Salt Systems on Hot Tubs

Salt Systems on Hot Tubs
7.1 Total Score

Here’s my video breakdown on salt water systems and why the technology hasn’t aged well.

Update: Health Canada bans saltwater hot tubs

On November 30th, 2018 health Canada finished a re-evaluation of hot tub and pool salt generators and the additive Sodium Bromide and determined that these devices were a risk to health. Article Here  

The US is expected to investigate and would likely follow suit and even if they don’t this hit to the saltwater hot tub industry might thankfully be the nail in the coffin for this outdated water treatment option.  At this time they have not performed a reevaluation on Sodium Chloride systems.

Should you order a salt system for your new hot tub?

Hot Tub companies continue to extol the virtues of salt systems on hot tubs even though they are outdated and better options exist…

Here are the instructions for using the Arctic salt system as a demo, the other systems on the market are basically the same steps… I’ve given you a summation below or you can read the document yourself.

Look over it and tell me if you think salt systems are being sold because they are easy and reliable or to add profit into deals…genesis-faq_clip_image002_0000

Onzen Arctic spas


2 years warranty on machine typically fails every 3-5 years $829.00

30 days on electrode, consumable part, replace 2-3 times a year at cost $200.00 each

System takes corrosive base salt sodium chloride or sodium bromide and makes chlorine or bromine…

Chlorine or Bromine made this way is un-stabilised (for $20 you could by a months supply of stabilized better quality chlorine or bromine with a dispenser you only have to fill once a week)

must use their salt or void warranty on tub…. at $30 a month

“There will be no warranty on listed parts: heaters, heater barrels, jets, grab rails, pump seals, and pump motors affected by leaking pump seals. subject to salt-water failure with any system where the consumer is not using ArcticPure brand salt.”


You need to balance hardness and alkalinity and pH as normal of course.

At this point with most systems you are done except adding a little chlorine.

BUT with the salt systems you have 4 hours of work more that alone is pretty crazy…

Mix 1/3 of the needed salts in 5 gallon pail in hot water
Run pumps for 5 mins
Come back in an HOUR!!!!

redo the ph and alkalinity balance


Mix 1/3 of the needed salts in 5 gallon pail in hot water
Run pumps for 5 mins
Come back in an HOUR!!!!

redo the ph and alkalinity balance


Mix 1/3 of the needed salts in 5 gallon pail in hot water
Run pumps for 5 mins
Come back in an HOUR!!!!

redo the ph and alkalinity balance

Are you sick yet πŸ™‚ hold yer hat it gets better…

So now we are at FOUR HOURS FOR THIS EASY SYSTEM πŸ™‚ and that’s just to get close…

Now the nightmare begins and you live this nightmare every week

You need to test the salt level waiting 5 minutes for the results, and mix salt and add in one cup amounts, then test then mix and add and test and add and mix and test until the salt level is right…. SCREW THIS UP AND IT VOIDS THE WARRANTY ON YOUR HOT TUB !!!

And every time you test for the salt level you need to stand there for 5 minutes until the strip reacts for a proper reading… it takes hours sometimes for this step…

“Spa water quality and other damages resulting from water imbalance are specifically not covered by this warranty. Warranty work must be completed by authorized Arctic Spas retailers only. No labour warranty is provided by Arctic Spas for Onzen systems installed on site, only faulty parts are covered.”

Some companies are a bit different but the general theme is the same, the technology itself isn’t worth it, go with enzymes like Spa Marvel or Mineral Salts like Aquafinesse.


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Interesting rundown. I have a salt system swimming pool that’s been flawless now for 5 years, are the systems that different?
BTW, I just ordered a hot tub, but I requested no salt system.

Hi Scott
I also had a swimming pool with a salt system for a few years, it performed perfectly, and was really gentle on the skin. It just seems in the hot tub world they don’t work so well, probably down to the differing UV exposure. Get into using the Spa Marvel product, and your chlorine levels will be so low, you will not know its in there.

