Why you don’t need Ozone in a Hot Tub and what you should use instead

Why you dont need Ozone in a hot tub

One of the things that I often get asked about is using Ozone on a Hot Tub. In this article I am going to explain why you don’t need Ozone on your Hot Tub and what a better alternative is.

What is Ozone on a Hot Tub and How Does It Work?

 

Ozone sanitization in hot tubs works by introducing ozone gas (O3) into the water through an ozone generator. The ozone gas is created by passing air through a high-voltage electrical field, which splits the oxygen molecules (O2) into individual atoms. These atoms then recombine to form ozone (O3).

 

Once the ozone gas is introduced into the water, it reacts with any impurities or bacteria present, breaking apart the ozone molecule and releasing the extra oxygen atom. The oxygen atom then attaches itself to the impurities or bacteria, neutralizing them.

 

This process is called oxidation and it helps to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in the water, making it much cleaner and safer for use. The neutralized impurities and bacteria can then be easily removed from the water through the hot tub’s filtration system.

 

Additionally, Ozone also helps to reduce the amount of chlorine or other chemical sanitizers that are needed to keep the water clean. This can help to reduce the overall chemical levels in the water and make the hot tub experience more pleasant for the users by reducing the smell of chlorine and other chemicals.

 

Overall, Ozone sanitization is an effective and efficient way to keep hot tub water clean and safe for use. It is a low-cost and chemical-free alternative to traditional water sanitization methods.

What does an ozonator do in a hot tub?

An ozonator is a device that generates ozone (O3), a highly reactive molecule that can effectively sanitize water. In hot tubs, ozonators are used to supplement or replace traditional chlorine-based sanitization systems.

Ozonators work by injecting ozone gas into the hot tub water. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer, meaning it can break down and eliminate a wide range of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, and organic matter. It also helps to break down body oils and other biodegradable materials, keeping the water clean and clear.

Here are some of the benefits of using an ozonator in a hot tub:

  • Effective sanitization: Ozone is a more potent sanitizer than chlorine, and it can kill a broader range of microorganisms.

  • Reduced chemical usage: Ozone can help to reduce the need for chlorine or other sanitizing chemicals, which can be irritating to the skin and eyes.

  • Cleaner water: Ozone can help to break down organic matter, making the water clearer and reducing the formation of foam and scum.

  • Reduced odor: Ozone can help to eliminate odors caused by bacteria and other contaminants.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using an ozonators in hot tubs:

  • Ozone can be harmful to human health if inhaled in high concentrations. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the ozonator is properly installed and ventilated to prevent ozone from accumulating in the air around the hot tub.

  • Ozone can break down certain types of hot tub components, such as rubber seals and gaskets. If you are concerned about this, you may want to consider using a different type of sanitization system.

  • Ozone can be more expensive to operate than chlorine-based sanitization systems.

Overall, ozonators can be a valuable addition to hot tubs, providing effective sanitization and reducing the need for harsh chemicals. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks and take steps to mitigate them.

How do i know if my hot tub ozonator is working?

Determining if your hot tub ozonator is functioning properly involves checking for specific signs and performing simple tests. Here’s a step-by-step guide to assess your ozonator’s effectiveness:

  1. Observe Ozone Bubbles: A working ozonator should produce a consistent stream of bubbles from your hot tub’s drain. These bubbles are indicative of ozone being released into the water. If you notice no bubbles or only small, infrequent bubbles, it suggests that your ozonator may not be operating correctly.

  2. Check Ozone Generator Unit: Examine the ozone generator unit for any visible signs of damage or malfunction. Look for any cracks, leaks, or loose connections. If you notice any abnormalities, consider contacting a professional for further inspection.

  3. Test Ozone Output: Use an ozone test kit to measure the ozone level in your hot tub water. The recommended ozone level for hot tubs is between 0.1 and 0.3 parts per million (ppm). If the ozone level is significantly lower than the recommended range, it indicates that the ozonator may be functioning poorly.

  4. Inspect Air Intake and Outlet: Ensure that the ozonator’s air intake and outlet are clean and free of debris or obstructions. Clogged intake or outlet can hinder the ozonator’s ability to generate ozone effectively.

  5. Check Power Supply: Verify that the ozonator is properly connected to a power source and that the power source is functioning correctly. If the power supply is intermittent or faulty, it can disrupt the ozonator’s operation.

