Work Smarter, Not Harder

ControlOMatic’s saltwater chlorine generator makes spa maintenance easier

Alan Schuster, owner of AskAlanAQuestion.com in Apex, North Carolina, has been selling salt chlorine generators since the 1970s and has watched them grow in popularity.

“The response has been extremely positive, especially lately with COVID-19,” Schuster says stating that the pandemic has heightened customers’ awareness and necessity of sanitation, and also afforded more time to devote to water care. “Salt chlorine generators are an invaluable piece of equipment.”

He’s offered the SmarterSpa saltwater chlorine generator from ControlOMatic to customers for five years. The plug-and-play design of the SmarterSpa is the key to its success, Schuster adds: “It makes it very attractive to consumers who want an easier system of maintaining proper spa water sanitation.”

ControlOMatic’s SmarterSpa saltwater chlorine generator was developed to eliminate the guesswork with spa water chemistry for users, says Scott Lenney, CEO for ControlOMatic in Grass Valley, California. Lenney says he noticed years ago that a number of spa chlorine generators were set up on a time cycle, which could eventually result in too much chlorine. He wanted to create something that would more accurately measure water sanitation. The SmarterSpa has chlorine-detection technology built into the cell. It knows when to turn on, when to turn off — and will remain off until chlorine production is needed again based on the chlorine measurement the device detects, Lenney explains. For users, this means functions like vacation mode and temperature compensation are no longer needed.

“The built-in chlorine detection technology [of the SmarterSpa] ensures against over-chlorination,” Lenney says. “Not only will over-chlorination lead to corrosion of the spa surface, jets and heating elements, but it will also destroy the bottom of the spa cover, all of which can make a consumer dissatisfied with their hot tub purchase.”

There are two options for installation of the SmarterSpa. “One of the best features is that there are no spa modifications required,” Lenney says. “The cell simply drapes over the side of the spa into the water, or an in-line kit is available to install it into the spa.” For in-line, it can be partially hidden in the filter area or installed with the existing plumbing for complete concealment other than the control box, which is mounted to the spa skirt.

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Peaceful Spas in Palm Bay, Florida, does customized spa refurbishing, selling three to five hot tubs a week. The SmarterSpa is offered with every hot tub the company sells. The preference at Peaceful Spas is to install the unit in-line, since the hot tub is already being customized.

“I would say that at least 70% of our customers choose the SmarterSpa when we explain the benefits,” says owner Chad Peace. “Unlike bromine or other floaters for the spa, the SmarterSpa won’t provide chemicals when they aren’t needed. As a company that refurbishes spas, we know how important it is for the life of the spa to have a SmarterSpa unit controlling the water chemistry.”

The SmarterSpa cell has a life span of 7,000 hours and is easy to replace, Lenney says. It is designed for spas up to 1,000 gallons and provides a 1,500 to 2,000 PPM salt concentration. The user adds approximately 1 teaspoon of salt pure gallon of spa water, and the SmarterSpa does the rest.

Lenney says ControlOMatic dealers have found the most success by selling the SmarterSpa as an add-on at the time of the hot tub sale. “It’s not really an impulse buy at the checkout counter, but rather an upsell option for dealers who want to ensure their customers have a simple sanitation option,” he adds.

SmarterSpa works well as an aftermarket up-sell product for Schuster, especially for his retail store, which operates online. “We are selling a lot more right now,” he says. “I know consumers are happy with the product because I receive orders for replacement salt cells. People are happy to spend the money to keep their [SmarterSpa] operational.”

ControlOMatic is working on a new SmarterSpa mobile app that will allow users to check the status of their spa sanitation and control their hot tub water sanitation from their phone. Lenney says the company is also continuously working to improve the product. “Everything we designed into the unit was created to provide a powerful yet simple to use sanitation system,” Lenney says. “We wanted to create a product that will help spa retailers ensure complete customer satisfaction with the purchase of any hot tub.”