Sometimes dealing with the harmful chemicals that are required to keep your hot tub water clean and well-maintained can be a bit puzzling. Relax. You don’t need to have an advanced degree in organic chemistry. Here’s a primer that can help simplify what exactly you need to do to carry on taking advantage of your hot tub in a risk-free, healthy fashion.
An Intro to Sanitizers
Sanitizing your spa water is an essential maintenance that you can do for yourself. Why? Sanitizers kill the bacterias that can develop within warm water. Here is a quick lowdown for the different types of sanitizers:
Chlorine: You may be experienced with chlorine as the primary sanitizer used in pools. Chlorine may be used in a various concentration in spas. There are chlorine tablets and chlorine granules specifically made for hot tub use.
Bromine: Bromine may be put into a spa available as tablets, nuggets or granules. One type is sodium bromide, that must be activated with an oxidizer such as chlorine or Potassium Monopersulfate (non-Chlorine) shock. Another bromine product is BCDMH, which is a self-activating chlorine bromine combo. Many individuals choose bromine above chlorine because bromine is an efficient sanitizer in spas as it doesn’t “gas off” at temps higher than 98 degrees and produces fewer odors than chlorine. Bromine works in a wide array of pH levels. Bromine is generally distributed by way of a floating feeder or even cartridge system.
Biguanide: Biguanide (bi-gwan-eyed) sanitizers are a non-chlorine, non-bromine creation that kills bacteria by targeting the actual cell wall. The removal of organics is accomplished with a hydrogen peroxide-based oxidizer utilized to “burn” off the organic matter and keep your water clear. This technique generates fewer odours compared to chlorine or bromine and does not “gas off” at spa temperatures.
Ozone: Ozone is a good oxidizer and not a sanitizer, but it reduces the work of the sanitizers as well as reduces the level of sanitizers needed in your spa to keep it. The ozone procedure mandates that your hot tub is equipped with a device known as an “ozonator.” Even if you you have an ozonator, you simply must supplement your water using a low-level of sanitizer such as bromine or chlorine. (Don’t allow anyone inform you otherwise. The concept that a hot tub can be completely sanitized with ozone on it’s own is a misconception.) Ozone works with with bromine, chlorine, biguanide and mineral systems.
Mineral Spa Care: You can use mineral systems to aid, but not completely replace, your sanitizers to keep your spa free from contaminants. Mineral cartridges are usually inserted inside your filtration cartridge or are usually contained in a floating dispenser through which the sanitizing minerals are gradually released into the water as time passes. Many individuals would rather make use of mineral sanitizers because of the lower amounts of chlorine or bromine.
Important: Prior to adding any sanitizing agent to your spa, you must first test the current levels by using a test strip. Test strips are really easy to use and developed to measure the level of bromine, chlorine, biguanide or mineral content inside your hot tub water as well as your pH levels and calcium levels. Dependant upon your sanitizer, make sure you increase sanitizing agents as indicated by the test strip as well as the directions on the sanitizer you are using.
Altering your Water
Make sure to CHANGE YOUR WATER about every 60 to 90 days depending on the amount of usage of your hot tub. No quantity of chemical additives can protect you completely within water which is old and unclean. You wouldn’t wash your dishes in year-old dishwater would you? Changing water is a simple task and you, your family as well as guests are going to be glad you did.
Additional Important Stuff:
These items are important, merely not as essential as your sanitizer.
Shock Oxidizers: This is a very beneficial product that oxidizes the water helping to eliminate organic matter like dead skin cells, skin oils, cosmetic makeup products and lotions and creams. Shock oxidizing your spa once per week starves bacteria and helps prevent cloudy water and a clogged system. It’s a lot more effective compared to the shock you will get from the expense that accompany not using it and also making bigger maintenance problems
There are two types of shock, non-chlorine shock and chlorine shock. Both perform as an excellent maintenance solution to oxidize your spa.
