If you own a hot tub, then you likely know that sanitation is an incredibly important part of retaining a safe environment that can be enjoyed by you and your friends. While you may be worried mostly about the dirt and debris that can enter the tub and cause problems like biofilm, you really should be concerned about the different types of bacteria that have the ability to thrive in the warm and wet environment. Many of these bacteria actually end up living in the pipes and jets of your hot tub, and this requires a special type of cleaning to kill the microorganisms. If you want to learn about the bacteria that may live in the jets and also how to remove them, keep reading.
The Bacteria Living In Your Hot Tub
Bacteria love a warm and moist environment, and this means that you are susceptible to many types of microorganisms when you enter your spa. While your disinfectants can kill some of the bacteria, chemical levels cannot be kept high enough to destroy them all. This is simply due to the ideal environment that allows for constant bacteria growth and the fact that disinfectants break down much quicker in a hot tub.
One type of bacteria that lives in and around your spa is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacteria causes an infection across the skin that is commonly referred to as hot tub rash. The rash generally appears within a few days after using a hot tub, and it will likely go away on its own. However, if the skin infection is serious, it may cause pus-filled blisters to form on the skin around the follicles. A topical steroidal ointment may be needed to treat the rash if blisters appear.
Another type of bacteria that is likely to live around hot tubs is the Legionella variety that can cause Legionnaires' disease. This illness is a serious type of bacterial pneumonia, and it can be contracted by breathing in the steam from a hot tub that contains the bacteria. A long course of antibiotics and hospitalization is a possibility if you get the infection. If you allow people who smoke, are over the age of 50, or have weakened immune systems to use your hot tub, then the lung infection will be more likely.
You can keep the majority of the bacteria in check by making sure that your hot tub has between two to four parts per million of chlorine in it at all times. Keep testing strips on hand and use a strip every time you intend to use the hot tub to see how much chlorine is in the water. Also, invest in the proper disinfection of the jets and pipes of the tub. Water can sit in these parts of the system for long periods of time between uses and allow clusters of bacteria and biofilm to grow. A cleaning completed once every few months will reduce this concern.
Cleaning The Jets And Pipes
To start the cleaning process, drain all of the water out of the hot tub. Fill the tub with clean water just until it covers the jets by several inches of water. Add about one-quarter cup of dish detergent powder made for your dishwasher. This cleaner will help to remove the biofilm sitting in the pipes of the hot tub system without causing a great deal of suds. Start your hot tub jets, but make sure the air or bubbling function is off. This will allow a solid flow of water to work through the system. Let the soap move through the jets for about 15 minutes.
Drain the water from the hot tub afterwards and fill it with a small amount of water again. This time, place about two cups of bleach in the water and run the hot tub again for 15 minutes. This will help to kill the bacteria in the system. You will need to remove the bleach water and fill the tub one more time to rinse bleach residue away. This water should be removed too, to get rid of all traces of the bleach. Once the cleaning and rinsing tasks have been completed, you can fill up the empty hot tub, add disinfectants, and use the spa normally again.
For more information on keeping hot tubs in good condition, visit sites like http://www.anchorpools.com or contact a local hot tub supplier or repair company.Share