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Ionizers for Spas and Hot Tubs

Metallic ions help reduce chlorine and oxidizer usage.
 
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An Alternative Spa and Hot Tub Sanitizer.
 

 
 

Scroll down to browse through some archived SPA and Hot Tub questions and answers.  Please click the Spa Problems Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Spa and Hot Tub Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Spa and Hot Tub Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Spa and Hot Tub Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for Spas and Hot Tubs, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

 
 

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Using Ionization, to help sanitize spa or swim-spa water!!!
Ionization is the process, by which metallic ions, such as copper, silver or zinc, are utilized in helping to sanitize spa, swim-spa or hot tub water.  Ionization is not a complete water treatment system, as it lacks the oxidizing function, required to oxidize organic wastes and byproducts.  Sanitizing is a must, for proper spa water management.  Salt Chlorine generators are a better to utilize chlorine, producing more controllable results. They eliminate the need to handle, measure or store chlorine products, while reducing buildup problems.  A PockeTester Kit is a convenient way to monitor the salt level, as well the overall water chemistry.
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For more information on maintaining and adjusting water chemistry go to: Calculating Chemical Additions

► ► ► Scroll down to read through some Question and Answer information. ◄ ◄ ◄
A ColorQ, all digital Water Tester can perform all of the common tests, while eliminating the color-matching and guesswork.  With 12 models, performing up to 11 different test factors, one is right for every need. A Solar UV Sanitizer creates "free radicals" to help improve water quality and reduce chemical usage.  The WaterLink SpinTouch Labs are the ultimate tester, doing up to 10 different water test factors, in just 1 minute.
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How to use an Ionizer or Mineralizer, as an alternative spa, swim spa or hot tub sanitizer?

Ionization is the process, by which various alternative spa sanitizing devices supply, a stream of copper, silver ions or zinc ions, to the spa, swim-spa or hot tub water. The copper ions function as an algaecide and the silver and ions function as a bactericide. Used properly, the ions are maintained at very low levels, avoiding the possibility of staining or discoloration. Ionization units use metallic electrodes and electrical circuits to release the ions into the water. Ionizers are not stand alone water treatment products, but can reduce the total amount of chemicals required for proper spa or hot tub water maintenance. Copper and silver ions will not destroy organic buildup and contamination and will not oxidize dead microorganisms and organic debris. This requires spa water oxidation and the use of agents such as: chlorine, bromine, non-chlorine shock or ozone. All of these oxidizers can be used with a Ionizers. Salt chlorine generators can, also, be used with ionization, to provide the necessary oxidation.  If problems arise, refer to the Spa Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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Ionization And Oxidation?

I was just looking at some info on the ionization process for hot tubs to look after algae and such. I must admit it looks great and I bet smells better with no bromine or chlorine odors. My question is to do with the oxidation of the water. I have read where you suggest ozonators to deal with this problem. But, are they enough to keep the water fresh or do you need some non chlorine shock as well? Also is there a test you can do to check, if you have enough oxidation occurring to be safe? Thanks in advance.

Darren H., 10/27/2018


For proper spa water quality, you must have both sanitizing and oxidation! An ionization unit or mineral sanitizer can provide most, if not all of the sanitizing action. However, it must be used with oxidizing agents such as ozone, chlorine, bromine or non-chlorine shock. Ozonators come close to providing for all of the sanitizing and oxidizing needs.
SmarterSpa Salt Chlorine Generator for Spas. Because the presence of ozone is short-lived, after the unit is shut off, a backup sanitizer is always recommended: chlorine, bromine or mineral sanitizers or ionization units are most commonly used in this backup role. Ozonators provide the necessary oxidation and greatly reduce the amount of chlorine or bromine required to maintain a level of about 1/2 the customary amount. There should be no overpowering sense of chlorine or bromine. Use an ionization unit and you can come close to eliminating the chlorine or bromine. The only time non-chlorine shock needs to be used is if the water quality suddenly deteriorates. If you maintain a chlorine or bromine residual, at a reduced level, the ability to maintain this lower concentration is confirmation that the oxidation needs are being met by the ozonator. When all is said and done, chlorine or bromine are not easy to replace or eliminate.  A salt chlorine generator is a better way to utilize chlorine, eliminates most of the negatives and is a complete sanitizing system.  We offer several no-installation required models and two of them are smart enough to only produce chlorine, when it is actually needed.  So you'll never overchlorinate again.  I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/27/2018
 

What is Spa Ionization-Oxidation?

