Are Chemicals the Same for Pools and Hot Tubs?

Are Chemicals the Same for Pools and Hot Tubs
Have you ever wondered if chemicals are the same for pools and hot tubs? If you have both a pool and a hot tub, you may have been tempted to buy one set of chemicals for both to save time and money. We must caution you, though, that doing so is detrimental to your pool, your hot tub, and you. What starts as a well-intentioned attempt to simplify your routine or to save costs, quickly turns into a problem you don’t want to deal with. Some people with both a pool and a hot tub, view them as being very similar. If you think about it though, there are reasons you have one of each. You probably enjoy your pool for certain activities and your hot tub for others. Why is that? The reason is that they are quite different and, as such, have varying chemical requirements. Without a lot of pool and hot tub chemical knowledge, it’s easy to assume that the ingredient labels on pool and spa chemicals prove that they are basically the same. Here’s why that is not the case.

Temperature Matters

The chlorine and chemicals you use to keep your pool water clean and healthy use heat to work effectively. While pool and hot tub chemical ingredients may look the same, pool chemicals are created to be stable up to about the 80 degree Fahrenheit mark. Hot tubs usually operate at around the 95 to 100 degree mark, so using pool chemicals in them is not effective. In the much warmer water, chemical reactions are enhanced and quickly create imbalance. 

Water Volume Differences

Pools hold a lot more water than hot tubs. Because they will be used in a large volume of water, pool chemicals are usually quite concentrated. Conversely, hot tubs hold a much smaller amount of water. While it may seem reasonable to just add a lesser amount of pool chemicals to a hot tub, based on water volume, this practice is ill-advised. Simply reducing the amount of chemicals used doesn’t mean you will have the proper chemical concentration for a hot tub environment.

Evaporation Considerations

With jets running and steam rising off of your hot tub, it’s much more susceptible to evaporation. As previously mentioned, pool chemicals are more concentrated than hot tub chemicals. If you use highly concentrated chemicals in a hot tub and then evaporation takes the water levels down, the chemicals concentrate further. As you might expect, this causes a whole host of imbalances and can even cause damage to your hot tub.

Mixing Water

Unless there’s a lot of activity in your pool, the water probably sits idle much of the time. This lack of mixing is one of the reasons that pool chemicals are made in a concentrated form. The high concentration addresses issues that arise in stagnant water. Hot tubs, on the other hand, have jets that move the water around rapidly. This movement means that chemicals are regularly mixed. That mixing causes chemical reactions to happen at a much faster rate. If concentrated pool chemicals are used in a hot tub, the number of chemical reactions quickly becomes unmanageable.  

Let’s Talk

Getting to know your pool and hot tub requirements can take some time. The team at Fronheiser Pools is always available to advise you. Don’t forget to ask about our pool service programs and check out our online store for all the pool and hot tub chemicals you need to keep your aquatic retreats pristine!
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Fronheiser Pools

Providing quality products for your outdoor living lifestyle since 1965.


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Bring your water test bottle with a sample of your pool or spa water to your scheduled appointment. Please label the test bottle with your name, and drop it off at the water testing counter.

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