ACE® Salt Water System

How-To Videos | Water Care | FAQs

The exclusive ACE salt water system is an option for all Highlife®, Highlife NXT and Limelight® Collection spa models.

Caring for Your Spa Water

The ACE® system makes spa ownership simpler by reducing the amount of time needed to care for your spa water.


Regardless of the water care system you use, it is always important to maintain balanced, sanitized spa water.

It’s important to understand the make-up of your water. Talk to your dealer about whether the water in your region has high calcium hardness or metals. We recommend using On The Go portable water softener for filling your spa if you have high levels of calcium hardness or metals in your water.

Balance water using a FreshWater® 5-way test strip. Measure and adjust pH and alkalinity into the “OK” ranges for the ACE system. Use a Vanishing Act calcium remover to decrease calcium hardness as needed. Add salt.


Always maintain balanced spa water. The pH and alkalinity levels must stay within the OK range. Use a test strip weekly, or each time you use the spa, to verify.

Keep total hardness between 25 and 75 ppm. High levels of calcium in spa water will lead to more frequent cell cleaning and replacement. Use a test strip to check hardness, especially after topping off the spa. Use the On the Go portable water softener to eliminate calcium hardness before filling and topping off the spa, or the Vanishing Act calcium remover as needed.

Adjust output levels as needed. The ACE system cannot measure how much chlorine is in the water. The ACE system will continue to generate chlorine according to the Output level selected. It’s important to adjust the use level as your hot-tubing pattern changes.


Every 30 days the water care icon on the control panel and the Hot Spring® ready light on the front of your spa will flash as a reminder to conduct this 30-day maintenance routine:

  1. Test and balance spa water
  2. Confirm Output level
  3. Rinse filter(s)
  4. Shock the water

The 30-day timer will reset any time you adjust your Output level. If you do not perform the 30-day maintenance routine, the ACE system will default to a low-use Output level and your ready light will continue to flash. 


The ACE cell is a wearable part that will need to be replaced over time. On average the ACE cell will last 2-3 years. Like tires on a car, the more often you hot tub the more frequently you will need to replace the ACE cell.

There are some steps you can take to maximize cell life:

  1. Maintain calcium hardness at 50 ppm.
  2. Keep Output level as low as possible to meet your normal needs and supplement with dichlor as needed.
  3. Clean filters monthly.
  4. Clean cell every 90 days.
  5. Use the FreshWaterAg+ silver ions to inhibit bacteria growth.

Clean the ACE cell regularly. Regularly inspect the cell for scale and clean it at least once every three months. The cleaning process is simple and easy.

How-To Videos

Watch the videos below for more information on caring for your spa water using the ACE system.

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You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the ACE® Salt Water System are listed below.



What spas are available with the ACE system?

The ACE salt water sanitizing system is compatible with all new Hot Spring Highlife®Collection, Highlife Collection NXT and Limelight® Collection spas.

How much salt is in a salt water hot tub with the ACE system?

Will the water taste salty?

The ACE system requires very little salt. It is estimated that humans can taste and detect salt in water at approximately 3,000-4,000 parts per million(ppm). The optimum target salt level range desired when using the ACE system is only 1,750 ppm. Take a look at how the salt level of water treated with the ACE system compares to the average salt content levels of other liquids tested.

Liquid Tested
Average Salt Level

Sea Water
35,000 ppm

6,000 ppm

BC Coastal Fresh Water
75.0856 ppm

BC Interior Fresh Water
750.856 ppm

Salt water pool
3,000-5,000 ppm

ACE spa water
1,750 ppm

What makes Active Oxygen so special?

The benefit of Active Oxygen is that it breaks down waste and contaminants completely with oxygen, leaving behind carbon dioxide and water. It does not leave behind chloramines or other byproducts that can cause hot tub water to be irritating to the skin and eyes or cause a strong odor.

Is the ACE system technology used anywhere else?

