Understanding The Facts Behind Two Common Hot Tub Sanitizers

5 December 2016
 Categories: , Articles


If you are currently looking at different types of hot tubs that you can purchase and install on your property, then there are a wide variety of things that you will need to consider. One of the most important decisions you will need to make actually comes after the hot tub is installed. This decision revolves around the type of chemical you will use to keep the hot tub water properly disinfected. Keep reading to learn about two of the common sanitizers that are available to you.


Chlorine is one of the most common and readily available sanitizers on the market. Chlorine has been used for decades to keep swimming pools and hot tubs clean, and it is relatively inexpensive. Chlorine is highly effective at killing microorganisms as well. The chemical oxidizes contaminants and this process kills the bacteria and viruses that enter the water. The filter then collects the contaminants so they can be removed. The act of shocking the hot tub helps to burn any contaminants that have not been actively removed by the filter.

Chlorine dissolves quickly in water and works almost immediately to kill microorganisms. The chemical also remains fairly stable once added to water. However, chlorine does not work well in water with a high pH value. Specifically, chlorine is only about 3% effective once water reaches a pH of 8. If the water in your area is already at or above a level of 7.5, then this means that you will need to test the pH of your hot tub constantly, and you will need to add an alkalinity increaser to the water. This can add an extra step to the sanitation process and it may be difficult for some people to maintain a constant pH value.

Chlorine can also smell. While chlorine is not supposed to release a strong odor, you may notice a strong smell once the chlorine starts to break down. This can be problematic. Also, some individuals are sensitive to chlorine, especially since hot tubs require more chemicals than swimming pools. The high heat of the water increases the ability of the microorganism in the tub to multiply. High levels of chlorine are needed to combat the increase in microorganism activity. If you have children, then the amount of chlorine may be bothersome.


Bromine is another type of chemical that can be used to sanitize a hot tub. Bromine is typically more expensive than chlorine, and the chemical agent does not dissolve in water as quickly as chlorine. This means the chemical may not start working right away like chlorine will. However, bromine can work for a longer time when placed in water, and this means it will not need to be added as often as chlorine. Also, bromine is more effective at reducing algae growth in the hot tub. If the tub is outdoors and exposed to sunlight for a good portion of the day, then this may be ideal.

Bromine can also work well in a variety of different water pH levels. The chemical also does not smell like chlorine, so it is undetectable when added to the water. However, since bromine does take some time to dissolve and start working, you will need to add the chemical on a more regular maintenance schedule. If you forget about maintenance or do not end up using your hot tub often, then bromine may not be the best sanitizing chemical for you.

Bromine can also leave a film on the body when you are done using your hot tub. While the bromine is not likely to cause skin irritation, you may feel the film and find it difficult to wash off. This may be bothersome to some people who already have dry skin issues.  For more information, contact a company like Anchor Pools & Spas.