Chemical Free Systems

Every buyer shopping for a hot tub wants the same things, and one of the big things everyone wants is to hear that their tub is going to be low chemical, safe and EASY!!! It's the hot button and if you can convince a customer that your brand of hot tubs is the easiest, lowest chemical system, then you are going to sell your hot tubs.

"So, no wonder manufacturers are spending millions on marketing to convince you that their system is the best..."

The truth that they don't want you to know is that although all of the technologies for onboard systems are ok, none of them are fundamentally next level. None of them do anything significant to make your water easier to manage (like stabilizing your pH significantly). None of them are as good as the natural additives you can put in any hot tub.

Lets take a look at some of these onboard systems...

Bromine and Chlorine Systems

  • Highly effective at killing viruses, bacteria and other organics.
  • When used with a good enzyme, levels as low as 0.5ppm can be used.
  • Ineffective and inefficient at handling oils, lotions, detergents, etc.
  • When used alone, toxic levels of 3-5ppm are needed.

This is a high chemical, old technology but beware; a lot of brands 'private brand' the Chlorine and Bromineto make them sound like something else and to trick you into paying more for these base chemical systems.

Salt Water Hot Tubs

First off lets get something straight... All salt water systems do is make chlorine and if it's not yet banned sometimes bromine, but these systems have been found to create a poison and have been banned in several countries. And forget the natural chlorine bullshit, there is no health advantage...

On the plus side, salt water systems are highly effective at killing viruses, bacteria, and other organics. Unfortunately, they're Ineffective and inefficient at handling oils, lotions, detergents, etc. When used alone, toxic levels of 2-4ppm of chlorine or bromine are needed. Salt is very corrosive and damages parts of the tub, decking and concrete. Most can not run below around 2ppm chlorine generation. They deliver very erratic water levels and water is more difficult to balance. Laslty, they come with big upfront AND running costs, and have a high failure rate.

Salt water hot tubs are not chemical free. Hell, they are not even close to the lowest chemical systems available. They're finicky, unreliable and have big failure issues. This tech was all the rage back in the 90’s - most guys abandoned it, & now some companies are re-introducing it as new tech. It’s a gimmick, all salt systems do is make chlorine or bromine.

On November 30th 2018 Health Canada finished a re-evaluation of hot tub & pool salt generators and the additive Sodium Bromide and determined that these devices were a risk to health. This hit to the salt-water hot tub industry might thankfully be the nail in the coffin for this outdated water treatment option.


While ozone technology is good, the truth is, making a really high end ozone system would require pre-treating the intake air, having expensive primary, secondary, and tertiary reaction chambers and excess ozone off gas desrtuct systems. To do it right they would cost as much as some hot tubs...

  • Cheap or free on most spas.
  • Somewhat effective at killing viruses, bacteria, and other organics.
  • Ineffective and inefficient at handling oils, lotions, detergents, etc.
  • Moderate energy usage
  • When used alone, toxic levels of 2-4ppm are needed.
  • Does nothing to stabilize pH hard to balance.
  • High failure rate.
  • The off-gas damage covers, cushions and is hazardous to inhale.

Every hot tub on the market has a shitty little $200 ozone system and trust me you really don’t care if you have one or not, they only work well for about a year and frankly, it’s not worth spending the money to replace them.

Mineral Systems

Many of the same benefits of enzymes that are actively good for your skin, expect to pay around $155 every 4 months but if you have dry skin or eczema, this is the way to go. In fact, Aquafinesse, the number one brand out there, is used in hospitals in Holland to treat eczema on newborn babies!

  • Allows super low chemical levels of 0.5ppm of chlorine or bromine.
  • Highly effective at preventing biofilm formation.
  • Very low failure rate
  • No upfront cost
  • Very brand specific; many brands are unreliable

    (The best in our experience are Aqua Finesse and Mineraluxe)

  • Does nothing to protect plastic parts
  • Does nothing to stabilize pH
  • High monthly cost

This system is low chemical, easy to use and best for your skin. Hot tub companies hate it because you can use it in any tub and it is around the same price as the big onboard systems over time, and there are no parts to fail.
Plus, you can go 2-3 times longer without changing your water!

UV and AOP Systems

Although this is the best onboard system, it's expensive and needs yearly service costing around $300.

  • Allows moderately low chemical levels of around 2ppm of chlorine or bromine
  • High failure rate
  • High upfront AND monthly cost
  • Does nothing to protect plastic from degradation
  • Ineffective at breaking down oils, lotions, soaps, etc.
  • Does nothing to stabilize pH making the water hard to balance.

(My personal favorite)

Enzyme Systems

These can be used in any hot tub and are far better than any of the onboard systems; they will let you get down to the same or lower levels of chlorine or bromine than the salt systems for far less money and you will have an easier time balancing the water.

  • Highly effective at breaking down oils, lotions, soaps, etc.
  • Allows VERY low chemical levels of 0.5ppm of chlorine or bromine
  • Stabilizes pH, making water easy to manage
  • Protects plastic from degradation
  • No Upfront Cost, Low Monthly Cost
  • Very low failure rate
  • Soft on your skin
  • Very brand specific; many brands are unreliable.

The best in our experience is:

Spa Marvel Enzymes

Enzymes carry a positive charge, they bind to oil, organic particles and unwanted byproducts in your spa and hot tub, and dissolve them away to be filtered out of the water and make it a lot easier for the chlorine to do its job, allowing you to enjoy much lower levels of chlorine.

With 30+ years of balancing hot tub water, I can tell you now that my hot tub is easier to manage, lower chemical, and more reliable. That being said, not all enzymes are created equally. I have tried dozens of products & systems over the years, but my money goes into this simple, inexpensive product called Spa Marvel. Not only is it amazing at stabilizing your pH and breaking down contaminates, but it is so good for the plastic that if you use it on a new tub as directed, it will give you a lifetime guarantee on your jets!
All for $55 every 3 months, OR by purchasing a bundle package.

To get my personal routine, order Spa Marvel in one of our three bundle packages, and if you don't agree with me 100%, I'll refund every penny including shipping!

Spa Marvel Enzymes