that is rarely the case – especially if you’re not using chlorine! Some
odors are chemical, some are environmental. Most odors can be
successfully treated and cured. Odors can even be prevented with proper
Smelly Spa & Hot
Tub Odors are caused by:
- Lack of
drain & refill procedures
reasons caused by uncontrolled biofilm build up
try masking odors with spa fragrances & aromatherapy products. You’ll
only make the situation worse. Deal with the root causes. After treating
the odors, you will really enjoy the fragrances as they were meant.
bromine are both excellent sanitizers
used in spas and hot tubs. When they are used, they do breakdown,
actually combine with, waste products of what they have sanitized. These
wastes are typically in the form of nitrogen and when the nitrogen
combines with the chlorine, they become smelly chloramines; when
combined with bromine, they become bromamines. The real bad news is that
chloramines are virtually worthless at killing bacteria. Bromamines
however, are still somewhat effective sanitizers.
have shown that people actually like the smell of chlorine; at least
when it’s in its useable state! A “fresh” chlorine odor reminds people
of cleanliness & sanitary conditions. Chloramines are a different matter
especially when further combined with carbon dioxide gassing from the
air jets, while also driving up the pH. That’s what gives you that acrid
or acidic “chlorine” odor that nobody likes. That’s one of the “false”
reasons people then switch to bromine. But bromine has its own di-stink-t
odor (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
In order to
break up these combined chlorines & bromines, it is necessary to shock
the water. Shocking, using additional chlorine or a non-chlorine
oxidizer such as potassium mono-persulfate, breaks the chemical bonds.
The trick is to allow the waste to fully gas off from the spa water.
What happens if the waste is not allowed to gas-off? Chloramines and
bromamines recombine with a vengeance. Excess chloramines & bromamines
can also lead to "red-eye" (tear gas is a form of chloramine). You won't
only smell the problem, different parts of your body will feel the
process is simple: after shocking, leave the spa cover off of the spa
for at least 1 – 2 hours (ideally). If the waste is not fully allowed
to gas-off, the waste chloramines and bromamines literally hit the
underside of the spa cover and fall back into the water! Even if your
spa is not regularly used, it is an excellent idea to remove the cover
for at least one hour weekly to let the “bad air” gas-off.
Keep in mind
that as similar thing happens with an indoor spa thereby requiring good
& constant ventilation especially while the spa is being used. The
condition can become worse as the waste gasses and un-oxidized bacteria
are aerosolized into the room. People with asthma or other breathing
trouble can experience a condition known as “hot tub lung.”
hear of customers noting similar “choking” odors when using biguanides
such as BaquaSpa or Soft Soak or Leisure Time Free. A similar scenario
is taking place: “used” biguanide molecules with attached wastes are
being aerosolized out of the spa and into your face! Proper shocking
with the hydrogen peroxide shock is necessary on a weekly basis to break
up this un-filterable waste. Don’t be afraid to double or triple shock.
Do NOT however, use swimming pool hydrogen peroxide – the odor will be
worse. Only use spa formulated biguanide products.
balance – especially very
low or high pH – will affect the chlorine & bromine levels leading to
chloramines and bromamines as mentioned above. Low pH (under 7.0) can
cause the water to give off very acidic gases leading to coughing,
wheezing or other health problems. Water having a High pH (over 7.8) can
lead to stale & funky smells plus additional scaling.
maintenance of your spa
includes periodic (weekly at least) cleaning or wiping down of the spa
surfaces (waterline, pillow areas, drink-cup rests, etc). This wiping
also aids in removing the biofilm build-up on visible areas. Further
regular cleaning involves cleaning the filter (chemically cleaning, not
just rinsing) and cleaning the inside of the spa cover (monthly spray of
Pristine) helps kill mold & mildew that grow in or on the insulating
refilling of your spa or
hot tub on a regular basis is the simplest, single best thing you can do
to control odors. Be sure to know often to drain & refill; this varies
with spa size, use, time of year, parties, even showering BEFORE using
the spa. Typically every 4 to 12 weeks is good. Smaller 2 person spas
normally need more frequent water changes than larger 8 person spas
(except if 8 people are using the spa more than twice a week!). Here’s
our draining frequency formula:
Following that formula be sure to Purge (removes biofilm build-up),
Drain, Clean (all surfaces & filter), and Refill.
reasons for spa & hot tub odors
are due to the build-up of bio-films on spa surfaces and plumbing lines
that contribute to the formation of White Water Mold and Pink Slime and
all of their odors. As biofilms build, multiply, and spread throughout
the spa system, odors worsen dramatically. For that reason it is almost
mandatory to use plumbing line cleaning products such as Spa System
Flush or Spa Purge when draining & refilling. To prevent biofilm
continuously, consider using
AquaFinesse Spa Water Care products.
further help prevent and eliminate odors by “eating” or consuming much
of the greases, body oils and waste that interfere with whatever type of
sanitizing system you use.
With a little
effort (no more than 15 – 20 minutes each week) you can effectively
control and even eliminate odors in your spa.
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