There are different reasons why bacteria might just get into your pool. One of the major ways they grow is when there are no sanitizers like chlorine and bromine in the pool.
Follow these easy steps to prevent bacteria spreading from your hot tub:
- Always cover your hot tub when not in use, even if it is inside.
- You want to ensure you add enough sanitizer according to your tub’s size. Make sure you add it often enough. That is why you should always test your water to know when the sanitizer level has dropped.
- Maintain and inspect the filtration system, and always clean the filter and replace worn-out equipment on a regular basis.
- Always wash your swimsuit and shower before entering the hot tub.
If you failed to do any of these above and you have already started noticing bacteria blooms, here is how to get rid of them.
- Drain the water and make sure you clean every surface of the pool to remove even the tiniest bit of bacteria.
- Clean or replace the filter as needed. Do not simply rinse with clean water; instead, use a filter cleaner and soak it for several hours.
- Scrub and thoroughly clean the inside of the tub with a hot tub cleaner, bleach, and vinegar that has been diluted.
- Refill the hot tub with a hose. This is to keep all the minerals in the water intact.
- Clean your tub cover with diluted bleach, vinegar, or vinyl cleaner, or better yet, use the one recommended for your hot tub.
- Shock the water once the tub is filled to make sure you kill any bacteria that might be hiding.
- Then test your water with a test strip or liquid water test.
- Make sure you balance the water chemistry by adjusting the pH, alkalinity, hardness, calcium, and chlorine levels.
- Test the water again, adjust the water chemistry if necessary, and test again.
What causes bacteria in hot tubs?
Bacteria are always around, waiting for an invitation to your hot tub to bloom. They enter your tub through rainfall, leaves, human sweat, etc.
When you leave your hot tub outside and uncovered, especially when not in use, the sun can reduce the effectiveness of the sanitizer in your water and help these bacteria grow.
Bacteria can also bloom in your pool if your filtration system is malfunctioning or needs to be replaced, as well as in your swimsuit if you have worn it in bacteria-infested water.
How quickly does bacteria grow in a hot tub?
You might wake up in the morning with bacteria everywhere in the pool, wondering why since the pool was clear at night without any signs of algae.
Well, the rate of bacteria blooming in the water depends on the level of phosphates available and the chlorine level because they feed on phosphates to grow and chlorine is responsible for killing them because it acts as a sanitizer to the pool. They help to fight living organisms found in the water.
When the phosphate level is very high and the sanitizer level is low, it takes about 2 to 3 days for algae to grow and cover your pool water. They grow, bloom, and multiply very fast.
How do you know if you have bacteria in your hot tub?
As relaxing as hot tubs can be, they also come with a microbial risk. Hot pools, like any other, can incubate all types of germs, and because they are smaller and warmer, they actually pose a greater risk for certain diseases.
When you swim in the water and notice a rash (Pseudomonas Folliculitis) on your skin, it is one sign that bacteria is in the water. But without using your skin as an experiment, you can also know bacteria is in the pool through the color change and by testing with a test strip.
How do you decontaminate a hot tub?
If you have a hot tub, one way or the other, you must have had to deal with cloudy water or foam in the water.
You should make sure your water is balanced first, then follow these simple steps below.
- Gather your chlorinated or brominating granules (depending on the type of dispenser you use) and spa shock. Turn on your pump to ensure water flow, but turn off the air because you don’t want any air bubbles.
- Use a disposable cup to scoop the foam along the surface of the water. You do not have to get rid of all of it, but make sure you get as much as you can.
- Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of granules (depending on the size of your tub) in the tub and turn on the filtration setting for 4 to 6 hours.
- Cover the tub, periodically opening it to remove the foam.
- Shock the tub to allow the contaminants to go off.
How long can hot tub water go untreated?
If you use chemicals like chlorine tablets to sanitize the water, you can leave the pool for 1 to 2 months.
However, if you have not treated the water, it will not take more than one week before you start seeing algae or other bacteria in your pool.
How often should I shock my hot tub?
You shock your pool because of the bacteria and pathogens that enter the pool through everyday usage. Sometimes the way we handle and maintain the pool determines how often these bacteria bloom.
Anyway, you should shock your hot tub once a week or as required after testing. You should shock the tub when the free available chlorine is out of its range of 1 to 3 parts per million.
Shock the pool when you have just opened it. Use 2 pounds of pool shock for every ten thousand gallons of water. Also, shock after heavy rain, super sunshine, and before closing the pool.
How much chlorine do I need to shock my hot tub?
After testing the pool, you would know how much available chlorine is in the tub, and how much to measure and add.
Basically, you can approximately use one tablespoon per 200 gallons and let it circulate by turning on the jet. It is important to check the chlorine level some hours after you add the shock.
What temperature kills bacteria in a hot tub?
There are so many factors that help to remove and kill bacteria in the hot tub; chemicals like sanitizers, shocking alkalinity increasers, pH and decreasers, and calcium hardness removers. There are six major pool sanitizers, which are as follows:
- Copper and silver
- Salt water chlorinator
They are all effective when the temperature is not too hot. If it is, they will be reduced, thereby making them ineffective, so it is advised that the tub be kept at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) or at the average body temperature of 98.6 degrees (37 degrees Celsius).
What diseases can you catch in a hot tub?
There are so many possible diseases that you could contract if you use a hot tub that has not been cleaned up or sanitized correctly.
The hot tub offers a suitable environment for germs as well as viruses to grow, resulting in skin as well as ear infections when not balanced.
Hot tub lung disease is a granulomatous lung disease thought to occur as a result of hypersensitivity response to nontuberculous mycobacteria ( NTM) and is seen as hypersensitivity pneumonitis after exposure to NTM from indoor hot tubs and spas, and occasionally contaminated showers with aerosolization devices.
The hot tubs, which are often poorly maintained and the water contains a large amount of NTM, can lead to an acute flu-like illness with cough, fever, and joint pain, followed by protracted symptoms such as dyspnea on exertion, fatigue, and weight loss.
Can you get STD from a hot tub?
Due to the heat of the water in a hot tub, some disinfectants like chlorine breakdown a lot faster as well as become ineffective, leading to contamination as well as waterborne diseases.
There are many diseases that can affect humans when they swim in a hot tub, but it is rare to come into contact with sexually transmitted diseases from a hot tub without coming into direct contact with the fluid from the person.