A hot tub dispenser is a small device for holding sanitizing chemicals in slow-dissolving tablet form in the spa, allowing them to dissolve slowly and safely into the water over time. Hot tub dispensers are time-saving compared to having to dose the hot tub daily with sanitizing granules. Instead of that, the hot tub sanitizer does the work automatically without much human interference apart from refilling with sanitizing tablets when it is empty.
Using a hot tub bromine or chlorine dispenser, depending on which of the sanitizing agent you prefer to use, is very easy. All you have to do is place the tablets in the space designed for the tablets in the dispenser, set the dispensing rate, and place the dispenser in the hot tub water and that is all.
Your hot tub will keep getting doses of the sanitizing agent even when you are not around. Time-saving right? Especially if you are someone who does not stay much and usually goes away for days, your hot tub will still be in a good condition by the time you come back home.
For those people who go away a lot, using a chlorine or bromine dispenser for your hot tub is a very welcoming idea as this, to some extent, eliminates the need of having to administer treatment again to achieve a desired water chemical balance each time you return home.
Can I use chlorine tablets in my hot tub?
Yes, you can use chlorine tablets in your hot tub. But you have to be careful in using it, to make sure the chlorine level of the water in your hot tub does not become high. High chlorine levels can lead to rusting on part of the hot tub, like the screws.
Are chlorine tablets good or bad for a hot tub?
Though chlorine in its tablet form is a very good sanitizing chemical and bacteria killer, it has some advantages and disadvantages, just like every other chemical used in everyday life. On the good side, chlorine in tablet form dissolves rather slowly than when in granular form. This makes it possible to be able to have a consistent dose of sanitizing chemical in the hot tub over time by using a chlorine hot tub dispenser.
As a result, the issue of the chlorine level in the water dropping over time below the recommended level is avoided. Thus, eliminating any health risk or hot tub maintenance issue associated with having low water chlorine levels. On the side of cost, chlorine tablets are cheaper than granules. This could be due to how it is packaged or maybe how it is produced. Whichever is the case, chlorine tablet is a very cheap and effective way to kill bacteria in a hot tub.
On the bad side, chlorine tablets are somehow acidic, unlike the granules which are pH neutral. So while they are doing their job effectively, they could also be affecting the water chemical balance by reducing the pH level and total alkalinity of the hot tub water over time. Also, there is a possibility of having a high chlorine level if the dispenser is not used properly, or maybe the user forgets to check it after a while. This can be damaging to the different components of the hot tub.
Where to put chlorine tablets in a hot tub?
Ready to use chlorine tablets? Where exactly do you put them? Not inside the hot tub. This might end up sticking on some surfaces you would not really want it on or dissolving too fast, making futile the idea of using chlorine tablets in the first place. Hence, place chlorine tablets in floating dispensers before putting them in the hot tub. Chlorine tablets, as we now know, dissolve slowly by their nature.
The dispenser is what will to some extent help in keeping a steady dissolving rate not affected by the movement of the water in the pool. Think of it as putting a dissolvable tablet in a cup of water; when it is stirred with a spoon, it dissolves more quickly than when the water is just still in the cup. Floating dispensers eliminate the effects of the water turbulence on the tablet when the water is stirred.
It also helps in preventing the tablets from coming in contact with hot tub users, therefore, helping to prevent skin irritation in the process. The tablet slowly dissolves as it chlorinates the water, without dispersing too much at once. However, it is safer to remove the floating chlorine dispenser when people are in the hot tub to avoid the dispenser being overwhelmed by the turbulence from the activity in the tub and the jets.
As earlier stated, tablet chlorine is a bit acidic, unlike the chlorine granules which have neutral pH and TA levels. So a good hot tub care or maintenance habit will be to adjust the pH level of the water in your hot tub to 7.2 – 7.6. This range is ideal for swimmers because it isn’t so high that it burns the eyes or skin and yet helps keep the pool clean. This pH range works well with floating chlorine dispensers.
How to use a chlorine hot tub dispenser
- First things first, open the top lid of the chlorine dispenser and keep it aside. Do this by turning it counterclockwise until it stops, then pull and lift it to remove the lid from the dispenser.
- Now Insert the chlorine tablet into the dispenser. Mind you, it must be the small 20g sized tablet designed for hot tub use and it must only be chlorine tablets. Never mix different types of sanitizing chemicals in the dispenser. Insert it into the dispenser. If you are using bromine tablets as your sanitizing chemical, stick to bromine alone. And if you are using chlorine tablets as your sanitizing chemical, stick to chlorine alone. Do not mix both, they might react and pose serious hazards.
If your dispenser comes with an inner cup-shaped screen, insert the inner cup-shaped screen into the dispenser first before putting the tablet. This is optional and is not necessary for the chlorinator to function properly. But it helps once the chlorine tablet starts to dissolve and breaks apart by filtering out small pieces of the chlorine tablets.
