Enzymes and hot tubs – 21st Century Hot Tub Water Maintenance
Spas, hot tubs and swim spas made tremendous sales gains in 2020 and 2021 with the Covid-19 pandemic. Rather than being able to travel, homeowners everywhere have looked for ways to enhance their required stay at home situation and interest in backyard products, such as hot water therapy and exercise, came to the top of their list.
When it comes to maintaining hot tub water, chlorine and bromine-based programs are 1970’s technology that was originally designed for cooler temperature swimming pools. Today, all-natural enzymes products, are considered the latest technology to provide clean, clear, luxurious and environmentally friendly water in a hot tub.
Chlorine and Bromine are the most effective Sanitizers, BUT……..
Let us be clear! When it comes to killing bacteria and burning out waste, chlorine and bromine are the most effective sanitizers on today’s market and a minimal amount is required in any enzyme program. However, chlorine and bromine come with drawbacks when you use them as the basis of your hot water maintenance system.
Chlorine and bromine products work most effectively in a balanced water environment within a 7.2 – 7.6 pH range. Constantly adding chlorine or bromine affects the pH balance as do other factors such as perspiration, body lotions, make up, dermal flaking, minerals etc. These ‘old style’ systems require constant testing and adjustment which is a challenge for many people. Enzymes only require that you balance your water initially, paying close attention to the alkalinity, and then the enzymes will lock-in the pH that is best suited for them. Depending on the enzyme product you purchase, the enzymes will maintain your hot water for a period of from one month to three months without close monitoring. This is especially beneficial to absentee hot tub owners.
The industry recommends that chlorine and Bromine products need to maintain a level of
3 – 5 ppm to do their job in hot water. The higher temperatures in hot tubs will break-down chlorine and bromine faster and increase levels of bacteria which will eat-up the sanitizer at a faster rate than in cooler temperatures. Enzymes, on the other hand, work more efficiently in hotter temperatures, and will not break down in temperatures under 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
While sitting in these higher levels of chlorine in the hot water, the user may experience several negatives such as – dry skin, itchy skin or even more severe dermal sensitivity. They may also suffer lung or sensory discomfort due to chlorine vapours and the chlorine smell will remain on the body until showering. With an enzyme product, you can treat the water with a small amount of sanitizer 20 minutes before you get into the tub. This is enough time to kill any bacteria build-up and then off-gas so you are not soaking in harsh chemicals for a period of time. In addition, enzymes provide a luxurious feel to the skin which enhances the total soaking experience.
Chlorine and Bromine will not attack and destroy the biofilm that adheres to the plumbing in your spa. This biofilm is a build-up of oils and organics that are not destroyed by chlorine or bromine and this biofilm is food for bacteria and a great place for bacteria to hide. Enzymes constantly clean that biofilm thereby reducing the amount of bacteria that accumulates in the plumbing, plus enzymes also reduce the frequency of the recommended purge of the plumbing system.
Chlorine and bromine are oxidizers that can adversely affect pipe seals and the systems equipment. Enzymes are a gentle product that will not harm seals or equipment which provides a longer life to the hot tub’s plumbing and equipment.
We are all looking to be environmentally conscious these days and chlorine and bromine are not environmentally friendly products. Most municipalities have laws about draining these products into the environment. When it comes time to change your hot tub water, which is generally recommended every three months, you can be environmentally conscious since enzyme products are all-natural in their make-up therefore friendly to the environment.
One last thing. Several chemical brands recognize the value of enzymes in a hot water maintenance program by recommending that you add an enzyme product on a weekly basis as a supplement to maintain clean, clear, fresh water when the tub is not in use. Enzymes are compatible with chlorine, bromine, ozone, and chlorine salt generators.
Enzymes are the cutting-edge technology in hot water maintenance and one would ask, “Why not start with enzymes in your hot tub or swim spa to provide clean, clear, luxurious water and use chlorine or bromine as a supplement to provide sanitization without the drawbacks?”
Enzymes are the 21st century technology of hot water maintenance.