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Ozone versus UV Sterilization in Hot Tubs and Pools

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In order to compare Ozone vs. UV in hot tubs and pools, we first need to clarify (pun intended) what Ozone and UV mean.

OZONE.  Simply put ozone is O3, or activated oxygen.  There are two basic ways to generate ozone for pool and spa use:  Ultra Violet Rays (think sunshine) and Corona Discharge (think lightning bolt).  Imagine up in the Upper Atmosphere, ozone is naturally created when the UV rays from the sun or the "energy fields of light" split the passing-by oxygen molecules into two single atoms.  Not happy in this state, they quickly reform as oxygen (O2) OR a single atom attaches to an oxygen molecule, making an ozone molecule (O3).

UV OZONE.  Again, ozone is made either with UV or CD generation.  UV ozone is mild and virtually ineffective in most cases (with the exception being DELZONE UV generators which are no longer available).  Producing low levels of ozone, these UV ozone generators don't live very long (9,000 hours).

UV-C STERILIZATION.  UV ozone and UV-C both come from light bulbs, but one has a shorter wavelength.  One creates UV ozone, and one creates UV-C sterilization.  Both are "UV", both are light bulb technology, but result is quite different.

Let us eliminate the weakest method:  UV OZONE.  UV ozone is antiquated technology that uses more electricity, dies faster, and doesn't save you as much in chemicals as either CD Ozone or UV-C sterilization.  So, bye bye UV Ozone!

That leaves us with two awesome methods to sanitize your pool or hot tub:  CD Ozone and UV-C sterilization.  CD Ozone outperforms UV-C in one critical way:  ozone cleans up its mess; UV-C does not.

When UV-C is done doing its job (changing the DNA in organisms so they can't reproduce), it leaves behind all the carcasses and debris.  It is the job of chemicals or enzymes and the filter to remove the mess.  Ozone, on the other hand, kills EVERYTHING in the water 99.9999999%, then sweeps it all up in a process known as micro-flocculation.  This means to clump.  So, first ozone destroys, oxidizes, and blows up the bacteria, viruses and other organics in pool or spa water.  Then it clumps it all back together until the chains are long enough to get filtered out.

UV-C sterilizer's end result:  water that is safe to swim in, but gets cloudy and dirty fast.

Ozone's end result:  water that not only safe to swim in, it is CRYSTAL CLEAR.

WHICH ONE WOULD YOU PICK?  Ozone, of course!  Check out our spa ozone and pool ozone sections for more information..

Ever hear, "the sum is greater than its parts"?  Well, this is the case with ozone and UV-C sterilization!  Turns out, when you inject ozone into a UV-C sterilizer, they create a reaction leading to an even more powerful sanitizer than either ozone or UV-C:  ADVANCED OXIDATION PROCESS (or AOP).  Check out our AOP pool systems and our AOP hot tub and swim spa systems.

We hope this blog post helps you decide which system is best for you.