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Using Chlorine or Bromine as Primary Sanitizer?

Many hot tub owners rely on chlorine or bromine as the primary sanitizer for their hot tub. Unfortunately only if the system is monitored and balanced very frequently can you have confidence that the water is safe. If you are testing the system every day you may be o.k. Some homeowners think that if they can smell the chlorine in the water it is safe. This is not the case. If you smell a strong chemical odor you are most likely smelling the chloramines, the bi-product of used up chlorine. This indicates that there is insufficient chlorine to sanitize the hot tub water.

Hiring a Water Technician to Balance your Hot Tub Water?

Dirty hot tub water

Does your Hot tub water look like this between water technician service calls? … Not Good!

Many hot tub owners become tired of maintaining their water chemistry. They make the decision to hire a professional service company to balance the water. These technicians may understand how to manage the water chemistry during their visit, however, the issue is that the water can become fouled very quickly. The technician has no control over the water quality between visits. So is the water really safe between the adjustments?




The Easy Way to Keep Your Hot Tub Water Clean

Water treated with ozone

Keep your Hot Tub water crystal clear all of the time … effortlessly!

The real solution to ensure your hot tub water is always clean is to use one of nature’s most powerful sanitizer, ozone. Ozone is 3,125 times faster than chlorine at killing bacteria and viruses. And, it can be replenished automatically. Using the Aero-Spa™ system as the primary sanitizer and clarifier will ensure the best water quality. You will still keep 1-2 PPM of free chlorine in the water as a residual back-up sanitizer. To put this into perspective, the EPA regulates free chlorine in municipal drinking water between 1-4 PPM. Therefore, 1-2 PPM will be barely noticeable.

Hot Tubs and Rental Homes or Timeshares

If you own a timeshare the Aero-Spa™ ozone system can bring many benefits. First of all, make sure your guests enjoy their stay, including the hot tub experience. A cloudy or worse yet, a “green” hot tub will turn them off and they most likely will not rent from you again. You’ll also want to do your best at keeping the hot tub water safe. You’ll never know who and how your hot tub will be used. Using the Aero-Spa™ ozone system along with best industry practice will minimize the likelihood of an issue.



Make Clean Hot Tub Water Simple

Your hired water technician may resist the use of ozone as the primary water treatment system. He may not understand the power of ozone. He also has a vested interest in selling you chemicals every week or month. I am not telling you to fire your technician, I am suggesting that you make his job a whole lot easier and your hot tub water safer between visits by installing an Aero-Spa™ system!

What is Ozone?

Ozone, or O3, is active oxygen. It is an oxidant that works thousands of times faster than chlorine. The biggest disadvantage of ozone is that it cannot be stored — it must be made as you use it. To get ozone, equipment is used to split the oxygen molecule into to atoms. The atoms reattach themselves to unsplit oxygen molecules, which forms ozone. The leftover third atom is the one that turns into the oxidizing agent. Once the reaction takes place, the ozone becomes oxygen again.

Equipment Installation and Energy Usage

It takes about 15 minutes to install the Aero-Spa™. No tools are needed. The system runs for about an hour every day to clean the water in the hot tub. If you need more because of excessive use of the hot tub, simply change the timer so the system runs longer.
The first thing you might think is, “What is the difference between paying for chemicals and electricity?” The Aero-Spa™ uses 60 watts while running. This is the same amount of power a 60-watt light bulb uses, which amounts to a few cents per day. The Aero-Spa™ puts out enough ozone for any size hot tub.

The Problem with Chemical Sanitizers

The chemicals that you must constantly put into the hot tub to keep the water sanitized not only hurt you and your family, but also hurt the environment. Chlorine and other chemicals can burn the skin and irritate your eyes and sinuses. The chemicals eventually saturate the water, making it impossible to balance the pH. When you empty the hot tub and refill it, you have to start the balancing procedure all over again. Keeping the hot tub water in good condition takes time and money.
Instead of subjecting yourself, your family and the environment to chemicals, you can keep the hot tub sanitized and in balance with ozone — yes, the very same ozone in our upper atmosphere that filters ultraviolet light.


The Aero-Spa™ doesn’t eliminate all maintenance to the hot tub. You still need to vacuum or net any debris in the water. You will also need to brush the interior of the hot tub every week or so. If you keep the hot tub covered, you won’t need to add any chlorine, but if it is exposed to the sun, you will need to maintain a chlorine concentration of 1 to 3 PPM so you can control algae growth.
We recommend that if anyone has any open sores or infections they do not use the hot tub until healed. If they do use the hot tub with these conditions you will need to use a residual sanitizer to prevent spreading of the infection, or cross contamination. About 4 PPM of chlorine helps to prevent cross contamination. While the vast majority of customers that use the Aero-Spa™ system do not use a residual sanitizer, the EPA recommends 1 PPM of free chlorine as a back-up.
You must also clean the filter, as you did when you used chlorine and other chemicals. The filter should be cleaned on the same schedule as you were cleaning it before.
Maintenance on the unit itself is minimal. Check and clean the cooling fan intake once per month. Otherwise, the equipment will run without having to do other maintenance.

