Can I use pool chlorine in my spa?

Wondering if you can use pool chlorine in your spa? The short answer is, no! Read on to learn why this idea could be a very costly mistake and more.

Some people assume that because pool chlorine and spa chlorine are essentially the same thing, it should be okay to use one in the other. However, there are some key differences between the two, and using pool chlorine in a spa or hot tub can lead to some serious problems.

In this blog post, we'll explore why pool chlorine can't be used in spas or hot tubs and what you should use instead.

Can I use pool chlorine in my spa?

The asnwer to this question is, no. If you have a pool as well as a spa or swim spa, it might be tempting to think you can save money on chemicals by using your pool chlorine in your spa!

Well, think again, because this could be a very costly mistake and cause damage to your spa shell and components as well as affecting your water quality. Keep reading to learn more.

What is the difference between pool chlorine and spa chlorine?

There are a large number of differences between the chlorine that you use in a pool vs the chlorine for a spa pool or swim spa. We’ll explain each one in detail below.

steam from a hot tub

Water temperature

The water temperature in a swimming pool is usually around 20-25 degrees celsius. Compare this with the temperature in a spa or swim spa which can be up to 38 degrees celsius.

The warmer water temperatures in spas and swims spas cause the chemicals to react differently. The composition of spa chlorine sanitiser is different to allow for the way it reacts with the warm water

Large Family Spas

Size of a swimming pool vs a spa or swim spa

A swimming pool is a much larger body of water - capable of holding many more people. Because of this, the chemicals needed to keep pool water clean and clear are much more concentrated. This allows the sanitising chemicals to effectively treat the water and kill bacteria.

The concentration of chlorine for spa pools is lower to take account for this. Using chlorine that is too concentrated can cause your water to become unbalanced, potentially causing damage to the spa components and irritation to your skin and eyes.

Vortex Aqualap Pro Plus XD swim spa swim jets

Water circulation

Spa pools and swim spas have jets and circulation pumps which allows the sanitising chemicals to be spread evenly throughout the spa.

Swimming pools don’t have anywhere near as many jets (sometimes none at all), so the concentration of the chlorine needs to be higher to ensure all bacteria is killed.

Number of bathers

A swimming pool can have a much larger number of people in it. Each extra bather has the potential to introduce body oils, lotions, phosphates from soaps and shampoo and bacteria. Because of this, the concentration of pool chlorine is much higher than spa chlorine.

What happens if you use pool chemicals in your spa?

Depending on exactly what product you use, pool chlorine can result in a pH level in your spa that is either too low or too high.

When your pH is too low, this means the water is more acidic. This can damage your spa components and cause skin and eye irritation.

Conversely, when pH levels are too high, this means your water is too alkaline. This can cause the spa water to become chalky or cloudy and result in scale build up in your water and on the spa body.

Cheap spa chemicals can cause calcium build up

Many pool chlorine products contain a large amount of sodium chlorine (salt). The high amount of salt added to the relatively small volume of water in a spa can affect the water balance (alkalinity).

Additional salt can increase the alkalinity and make your spa water harder. This in turn affects the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) which can mean the sanitiser won’t be doing it’s job correctly.

You’ll find things like calcium scale building up and your filters loosing their effectiveness.

If there is prolonged extra salt in your water, that can cause corrosion in some of the components in your spa, creating expense and headaches!

Got more questions?

Talk to us or email us your questions and we'll be happy to assist you!

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