Friday, August 21, 2009
Spa Water Treatment Options
Since mankind decided that hot tubs would be fun we have had to face the challenge of keeping that water clear and safe. Chlorine and Bromine have been in use since almost day one. Both have their advantages. They kill everything. The down side is also that they kill everything. By that I mean that Chlorine and Bromine are both caustic chemicals. That is both how they function and what makes them less desirable. Not only do they kill germs and bacteria but they are harmful to your skin, hair, bathing suits, spa jets, pump impellers, pets and environment. With the heightened awareness of the environment and our own physical health, there has been a wide variety of alternatives to the old standards.Minerals can be used to treat the spa water with less harmful effects. First, Copper can be used to treat your water and keeps stuff from growing in your water. It is a lot safer for your skin, hair and health, and won’t cause premature break down of your pump and jet components. Still, because it does a good job of killing things you need to use care when you empty your spa. Some areas have banned using copper to treat water because if it does end up in the water shed it will kill fish and algae.Another popular choice is Silver and zinc. I would just recommend sticking with the liquid based versions. You should never use anything directly in the filter area of the spa because you do not want the risk of anything being sucked into the water pump.Ozone can also be effective in water treatment. It works by exposing ultra violet light to air which forms an energetic oxidizer. It destroys algae, viruses and bacteria. Again you should know how to use your system properly. Avoid over exposure to ozone while using the spa. No ozone bubbles should be entering the spa during occupancy. Also you should not be able to smell ozone while you are in the spa.One thing that a lot of spa owners forget about is checking your spa water pH. Maintaining the proper pH level can greatly improve the effectiveness of the water treatment. Spa water that is not properly balanced can cause irritation to eyes, and mucous membranes. Just because you keep a handle on your chemical treatment, do not get lazy about checking the pH.Finally, circulation of the water. Stagnant water, especially warm stagnant water is a breeding ground for life. Regular circulation of the water for significant periods of time will reduce the need for chemicals and increases the effectiveness of the spas filtration. It is better overall for your spa pump to run for three to four hours at a time for two to three times per day as opposed to running for thirty minutes at a time ten times per day. If your spa only runs for thirty minutes it does no have enough time to properly filter all the spa water.The bottom line is that yo want to be able to enjoy your spa for years to come. However like your car, regular maintenance can have a profound influence on that. If you maintain your car, change the oil, replace the filters, rotate the tires, you stand a much better choice of enjoying your vehicle with fewer unpleasant surprises. The same goes for your spa.