How to Convert Your Hot Tub to a Salt Water Hot Tub

If you have ever wanted a spa session and wished there was one in your home, converting your hot tub into a salt water system is the answer you are looking for. Even if you did not know what the question was.

Let’s learn a little about how to get there, shall we?

convert hot tub to salt water

What Is a Salt Water Hot Tub?

The simple answer is that you connect it to a salt-chlorine generator and there it is. But we all know that the simple answer is not the complete answer.

But if you don’t want to add chemicals to your hot tub, just add a little bit of salt and you can turn it into a salt water hot tub.

The required measurement is two pounds of salt for 100 gallons of water. When it dissolves, the salt naturally produces chlorine and keeps your hot tub clean.

But if you are going for one with a salt-chlorine generator, keep in mind that the price will be higher than a regular hot tub but maintaining it will be cheaper and a lot easier when compared to a regular hot tub.

Advantages of a Saltwater Hot Tub

If you are looking for reasons to do this with your hot tub, there are several.

The salt in the hot tub water is a lot more gentle on your skin than water with chlorine. That is because it makes the water soft and your skin and eyes will feel less irritation.

Salt water is also great for exfoliation purposes once you are soaked in it.

Since the chlorine is naturally produced, it does not leave any smell behind unlike a traditional tub to which chlorine has been added manually. It also does not produce harmful chloramines.

Salt is an easily procurable mineral and is rather affordable too. This makes the hot tub endeavor cheap.

Salt water is eco-friendly. So you don’t end up releasing harmful chemicals into the environment after cleaning it.

This is a very convenient spa at your home that is also easy to maintain.

The generator regulates itself and releases the right amount of salt and chlorine at all times.


Unsurprisingly, there are a few downsides to having a salt water hot tub in the house. Read on and decide for yourself if these are applicable to you.

Firstly, salt water systems are a bit more expensive than regular systems and filters. Secondly, it is easy to maintain a salt water hot tub but you still need to shock it like a pool.

How to Convert Your Hot Tub to Saltwater

There are several steps in this process and it is actually quite easy once you’ve done the math.

In fact, you might be glad to know that it takes more work to prepare for the conversion than to go through the process. As always, let’s start with the list of things you will need to finish the conversion without interruptions.

  • Drop-in salt water chlorinator
  • Sump pump (optional)
  • Filter cleaner or new filter
  • White vinegar or hot tub cleaner
  • Standard test strips
  • Hot tub salt

Step one is to pick a salt water system from the many choices out in the market. Whichever you choose to purchase, just make sure it suits hot tubs.

Step two is to clean the hot tub and flush out the pipes with a cleaner or white vinegar mixed in water.

Step three is to drain the hot tub and refill it with fresh water.

Step four is to make sure the sanitizer is between 1 and 3 parts per million. Check the water chemistry of the hot tub while you’re at it.

Step five is to install a ground fault circuit interrupter or a GFCI to your salt water system which helps prevent electrocutions. You will have to call an electrician to get this done.

Step six is to locate the power outlet and fix the power supply on one of the walls of the hot tub and connect it to the salt cell.

Step seven is to check the water chemistry of your hot tub. This can be done using a standard test strip. Check the levels of pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness to make sure they are in the recommended range for your chlorinator.

Step eight is to place the cell holder using electrical tape or any other material recommended by the manufacturer. Check the chlorinator kit for this item.

Step nine is to add the salt cells. Some are required to be submerged in the water while others float. Some manufacturers also make it in a way that it dangles at the edge of the wall of your hot tub. Read the instructions to make sure you got it right.

Step ten is to plug in the salt cell generator in the GFCI outlet.

Step eleven is to power up the chlorinator and add the required amount of salt to the hot tub. The water from your source might already have some amount of salt but that does not matter.

If you’re wondering how much salt to add, check the user manual. It will tell you what is appropriate for the system you have purchased.

You must also remember that when it comes to salt water hot tubs, you should not use table salt, rock salt or epsom salt.

If you end up damaging your hot tub because of these products, you might void the warranty. They are also bad news for your hot tub’s water chemistry.

In The End

It is pretty easy to set up a salt water hot tub. You will spend most of your time figuring out which one you want to buy.

But once you do, your converted hot tub will give you a great experience, starting with the softness of the water.

You will also end up using sanitizers like chlorine less often than you thought and that’s always good news. You get to enjoy a spa in the comfort of your home with very little effort.

Isn’t that the whole point!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years experience in pool care, plant care and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!