OSHA Regulations for Ozone

OSHA gives a 0.1 PPM per eight hours as a limit for ozone in an indoor work place. If the ozone increases above this, it could case shortness of breath, throat irritation and coughing. The Aero-Spa™ is designed for outdoor use. Ozone has a very distinctive odor. It is the smell that is in the air after a thunderstorm. When lightening streaks through the air, it splits the oxygen molecules and creates ozone.
Browse through our web page or call us for more information about the Aero-Spa™ equipment for your hot tub. Reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and save money at the same time.

Being a hot tub owner since 1998 I have a lot of experience with the effects of hot tub water contamination. We live on an inland lake in Wisconsin. One of the popular sayings in Wisconsin is “if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour and it will change”. As our children were growing, they would frequently swim in the lake with their friends. Being in a northern climate, there are more months that the lake is “cooler” than comfortable.

What does that mean relative to your hot tub? Well, if your children are anything like mine, they would jump into the lake and then a short time later congregate in the hot tub to warm up. Inevitable, the water would go from clear to a shade of pea green by morning. Over the next several days, the hot tub chemist (my wife) would spend countless hours balancing the pH and chemical level to balance the water. Within the next days, the children would repeat the ritual of lake to hot tub.

During my work in the area of wastewater treatment I learned of the naturally occurring compound of ozone (O3) or tri-atomic oxygen. Ozone happens to be one of the most powerful and fastest disinfectants known. Many time more effective than chlorine or bromine, ozone reverts back to oxygen (O2) after reaction. The conversion from ozone to oxygen occurs within 20 minutes at 70F. Because ozone is very reactive, it cannot be manufactured and stored for later use. Therefore, ozone must be manufactured on-site and used as produced.

Over the past 10 years, we have developed high output and robust equipment that is easily applied. This equipment is now known as Aero-Spa™. Many people ask,”Why is the Aero-Spa™ different from the built-in ozone generator that my hot tub came with”? The difference stems from fundamental process design and ozone output. The majority of built-in ozone generators are UV light based versus corona discharge based. Most built in ozone generators are UV light based. Many of these designs are limited to about 50 mg/hr of ozone production. This output is simply not adequate to clean the water. On the other hand, the Aero-Spa™ ozone generation system is based on a high output corona discharge design. Our ozone generator is 5x more powerful. This fundamental difference enables our product to keep your water clear … automatically!

For the past 10 years our hot tub has been chemical free! During this time, the water has always been crystal clear, even after the children bring the lake water into the hot tub. We spend absolutely no time maintaining the hot tub water. The other advantage is we save over $600 per year on chemicals. We no longer get rashes from the effects of the harsh chemicals. During the days of chemical use, we had constant foaming whenever the jets were turned on. This problem is also eliminated. If you want the lowest maintenance and most refreshing hot tub experience, you must try the Aero-Spa™ product!

Maintaining Hot Tubs

Dec 19 2011

Typical outdoor hot tubs are the heated and circulated water filled tanks that are often used as a source of relaxation and as a form of therapy. Hot tubs are traditionally made out of durable plastics and wood and are available in many different shapes and sizes with varieties specially made to fit as little as two people to as many as ten people.

Hot tubs are usually heated with electric or natural gas heaters and are routinely treated with chemicals such as chlorine and bromine. But the trouble with the chemical treatments is that not only are they harmful to our health, they are also hazardous to the environment, time consuming and often very expensive. And while there are more natural chemicals available, they are often just as expensive and time consuming to use as the chlorine and bromine. But, sanitizing the water is imperative in order to keep the water free of dangerous organisms that are attracted by warmer water.

It is important to mention a balanced pH in the hot tub water is key to a pleasurable and relaxing hot tub experience. A balanced pH means the human skin will not suffer the consequences of acidic or basic water.

The healthiest and most time and cost effective way to treat hot tubs are with the use of ozone technology. Ozone technology or active oxygen is the earth friendly oxidant that is thousands of times faster than chlorine to oxidize hot tub water contaminants. It effectively removes bacteria, mildew, mold and viruses without the any harmful by-products. In fact, hot tubs that are treated with this technology experience the same quality results as chemical treated tubs only without the hassle, health and environmental concerns.

Installation of this hot tub water conditioner usually takes no more than 15 minutes and, with the exception of vacuuming and netting of outside debris, the Aero-Spa will work efficiently and maintenance free for a long time.

Hot tubs are effective at creating a positive and relaxing environment all year round and the last thing that users should have to be concerned with is jeopardizing their health with chemicals. Chemicals, such as Chorine, bromine and hydrochloric acid, take away the negatives of the hot tub while adding new negatives in its place. Ozone technology is the cleanest and easiest way to maintain the health of hot tubs.

When you become an owner of a hot tub, you inherit the responsibility of maintaining the water in the tub.  This is a critical responsibility because failing to do so could result in skin irritations, diseases and potential system problems.  So, where do you start?

