Reducing the levels of sanitizers is not something you’ll run into a lot during your hot tub ownership, but it is useful to know what to do if after testing sanitizer levels you find out that you don’t need to add bromine or chlorine, but to reduce them to keep the water safe and clean.
While most of the things you’ll do will increase the bromine and chlorine levels in your spa, this article will show you what to do if you find out that you need to reduce them. If you ignore this, you could find your hot tub corroded, your headrests or your spa cover decay, and even your skin could develop the rash, so it is important to act sooner rather than later for your health. The more quickly you act, the easier will it be to stabilize your water levels.
A Quick Reminder – What Are Chlorine And Bromine?
Spa health is important because if you take care of your hot tub properly, you’ll help your body stay healthy by removing most of the possible bad and dangerous stuff from the water, but you’ll also keep your hot tub parts in a good shape and prolong the need for possible repairs and part changes.
Bromine and chlorine serve as sanitizing agents, and their main purpose is to remove all those bad things from your water and prevent contamination. Using them regularly will keep your water clean, prevent clouds from appearing, so don’t try to avoid it and remember – you’ll probably have to check and react more often in your hot tub than you’d have to in the swimming pool.
Now, we guess you already know which one serves you the best. Even if you don’t know yet, it more or less comes to the matter of liking – if you like chlorine better, you should use it, and vice versa. The difference lays in their approach – chlorine serves as an oxidizer while bromine ionizes the bad particles, which will help your filtration system remove them from your pool. Use them wisely and you’ll be good to go.
How To Know If It Is Over The Limit
If you feel the strong chemical smell when you come near your hot tub or your eyes begin to hurt or you feel some kind of irritation in your throat or nose, it could be the sign that your chlorine has gone above the limits, but it is not certain.
Some other indicators are possible degradation of your hot tub surfaces if the bromine and chlorine levels are high for a longer period. Besides this, the underside of your hot tub cover could sustain damage or buildup. This also goes for your headrests and all other soft surfaces and could develop rather quickly.
This can also affect your filters and cause them to break down quickly, and if you wonder what other signs could your body show, you could develop dry skin and easily breakable hair.
Although, these are some of the most common signs that some of these chemicals have left unused after you have used them after shocking your pool. But it doesn’t mean you have to remove them. On the contrary, it means you’ll have to add more of them.
If Still Not Sure – Test It
Still, without competition, by far the most reliable way to determine if the chlorine or bromine levels are too high is to test the hot tub water. Or you could call a professional from your local pool and spa store for help.
The result will show you if the water in your hot tub needs to be taken care of and you’ll know what kind of problem do you have – is it sanitizer, or you have some other problem with the chemicals.
Testing The Water – What Should You Look For?
The test should show you how much sanitizer that still kills the bacteria and unwanted stuff is present in your hot tub. This chlorine or bromine is called free chlorine or bromine. The ones that don’t kill the bacteria and other contaminants are called “combined” – chlorine or bromine, it is up to you and your choice.
How Much Do You Need It
It is essential to know what limits should you try to stick to and when it is time to react. When it comes to chlorine, the ideal level is something between 1 to 3 parts per million (or ppm). If you prefer bromine, the optimal number is 2 to 4 ppm if you decide to go with bromine tablets, or a bit higher, between 3 and 6, if you choose the granular version.
The Question Of The Day – Lowering Chlorine or Bromine Level
You’ve done all the tests, you’ve checked the optimal number on the table and it turns out that you do need to lower the sanitizer levels. If you’ve started to panic, now it is time to stop, because it is not as difficult as it seems. The solution could be quite simple, and following these steps should solve it fairly quickly.
1. Let It Be
You’ve read it right. If the test shows you that the levels are just above the limits, you could just leave it that way for a few days. Adding more chemicals could only make things worse, and you could end up having to replace all of your water, at best. The only thing you should do is to remove the chlorinator – the device that constantly releases the small doses into your spa – if you have one installed. If not, then just let it sit for a bit.
