Should I use chemicals in my AlumiTubs wood-fired hot tub?
Adding chemicals to your water is a personal choice, one that has both pros and cons. While you don't need to use chemicals — you can keep your AlumiTubs chemical-free through regular maintenance and refilling your water regularly — if you're on the fence about buying that bottle of bromine or chlorine, here's the good and the bad.
Pros of Using Chemicals
- Cleaning agents like bromine or chlorine can help to sustain water use between sessions so you're refilling your tub less frequently meaning you are conserving water over a longer period of time. (Keep in mind that you can also refill your tub from the lake or ocean or reuse the water to water your garden, chemicals or not, so long as you use a neutralizer first).
- Because you are able to quickly sanitize and clean your water, you can use your tub more often.
- Chemicals like bromine and chlorine are relatively easy to use and don't require complicated filtration systems.
- You can buy most cleaning agents online (and get them shipped anywhere, even to your remote cabin).
- Chemicals help you sanitize your water more frequently, meaning your water will be less prone to bacteria.
Cons of Using Chemicals
- Chemicals can be expensive, depending on which cleaning agent you prefer to buy, and if you use your tub frequently you'll need to replace your cleaning agents more often.
- Chemicals can be irritating on the skin.
- Cleaning agents emit off-gases (which is completely normal and how they work) but the smell can linger and dampen the vibe of your hot tub soak.
- Depending on which agent you use, or which combination of chemicals you find to be ideal, it can be tough to figure out the right balance, given that alkalinity and pH will change depending on your water source.
- There's lots of confusing information about hot tubs and chemical use out there. How do you know what's right for you? A lot of it can either be misleading or trial and error.
- If you rely on a closed loop system for your tub (in that you're recycling the water once you're done with it), you may need to treat the water (a bromine neutralizer) before reusing it in places where you don't want chemical byproducts.
How To Treat Your Hot Tub Water With Chemicals
If you're going to be using your AlumiTubs after 3 days, and you don't plan on refreshing the water, we recommend using a brominating concentrate to keep the water clear and balanced.
Before adding the concentrate to your tub, dilute it first in a bucket of water. Once you add the treated bucket of water to your tub, give it a solid stir (18-20 seems to be the magic number), with a paddle or a 2x4 to ensure the treatment is evenly distributed.
Make sure to always follow the recommended use and instructions on the concentrate bottle, and to store it somewhere safe.
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