Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Switch Your Hot-Tub to Hydrogen Peroxide

The drawbacks of traditional chlorine-based (bromide) Hot-Tub water sanitization methods are legion; the necessary chemicals are expensive, complicated, smelly, and really drying to the skin. But with a little pre-planning you can sanitize your Hot-Tub water with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) instead of all those other chemicals. Save money, save your skin, and save having to perform all sorts of unnecessarily complicated water treatments.

I recently switched our 1558 Liter (410 US Gallon) Coast Hot-Tub over to Hydrogen Peroxide and I couldn't be happier with the results. The tub is easier to maintain, doesn't have that 'chemically smell' it used to have, and my entire family noticed being in the Hot-Tub no longer dries out their skin but leaves it feeling smooth and soft. We'll never go back to chlorine!

Now, Hydrogen Peroxide won't be an option for you if you don't get your water from a municipal water supply that chlorinates it. So if you get your water from a well or directly from a lake or river WITHOUT chlorination you'll have to stick with bromide. But the relatively low levels of chlorination provided by virtually all municipal water supplies is adequate and, since most people are on municipal water, Hydrogen Peroxide is an alternative for almost all Hot-Tub owners.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- 35% Technical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
- Polyethylene Containers for Hydrogen Peroxide
- Hydrogen Peroxide Test Strips
- Clean Hot-Tub Filter(s)
- Glass measuring cup - 250 Ml (1 cup)
- Protective Gloves and Eye-wear

Obviously you'll need Hydrogen Peroxide. It is available in various concentrations and grades but for Hot-Tub use we want 35% Technical Grade. Depending on where you live, getting it can be tricky. I live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and, fortunately, in the neighboring city of Guelph there is a supplier who not only sells 35% Technical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and all of the other supplies I need but offers free delivery to my area. In fact, Bob Simpson of SUPERFAST SOLUTIONS (www.superfastsolutions.com) has been a terrific source of information as well. If you aren't fortunate enough to live in Bob's delivery area try doing a web search for Hydrogen Peroxide suppliers in your area, you might get lucky and find Bob's counterpart near you. If not, you can investigate shipping your supplies from somewhere else, but the shipping charges will put your costs up a bit.

The minimum quantity of 35% Technical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide that Bob sells is 20 Liters (5 US Gallons). It costs me CDN$60 and, for a Hot-Tub our size, I figure is about a one year supply. Although the Hydrogen Peroxide comes in a blue polyethylene container with an attachable spigot, it weighs 26 KG (57 Lbs) and that seemed rather unwieldy to me so I also ordered five 4.5 Liter (1 US Gallon) polyethylene jugs for storage.

Hydrogen Peroxide Test Strips are plastic strips with a reactive pad on one end, similar to the test strips you are probably using currently to check Chlorine, Alkalinity and pH levels. The strips measure Hydrogen Peroxide from 0 to 100 parts per million (PPM). Bob sells me test strips for CDN$40 for a 50 pack.

When you first start using Hydrogen Peroxide, organic material that has accumulated in your Hot-Tub's pipes, pumps and tubes are going to circulate so starting out with a clean filter is advisable. Be prepared to replace or clean it frequently, at least at first.

You'll need to measure the Hydrogen Peroxide and since glass is non-reactive to it, a glass measuring cup is a good choice. And protective gloves and eye-wear should always be used when handling corrosive materials.

SHOCKING
Though Hydrogen Peroxide can exist quite safely in water already treated by chlorine, bromide and the other chemicals I was already using, to enjoy the benefit of unclouded, fresh-smelling, non-drying water I chose to make the switch when I was planning to replace the Hot-Tub water and I strongly suggest you do the same.

Once you've drained and refilled your Hot-Tub (and put in a clean filter), shock it by adding 250 ml (1 cup) of Hydrogen Peroxide for every 1000 liters (250 US Gallons) of water.

Let the Hot-Tub stand for one day with the circulation pump running intermittently. After that, check your filter and clean or replace it as necessary.

MAINTENANCE
Use the test strips frequently to check the level of Hydrogen Peroxide until you pick up the pattern of how much Hydrogen Peroxide to add and when to add it. Check at least once per week after that.

When the level drops below 50 PPM add 250 ml (1 cup) of Hydrogen Peroxide per 2000 Liters (500 US Gallons) of water in the tub - this is half the quantity you used to originally shock the water.

Maintain the level between 50 and 100 PPM (it isn't dangerous to exceed 100 PPM but it is unnecessary).

Remember to check and clean or replace the filter frequently.

SAFETY AND STORAGE TIPS
Undiluted 35% Hydrogen Peroxide is corrosive, toxic and can be fatal if swallowed. Keep it out of the reach of children and never use unlabeled or improperly labeled containers. Use child-proof caps on all containers. I used an indelible ink marker to label my storage jugs: "DANGER! H2O2 - DO NOT TOUCH".

Hydrogen Peroxide also reacts to sunlight and becomes more active at higher temperatures so store it in a cool dark place. I put my supply on a bottom shelf in the basement on top of a plastic sheet. The shelf is behind a door and I installed a hasp and lock on the door for additional security. I also keep the measuring cup, gloves and safety glasses on the same shelf and I only measure the Hydrogen Peroxide outside when I am about to add it to the Hot-Tub.

If you accidentally spill it on skin, flush the area immediately with running water. If it is accidentally swallowed, drink large quantities of water, remain upright and call a doctor or poison control agency at once.

In case of accidental spillage, flush the area with water to dilute. Don't return any spilled Hydrogen Peroxide to its container and keep undiluted Hydrogen Peroxide from going into the sewage system. Report any spills as required by Federal, Provincial/State or local regulations.

If you are using a spigot to dispense Hydrogen Peroxide leave it in place until the container is empty. Removing and replacing the spigot can cause lint or dust to contaminate it.

With a little pre-planning and some common sense you can safely switch your Hot-Tub water sanitization over to Hydrogen Peroxide and not only save money on the multitude of expensive chemicals you are currently using but also have an over-all better Hot-Tubbing experience.

129 comments:

Mike said...

Hey Bill,

Thanks for a great article. I'm writing to you from the Okanagan, BC. A search on alternative methods to maintain hot tubs led me to your blog.

My situation is as follows: My wife and I take possession of a home that has a 2 year old hot tub. Of course, we want to drain the tub, scrub it down, change the filters, and then use the 35% hydrogen peroxide method to maintain it.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, all of the 12 suppliers I've called today neither carry HP for tub maintenance, and all of their reps advised against it. When questioned the best answer I could get was "I just don't think it's a good idea". I have similar thoughts about bromine and chlorine. In trying to reduce putting unnecessary toxins in our bodies, your method is very appealing.

My question is, what is the best way to approach this used tub? One rep said we need to refill and use chlorine to at least shock the tub once a week. Would you be able to lend your experience here and let me know a step-by-step plan to start the tub off right? Of course, we would then maintain it with the FGHP (hoping we can find it out here). We may need to order it from your supplier in Ontario.
Thanks so much for your time.

Warm regards-
Mike

Bill Clarke said...

Hey Mike,

The first question I would have: Is your water supply chlorinated? If so, no problem. If not, big problem. The problem being algae.

You see, even the modest levels of chlorination present in municipal water supplies does an effective job of preventing algae growth. Some people (even some chemists) think that H2O2 won`t attack algae - that isn`t true. Algae is an organic material and Hydrogen Peroxide will attack it, but because H2O2 sanitizes by oxidizing (releasing its -relatively unstable- extra oxygen molecule) it will deplete itself in the process and you will find yourself adding Hydrogen Peroxide constantly (daily) to maintain 50 - 100 PPM. That`s the reason why clean filters are so important for this method. The constant presence of organic material depletes Hydrogen Peroxide and converts it to water; you want to keep the presence of organic material to a minimum.

If your water supply isn`t chlorinated then the rep who advised you to shock the tub with bromide/chlorine is right - although it will defeat your purpose in switching over to H2O2.

I suppose you could investigate chlorinating your entire water supply as an alternative but, since my water supply is already chlorinated, I have no idea what the cost/procedure would involve.

If your water supply is chlorinated I see no problem - just follow the steps I outlined in my article. Clean the tub as thoroughly as you can, have extra new (or, at least, clean) filters on hand and double up the maintence dosage of H2O2 as an initial shock and let it stand for one day with the pump running (sporadically).

