Many modern spas include an ozonator, an important component that’s not as widely understood as jets and blowers.

Though ozonator troubleshooting really merits an article all to itself (and in fact, Pool & Spa News published just such an article in the May 27, 2011, issue), here’s a quick rundown of some common spa ozonator issues.


Even a functioning ozonator may not be producing ozone. An in-line test can verify how much is being produced — these tests involve inserting a glass ampoule into the outflow pipe, then reading off the results. The next step is to trace the production problem to one or more of the specific causes below.


If a UV ozonator’s bulb isn’t producing light, the fix may be as simple as replacing the bulb. But even if the bulb is burning, it typically nears the end of its effectiveness at approximately three to five years of age. When taking on a spa service account that involves an ozonator, it pays to ask the customer how long ago they purchased the unit, and when its most recent bulb was installed.


Corona discharge (CD) ozonators usually include an illuminated strip that indicates the remaining life of the unit. Though they don’t depend on bulbs, their electronic chips tend to wear out after five years or so. The only fix for a cashed-out chip is to replace it — manufacturer instructions will explain the process.


Like any other electrical component, ozonators require the proper voltage to function effectively. If power is flowing to the unit but it fails to turn on, it’s typically best to consult the manufacturer and/or manual, and investigate the possibility that the unit needs electrical repair. If the unit isn’t drawing power, however, the problem likely lies with the nearest switch or relay, or perhaps back at the breaker panel.


  • Spa Sleuthing
  • Troubleshooting spa jets and blowers doesn’t need to be complicated — but tracing problems to their causes helps prevent improper repairs.


Pool & Spa News would like to thank the following professionals for their contributions to this article:

Todd Slasor, owner

American Spa Services

Chatsworth, Calif.

Robert Stuart, president

Springs Spas and Home Recreation Inc.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Michael Tierney, spa manager

Aquatic Parts Co.

Bloomfield, Conn.