Salt Water Sanitization
For years, swimming pool owners generated quite the hubbub around salt water sanitization. Positive attributes touted “silky, soft skin”, “less chlorine smell and hair damage”, and “easier maintenance”. Naturally, hot tub and spa owners wanted to know if converting to a salt water system could provide the same benefits.
Understanding Salt Water Sanitization
Salt is formally known as sodium chloride (NaCI). When utilized as the primary component in a low-current electrolysis cell system, salt can generate sufficient chlorination to sanitize hot tub or spa water.
Salt has a natural chemical relationship to chlorine, and the electrolysis permits the extraction of chlorine from salt. As salt water enters the cell, a low-voltage current passes between rare-metal plates, thereby producing pure chlorine from a saline solution. This newly created chlorine becomes hypochlorous acid (HOCI), a disinfectant; it kills bacteria in the water, then reverts back into salt. All told, a salt water sanitization system is a perfect example of efficient recycling.
Benefits of Salt Water Sanitization
Salt systems are capable of producing small quantities of sanitizer, purely from natural salt. In comparison to pre-packaged chlorine or bromine, natural salt allows hot tub owners to avoid relaxing in water replete with unwanted additives.
Salt water sanitization is noted for maintenance efficiency. Many hot tub owners find total alkalinity and pH control easier to manage. While water balance will still need proper balancing, the overall reduction in maintenance time is greatly improved. Some owners spend less than 10 minutes a week looking after their salt water hot tubs.
Monetary savings are noticeable. Outside of the occasional salt top up after a water change or large splash out, a salt water system is very economical.
Ask any homeowner with a whole-home water softener, and they can tell you about the benefits of soft water. Laundry comes out cleaner, dishes sparkle, and there is a less drying effect on skin. The same can be said for a salt water hot tub. For most users, especially Canadians who suffer from seasonal dryness, skin will feel soft and smooth.
Finally, lack of “salt smell” is perhaps the most popular trait. While seawater is known for its strong odour and salty taste, the levels of salt used in a hot tub or spa system is minimal. As some manufacturers point out, salt water sanitization is “less salty than tears”.
Converting to Salt Water
From manufacturer supplied salt water systems to after-marketing saltwater conversion kits, there is a solution for every hot tub and spa. Take the time to research the available options, and discover for yourself the long-lasting benefits of a salt water sanitization system.