I would anticipate no problems with a tub as recent as two years old (our tub is over five years old and handled the change-over beautifully.)

Before you pay the (likely substantial) shipping charges to have Hydrogen Peroxide sent from Ontario to BC, investigate local farm supply businesses. Those who deal with water treatment for greenhouses, vegetable production and processing, irrigation and wastewater treatment will likely sell 35% Technical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. Failing that, you might investigate local food processing suppliers for 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. It will cost more than Technical Grade (and isn`t strictly necessary) but the difference in cost will likely be less than the cost of shipping.

I applaud your decision to investigate alternatives to chlorine/bromide for your hot-tub and I really hope you can work out the kinks. Please keep me apprised of how you get on.

Bill.

Anonymous said...

I started using H202 about a month ago. Have had great results so far. I've bought my 35% Tech grade from ClearTech chemicals. I also bought some hydrogen test strips 0- 100 ppm. When I tested my water in the hot tub the strip turned black. Bill do you have any idea why that happened. Should I be concerned? I've been adding about a cup per week since I 've started.

Bill Clarke said...

Assuming your strips work the same way mine do (that is - the darker the colour, the higher the concentration of H2O2)that suggests to me that your H2O2 level is above 100 PPM.

It would be surprising for this to consistently be the case if you are only adding 1 cup per week.

I suggest that you draw a quantity of water (a litre or so) out of the tub in a glass or polyethylene container and add a small amount of some organic material - a teaspoon of dirt perhaps - leave it for a day or so then test the sample. Then leave it for another day or so and test it again.

The colour of the testing strips should lighten with successive tests as the H2O2 depletes itself.

If it doesn't there are two possibilities - either the level of H2O2 is incredibly high or the test strips are defective. But I'm betting that you'll see the colour lighten.

Assuming that it does, stop adding H2O2 to your tub until the level returns to between 50 and 100 PPM and only add H2O2 when the level drops below 50 PPM and only enough to raise it back up to 100 PPM (try adding smaller quantities than 1 cup until you get a 'read' on it).

If the test strips continue to turn black when testing your separated out sample, try testing a litre or so of your tap water - it shouldn't have any H2O2 present and if the strips indicate that it does then something is wrong with the strips.

I realize that you'll end up using a fair number of strips in this process and they aren't cheap (mine work out to about a buck apiece) but you're going to have to get to the bottom of this.

Good luck and let me know what happens.

Gary said...

Thanks Bill for your comments. I'll be away for a few days so when I get back I'll test my water again with the strips and let you know the results.

Gary said...

Bill you were right the levels were to high. I just checked my tub tonight after not adding any peroxide for a week and it was bang on the 100ppm color.

Thanks for your suggestion & help.

Gary

Bill Clarke said...

Great, Gary.

Enjoy healthier hot-tubbing!

Bill.

Gary said...

Gary here again. Bill after about a month & a half my water is scumming. Does this mean the water should changed and is that about the life expectancy using hydrogen peroxide in my hot tub? Comments please.
Thanks Gary

Bill Clarke said...

Hi Gary,

I get about three months between water changes and haven't had a problem with scumming. I wonder if this might be a hard water problem - is your water particularly hard? Do you have a softener? Did this ever occur before you switched to H2O2?

Hard water can also cause a problem with the plastic components of your tub - do you find that you've had to replace any of the plastic jet inserts?

Also, check (and clean or replace) your filter(s). The scumming may be the residue of overactive breakdown of organics from the previous high levels of H2O2 you were experiencing - maybe your filter(s) couldn't keep up.

Does the water smell?

Bill.

Gary said...

The water I'm using is from my outside tap which would be hard. Thiscnever happened before I switched to H2O2. Did'nt have to replace plastic jet inserts. Filters are new. Last time used when I opened the lid, water was scummy and when people were in it it caused them to cough.

Bill Clarke said...

Wow Gary, I'm stumped. Maybe you should drain it and start over - certainly don't use it in its present state if it causes such a reaction.

Although it sounds like you do have hard water if you haven't had this problem before then that likely isn't the cause. And I can't imagine a hard water residue causing people to cough.

I can't shake the idea that because your H2O2 levels were so high for awhile that the scumming is related to that - like some organic matter was oxidizing for a long time and the scumming is the residue. But clean filters seem to contradict this notion. Nothing present in the trap? Nothing in the filters? Geez, I'm out of ideas.

All I can really suggest is drain it, clean it thoroughly, shock it with H2O2 and check the levels - don't let them get too high again. And see if the problem returns.

Cold comfort, I know.

Maybe there's someone at ClearTech chemicals you could consult?

Or (though I haven't asked him) you might consider getting in touch with Bob Simpson of SUPERFAST SOLUTIONS (www.superfastsolutions.com - his email address is on the site) He's the guy I buy my supplies from and is quite knowledgeable.

I'm sorry I'm not being more helpful but don't give up on H2O2 yet.

Bill.

Anonymous said...

Bill:
I have seen this peroxide method and I am very curious.
We have a hot tub that I am about to get up and running that has been sitting for 2 years.
So I just want to be clear on this method....do I still have to use all those other chemicals and tests (ph)as well as the peroxide. Or will I only the peroxide? I use to use bromine and all those other potions of chemicals for maintain our tub.
I live on the Sunshine Coast in BC and our water is from an artisian well, will this make a difference?
Thanks
Brenda

Bill Clarke said...

Hi Brenda,

The problem is your water source. You will need some level of chlorination to combat algae growth, without it you will be constantly replenishing the H2O2 as it gets used up trying to kill the algae.

If you can chlorinate your water sufficiently enough to prevent algae then I would think you can use H2O2 (they can co-exist without interaction). But if you are chlorinating anyway (by bromide or some other method) there really isn't much reason to add H2O2.

In short, I think you're stuck with the traditional methods.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I too am using peroxide for my hot tub. I live in the Niagara area and my hot tub dealer sells it here. Currently I am having some difficulties with the water, but I think I've found the solution. We were told to add a tablespoon of easy shock once a week along with a liter of 35% peroxide solution and after 8 weeks our water turned a very slight green and I believe we have been adding way too much. So yesterday I rinsed and replaced the filter twice and again today, I have left the lid off and rinsed and replaced filter 2 more times. The water is getting back to normal. If I am successful in saving the water, i am going to just wait until my test strips tell me to add peroxide. Oh, one more thing, you are paying way too much for test strips, there is a place near you that you can call and order them for about $15.00 for 50. Here is the linky.

http://www.indigo.com/test-strips/gph-test-strips/peroxide-test-strips.html

Bob

Elroy said...

Hi Bill:I see the article from Gary to do with coughing on the tub fumes.I wonder what his PH levels are? My tub does the same when my ph is out of whack for a while. I have a question too as I am on well water and would like to try peroxide. What's the difference of filling the tub with treated water, or treating it once with bromine? Chlorine only lasts for 24hrs not? Then treat with chlorine when you fill or topup? Why wouldn't this be safe ?

Bill Clarke said...

Bob - thank you for the link, I will certainly look into that as paying almost a buck per strip seems too high to me, too.

elroy - I don't see any problem with chlorinating the water (with bromide or by some other method) H2O2 will not negatively interact with traditional spa chemicals - but some of the advantages of H2O2 will be lost. Once the chlorination in your water is depleted you risk algae showing up and depletion of your H2O2 as it combats it.

If you have a supply of H2O2 you can certainly try and see if it works for you. If not, you can return to traditional methods.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, I was unsuccessful in saving my water. Over the weekend, it just didn't look right. We had a milky scum forming in the filter compartment and the water turned a florencent green colour. So we drained and cleaned it and have started over with your method. Will let you know how it goes.

Thanks,
Bob

Bill Clarke said...

Hi Bob,

Sorry to hear that but it's probably just as well - this way you can be more confident of the water's safety before trusting your family's health with it.

You mentioned that your hot-tub dealer sells H2O2 - in my experience, that's unusual but I applaud them for doing it. Are they are good source of information about it?

Bill.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, our hot tub dealer has been very helpful in trying to find a solution. But they are very new to the whole thing too and are experiencing the exact same results that we have. So we are trying to work together to figure it out. When we purchased our hot tub a few months ago, we had decided right away that we didn't want to use chlorine or bromine and we really want this peroxide to work. So we'll keep plugging away and see if we can keep things clear.

Bob.

Anonymous said...

