Hot Tub Water: Why Does it Need “Chemical Treatment?”
In the case of a bath tub, you just fill it with water to the warmth you want, take your bath and then let the water drain out. Typically, you don’t bother to treat the water in any way. In the case of hot tubs, however, you have to take the trouble of treating the water with different chemicals. Why this difference?
A hot tub typically accommodates more than one person at a time. It is more a place to relax for longer periods rather than just take a quick bath. Often, it is used for therapeutic purposes, to get relief from aches and pains through a hot soak and a therapeutic massage provided by the jets built into the hot tub.
The hot tub is a self-contained unit that can be “ported” outdoors. It has pumps, jets, water / air lines and filters built in to keep the water circulating and clean, and provide massages of adjustable force. The much larger quantity of water in a hot tub has to be heated up to the desired temperature and maintained at the desired level for longer periods.
Users of hot tubs typically want to minimise the energy consumed and one of the major options for doing this is to use insulation, including top covers, to keep the water losing heat. Instead of being drained after every bath, the substantial quantity of water in the hot tub is drained only once a quarter or so.
The warm water used by several persons and kept for long periods can become breeding grounds for harmful organisms. It can also become dirty and unpleasant to soak in. The built-in circulation and filtering will not be able to fully prevent these.
It is in the above context that the water in the hot tub needs to be treated chemically to keep it free of harmful organisms and also to maintain the water pleasing to look at and soak in. The changing pH levels of the water can affect the equipment and only by keeping the pH within certain levels can it be avoided.
The typical hot tub chemicals used are chlorine for sanitising the water once a week or so, and pH regulating chemicals to control the alkalinity / acidity. A “shock treatment” with higher quantities of chlorine is also given at less frequent intervals. In addition, the tub and cover also need to be sponged and kept clean.
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