How-To Guides | Ozone & Why Your Spa Needs It

Ozone, or energetic oxygen, is a powerful oxidizer of contaminants in water. It is made available for hot tubs and spas through the use of ozone generators. Ozone is formed when three atoms of oxygen are bound together, instead of the normal two. If you have ever detected a faint, sweet smell in the air after a lightning storm, that was ozone!

What Ozone Does in Hot Tubs

  • Reduces need for high chemical doses
  • Helps destroy bacteria, viruses, algae, yeasts
  • Oxidizes other contaminants
  • Less odor and chloramines
  • Prolongs equipment life
  • Reduces maintenance time & cost
  • Natural purification

On the Molecular Level - How Ozone is Made

Ozone for a spa is formed when individual oxygen molecules are split into two free oxygen atoms. When a newly freed oxygen atom collides with another oxygen molecule, they bond, forming ozone.

This new ozone molecule consists of three oxygen atoms, instead of the customary two. This is all done using intense UV light or corona discharge (CD) in an ozonator.

Ozone is a strong oxidizer, but since it doesn't last long it needs to be continuously refreshed by the ozone generator. It needs to run at least 4-6 hours per day to efficiently dissolve contaminants in the hot tub's water.

Ozone is a much stronger oxidizer of contaminants than plain oxygen because the extra oxygen atom is loosely bound. It breaks loose when exposed to organic material or other contaminants, oxidizing and thereby destroying them in the process.

Here's the oxygen/ozone lifecycle in 4 steps:

  1. An oxygen molecule with 2 oxygen atoms (O2) enter the ozonator
  2. Molecules are broken apart by UV or Corona Discharge
  3. New ozone molecules (O3) are formed
  4. Contaminants oxidized by active ozone before turning back into O2

Other Benefits

Ozone also oxidizes soap, deodorant, hair spray, cologne, makeup, perfume, body lotion, hand cream, sun tan lotion, saliva, and urine. Used in concert with your sanitizer, ozone helps kill pathogenic bacteria, germs, and viruses and helps to oxidize organic contaminants.

Ozone frees up combined chlorine and bromine, thus freeing them to be continuously reused. Ozone ultimately enhances the performance of chlorine and bromine as well as alternative sanitizer systems.

Less chlorine or bromine may be needed to maintain a residual. Water quality will be dramatically better with the combination of ozone and chlorine/bromine than with chlorine/bromine alone.

Ozone destroys microbes, oxidizes contaminants, and causes total dissolved solids to clump together for easier removal by the filter. The result is water that's cleaner, clearer, and smoother feeling to the skin.

Perfectly Compatible with Alternative Sanitizers

Ozone is 100% compatible with alternative purification systems such as Nature2 mineral purifier, and the Spa Frog.

Ozone also helps prevent the calcium in spa water from chelating and thus conditions the water. This is good for equipment and more enjoyable for you. Many people say that the water feels softer to the skin!


Will Ozone replace my current sanitizer?

No. Ozone has a very short half-life in water (about 15 minutes) and it is not totally effective as a sanitizer. You will still need to use a system such as bromine, Nature 2, or Spa Frog as the primary sanitizer.

You will, however, find that you can use a lot less chemicals. Oftentimes, up to 50% less, which pays for the ozone system over time, and makes spa maintenance much easier.

With Nature 2 and Spa Frog alternative sanitizers, you will probably be able to reduce the amount of shock used. Actual reductions will depend on many factors, including water quality and bather load.

How long should I operate my ozonator each day?

To be effective, you should run your ozonator at least 2 hours twice a day. Check your spa owner's manual.

Can I add an ozonator to my hot tub?

Yes! 90% of all new spas come "ozone ready" requiring just the hookup of an ozonator kit and maybe an injector. With spas not so equipped, there are several ozone installation options available.

Is the ozone produced in my spa safe for me and the environment?

The amount of ozone produced by a hot tub ozone generator is insignificant to the normal atmosphere we live in. When dissolved in water, ozone is extremely safe. Excess ozone quickly converts back to oxygen. Note: do not breathe concentrated ozone gas.

If I use an ozonator in my spa, will I help replenish the Earth's protective ozone layer?

Unfortunately not. Because ozone reacts quickly with contaminants in water and air, it converts back to oxygen within minutes or even seconds. Any ozone molecules that break free from the spa water will convert to oxygen and never reach the upper atmosphere.

Will ozone affect my pH?

Ozone is pH neutral. It will not adversely affect the pH of your hot tub water.

Learn how to add an ozonator to your spa.

Clarathon HCD-55 Ozonator Kit

"With your kit, it was super easy to install an Ozonator on our new spa myself. The directions were very good but I also got advice from tech support on the easiest way to install it. Most companies' technical support is either poor or non-existent. Yours was excellent all the way!"

Brent Kimball
Port Clinton, OH

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