High CYA level in Salt Spa


New member
Sep 5, 2016
New York, ny
Have a 3 mo old hot spring flair with ace salt system. On initial water fill and was hoping for the 12 month water duration the ace manual suggested. Chemistry well balanced using test strips and water very clear but when I tested cya for the first time now it's at least 150. Surprising because using the salt system I've hardly had to add any Dichlor. I know draining and refilling is the only solution but if water is completely clear is there any downside to running this water a couple months longer. I'm aware that high CYA levels make the FC levels unreliable in the sense that there is a lower proportion of active chlorine. Also what is an optimal CYA range for a salt water hot tub? I can't find that info anywhere. I would think because of much less sun exposure due to cover being close most of the time that it should be lower than for a salt pool. Also with minimal Dichlor input and modest use along with a salt system anyone have any idea how the CYA level got so high? Is it just that time is up at three months rather than 12 months has the ace manual suggests ? Manual silent on cya altogether, wonder why. Also I don't have the liquid chlorine option being it is a spa.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
Amelia Island, FL
Can you provide more data on your spa? Size? Composition? The Trouble Free Pools method that most here use is predicated on empowering you to self-maintain using simple chemicals and professional testing. How are you testing now? Lastly, you mentioned covered spa. Can you explain?


New member
Sep 5, 2016
New York, ny
thanks for the replies.
hot spring flair 325 gallon above ground spa/jacuzzi, vinyl cover, ace salt system.

mfr manual and phone support silent on measuring cya, they imply dont worry about it and maybe that is correct.
after low levels of use (1 person only) and only adding dichlor sparingly, CYA level is around 200 after 3 months; water looks and feels fine. FC 5-10 on test strips.

just drain and refill? one of main draws of salt system was the promise of up to 12 months with one fill.
watkins advises do not use liquid bleach.

what target range / max. does anyone advise for outdoor spa (with vinyl cover) and salt system.

pooldv, i will read your writeup now - thx

thanks !


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
They are misinformed about bleach then. Chlorine is an element and it is the same element no matter what delivery systems is used to put it into your water.
Bleach is 6-8.25% sodium hypochlorite, which is water, salt and chlorine.
Liquid chlorine is 10% sodium hypochlorite.
Liquid shock is is 12.5% sodium hypochlorite.
Dichlor and trichlor add CYA and chlorine to your water.
Cal-hypo adds calcium and chlorine to your water.
It is all the same chlorine.