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Thread: Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer???

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28

    Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer???

    From a previous post my hubby and I are still deciding on what sanitation route to follow. I want to use something that has little chlorine in it as possible because I am sensitive to it. Well my hubby emailed me this but not sure from what website it is from... but is this true or a farce???

    Hydrogen Peroxide for Hot Tubs
    There is nothing so relaxing as a warm, bubbling soak in a hot tub… Particularly if that hot tub is cleaned with hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorinated. The oxygen enriched water smells clean and fresh, softening your skin and soothing your body as you soak.

    According to the Merck index, hydrogen peroxide can be used as a water disinfectant. In fact, it is used internationally for water disinfection, treatment of waste water, water gardens and, increasingly, in swimming pools and spas.

    Some newer pool disinfection systems actually use recently developed equipment to generate oxidation in the water as it passes through the cleaning system. In these newer systems the need for additional chemicals in the water can be completely, or nearly completely eliminated.

    While older spa systems rely on harsh toxic chemicals which fill the surrounding area with their fumes and odor, these newer system provide clean, fresh oxygen enriched water for bathing which has no odor.

    For those not ready to invest in an entirely new hot tub filtration and water disinfection system, food grade hydrogen peroxide offers a transitional solution.

    You can eliminate the use of chlorine or bromine chemicals in the spa and use hydrogen peroxide instead of these chemicals. Adding any type of ozonator or UV sterilizer to the system will also assist the hydrogen peroxide in the event that your water contains high levels of iron or organics which will break down the hydrogen peroxide more quickly. If you are unsure of the mineral content of the water, begin using the hydrogen peroxide as described here, and test for hydrogen peroxide levels frequently.

    Begin by shocking the tub with a high dose of 35 percent food grade hydrogen peroxide. Add one cup (8 ounces/250 milliliters) of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide per every 250 gallons (1000 liters) of water in the tub. Run the pumps to circulate the water as you add the hydrogen peroxide and then intermittently over the next 24 hours.

    Note: Be sure to check and empty the filters when beginning and several dimes through out the first 24 hours as the hydrogen peroxide will break down organics and other materials in the water and may at first create an excessive load on the filter system as you transition.

    Allow the water to stand overnight (after the initial 24 hours have passed. Then circulate the water briefly before using a hydrogen peroxide test strip to measure the level of hydrogen peroxide in the water.

    Hydrogen peroxide levels should run between 30 and 100 ppm (parts per million) for regular hot tub use. If the levels are below 30 ppm when testing, add hydrogen peroxide at a rate of 1 cup 35 percent food grade hydrogen peroxide per 500 gallons of water. Circulate and let stand several hours before testing after adding hydrogen peroxide.

    By testing often in the early stages of using hydrogen peroxide you will be able to determine how often you will need to add hydrogen peroxide to the spa. The levels will vary according to the frequency and number of people using it. Test at least weekly once you have a general idea of what your spa needs to maintain optimum levels of hydrogen peroxide.
    "Sometimes you have to look reality in the eyes and deny it." --Unknown

    2003 Marquis Reward 6 person spa/320 gallons/2 filters/ozonator (unknown if it still works, the ozonator that is.)

  2. #2
    Guest

    Re: Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer???

    To have a high enough concentration of H2O2 in a hot tub to be effective as a sanitizer would cause bather discomfort, to say the least. H2O2 IS used as an oxidizer with biguanide based systems like Softsoak and BaquaSpa but I recommend those ONLY for people that have a true halogen allergy since most biguinide systems eventually succumb to white water mold and pink slime (bacterial infestations that are VERY hard to control and eradicate!) Some people don't realize that the "peroxide based systems" they are using are actually biguanide based systems.

    Read this thread for more info!
    viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3025

    Peroxide by itself is NOT an EPA approved sanitizer.

    What type of chlorine sensitivity do you have? It is a true halogen allergy? Many people who think they are sensitive to chlorine are actually reacting to chloramines from improperly maintained water.

    Chlorine is actually the best choice for an outdoor pool while bromine is often the easiest choice for a hot tub.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28

    Re: Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer???