  6. Consult Owner’s Manual: Refer to your hot tub’s owner’s manual for specific instructions on troubleshooting and maintaining your ozonator. The manual may provide additional tips and diagnostic procedures tailored to your specific ozonator model.

 

Hot tub ozonator pros and cons

An ozonator is a device that generates ozone gas, which is a powerful oxidizer that can be used to sanitize hot tub water. Ozone is a natural sanitizer that is effective at killing bacteria, viruses, and algae. It can also help to break down organic matter and reduce the formation of foam and scum.

Pros of using an ozonator in a hot tub:

  • Effective sanitization: Ozone is a more potent sanitizer than chlorine, and it can kill a broader range of microorganisms.
  • Reduced chemical usage: Ozone can help to reduce the need for chlorine or other sanitizing chemicals, which can be irritating to the skin and eyes.
  • Cleaner water: Ozone can help to break down organic matter, making the water clearer and reducing the formation of foam and scum.
  • Reduced odor: Ozone can help to eliminate odors caused by bacteria and other contaminants.
  • Environmentally friendly: Ozone is a natural sanitizer that does not leave behind harmful byproducts.

Cons of using an ozonator in a hot tub:

  • Cost: Ozonators can be more expensive to purchase and operate than chlorine-based sanitization systems.
  • Maintenance: Ozonators require more maintenance than chlorine-based sanitization systems.
  • Safety: Ozone can be harmful to human health if inhaled in high concentrations.

Overall, ozonators can be a valuable addition to hot tubs, providing effective sanitization and reducing the need for harsh chemicals.

 

How to install and Ozonator.

nstalling an ozonator in a hot tub involves several steps, including preparation, installation, and testing. Here’s a comprehensive guide to walk you through the process:

Preparation:

  1. Gather Materials: Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials, including the ozonator unit, installation kit, safety goggles, gloves, screwdriver, wrench, and pipe cutter.

  2. Read the Manual: Carefully review the ozonator’s owner’s manual to understand the specific installation instructions and safety precautions.

  3. Turn Off Power: Before any electrical work, disconnect the power supply to the hot tub to prevent electrical hazards.

  4. Locate Installation Point: Identify the designated installation point for the ozonator, typically near the hot tub’s pump or equipment compartment.

Installation:

  1. Mount the Ozonator: Mount the ozonator securely to the designated location using the provided screws or brackets. Ensure the mounting is stable and the ozonator is level.

  2. Connect Air Intake: Attach the air intake tubing to the ozonator and the air source, such as a dedicated air pump or the hot tub’s existing air system. Ensure the connections are tight and secure.

  3. Connect Ozone Output: Connect the ozone output tubing to the ozonator and the injection point, which is usually a dedicated ozone injector or a venturi fitting in the plumbing system. Tighten the connections firmly.

  4. Connect Electrical Wiring: Carefully connect the ozonator’s electrical wiring to the power source, following the instructions in the manual. Ensure the connections are properly insulated and protected.

Testing:

  1. Turn On Power: Once the installation is complete, reconnect the power supply to the hot tub.

  2. Check for Leaks: Inspect all connections for any signs of leaks, particularly around the air intake and ozone output tubing.

  3. Test Ozone Output: Use an ozone test kit to measure the ozone level in the hot tub water. The recommended ozone level for hot tubs is between 0.1 and 0.3 parts per million (ppm).

  4. Observe Ozone Bubbles: Check for a consistent stream of ozone bubbles from the hot tub’s drain or the dedicated ozone injector.

  5. Monitor Water Quality: Regularly monitor the hot tub water quality to ensure proper sanitation and effectiveness of the ozonator.

Additional Tips:

  • Follow the specific installation instructions provided with your ozonator model.

  • Consult a qualified electrician if you are unsure about any electrical connections.

  • Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from potential hazards during installation.

  • Regularly maintain your ozonator to ensure optimal performance and extend its lifespan.

So that was the “Science bit” – let me share my experience with Ozone

 

My Journey with Ozone, and it was a journey started out when I was building my own DIY Hot Tub. “Pool Man John” suggested that I added an Ozonator to my setup. I didn’t buy a cheap one, this was a £200/$250 Balboa unit.

 

From the start, this was a bit of a disaster. Connecting the unit to the Spa Pack was not a problem – this in itself was straight forward. It was everything else that is involved in setting up the system correctly.

 

You hear how Ozone is dangerous if inhaled, so this had me a little worried from the outset when I was trying to put the system together.

