Today, one of the most popular options for mid and high-end hot tubs is a Salt System. The reason is simple. You want the very best spa experience. Salt systems use the least amount of chemicals of all spa sanitation methods (it’s just salt), have low operational costs, produce silky-soft water, are highly beneficial for your skin, and increase your buoyancy in the water. If you want to know more, please read our Blog here.
What Is a Salt System Spa?
As many of you might not be familiar with this option let’s start by explaining what a Salt System Spa is. There are essentially two types, those that produce chlorine (Cl) and those producing bromine (Br), however they work in the exact same manner. They both have you add around 4 – 8 lbs. of granular salt, either sodium chloride (NaCl) or sodium bromide (NaBr) to your spa water. It dissolves almost instantly so you just throw it in.
Your original tap water would not conduct electricity but now, with salt added, your spa water will conduct electricity. With your spa water then flowing through an electrode cartridge (one part of this option), a rather common process called electrolysis is used to split the salt into sodium (Na) and either chlorine (Cl) or bromine (Br). Now you have your primary sanitizer, either Cl or Br, in your spa water.
The amount of electricity used is very small, and the voltage never exceeds 10 DC volts, so there is no safety concern at all.
Also, in truth, the actual chemical conversion is more complicated than simply splitting the NaCl or NaBr salt molecule, but the effect is basically just as I describe.
SERUM Total Maintenance Improves Your Salt System Experience
As we discuss in our “The Science” page, Total Maintenance is a secondary, back-up sanitizer – and the ONLY EPA registered product available to work as a sanitizer.
Though Salt-Systems have many great benefits, like all primary sanitizing methods, they are not perfect. For more on this, see our Blog, “What Really Happens in Your Spa When You are Not Using It?”. One issue is simply that Salt Systems work by slowly and gradually converting salt to produce either Cl or Br. If you suddenly increase the sanitation demand, what we spa folks call “bather load” (say invite your friends to join you for a relaxing spa party), you will quickly deplete the available Cl or Br needed to keep your spa water clear and free of bacteria. Even with the “Boost” function common to Salt Systems, it will take 12 – 72 hours to replenish the needed Cl or Br. In this time, your spa water can become cloudy and biofilm starts growing in your spa’s plumbing.
THE GOOD NEWS is SERUM Total Maintenance prevents these problems. As a back-up sanitizer it will kill bacteria growth in your spa even when your primary sanitizer level is too low or non-existent. But the Total Maintenance News is even better than that because in two ways it is also improving the performance of your primary sanitizer.
First, Total Maintenance is always also killing bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens in your spa water, hence it reduces the demand on your Cl or Br allowing it to last longer and be more effective.
Second, as we also discus in “The Science”, Total Maintenance is a very effective pH buffer. This means that is holds your pH where it belongs in the 7.2 – 7.6 range. This has two more benefits. It also improves the effectiveness of your primary sanitizer because Cl loses its ability kills pathogens rapidly as pH rises (also true of Br but to a lesser degree) and it prevents calcium scaling in your spa and specifically on your Salt System electrode. Calcium is an electrical insulator so it can impede or even stop the production of your needed Cl or Br. However, despite the level of Calcium in your water (what’s called hard water) it will not scale if your spa water pH remains below 8.0.
The Bottom Line
Though SERUM Total Maintenance improves the performance of all spa sanitation methods it is particularly effective in supporting and improving the performance of your Salt System spa! It is so effective that we consider it an essential part of ensuring you have the very best spa experience!