Ozone is one of the world’s strongest sanitizers. It eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and other pathogens in your spa water. It also attacks oils, dirt and nearly all contaminants. And, the only byproduct of Ozone (O3) is Oxygen (O2).
Using a spa ozonator can reduce your chemical usage dramatically, which is why most new spas are equipped with an ozonation system.
But you may be wondering if your ozonator is working? You probably don’t have a test kit for ozone, and even if you see bubbles coming out into the spa, there may be a problem.
How Does Spa Ozone Work?
In spas and hot tubs, ozone is produced by a Ultra-Violet bulb. When air is exposed to UV radiation (from a UV light bulb), some of the oxygen in the air is converted to ozone. O2 gains a third oxygen atom, and becomes O3. When the ozone molecule attacks contaminants in your spa water, it gives up the third atom, and reverts back to O2.
Inspect the UV bulb
If you can see the blue light coming from an inspection port, or slipping out of a small crack in the housing, you can assume that the bulb is functioning properly. If there is no blue light, follow the power cord, and make sure that it’s securely plugged into the spa pack, or is connected to a power source. Inspect the cord also, looking for problems such as cuts or breaks in the wire harness. Finally, if the bulb is lit, and no ozone is being released, you may have a clogged venturi injector.
Inspect the Ozone Hose
The hose carries the small ozone bubbles from the spa ozonator to the venturi injector, which pulls the ozone into the spa plumbing. Sanitation takes place almost immediately. If the hose is broken, or crimped, or disconnected, you have located your ozonator problem.
Inspect the Check Valve
On the hose, there is a check valve, which allows the ozone to flow in only one direction (towards the spa jets) and keeps water out of the ozonator. If the check valve appears to be damaged, or stuck, or if you notice that the pump basket is filling with air when turned off, you may have a faulty check valve. Be sure to replace with your exact manufacturer replacement. one that won’t be damaged by ozone, and is made to match the ozone output pressure.
Ozone bulbs usually last 3-5 years. When replacing the ozone bulb, be sure to use the exact manufacturer replacement. Or, you can replace the entire spa ozonator.
Happy Hot Tubbin’!