The simple answer to this question is, “no”. Taking it a step further we need to break down this question and define “chemical”. Hot tubs require four to five properties that need to be maintained on a regular basis. These are alkalinity, PH, calcium, and sanitizer (bromine or chlorine). The first three properties are not “bad” chemicals, they are just the properties of the water that need to be maintained in a neutral range and are harmless to a bather. For example, alkalinity in a hot tub needs to be in the range of 180-220 parts per million. PH needs to be in the range of 7.2-7.6. Calcium needs to be in the range of 250-500 parts per million. It’s inevitable that these three properties will need to be adjusted or maintained from time to time. First and foremost the water that comes out of the garden hose used to fill the hot tub contains water that in most cases doesn’t fall within these required ranges and therefore needs to be adjusted upon the initial fill and startup of the hot tub. Then over time you may see some mild fluctuation in these properties because hot tubs are small bodies of water and kept at high temperatures (100-104 degrees) and things like bather load and topping off can affect the levels in the tub and periodic adjustments are necessary. If adjustments aren’t made then the hot tub water can cause damage over time to the plastics and equipment causing premature wear and tear.
The last property of hot tub water is the bromine or chlorine levels. Brome and chlorine are sanitizers that are used to kill bacteria in the water. Now, most people are referring to these level when they are asking about “chemical free”, however, there is no 100% accepted substitute for bromine or chlorine according to the EPA. However, there are some great systems on the market that allow for a dramatic decrease in bromine or chorine. Here is a list of sanitizing alternatives that can be used in conjunction with bromine or chlorine;
1. Ionizers or Mineral Purifiers
4. Enzymatic Sanitizers
For more in depth information on hot tub chemicals and water management systems then visit our hot tub buyer’s pages.