 

Firstly, you have to get a Hartford loop in there to stop water getting back to the unit. Then, you need a one way valve – both of these were pretty straight forward to do although they look a mess in your control room IMHO.

However, the process in which Ozone is drawn into the water is done by venturi – I just could not get this to work. Furthermore, this setup made my hot tub leak every time the jets were turned on wand water went everywhere in the control room – the pressure was just too much.

 

After plugging leaks left right and centre and trying to run with the unit for a month or two, I gave up.

 

I cut the unit out of the system, which at that point was all blocked up and full of “gunk” as it was not working correctly, and through it straight into the bin – best thing I did! Piped up the gap and guess what, no leaks!

 

As the unit had never worked correctly, I didn’t feel that I was missing any benefits at all from not having it – and now my hot tub didn’t leak.

 

For me, Ozone is a little bit “old school” an outdated means of sanitising your hot tub.

 

As such, in the 600+ customers I have helped at time of writing on their Hot Tub journeys, I have never specified, designed in, or supplied an Ozone unit. Plus, I have convinced anyone that has ever asked about one that they don’t need them!

 

What is a better alternative to Ozone in Hot Tubs?

 

For me, a much better option than Ozone in hot tubs is UVC – Ultraviolet.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that lies in the spectrum between visible light and X-rays. UV light is divided into three main categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is the most effective type of UV light for killing microorganisms, and is the type of UV light that is typically used in hot tubs.

 

When water flows through the hot tub’s plumbing system, it passes through a chamber that contains a UV lamp. The lamp emits UVC light, which sterilizes the water by damaging the DNA of any microorganisms present. This prevents the microorganisms from reproducing and keeps the water clean and safe for use.

 

The effectiveness of the UV sterilization process depends on several factors, including the intensity of the UV light, the flow rate of the water, and the length of time the water is exposed to the UV light.

 

In general, the higher the intensity of the UV light, the faster the flow rate of the water, and the longer the water is exposed to the UV light, the more effective the sterilization process will be.

 

In addition to killing microorganisms, UV sterilization can also help to reduce the amount of chemicals like chlorine or bromine that are needed to keep the water clean. This can help to make the hot tub water more comfortable to use and reduce the potential for irritation or allergic reactions.

 

It’s worth noting that UV sterilization should be used in conjunction with other sanitizing methods, such as chemical treatment, in order to maintain a safe and healthy hot tub environment.

 

UV – The Installation

 

The Installation of UV is pretty straight forward. The UVC units sit in series with your circulation plumbing and they should be after the heater or spa pack.

 

If you don’t have a circulation pump, then you should put a bypass on the UV unit to allow for adequate flow to your jets – most units have a maximum flow rate of around 80 GPM, which is not enough for your jets.

 

In terms of powering the unit, as they are low current draw, I like to power these directly off the circulation pump. That way, you are only ever running the unit when the water is circulating.

 

This may not be how the manufacturer has designed the system to work, but for me, it is an effective way of doing things.

Chemical Free Option?

 

UV on its own as we have established, is not an effective or I should say, Complete way of sanitising your Hot Tub. However, if you are looking to run a completely chemical free hot tub. Then here is an alternative for you. UV & Active Oxygen.

 

Active Oxygen Tablets

 

Active oxygen tablets for hot tubs are a type of sanitizing agent that are used to keep the water in a hot tub clean and safe for use. They typically contain hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient, which acts as a powerful oxidizing agent that can kill bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms that can grow in the warm, humid environment of a hot tub.

 

The tablets are usually added to the hot tub on a regular basis, usually once or twice a week, depending on the usage and the number of people using the hot tub. The frequency of use, water temperature and bather load are also factors to consider when determining the appropriate dosage. The tablets are typically placed in a floating dispenser or directly into the hot tub’s skimmer.

 

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and dosage to ensure that the water is properly sanitized. In addition to using active oxygen tablets, other measures such as maintaining a consistent pH level, keeping the hot tub clean, and regularly changing the water can also help to keep the hot tub in good condition. It’s also important to keep an eye on the hot tub’s chlorine or bromine levels, to ensure that they are within the recommended range for safe use.

It’s important to note that active oxygen tablets should not be used in combination with chlorine or bromine, as the combination can create harmful by-products.

 

 

 

 

Can I Help You?

If I can help you in any way I would love to hear from you. You can get in touch using the form below.

Thanks - Andi

 

Hi, Andi here. I own Buildahottub.com and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.

Today, I've helped over 1000 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi

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