Biofilm in Hot Tubs
What is Biofilm?
Biofilm is a complex association of micro-organisms which adhere to hot tub surfaces, particularly inside the plumbing, where they are difficult to remove.
Biofilm contains bacteria and dirt, and often viruses, mould and parasites.
Biofilm grows in the nicks and crannies within the plumbing system and jets of a hot tub, forming a slippery film.
Biofilm is also a particular problem with whirlpool baths.
Why is it necessary to remove biofilm?
With use all hot tubs, even very well-maintained ones, accumulate unseen biofilm deposits which attract oily grime, micro-organisms and other foreign matter inside the plumbing systems and heat exchanger. If you think your hot tub water is clean and sanitary just because it looks clear, think again!
Unfortunately, biofilms are relatively resistant to chlorine, bromine or other sanitizers and build-up of biofilm inside the plumbing pipes not only provides a breeding-ground for bacteria and is potentially dangerous to your health, it also reduces water circulation and jet action.
Bio-films in hot tubs can, and often do, lead to cloudy water and foaming, but not always. They can also lead to odours, scale build-up on the heater, and corrosion of any metal surface, including the heaters, pumps, filtration system and jets. Certain biofilms can have a pH of close to 1.0, which is very acidic. Even degradation of pillows, covers & other spa accessories can occur over time entirely because of untreated biofilm.
A spa with immaculate plumbing results in cleaner, clearer, fresher water and better circulation.
We recommend using a plumbing cleaner at every water change. If you have a whirlpool bath you should treat that monthly too.
What are the Benefits of Removing Biofilm?
Apart for the obvious need to remove a breeding ground for bacteria and the associated reduction in health risk, adding a biofilm remover to your regular hot tub maintenance routine will result in water that is cleaner, clearer and kinder to your skin.
You will find that you need to use less chemical sanitizer in the water because there is a lower bacterial load for the sanitizer to work on, so there is less risk on any allergic reaction to the chemical.
Why is it necessary to clean a new hot tub prior to use?
New spas are almost always "wet tested" at the factory to make sure that everything works correctly and to ensure that there are no leaks. The spa is then drained and wrapped in a protective coating. Eventually the spa is shipped to a dealer and then, eventually, to the new owner. All this time the spa has been wet and biofilm, algea and mould has been growing unseen inside the pipework.
New spas also have manufacturing residues that slowly wash out and can cause cloudy water for many months if not removed prior to use.