Treating Hot Tub Vs. Pool Water – Is There a Difference?

Can you treat a hot tub and pool water the same way? In short, because there are so many differences between a pool and a hot tub, how you treat and care for the water will also differ. When it comes to the chemicals you use to maintain the health of the water, there will also be notable differences that come into play. Below, we’ll provide you with what you need to know about the different approaches and chemicals needed for each.

Why Do Hot Tubs and Pools Need to be Maintained Differently?

When maintaining the cleanliness of your hot tub or pool’s water, you might notice that the ingredient list of the chemicals is very similar. Although this might be the case, it’s important to remember that the two are not interchangeable. What works best for a hot tub won’t work best for a pool and vice versa because they are not meant to. The concentration of chemicals in one and the other is very different for numerous reasons, such as;

The Difference in Water Volume

The water volume in a hot tub is less than that of a pool, which is why it’s the first thing to keep in mind. Because of this, the composition of pool chemicals will be different and much more concentrated than those made for hot tubs, simply because it’s a larger body of water to clean. This is why you cannot just use hot tub chemicals for your pool because the concentration won’t be high enough to be effective. On the other hand, using pool chemicals interchangeably for your hot tub is a no-go. These chemicals will be far too strong for the small body of water in your hot tub, which will almost instantly spike the levels to an unhealthy range. Not only can this affect the working parts of your hot tub, but it can also pose potential health concerns for those using the water.

The Difference in Temperature

In addition to how much water is in a hot tub vs a pool, the temperature difference is also something to keep in mind when treating the water. While hot tubs will likely be around the 100 mark for many owners, pools will likely only be in the 80s (and that’s at the higher end). The way these chemicals are formulated considers the temperature, which is why it’s important not to mix them between spa and pool. Additionally, the change in temperature also means a difference in evaporation. For example, the speed at which water in a hot tub will evaporate is far quicker than that of a pool. Meaning, if you throw some pool chemicals into a hot tub, not only will it be far too concentrated for the amount of water in the hot tub, but the high temperatures will break them down even quicker.

With all of this said, though, it’s important not to worry too much if you accidentally use these chemicals interchangeably or see that your hot tub’s water levels are drastically off. Because one of the great things about hot tubs is if you’re struggling to get the pH levels to where they should be (between 7.2 to 7.8), you can very easily drain the water and refill. This will allow you to start with a fresh slate and add the appropriate chemicals.

The Difference in the Jets

The massage jets of a hot tub are one of the biggest selling points. Because of this, many jets in a hot tub work at a much greater intensity than a pool. Once again, playing into how quickly chemicals can move around a hot tub, the number of jets will also affect how water treatment is approached. This is why it’s important to stick to the chemicals that have been designed for hot tubs.

Although both hot tubs and pools provide the perfect space to relax and unwind from the comfort of your home, the way these two bodies of water are treated and maintained is very different. Due to their varying factors and influences like water volume, temperature and number of jets, it’s important to remember that the chemicals used for one simply can’t just be used for the other. But what chemicals should you have on hand for each? Reaching out to a spa dealer near you will provide you with the information you need to ensure your pool or hot tub’s water remains in pristine, healthy condition long-term.

To learn more about choosing the right hot tub for you and your home, download our free buyer’s guide.

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