HI Bill, Well, it turned green again, yesterday afternoon. So i left the lid open again and rinsed the filters and ran the jets three times, it cleared and we used it last night. Then this morning again it was a clear floresent green. So I called Bob from simplesolutions. He was very nice and asked me to check ph. While on the phone with him. It was off the charts way too high. He suggested vinegar to lower ph. I added a liter at a time and retested water. After 2 liters it appears to be ok. He said he will be down here today and i could call him if i needed to try some citric acid. Will check water again mid afternoon. I called my dealer and she is very interested to see if this works because almost every customer here is experiencing the same problem. The saga continues.....will keep you posted. Thanks, this time from Bob's wife Justine.

Bill Clarke said...

Justine and Bob,

Vinegar or citric acid to lower pH - leave it to Bob Simpson to come up with such an elegant and natural solution!

Bob is a real treasure; I count myself lucky to have found him as I'm sure you do, too.

Interestingly, I've never had this problem but it's good to know there's a 'natural' solution. Please keep me posted.

Bill

Anonymous said...

HOO BOYYY, i rechecked my measuring cup and it was a total of 8 cups of vinegar added. Seemed great last night, but a recheck of pH this morning showed a drop to the lowest range on the chart, so I went off looking for a solution and most suggested sodium bicarbonate, my only household resource today was baking powder, so i added 3/4 dry ounce, retested pH and it is completely fine. I think this is going to be a hit and miss game for a while. My peroxide strip is still black, my only add of peroxide was last Sunday when i added 800ml as a start up. It is very nice to know that these simple things work. And the water is so clear! Have a great weekend, hoping to get some golf in. Thanks for all your help Bill, we will keep you posted.

Justine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, can you tell me when you start up using H2O2 do you still add the calcium and alkalinity to the tub as well? Wht should the pH Be? I have a 1500 litre tub and would like to convert Please help

Ray

Bill Clarke said...

Hi Ray - I assume you are using calcium to combat water hardness. I fill my tub with half softened water (from the softener) and half non-softened water (from a bypass tap). I try to avoid having the water too soft as this can result in calcium buildup on the plastic parts. So the short answer is likely: Yes, keeping using calcium but don't overdo it.

I don't do anything about alkalinity or pH - perhaps I've just been lucky but I haven't had any issues about this.

Another person posting comments here indicated that he is successfully using vinegar and/or baking powder to control pH. If you are concerned about it I suggest you continue to test it and try using those (more natural) products to maintain your chosen balance.

Personally, I just don't worry about it and it hasn't been an issue.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, thanks for the comments, I use municipal water so I am not too worried about the calcium or hardnest. I tried your recipe and still get no residual on the test strips, I also have a coast spa the Tahiti model, do I just keep adding the H2O2? until I do get some residual. My pH is really low below 5.6 so I don't think that's a problem. Thanks again

Ray

Bill Clarke said...

Ray - I'm not sure what you mean by "residual". With a 1500 litre tub your initial "shock" should be 375 mls of 35% H2O2. If you shocked it at that level and left it circulate for a day then tested it your test should indicate between 50 and 100 PPM (likely closer to 100 PPM).

If that is NOT happening, three possibilities come to mind:

1- you've miscalculated the capacity of your tub, or
2- your H2O2 supply is not at the proper strength (35%), or
3- some organic material is present in the water and is depleting your H2O2 at a rapid rate.

Of the three, I would first suspect #2 - improper strength of H2O2.

Hope this helps.
Bill

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, I have confirmed the hot tub size it is 1450 litres, the H2O2 is 35% stock and the water is clear as a bell. When I add H2O2 then use a test strip it shows dark blue or black right away. Could it be the H2O2 is reacting to the debris bound in the filter? I have two filters that have been washed and cycled through for the last 8 years, they look OK perhaps it's time to change? I just added another 8 ozs so that will bring it up to 22 oz over the last three days. I will let you know if I finaly get a reading on the test strips(residual)Another thought we use a blue bubble blanket to keep the top from being erroded away by the chemicals could it be that? question quuestions and more questions.

Thanks for all your patience

Ray

Bill Clarke said...

Ray - if your test strips are dark blue to black they are indicating that the H2O2 content is at or above 100 PPM (assuming they work the same way mine do and I suspect they do) I think you'd best slow down on adding any more - you want to maintain the level at 50 to 100 PPM.

Your re-cycled filters may be just fine - see how quickly the H2O2 level drops for a better indication of this.

So long as the bubble top is not in contact with the tub water or causing material to drop into the tub water I don't think it will interfere with the H2O2. I assume the top to the tub is opaque; sunlight will hasten the degradation of H2O2.

Bill.

Bill Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill, I will let you know what happens. The bubble blanket is in addition to the top, but it should not be an issue. I have ordered additional strips so they should be here in a couple of days.

Ray

Mrena said...

You write very well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
I have been trying to use H2o2 in my 1400 L hot tub on and off for a few months...I have the same problem as Justine and Bob had with the water turning an acid green after the water is a couple of weeks old. I am assuming that it is a form of algae. Just wondering if you have any more updates or info on how much baking soda/vinegar to add to adjust the ph level. I have read different things saying the baking soda raises both the alkalinity and ph... I am changing my water and going to check the ph and alkalinity levels carefully and see if that makes a difference. Also my Dad had a company near Midland, ON that supplys H202 and his theory is that if I just use more (maybe a couple of cups a week) that the peroxide will be more effective in controlling algae. Any thoughts? I would like to get everything figured out so that I don't have to change the water again for a couple of months when we get a warmish day!
Thanks,
Michelle

Bill Clarke said...

Hi Michelle,

I don't have any further info on the use of baking soda/vinegar but if you are correct that what you are experiencing is a form of algae then I don't think pH is your problem.

If it is algae then your Dad is right - additional H2O2 will combat it. The problem is you will have to continue to use higher amounts of H2O2 to continue to combat it.

If it is algae something needs to change to prevent the algae from occurring in the first place.

Is your water chlorinated?

If not, algae will continue to be a problem and you will use up H2O2 at a high rate combating it. If your water is chlorinated then the problem probably isn't algae.

Homes without chlorinated water are not good candidates for using H2O2.

Bill.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill,
Nope...Our water is chlorinated so that is not the problem. I changed the water yesterday and added two cups of H2O2. Now in a couple of days I am going to use a test strip to see if the ph and alkalinity are ok and also test to see if the H2O2 is ok. It always takes a couple of weeks and then starts to slowly get a greenish tinge to it. Couldn't people on well water use a little bit of chlorine but mostly peroxide? I have heard of people who use H2O2 that are going away for a couple of weeks and just use a bit of chlorine to tide them over so I think it is safe/effective to use them together. I will let you know how I make out in a few days. If I can't get a handle on it this time I figure I will change the water one more time and put chlorine in and then try again in the spring. I really want to use H2O2 as my husband breaks out in a nasty rash from anything else and am fully aware of the health benefits of bathing in H2O2.
Thanks again,
Michelle

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill......
I have been using peroxide in my hot tub for over a year now. I would like to share some of my experiences with you. All of the things that I have read here so far are true..... no bromine smell..... my skin is really soft with no bromine rash...... bathing suits do not fade...etc, etc,. A few things that I now do differently since changing from Bromine..... Change filter EVERY week. Soak filter in solution of approx 17% ppm peroxide overnight.(I have 2 filters so that my tub is never out of action)If my kids use the tub and they have creams and lotions on...doesn't every teenager.... then I add additional peroxide. If I don't, then the water can get a little cloudy - even though the ppm is around 100. When this happens, I add a Clarifier and Oxidizer.... (Rhona)run the pump for an hour then change the filter.... presto-changeo.....clear water again.

Changing from bromine to peroxide in our hot tub is the best thing that we have done since getting it several years ago.

Have Fun
Alan

Anonymous said...

Hello All. Bill thanks for all of you efforts. Bob from simplesolutions is great to deal with and delivers all over southern Ontario.
I wanted to relay some of my experiences.
I use municipal water, and I have been away and had my PPM drop off scale low for a few days. the result was foul smelling cloudy water)I simply would shock the tub with H2O2 and change the filter. also the next day I shock it with 1/4 cup of spa chlorine shock ( I use beachcomber cafreffree boost)
keep an eye on the H2O2 and frequent filter changes. it is back to crystal clear, odor free in about 4 days. One tip. if your hot tub goes bad on you. CLEAN AND DISSINFECT your cover with a solution of H2O2, or else it may be a constant source of organic contamination.
A co-worker introduced me to H2O2 and he fills his tub up out of a pond on his property!!! can you imagine that? he just shocks it and performs frequent filter changes the first week and then also adds a bit of bromine shock from time to time. he has been doing this for 2 years and never ever had a problem.

