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Do Hot Tub Systems Need Chemicals

  • Written by News Pronto

Many people are eco-conscious, preferring to avoid using chemicals in an effort to be environmentally friendly in every aspect of life, and that includes hot tub owners. These individuals want to reduce their footprint by searching for methods of running a spa with as few chemicals as possible, if any. 

Many alternative choices will still need minimally non-chlorine chemicals, but systems are available, allowing a reduction in their use. A few will involve more of an investment than others and could prove impractical to those searching for an option.  

Owners can also employ personal practices that will help reduce the amount of bromine or chlorine necessary for sanitizing the system. Some chemicals are essential; the hot tub cannot be healthy without these. Always look for the best chemicals for hot tub; quality makes a difference in the product's impact. 

Also, pay attention to the directions to ensure proper use. Let's look at a few systems that use more natural treatments. 

Hot Tub Systems with Natural Treatment Options 

While you believe it's better to avoid chemicals altogether with hot tubs in an effort to be environmentally responsible, hot tubs will require some chemical intervention to rid the system of bacteria and germs for safety and health purposes. Some spa systems drastically decrease the bromine or chlorine needed. 

Consider the following non-chemical hot tub systems if you hope to reduce the chlorine or bromine level with the unit you buy. 

·       An ultraviolet unit 

A UV system boasts of being an excellent substitute for chlorine, with radiation as the resource used to sanitize the water that moves through a tube traveling past UV bulbs. While these remove contaminates, shock will still be necessary for clarity improvements. 

·       Biguanides 

Using "polyhexamethylene biguanide" helps to sanitize gently but requires "non-chlorine and non-bromine-based" shock. Some owners find that serious conditions develop within the water, but if you want to go back to using chlorine, for instance, it can be tricky. You cannot mix chlorine with biguanides. 

A meticulous process must be implemented to gradually transition the hot tub back to either chlorine or bromine. Learn about hot tub safety at

·       Salt-based  

While salt-based equipment removes the use of bromine and chlorine, it ultimately doesn't create a non-chlorine tub. When the salt is electrolyzed, that process generates chlorine. Investing in this system and believing that you're being environmentally friendly will ultimately not be the case. 

·       Ozonators 

An Ozonator injects ozone into the water, but the system is not a registered sanitizer, so some sanitizers must be incorporated along with this option. You will be able to use less and decrease the frequency of shocking the tub.  

An Ozonator is a bit more of an investment than other alternatives and can require some modification to the spa.  

Another option along this same line is ionizers; these inhibit bacteria and algae in the water for a natural treatment, but, again, they don't sanitize. That means using sanitizers with the system. 

Practical Hints for Reducing Chemicals in a Hot Tub  

Several practical guidelines are recommended to help reduce the use of chemicals in a hot tub aside from using alternative systems. 

·       Ensure the unit is covered when not in use 

The hot tub should always be covered when not in use to preserve the water quality, regardless of whether you use a chlorine or non-chlorine system. The cover prevents pests, debris, or wildlife from making their way into the water.  

The cover will encourage longer-lasting sanitizer and reduce the need to continue to add chemicals for water maintenance. That's particularly critical if you select a system that doesn't use chemicals. 

·       Shower before soaking 

Beauty products, body oil, hair treatments, and bacteria can be reduced by showering before entering the hot tub in an effort to reduce the use of chemical applications. Anyone who might be enjoying the spa should shower with soap and water prior and wash their hair if any hair products have been used. 

Remember that despite having a chlorine-free pool, water hardness, alkalinity, and pH need to stay within the mandatory ranges for the sanitizers to remain effective. Read the benefits of soaking in a hot tub here.

Final Thought 

A hot tub should be drained roughly every four months as an essential part of care and upkeep. For those who forego chlorine, this should be done approximately every two to three months for properly sanitized water. It's also critical to clean the filter regularly in chlorine and non-chlorine spas. 

These should be checked and rinsed weekly with a thorough cleaning once each month. The filter should be replaced annually unless the hot tub is used infrequently, and then every two years would be sufficient.  

Without chemical use, you will want to replace the filter more frequently based on usage and the tub size.