What is ozone and what can it do in your hot tub?
Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that can sanitize water without leaving behind chemical byproducts
Since the early 1990's just about every hot tub manufacturer promoted the use of ozonators (a.k.a ozone generators) as a way to reduce the use of chemical sanitizers such as bromine or chlorine for keeping your hot tub water clean.
Bromine and chlorine leave behind chemical byproducts that eventually accumulate in the small volume of water in a portable hot tub. These byproducts can eventually result in irritating chemical odors and caustic water that can irritate your skin and make soaking unpleasant.
Once chemical byproducts build up to a certain level in your hot tub the only way to fix the problem is to drain out the accumulation of byproducts and refill your hot tub with fresh water.
An ozonator produces ozone gas which is injected into your hot tub water to sanitize and oxidize just like bromine and chlorine. Since ozone is not a chemical additive it doesn't leave behind chemical byproducts.
How does ozone work?
Oxygen (O2) is a stable molecule composed of two oxygen atoms. Ozone (O3) is an unstable molecule composed of three oxygen atoms. The extra oxygen atom makes ozone unstable so every O3 molecule is always trying to get rid of the extra oxygen atom so it can return to being stable O2.
An ozone molecule can get rid of the extra oxygen atom by bumping into a nearby molecule and depositing the extra oxygen atom onto the nearby molecule. When the ozone molecule gets rid of the extra oxygen atom it's called reduction because the ozone moledule is reduced from O3 to O2.
When the nearby molecule such as algae, baceria, a virus or other contamination picks up the extra oxygen atom it's called oxidation because the molecule gains and reacts with the oxygen atom.
Bromine and chlorine use the same reduction-oxidation process to keep your hot tub clean and sanitary but leave behind chemical byproducts. Ozone gas is a much stronger oxidizer than bromine or chlorine so it works much faster and it doesn't leave behind any chemical byproducts.
Ozone can quickly destroy even chlorine-resistant microorganisms such as cryptosporidium in your hot tub water by attacking and oxidizing the cell wall killing the bacteria or virus almost instantly.
Ozone can also prevent cloudy water by flocculating or clumping together fine particles of organic and inorganic contamination such as sweat, body oil, dead skin cells, lotions and cosmeticss so they can be filtered out of the water.
What ozone can do in your hot tub
- Instantly kills algae, bacteria and viruses including chlorine-resistant micro-organisms such as Cryptosporidium
- Instantly oxidizes and destroys organic contamination such as sweat, body oil and dead skin
- Oxidize and destroy inorganic contamination such as metals, suntan lotion, cosmetics and chemical byproducts from bromine and chlorine
- Reduce the amount of bromine or chlorine required to keep your hot tub clean and sanitary
An ozone generator sounds like the must-have, fill-and-forget magic gadget that will solve all your hot tub headaches doesn't it?
Don't get drowned in the giant pool of misleading marketing and incomplete information promoted by people and websites whose only interest is to profit from the sale and maintenance of magic gadgets.
Keep reading to learn the unfiltered truth about ozone generators in portable hot tubs.
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