PH has never been an issue for either of us.

one funny note.... bathing suits can cause bubbles or foam (from the laundry soap)

I hope this helps some people out there. The H202 has realy made my tub into a SPA!

Regards, Derek

MIke Whitney said...

Hi everyone,

I'm writing from the Okanagan, and can't seem to find test strips anywhere. Does anyone know of a good online resource that sells them at a good price?

My apologies if this has been discussed already.

Cheers,
Mike

Ryan from Columbus said...

Bill, Read your blog and switched my 450 gallon hotsprings spa over to H202. Everything was great for the first couple months. I had a problem with mold, I added some chlorine to shock the tub in an effort to get rid of the mold smell, but to no avail. Super shocked with cholorine, drained and re-filled. Within a week the smell was back and mold began to grow on the underside of the cover. I have since refilled and went back to the old chlorine chemistry and everything is fine. Is it possible that the residual H2O2 levels were somehow neutralizing the Chlorine? No matter how much chlorine I added the test strips I have would not register any chlorine level. Maybe they were being bleached out by the H202? or perhaps the chlorine was really not there, don't understand the chemistry enough to know. Ideally I would like to continue to use the H202 as a shock oxidizer in conjunction with the chlorine as I have 4 gallons left. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Ryan in Ohio

Anonymous said...

Bill, I have a problem. I have been using Peroxide for almost a year now and I get a smell that I cannot get rid of. It is a musty smell if I can describe it at all. I went back temporarily to Bromine for 2 months thinking that it was am organic or something built up but since I have changed back it has been 3 weeks almost 4 and the smell is starting to come back. My tub is 1000 litres and I use 1litre of 35% peroxide a week and change my filter that is soaked in 100% peroxide solution at 35% (no water added to it) I am stumped and frustrated cause I do not want to get off the peroxide...I love it, but want to get rid of the smell. I am on city clorinated water and I recently took apart my lid, dried and javex it to get rid of any possible problems there. My tub is a beachcomber and I was wondering if you know of any problems using peroxide in those tubs. My tub is about 4 years old now. HELP I do not want to switch..I like the health benefits. Thanks Tanya

JC said...

Hi Bill,

My wife and I just got a 1200L hot tub and are using h2o2. It's been running a week and so far so good.

Our test strips read from 0-100 ppm and were always black. I found a company that sells strips that read from 0-400 and our levels are closer to 200 then 100. Apparenlty it's not a big deal, but if it only needs to be at 100, why waste chemicals right? I'll still add a bit every 4 days, but will reduce the amount until we get closer to 100 with the odd 'shock' to 200. I've read some sites that say they use a litre of bleach to shock the water. Have you tried this? I'm curious, but don't want to do it if it's not needed.

Our biggest problem right now is the pH in the tub. The dealer didn't say anything to us about testing pH. They just sold us the tub, the h2o2 and the h2o2 test strips. "Add a cup every 4 days and that's all you have to do"

I picked up some pH strips and our readings were off the chart. I've added 12 cups of vinegar over the week and we're sitting close to 7 now. I think we have it under control, but 12 cups of vinegar seems like so much. I'm on town water too.

Great article,

JC

Bill Clarke said...

I don't do anything about alkalinity or pH - maybe I've just been lucky but I haven't had the issues others have reported about this.

Really, all I can suggest is that your pH got out of whack and may take a lot of vinegar to bring back into line but should respond to smaller quantities after that. Trial and error, I guess.

As to bleach - yes, you can use it, there won't be any reaction between it and the H2O2. But you will lose some of the advantages of just peroxide, like the smell.

muk said...

Hi bill
I live in Australia and have been using peroxide in our spa for over 5 years now. When we first started using it we found we were changing the water every month, as it was getting cloudy very quick this lasted for around the first 6 to 8months of ownership. we were using it almost daily and I put this down to the peroxide cleaning our skin and the filter not keeping up to it. Now we are still using the spa almost daily, sometimes 2 times a day and find the water only needs changing every 3 months. We shock the water once a week on a Saturday with 2 spoons of spa shock and add a cup of peroxide once a day when we use it. This is probably a little overkill but as I get the peroxide from work this is not a problem. We try to keep the pH at around 7 to 7.5 and add a spoon of sodium bicarbonate around every 2 to 3 weeks to keep these levels. When we first got the spa we used the chlorine/bromine system and found it left us smelly and needing to shower after every use also we found it getting cloudy quick as well, with the peroxide we have no smell and that is a big plus. We cant be happier.
Julian

Erin said...

We have used bromine in our hot tub for years and always had a problem balancing and seemed to go through a lot of chemicals. We heard good things about the hydrogen peroxide method and have just started using it. Our water does come from a well. For the first couple of weeks the water was crystal clear but had a terrible odour. Within the past week the water has become cloudy with the same terrible odour. I have added extra H202 and last night used pH down as the pH was right off the scale. I re-tested this morning and there is no change. I am going to try some of the suggestions on your site but am wondering why well water can't be treated when it is first put in the hot tub to make it comparable to municipal chlorinated water so that we are all working with the same thing. If this is possible, how would you go about doing this? Also - is there anything that can be done about the smell?

Lin said...

Hi Bill
You will be pleased to know that you can purchase the peroxide test strips in Waterloo from a company called Indigo. I paid $14.50 for fifty 0-100ppm strips. The website is www.indigo.com.

Mark said...

Hi Bill,

Now with the new "restricted component" legislation with respect to 35% HP, I was told I can only get 25%. If I go ahead with the 25%, would I just use a little more each time and get the same effect or should I find another distributer?

Bill Clarke said...

Lin - Thank you - that is good to know.

Mark - as far as I know, the new rules simply mean that you need to provide photo ID - which is no big deal as far as I'm concerned. If you consider it a big deal then - yes, all you need do is increase the quantity of 25% H2O2 - by about 35% I would think (without benefit of a calculator).

Cherie said...

Hello To All!
We finally got ourselves a Hot Tub!! We are planning to use Peroxide also. We have looked all over Niagara Area for someone who sells it. Any suggestions out there?

JC said...

Hi Bill,

We've had our tub just under 2 months and tonight we noticed white fluffy stuff floating around in the tub. I'm guessing that's some kind of algae or bacteria.

We've always had our h2o2 ppm between 100 and 200 and change the filter regulary. We also have an ozonater in the tub and have the water filter for 3hrs four times a day. It's only my wife and I using the tub and I shower 90% of the time before I use it.

I read a site that said you can shock with bleach so dumped about 4 litres of bleach into the tub, put the jets on high (with bubbles) for 5 min with the cover on. I opened the cover just to shut it off and we're going to stay out of it for 48hrs.

The last time I added h2o2 was on Sat Oct 10. We should have been sitting close to 200ppm.

Any idea why this could have happened? I'm in the process of ordering 35% grade h2o2 from Bob in Guelph. I'm hoping this is the right move. I'm a bit dissappointed right now, but don't want to throw in the towel just yet.

Randy said...

Hi Bill
Just in the process of using H2O2 in an older Hot Tub. Wondering about leaving the heating element turned on for the first 24 hours with 2 cups of H2O2 to start the process.

Thanks
Randy from Edmonton

JC said...

Just to give you an update. We couldn't get rid of the white floaty things so we had to drain the tub. Before we did, we bought a chlorine shock and spiked the ppm to ???. (strip only goes to 10 ppm and it was very black)

We ran the jets on high for about 60 min alternating the air on/off.

We drained the tub and hosed the sides down multiple times.

We sprayed the inside of the tub and cover with 5:1 ratio Peroxysan (aka h2o2) and buffed everything dry

We shocked both filters with a high ppm of chlorine as well and rinsed them both multiple times.

We filled the tub again with just hose water this time (nothing from the hot water tank) and added 12 cups of h2o2. (our tub is about 1100L)

We checked the tub today and we had balls of white crud floating around in the tub. I'm guessing it was in the pipes. Our dealer advised us to pour in another 12 cups of h2o2. (that's $50 worth for what I get it at)

I changed the filter and am hoping that the floaters are just dead remains.

