Are Hot Tub and Pool Chemicals the same?

Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools use the same chemicals to do the all-important jobs of keeping your water safe and clear but they should not be interchanged. To ensure that your swimming pool and spa run smoothly and efficiently, always keep a supply of supply of chemicals for each of them. Here are some of the subtle but important differences between maintaining swimming pools and hot tubs.

Concentration needs to be just right

For chlorine to work effectively there needs to be an appropriate amount of chlorine concentrate for the volume of water.  Because a hot tub has significantly less volume there is a much lower concentration of chlorine in the water. Substituting pool chemicals in your hot tub could cause significant damage to your filters, pumps and jets.  

Water temperature affects water chemistry

Chemical reactions happen faster in warmer water, which means hot tubs typically deplete their chlorine level faster than pools.  While a swimming pool requires a higher concentration of chlorine, it doesn’t require adding chlorine nearly as often.  The chlorine demand in a hot tub is also much higher due to the increased organic waste produced by the bathers. These two factors combined mean that you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your hot tub when it is in use regularly.

Water evaporates

All pools will lose some water volume through evaporation. In a hot tub, evaporation happens faster because the water is hotter. As the water volume changes so does the rate of chemical reactions. Keep the water volume topped up to help keep all levels in check – pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and free chlorine. Volume is very important when using an automated controller. The automation system is calibrated to control a specific volume of water.

Aeration accelerates chemical reactions

Both pools and hot tubs have constant circulation through jets. Hot tubs generally have significantly more jets in a smaller volume of water.  Chemical reactions happen faster in a hot tub so using swimming pool chlorine concentrate will quickly throw all of the levels off.  Swimming pools have a different issue. Because the jets don’t effectively stir up all of the water, it leaves some areas with stagnant water. Stagnant water can enable microorganism growth to occur.

Pool and Spa chemistry are different

It could be tempting to use up your swimming pool supply throughout the year when the hot tub is still in use but it is not advisable. Swimming pool chemicals should not be used in a hot tub to avoid dangerous chlorine and pH levels. Always test your water regularly for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and free chlorine. Keeping the water well balanced will increase the lifespan of your pool’s mechanical components.

Backyard Pool Safety

Having a backyard pool comes with big responsibility. You want to newest and coolest features for your pool – the slides, sprinklers and springboards. You want everyone to have a fun filled staycation this year so let’s break down the key safety elements of your backyard swimming pool.

Fence me in! It’s the Law

Private swimming pools are required to be secured from the public when not in use.  Swimming Pool Fencing can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. Ensure your safety fence is at least 4feet in height and has a self-closing gate so you don’t have to ask yourself that dreaded question, did I lock the gate?

Drowning is fast and silent

Drowning happens fast, and is often silent.  Children under 5 are at the greatest risk for backyard swimming pool accidents because they are least likely to call for help.  Children must be supervised at all times when in and around water. The safety motto to teach everyone in your family is the WaterSmart message: If you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.  Keep young children under direct adult supervision at all times. 

Caution Shallow Water, No Diving!

Backyard swimming pools can mean a summer of fun, especially for the kids.  Sooner or later, the kids are going to try and make a bigger splash.  Know your swimming pool depth and educate your kids on safe diving.  Most backyard pools are not deep enough for safe diving so you need to set the ground rules.  Feet first is always the safest and cannonballs make a pretty great splash.

Swim With a Buddy

Swimming is a great way to relax, a cool way to get fit, and one of the best ways to have fun in the summer sun.  Never swim alone, always swim with a buddy.  Safety is paramount with children, but older adults are often guilty of swimming alone.  Adults who swim alone can find themselves in medical distress and unable to reach safety and call for help.

Safety Inspection

It’s a good idea to have your backyard pool undergo a Safety Inspection.  Chances are you know someone who is a certified Lifeguard, have them come and walk you through the Lifesaving Society Backyard Pool Safety Inspection

Safe Enjoyable Aquatics

Backyard swimming pools provide endless hours of family fun, keeping everyone active and interactive and ensuring less screen time.  Take the time consider all the safety elements of your pool and work on solutions to the seal the gaps in your plan.  Swimming pools come with a big responsibility, but if you keep safety top of mind you will enjoy a lifetime of safe enjoyable aquatics.