I recently used a pool and spa that were being sanitized, with something called Ionization-Oxidation. I really enjoyed not having the heavy odor of chlorine lingering around. Is this something that I can use in my own spa? Currently, I am using bromine, but this was better!

Chris N., Allentown, PA, 6/20/2018


Ionization-Oxidation is a hybrid method for purifying water. The technology was actually developed for the Apollo space program
One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers., to purify water on many manned space missions. Electrodes release controllable amounts of copper and zinc ions, to act as sanitizers, as another set of electrodes produces forms of active oxygen to destroy organic matter, algae, bacteria and waste products. You preferred the end result because of the low chemical presence. Sometimes, depending on bather usage and actual spa conditions, more consistent results are gotten, by also maintaining a very low level of chlorine. The chlorine just helps bridge the gap between the shutting off of the unit and its restarting. Because of the oxygenation, there are none of the odorous and irritating forms of chlorine. If you are interested in maintaining an eco-friendlier spa that uses a minimum of chemicals, this is certainly something to consider, but is has its limitations: the active oxygen does not last long, the copper ions must be kept under 0.3 PPM and the pH needs to be kept on the low end of optimum. However, you could also use a salt chlorine generator and ozonator, to achieve the same or better results, at lower cost.  No Matter what, the copper content should be tested and monitored. Ionization-Oxidation frequently results in too much copper and that leads to staining issues. The ColorQ COPPER 5 or ColorQ PRO 9-Plus all-digital testers are the best ways to do that. I hope that this information proves to be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/20/2018

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Hydrogen Peroxide?

We have a hot tub and would like to use hydrogen peroxide instead of the normal chemicals. My husband is allergic to the chlorine and bromides. How much Hydrogen peroxide do we use and what %. We were told that it should be a 10% concentration but we can't find any hydrogen peroxide above 3%. I thought maybe you could help us. Also, do we need to use any kind of a shock at the first? Hope you can help! Thanks.

Jo, 7/10/2018


I am not sure that using just hydrogen peroxide will provide adequate sanitation. In pools and spas, it is used as a shock
ChlorMaker DO Salt Chlorine Geneator for Spas.treatment with biguanide. It is available in concentrated form in many pool and spa outlets that offer biguanide products. Have you considered the use of an ozonator and a mineral sanitizer. This combination would come close to being chlorine and bromine free. The ozonator could negate the need for hydrogen peroxide and a mineral sanitizer would release metallic ions and act as a persistent sanitizer. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a shock treatment and a mineral sanitizer or ionizer as the primary water sanitizer. However, in most cases better results are obtained, if you maintain a lower level of chlorine or bromine. As long as chlorine or bromine are required, going with a salt chlorine generator makes sense and can simplify operation and sanitizing.  We offer several no-installation required models and two of them are smart enough to only produce chlorine, when it is actually needed.  You can eliminate the measuring, storage and handling of chlorine products.  I hope that I've been helpful and given you some food for thought. Good luck with your decision.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/10/2018
 

Oxygenating Alone Is Not Working?

We purchased a fiberglass spa bath with an oxygenator, and were told that no chemicals would be needed. This was a selling point. We did not want to have to add chemicals, as I have allergies to some chemicals, or to keep changing the water. Another alternative that we considered was a salt chlorinator.  After two months we noticed slimy green patches on the walls and seat, about two feet from the water surface, so drained the spa, cleaned it as instructed, and refilled it. Within a week they are back, and also occasional bits of white foam. The surface of the spa bath is also a bit slippery. The water looks sparklingly clean and the green patches come off when rubbed, but then it bothers me that the water might contain harmful bacteria.  Thank you for your time.  Regards.