Our h2o2 ppm is about 400 right now.

If we still have these things by the end of the week, we're going to switch to bromine. As much as I love not smelling the chemicals, I can't bath in a pool of snot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill - great advice - you rock man. Can you see any issue with adding a teaspoon of Cl shock to the well water in my tub from time to time in conjunction with the H2O2, to help fight algae growth ?
Also , anyone know of a decent locale to but tech grade 35% H@O2 in / near Halifax ?
Cheers
Steve and Licia 902-237-0611

John said...

Hi Bill Great Blog, Came across this while searching an alternative to chlorine / Bromine. I seem to have an allergic reaction to both i've tried a few solutions nothing works seems im allergic to something in chrlorine. I'd like to try the H2O2 solution but I live just north of Guelph and my water is from a well? I do have a Clear Tech UV sanitizer installed as well in my attempt to cut back on chlorine. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.

Thanks

John

Bill Clarke said...

Wow - I go away for a little while and the comments pile up!

John - really all I can suggest is that you try it out. My understanding is that unchlorinated water will tend to produce algae and that H2O2 will deplete quickly fighting the algae but if your sanitizer prevents alge then you may be okay.

You may want to have a word with Bob Simpson at SUPERFAST SOLUTIONS (www.superfastsolutions.com) - coincidentally, he's in Guelph and is a really knowledgeable and helpful guy.

Now - nothing to do with H2O2 usage but we have gotten rid of our Hot-Tub. Long story but basically we ended up with a piece of garbage pump as part of a recall and rather than replace it we decided to get rid of the tub. We will purchase a new tub at some point in the future but for now we are without one.

I do have quite a bit of H202 left over so if someone (like you, John) in the vicinity would like it, it's yours for the taking - drop me a note and we'll set up a time for you to pick it up.

Brooke said...

Hi, I just came across your article and comments this morning and found them very informative. I have just started using H202 to sanitize our tub, but have yet to come across any information on where the levesl of Total Alkalinity / Ph balance should be maintained when using H202 as the sanitizer. Would these be same as chlorine/bromine or different? Any input you might have here would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

Cheers,
Brooke

Perry Staniscia said...

Hi Bill,
I know you no longer have your hot tub but we have been really suffering for the past year & a half with the chlorine system sold to us with our new Beachcomber hot tub and would like to convert to Hydrogen Peroxide. We live in Vancouver, B.C. but my wife is coming to Hamilton March 6th to 9th & she would love to come talk to you to get some pointers that she can bring home with her. Please let me know if you are open to this. Thanks. Perry

Bill Clarke said...

Perry,

I would be perfectly fine with that but, at this point, I have no idea if I will be around or not from March 6th to 9th. Also, I'm about an hour away from Hamilton and there's no real advantage to your wife coming here since the hot tub is gone and there's nothing to see. I don't know how much more I can tell you/her than what is written in the article and the comments.

I think a phone call might make more sense - drop me a safe email address and I'll send you my cell number.

Bill

jeffereykulman said...

does using a non conventional sanitizer like H202 void your manufacturer's warranty?

Bill Clarke said...

Jefferey - In all probability, YES - please check with your tub manufacturer BEFORE using H2O2.

jeffereykulman said...

would that be worth it though?
My tub has a 7 year warranty, its only 9 months old... i wouldn't want to do it if i end up needing warranty work and cant get it cuz i used a non conventional sanitizer.

Bill Clarke said...

If it does indeed void your warranty then I wouldn't consider it - I know from personal experience that things like replacement pumps are very expensive. You really need to check with you tub manufacturer. There is no reason is should void the warranty but tub manufacturers may want the excuse to void it.

Jacque Moore said...

We are getting a new beachcomber hot tub. We live in a town with municipal water. I will be using peroxide and their test strips. Do I need to balance PH and alklinity etc.? And if so, how often?
I have learned a lot from your site and I appreciate it being made available to the public.

Jacque

Bill Clarke said...

Jacque,

Although I never had an issue with pH or alkalinity, if you read through the comments here you'll see that some people have experienced problems and the solution seems to be vinegar or citric acid. You can check other people's comments for guidance as to quantities but I suspect you'll end up using the 'trial and error' method to determine the best amounts for your situation.

Cathy said...

My local supplier of 35% H2O2 (Vernon, BC)has just informed me that it is now illegal to sell that percentage anywhere in Canada. All I can get is 29%. Not happy at all about this--any suggestions? Do I just use more, relatively? I've been using H2O2 very successfully in my hot tub for 2 years.

Bill Clarke said...

Cathy,
I hadn't heard that you can't buy 35% solution - only that you have to show government ID when you do (which seemed fine to me). However, a quick calculation indicates that if you increase the quantity of 29% solution by 20% that should be equivalent to using 35% solution.

Of course, if your supplier charges the same for 29% solution then you will notice an increase in expense.

Bill.

Cathy said...

Hi Bill--

Thanks so much. That calculation will help. I'll check back with the supplier--the ID thing certainly is reasonable; they seemed to say they couldn't even get the 35% in, which may just be their choice. Happily, the cost of 29% is less, so price-wise it'll end up around the same, I think.
Cathy

Wendy said...

As of June 2010 the 3 companies I have talked with in Ontario indicate that there has been a shift in regulations in Canada and they need a special permit to sell the 35%. However 35% still is being sold, but normally through agriculture stores- we have a farm so I would have no problem purchasing the 35%. The pool store in Barrie Ontario now carreis 25% for a little more then what we paid for the 35% LOL However, now they don't need a permit and I need to buy more of it...no big deal, I just use the test strips to determine how much the pool needs. We even use it for shocking in the spring and it works awesome. We also use it with www.algaebar.com and we haven't 'lost' the pool once in 3 years and to be honest we don't vacuum as often as we should! LOL We used 2 algae bars in our round 24' pool but now we use 3 in our 16'x32' on ground ;-) The perioxide it is still affordable and convenient to go to the pool store to get it. I don't want to have to order a skid of h202 to my house! LOL hope that helps ;-)

Robert said...

Well I bit the bullet and I am so glad I did. Just bought a new 450 gal tub and decided to start it up new with H2O2. Filled the tub, checked alkalinity and ph then it took me a while to get up the nerve to dump the required 1.75 cups of H2O2 into the water. I wasn't sure why I was hesitating but what if something were to go wrong????
Well it didn't. I am also running a Sundance Spa Mineral/silver ion pack in the filter basket. The water is nothing short of fantastic. Wow!!!! Should have done this a long time ago. No smell to the water and no irritation or drying of the skin. It is so great to hop out of the tub, dry off and jump under the covers and go to bed. No more trying to rinse chemicals off before bedtime.
Thank you for the push to convert my tub. I will never go back to the old methods.
Any of you on the fence just jump right off and get started. It will be the best thing you will ever do with your tub.

Cheers

Gary said...

Hi Bill: I live in Kitchener and I switched my 1500 Litre hot tub to H2O2 at the time of an early September fill with city water. I put in a new filter and change it out with a 2nd cleaned one frequently and continue to balance ph. However, 6 weeks latter I am struggling to keep the water crystal clear even with minimal use. Am I lacking in Chlorine? I tried putting a couple Bromine pucks in the skimmer after a new filter and I got a week out of 2 cups of H2O2. However, one week later it is back to consuming H2O2 at the rate of 2 cups a day (OUCH $$). NOTE: I also like my hot tub hotter than most – 105 F. Any suggestion would be most appreciated.

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Gary said...

Hi Bill and fellow bloggers: Further to my October 4, 2010 posting.....I am happy to report that I have finally optimized my use of H2O2 by placing a single Bromine puck in the skimmer once a week and maintaining clean filters. I easily get a week out of 2 cups of H2O2 in my 1500 Litre Beachcomber tube.

P.S. The following is a direct quote from Development Center Manager Beachcomber Hot Tubs: “Using Peroxide would not void any of your hot tub guarantee however; as for using peroxide in general, Peroxide is not registered with the PMRA as a hot tub sanitizer. In Canada you need to maintain a Chlorine or Bromine level of 3 – 5 ppm at all times and peroxide does not do that. Beachcomber believes that using peroxide alone; the water will not be maintained correctly for a safe bathing environment.”

chuck said...

