Sanitizing your hot tub water is the most important maintenance you can do for yourself. Sanitizers kill the bacteria that can grow in warm water. Sanitizers include Chlorine, Bromine and Ozone. Before adding any sanitizing agent to your hot tub, you must first test the current levels by using a test strip. Test strips measure the level of Bromine, Chlorine or mineral content in your hot tub water along with your pH levels and calcium levels. You should add sanitizing agents as indicated by the test strip and the instructions on the sanitizer you are using.
Chlorine: There are chlorine tablets and chlorine granules created specifically for hot tub use.
Bromine: Bromine can be added to a hot tub in the form of tablets, nuggets or granules. Many people choose Bromine over Chlorine because it is an effective hot tub sanitizer. Bromine has a less powerful odour than Chlorine and it works in a wide range of pH levels. Bromine is normally distributed through a floating feeder or cartridge system.
Ozone: Ozone is an oxidizer and not a sanitizer, but it reduces the work of the sanitizers and lowers the level of sanitizers needed in the spa to keep it clean. To use this product you need an Ozonator. The downside is you will definitely still need to use a low level of sanitizer like Bromine or Chlorine.
As well as sanitizing the water, it is important to change it every month to three months depending on the usage. No amount of chemical additives can protect you completely in water that is old and dirty.
Shock Oxidizers: This product oxidizes the water and helps to get rid of organic matter like dead skin, skin oils, cosmetics and lotions. By using it once a week helps prevent bacteria, cloudy water and a clogged system.
There are two types of shock, non-chlorine shock and chlorine shock. Both work as a good maintenance product to oxidize your spa. For fresh water fills, use a chlorine shock.
pH: Water pH is a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions in your hot tub water. pH levels need to be kept within 7.2-7.8 (this is only a guide) otherwise your water can become too alkaline or too acidic and this can be damaging for your skin in the short term and the hot tub in the long run.
Calcium Hardness: It’s important to balance these for safe bathing. For water low in Calcium you can use a Calcium increaser, if the Calcium level is too high you can adjust the pH and alkalinity to their lower ranges to help avoid cloudy water and scale.
Alkalinity control: Controlling alkalinity can help keep your pH in the appropriate range thereby lessening the need for pH balancing. Use test strips to see if you need to add a pH reducer to lower the alkalinity or if you need to raise it by using an alkalinity increaser.
This is only a guide and you should always take care when adding chemicals.