What Is a Hot Tub Stabilizer?

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Keep your hot tub water safe with chemical treatments.
Keep your hot tub water safe with chemical treatments. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

While the waters of a hot tub prove the perfect place to melt away the stresses of the day, their warmth also makes them the perfect environment for the growth of germs. To combat this problem, responsible hot tub owners treat the waters with an assortment of chemicals -- most notably, chlorine. Adding this chemical alone isn't sufficient treatment, however, as the chemical can break down. Hot tub stabilizers work to prevent this breakdown and keep the hot tub waters as safe as they are cozy.

Stabilizer Function

Along with the chlorine that gives hot tub waters their distinctive smell, hot tub owners must also add stabilizers. Chlorine stabilizers, just as the name suggests, stabilize the chlorine. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can break down chlorine, necessitating the addition of more of this sometimes costly chemical. Stabilizers enable to the chlorine to better stand up to these rays, reducing the frequency with which hot tub owners must add the chemical.

Purpose of Chemical Treating

While it may seem that sanitizing the waters of a hot tub with chemicals is largely unnecessary, there are actually a number of compelling reasons to do so. Aside from the fact that germs can grow in waters that are not treated with chemicals, running untreated water, or water in which the chemical has worn off, through your system can hurt your tub. Untreated or under-treated waters can result in corrosion or staining of your hot tub, making maintaining the proper chemical balance with the aid of stabilizer of added importance.

Varieties

Stabilizer comes in an assortment of varieties, nearly all of which can be used in hot tubs. Most notably, stabilizer comes in both liquid and dissolving powder forms. When selecting the perfect stabilizer for your hot tub, check the temperature rating, ensuring that the stabilizer you select is rated for use in heated water.

Continued Testing

Even with a stabilizer in place, hot tub owners should regularly check the chemical levels in their hot tubs. The presence of stabilizer should keep the hot tub chemical levels balanced longer, so the results of this testing should indicate that no additional chemicals are needed. However, without testing you have no way of knowing what, if any, chemicals you must add.

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