What Does an Ozonator Do?
If you have been looking to buy a hot tub or swim spa, or already own one, you have probably heard a few things about ozonators. While a seemingly innocuous gadget, this little gadget in the spa is not just a superfluous add-on meant to get a couple of extra dollars out of you. Ozonators are quite necessary and will ultimately save you quite a bit of money on chemicals in the long run, and on top of that they do quite a bit of lifting when it comes to the sanitation of your water. It may seem like not that big of a deal, but when your ozonator breaks you will really be able to tell the difference. Your tub may become cloudy or develop a smell, even if you are sticking to your standard chemical regiment. To help clear up misconceptions and to shed some light on the important role the ozonator plays in the cleanliness of your hot tub or swim spa, here is a brief overview of them as well as what to look for when they stop working.
What Does the Ozonator Do?
Most of the salesmen you have spoken with have probably highly recommended you get one on your spa, or it simply came standard. This is because ozonators do a very important job of oxidizing chlorine/bromine and killing bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables that show up in your spa water. This reduces the amount of chemicals you have to treat your water with as well as reactivates the ones that are already present in your water. As its name says, ozonators produce ozone or O3 gas, the same thing the ozone layer is made of, through an electrical discharge or uv light. This gas is then mixed into the water through a mizzie injector and quickly gets to work. Ozone is a volatile molecule that doesn’t want to stay together, thus sticking an extra oxygen molecule onto anything it can, e.g. chlorine, viruses, and bacteria. As far as the chlorine goes, there is available chlorine, or dead chlorine, and free chlorine in your water. Free chlorine is active chlorine—is sanitizing the water. But if you have ever smelled that stale chlorine public pool smell, then you know what dead chlorine smells like. This chlorine isn’t really doing anything in this state because it has to be oxidized in order to sanitize your water. Thus comes in the ozonator, which reactivates the chlorine, helping keep your water crystal clear and odor free.
How to Tell Your Ozonator Is Broken:
1. You Are Having to Add More Chlorine Than Usual
On average, a working ozonator will reduce the amount of chlorine up to 25%. If you suddenly seen that you are having to add more chlorine than usual, it is a pretty good sign a new ozonator is in order.
2. Check for Small Bubbles
You can usually see a steady stream of small bubbles coming from some place in your tub, this is the ozone gas that doesn’t make it all the way into your water. If you noticed the bubbles are not bubbling anymore, it is a good sign that you should pop open the cabinet and take a look at the ozonator.
3.Check the Cabinet to See If It Is On
The ozonator itself is generally easy to locate in the cabinet of the spa. It is usually black and says ozonator right on it. If it a little light is not on, it has probably bit the dust.
Ozonators are not too expensive, ranging from $100-300 and not to difficult to install yourself, but when in doubt call an experienced technician to take care of it for you.