This is a very common question that is asked. Sometimes, statements are made like “I was told by the other guys I don’t need chemicals if I have an ozonator”. Well I’m here to tell you that no matter what anyone tells you an ozonator is not a stand alone sanitation system, period. You still need an alternative sanitizer whether it is chlorine or bromine. The article is designed to give you a better idea of what ozone is and what it can and can not do.
- Ozone is a colorless gas w/ a chlorine-like odor formed by an electric discharge in oxygen. It’s a strong oxidizing agent used in bleaching, sterilizing water, purifying air etc.
- Ozone when introduced correctly will kill bacteria such as E. coli and Fecal Coliform. It can also be affective in the removal of algae, virus and cysts.
- However, ozone or o3 will not change the pH, you still need to test and adjust the pH to 7.4-7.6 which is neutral.
- Ozone is very difficult to actually break down enough especially in spas to reach its dissolved state known as Aqueous ozone which is effective ozone sanitizer
- I recommend your sanitizer levels for chlorine at least 1ppm or bromine 3ppm. This is the lowest of the effective sanitizing range of these chemicals. This will save you a little on chemical cost but, not huge savings as some may tell you will be the case.
- With spas we are dealing with water temperatures from 100-104 degrees. The half life of ozone is minimal maybe seconds and at these temperatures bacteria growth is accelerated so having a low level of sanitizer gives you that extra layer of protection.
I am a firm believer in ozone sanitation but, it has to be installed and managed correctly. You still have to maintain good water chemistry practices.
Almost all spas come equipped with ozonators in one form or another. There are many ways to install an ozonator correctly, but there are also many ways to install them incorrectly.
The more the ozone air bubble can be broken down creating more surface area, and the longer the ozone can stay in contact with water in transit, the better the chances of reaching aqueous state. You may need to increase or decrease filter times on you spa to increase or decrease ozone distribution.
You should never smell ozone in your spa. If you open the cover and smell ozone then the filter cycles are set to high or it is not installed correctly. If you don’t know what ozone smells like and would like to know then the next time you use a good copy machine sniff the air around the machine right after the copy comes out; or after a good lightning storm take time to notice how clean and fresh the air is, that’s ozone at work. Ozone is mother natures best natural purifier.
I hope this is helpful.
If there are any questions post them and I will get you an answer.