Maintaining a Healthy Hot Tub: Water Chemistry
You don't need to be an organic chemist to understand hot tub water chemistry. We'll help you understand the ins and outs of hot tub chemicals so you enjoy a happy, healthy hot tub.
Sanitizers are the most important spa chemicals you'll use. Here is spa chemicals 101:
Chlorine: Not just for the local swimming pool, chlorine granules are used in spas to keep water clean.
Bromine: Add bromine to your spa in the form of tablets, nuggets or granules. Bromine combines sodium bromide and chlorine. The biggest benefit to bromine as a spa chemical is that it does not produce as strong of a smell as chlorine.
Mineral Purifier: Designed to reduce the need for chlorine and bromine, mineral purifiers use sanitizing minerals along with chlorine to minimize microbes in the water.
Ozone: Like mineral purifiers, spa ozonators reduce the need for other spa chemicals such as chlorine and bromine. Many hot tubs come equipped with an ozonator, though it is possible to install one very easily. In contrast to chlorine and bromine, ozone also works to break down organic compounds like cosmetics and other petroleum based products.
Change Your Water
A key aspect of maintaining spa chemistry is changing your water every 60-90 days. A simple task, changing water allows the spa chemicals you use to work at their best level.
Spa water pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in your spa's water. If pH is not kept in a small range (7.2 - 7.8), water becomes too alkaline or acidic. If too acidic (less than 7.2), the water can become corrosive and irritate your skin. Too alkaline, and water will form deposits and stains.
To maintain the proper hot tub pH levels, test your water using a test strip, which will tell you if your hot tub's water is within the correct range.
If your spa is not within the right pH range, use hot tub balancers, which raise or lower pH.
Hot tub shock means applying a chemical to your spa water that oxidizes, or breaks-down, organic material left behind as well as non-filterable material such as dirt, soap films, hair spray, and perspiration.
Other Important Things to Keep in Mind
- Start with clean water.
- Shower before getting in the hot tub when possible.
- If you have a lot of bathers, the pH may be affected so be sure to use a test strip to confirm that everything is okay after a big party.
- Maintain the proper hot tub sanitizer level.
- Add Non-Chlorine Shock to your hot tub on a regular basis to remove dead organic matter such as skin, oils, cosmetics and lotions.
- Keep the waterline clean and free of lotions and oils.
- Clean your filter regularly.
- When you drain your hot tub, give it a thorough clean.
- Be sure to clean your hot tub cover too!