Ozone – What Is Its True Purpose In Your Spa

by Tony Turbo.

If you have recently shopped for a hot tub or been researching best practices for maintaining your spa, you have certainly heard or seen ozone mentioned. Ozonators are often included or added to spas by your spa manufacturer. However, they are often also incorrectly explained as being sanitizers in your spa. This month lets discuss spa “ozone”.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is an unstable molecular form of oxygen.
The word “oxygen” refers to both the elemental form of oxygen, that is the atom, and the most common molecular form of oxygen – that is the combination of two oxygen atoms notated as O2. O2 is a gas and represents just under 21% of our atmosphere. Oxygen is also highly reactive – it likes to combine with a great many other elements. Two common combinations are water (hydrogen & oxygen, or H2O) and rust (iron and oxygen, or Fe2O3). This reactive process is called “oxidation”.
Ozone is O3, or three oxygen atoms and like oxygen, ozone is a gas. Ozone is highly unstable and for this reason it is “oxygen on steroids” when it comes to oxidizing other materials.

Some Facts About Ozone

Let’s start by admitting a few facts.

  1. Ozone is so unstable it has a half-life of only 30 minutes at normal temperatures, however in a spa it is closer to 20 minutes. This means that every 20 minutes, ½ of ozone will be broken down to regular oxygen if it is not replaced. In an hour, only 1/8 will remain. After two hours less than 2% will remain.
  2. Ozone is naturally produced by lightning and ultraviolet light in the upper atmosphere.
  3. Not only will ozone oxidize a vast assortment of chemicals, it will also kill bacteria, viruses, algae, fungus, molds, and other pathogens almost immediately because it is so reactive. In fact, ozone is 50x more effective at killing bacteria than chlorine.
  4. Because ozone both kills dangerous pathogens AND breaks down so quickly, it is commonly used to disinfect drinking water. However, by the time municipal water arrives at your home, any ozone is long gone.
  5. As you would likely guess, ozone is harmful to your lungs. This and the rapid breakdown of ozone are key facts to know when discussing the purpose of ozone in your hot tub.

Ozone In Your Hot Tub

So how do you keep your spa water clean, clear, and ready for your use whenever you wish? Actually, it’s quite simple. Be disciplined and follow the rules. Hmmm – Seems I remember this coming from my parents more than a few years ago.
And the rules?

  1. Check your water chemistry at least once a week and make any needed adjustments to ensure your sanitizer level and pH are in the proper range.
    1. Chlorine: 1 – 3 ppm
    2. Bromine: 2 – 6 ppm
    3. pH: 7.2 – 7.6
  1. Along with ensuring you maintain the proper sanitizer level, add Serum Total Maintenance every week.
    1. Total Maintenance helps your primary sanitizer be more effective and
    2. If your sanitizer level should drop too low sometime during the week, Total Maintenance kills bacteria and other pathogens to keep your spa water clear and safe for use.
  1. Remove your filters every couple of weeks and spray them down vigorously with a hose. Also replace them every 18 months.
    1. By the way, Serum Total Maintenance keeps your filters clean. You don’t need a filter cleaner if you are using Total Maintenance.
  1. Drain and refill your spa every 3 months if you use it 3x a week. If you use your spa more often than this, drain it more frequently.
  1. Purge your spa with Serum Total Cleanse twice a year (or every other drain and refill)
    1. Lots of issues can develop inside your spa’s plumbing. Total Cleanse ensures you again have a clean spa.
    2. If you use your spa heavily, then purge it with Total Cleanse every time you drain and refill.

Thanks for reading,
Tony Turbo

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