A biofilm is composed of living organisms that live in a community or a colony. Scientists are still trying to unravel the complex social structure of these organisms.
Biofilms are naturally occurring in the environment. They can be found everywhere, including in the hot tub.
The main component of an aboveground spa is a large pipe network, which runs to numerous jets. The interior surfaces are usually covered in a film of solids that coat the pipes, and then find other areas to attach themselves to.
Some Jetted Tubs are particularly vulnerable to the formation of biofilm. They are usually used briefly, without any sanitizer, and then drained once.
Where does Biofilm come From?
Biofilm can develop in hot tubs that have been sitting unused. It can also form from the pipes that are still connected to the water supply.Our own dead skin cells, body oils, and cosmetic products are used as building blocks for biofilms, which can create colonies on surfaces when the pump is shut off.
Poor maintenance of spas can lead to the formation of biofilms. Also, improper use of sanitizers, inadequate water quality, and infrequent shocks can cause these conditions to develop.
Even new spas can have biofilm, which is a bacterial infection that builds up over time. It can be avoided by air-drying the pipes and ensuring that the spa is thoroughly cleaned after every use.
If you're thinking about buying a used spa, make sure that it's been used and abused properly. It could have a serious problem if it gets infected with bacteria.
Testing for Biofilm
It’s almost impossible to identify if it’s real or not. If you’re not able to empty the spa, try swabbing the jets, filter body, or pump drain plug to see if they have strange colors.
If you can’t remove the parts of your spa jets, inspect the inside for traces of oil or other slimy substances. If the rings around the water line develop a biofilm, this could be a sign of a serious problem.
Biofilm in Spas
- Reduces pipe diameter in acute cases
- Consumes Sanitizer, affects pH and spa balance
- Can harbor harmful bacteria colonies
- Causes foaming and water problems
- Removal of Biofilm in Hot Tubs
Spa Shock - This procedure will lower the pH of the spa and lower its temperature to an unheated state. It is important to use a non-chlorine shock dosage to kill the bacteria and weaken it.
Spa Flush - A Spa Flush is a method of draining a spa using products that break down the biofilm. These products are designed to remove anything that's hidden in the spa.
Spa Rinse - Give the spa a fresh wash with a garden hose. Then, spray water into the jets and orifices. Drain the water and start with sanitation.
Replace your spa filter cartridge, to be sure that bacteria is not hiding deep in the pleats of the spa filter.
Prevention of Biofilm in Hot Tubs
- Change the water every 3-6 months - based on frequency and number of users
- Use Spa Rinse or Jet Clean every time you drain the spa
- Maintain proper water balance and continual sanitizer level
- Replace your spa filter cartridge every 12-24 months
- Shock the spa or hot tub after heavy use, or twice per month
- If you drain the spa or jetted tub and don't refill immediately, use air to blow the pipes dry
BIOFILM is a real illness that can happen to anyone. However, if you maintain a regular spa routine, you'll be able to avoid getting affected by this unpleasant substance.
If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!