    I am not diagnosed medically that I am allergic to chlorine but know it is a hypersensitivity to it. For as long as I can remember have always had a problem with chlorinated pools. No matter the length of my time in a pool within about 20 mins of actual pool water contact to my skin I will start itching, later it will turn into blotches/welts/hives what ever you want to refer them to. When I start to notice my skin becoming redden is when I end up getting out and getting a shower. Then I pop a benadryl and itch for while until the Benadryl can take care of it. This is with any pool; private or public. With decrease in pool use the sensitivity decreases as well. I hadn't been in a pool in close to 3 years or so but when it came to our honeymoon I ended up going in a pool and I was able to stay longer in the pool but still began with itching but never made it to the hives/welts/blotches and didn't have to bother with Benadryl.

    This is pretty much a sensitivity since I am in the medical field and had found out my latex hypersensitivity this way and that was medically diagnosed....

    I don't mind spending a little extra money when it comes to using bromine but was just looking for alternatives that actually truly sanitized but without harsh chemicals. I am a huge germa-phobe (thanks to my profession) and am also into the "green" "eco" friendly scene. But as horribly as it make sound to some, I would rather have chemicals to kill viruses/bacteria/algae then worry bout the environment but I am still one to think about the effects the chemicals may have on me and the environment....
    "Sometimes you have to look reality in the eyes and deny it." --Unknown

    2003 Marquis Reward 6 person spa/320 gallons/2 filters/ozonator (unknown if it still works, the ozonator that is.)

  4. #4
    Guest

    Re: Hydrogen Peroxide as a sanitizer???

    Now for the bad news....bromine is a known sensitizer and about 17% of those who use it react to it and since both bromine and chlorine are halogens there is often a cross sensitivity. Biguanide, with all it's inherent problems and high cost, might be your best choice. Also, if you do not have a problem with MPS (also causes reactions in many people) then perhaps the low chlorine Nature2 Silver/Zinc system might work but I will caution you to follow the instruction pamphlet to the letter if you go that route. As a suggestion, why not try chlorine first and see how you fair. If there are problems try bromine (it's easy to go from chlorine to bromine, just add the sodium bromide and put in your bromine tabs in the floater--the chorine is now gone and you have a bromine system!) and if that doesn't work drain, refill, and try an alternative.
    If you go the bromine route realize that you will still be using chlorine as part of the system to oxidize the sodium bromide into hypobromous acid. (MPS can be used by it's more expensive and has no real benefits over oxidizing with bleach. Anyway, just about all bromne tablets contain clorine to oxidine the bromide they contain into hypobromous acid.)

    Good luck.

    As a final note, the fewer chemicals you add the better. Besides your sanitizer system of choice you will need a metal sequesterant (I seem to remember you said you had well water--look for one that is phosphonate based or a phosphonic acid derivative or HEDP...all the same and stay away from the EDTA based ones, they are not that effective), baking soda for raising TA, dry acid (sodium bisulfate) for lowering pH, borax (20 mule team--sodium tetraborate) for raising pH and adding a secondary buffer system if pH stability is a problem--often useful in chlorine systems, otherwise often not needed for either purpose since low pH in a spa is rarely a problem, and maybe an enzyme if you have a problem with scumlines forming in the tub (but I would use an oil absorbing foam sponge first such as a scumbug, sunsorb, or scumball since they are often all that is needed and quite a bit less expensive), and possibly some calcium (calcium chloride) if your fill water has a hardness less than about 150 ppm.

    A well maintained spa has no need for clarifiers, defoamers, special shocks, fragrances, skin oils, etc unless you go with biguanide. Then you will need special (biguanide safe) clarifiers, algaecides, defoamers, etc. Otherwise, don't waste your money on them. Enzyme based purges can be useful every couple to three water changes but are not really needed every water change (unless you go with biguanide, once again.)

    Oh yeah, a good test kit is essential....you need the proper kit for your sanitizer system. The TF100 will work with chlorine or bromine (but the Taylor K-2106 is a better choice for bromine) and if you end up with a biguanide system you will have to add tests for both biguanide and H2O2 which are available from either Taylor or LaMotte.

    Hope this helps.

    As far as being eco friendly and effective as a sanitizer, IMHO, that would be chlorine as my first choice with bromine running second. Biggest problem with biguanide is that certain bacteria (cyanobacter) deveop an immunity to it over time much like they can develop an immunity to antibiotics and then problem develop in the spa that are almost impossible to get rid of unless you drain, purge with very high levels of chlorine and then refill. Also, biguanide systems require MUCH more frequent filter cleanings (with special filter cleaners) and filter replacement than other sanitizer systems since they do not oxidize bacteria but cause the cell walls to explode and the gunk that forms (the infamous "BaquaGoo") then collects in the spa and filter.

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