Blissful Oasis

Hot Tubs: Why Go Saltwater

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to equip your spa with a Salt Water generator. Does it still smell? Does the thing really work? Are there less chemicals involved? Lets break down the pros and the cons of owning a Bromine Salt Generator.

What “It” Is

The basic anatomy of any Saltwater System consists of a control box and cell.

Saltwater generators consists of two key components: a Control Box and Cell. Typically, the control box is mounted somewhere around the frame of a hot tub, usually near the control panel. The control box regulates the output of bromine that the cell produces. The Cell is mounted into the hot tub plumbing. As water passes through the Saltwater Cell, a chemical reaction called electrolysis is “converting” the salt to Bromine.

How does Electrolysis work?

When you add salt to your spa, it is never diluted by the Saltwater system. That’s the beauty of it: unless you physically lose water, by way physically draining or splashing, you will not need to add more salt. This is because of electrolysis and how it turns salt into Bromine.

Saltwater Systems contain a Cell which has metal plates inside it, coated with either ruthenium or iridium. The Control Box of the system sends an electrical charge to the metal plates inside the Saltwater Cell. As spa water flows through the Cell, the salt in the water is turned into Hypochlorous acid.

Water passes through the cell, touching the cell “plates” which are charged with electricity. Hypochlorous acid is the by-product of this reaction.

Sodium Bromide is added in conjunction with the salt when starting a Saltwater system in a spa. The Hypochlorous Acid reacts with the sodium bromide and becomes Bromine. No salt is ever “used” by the system, and salt only dilutes the hot tub water by physically removing it.

What “It” Isn’t

Saltwater Bromine Generators aren’t a full chemical replacement, nor a fully automated chemical maintenance system. There’s still a need to balance, test, and adjust the water on a regular basis. The process of electrolysis creates an offset in the pH- causing the pH to constantly drift upward. Balancing your pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and occasional shocking are still required to maintain clean, safe water that’s bacteria free.

Saltwater Pros:

  • Automation
  • More economically friendly
  • Less Time Consuming
  • Softer Skin

Saltwater Cons:

  • Drifting pH
  • Can cause corrosion if pH is not regularly checked


If you’re looking for an easier, more economical approach to spa care, a Bromine Saltwater Generator may be suited for you. While there is a slight learning curve, proper chemical maintenance and balance allow for an ultra easy system while ultimately being less time consuming.