Don’t be nervous or impatient. Give it a few days, as the nature of the sanitizers is to slowly decrease with time. You could test your water every 12 hours or so, make sure what the situation is.
It is important not to use it during this time. If those couple of days have passed and the sanitizer levels are still high, then it is time to react.
2. Open The Hot Tub And Let It Breathe
It is time to remove the cover from your spa. High temperatures in your hot tub mean that, with the cover open, more water will evaporate, removing a portion of chlorine or bromine along the way.
It will also cause the water level to drop, which is needed to do the next thing on this list.
3. Dilute The Remaining Water
During the evaporation, the water level has probably dropped a few inches, allowing you to add more fresh and clean water. Once you’re done, leave it for an hour, hour and a half to circulate, and test your water.
If the evaporation doesn’t do its work and there still is more water than you want, preventing you from adding the freshwater. If this happens, remove the water manually and replace it with freshwater. This should be enough and the levels of bromine or chlorine should be all good now.
4. Replace The Water
If it’s been a while – two or three months – since you’ve changed the water in your hot tub, don’t waste your time or money doing anything else. It is time to change the water anyway, and it is by far easier to start from scratch with the freshwater than to try and balance the bad one. Drain it, clean your hot tub, add the freshwater and you’d be good to go.
If You Just Can Not Wait, There Is A Thing Called Neutralizer
Waiting for nature to do its work could be a bit exhausting and it can seem like forever, and you’d probably like to get back into it as soon as possible. There is a solution called “neutralizer”. It is a hot tub additive and it neutralizes chlorine or bromine levels.
The chemical is known as sodium thiosulphate, and it is used to remove the sanitizers from the water. If you choose this way, be careful. Adding too much of it could leave your spa without levels of sanitizers needed to stay healthy. The neutralizer works until it becomes used up, so although it does disappear from your water, it takes a good portion of your chlorine with it, and you could end up without protection if you misread something or add more by accident.
Prevention Is The Key
If you’re a newbie one of the first lessons you’ll have to learn is how to take proper care of your water. This is achieved by proper care. If you pay attention to all important signals your spa sends you, you’ll prevent most of the possible problems that could occur, connected to the chemicals.
The tasks you should do are divided into two groups – daily and weekly.
– Daily: Use your filters at least two times per day and leave them to work at least an hour each time. If the hot tub is being used that same day, let them work even longer to remove any humanly produced contaminants. Also, adding a small dose of sanitizer after every use is a possibility. But check the manuals before you decide to do it.
– Weekly: Pull and rinse the filter using the clean water, or with the filter cleaner. Test the water, resolve possible alkalinity problems, or pH, sanitizer, calcium chloride… If you’ve already added sanitizers, you could skip it.
The other things you should do every few months are to flush the hot tub circulation lines and jets with the line flush product and eliminate biofilm this way. Also, remove the algae from the bottom. Drain the dirty water out of your spa, clean it, wash or replace cartridges, refill it with freshwater. A hose filter could help you prevent other contaminants from reaching into your spa.
Once refilled, shock, and balance the water chemistry. Test the water again and if all is good, you could enter it.
Pay Attention To The Amount
If you add too much sanitizer, it could end up affecting something else, and harming your spa. When adding it, try your best to follow the guidelines and instructions by the manufacturer. This way you’ll significantly lower the risk of ruining your water, but also harming some components affected by your water chemistry and balance.
Globo Surf Overview
Yes, we know – owning a hot tub without the ability to use it is pretty stressful, especially after the long day at work. And instead of relaxation, you came home and find your precious place affected by the high levels of chlorine or bromine.
If it happens to you, don’t worry. This article should help you resolve the problem and return to your spa as soon as possible. If it requires more time, don’t rush it. Remember, bad water could affect not only your hot tub and your components, but also the health of you and all the other users.
On the other hand, if you’re not sure what to do and don’t know how to react, feel free to ask for professionals. They will help you not only solve your problem, but also teach you how to properly take care of your hot tub, so you don’t have to wait for their help the next time if something similar happens. That way you’ll be prepared and know how to react and get back into your hot tub in a no-time.