pool or spa water. In a hot tub saltwater system you only have to add salt when you have added more water.

Q. Will I save money?

A. The fact that you are not having to use packaged pool or spa chlorine will save a significant amount of money in the long run. The REAL REASON to go with a saltwater pool or spa system is because of the fantastic water quality. The money savings is just icing on the cake!

Q. Do hot tub saltwater systems come in different sizes, what should I purchase?

A. Each system is capable of producing a certain amount of sanitizer per hour. Systems are sized roughly for the amount of water that will be treated. For smaller systems like spas, hot tubs and swim spas, systems for up to 12000 gallons are available. Then there are systems available that can treat pools up to 60,000 gallons.

Maintenance on Salt Water Pools and Spas:

There are three things that are important to properly control when using salt water chlorination: 1, keep the proper level of salt and stabilizer in the water. Most hot tub saltwater systems require between 2800ppm – 3200ppm salt concentration to work properly. NOTE: (If a salt water system indicates a low salt level, be sure to test it with a salt test kit before adding salt. If a salt “cell” is failing or is scaled it may give a false low salt indicator). 2, adjust the control knob on the salt system to a setting that keeps the production of chlorine in line with the demand. 3, make sure the pool or spa pump is running long enough for all hot tub saltwater systems to produce an adequate amount of chlorine. The salt system will only produce chlorine while a pump is running and water is flowing through the salt “cell”.

Armed with the above information, you would do well to seriously explore the idea of outfitting your present spa or pool with a salt water sanitation system, the benefits speak for themselves. If you’re just now planning on a pool or spa purchase, definitely consider this type of water sanitation

Note: The Hot tub Saltwater systems we supply can not be used for Euro applications with spas or pools unless your supplied electricity input can be 110-120V 60Hz. Pricing includes FREE ground shipping, continental USA Only!

Goldline AQUATROL, 110V, Call Custom Built Spas for pricing. We offer units for Spas/Pools to 28000gals

(Note: This unit has a built in timer and nema plug-in for a 110V circulation pump with a voltage draw of up to 12amps) 3 year warrantee!

Just running a spa year round or at least 9 months out of a year can use up to $400 dollars or more in chemicals alone! So are hot tub saltwater Systems cost effective? Do the Math!

Gene Trumbull
Custom Built Spas

Call With Questions (860-571-8440)



Remember, my Mission is to help you, as my customer, build a beautiful hot tub of your own! I can show you how to build Spas, Hot Tubs, Swim Spas, Plunge Pools, Cocktail Pools or Exercise Pools at incredibly affordable prices! Everything you need to know is outlined in my series of easy-to-follow books and videos that cover a simple, step-by-step process that I’ve developed and refined over the years.

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