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.
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.