When it comes to owning a Jacuzzi, it is important to understand how different chemicals can affect the water.
While hot tubs are treated in a similar way to swimming pools; there are some challenges involved with maintaining the quality of a smaller volume of water. Because of this, it is crucial that anyone responsible for the quality control of hot tub water understands the chemicals they’re using.
Hot tub chemistry
As hot tub water is warm, its chemical balance is constantly changing and the measured application of water balance chemicals will keep your hot tub water clean and free from harmful bacteria for longer. That is why hot tub owners must ensure they monitor for any changes in the chemical balance of the water and act appropriately. Some common questions we’re asked about hot tub chemicals are:
What is a hot tub sanitiser?
A sanitiser is a disinfectant chemical used to kill bacteria that evolves within hot tub water, keeping it safe for bathers. There are two popular sanitisers used to protect the water within hot tubs, which are chlorine (the stronger of the two) and bromine and are available as granules & tablets. If you’re a hot tub owner with sensitive skin, then the use of bromine or even oxygen, a less popular sanitiser, are recommended.
What is pH?
The pH scale works from 0-14 with 7 being neutral, anything below 7 is classed as acidic while anything above 7 is considered an alkaline.For hot tubs, the term pH is a scientific way of describing whether your water is acidic or alkaline with the ideal pH for hot tub water is between 7.2 - 7.6 with large variations outside this range, either way, can have detrimental effects.
What is hot tub shock?
Without getting into the chemistry of it there are four main reasons you need to shock your hot tub water with either chlorine or non chlorine shock. Firstly it can be used to remove organic compounds after heavy use. A great example is to treat cloudy water. The second is to kill bacteria. This is only applicable if you use a chlorine shock treatment. Another is to create more 'free' chlorine and bromine. As your sanitiser works it 'sticks' to bacteria in the hot tub which means it can no longer be 'active' to remove any more. A weekly shock treatment will remove bromamines or chloramines so they can be caught by the filter. Finally, it reactivates bromides so that they work more affectively to kill the bacteria.
Hot Tub chemical safety
Below are some important tips when using Hot Tub chemicals:
- Always read the label of any hot tub chemical before use and follow the instructions carefully
- Never mix hot tub chemicals unless instructed to do so by a specialist
- Always pre- dissolve any granules in a jug or container before adding them into your hot tub
- Always add chemicals to water, never the other way around
- Never add chemicals to your hot tub water while it is in use
- Only use hot tub chemicals in well ventilated areas
- Beware of strong winds when using powdered chemicals
- Always keep all hot tub chemicals out of reach of children and animals
- Make sure you wash your hands after using hot tub chemicals
- Wear protective clothing whenever handling chemicals
- Test your hot tub water daily (we recommend either Bromine or Chlorine test strips depending on your preferred sanitisation method)
- Store hot tub chemicals away from heat and moisture
- Always leave your hot tub switched on (unless changing the filter or the water)