Hot Tubs Are Not Small Pools

by Tony Turbo.

When spa owners look at their hot tubs, they often think they are small pools. After all, they are usually 200 – 600 gallons of contained water, visually, not unlike the typical 15,000 – 20,000 gallons in a pool. Both need regular attention to sanitation to ensure safe, clear water for your enjoyment. And, depending on the season, pools may also be heated as are spas and hot tubs. However, the similarities end there.

Why you may ask? It really comes down to three main differences and the consequent effects on your spa water.

Differences Between Spas and Pools

First, spa water is typically 20 – 25 degrees warmer than pool water. Second, all those massaging jets are also scrubbing off millions of dead skin cells. Third, as noted above, your spa is a lot smaller than your pool.

Much Warmer Water

The much warmer spa water encourages the growth of bacteria, molds, viruses, and many other pathogens potentially present. Many of these are present in the air while others may exist on your skin. Once in your spa water, these bad guys like their new home which is, of course, why you use both a primary sanitizer and Hot Tub Serum Total Maintenance in your spa water. You want to kill and remove these pathogens.

The much warmer water in your spa also means chlorine, and to a lesser extent bromine, will dissipate out of your spa water much more quickly in a spa. Why the difference? Chlorine is a gas at normal temperatures, while bromine is a liquid at these same temperatures.

Finally, with your hot tub usually in the 100 – 102 degrees range and your body temperature around 98.2 degrees, you sweat (sorry, “perspire”) in a hot tub. In fact, you may sweat 1 – 2 pints in an hour. Your sweat contains lots of organic material that must be removed from your spa water via oxidation. This is one of the two main functions of chlorine and bromine – to oxidize biologic waste materials in your spa water. In the process these primary sanitizers are consumed.

Scrubbing Your Skin

Those vigorous jets you love so much for their wonderful massage are also scrubbing off millions of dead skin cells – a perfect food for bacteria and other pathogens in your spa. Notice how when you step out of your spa, your skin feels warm and invigorated? There’s your proof. It’s even got a name – exfoliation – “to remove the surface of your skin”.

You Are A Much Bigger Pollutant (If I’m Blunt) In Your Spa

Your pool often has 40 – 50x more water in it than your spa – think 15,000 gallons versus 350 gallons. Yet, there are still 2 – 4 people in both. The simple math is that your biologic impact (waste material) is not diluted anywhere close to as much in your spa as your pool. These waste materials, or what we spa folks call “bather load”, are therefore much more concentrated in your spa.

And The Result

If you own a pool, you are testing and adjusting your water weekly. At least a weekly check and adjustment of your spa water is even more important in order to enjoy crystal clear, safe spa water. This is where Serum Total Maintenance is so very helpful.

I talk about the many benefits of Serum in other Blogs and our FAQ’s, but the bottom line is Total Maintenance helps your primary sanitizer be more effective. Even when your sanitizer levels are too low, Total Maintenance is a back-up, secondary sanitizer ensuring your water remains clear and safe for use.

Thanks for reading,

Tony Turbo

Thanks for reading,
Tony Turbo

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