Hot Tubs Algarve - Ozone and how is it beneficial?  

by Pool Builders on 05-06-2009 in Articles

Ozone technology is something that is often heard and spoken in conversation but I really wonder how many of us actually know what it is?

Ozone is a form of "active oxygen", which is nature's very own special molecule and interestingly enough the composition of one ozone molecule contains three oxygen atoms. Oxygen is a structure combined with two atoms. When ultraviolet light strikes oxygen, the atoms part, and then the atoms form back together but this time combined with an extra atom. It is often called or referred to as "super oxygen" which is a blue gas and does in fact change the colour of the sky. Ozone is created in nature by the simple process of mixing together, oxygen from the air with the high ultraviolet intensity contained in the rays from the sun or by the very tremendous power generated by an electrical discharge during a lightning storm. In a simpler way we could say that ozone is a form of gas that is created out of oxygen. Ozone is by its very nature a natural purifier and during natural purification no harsh or harmful chemical by-products are created. One of the beneficial effects of Ozone is the clean, fresh smell or scent which I will call scentsation which most people sense or smell after a rainstorm often thought as negative Ions.

The same effect is felt near fast flowing rivers in mountain and forest areas and that old saying springs to mind as "as fresh as a mountain stream". Ozone is one of the most powerful oxidizer that can be safely used in a swimming pool or Hot Tub Spa. Ozone is a very good alternative water purifier to traditional pool/spa chemicals such as chlorine and bromine.

What is it that Ozone does?

Ozone is a very unstable compound caused by the exposure of oxygen molecules to a high energy electrical discharge. The weak bond that retains ozone's third oxygen atom is what causes the molecule to be unstable and therefore very effective. An oxidation reaction occurs arises upon any collision between a molecule of ozone and a molecule of an oxidizable substance (i.e. bacteria, fungi (mould & yeast), viruses, forms of iron & manganese). The weak bond splits off leaving oxygen as a by-product. During an oxidation reaction, the organic molecules are changed and dissolved metals are made no longer soluble. Interesting as it is that these processes were used back in the good old days of wagon trains where silver and copper coins were tossed into the water barrels to help purify the drinking water. Even the Royal Navy ships of the line that served Admiral Nelson also put coins into water barrels to keep drinking water fresh.

Most pool cleaning publications recommend copper ions levels being around.20 ppm and.30 ppm (parts per million). Very briefly here is a simple description of what an Ion is. An ion is an atom or group of atoms that contains an electrical charge. There is a nucleus with positively charged particles called protons in it and negatively charged electrons orbiting around the nucleus. Atoms usually contain a similar number of protons and electrons. Ions can receive electrical charges by gaining or losing electrons. When an ion gains an extra electron, it becomes negative and is called an ANION and when it loses an extra electron it becomes a positive CATION. Time to look up the chemical composition of copper and how copper is ionized in water. Copper's chemical symbol is Cu and it has an atomic mass of 64, contains 29 protons and 35 neutrons. The melting point of Cu is 1083 degrees Celsius. Copper or Cu is one of the those transition metals which means that electrons from it's outer electron layer or shell participate in various chemical reactions. Where is it that Ozone is used? Even NASA uses the Copper/Silver Ionization treatment as a method to assist purify drinking water aboard spacecraft. Ozone is widely used in a variety of industries worldwide. This ionization process is used in many swimming pools as an alternative to using chlorine and other harsh chemicals. Ozone has been used in municipal water systems, wastewater plants and commercial & residential pools and spas for years. Ozone is used in many leisure complexes including, for example, water parks, aquariums and zoos. Ozone can safely be used on food equipment surfaces during the manufacture of food products.

Ozone can also help remove offensive odours from fires and other smells. Ozone is often used as the final purification step in most bottled water plants. Of Course Ozone technology is used by the Major Hot Tub manufacturers. Bromine is very much circulation dependant. Chlorine works like a "scattergun approach". Bromine tablets have chlorine mixed in them in order to activate the bromine. Bromine is much more stable in hot, highly agitated, water. As I have said above Ozone is like bromine in that it is circulation dependent. If ozone does not get to the "bugs" it obviously can not kill them. So a very good circulation pumps are needed and small pumps will fail at doing that. Bromine is also much more effective at either high or low pH. By comparison bromine is about 90/95% effective and chlorine is about 60/65% effective at about 7.5 PH. If you are looking for a good quality Hot Tub Jacuzzi make sure that it has Ozone as standard. This will greatly reduce the requirement to chemicals in the water treatment for your Hot Tub.

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