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Problems with Chlorine in Hot Tubs

Chlorine is the cheapest form of santiser for your hot tub water but did you know that it is probably the worst choice you can make? It's the most difficult and time-consuming sanitiser to use and it is not well suited to the hot water in hot tubs.

Just take a look at some of the reasons why you should look for an alternative to Chlorine...

1. It's complicated and time consuming!

Adding Chlorine to hot tub water is not straightforward. You need to get the Total Alkalinity, pH and Calcium Hardness levels in your water just right (this is otherwise known as 'balancing') and you must always do this before you add any Chlorine product, otherwise the chlorine becomes ineffective and won't sanitise! Just the process of adding Chlorine granules or tablets to the water has a tendency to alter the pH value, which will also change with temperature, sunlight and numerous other factors; so you need to constantly keep testing and adjusting the water's balance to ensure that the chlorine remains effective. It can be a never ending loop!

Chlorine added to 'unbalanced' water will create Chloramines that do nothing to clean your hot tub's water and will just leave a 'bleach' like smell above the water's surface.  

2. It's not good for your body!

Exposure to chlorine compounds and their by-products often result in allergic reactions and skin irritation. When chlorine combines with organic matter like urine, sweat, etc. it leads to the development of dichloramines, monochloramines, and trichloramine, which are all strong irritants. Some of the symptoms that can be caused by Chlorine exposure include:

  • dry and itchy skin. The resultant case of chlorine rash may elicit peeling of the skin.
  • coughing and sneezing.
  • nausea, vomiting and pain in the abdomen.
  • short term problems in breathing and pain in the chest.

3. It can ruin your bathing costumes!

Bathing costumes used in hot tub water at its normal operating temperature, combined with a Chlorine sanitizer will suffer from high levels of colour fade as well as losing their elasticity.

Chlorinated water produces hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids. The latter is a component found in household bleach which, if spilt on your clothes will cause permanent damage.

4. It's not good for your eyes!

In a hot tub, the pH value of the water is the major factor in eye irritation. A well maintained tub will keep the pH balance as close to 7.4 - 7.6 as it can ie as close to matching your body's natural pH balance as possible.

The addition of Chlorine will lower the pH of the water and and cause it to irritate your eyes.

In any hot tub, the chlorine does not always oxidize the organic matter in the water completely. This residue consists of a whole range of organic compounds, including Ammonia, which can cause further eye and skin irritation.

5. It will ruin your hot tub cover, headrests and plastic fittings!

The insulating foam inside you hot tub cover is wrapped in plastic to keep the moisture out of it.  Chlorine vapour will very soon attack this plastic wrapping causing the plastic to get brittle and crack.  As soon as this happens the foam will start to absorb water vapour, it will become very heavy and it will stop insulating properly.  

Just one accidental 'over-dose' of chlorine in your hot tub can start the cover degredation process which will very soon result in a damaged cover which will cost you a lot of money to replace.

 

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