Hello Bill, I have never blogged before so I hope I am doing it right. I wanted to cnnect with the Mike fellow how blogged earlier. he lives in the Okanagan. We live in Vernon and I cannot find anyone who sells the 35% h202. All I can get is the 29% stuff from a local nursery. I have been using it, but am only guessing at what percentage I need to be using. I have a 1370 litre tank. Neither ofr the local hot tub places are keen or helpful on using hp. My wife has very sensitive skin and this way seems to be helping her.
Any help adivce or sources you could help me with would be appreicated.

Bill Clarke said...

Chuck,

I have no way of contacting Mike, sorry. Email addresses are not sent to the blogger when people comment.

If you can only get 29% H2O2 you need to increase the amount you use by 35%. So for a tub your size that would be 1.85 cups of H2O2 for shocking and .9 cups for maintenance - I'd just call it 2 cups for shocking and 1 cup for maintenance.

But really the best thing is to be guided by your test stips - add the amount of H2O2 you require to maintain the level between 50 and 100 ppm.

Marty Schaap said...

Hi Bill, love the site, and because of it, I made the switch to HP. I'm in Montreal, and I have a great supplier of 35% and it costs me less than $60 for a 20L container. I keep 1L bottles and 250ml prepared doses (about a dozen of them) in a spare freezer.
We've been using the HP for about a month now, and the first 2 weeks were just getting used to how this all works. We had great balanced, clear, non-smelly water. That was until about 2 days ago. We had some friends over, wine, cigars, etc, and now the water looks and smells like our old turtle tank (if you've ever had turtles you'll know exactly what I mean). Just a disgusting smell. I don't think anything was spilled into the tub, but I wonder if maybe a little wine would kill the water that quick?
I just cleaned out the filthy filthy filter (never seen it that dirty yet) dumped 500 ml HP in, but to no avail.
Ph was a bit low, but now adjusted.
Any ideas? suggestions?

Bill Clarke said...

Hey Marty,
I suspect the dirty filter is the culprit and you may not have succeeded at getting it as clean as possible - in which case your H2O2 is getting used up dealing with the matter left on the filter. If you check your H2O2 levels and find that they are dropping fast that would support my hypothesis. Check the filter and clean it very thoroughly or even consider replacing it, if you find you are dumping more and more H2O2 into the tub but levels continue to drop.

Anonymous said...

We are using HP in our hot tub, but cannot keep the water clear. We fill it, keep the filters clean and HP every 2 -3 days. After about 3 weeks it starts to get cloudy and we cant fix it, have to empty and refill. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from above
Wondering if our HP is not good What is the shelf life of HP We bought 5 gallons about 3 months ago,could this be the problem.
Thanks

Bill Clarke said...

Properly stored (in a cool dark place) H202 should remain useable for a lot more than 3 months, unless you've accidentally introduced dust or some other contaminant. what results do you get when you test the levels with a test strip? Also, the cloudiness may be the result of a pH inbalance - check those levels as well. Further up in these comments there is a discussion of using natural products (vinegar and baking soda) to balance alkalinity and pH.

Anonymous said...

We are new to this hot tub game. We were told we could just use HP. Our test strips indicate it is about 100 out of the container. If we do have a ph imblance have never checked,do we buy chemical to correct that or use vinegar and baking soda?
Thanks for you help. This HP thing seems to be all over the map with so many variables. We have a samll tub that holds 350 gallons,which i am sure factors into the equasion.

Tina B. said...

Bill,
We've had our 450 gal. tub since early Jan 11. We have already switched the water once due to white floaty things. We also have an issue with an pinky-orange scum that forms at the water line on the tub and some on the cover as well. The tub has an ozonator. We filled with regular water from our subdivision well, but I would be very surprised if it was not chlorinated. My biggest disappointment is that I am having to add 2 cups of H2O2 2-3 times a week to maintain the 50-100ppm level. Any ideas on the orange scum? The PH balance also keeps running to the high side. Would the ozonator "use up" the H2O2 faster? Or is this simply an indication of organic material being present in the water.

Bill Clarke said...

Hi Tins - sorry things aren't going so smoothly for you. First, I agree that the municipal water in your subdivision is quite probably chlorinated. Second, if I understand what an ozonator does I don't see any potential conflict with H2O2 - an ozonator should not be introducing any biological material to the water and should co-exist quite peacefully with H2O2. To be certain, can you disable it temporarily and see if that makes a difference (though I doubt it will). Something is depleting your H2O2 at a significant rate and I am curious about these "white floaty things" and the funny-coloured "scum" you describe. Is it possible that something is making its way into the tub, falling or dripping down from the cover, perhaps? That's my best (and thus far, only) guess. Unless your subdivision is adding something to the water supply - is it possible to check that?

Marty S said...

Hey Bill,
I too have had the "white floaty things" and after dumping the water yet again for the 2nd time this month, they're back. I found I needed to add a cup of HP a day to maintain my 100ppm and it's growing cloudy again. I have a new filter and we haven't been in the tub. My ph was slightly low, I added baking soda to bring it up, but it remains cloud. No smell, but definitely not inviting. I'm losing faith, but I want this to work, the bromine was killing my skin...

Tina B. said...

According to a response I received from Robert Simpson, my orangy-pink stuff is a probably mold or bacteria...which is also likely the case for the white floating things. He suggests the #1 reason for h2o2 problems is a dirty filters. He suggests a product called Ecoone or another commercial filter cleanser. He also recommends adding h2o2 ever couple of days.

Tina B. said...

Robert also suggested:
At the 1st sign of cloudiness or levels dropping quickly, you need to shock the water with dichlor or household Javex...usually 1-2 cups will do...than in 24 hours the water should be clear...add 2 cups of h2o2 then...and you are back in business.

Hope this helps you Marty. For myself we will see if we can turn off the ozonator and try again. Stay tuned!

Tina B. said...

Bill, You were correct...the ozonator would not make a difference. According to a chemical engineer friend, the additional oxygen molecule created by the ozonator and the addl oxygen molecule of the h2o2 would both act as "free oxygen ions". I believe my filter must be the issue at this point and will admit we have not cleaned them weekly. Again, stay tuned.

Marty S said...

Hey Tina, I agree that I think the floaties are due to clogged or unclean filters. But which came first? I notice when the water starts to turn funky (even with h2o2 levels above 100ppm) the filter start gumming up with the same orangey-pinkish gunk (gotta love these technical terms...) I did the shocking with javex yesterday, and this morning the filters were so blocked up it was disgusting !!! I'm now on my 3rd clean filter, and I'm having them soak in a +/- 17% mixture h2o2. When they stop bubbling, I rinse them off again (each pleat one by one) and reinstall in the tub. The water is sure clearing up a bit, but this is unbelievably labor intensive. Not to mention I haven't been in the tub in about 10 days, as I'm nervous to know what's in it !! This is the 2nd dumping and refill of the tub in less than a month!!
I'm hoping I find out what I'm doing wrong....
BTW I'm unable to turn my ozonator on/off, it's automatically on in one of its cycles (not that I think this makes a difference..)
Marty

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if anyone has had any reactions like a rash or anything from the peroxide?

Marty S said...

I think I'll be giving up on Peroxide. I need to dump the water yet again. I'm not sure what the problem is, but the white floaties make the tub absolutely unusable. This battle has gone on too long. If anyone wants to purchase peroxide test strips (I still have 2 unused packs of 50, and about 15 left in my original container, let me know. Also, if you're in the Montreal area, I have about 25 litres left of 35% H2O2.)
I wish it worked.... It was beautiful in the beginning, and I never had any rashes from it, but now I don't use the tub anymore.....
Thanks Bill for all your help though !
Marty
mschaap@me.com

Anonymous said...

Bill,
Thanks for your blog on the H2O2. After finding it and being sick of the chemical game not to mention the dry skin etc.etc. caused by the chemicals I made the switch to H2O2. Bob hooked me up - delivery right to my door, gotta love it. I've had zero problems with the peroxide and its so easy to maintain even though someone from the family is in the tub every day of the week.
Thanks Again,
Dave

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill and fellow bloggers;
I live in the Thompson region in BC and switched to H2O2 last fall. For the first while it worked well. Since before Christmas I've had to add way more H2O2 than before and we have a problem with honey bees invading under the lid of the hot tub. We never had a problem with bees when we were using bromide, but I really don't want to go back to that. Has anyone else had a problem with honey bees in their hot tub when using H2O2? and if so, what did you do about it??

