Tag Archives: water conditioner

Hot Tub Sanitizers Compared and Explained

WaterTestSanitizing your hot tub water is the most important maintenance you can do for your health and for the life of your hot tub. Soaking in a hot tub is like taking a bath, except you don’t drain this tub when you are done. In fact, you don’t drain it for months. The warm water provides a perfect breeding ground for organic material and microorganisms. Without an effective sanitizer system, things could get ugly quick. Notice I said “system.” You need more than one method working at once to keep your hot tub clean.

A sanitizer has two jobs: first, to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms and second, to oxidize (burn up or eliminate) the dead organic material left behind in your water, such as dirt, soap, hair spray and perspiration. That is a lot of work for the sanitizer to do.
Here are several sanitizers compared. You should be using at least 3 of these and often more than 3 to keep your water safe and clean.

SpaGuard productsChlorine is the old standard for sanitizing and has a familiar odor. Used as chlorine bleach for household use for centuries, chlorine comes in granular form for hot tub use and is known as di-chlor in the industry. It breaks down contaminants by combining with them, causing combined chlorine or chloramines which can build up and cause a strong odor. Usually adding Shock will “burn up” the chloramines, but sometimes not enough Shock is added to clear the water. When combined chlorine levels overtake active chlorine levels, the water becomes unsanitary and must be heavily treated with more chlorine to break through this effect. Chlorine naturally turns to gas and disappears from the water over time. Despite these drawbacks, chlorine is still the sanitizer of choice for hot tubs.

brominefloaterBromine is an alternative to chlorine. It is convenient because it comes in pellets that can be added in a dispenser that delivers it into the hot tub over time. Bromine gets used up when people get into the hot tub. Left unused, bromine can build up in the water since it turns to gas much slower than chlorine.

Ozone (03) is 3000 times more effective than chlorine in breaking down contaminants, leaving the water clean without waste by products. Ozone is now used as a laundry detergent substitute and also in a medical application to eliminate bacteria, virus, and fungus infections in the blood. Corona Discharge ozonators with a Mozi injector pump ozone into the water line to completely sanitize the hot tub water before being released into the tub. Every hot tub should have an ozonator working constantly to keep the water clean.

ShockBottleShock (Monipersulfate or MSP) oxidizes or “burns up” dead organic material such as sweat, blood, or dirt. It should be added each time you use your hot tub, a parting shot to take care of the germs you’ve left behind when you get out.
Peroxide has been long used in the medical field to kill bacteria by overwhelming the germs with oxygen. In a hot tub, this is in granular or powdered form in some oxidizers.
Active Oxygen (OH) is used in many industries to purify ground water and waste water as well as treating water in food manufacturing and breweries. It’s another oxidizer that “burns up” contaminants completely without leaving behind chloramines or other waste by products. Active oxygen is a key product of salt water sanitizing systems.

hotspringsilver

 

Silver ions are released automatically from a mineral stick. This could be a blue cartridge in a frog system or a green or gray stick that goes into your filter compartment. Silver has long been used to kill germs and is available in health food stores for human consumption as well as topical ointments. Silver threads in certain types of cleaning cloths are ‘self-cleaning’ so the cloth doesn’t need to be washed with soap. Silver is an aid to sanitizing. It helps the other main players such as chlorine, bromine, or salt but doesn’t stand alone.

Water conditioners (Silk Balance) clump bacteria and organics together so your filter will catch them and take them out of the water. Because of this clumping and clearing action, the water feels better and can last longer between changes. Although it looks the same, it actually has fewer microbes floating in it.   LOGO SILK BALANCE

 

 

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Salt systems are computer-driven sanitizers that create up to 5 different sanitizers from simple salt water. First it produces Chlorine gas by breaking up the salt (NaCl). Then it breaks up the water (H20) into Active Oxygen (OH). The Active Oxygen then creates peroxide, ozone, and shock (MSP). These 5 sanitizers eliminate the need for many of the standard chemicals used in water care, giving a more natural and less time-consuming solution for water care. Salt systems still use a silver mineral stick, so with the silver six different sanitizers are at work in a salt system. These salt systems are add-ons in certain hot tubs with salt water capability.

Here is a chart to help you compare these choices:Sanitizer Chart

There are many choices for keeping your hot tub water clean. It important part is steady and constant maintenance. A hot tub needs attention a couple times each week to be safe for use.

How Hot Water helps your Heart Health

The latest research on hydrotherapy and your heart function by Dr. Bruce Becker.

Can Enzymes help keep my hot tub clean?

