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Ozone, sometimes referred to as 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 called ozonators. 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
  • Reduces odor and chloramines
  • Prolongs equipment life
  • Reduces maintenance time & cost
  • Ozone purifies naturally

On the Molecular Level - How Ozone is Made

Ozone for a spa is formed when individual molecules of oxygen are split apart into two free oxygen atoms by intense UV light, or alternately by corona discharge (CD) in an ozonator.  When a newly freed oxygen Atom collides with another oxygen molecule, it joins up, forming ozone. The new ozone molecule consists of three oxygen atoms, instead of the customary two. It is a strong oxidizer, but since it does not last long it needs to be continuously replenished by the ozone generator running at least 4-6 hours per day to dissolve effective amounts in the hot tub's water.

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

1 Oxygen molecules (O2)
2 Molecule broken apart by UV or Corona Discharge
3 New ozone molecules (O3) formed
4 Contaminants oxidized by active ozone
How ozone is made

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. The quality of water will be dramatically better with the combination of ozone and chlorine or bromine than with chlorine or bromine alone.

The ozone not only destroys microorganisms, it also breaks down harmful chemicals, and causes total dissolved solids to clump together for easier removal by the filter. The result is water which is cleaner, clearer, and smoother feeling to the skin.

Perfectly Compatible with Alternative Sanitizers

Ozone is 100% compatible with alternative purification systems such as Cleanwater Blue, 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 for equipment and more enjoyable for you. Many people say that the water actually feels softer to the skin!


Q & A

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, Cleanwater Blue, or Nature 2. However, you will find that you can use a lot less chemicals-- often up to 25% less, and this will pay for your ozone system over time, and make spa maintenance much more trouble free. With Cleanwater Blue and Nature 2 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?

Ozonator run times To be effective, you should run your ozonator at least 4-6 hours per day. If your spa filter/pump is controlled by a timer, a good method is to set it to run for two 2 to 4 hour cycles, 12 hours apart, each 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 only a simple hookup of an ozonator kit, and sometimes also with an injector. With spas not so equipped, there are several ozone installation options available, and one of them will likely be suitable for your system.

Is the ozone produced in my spa safe to 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 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 so 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.


Installing a spa ozone generator Read more about adding an ozonator to your spa. Do-it-yourself installation is fast, easy, and costs a lot less than you might think when you buy from The Spa Depot.

New technology long-life Aqua Sun Ozonator Kit is shown here. Ozone gas is delivered via attached tubing.


spa customers write  Consumer Reviews
Clarathon XL Ozonator Kit
"With your kit it was easy to install an Ozonator on our new Belize spa myself. The directions were very good but I also got some tips from your spa tech by phone on the easiest way to hook it up. With most companies the technical support is either poor or non-existent. Yours was excellent all the way!"

Brent Kimball
Port Clinton, OH

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