Anonymous said...

This place listed below has a funky old website but they seem to have cheap prices for 35% Hydrogen Peroxide

http://www.dfwx.com/h2o2pool.html

We haven't tried them yet, but I think we'll order a gallon from them and then give the hydrogen peroxide a whirl in our hot tub (pun intended)!

Ina said...

Hi, I am in the process of buying a hot tub and I am researching HP as the water treatment.
I was convinced that HP is the safest and simplest way to maintain a clean hot tub.
Now I heard, that the vapors of HP can create lung disease.
Have you ever heard anything about this?
Thank you,
Ina

Patrick said...

Ina,

Ozone can cause lung issues if strong enough, H2O2 is amazing. I have used it as a cancer fighter as there are several studies that show it will cure cancers. Also, there are several websites dedicated to inhaling it, getting it in an IV, drinking it, vaporizing it for lungs and the list goes on and on. The US Army used to give this to the soldiers during WWII to cure a bunch of ailments. Then big pharma purchased our government and H2O2 is now missing from all the books in the Congressional Library. (wonder who took them :P )

I am NOT a doctor, nor do I wish to make any health claims I am not qualified to make, but rest assured, there are thousands of people who know the truth about H2O2 and it's healing powers.

I wouldn't worry about using it in your tub, I would worry about using Bromine and Chlorine however. Both of those have been proven to be a harm to your health. Bromine has been proven to screw with your Thyroid as an example.

Good health!!

Bill Clarke said...

Ina and Patrick,

I have not heard or read of health problems associated with inhaling H2O2 vapours. And, like Patrick, I have read some fantastic claims for the health benefits of H2O2.

Fantastic claims that, frankly, I discount. If you listen to some people, H2O2 is a panacea for our times. I don't believe that. However I do think that, used properly, it is a safe alternative to a chlorine-based tub treatment.

As far as I know, no one who has posted here (myself included) is qualified to give medical/health advice. As always with these things - consult a medical professional if you have concerns.

Patrick said...

Bill,

For the first time, we used H2O2 in our tub yesterday after a good cleaning. We filled the tup, cleaned the filters and then ran it for a bit, dumped it and started over (in part to me NOT rinsing the filters off from the filter cleaner my wife used, making the tub a bubble bath from hell).

The tub seems wonderful except for one thing I don't understand. The surface of our tub seems rough, or etched and slightly scratchy when sitting in it. Before it was smooth. I can't imagine 2 cups of h202 will harm the surface in anyway, but I am at a loss as to what this could be.

Any ideas? I was thinking calcium, but not sure. We are using city water (slightly green when you fill the tub at the start) and treated it with 2 cups of h202. I am not to worried about the PH as we will be using a colloidal silver tub treatment that will keep all bacteria away with the silver.

Thanks in advance for your time Bill!!

Bill Clarke said...

Hey Patrick,

Yes, calcium could be the culprit - do you use a water softener? Living in an area with hard water I always tried to mix half softened water with half unsoftened water when filling my tub - to avoid calcium buildup.

Another thought though is the "bubble bath from hell" experience - is it possible that you didn't get the foam from the filter cleaner completely off of the surface before re-filling? That might account for 'rough' feeling of the surface.

Patrick said...

To be very honest, I didn't re-clean the tub after the bubble bath.

As for softened water, we use one of those electronic softeners (the ones that have wires wrapped around the pipe and use electricity to alter the surface tension of the minerals in the water without using salt).

I think we can live with it at this point. My wife was worried that since I had this idea to get rid of chemicals in our tub, I somehow may have damaged the tub surface. I don't think I did. Nothing I am using would harm the surface in my opinion.

I will keep you posted, thanks for the ideas.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill, Thanks so much for the information you've posted here. I suddenly developed an alergy to chemicals and couldn't use our hot tub so I began searching the internet for alternatives and behold, I found your blog. We converted our tub March 2011 and haven't had a problem since. We completely drained the tub and refilled it with city water supply (very high chlorination), added a full quart of 35% food grade (couldn't find tech grade in my city) and let it sit for a few days. We also replaced our Ionizer for the tub. We have since to have any issue at all with ph or hardness and I can hot tub all I want. We found that the pool supply stores have a line called Baquacil that is 17% peroxide so we bought their test strips ($5 US for 50 strips) Everything tests perfectly since. Again, thank you so much for your sharing the information. To those reading my post, remember we installed a new Ionizer on our tub at the same time. We haven't had to drain the water since as it stays perfectly clean, ph perfect too. Skin is extremely smooth after a dip!!!!

Rob

Bill Clarke said...

Rob,

Good info - thanks. You've had the kind of positive experience with the switch-over that my family enjoyed - good to hear!

Bill.

Anonymous said...

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mark said...

Hi Bill, great site, lots of info.

I have recently switched to hp as well. It has been about six weeks and things have been great up until now.
Although my water is sparkling clear there is a bit of an oily film on top and it is starting to smell a little musty.
If you have any ideas I would appreciate it.

Thanks,

Mark from B.C.

Hot Tubs said...

Tons of great information on keeping hot tubs clean and safe to use. Hot tubs do need maintenance, but in the end they're worth it!

Krysta said...

We discovered 35% hydrogen peroxide after my fiance began having skin irritation from the chlorine we were using in our spa. After an extensive online investigation of chlorine/bromine alternatives, we decided to give hydrogen peroxide a try. It was one of the best decisions we have made and we've had two years now of clean spa fun:) In fact, after discovering all the benefits and uses of hydrogen peroxide, we have built a business around it. We found it difficult and expensive to obtain and set out to change that. We offer local pick-up/ delivery to the greater Seattle and surrounding areas and would love to help anyone looking for a good source or information on 35% FG hydrogen peroxide. Happy hot tubbing!
www.Hydrogen2o2.com

Anonymous said...

Jsut switched over to Peroxide. Loving the Soft bubbles.
Enderby, B.C.

Anonymous said...

Well we are on day 6 of the switch:) We use our tub twice a day. Our filters have been amazingly clean which tells me that the peroxide is doing a much better job than the chlorine / Carefree product ever did. We have only had to add peroxide once and the levels are staying at 100-120.
VERY HAPPY HOT TUBBERS
Enderby, BC

Anonymous said...

I am curious about not using h202 with well water? We've run our 24' round pool and now the last 3 years our on ground 16x24 pool with 35% h202 with little to no problems ;-) While I use distilled water with food grade perxoide for internal h202 therapy, I didn't worry about the well water and h202 combo in the pool.... The first few years we had a couple small algae bars as well as the h202 but it appears we couldn't get them last season so we went without ;-( We use the test strips as well. We did try ozone for a few years as I had a medical grade ozone machine and although it worked amazingly- it was not a stand alone product and the algae still had to be dealt with - back then they didn't have the algae bars. Anyhow, was just curious to know why it wouldn't work with well water (and ours is very hard at about 24) . thanks, Wendy in Ontario

Anonymous said...

The problem is that algae is biological and its presence will deplete your H2O2 faster than would happen in its absence. It CAN work but you will end up replenishing your H2O2 more frequently.

Caroline said...

I want to make the plunge and change my hot tub treatment from Clearwater blue to H2O2. Does anyone know where I can get technical grade H2O2 and/or test strips in the Vancouver area?

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm from Australia and I have a fibreglass spa, are these the same as your hot tubs and am I able to use the H202 in it. My PH was so red (high) my test kit didn't give a reading. We use liquid drops to test the PH. Also would vinegar and carb soda work. I have put 2 lost of PH decreaser in and run for two hour between each dose and it hasn't altered the reading as yet. Thanks

MOJADA said...

Hi Mate,
Thanks for your article.. and blog it is very imformative..
i am trying to find some 35% hydrogen pyrixide here in los angeles, but in the meantime, i emptied my fiberglass hot tub, probably regular size and refilled with municipal water from the tap..

i added some 3% hydrogen pyroxide in the meantime and found that the water was very clear and felt amazing.. although a day later i have found a kind of crusting in the tub under the water on the fiberglass and all the jets etc.. kind of like a saltish crusting?? it was removable by scrubbing with a spounge..

not sure what this is, ? do you have any idea, and suggestions on what i should do?

it seems strange that a solution of only 3% (household hydrogen pyroxide) would have much of an effect at all?

thanks so much for your help
marco
saltwaterdream@yahoo.com

Luciano said...

