There are a few different types of sanitizing programs. When choosing the sanitizer best for you, there are a few factors you must keep in mind:
- What is the water temperature?
- How often will you be using the water?
- Is the pool/spa indoor or outdoor?
- Is it a pool or hot tub?
- Are you filling with city or well water?
- Do you have any preferences or allergies?
Sanitizers kill microorganisms and contaminants. The most common means of disinfecting are with the use of Chlorine or Bromine in part with an Oxidizer. Chlorine and Bromine are very similar and belong to the same Chemical Family. But Bromine is a lot more stable in Hot Water Conditions.
Chlorine naturally burns off faster in hot water or when exposed to sunlight. It works best in part with a stabilizer, but the warmer the water the more stabilizer needed. Stabilizer isn’t recommended in a hot tub. Stabilizer is an acid, and will affect your balancers. The more you use your water, the more chlorine you need. Chlorine works best when there is less usage, and in large bodies of water. Bromine is ideal for Hot Tubs, and there is no need for a stabilizer since it is already stable.
When using Powdered Chlorine or Bromine in a Hot Tub, you want to use the suggested amount, which is usually 1 tsp per 200 gallons after each use, or 2x weekly (whichever is more frequent). The amount of Chlorine or Bromine will vary, so it is important to test your sanitizer periodically. Your ideal Chlorine will be 2ppm – 5ppm and Bromine should be between 4ppm – 6ppm. Once a week, we suggest shocking, by adding 2 tbsp of Spa Shock per 500 gallons of water.
One of the top concerns I hear, is the chemical smell associated with Chlorine or Bromine. The strong chlorine or bromine smell is caused by the oxidation and burning off of organics. The more contaminants in your hot tub, the harder your sanitizer is working. The harder your sanitizer is working the faster it burns off. The chemical smell is actually a result of your Chlorine or Bromine burning off. So, if you are concerned with the chemical smell, an enzyme product, such as Spa Perfect by Natural Chemistry, or a low sanitizer Mineral System are probably in your best interest.
All of our Emerald Hot Tubs come equipped with a Low Bromine, Frog System. The Frog system is a 2-Part Bromine and Mineral, in line sanitation system. The minerals work similarly to a Brita filter. It purifies the water with minerals and copper, but is specially designed to work with Bromine. The minerals lessen the amount of Bromine residual needed. We recommend starting off with a pack of Frog Jump Start to establish a good residual for the Bromine cartridge to keep up with. Once a week, add a capful of our Spa Shock to enhance the performance of the existing Bromine. A Bromine Cartridge lasts about 3 weeks and one Mineral cartridge lasts about 3-4 months.
There is also a similar Low Chlorine System called the Vision or Nature II system. This system works the same way as the Frog, but is designed to work with Chlorine. The Nature II Stick is dropped in your cartridge, and lasts about 4 months. You want to make sure you maintain a residual of 1.5ppm and add Spa Shock once a week.
You cannot rely on the Mineral System and Spa Shock alone. This is a common misconception. It is important to maintain a constant concentration of a disinfectant to protect against pathogens. Spa Shock is an oxidizer, and has no sanitation properties. Its sole purpose is to break down inactive contaminants, and enhance the performance of the existing Bromine or Chlorine. Spa Shock or Oxidizers do not kill bacteria.
Another mean of sanitation are Tablets. Tablets come in either Chlorine or Bromine. Chlorine and Bromine Tablets are perfect for the pool or spa owner who is not in it regularly. You can put tablets in a floater for constant sanitation. You should still add your initial residual of Bromine Concentrate or Sani Spa, for your tablets to keep up with. Then add your Spa Shock once a week.
There is also a sanitizer for those with Chlorine or Bromine allergies. BaquaSpa is a peroxide based sanitizer. Because this is a peroxide based sanitizer, you should expect more foaming. The foaming will be based off of the amount of bacteria or organics that build up in the water. This is a 3 step program that you want to follow specifically to the manufacturers guide. This sanitizer is not compatible with Chlorine, Bromine, Copper, and Powder based Oxidizers or Shocks.
We recommend consulting a Pool and Spa Professional if you’re having a hard time choosing a sanitizer, or if you are experiencing difficulty with your current sanitizer. You can always bring in a Water Sample for our Certified Water Testing Specialists, for detailed instructions on how to manage your hot tub with your current sanitizer. We Make Water Balancing Easy.