Hot Tub Chemicals
Here are some ground rules you should know before you handle chemicals for your hot tub.
1) Always wear gloves and eye protection when handling chemicals.
2) Test the chemical levels in the water before use, or at least twice a week.
3) Always add chemicals to the water. NEVER add water to the chemicals.
4) Chemicals should be stored away from heat, cold, and moisture.
5) Chemicals should be added in moderation.
6) Hot tub chemicals should be stored away from other types of chemicals, such as fertilizer and gasoline.
7) You should ALWAYS wash your hands directly after handling hot tub chemicals.
Too much of any chemical will alter the pH of the hot tub. It can also change how different chemicals react. Just remember that a little goes a long way. Here are some guidelines to remember:
• Adjustments to chemical levels should be done in moderation.
• Chemicals should be added BEFORE levels go out of range, not after.
• Always test the water before you add chemicals.
• More sanitizer is not necessarily better.
Hot Tub Chemical Names
Algaecide: it is used to kill existing algae.
Calcium Hardness Increaser: it helps to prevent the deterioration of plaster hot tubs and metal surfaces such as heaters and pumps.
Clarifier: it is used to clear up cloudy or hazy water. Flocculants and Coagulants also clarify the water.
Enzymes: it breaks down slime into carbon dioxide and water.
Ionizer: copper, silver, or zinc combined with a low voltage current is used to kill bacteria. This works in conjunction with Chlorine or Bromine. Biguanide should not be used with an ionizing system.
Mineral Systems: they use copper, silver, or zinc as a sanitizer. However, they will not sanitize effectively when the water is not circulating. Chlorine is often used as a residual sanitizer. Bromine nullifies the effect of silver. Biguanides are not to be mixed with mineral systems. Mineral systems use the same principal as an ionizing system, except without the electricity.
Non-Chlorine Shock: It is an oxygen based oxidizer. Some support free available chlorine.
Oxidizers: see Shock.
Ozonator: It is used to generate ozone, a form of oxygen. It is bubbled through the water of your hot tub and it kills bacteria and other organic matter. It makes the water pure and soft.
pH adjusters: they are used to raise or lower the pH of the water to the correct level so that sanitizers are able to work properly. It will also reduce the scaling and corrosion, and reduce skin and eye irritation.
Sanitizer: it is used to kill bacteria. The most common sanitizers are Chlorine, Bromine, and Biguanide.
Sequestering or Chelating Agents: prevent spa surface stains and water discoloration from metals in the water.
Shock: High concentrations of shock will keep the water clean and clear, burn off organic waste, and kill algae. Chlorine can act as both a sanitizer and a shock.
Tetraborate Compounds: they are another way to kill algae, slime, and water mold. They are rarely needed in hot tubs.
Tile, Vinyl, and Plastic Cleaners: they are used to remove scale and scum lines.
Total Alkalinity Adjusters: they are used to raise or lower total alkalinity to keep pH stable.6