Ozone is a powerful oxidizer. When you breathe it in, then it can irritate your lungs and air passageways because of this effect. If you place it in a liquid environment, such as a hot tub, then it can reduce (or eliminate) the contaminants that might be in the water. It forms where there are three oxygen atoms that are bound together instead of having just two.
If you have ever smelled that faint, almost sweet scent that floats in the air during a thunderstorm, then you have encountered ozone.
When you are using a hot tub ozonator, then you are creating this oxidizer to be part of your water. It is an unstable element which releases from its bond, creating a toxic environment for most microorganisms that are found in untreated water. It can destroy parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens with regularity.
These are the pros and cons of using a hot tub ozonator if you need to find a regular disinfectant for this investment.
List of the Pros of a Hot Tub Ozonator
1. A hot tub ozonator will oxidize numerous contaminants in your water.
The ozone that becomes infused with your water when using a hot tub ozonator will oxidize numerous foreign contaminants that are commonly found in these systems. You can eliminate deodorant, soap, perfume, makeup, hand lotions and creams, hair spray, sunblock, and even urine with this addition. It will work with other products to kill pathogenic germs, bacteria, and viruses that may be present as well.
2. A hot tub ozonator enhances the use of chemicals.
If you don’t use your hot tub often, then an ozonator offers the potential to be a chemical-free cleaning system for you. Most owners find that this addition works well when there is also chlorine or bromine in the water. The ozone works to break down harmful chemicals that can be in there, creating dissolved solids that can be removed by the tub’s filtering process. That leaves the water feeling smoother, appearing clearer, and being cleaner when you’re ready to enjoy some time in it.
3. A hot tub ozonator works with your UV products.
There are some organics that a hot tub ozonator can sometimes struggle to remove from the water supply. These are usually viruses and bacteria that may be in the water. That’s why many of the systems which incorporate this technology will use a UV system with the ozone. When these two disinfectants work together, it becomes easier to maintain a clean water supply over frequent uses.
4. A hot tub ozonator is not affected by ambient humidity.
You will find that this product can produce ozone efficiently in almost any environment. Whether you live in the humid swamps of Florida or the cold, dry air found in Northwestern Colorado, they will operate well if you choose to use an ultraviolet light model. This advantage does go away if you opt to equip a corona discharge ozonator to your hot tub instead. Choose the UV option if you live somewhere that experiences 60% humidity levels or higher on a regular basis.
5. A hot tub ozonator is surprisingly affordable.
If you decide to use an ultraviolet hot tub ozonator for your spa model, then you can find several options available in the $150 range. For those who can benefit from the use of a corona discharge model, you’ll find several products available in the $70 range. When you compare the benefits that this technology provides against the cost of the chemicals you’re using, you will find that it is a reasonable investment that will eventually pay for itself. Even if you continue to use chemicals with your hot tub, the ozone frees up the work that the chlorine and bromine can do for you.
6. A hot tub ozonator is easy to install on most spa models.
You will be surprised by how easy it is to add a hot tub ozonator to an eligible spa. You will first need to physically install the unit under your spa cabinet. Some may need to have a place near their hot tub depending on their setup. Make sure there is plenty of room for airflow. Then install the check valve. Most will already have an ozonator jet, so just connect it as instructed. If that feature is not present, you may need a professional contractor for this step. Then you’ll need to create a Hartford loop to prevent backflow, choose your power source, and then set the timer.
7. A hot tub ozonator can reduce your water consumption habits.
Although you will want to change out the water in your spa before you install an ozonator, you will discover that this unit will reduce the number of swaps that you must make to maintain your hot tub. If you use standard chemicals to disinfect the water, then you will typically replace the 400 gallons about once per quarter. Owners who equip an ozonator to their model can go up to 1 year before they need to change their water.
8. A hot tub ozonator reduces the smell profile of a spa.
If you have ever stepped into a hot tub that was closed for a significant period, then the overwhelming odor of chlorine or bromine can be enough to turn you away from using the spa. When you have an ozonator equipped to your model, then it will reduce the odors that you experience before, during, and after use. Even if you must use a significant number of chemicals to disinfect your water supply, this unit will eliminate them quickly.
