What does a spa ozonator do? (Benefits, Costs, maintenance and more)

Everything you need to know about ozonator units for spas and swim pools, plus instructions on how to install an ozone unit

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An ozone generator in a spa pool produces ozone gas (O₃) which is a natural and eco-friendly product that can help purify the water in your spa pool. When added to your water system it can help destroy and break down bacteria as well as organic matter such as body oils and dirt.

Once the ozone gas has completed its sanitising work, the ozone gas turns back to oxygen, leaving no harmful bioproducts.

Read on to discover more about ozone and the benefits it can bring in your spa or swim spa.

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Do I need ozone in my spa pool?

Ozone is not essential in your spa pool, however, it can help your sanitising chemicals operate more efficiently and can improve the quality of your spa water.

Ozone is not a complete replacement for other sanitizing chemicals like chlorine, but it dramatically improves the efficiency of your sanitising chemicals.

How much does an ozonator cost?

An ozone unit for a spa pool will usually cost around $250-$350.

Is a spa with an ozonator worth it?

Overall, looking for a spa with an ozonator unit is an excellent idea if you’re looking to purchase a new one. It is also possible to retrofit an ozone unit to many popular brands of spas.

Ozone gas is also a fast-acting sanitiser - working much faster than chlorine or other sanitising products. An ozonator is a great investment which can help keep your water clean and sparkling, resulting in a better bathing experience for you and your guests.

How long does a spa ozonator last?

In general, an ozone unit will last around 3 years - after which it will probably need to be replaced. The units are quite affordable and readily available for many popular brands of spas and swim spas.

What does ozone smell like?

Ozone gas has a slight odour that smells ‘clean’ similar to chlorine!

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How long does it take for ozone smell to go away?

After you open the cover of your spa, you may notice a slight odour of the ozone gas that is helping to disinfect the water. This odour will usually clear after about 15-30 minutes.

How do I know if my ozonator is bad or needs replacing?

If you have an ozonator unit in your spa, eventually it will need replacing after around 3 years. Some models will have an indicator light on them to show you when they are due for replacement. To check this, you'll need to remove your cabinet panels and local the ozone unit and look for the indicator light. On Vortex Spas, if the light shows green the ozonator is working correctly, if it shows red, then it needs replacing.

If you start to find you are needing to use more sanitiser to keep your spa water clear, this could be a sign your ozone unit needs to be replaced. Other signs include cloudy water, discoloured water or algae forming in your water.

The ozone unit in your spa looks like this, or similar to it;

How do you maintain an ozonator in a spa?

Some of the steps you should take to check your ozonator is working properly

Check it is generating ozone. (You can use an ozone test kit to check the output) Examine the check valve. This important little value stops the water from your spa from entering the ozone unit - they can wear out over time Inspect the power supply to make sure it is working

Are Ozonators in spa pools safe?

Ozone gas is very safe when dissolved in water. Once the ozone has completed its work in sanitising your water, it converts back to oxygen (which is also pretty safe!) Ozone is an excellent sanitising option for your spa water that is great for the planet and for your spa water! If you cast your mind back to high school chemistry you may recall that it has one extra oxygen atom than oxygen!

You may be surprised to hear that the air we breathe also contains a small amount of ozone gas. The amount of ozone that is generated by an ozonator in a spa is insignificant compared to the amount of ozone that is in the air that is all around us!

Bromine or chlorine for spa with ozonator?

If you have an ozonator in your spa, you will still need to use a sanitising product alongside the ozone unit. We recommend chlorine as a preferred sanitiser with all Spa World spas.

The reason for this is that bromine can cause damage to the components in your spa if not used correctly.

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How to install a spa pool ozonator

Installing an ozone unit in your spa is not difficult. As long as there is no mains voltage electrical work to be done, you can install the unit yourself. If there is electrical work to be done, you must have a registered electrician do the work or a spa technician with an electrical certificate. Talk to us if you need a spa technician in your area.

Step 1. Turn off the main power to your Spa

Locate the main power switch, circuit breaker or fuse for your spa and turn the power off while working on your spa.

Step 2. Mount the ozone unit in your cabinet

You’ll need to install the unit in a space in your spa cabinet where there is space. This will vary depending on your spa configuration.

Make sure the unit is mounted firmly, in a location with good airflow and in a place near the power source.

Step 3. Install the check valve and connect it to your spa’s plumbing

If your spa has an input for an ozone system, then you can connect this directly to the ozone unit. Otherwise, you’ll need to do some plumbing. If you’re not sure about this, then we recommend you get a spa technician to do this for you.

You’ll need to make sure that you install the check valve in the right direction. It is designed to prevent water flowing back into your ozonator - if you’re not sure which way to install it, you can blow through the check valve and see which way air flows.

Warning: installing the check valve the wrong way round will stop your ozonator from working properly and may damage it!

Step 4. Connect power to your ozonator

Your ozonator may come with a power supply which can connect into a power output on your spa controller, or into a standard electrical outlet. If it doesn’t you’ll need to organise a power source.

Warning: Mains electrical work must be conducted by a qualified electrician.

Step 5. Set the timing for your ozonator to operate

The last thing to do is to configure the times for your ozonator to work each day. If you’re connecting into a spa controller, you can do that through your controller, or otherwise there may be settings on the ozone unit itself.

Note - the steps above are general guidelines only and will vary depending on your spa configuration and the exact ozone unit.

Got more questions?

Talk to us on live chat, or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

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