Sally S., 1/14/2017
ChlorMaker Drape-Over Salt Chlorine Generator, for spas and swim spas.
Sounds like you have an Ionization-Oxidation system.  It is much easier to sell something, when you promise the world. The "oxygenator" is not a sanitizer! It may help reduce the organics content of the water, but it will not control microorganisms - hence the green deposits and slimy underwater surfaces. And its residual action is very short. You need to be using a sanitizer, such as chlorine or bromine. A salt chlorine generator can be added. When used together, the "oxygenator" will be doing some of the waste elimination and this will allow you to operate the Salt Chlorine Generator, at a lower setting, to maintain any given chlorine level. This will allow the salt cell to last longer and make pH control easier. With the combination, there should be little of the odor, associated with chlorine use. We offer an affordable selection of spa salt chlorine generator and most require no installation. Just plug-n-play. I hope that this has been helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 1/14/2017


How Does An Ionizer Work?

I am thinking of adding an ionization unit to help reduce the amount of chlorine that is being used. Is this possible? I have very hard water and want to minimize chemicals.

Fred. H, Mesa, AZ, 5/12/2012

Yes, it will work to help reduce chemical usage, by providing silver and copper sanitizing ions, as the water passes over the copper and silver electrodes. The chlorine will now have help and less will be required. It is easily controlled and adds little to the water.  You can further reduce the chemicals required by adding an ozonator. That will allow you to cut the chlorine level back and even less will be required, as the ozonator will do most of the oxidizing.  This sanitizing combination will reduce the odor, as well. I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2012


What is Ionization?

Exactly what is ionization? Is there a benefit in using ionization in a spa?

T. T., Eugene, OR, 5/2/2008


Ionizers are a type of alternative water sanitizer and operate on the principle of adding a low level of copper and silver or zinc ions to the water. Ions are the electrically charged soluble forms of these metals. These ions can function as a spa water sanitizer. At low levels, staining and precipitation can be avoided and the ions are able to remain in solution. Ionization units contain electrodes and t
MegaChlor salt chlorine generator for spas, swim spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons.he regulation and control of the current between these electrodes, will regulate the amount ions released into the pool water. The device is plumbed in-line and operates with the same cycle as the filter pump. Another type of device is the Mineral Sanitizer, that releases ions with the electrical circuits. In either, case the sanitizing principle is similar. In addition to the sanitizing ions, there must be oxidation. Without oxidation, there would be a build up of organic wastes and byproducts in the spa water. For this purpose, a non-chlorine shock, chlorine, bromine or an ozonator are frequently used, in order to oxidize organic contamination and debris.  The overall water chemistry must be maintained for bather comfort, water quality and to protect the pool surfaces and equipment. If you want to maintain a spa without chlorine or bromine, Ozonators, Ionizers and Mineral Sanitizers are things to consider. Unfortunately, it still requires some chemicals. When considering everything, chlorine or bromine are not easy to replace or eliminate.  However, a salt chlorine generator is a complete sanitizing systems and can provide better results and reduced chemical usage.  Something to think about?  I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/2/2008


Too Much Copper?

I live in Santa Rosa, Ca and I have a cedar hot tub. I have a copper ionizer system which I apparently left on too long, and the copper reading is now too high (0.7). Is this unsafe? Is there a way to lower the copper level without draining the tub? Thanks for your time.

Kendra, Santa Rosa, CA, 1/2/2010

METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese.
The Copper Test should not be more than 0.3 PPM, if an ionizer is being used. Higher levels can cause staining, green
fingernails and hair. Replacing water is the easiest way to lower the level. Otherwise, you can use a METALTRAP Filter and a small submersible pump to recirculate the water.  As the water passes through the METALTRAP filter, it will remove copper. When the level gets under 0.3, you can stop. Heater corrosion could be a source of copper, if the pH was under 7.0 and chlorine or bromine was present.  I hope that this information will help solve the problem.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/2/2010

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