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Better Water Blog

How Can I Tell if My Spa Ozone Generator is Working?

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Four main indicators help determine if your Spa Ozone Generator is working:

1. WATER CLARITY.  Spa water should be crystal clear and odorless.  Anything less than perfectly clear and balanced water is an indicator that one or more of the following is true:

  • Spa Ozonator has expired and needs replacing
  • Check valve failed and ozone is not getting into the water
  • Spa Ozonator is not producing enough ozone to properly sanitize spa water
  • Injector may be clogged or needs to be upgraded (make sure you have a Mazzei Injector)

2. ODOR. If your spa water smells like a footlocker, you could have bacteria and/or viruses building up.  This is an indicator you have no ozone generator, or that the existing ozonator has expired.  200 times more powerful than chlorine, ozone kills 99.99% of all known viruses and bacteria (chlorine and bromine do not), leaving water safe and clear.

If your spa water smells like a chemical factory, don’t get in it!  Contrary to common belief, smelling toxic levels of chemicals does not mean your spa is safe; it could indicator your chlorine or bromine is locked up, ineffective, and dangerous to soak in or breathe.  With a properly-designed ozone system, spa water should smell fresh and clean, not like chemicals.  Ozone reduces chlorine to .5PPM and bromine to 1PPM.  It also reduces the need to purchase shock, metal out, pH up and down, and other water clarifiers and adjusters.  With ozone, water is as easy on your eyes as it is to balance.

3. CONFIRMATION SPA OZONATOR IS PRODUCING OZONE.  When in doubt, test it out!  DEL Ozone released an accurate, easy-to-use Spa Ozone Test Kit for Spa Technicians in 2009.  With a helpful video on YouTube (live link below) showing how to use the test, the video gives the added benefit of showing you how an ozone generator, check valve and injector are installed relative to each other. At the end of this great video, see what perfect ozone bubbles look like:

DEL Ozone Spa Test Video: DEL Ozone's Spa Ozone Test Kit Video

4.  AGE.  The average lifespan of a Spa Ozone Generator is 3 years.  Most people do not know what style of ozone generator they have, but if you do, here is a basic lifespan guide to help you know if you need a new ozonator: 

Which Ozonator do you have?  And →

What is Ozonator’s filtration Time?

Expected lifespan:

Ultra Violet (UV) by DELZONE

4-6 hours per day

3-5 years

Ultra Violet (UV) by DELZONE

24 hours per day

Designed to produce ozone for 9,000 hours (3-5 years), running the DELZONE UV Ozonators 24/7 extends the life of the Ozonator.  Expect 3, 5…up to 18 years if you have a ZO-300 or 302

Ultra Violet (UV) by Balboa, Prozone, UltraPure, Clarathon

 4-6 hours or 24 hours per day

Expect these low-producing ozone generators to last 1.5-3 years

Corona Discharge (CD) Chip by DEL Ozone
(CDS-16; Spa Eclipse Original)

4-6 hours per day

Unlike the UV ozone generators, CD Chips live longer when cycled on and off, so expect 1.5-3 years

Corona Discharge (CD) Chip by DEL Ozone

(CDS-16; Spa Eclipse Original)

24 hours per day

Expect 1.5 years

Corona Discharge (CD) Electrode 5-1308-04 by DEL Ozone
(MCD-50 Original, MCD-250 Original, SO, HO, T3)

4-6 hours per day, up to 24/7

The CD Electrodes do not deteriorate when cycled on/off, so expect 3 years if you live in high-humidity areas, and 5 in dry climates

Advanced Plasma Gap (APG) by DEL Ozone
(Spa Eclipse Next Generation; APG-01, APG-02, APG-03, APG-U are the OEM Part Numbers which we do not sell, but they are the SAME UNIT)

4-6 hours per day, up to 24/7

The APG Cells do not deteriorate when cycled on/off, and are more resistant to humidity, so expect 3-5 years if you live in high-humidity areas, and 5 in dry climates

UV Ozone Generators
.  UV Ozone Generators light up for years giving the impression there is ozone.  The reality is that UV ozonators use Mercury to create ozone.  Over time the Mercury vaporizes and ozone can no longer be created.   Just because the bulb glowing does not mean there is adequate ozone to sanitize spa water.  Most UV owners believe if they light is glowing, their ozonator is “working.”  But that is not necessarily true.

The DELZONE ZO-300 and ZO-302 UV Ozone Generators produced the most ozone of all UV Spa Ozone Generators.  These UV units tend to last years, particularly when the generator runs 24/7 (some customers claim up to 18 years!) However, when run in cycles, the ballast burns out and the lifespan decreases significantly.  If you have anything other than a DELZONE UV Ozone Generator (Balboa, Prozone, UltraPure, Clarathon, JED, AquaSun, etc), expect only 1.5-3 years.  Some UV ozonators produce such low levels of ozone, you don’t even know when they die (because you never knew you had it!). 

CD Chip Ozone Generators.  The CD Chip Ozone Generator CDS-16 was manufactured by DEL Ozone since 1998 as a more eco-friendly alternative to UV Ozonators.  In 2000 DEL introduced the same technology to the after-market spa sector in a product known as the Spa Eclipse Original.  Using less raw materials and electricity, the CD Chip units were designed to last 9,000 of operating hours, with an expected life of 1.5-3 years.

CD Electrode Ozone Generators.  DEL Ozone introduced the CD Ozone Electrode Spa Ozonators for the industry in 2000.  Keeping this high-end technology a privilege to a hand full of Spa Manufacturers, DEL finally released the MCD-50 Original to the spa after-market in 2008.  Twice the ozone and lifespan, the MCD-50 Original was a low-energy user compared to UV Ozone Technology.

APG Ozone Technology.  DEL Ozone mastered ozone technology with their Advanced Plasma Gap Ozone Generators.  The APG Ozone Module works so well, DEL discontinued all the other technology.  Effective and long-living, the modern Spa Eclipse Next Generation, MCD-50U Next Generation and the MCD-250U Next Generation all utilize the 9-1056-01 APG Ozone Module inside.  These three spa ozone generators easily replace any spa ozone generator out there, so step up to DEL's APG Ozone Technology today!

We hope this article helps you determine whether or not it is time to replace your existing Spa Ozone Generator.  Feel free to contact us directly with specific questions.

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