Algae can turn your nice, clear hot tub into what looks like a big bowl of pea soup overnight. Then you not only have to empty the tub but flush the plumbing system too, which means lost time in the relaxing water. Algae prevention in a hot tub is very easy and will save you a lot of time and money by being consistent with the chemical treatment and maintenance.
Algae are plants that grow rapidly when given the right circumstance. Like other plants, there are thousands of varieties that take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. This can raise the pH in the hot tub and cause the walls and floor to be slippery, making the hot tub dangerous. But even worse is the fact that bacteria takes in oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide, making the pair perfect for living together in your hot tub when it's not properly taken care of. The alga gets into the water through rain and wind, but if conditions are not right, it will die right there. But if the chemicals in the pool have not been kept to the proper balance the algae will start to grow. By the time you can actually see the algae, it's been in the water for a while and now is a bigger problem. For most hot tubs, the best solution at this point is to empty them, flush the plumbing, change the filter and refill.
There are three main types of algae: green, mustard and black. All of them can make your hot tub slippery and green. Mustard algae are very chlorine-resistant and very hard to get rid of in pools. Green algae is extremely fast-growing and can be hard to get a handle on, so with the small water capacity of a hot tub, it is better to drain it and start from scratch.
Prevention of Algae Growth
The best investment that you can make for your hot tub in order to prevent algae growth is a cover. The insulated hard covers keep light from getting to the water when it is not in use, and most algae need light to grow. It is very rare to find algae in a covered tub unless it is left without chemicals for a very long time.
Pool and spa stores will have algaecides and algaestats to add to your spa water. An algaecide kills algae and an algaestat prevents algae from growing. However, to accomplish the best of both, you must keep your sanitizer at the proper level for your hot tub. Sanitizers are measured in parts per million or ppM. If you are using chlorine, the level should remain between 3 and 5 ppM. And if you are using bromine, it should be between 3 and 6 ppM. You will need a simple test kit to test the level and this should be done every day along with checking the pH level. Add the needed chemicals as the test indicates and run your filter for a few hours every day. This along with keeping it covered when not in use will ensure your water will stay algae-free and make it most comfortable for you and your family.
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