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Compare Pros and Cons of Salt Water Hot Tubs

An Expert Comparison of Salt Water Hot Tubs

Most of us are more familiar with chlorinated hot tubs. We associate that strong chlorine smell with sanitation. And we’ve come to expect the negatives that go along with chlorine, including burning eyes, dry skin and green hair.

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Salt water hot tubs are a great but lesser-known alternative. The hot tubs themselves are identical - only the method of sanitation is different. Saltwater hot tubs use a chlorine generator to convert salt into chlorine. So what’s the difference, you wonder? Read on to find out more about the advantages and disadvantage.

Cost of Salt Water Hot Tubs

The only distinguishing factor between a saltwater hot tub and a chlorine hot tub is the existence of a chlorine generator. In order to have a saltwater tub (or convert an existing tub from chlorine), you need to spend about an extra $200 to $600 on a generator. You’ll also have to spend up to $20 each year for salt, but you won’t have to purchase chlorine, which is more expensive.

Salt Water Hot Tubs

Salt Water Hot Tubs Pros

  • Increased comfort - Saltwater hot tubs contain less chlorine, leading to a more comfortable soaking experience. The water is softer on the skin, and it is less likely to cause dry skin, green hair, itching, burning or swimsuit fading. The vast majority of people who opt for saltwater tubs do so for the increased comfort.
  • Steady flow of chlorine - The generators in salt water hot tubs produce a steady flow of chlorine at all times. Chlorine hot tubs, by contrast, require regular chlorine treatments to maintain optimal levels. The steady flow of chlorine reduces algae build-up and maintains a reliable, even level of cleanliness.
  • No chlorine to buy - The generators in saltwater hot tubs produce their own chlorine, so you’ll never have buy, lug or add chlorine to the tub.

Salt Water Hot Tubs Cons

  • More expensive - The upfront costs are higher with a saltwater hot tub due to the cost of the generator. However, keep in mind that maintenance costs are lower.
  • More maintenance - Salt is corrosive, so plan on replacing metal parts and components of your spa more often. Also, salt chlorination cells need to be inspected about once every three months and replaced every two or three years.
  • Harmful to soil and plants - Saltwater can kill plants and rob nearby soil of important nutrients. Because of this, some (but not many) cities and towns ban saltwater hot tubs and pools.

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