For fresh water fills, work with a chlorine shock. Chlorine shock is a sanitizer and will leave chlorine recurring, which can be critical to a clean, safe spa. A non-chlorine shock is effective after you have an established surplus of chlorine or bromine in the spa as it may oxidize organics within the water without boosting your sanitizer surplus. Additionally, it enables you to use the spa soon after treatment. Be sure to follow chemical manufacturers’ instructions regarding proper use.
Neither chlorine or non-chlorine shocks are compatible with a biguanide system. The particular biguanide system uses a hydrogen peroxide oxidizer to eliminate organics and does not call for shocking to take care of sanitizer effectiveness.
pH: Okay, let us begin with the well-known question. What is pH? Water pH is the measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions within your spa water. Without stepping into a freshman chemistry lesson, let us merely state that pH is very important due to the fact if you do not maintain the pH levels inside a small range (7.2-7.8), your water can become too alkaline or too acidic. If the pH is too low (less than 7.2), the water is simply too acidic therefore it may corrode elements of your spa and aggravate parts of oneself (such as your skin). In case your water is over 7.8, it’s too alkaline which could cause “scaling” from minerals and metals inside your water forming deposits and possibly stains on your spa’s acrylic surface. Consequently, how do you know if the pH is in the appropriate zone? First you’ll want to test out your water by using a test strip. Then, use pH additives to attain the best pH balance. When you change your water, you can add a pH product that can prevent you from having to use any pH balancing agents until the next time you change your water.
More Beneficial Information:
So far we’ve covered the most important information, sanitizing, shocking and pH balancing but here are a few other circumstances to be aware of:
Calcium Hardness: If you live within an area with specifically “hard” or “soft” water, it can be worth checking your current water calcium supplement concentrations with your test strip and adjusting these if necessary. You are able to adapt your calcium supplement levels up with a calcium increaser pertaining to water which is lacking in calcium. When the calcium supplement level is too high you can adjust the pH and alkalinity to their lower ranges to help steer clear of cloudy water and scale.
Alkalinity control: Complete alkalinity refers to the capability of the water to resist alterations in pH. Maintaining alkalinity will help keep your pH in the appropriate range thus lessening the necessity for pH balancing. If your test strip indicate a need, you are able to reduce alkalinity using a pH reducer (the same as lowering your pH only you are going to utilize a greater portion of it). Or even, if you need more alkalinity, you can use an alkalinity increaser.
Heavy Metal: Some local water contains unconventional amounts of iron or copper. A greenish shade in your water might point to the presence of these metals. If this sounds like the case in your area, avoid the temptation to file for mining rights. These bothersome metals can, among other things, stain your hot tub shell, increase your sanitizer consumption or foul your tub’s water heater. Fortunately, you are able to regulate metals through the use of an chemical whenever you change your water.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using metal-removing products. You will probably need to add this product any time you add make-up water or refill your hot tub. Be sure to clean your filtration system after using the product or you could have to use a metal removing product on a weekly basis.
Cleaning Your own Spa:
Cleaning Your Spa Filter
Mentionened above previously in our Spa Filtration systems section, it is highly important to maintain your hot tub filter thoroughly clean and it is something you should perform at the very least month-to-month. It is recommended that you clean your filter with a good specialized spa filter cleaner a few times before it becomes so bad you need to throw it out.
Preventing the Dreaded Spa Scum Ring
The first line of protection is regular water replacement and proper sanitation. A scum prevention solution may also be used to help prevent the build-up of oils and greases on the water surface area that combine to create the actual dreaded scum ring. If it’s actually already happening and you are currently a scum victim, use a multi-purpose spa surface cleaner and a cleansing pad that will not scratch the acrylic surface of your tub.
Cleaning Your Hot Tub Cover
Use a cover care product at least once monthly. Pick one up which has Ultra violet protection and is good for cleansing and conditioning your cover.
Putting It All Together:
Hopefully our “Spa Chemicals Information and Facts” has cleared up several things for you. The main thing is to understand the fact that a hot tub will not maintain itself. It’s up to you. In the mean time, please let us know if you have any special tips or tips for this section that we might make use of down the road. We’re constantly researching ways to allow others do our work for us so we can take off early and enjoy a lot more spa time!