Facts About the FreshWater® Salt System

If you own a hot tub or are shopping for one, clean water and simple maintenance are sure to rank high on your list of priorities. A Hot Spring® spa equipped with the FreshWater® Salt System will deliver both, in a stylish, comfortable, energy-efficient package.

The FreshWater Salt System keeps your water clean, clear and sanitized for up to a full year.* A titanium cartridge creates chlorine from salt, generating the desired level of chlorine automatically (set chlorine output level on control panel) so you’ll spend less time measuring and adding chemicals and more time enjoying your spa.

You’ll look forward to your daily soaks in warm, crystal clear water, courtesy of the FreshWater Salt System.

With a Hot Spring spa equipped with the FreshWater Salt System you’ll:

  • Enjoy natural-feeling water with no itchy, dry skin or eyes.
  • Reduce added chemicals and eliminate harsh odors.
  • Save time with simple water care.
  • Reduce energy bills and conserve water by only draining, refilling, and reheating your spa about once per year.*

The FreshWater Salt System is just one of the ways Hot Spring Spas delivers unparalleled hot tub therapy and The Absolute Best Hot Tub Ownership Experience®. For the best spa water possible, follow these steps.


1. Order the FreshWater Salt System start-up kit when you purchase a Highlife® Collection or Limelight® Collection spa.

All Highlife and Limelight Collection models come equipped and ready to use the FreshWater Salt System. The kit contains everything that’s needed for your dealer to install, and includes:

  • Controller (requires dealer installation)
  • Titanium Cartridge
  • 10-lb. Bag of FreshWater Spa Salt
  • FreshWater Vanishing Act® Calcium Hardness Reducer
  • FreshWater Salt Test Strips and 5-Way Test Strips
  • Owner’s manual
  • Start-Up Guide
  • Phosphate Test Strips


2. Investing the time to set up your FreshWater Salt System correctly will ensure the long-term success of your system.

These steps are an overview, you’ll find more detailed instructions in the Hot Spring Salt System Startup Guide, or in the FreshWater Salt System Owners Manual included in your start-up kit.

  1. Test your fill water. Take a water sample to your local dealer for testing to determine if it contains high levels of metals, phosphates, and/or calcium. If high levels are detected, your dealer can recommend additional products to help bring your fill water into balance.
  2. Ensure titanium cartridge is installed (plug removed)
  3. Add FreshWater Mineral Spa Sanitizer cartridge (sold separately) to inhibit bacteria growth
  4. Turn spa on and set temp* to at least 95°F to 104°F (35°C to 40°C)
  5. Turn off Salt System (Output Level 0)
  6. Run jets to purge lines and prime pumps (adjust diverters)
  7. With jets running add salt — target 1750 ppm
    • Start with half recommended amount, test after 5 minutes, then add up to recommended amount
  8. Test and balance water as required
  9. With jets running add chlorine to achieve 5 ppm — wait 5 minutes
    • Test and add additional chlorine (if needed) to achieve 5 ppm
  10. Use Vanishing Act if required and remove per instructions (Day 1 or 2)
  11. When chlorine is at 5 ppm and water has reached the desired temperature, your spa is ready to enjoy!

We created this short video to provide a visual overview of the start-up process:


3. Let your control panel be your guide for stress-free monitoring and maintenance.

Your control panel prompts you every 10 days to verify and adjust the system if needed.

  1. Always test your water before using your spa to ensure it is properly balanced. Depending on variables like frequency of use and bather load, adjust the output level on your control panel to maintain the recommended minimum chlorine level of 3ppm. If needed, check your user manual for products to help raise or reduce free chlorine in your hot tub.
  2. Test and balance spa water using a FreshWater 5-Way Test Strip. Measure chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels to determine if your water is in the OK ranges specified for the system.
  3. Your FreshWater Salt System control panel will display your chlorine output level. Adjust as needed to maintain a minimum chlorine target level of 3ppm.
  4. The system status on your display panel refreshes every thirty minutes to let you know if the system is performing optimally. It reflects a number of elements that can impact performance, including the salt level, cartridge status, and water temperature.

Our FreshWater Salt System Guide will provide all the information you need to monitor your spa and instructions on how to keep your water balanced.


4. Every four months*, replace the Salt System Cartridge.

The disposable and maintenance-free titanium cartridge can be replaced in just a few seconds, without tools.

Instructions on how to replace a Salt System Cartridge can be found on the spa’s control panel and in the FreshWater Salt System Owner’s Manual.


5. Make soaking in the warm, clear water of your Hot Spring Spa part of your daily wellness routine.

I would never go back to a standard chlorine system – Maintenance is easy and minimal and the water quality is exceptional.

–  Hot Spring Spa owner from Durham, NC

To learn how you can enjoy The Absolute Best Hot Tub Ownership Experience download a brochure or explore our models! Or contact us today. We’re happy to answer your questions and take you on a model tour – either in the showroom or virtually.

*Factors such as bather load and water chemistry can impact water life. When the spa is properly maintained, a 3-pack of cartridges with the FreshWater® Salt System will keep water clean and feeling soft for up to a full year.