Enzymes work in hot tubs and pools to break down body fluids and oils to keep your waterline clean. Here’s a great video by BioLab on how enzymes work. This video is for pools but the demonstration is very informative for hot tub owners as well.

We have a product called Spa Perfect that adds enzymes to your water just as this product does.

Water Care: Total Dissolved Solids

SpaGuard productsIn every industry certain words or initials become commonplace and known by those who use them. That is also the case in the hot tub industry. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is one of these buzz words. Total Dissolved Solids means the amount of dissolved material in the water. This includes minerals, alkalinity, chloride, bromine, blood, sweat, and tears. Continue reading Water Care: Total Dissolved Solids

Water Care: Hardness and Softness

flowing waterHardness and softness have been used to describe water for generations. Up until the last 100 years, well water was the only source around and what you got was what you had to live with. Then water softeners were introduced in the early 1900s. Hard water doesn’t form suds. It leaves bathtub rings. If it contains a lot of iron, it can even stain your clothes.

Hardness is caused by minerals in the water, including calcium, magnesium, iron, aluminum, manganese, strontium, or zinc. Because calcium accounts for 75% of the hardness in water, scientists have set a scale called Calcium Hardness so they can give it a number and provide a recipe to balance it.

Soft water feels better on your skin. However, Continue reading Water Care: Hardness and Softness

Hot Tub Terms: Your Glossary of Spa Jargon

Acrylic: a product used to make hot tub interiors

Air Leak: what happens when a pump has a crack on the suction side so it draws air into the water. This can damage the pump and the filter. If your water has a lot of foam and anti-foam isn’t working, this could be the reason.

Algae: microscopic plant life that grows in unbalanced hot tub water where the cover is off a lot

Alkalinity: (see Total Alkalinity) a measure of how much buffering agent is in your water

Anti-foam: a chemical which reduces or eliminates foaming.

Biguanides: (pronounced By-GUAN-eyed) sanitizer that is part of a non-chlorine and non-bromine water treatment system.

Continue reading Hot Tub Terms: Your Glossary of Spa Jargon

Water Care Class at Clearwater Spas

Spa School Presentation   On October 22, Clearwater Spas hosted a Hot Tub Water Care Class. Natasha McCausland, our SpaGuard representative, did an excellent job of educating our valued customers on water care for their hot tubs.

Natasha McCausland BioLab
Natasha with a Customer

Continue reading Water Care Class at Clearwater Spas

Pearl Watercare: Help for Cloudy Water

cloudy-water

 

Cloudy water is unsettling. It looks strange and makes everyone think twice about getting in. At its best, Pearl Watercare keeps your water clean and clear. However, you might find your water cloudy at times, especially if you’ve had extra people in your hot tub.

 

Pearl Watercare clumps the bacteria together so your filter can take it out. If you have extra bacteria in your hot tub, Pearl will clump it and you will see it as cloudy water sooner. That’s a good thing because now you can get that stuff out of your water.

Here are some other reasons for cloudy water:

  1. No free chlorine
  2. Incorrect pH
  3. Total Alkalinity (TA) is incorrect
  4. Poor filtration—are your filters dirty?
  5. Detergent residue in clothing

First, test your water and add the appropriate chemicals to bring Continue reading Pearl Watercare: Help for Cloudy Water

Water Care: Why is my hot tub water cloudy?

cloudy-water

 

Cloudy water is unsettling. It looks strange and makes everyone think twice about getting in.

 

 

Here are several reasons for cloudy water:

  1. No free chlorine
  2. Incorrect pH
  3. Total Alkalinity (TA) is incorrect
  4. Poor filtration—are your filters dirty?
  5. Detergent residue in clothing

All these have an overriding reason: failing to test regularly.

Water clarifier can help, but first test your water and add the appropriate chemicals to bring Continue reading Water Care: Why is my hot tub water cloudy?

PEARL WATERCARE: A Safe Natural Hot Tub Water Conditioner

2xbottlesPearl Watercare is an environmentally friendly liquid additive that helps condition your hot tub and give it that squeaky clean sound when you run your feet over the bottom. You know your hot tub is clean when that happens. It’s safe for your skin and is even used to bathe burn victims in specialized hospitals.

Pearl Watercare prevents bacteria from sticking to the surfaces of your tub and it’s components. Then it takes the bacteria and clumps it together, so your filter will hold on to it. Until now, your filter has never worked so much or so well. Rinse your filter once a week, and you’ll see how well Pearl is working. Continue reading PEARL WATERCARE: A Safe Natural Hot Tub Water Conditioner