When owning a hot tub for the first time, you might be wondering how to maintain the chemical balance moving forward. What water care products do you need to use, and when should you be adding them? Although it might seem a bit confusing, it is actually fairly straightforward, so there’s no need to worry. It’s all a learning process, and once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature to you. In the meantime, here is a guide to hot tub chemical chemistry, so you can know what to use in your spa and when.
Why Hot Tub Water Care Is Important
Because the water in a hot tub sits for weeks or months without needing to be cleaned, it needs to be treated regularly. Without water care products to maintain a healthy balance, it could easily become a site for organisms to multiply. You might notice this apparent change more in a pool since it’s a larger body of water that gets changed even less frequently. This might look like a change in the water’s colour or smell and indicates some sort of imbalance going on. You should try to avoid this as much as you can, as it’s far easier to regularly keep up with minor changes to the water’s chemistry than significant ones. Ultimately, you will want to be proactive in your approach by frequently checking the water’s pH levels and using water care products as needed. For example, you will want your hot tub to remain at a healthy pH of 7.2 to 7.8. Anything higher or lower than this range can not only be harmful to your hot tub’s water and mechanisms but can also affect those using it. With all that said, here’s what you need to know about adding water care products to your hot tub.
Hot Tub Chemical Chemistry
Although referring to it as chemistry might sound like a lot of scientific work will be involved, there are many resources available to help you maintain proper chemical levels. Start by testing the water with a liquid test kit, testing strips, or even taking a water sample to your local pool store for them to test it. Regardless of how you’d like to do it, they will all show you what you want to see.
Having a basic understanding of the water care products you want to use is another good first step. You will need to choose some type of sanitizer, whether it’s chlorine, bromine, biguanide, etc. For instance, chlorine is commonly used because it is cost-effective, easy to handle, and aggressively kills algae and bacteria. One downside of chlorine is the smell that it gives off, which is one of the main reasons some people choose an alternative chemical. However, did you know that it’s not the chlorine itself that gives off that distinct, powerful smell but the oxidizing that takes place? When this chemical reacts with contaminants, it gives off a smell. So, if that smell is powerful in your hot tub, it likely means that you actually need to put in more chlorine. If you test your water and see that the level is below where it should be, you will need to shock it with chlorine.
Bromine is the second most popular option and doesn’t give off the distinctive smell that chlorine does, which is why some people prefer it. Bromine lasts longer than chlorine but also works slower as a result, which might mean that your water is staying imbalanced longer than it should be. This chemical is also less stable, which means that if you put it in a hot tub that is uncovered, the sun could quickly burn it away. However, with that said, it’s a good option for indoor hot tubs.
Biguanide is a non-chlorine sanitizer that doesn’t need to be used as frequently as the previously mentioned options, and as a plus, is also always odourless. However, some downsides of this chemical are that it’s more expensive and, in some instances, has actually been known to cause deterioration of some spas. Therefore, it’s always best to check with a hot tub provider near you before using this chemical.
Although there are many different options on the market, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons to decide which one is best for you and your spa. And when it comes to maintaining the balance, just remember that testing the water regularly can help you in the long run.
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