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Saltwater maintenance routine for Hot Spring Spa


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I ordered my new Jetsetter LX 8 months ago and it has finally arrived. Yay!  It is largely due to advice here that I went with a Hot Springs from a local dealer vs. a factory direct online. I also know many of you are against saltwater but my dealer is really pushing me towards that and promises he would swap to ozone anytime within 6 months for free if I am not happy. I also realize he knows I will have to buy those salt cartridges only from him so that is a big incentive, But I really want to give saltwater a chance for a few other reasons of my own. 

Anyway, they will be delivering it soon after I can get an electrician to swap out my old GFCI. This is not my first hot tub but it is my first by Hot Springs with saltwater so I have a few questions.

1) Are those silver cartridges that need replacing every 4 months worth it? Do they really add anything of value to water purity?
2) Any tips or tricks to get the salt cartridges to last more than 4 months through cleaning or anything else? I think I read somewhere about cleaning them once a month when you clean filters can help. I know that good water chemistry is essential to even reach 4 months. 
3) What is your weekly or monthly routine for adding chlorine, shock, or anything else.
4) Since it is a brand new tub should I fill it and use a cleaner  like the one from Spa Marvel to remove crud that might have gathered at factory? Would my dealer do that before delivery or is that unheard of?  Or should I just fill it up and start using it?
5) I was also curious about using ionRX which is copper based instead of the silver cartridge which would be much cheaper. I also used to use a copper solution (different brand)  with my last hot tub along with chlorine and it worked well. I wrote the company and here is their reply.

"many clients use ionrx in conjunction with salt systems. You just need to make sure your salt system can keep the chlorine level low enough...around 1 ppm. 

Regarding the silver...it will work in conjunction with ionrx but not necessary. Our original formula used silver with copper but we realized it didn't add much in regards to performance and added a great deal to the cost."

Does a chlorine level around 1ppm with copper sound like a good idea? Any other tips or suggestions from you Hot Spring saltwater veterans is appreciated. Most of the guides on here are for ozone based systems so I would love to hear from another Hot Spring owner with a saltwater system for any advice they can offer. 

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