Ok, so I bought a new hot tub, should be here by Christmas and I am looking to try something different in the new tub. We’ve had hot tubs for 30 years and the water is ALWAYS pristine (pool water also). We are in our 60’s now and the wife is having some issues with itchy skin so I’m looking to alleviate that some and after coming here to this site I’ve been looking at the Spa Marvel and Aquafinnese products. How do you keep the chlorine so low, and how do you test for it being so low? I… Read more »

Hi Scott Spa Marvel contains enzymes, that not only are highly effective at dealing with inorganics leaving the chlorine-free to do its job in very small amounts. the added benefit is it stabilizes pH which make the water much easier to manage and it is super good for the plastic so much so that Spa Marvel warranties the jets for life if you use the product from new as directed… and it’s $55 every 3 months with nothing that can break πŸ˜‰ Basically Spa Marvel takes care of a load of inorganic issues, and leaves the chlorine to deal with… Read more »

So what range would you want the chlorine at?

Hi Scott
With Spa Marvel, you are going to be around 1ppm

2 years warranty on machine typically fails every 3-5 years $829.00 Could you please let me know what part this would be..thank you

Hi Bridget,

That could be any number of parts but I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and assume you are talking about the salt cell in a salt water system which does need to be replaced and is not covered under warranty. A much better solution than salt or any of the so-called new tech in water chemistry is Spa Marvel. Simply pour a bottle in every three months, quick and easy, and your chlorine levels are far below even salt systems

Are you telling me the artic spas onzen system is toxic. They have heath canada approval? I am thinking about buying one… other then onzen what kind of chemicals are used/produced?

I have just installed a 4×6 yellow cedar hot tub which I keep at 104 degrees. It has an iionizer and filter, and so far I have relied on chlorine for sanitization. I came across the ecopoolus device, looked for reviews, happened on your website, and see that you have been testing it. Have you come up with any results? The idea of such a simple and relatively inexpensive device making chlorine unnecessary for the hot tub is perhaps too good to be true? My Thanks in advance for your reply.

Do you have a recommendation for me as to how to achieve the best results for my new cedar hot tub regarding sanitizing and so on using the least amount of harmful chemicals. Thanks in advance for your reply.

Hi Chris,
Any experience with using Ecopoolus? The concept seems good, but there’s actually no reviews (except from the company, of course). Thanks!

Wondered if you came to any co cousin on the Ecopoolus? Also, you mentioned a couple other products to help keep the ppm down for chlorine and I can’t seem to find that info again.

Btw- Love the site and info. Think we are considering the master spa twilight 7.2

You must delete negative comments because there are none. Once the salt is balanced, you do not need to add salt unless you have added a lot of new water. Your costs are way out of whack. Salt water hot tubs and pools are the only way to go.

Should also say I have read your high marks for Master Spa but can’t seem to figure out through their site if we have a dealer near us.

You might have stated in various other threads but would you mind a quick summary of why you prefer this brand over others and are there any runners up for you that you like over the ones I mentioned below?

So aside from Master Spa any other brands fit the “big 4”?

Hi! Part One: We are just starting the process and have been drawn to Hot Spring because of the salt water option, as we somehow have it in our mind that exposure to chlorine a few times a week can’t be good for us, although I don’t know that’s even true. Is saltwater actually better for your skin? Is chlorine exposure harmful over time? Any thoughts on this? Part Two: We love in the Chicago NW burbs area and have looked into Jacuzzi, Sundance and Hot Spring. We would love to have either two loungers or lounger and “captain’s chair”… Read more »

Great article, keep up the good work.

Hi, Chris, This question is only partially on point, but I can’t seem to find a good answer and you seem the most knowledgeable out there: I’d like to put epsom salts in my hot tub. It’s not a special salt system tub, just a regular one (West Coast Spas, Tublicous). I know that putting in large amounts of epsom salts will cause some damage, but nobody is able or willing to tell me just how much damage. West Coast Spas just says “Don’t do it.” Ideally, I’d like to be able to put bagfulls in. Not quite float tank… Read more »

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