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Hot Tub Sanitation – UV, Ozone vs. Saltwater, which one?

10 Minute Read

Before becoming a hot tub owner, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about not only the type of hot tub to purchase, but also how to best care for your new hot tub. While many of today’s models are designed to be mostly hassle free, hot tub sanitation is something that every hot tub owner will need to manage to ensure the cleanliness and longevity of their hot tub.


There are many options when it comes to hot tub sanitation and you should understand how each works prior to making a decision on the type of hot tub you want to purchase. Here, we’ll discuss three popular types of sanitation — UV, ozone and saltwater — to help you determine which one is best for you.


Ultraviolet Light UV

As the name suggests, an ultraviolet (UV) sanitation system uses UV-C germicidal light rays to help keep your hot tub water clean and free of bacteria. The UV remains in a sterilization chamber within the hot tub’s piping, so it does not actually enter the hot tub. This system helps prevent organic matter like algae and bacteria from reproducing by disrupting the DNA or RNA of these organisms. UV sterilization is an effective sanitizer; however, it does not oxidize the water so you will still need to oxidize the water with chlorine, bromine or a non-chlorine shock product.

hot tub uv ozone


Ozone gas can actually oxidize and sanitize the water. A hot tub ozonator is attached to a jet that infuses ozone into the hot tub water. The ozone generator can help break down the contaminants of the water and then remove these impurities from the water. A natural approach to cleaning the water, an ozonator allows you to use less chemicals and generally requires less maintenance.



Many people have heard of saltwater swimming pools and may think a saltwater hot tub system is similar. Owners of these spas often say that the water feels “softer” and the chlorine smell is absent. However, a saltwater system is not chlorine- or chemical-free. A saltwater system in essence makes its own chlorine. And while a saltwater system runs continuously during low or no usage as well as high usage periods, it cannot determine the difference between the two. Therefore, it operates the same even if your hot tub may require more sanitation after high usage. The elements that break down the salt to its sanitizing chlorinated form will also need to be replaced at a regular interval. This interval and the replacement cost of the elements vary according to brand and model. Be sure to check with your local dealer to better understand what is available.


Jacuzzi® hot tubs offer a unique combination of ozone and UV-C technology. The Jacuzzi® CLEARRAY Active Oxygen® System works harder through various technologies to clean the water longer. Ozonated water is exposed to a UV-C bulb which energizes the molecules, unlocking the Active Oxygen to remove microscopic debris from the water. Many Jacuzzi® hot tubs also offer up to a 5-stage filtration process, equating to fewer water changes and less effort for the hot tub owner. UV-C technology is standard on all Jacuzzi® hot tubs. The CLEARRAY Active Oxygen® System and stages of filtration either come standard or are available in the various Jacuzzi® hot tub collections. 

Overall, no hot tub sanitation system is entirely maintenance or chemical free, so be cautious of claims that imply they are. While hot tub care can be simple and stress free, proper sanitation of your hot tub is vital for safe soaking and to help preserve the life of your hot tub. When you are considering hot tub sanitation — UV, ozone versus saltwater and wondering which one is best, a visit to your local hot tub dealer can you help further narrow down your options. A qualified dealer can show you hot tub models you are interested use and talk you through the water care systems they use so you can make the best decision for you.


Find a Jacuzzi® hot tub dealer near you


Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved.


Medical disclaimer: This information is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. Please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice if you have any concerns about your current health or well-being.

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ashley fields

About The Author: Ashley Field

Director of Training, Jacuzzi Group

Ashley Field has been with Jacuzzi Group since 2016, previously having worked for Discover Financial Services and Taco Bell. When she was initially contacted about an opportunity with Jacuzzi Group, she loved the idea of building... Read Full Bio