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How Does the FreshWater Salt System Work?

The proprietary Freshwater Salt System is available for all new Hot Spring Highlife and Limelight spas. The FreshWater Salt System cartridge creates chlorine from salt. Salt is added to the water when the spa is filled, and then converted to chlorine over time by the FreshWater Salt system.

Using this system, you will set what is called the “output level” which controls how much chlorine is produced. The output level corresponds to the number of hours per day that the cartridge produces chlorine. The higher the output level, the more chlorine is added to the water.

How much chlorine your spa needs, and therefore the necessary output level, is determined primarily by what is called “bather load” which is the number of people that use the hot tub, how often they use it, and for how long. More people using the spa, and more frequent usage means you will need more chlorine, and a higher output level.

Other factors such as whether organic material like leaves are present in the hot tub, will also affect the amount of chlorine needed. The more organic material present, the more chlorine is needed.

How to Adjust the Output Level

To adjust the output level on your spa, navigate to the water care menu on your control panel by pressing the tear drop icon on Highlife models, or selecting the water care submenu from the options menu on Limelight models. From there, tap the leftmost column or use the soft buttons to adjust until it shows your desired output level.

How Long Do I Need to Monitor My Chlorine Level?

For the first few days after start up, you should monitor your chlorine level closely and you may need to supplement the system with granular chlorine while it works towards maintaining its own sanitizer level. Test your water daily to ensure that the system is maintaining a residual chlorine level of at least 1ppm. If the residual chlorine level falls below 1ppm, you need to increase your output level. If the residual chlorine hits 0ppm, you need to increase your output level and add granular chlorine to your water.

How Much Chlorine Do I Add?

When adding chlorine, add it one ounce at a time. After you add one ounce of chlorine, wait for ten minutes and test your water again with a fresh test strip. If your chlorine is still below 1ppm - add another ounce, wait another ten minutes and test once again. Repeat this process until you reach a chlorine level of at least 1ppm.

How Often Will I Need to Adjust the Output Level?

We find that in the first 60 days our customers tend to use their new hot tub a lot, and have friends and family come over and enjoy it as well – which is great! This just means that your hot tub will require a higher output level as you will need more chlorine to keep the water sanitized during this time. During the first few weeks of use, we recommend that you continue to test your water daily as you will be determining the output setting that meets your needs as you get into your regular hot tub routine. Again, if your chlorine level falls below 1ppm you need to increase your output level, and if it hits 0ppm, you need to supplement the system with granular chlorine.

What If I Experience Excessive Amounts of Foaming or Cloudiness?

We sometimes find that customers with high initial bather loads experience foaming or cloudiness from things like detergents trapped in bathing suits, or excess hair products. While you can typically expect to go 6 months between needing to change your water, it may be worthwhile to drain and refill your spa sooner after the first few months of ownership.

How Long Are the Cartridge’s Lifespan?

It is important to be aware that the output level affects the lifespan of the FreshWater Salt Cartridge. A higher output will result in the need for more frequent cartridge changes. Our customers find that the typical lifespan is anywhere between 2-4 months depending on use. Since you’re likely to have a higher bather load in the first few months of using your tub, you may find that you need to change the cartridge more frequently than you will once you’re in your regular hot tubbing routine.

How Do I Replace the Cartridge?

To replace the cartridge, first navigate to the water care menu by pressing the tear drop icon on Highlife models, then hit the image of a cartridge in the rightmost column and press “OK” to replace cartridge now. For Limelight models hit the softkey next to “options” then hit the softkey next to “salt system” and hold “replace cartridge”. This will turn off the pumps for you so that water does not come out when you remove the old cartridge.

Next, remove the cap with a twist, then lift it off, remove the spent cartridge that’s inside by pressing the button on the top and lifting it straight up. Insert the new cartridge while pressing the button on the handle and once in place, release the button to lock it. Check that it is securely in place and replace the cap. Now you can turn the pumps back on by pressing “OK” to restart the system on Highlife models or hit “system restart” on Limelight models.

Fresh Thinking

The salt system may seem a little overwhelming at first, but once you understand the basics of how the system works and determine the output level that fits your needs, it's easy to keep your spa water clean, clear and sanitized.

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