Updated: Jun 13
Wood-fired hot tubs have gained popularity in recent years as a rustic and eco-friendly alternative to traditional hot tubs. The appeal of soaking in warm water surrounded by nature's beauty is undeniable. However, when it comes to maintaining water hygiene and cleanliness, questions often arise regarding the use of chemicals in wood-fired hot tubs. In this article, we will explore the topic and address whether or not it is safe and advisable to use chemicals in a wood-fired hot tub. Firstly, it is important to understand that wood-fired hot tubs operate differently from conventional hot tubs that rely on electricity or gas. In a wood-fired hot tub, water is heated by burning wood in a stove or heater, which circulates the heated water through the tub. This means that the water is not constantly filtered and treated as it is in traditional hot tubs. Therefore, additional steps need to be taken to maintain water quality. When it comes to water maintenance in a wood-fired hot tub, the primary concern is preventing the growth of bacteria and algae. Without the use of chemicals, the warm water in the tub can become a breeding ground for microorganisms, leading to potential health risks and a less pleasant bathing experience. Therefore, while chemicals are not necessary in the same way as they are in traditional hot tubs, some level of water treatment is still required. One of the most commonly used chemicals in wood-fired hot tubs is chlorine. Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant that kills bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. However, the use of chlorine in wood-fired hot tubs requires caution. Since the water in these tubs is not continuously filtered, chlorine levels need to be carefully monitored to avoid over-treatment. Excessive chlorine can cause skin and eye irritation and can also damage the wood and surrounding vegetation. It is crucial to follow manufacturer guidelines and regularly test the water to maintain appropriate chlorine levels. Alternatively, some hot tub owners prefer to use non-chlorine sanitizers such as bromine or mineral-based options. These sanitizers work differently from chlorine but still provide effective water treatment. Bromine, for example, is known for its stability and ability to sanitize water even at higher temperatures. Mineral-based sanitizers use elements like silver and copper to inhibit bacterial growth. These options can be milder on the skin and may require less frequent monitoring than chlorine. However, it is important to note that even non-chlorine sanitizers may need occasional shock treatments or supplemental disinfection to maintain water clarity. In addition to sanitizers, maintaining proper pH balance is essential for water quality in wood-fired hot tubs. The ideal pH range for hot tub water is typically between 7.2 and 7.8. A high pH can lead to cloudiness and scale formation, while a low pH can cause corrosion and skin irritation. pH levels can be adjusted using pH increasers or pH decreasers, which are readily available in the market. Apart from chemical treatment, regular maintenance practices are crucial to keep the water in a wood-fired hot tub clean. It is recommended to drain and refill the tub every few weeks or as advised by the manufacturer. Additionally, regularly cleaning the tub's interior surfaces and filters, and removing debris such as leaves and twigs, will contribute to maintaining water quality. In conclusion, while wood-fired hot tubs provide a unique and enjoyable bathing experience, they require proper water treatment to ensure hygiene and safety. Chemicals such as chlorine, bromine, or mineral-based sanitizers can be used to prevent bacterial growth and maintain water clarity. It is important to carefully follow manufacturer guidelines, regularly test water quality, and monitor chemical levels to avoid over-treatment. Additionally, maintaining the appropriate pH balance and practicing routine maintenance are crucial for a clean and inviting wood-fired hot tub experience. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the serenity of a wood-fired hot tub while ensuring the water remains safe and inviting for all users.