When considering how to maintain crystal-clear hot tub water, most people think of traditional methods like chlorine or bromine. However, there’s an alternative solution for purifying your hot tub water while reducing chemical usage and enjoying a refreshing scent reminiscent of summer rain: introducing the hot tub ozonator.

Ozonators, known for their eco-friendliness, efficiency, and ability to eliminate bacteria quickly, are ozone generators that offer numerous advantages for hot tub enthusiasts. It made our list of must-haves for the best low-maintenance hot tubs!

So, what are ozonators, how do they work, and what benefits can they bring to you and your hot tub experience? Keep reading to learn more.

Hot Tub Ozonators eco-friendly and efficient solution for maintaining the perfect balance in your hot tub water

Understanding Ozone: Nature’s Purifier

Recall the last time you stepped outside after a thunderstorm. Do you remember the crisp, invigorating, and slightly sweet scent in the air? That was ozone (O₃), a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms.

Ozone is primarily known for its unique smell, which humans can detect even in minuscule concentrations. In fact, the term “ozone” derives from the Latin word “ozein,” meaning “to smell.”

Beyond its distinctive aroma, ozone possesses remarkable water disinfection properties. A study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene found that ozone effectively eliminates and reduces microbial contaminants, including E. coli.

Furthermore, ozone plays a crucial role in sustaining life on Earth. The atmospheric ozone layer, also known as the ozonosphere, shields humans and other living organisms from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun.

By harnessing the natural power of ozone through a hot tub ozonator, you can enjoy a more eco-friendly and efficient method of maintaining water quality.

How Do Hot Tub Ozonators Work?

Hot tub ozonators capitalize on the sanitizing characteristics of ozone by splitting regular dioxygen molecules (O₂, the form of oxygen we breathe) into two separate oxygen atoms. One of those individual atoms is then fused with an intact O₂ molecule, thus creating an ozone molecule.

The ozone molecules are then pumped into the hot tub’s water. When an ozone molecule comes into contact with bacteria, its third oxygen atom breaks loose and destroys the bacteria through oxidation.

Once the ozone molecule’s third oxygen atom has eliminated the bacteria, the only thing that remains is a harmless dioxygen (O₂) molecule, which is safe for the environment as well as human lungs.

This illustration shows the process in action:

Hot tub ozonator process

While this process may sound complicated, it can be boiled down to three simple steps:

  1. Ozone molecules are created and pumped into the water.
  2. The ozone molecules kill bacteria through oxidation.
  3. Pure, breathable oxygen is left behind.

Ozonators won’t pose a risk to your health, either: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), ozone systems are approved for use as secondary disinfection systems (SDS).

In other words, the CDC recognizes ozonators as safe and effective tools for killing bacteria when used in tandem with a standard filtration and recirculation system.

We definitley recommend Ozone when you’re looking for a new hot tub.

Ozonator Health Benefits

Because ozone has the ability to kill not only bacteria but also fungi, mold, mildew, viruses, yeasts and other pathogens, it can have several health benefits for your skin as well as your spa water.

When your skin comes into contact with ozonated water, the ozone molecules will naturally disinfect your skin. This is why ozone is known as an effective treatment for various types of superficial fungal, bacterial, viral and yeast infections, as well as bacterial acne.

Ozone has been found to have several other topical benefits, as well: A study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science found that wounds treated with ozonated olive oil heal much faster than those that aren’t.

It’s also been suggested that topically applied ozone may be able reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, although more scientific research on the subject is needed.

Between their powerful sanitizing abilities and lack of negative environmental or health effects, it’s easy to see why ozonators are an ideal way to clean your hot tub’s water while reducing your use of harsh chemicals.

The fact that the ozone bubbles they produce smell like a summer rainstorm doesn’t hurt, either.

There’s no need to rely solely on chlorine or bromine to purify your spa water. Install an ozonator as soon as possible — your hot tub, skin and nose are sure to thank you.


Q: What does an ozonator do for a hot tub?

An ozonator is a device used in hot tubs to generate ozone (O3) gas. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that helps to sanitize the water by breaking down bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. It also reduces the amount of chemicals, like chlorine or bromine, needed to maintain water quality, and can help to reduce unpleasant odors.

Q: Is ozone worth it in a hot tub?

Ozone can be worth it in a hot tub, as it can improve water quality, reduce the need for chemicals, and prolong the life of your hot tub equipment. It may also reduce skin and eye irritation caused by high levels of chemicals. However, an ozonator does require an initial investment and occasional maintenance.

Q: How often should you run ozone in a hot tub?

You should run your ozonator continuously or at least whenever the hot tub is circulating water. This ensures that the ozone is distributed evenly and effectively sanitizes the water. Most ozonators are designed to operate continuously without causing any harm to your hot tub.

Q: Does ozone increase pH in a hot tub?

Ozone can cause a slight increase in pH levels in a hot tub. However, this effect is generally minimal and can be easily managed by regularly testing and adjusting the pH levels as needed.

Q: How do you maintain a hot tub with an ozonator?

To maintain a hot tub with an ozonator, you should:

  • Run the ozonator continuously or whenever the hot tub is circulating water.
  • Regularly test the water’s pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels, and adjust them as needed.
  • Clean and replace the ozonator’s parts as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your hot tub, such as cleaning filters and draining and refilling the water.

Q: Do I need chlorine if I have ozone?

While an ozonator significantly reduces the need for chlorine or bromine in a hot tub, a small amount of these chemicals is still necessary to provide residual sanitization. Ozone works quickly but does not remain in the water for a long time, so a small amount of chlorine or bromine helps maintain water quality between ozone treatments.

Q: Does ozone smell in a hot tub?

Ozone has a distinct smell, often described as fresh or similar to the scent after a thunderstorm. In a hot tub, the concentration of ozone should be low enough that you may not notice any odor. However, if you do detect a strong ozone smell, it may indicate that the ozonator is producing too much ozone, and you should consult the manufacturer or a hot tub professional for guidance.

Q: Is it safe with other sanitizers like the Nature2 sticks?

Ozone can be safely used in combination with certain alternative sanitizers, as it complements their function by providing additional oxidation and sanitation. Common alternative sanitizers include mineral sanitizers (like silver or copper ions), enzyme-based products, and saltwater systems. When used together, ozone and alternative sanitizers can help reduce overall chemical usage and provide a more pleasant hot tub environment.

However, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for each product to ensure compatibility and safe use. Always monitor the water chemistry and adjust the sanitizer levels as needed to maintain optimal water quality. If you have any doubts or concerns, consult a hot tub professional for guidance on using ozone in conjunction with alternative sanitizers.

At Aqua Living Stores, we are proud to offer a range of high-quality hot tubs equipped with factory-installed ozonators. Our commitment to providing the best possible hot tub experience for our customers includes incorporating advanced water purification technologies to ensure crystal-clear and hygienic water. By offering hot tubs with built-in ozonators, we help reduce chemical usage, improve water quality, and provide a more enjoyable soaking experience. Visit any of our Aqua Living Stores and discover our wide selection of hot tubs featuring this eco-friendly and efficient solution for maintaining the perfect balance in your hot tub water.

Check out this Catalina model with an Ozonator!

Overhead image of the 2021 Catalina Berkshire Hot Tub

The Catalina Berkshire comes standard with these features:

Standard Features Include: