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Mineral Sanitizers for Spas

Metallic ions can help reduce chlorine or bromine usage.
 
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Alternative Spa and Hot Tub Water Sanitizers.
 

 
 

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How to use Mineral Sanitizers, in a spa, swim spa or hot tub? Mineral Sanitizers are devices that supply a stream metallic ions to the spa or hot tub water. Used properly, the ions are maintained at very low levels, avoiding the possibility of staining or discoloration. Mineral Sanitizers accomplish this release, without the use of electrical components. Mineral Sanitizers are not stand alone water treatment products, but can reduce the total amount of chemicals required for proper spa or hot tub water maintenance. The metallic ions will not destroy organic buildup and contamination and will not oxidize dead microorganisms and organic debris. This requires oxidation and the use of agents such as: chlorine, bromine, non-chlorine shock or ozone. Not all of these oxidizers can be used with all Mineral Sanitizers: check with the manufacturer before adding chemicals, as to any limitations that might be suggested. 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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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

MPS, Mineral Purifier And Ozonator Causing Irritation?

I would like to know if there is an alternative to MPS as a shock. I use a mineral purifier and an ozonator. But, I have eye and nasal irritation, and after many years I have finally determined it is the MPS. I typically put about 1/2 to one teaspoon of MPS in my 400 gallon tub after each use. Am I using too much? Might that be the problem? I have seen on forums that many people have linked MPS to their skin and eye irritations, and I'm thinking that might be my problem. So, is there another oxidizer that will not give me the problem?  Thank you.

Peter B., 10/15/2016

I, too, have received anecdotal information linking MPS and irritation. The simple answer is use a low level of chloSmarterSpa Automated Salt Chlorine Generator.rine, instead of MPS. A dealer is unlikely to tell you this, because eliminating chlorine was the whole point of going with a mineral purifier and ozone.  By using small amount of chlorine, you get confirmation, that both products are working, so long as it only takes small amounts of chlorine, to register on the tests. On the other hand, a salt chlorine generator, which can be used, with or without mineral purifier or an ozonator, is a complete sanitizing system. We have 5 models that require no installation. Two feature new Chlorine Detection Technology, which makes them smart enough to turn themselves on, only when there is too little chlorine. When chlorine level rises to optimum, they turn themselves off. You'll never over chlorinate again. It is definitely a better way to do chlorine and eliminates most of the problems associated with traditional chlorine: chloramine odor, measuring, handling and storage of chlorine products. I hope that this information will be helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 10/15/2106
 

Mineral Sanitizers 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., 1/27/2015


For proper spa water quality, you must have both sanitizing and oxidation! A mineral sanitizer can provide most, if not all of the s
SmarterSpa complete unitanitizing action. However, it must be used with oxidizing agents such as salt chlorine generators, ozone generators, chlorine, bromine or non-chlorine shock. Ozonators come close to providing for all of the sanitizing and oxidizing needs. 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 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 a mineral sanitizer and you can almost eliminate 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. After all is said and done, a salt chlorine generator is a complete spa sanitizing system, that has never been easier to use. I hope that I have helped convince you that an ozonator will be beneficial and will enhance your hot water experience.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/27/2015


What Is A Mineral Sanitizer?

I am considering a mineral sanitizer, as I am interested in reducing the amount of chemicals. How does this product work and why will I use less chlorine or bromine? Thanks.

Jack C., Florida, 1/15/2013

Mini Salt Chlorine Generator, for spas and swim spas.
Mineral Sanitizers will allow you to use less chlorine or bromine, because you will be able to achieve proper sanitizing with 1 PPM of free chlorine (instead of 1-3 PPM) or with 2 PPM of bromine (instead of 3-5 PPM). However, they are usually used with chlorine or bromine.  Instead of being
chlorine or bromine free, you'll simply be using less. Therefore, as long as you have to add chlorine, why not use a salt chlorine generator?  There are affordably-priced models, that require no installation. All it requires is a few pounds of salt, each time the spa is refilled.  I hope that this information proves helpful. Enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/15/2013


Chlorine Use With A Mineral Sanitizer An Ozonator?

I have a mineral purifier and ozonator. Do I still add chlorine?  I have spa 56 dichlor granules. And what should my level be?

Jeff D. 8/24/2014

In spite of what any dealer may have told you, to the contrary, you would get better results and more control over water quality, if you maintain a free chlorine level of 0.5-1.5 PPM.  Because of the ozonator, less chlorine will be required, to maintain this level.  This also confirms that everything is working properly, by enabling you operate with a free chlorine level.  Chlorine provides persistent sanitation and oxidation, while ozone is very short lived.  I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 8/234/2014


Ozone To Mineral Sanitizing?

Is it possible and realistic to convert my hot tub, which has an Ozonator and uses bromine, to something like the silver oxide cartridge and non-chlorine treatment?

Mike E., Evansville, IN, 12/12/2008


Yes, you should be able to make such a switch. I suggest that you completely drain the spa remove all traces of the bromide salts. This is important, so as not to shorten the life of the silver component (you can confirm this with the manufacturer to be certain). Use the combination of a Mineral Sanitizer and an ozone generator and you may not need the non-chlorine shock and only a low level of chlorine or bromine! The combination of a Mineral Sanitizer and Ozone is being used in many spas. Have fun! Hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 12/12/2008

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Silver Oxide?

We have just installed a spa and would like to use silver oxide, but all local dealers have never heard of it. Do you have any suggestions about who sells this is the Southern California area? Thank you in advance for your help.

Nameless, California, 4/6/2011


The reason the dealers appeared to be unfamiliar is that it is not sold as silver oxide. Some Mineral Sanitizers use a silver compound, as a source of silver ions and other minerals, as well. Ask your local spa professional to provide you with information on Mineral Sanitizers.  I hope that I have been helpful. Enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/7/2011


Wanting To Use Less Bromine?

I have been using bromine tablets in my spa. The results, so far, have been good, but I would like to use less bromine and fewer chemicals. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Regards and thanks.

Barry M., Poughkeepsie, NY, 11/12/20012


The simplest thing to do would be to add a Mineral Sanitizer, that can be used in spas, that use bromine or chlorine and it will not interfere with the expected 6-month life of the cartridge. The presence of the mineral sanitizer will allow you to maintain a lower bromine level and because less bromine will be used, the overall water chemistry will be easier to control. I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2012


Tired Of Bromine?

I have a 500 gallon spa with an ozone generator. I am tired of the bromine. After perusing your website, it looks as though I could eliminate all need for bromine/dispensers by adding a mineral sanitizer to my system. I searched for those on the web and they appear to simply be a device that slips into the 'tube' in my filter and last for approximately 4 months at a time. Is this all correct? Thank you for your advice,

Steve W., Austin, TX, 8/10/2010


Depending upon which Mineral Sanitizer you use, it could be that simple. However, there is one thing that I would suggest be done first. Empty and clean out the spa, removing as much water as possible. Some mineral sanitizers can shorten the life of the cartridge, with the presence of bromine. Only some Mineral Sanitizers can be used with bromine or in water that contains bromide ions. If you add an ozone generator, to your spa treatment regimen, you will drastically reduce the bromine usage. Inasmuch as it is a good practice to periodically empty a spa, you might as well do it now. I hope that the information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/10/2010


Child-Friendly Choice?

We would like to allow our small child to go into our spa with us at a temperature around 89-92 degrees. I have been told the best alternatives to using straight chemicals are a Mineral Sanitizer then a non-chlorine shock at exit. Do you have any opinion. Thank you.

Holli S, 5/9/2009


Mineral Sanitizers are products that sanitize by using metallic ions. However, just using a mineral sanitizer is not enough. To maintain proper spa water quality, you need to use an oxidization, as well. That is the purpose of the non-chlorine shock. So long as the product choice includes both capabilities, I see no problem. However, my own preference would be to use an ozonator and a mineral sanitizer or a mineral sanitizer and a lower level of bromine. This way there's no regular shock treatment and there is built-in backup sanitizing. I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/9/2009


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, 7/10/2005


I am not sure that using just hydrogen peroxide will provide adequate sanitation. In pools and spas, it is used as a shock
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 or ionizer 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.  I hope that I've been helpful and given you some food for thought. Good luck with your decision.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/10/2005


Too Much Monopersulfate?

Alan, I use a mineral sanitizer system and Monopersulfate (MPS). The MPS test strips show that the MPS level is WAY too high and the alkalinity and pH are at the bottom of the scale. I know how to fix the alkalinity - pH problem, but do not know how to lower the MPS level. Do I just have to wait until it goes away or is there something I can use to lower the level myself? Thank you.
 
Shelly M., Hanover, MD, 4/19/2010

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It is possible to add a chemical to lower the monopersulfate (MPS) level. Chlorine neutralizer will discharge the MPS level very
quickly. However, if you do nothing, the level will drop on its own. By the time you read this and find the product, I suspect that the level will be acceptable. As long as you are testing for MPS, you should add the product in smaller increments.  You can always add more - you can't take out! Monopersulfate products, for spa use, should be a buffered formula, so as not to affect the pH and TA. Check to see if the label confirms this. I hope that I have been helpful. Enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/19/2010


Mineral Sanitizer, Ozone And Shock?

I am writing to ask about using a mineral purifier in my hot tub. It has an ozonator in it, as well. But, I am not sure how it really works. I have been having problems with bromine with pH bouncing around and hard to maintain. I also have been diagnosed with having folliculitis. If I switch to a Mineralizer, do I need to use an ionizer as well? I would like to get rid of the bromine use. Can you recommend a mineral sanitizer brand to use? If I switch to this system, do I understand correctly that I will only be using the mineral sanitizer, ozonator and shock? How do you test water? Do you use standard test strips and will it give proper readings on pH and alkalinity, using the purifier? Thank you so much. This is all so confusing to me.

Lyn G., Charleston, SC, 2/25/2005


If you were medically diagnosed with folliculitis, it was caused by inadequate sanitation. Ozone and bromine should have done the job. However, the combination of an ozonator, a mineral sanitizer and an occasional shock treatment should also be very effective. A mineral sanitizer adds sanitizing metallic ions to the water. Just make sure that the ozonator is working properly and is operated for 6-8 hours daily, spaced throughout out the day into 2-hour periods. Once a week or after heavy bather usage or at the first signs of a loss of water quality, add shock treatment. There are several good mineral sanitizers available, however only some mineral sanitizers can be used with bromine and allow you to get satisfactory results with a lower bromine level.  Bromine can sometimes produce false high pH readings. Perhaps, this was part of the problem? Test strips should be fine for the pH and TA and possibly to measure the shock level, if chlorine is used.  I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/25/2005


Better Filtration?

Followed your advice and got a mineral sanitizer to go with the ozone generator. Drained & cleaned the tub. My skin is still reacting to the spa water but everyone else is enjoying the water better now. It must be a personal problem with heat sensitive dermatitis. The company I ordered the mineral purifier from also supplied an enhanced shock which contains 58% Sodium Dichloro Triazinetrione and other stuff that they don't identify. I assume that this is still a chlorine based shock? What type of shock / chemical is non-chlorine or non-bromine in nature that I could use in conjunction with the mineral sanitizer & the ozonator? I am still monitoring the pH levels but should I still be adding a stain & scale remover every week as the Tub manufacturer recommends? Do I need to add anything else? I have 2 filters that I rotate once a month but rinse off once a week in between. When I rotate should I just soak them in a filter cleaner or should I shock them first? How long should they remain in the filter cleaner solution? My spa supplier says 24 hours & then let them dry thoroughly, other sources have advised that they should soak for a couple of weeks. Also does a solar blanket on the water surface help keep the ozone in the water? Sorry for all the questions but I definitely appreciate the help you have provided me with. Thanks.

Roger J., Dundas, Ont., 3/30/2006


The 58% product is sodium dichlor and you can use it. Just try and keep the free chlorine level at 0.5-1.5 PPM. Less than normally amounts should be adequate, because of the presence of the ozonator. A solar blanket could make a slight difference, but it could be hard to quantify. Potassium monopersulfate shock is a non-chlorine product. You need one or the other. I would stop adding the stain and scale product or verify that it can be used with the mineral sanitizer. You might be complexing (chelating) the metallic ions and rendering them less effective. Spa filters are not very effective, under the best of circumstances. A higher efficiency product might be beneficial. The better filtration couldn't hurt your dermatitis problem either. Otherwise, clean according to the manufacturer's instructions. I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/31/2006


How A Mineral Sanitizer Works?

I'm using a Mineral Sanitizer Cartridge in my spa. I add some non-chlorine shock after each use. I like it because there is very little odor, if any. Exactly, how does this cartridge reduce chlorine requirements?

Dennis G., 1/14/2010


The Mineral Sanitizer contains metallic ions, in a form that allows for slow release into the spa water. This is done without the use of
electrical components, as is the case with Ionization Units. The ions, copper, silver or zinc, are released into the water in ionic form. This is the most active form and allows the ions to function as sanitizers, at very low concentrations. Chlorine is normally used to provide this type of sanitizing action. However, chlorine will also destroy and decompose organic wastes and debris. Because metallic ions cannot destroy the organic contamination or prevent further buildups, it is necessary to add an oxidizer to do this job. That is the reason for adding the non-chlorine shock. Maintaining a free chlorine of that favors the low end of 1-3 PPM, helps assure proper sanitation, at all times. The use of a Mineral Sanitizer should reduce the overall chemical usage and make control of the water chemistry easier. Enjoy the spa. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/15/2010


One Mineral Sanitizer Or Two?

Hello Alan. Thank you for all the helpful advice on your website! My question involves proper placement of a mineral purifier cartridge in a hot tub with two filters. My tub is equipped with an ozonator which runs 24 hours a day on a very low pressure slow circulation pump (this is also the pump that draws water through the heater). The main circulation - skimming pump (higher pressure) comes on 4 times a day for hour each time. Each of these pumps has a separate filter. After reading some of your recommendations, I am planning to convert from bromine to a mineral purifier cartridge that goes inside the filter tube. My question is: which filter would be a better location for the mineral sanitizer? Hopefully, it won't be necessary to have a purifier in both filters. Thanks you for any thoughts/advice you can provide. Sincerely.

Scott in Colorado, 3/30/2009


Interesting question. Mineral sanitizers work by adding metallic ions to the water at a, more or less, controllable rate. You shouldn't need two cartridges. I think that you are better off using the high speed pump, as it better reflects normal spa operation.  Some mineral sanitizers are affected by bromine, so I suggest that you give this some thought. Enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/30/2009

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