This process, called advanced oxidation, is used to treat water in a variety of other industries. It’s also used to purify ground water and waste water, as well as to treat water used in food manufacturing facilities and in breweries, to name just a few other applications.

Why is calcium hardness a concern for hot tubs?

The accumulation of scale caused by high levels of calcium hardness can be detrimental to hot tub components like the jet pumps and heater, as well as to the electrodes within the ACE system. All hot tub owners can benefit from the Vanishing Act calcium remover, which helps to protect hot tub components and makes hot tub water feel softer.

How can I decrease calcium hardness in spa water?

The Vanishing Act calcium remover is the best option for decreasing hardness levels and achieving the ACE system’s recommended calcium hardness level (50 ppm) for improved operation and minimized cell cleaning. Removing calcium from the water reduces the need for additional chemicals, like Stain and Scale, which only temporarily treat calcium in the water.

How long does the ACE cell last?

The cell is designed to run for a finite number of hours; the ACE cell does not operate 24 hours a day. The amount of time the cell is working each day is determined by the size of the spa and how often it’s used, so the life of the cell will vary. On average, the cell will last between 2 and 3 years.

How often do I need to add salt?

The ACE system will continually generate chlorine from the salt initially added to the water. The hot tub owner only needs to add more salt when they drain and refill the hot tub, or after topping off the water significantly.

What is Active Oxygen?

Active Oxygen is a term used to describe a powerful oxidizer (OH-) derived from water (H2O), and is different from oxygen (O2) derived from Ozone (O3).

How is Active Oxygen created?

Active Oxygen is created when energy transferred into the water breaks apart water molecules. Without the diamond electrode there is not enough energy to split apart water and create Active Oxygen — no other salt water chlorine system can create this oxidizer.

I have very hard water; what's the best way to fill my hot tub?

The On The Go portable water softener is an effective and cost-efficient way to avoid issues that can result from having high levels of calcium hardness. The On The Go can be used to fill and top off the spa with soft water, and again when you eventually drain and refill. The On The Go can be reused and recharged over and over again, so it will last the life of your spa.

What if my calcium hardness levels are high?

If scale does accumulate on the ACE system electrodes, it can easily be removed by soaking the ACE cell in a simple solution of pH Down and spa water for 10 minutes. An empty bottle with cell cleaning instructions on the label is included with the ACE kit for convenience. The cell should be cleaned this way once every three months as preventive maintenance. FreshWater cell cleaning solution is also available.

How often do I need to change my spa water with the ACE system?

The number of water changes needed per year varies by owner. The ACE system helps reduce the amount of bottle products that are added to the water and breaks down waste and contaminants completely. In doing so the system helps minimize the level of total dissolved solids in the water, helping hot tub water to last longer — up to 12 months.

Does the ACE system cost more than other water care systems?

Over time, we estimate the cost of water care using the ACE system to be slightly more than traditional approaches to water care. However, the ownership experiences provided by the ACE system are very different. The ACE system eliminates the need to manually dose the hot tub water with sanitizer, and eliminates side effects associated with spa water care. Your Hot Spring dealer can help you understand the cost differences.

Contact us freely to ask any questions you may have of the Ace® Salt Water System

Make It Better Easily

  • Using advanced technology, the ACE Salt Water System automatically generates chlorine and other cleaners for a set amount of time each day, based on your input and frequency of use. The ACE system is sanitizing your spa water, even when you haven’t given water care a thought.

Save Your Time On Maintenance

  • Choosing the ACE system, means you’ll spend less time caring for your water and more time enjoying your spa in the company of your favor. Plus, with proper care, you will add fewer bottled chemicals helping spa water and equipment last longer.

Your Senses, All of Them Will Thank You

  • The ACE system cleans water differently than traditional water care systems, you are less likely to experience dry skin, irritated eyes, or nasty chlorine odor. With softer, finer and more luxurious spa water, you’ll find you spend more time in your Hot Spring spa.