Hot Tub Chemicals For Clean And Healthy Water
Love to soak in the water after a long day? Is your idea of relaxation, a soak in your pool or hot tub? But for many a pool or built-in spa is too expensive. The cheapest solution is a portable hot tub. They can be quick and easy to setup or move and they don't require a permit or boring paperwork.
However, owning a hot tub means regular cleaning to make sure the water is clean, clear and healthy. Cleaning a hot tub can seem like quite a daunting task, so lets take a look at some hot tub chemicals and products you can use to clean that hot tub effectively and easily.
Chemicals As Sanitizers
Keeping your hot tub sanitized is an absolute must, to keep all the bacteria and harmful viruses at bay. Some of the chemicals and treatments you can use to keep your tub clean and hygienic are:
Chlorine- The chemical used to keep swimming pools clean can also be used to keep your hot tub clean but at a different concentration than for a pool. Chlorine is available in both tablet and quick dissolving granule forms, specifically made for hot tubs.
Some of the chlorine forms available for sanitizing hot tubs are:
Sodium Dichlor Granular Chlorine – The only packaged chlorine available that suits hot tubs, spas and jacuzzis due to its near neutral pH levels and lack of need for a cyanuric acid stabilizer. The suns ultraviolet rays can destroy free chlorine in the spa water, using Cyanuric Acid prevents chlorine loss.
However, using the granules directly in a tub can cause the acrylic surface to de-colour, hence it is recommended to dilute the chlorine in a bucket of water and then add it to the spa water.
Saltron Mini – This can be easily installed in hot tubs to produce pure chlorine from mineral salts automatically.
Trichlor – These are available in tablet forms and can be easily added to the spa water. However, these are not recommended as they take time to dissolve and its high acidic content may cause the cause de-colouring of the tub surface.
Bromine- It is also a halogen chemical like chlorine, used to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms. Available in both, tablet and granule forms, this hot tub chemical is preferred over chlorine when it comes to cleaning hot tubs, as they produce less odour than chlorine.
This hot tub chemical degrades upon exposure to sunlight and can be reactivated with regular shocking. Bromine levels in the water need to be checked regularly using readily available test strips or simple test kits.
Cleanwater Blue – this is an EPA registered mineral product that kills bacteria and algae by introducing copper ions into the water. These copper ions then disrupt the cell structure and chemical make-up of the microorganisms, thereby eliminating them safely. It is odourless and it helps in removing both bacteria and algae. This liquid is highly concentrated, hence it needs to be diluted accordingly and the levels can be monitored using test strips.
Nature2 – these are spa purifier cartridges that can be fitted into the tub’s filter cartridge. It contains a silver catalyst which produces positively charged ions to attack the negatively charged cells of the microorganisms. Though this is odourless and does not cause discolouration like chlorine and bromine, it doesn’t fit all spa filters and the silver ion content cannot be measured
Spa Frog In-Filter – This is an in-filter stick that needs to be used with a chlorine or bromine sanitizer.
Ozonators – These systems work in conjunction with hot tub chemicals/sanitizers and help to purify the water by oxidising soap, perfume, body oils etc; that come in contact with the water.
Shocking a hot tub is the process whereby a compound is added to the water to break down the organic wastes that cause odour and cloudy water. This process is very important to keep the water clean and clear. Also, it activates the sanitizer and enables it to work more efficiently.
One can use various available products for this process, some are even chlorine free. However, if your sanitizer is chlorine or bromine, you can add more of the same for shocking the water.
Numbers to get right
Apart from the above two steps, one should check the total Alkalinity, the pH balance and calcium hardness levels, after every few uses and particularly every time the water is replaced. The ideal levels for these should be-
pH – 7.2 -7.6
Alkalinity 80-120 ppm (30-90 ppm if using Cleanwater Blue system).
Calcium Hardness – For most portable hot tubs, with PVC and acrylic finishes 100 – 250 PPM’s
Some signs that your ph levels may be too high or low are cloudy water, short filter life and skin or eye irritation. Low pH readings can also lead to corrosion and equipment failure.
Handy Cleansing Agents
One needn’t necessarily depend on industrial hot tub chemicals to keep their tubs clean. Here are some of the items that you can easily find in your house, that can be used to clean your hot tub. However, these items can be used only for stain removal and not for sanitization.
1. White Vinegar
2. Baking Soda
3. Rubbing Alcohol
Cleaning a hot tub is very important to maintain hygiene and to ensure one doesn’t keep soaking in bacteria filled dirty water. Your hot tub experience will also be greatly improved when the water chemistry is right.
Put simply the water will just feel right, soft clean and odourless. It is always recommended to follow the instruction manual and check with the manufacturer before using any new products in your tub.