Maintaining a hot tub might seem a bit overwhelming at first, especially if you’re new to the game. Perhaps you’re wondering what chemicals you need to use and when you should add them. However, it’s actually fairly straightforward once you have the right tools and information. Here’s what you need to know about hot tub chemicals and how you can use them to maintain your home spa.
Why You Need Chemicals For Your Hot Tub
Hot tub maintenance might not be rocket science, but there is actually a little bit of chemistry involved. As you know, the water in your tub sits for weeks or months at a time without any cleaning. To keep it from becoming a breeding ground for organisms, ensure that you regularly treat your hot tub with the right chemicals. Ever noticed how sometimes the water in a pool changes color or smell? This is a tell-tale sign that there’s some sort of an imbalance. The same thing can happen to your hot tub if you don’t regularly address the changes in the water chemistry.
You should proactively check the water’s pH levels and use chemicals for your hot tub as needed. A healthy pH level of 7.2 to 7.8 is ideal. Letting it go higher or lower beyond this range can put your hot tub’s mechanisms and those using it at risk.
Hot Tub Chemistry and Your Must-Have Chemicals
Finding the right balance for your hot tub water starts with conducting a simple test. To help you maintain proper chemical levels, you will need a liquid test kit or testing strips. First, take a sample from your hot tub’s water. Then, you can use a test kit or test strips to check the different aspects of the water’s chemistry, such as chlorine/bromine, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. It’s ideal to do this test two to three times weekly to ensure that your hot tub’s chemical balance is within the recommended range.
One of the most essential chemicals you need for your hot tub is a sanitizer. As you may have guessed, you need sanitizer to disinfect the water by killing bacteria that may have developed. The three types of sanitizer that are most commonly used include chlorine, bromine, and biguanide. Below is a breakdown of how each of them works, as well as their pros and cons:
- Chlorine – This is perhaps the most popular choice when it comes to hot tub sanitizers. It’s economical, accessible, and efficiently kills algae and bacteria. Of course, it’s also known for its distinctive smell, which tends to put off some people. An interesting thing to note, though, is that the strong odor doesn’t actually come from chlorine itself; rather, it’s from the process of oxidizing. In short, it’s just the smell of chlorine’s reaction when it comes in contact with contaminants. The stronger the odour gets, the more chlorine you should actually put in.
- Bromine – Some people prefer this type of sanitizer because it doesn’t have the same powerful odor that chlorine does. In addition, it’s also less likely to cause skin irritation. One downside is that while bromine lasts longer than chlorine, it works slower as a result. This could also be a better option for indoor hot tubs instead of outdoor ones because of its tendency to be less stable. When put in an uncovered hot tub and exposed to the sun, bromine could quickly get burned away.
- Biguanide – Known as an alternative to chlorine and bromine, this sanitizer is also an effective disinfectant. The main advantage of using biguanide is that you don’t need to use it as many times as the other options mentioned. It also kills bacteria minus the unpleasant smell. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is that it’s a bit pricier, and in some cases, it has caused hot tubs to deteriorate. That’s why it’s recommended to consult a hot tub provider near you before going with this option.
Here’s the key takeaway: chemical balance is important for hot tubs, and maintaining the proper levels will ensure you get the most out of your spa. As long as you test the water regularly and use the right amount of chemicals, maintaining healthy water chemistry in your hot tub shouldn’t be too difficult. You can download our free buyer’s guide if you’d like to learn more about owning a hot tub and which one would be best for your home.