Ozone is one of the world’s most powerful sanitizers – over 200 times more powerful than chlorine. Using ozone in a spa or hot tub allows you to use fewer chemicals and may even require less filtration time.
Spa ozone is produced in a small ozonator underneath the spa cabinet, and it is delivered to the water by a small hose that carries the O3 gas to an injector fitting, where it is sucked into the spa plumbing.
But, over time, ozonator output decreases, and after 2-3 years, it’s time for a renovation or replacement of the ozone unit.
Is My Spa Ozonator Working?
When released into the line, ozone immediately begins to kill contaminants in your spa – when it’s working. But, how do you know when it’s working?
- Bubbles in the heater return line. A steady stream of champagne bubbles entering the spa.
- Spa ozonators have a power indicator light, but this doesn’t mean that ozone is being produced.
- There are ozone test kits, which tells you if your ozonator is producing ozone.
- If you remove the supply tube from the check valve, you should be able to smell the ozone.
- Water quality will deteriorate when ozone is no longer being produced, requiring more chemicals.
Clogged Ozone Injector
An injector is the point of entry for the ozone gas, which is located in the center of a venturi manifold, shown here. The injector draws in the ozone, mixing it with the water, where sanitation begins immediately.
If an injector becomes clogged with debris, gunk or scale, it will block the small amount of ozone gas pressure. To clean an ozone injector, remove the hose, and ream out the injector with a piece of wire or a very small screwdriver. Vinegar can also be used to help dissolve heavier deposits.
Broken Ozone Check Valve
A check valve is used on many spa ozone systems, to prevent water from backing up through the hose, and getting into your ozone unit. Check valves are one-way flow devices, designed to only allow gas (or water) to flow away from the unit.
Over time, ozone check valves can become stuck, or blocked by gunk or scale, much like the injector problem discussed above. Del ozone recommends replacing their check valves (shown here) every year. Cleaning a check valve with vinegar can remove deposits, but be sure that the mechanism inside is still doing it’s job.
Split Ozone Tubing
The tubing, or hose that carries the ozone from the ozonator to the injection manifold will deteriorate over time. Clear hose often becomes yellowed and brittle, and will eventually split, requiring replacement.
Inspect your ozone hose often, from end to end for degradation. Del recommends that the tubing be replaced every year, to prevent unexpected failure. Also inspect the barbed connections on the end of the hoses. Too much pressure can cause these to crack, and leak ozone.
Finally, the ozone generator itself may have expired. There are two types of spa ozonators, UV and CD. Spa ozonators using UV, or ultraviolet light to produce ozone, will need a new UV bulb after a certain number of operational hours, usually 8000-10000 hours.
CD, or corona discharge ozonators, will require a new chip or electrode every few years, to maintain ozone output. Del sells renewal kits for their CD spa ozonators, and it’s quite a simple repair.
Spa Ozonator Maintenance
…is not so difficult, once you know what to look for. The most important thing is to replace ozone parts on a schedule, to prevent damage to the ozonator, and poor spa water conditions.
Your spa ozonator probably won’t make it known that there is a problem – you have to go looking for it. Remember, eventually (2-3 years), your spa ozonator will quietly quit working. Maintain your spa ozonator to keep your spa sanitary.
Happy Hot Tubbin’
Hot Tub Works