Dirty hot tub water

Keeping the pH of the water within a few tenths of 7.5 is very important.  If the pH starts drifting more than a few tenths from 7.5 in either direction, skin and eye irritations will start occurring.  The farther the drift from 7.5, the more severe the irritations.  The life of the pipes, tub, pump, heater and filter will also be shortened if the pH of the water is not kept around 7.5.

Keeping the water bacteria and algae free is also a high priority.  Hot tub water is warm enough to create a very friendly environment for unwanted bacteria and algae.  If left untreated, the population of these organisms can explode and possibly create skin irritations or sicknesses.  If untreated for long periods of time, they can migrate and reside in hard to reach areas of the hot tub piping, recontaminating the water after the hot tub is drained and cleaned.

Chemicals have shelf life and may have to be stored in controlled environments

Oils and soaps will be transferred from people in the hot tub to the water. These can create films on the water surface and along the sides of the hot tub. There are also several minerals that can be present in the water used to fill the hot tub.  Depending on the soaps, oils and water hardness, various treatments are available.

Water treated with ozone

Generally, there are two paths to take to maintain hot tub water:  chemicals and ozone.  Chemicals are more work because all of the above items have to be monitored and treated and are interdependent.  For example, the pH level affects the ability of chlorine to sanitize.  Hard water affects both the pH and chlorine effectiveness, and so on.  In addition, chemicals have a defined shelf life and some require specific storage environments to be effective.

Ozone, on the other hand, eliminates bacteria, algae, oils, soaps and minerals in one treatment.  A small supplemental amount of chlorine may be needed to sanitize the water if someone other than the tub owner uses the water.  Ozone is pH neutral, so no additives are required balance the pH.  Hot tub water also has to be changed less frequently.  In short, using ozone as your primary hot tub water treatment saves you time so you can enjoy your hot tub more.

In the early 1990’s, hundreds of thousands of residents on the south side of Milwaukee experienced a massive outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, the intestinal disease caused by the cryptosporidium parasite. Most affected people experienced days of intestinal stomach flu-like symptoms (mainly diarrhea), but older and younger people along with those with compromised immune systems suffered far worse infections and effects. The source of the cryptosporidium was traced to a contaminated drinking water supply. Cryptosporidium can exist in any body of water, including hot tubs. Cryptosporidium contaminates water via human or animal feces. Once introduced to the water, unsuspecting hosts swallow and ingest the dormant parasite and become infected.Cryptosporidium is a robust and tough single celled parasite that can go into a dormant phase where it produces a thicker outside shell-like feature that allows it to survive in “hostile” environments. This explains why cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine and other sanitizers in hot tubs.
How can hot tub owners prevent a cryptosporidium outbreak in their hot tubs? For starters, anyone who has contracted the parasite and become ill needs to stay out of hot tubs for several days after the symptoms have disappeared. Any small amount of contaminated fecal matter is enough to contaminate the hot tub.This type of prevention, however, is hard to enforce and verify and an awkward topic to talk about with guests. Furthermore, once an infestation has occurred, no amount of chlorine can be guaranteed to kill the parasite population, even if the tub is drained and cleaned!
High levels of bacteria in spa water
There is another solution: treat your hot tub water with ozone. Ozone oxidizes live and dormant cryptosporidium parasites, leaving the water safe for use. In fact, ozone is so effective at killing cryptosporidium that the Milwaukee water utility installed ozone treatment as part of their corrective action after the outbreak in the 90’s.

Bromine and chlorine are the most common chemicals used in spa maintenance. These elements are both halogens, a family of elements in the periodic table known for being highly reactive. They are effective sanitizers as long as they do not form chloramines and bromamines (combinations of chlorine and bromine with ammonia molecules).

Once these chloramine and bromamine compounds form, the ability of the chlorine and bromine elements to oxidize or sanitize the water is greatly reduced and, as a result, more chlorine or bromine must be added to ensure sanitary conditions exist in the water. Note: in the case of chloramines, this compound produces the “chlorine odor” even though it has limited sanitizing capability.

The pH level of spa water can also play a role in how effective chlorine and bromine are as sanitizers. In general, higher pH values adversely affect chlorine and bromine sanitizing capabilities. As a result, it is important for spa owners to take the time and regularly monitor this attribute.

When you use ozone as your primary spa water treatment routine, two huge benefits are realized when you use supplemental chlorine and bromine. First, ozone will oxidize the ammonia in chloramines and bromamines, freeing up chlorine and bromine to more effectively sanitize the water. This means that less time will be spent adding supplemental chlorine and bromine to your spa, saving money!

Second, ozone is pH neutral, unlike other chemical additives, so less time and money is spent on adjusting the spa water’s pH level and the environment is optimum for the free chlorine and bromine to sanitize.

How much chlorine or bromine do you use on a regular basis? How often do you measure the amount of chlorine or bromine in the water? How many different people use your spa each week or month?