Hot Tub Odors (Smelly Spas)
Does your spa or
hot tub smell? Does it have odors that you just can’t get rid of? Let’s
try to figure this out.
More often than
not, many spa owners blame the odors on “too much chlorine.”
that is rarely the case – especially if you’re not using chlorine!
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.
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.
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
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.
With a little
effort (no more than 15 – 20 minutes each week) you can effectively
control and even eliminate odors in your spa.
Click here for the complete article on
Spa & Hot Tub Odors
If you still need help, here's how to
store hours): Shelton 203-377-0100