Good day Bill
I have changed my tub over to hydrogen peroxide a week ago. Cleaning filter daily, checking ph and alkalinity levels. Lowered ph, two days ago with the ph lower I normally use. Water turned cloudy, having a hard time to clear up the water. Maybe it was the ph lower I used? Read vinager will lower ph, on your blog, maybe that is where I went wrong? Any suggestions?
Luciano (Burlington)

Robert Simpson said...

Hi Bill
I have found a good solution to cloudy water, smelly water,etc. Use either liquid chlorine-Javex or similar or DiChlor-granular pool shock plus a floc. This quickly kills the bacteria responsible. Be sure to clean the filters every few hours after adding this treatment as they will plug up quickly. May require several litres of Javex or a few oz. of DiChlor. If still cloudy increase dosage or switch up to DiChlor-it will clear up with sufficient dosage, even if water has been in tub 6 months! with Can also use a little every week or so to prevent problems. Leave tub top open to vent off chlorine fumes and add more h2o2 as soon as water clears(12-24 hr)
Happy tubbing!
Bob Simpson
superfastsolutions.com

Jody said...

Sorry if this has been answered already - still need to read all the comments. We have well water and we're looking for a less toxic method for sanitizing our hot tub. What if we added some chorine when we first filled it and then after that dissipated, continue with the h2o2? Would that do the same thing as having city water with chlorine in it? Also we have a small tub (only about 225 gallons) so we're willing to change the water often. Thanks!

Xland said...

Bill
We had a company maintaining our tub for the past 18 months, they use HP and a mineral/pumice bag that stays in the bottom of the tub. We loved the water quality But then the breaker tripped. Our separate maintenance repair person when he heard we were using HP said he knew right away what the problem was- corrosion of the non-stainless steel components and contacts on our heater. When he arrived that was exactly the issue.
He claims HP under higher heat (Spa)creates this problem and it will happen to every tub heater within a 6-18 months. Have you heard or this?

Anonymous said...

I've read to circulate the hot tub water after adding the peroxide to shock the tub, but can't find anything regarding whether to have the heat on or not?

Anonymous said...

Hi the first thing one needs to do is to search the web and you'll find all the benefits of H2O2. the healing properties that have been recorded since 1882 will surprise you. cancer arthritis ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ really.
If you really want to keep your tub clean use a ozone generator. They are cheap and easy to install. Then you families can reap all the benefits. You can actually make your hot tub into a spa that people pay big bucks for by adding in magnesium and baking soda.
Search the net it’s all out there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill - we have excellent quality water from a deep well (an outfit down the road bottles and sells it as natural spring water) and yet I would like to try HP. You mention there could be a problem with algae if the water is not chlorinated first - couldn't I just shock the water with chlorine when the tub is first filled and then continue with your recommended HP treatment? I would have thought that even the chlorine in municipally treated water would eventually gas out...

Thanks

Dale in Manitoba

Anonymous said...

Glad to see so much interest in using hydrogen peroxide in water treatment. However I feel the need to correct some gross misstatements of people who might be soft in their science facts. Hydrogen Peroxide Kills Algae, as does chlorine. Both are used up and need to be continually added. Absurd to think that a 1x chlorination treatment of water is going to prevent algae forever, or that it is necessary to chlorinate water prior to using hydrogen peroxide. People who have ornamental show ponds and water features use hydrogen peroxide to control their algae!!! Hydrogen peroxide is h2o3, it can only break down to water and oxygen, chlorine breaks down into a slew of chemical compounds. If you are blessed enough to have well water don't sully it with a chlorine pretreatment. Happy in my pool and hot tub, all chlorine free and sourced from the well.

Anonymous said...

I had a 1993 Sundance Capri for 15 years and used 35% hydrogen peroxide
successfully in the ozonated filtered spa. One cup to shock it and 1/2 cup
weekly for maintenence.

Recently I bought a 2012 Sundance Camden with coolray filtration and I
have not been able to get the pH right no matter how much 35% hydrogen
peroxide I use, the pH test strips measure 50ppm or higher immediately
after adding the 35% hydrogen peroxide but the next day the pH strip
doesn't measure any ppm and I'm adding one cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide
every day.

Sundance claims that 35% hydrogen peroxide can damage their spas and will
void the warranty, I don't want that to happen and I don't want to have to
begin using chlorine.

Anybody have any ideas and if someone knows that the coolray filtration is
a deal breaker for 35% hydrogen peroxide, for instance it is neutralizing
it somehow, then let me know what spa manufacturers and models you know
that are ok with 35% hydrogen peroxide for bacterial control.

Anonymous said...

Bill, why has my hot tub been cloudy in colour lately? It wasn't for the longest time, but has been for about 2 weeks. We've added hp, but it is not coming back to 50-100ppm. Kindly advise.

Pat in Red Deer, Alberta

Anonymous said...

I was just looking for some info for my brother of whom I just converted to peroxide.
You have some good info here Bill. But...

I live in the country and we are on a well. Water that comes chlorinated does not stay chlorinated. It burns off or evaporates. In order to use peroxide you need another oxidizer. We use ozone. You can by the machine online and its an easy install. I ordered my tub with it.

The water quality as far as wether its soft or hard is more of an issue. When I change the water in my tub I use half directly from the well and half from the softener (house).

I have had a tub for over 10 years using Peroxide. So easy. No issues. Change the filter(s) more often. Enjoy

I have converted many tubs (friends).. lots of them on wells. No problems.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

You can shock with Chlorine - as the H202 will take it straight back out of the solution once the chlorine has dealt with organics etc.,

Anonymous said...

We switched our hot tub over to peroxide a week or so ago. We now have a very fine, white, gritty film on the whole inside of the hot tub. If you rub it moves around but settles again. Any ideas on what it is and how to get rid of it? Also, I have been in hot tubs before with peroxide and have had no problems but after getting out of ours on the weekend, my legs and feet were so itchy I could hardly stand it. Didn't effect my husband that way at all. I had to shower and put cooling lotion on and eventually it went away. Any suggestions on what that was?

James Klassen said...

We have a coast bahama hot tub. We live in the country and have water from our well or rain water. We would like to use hydrogen peroxide in our tub. Can't we just add chlorine to the water we fill our tub with and then use h202 for the remaining months untill we switch water again ?

Ride Cane said...

The need which you have mentioned for Hot-Tub to hydrogen peroxide is very informative. Thanks for sharing this post.
Spa Filters Replacement Cartridges

Anonymous said...

Will in Alberta,
Bill you ever get a new tub?

Bill said...

Bill, while I have looked at most of the postings, I'll admit that I have not looked at ALL the postings. However, there seems to be some misunderstandings that I would like to help clear up.

1. Yes, you can add chlorine (and should). However, if you are using H2O2 then you should be able to keep the free chlorine concentration down around 3 ppm. At that level you should NOT experience any of the annoying effects of chlorine. If you don't use chlorine or bromine then you will likely have to use unreasonable quantities of peroxide.

2. You still need to maintain pH. It should be maintained around 7.4 +/- 0.4.

3. You still need to maintain alkalinity around 100 ppm (important for being able to maintain pH).

4. Calcium should be maintained around 100 to 250 ppm for most spa's.

5. Besides giving you clear water, you need to maintain these to allow your spa to last awhile. A pH that is way off my be quite disturbing to you skin but it is also very disturbing to the hardware in your spa. High calcium give you scale and low calcium with destroy the metal part in you spa (such as the very expensive pump).

Thanks Bill, you have a great site!

Michael Assad said...

Thanks Bill. Great to hear from another Kitchener native :)

Have you (or anyone on here) tried using hydrogen peroxide with an ionizer? We have a ClearBlue, but still need to use a bit of chlorine. Curious whether we can replace the chlorine with HP.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

I converted my hot tub to HP and have been very happy with the experience. I recently did something dumb and added too much HP and now the water is at 200 PPM. I read that it was safe to use but I believe it caused me increased pain the next day. I wonder what is the best way to reduce the PPM to 100? Would draining half the water and refilling be the only way?

Sheila said...

Hi Bill,

We have a hot tub that wasn't maintained properly and it got some white gummy substance on the bottom of it. Could that be this bio film I have read about? Do you know anything about that? My tub was on bromine and I have switched it to chlorine to get rid of this substance. I have also been using this ahh-some cleaner. Anyone familiar with any of this?