- Replace the lid and turn it clockwise to lock it in place. Make sure to seal it properly. A click sound will tell you when you have done that.
- Adjust the dispensing rate to the desired level by turning the plastic collar at the base of the dispenser counterclockwise to widen and clockwise to tighten. The plastic collar looks like an attached dial. The wider the opening in the slats or grooves in the base collar, the more chlorine is released.
- Place the floating chlorinator in the water. Push it completely under the water for several seconds to force air out of the unit. The presence of air might affect its balance. Now allow it to float back up. Only the bottom portion remains underwater.
- Attach the optional leash or tether to the floater through the hole in the top of the lid. The leash ensures the dispenser stays in one section of the pool so it doesn’t float to one end and settle there. Attach the leash to the included pressure-sensitive anchor plate. The anchor plate attaches to most pool surfaces. Place the floating chlorinator in the water.
- Test the chlorine levels in your pool every day for several days to know if the chlorine level is being maintained or is getting worse. You may need to adjust the bottom collar to allow more or less chlorine into the water. After the first use, you should know which settings work for you.
How many chlorine tablets should be in a floater for the hot tub?
The number of chlorine tablets ideal for use in a hot tub floating dispenser depends on the size of the hot tub in question. The time when next the hot tub will be used is also a factor to be considered. If you are going to be away for a while, it would make more sense to have more chlorine tablets in the dispenser than when your next use is probably in hours. About 1 – 3 tablets of chlorine will be ideal for a hot tub that is smaller in size. While more tablets say between 3 – 5, would be required by larger hot tub sizes.
Do well to test the water level to see if the rate at which the chlorine tablet is dissolving is meeting up with the chlorine demands of the hot tub or not, or just adding excessive chlorine to it. You may also need to boost levels of chlorine granules if it is not coping with the demand. But if it is excess, discontinue use. To avoid these differences, use the proper size of chlorine tablet for your tub.
What size of chlorine tablets is best for a hot tub?
Chlorine tablets come in different sizes, two to be precise, a 200g and a 20g size. The 200g large chlorine tablet is not for hot tub use but uses in swimming pools. Using this in a hot tub will lead to high chlorine levels. And when that happens, be ready to fix corroded hot tub components. The 20g small chlorine tablet is the chlorine tablet designed for use in hot tubs.
How long do chlorine tablets last in a hot tub?
The small 20g chlorine tablets designed for use in hot tubs take 3-7 days to dissolve. This is just an estimate and can vary depending on water flow, water temperature, and hot tub usage.
Tablets vs granules
Whether it is chlorine or bromine, whichever sanitizing chemical you finally decide to use, there is still a choice between using the granule form of the sanitizing chemical or its tablet form. Which one is better, and why? Well, tablet or granules chlorine, in general, is an excellent controller of bacteria.
It works quickly and effectively to keep your hot tub safe! Both chlorine tablets and chlorine granules are therefore very effective in killing bacteria. The key comment to make here is that all hot tub users must ensure their chlorine level is between 3-5ppm. If the levels do not stay between these parameters, bacteria may be able to grow in the water. The benefit of chlorine tablets is that the tablets slowly dissolve over time so therefore you have a supply of chlorine entering the water over a long period.
Chlorine granules however must be added so there is a higher risk that levels may drop if the hot tub is not attended to, adding the risk of bacteria growth. On the other hand, the culture of ‘fill the dispenser and leave it’ does pose a risk that enough chlorine may not dissolve into the water, and yet the user assumes it is ok. If this happens, bacteria may form without the user expecting it.
Bromine hot tub danger
Apart from chlorine, bromine is another substance that can be used as a sanitizing agent. Being able to tolerate more heat than chlorine, it is ideal for use in hot tubs. It can be easier on the skin and eyes than chlorine when used properly. With all these advantages, bromine still poses some dangers to users and owners of hot tubs, especially when not used properly.
Once bromine does the work of killing the bacteria in the water, it can then proceed to eat your hot tub shell, cause a lot of pH balancing problems, skin and eye irritation, and more. Including corroding of the hot tub parts. But it does not stop there. Improper use of bromine could also cause thyroid problems.
Too much bromine exposure can also lead to a buildup of the chemical in your central nervous system. It can depress your nervous system, triggering various psychological issues including acute paranoia. Exposure to high levels of bromine can also lead to skin rashes, severe acne, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue, cardiac arrhythmia, and a metallic taste in the mouth. All these are symptoms of bromine toxicity. However, these things can only happen if the bromine is not properly handled. When it comes to hot tub, bromine is the best sanitizing agent while chlorine is best for swimming pool.