9. A hot tub ozonator reduces the risk of developing common skin conditions.
Even though ozone acts as an oxidizer, it does not have that impact on your skin. The various rashes and sores that sometimes happen when using a spa are not as frequent when you have this technology supporting cleaner water. It is very easy to maintain and run as well, which means it won’t take a lot of work to generate big results.
List of the Cons of a Hot Tub Ozonator
1. A hot tub ozonator does create water that becomes more corrosive.
Ozone is extremely reactive and corrosive. That is why it does an excellent job at disinfecting your water supply in an environment like a hot tub. Because of this issue, you must have materials in your hot tub and throughout your plumbing that can resist corrosion. If you do not have them, then your investment will begin to break down slowly over time, creating an increase in maintenance costs when compared to using a standard chemical disinfection method.
2. A hot tub ozonator does not create a prolonged impact.
The ozonator creates ozone for your hot tube by freeing an oxygen atom to collide with others. It is an effective that doesn’t last long when it occurs. You will find that most generators must run for at least 4 hours per day if you want to see any results. If your family frequently uses the hot tub, then the ozonator might need to run for 6-8 hours each day for the water to be disinfected at your preferred level.
3. A hot tub ozonator does increase the maintenance requirements for the spa.
If you decide to equip a UV light ozonator to your hot tub, then you will discover that their functional life tends to be shorter than other disinfectant products. Larger hot tubs will cost more to operate because the unit might be running full-time to support the creation of cleaner water. The bulbs used for the UV light will eventually succumb to solarization or reduce their output, which means you’ll need to replace the item every 24-36 months to achieve results. Some hot tub owners may find that the costs involved are not beneficial when compared to the price of chlorine or bromine treatments.
4. A hot tub ozonator needs some extra work done to have it installed.
Most hot tubs that don’t come equipped with an ozonator from the very start will need to go through a checklist of features to ensure it can support this new equipment. It works well to mix water and electricity to create ozone, but then coming into contact with that mixture doesn’t create positive results for your body. That means you will want to verify these specific items before you get started.
• Check your owner’s manual to make sure your model can accept this device.
• Determine if you have the correct voltage available.
• Find and repair and leaks that are in your spa’s plumbing.
• Clean your filters if necessary.
• Balance your hot tub water to improve water quality.
In most circumstances, an ozonator will reduce the number of chemicals needed for your water, but it may not replace your sanitizer.
5. A hot tub ozonator can create a lot of water waste.
One of the common recommendations that you will find when installing a hot tub ozonator is that you should drain your spa before beginning. This action will give your equipment a fresh start because you are giving it cleaner water with which to work. That also means that you’ll be creating more water waste than normal when you upgrade to this product. The typical hot tub can hold up to 400 gallons of water. It may only account for 1% of total household water use, but it could create an unpleasant surprise on your water bill in some jurisdictions.
6. A hot tub ozonator requires regular testing to ensure it is working.
Although the maintenance work on a hot tub ozonator is relatively simple, you will discover that there are some extra steps that you’ll need to take once you have a unit installed. The first step is to ensure that there is ozone in your water. That means you’ll need to invest in a meter or use test strips that detect its presence. You’ll need to check the delivery system and check valve to ensure it works properly as well. If you find that it must run 24/7 to generate the results you want, then it may be wise to look for a larger unit once the current one wears out.
7. A hot tub ozonator will need frequent replacement.
Some UV ozonators can continue operating if you have the opportunity to switch out the bulb in the unit. Even with this benefit, you will discover that most options with this type will last for about 3 years at most. You can find more longevity with a corona discharge model (up to 10+ years), although you must keep it clean and run it during periods of low ambient humidity to create that outcome.
The pros and cons of a hot tub ozonator provide evidence to the fact that you can reduce your water cleaning and disinfection costs over a long-term period with this technology. It is priced at a competitive point for most owners while being relatively easy to install. This technology does not work on all spas, so make sure that you consult with the owner’s manual and your representative to ensure that attaching one won’t cause more harm than good.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.