Don’t Even Think of Shutting Off that Ultraviolet Light When You’re Away!
Unsure whether you should be shutting off your Ultraviolet (UV) water disinfection system when away from your home or cottage? Well, I’m here to help shed some light on how your UV system works and explain why you should or should not be turning it off.
Q: SHOULD I UNPLUG OR TURN MY UV LIGHT OFF WHEN NOT AT HOME?
No, you should NOT be shutting down power to your Ultraviolet water disinfection system — whether you or your family are using the water or not.
In addition to killing bacteria, the UV light creates a barrier between the disinfected water and the untreated water. By leaving the UV system on, you eliminate the potential problem of having bacteria grow through the system while the unit is off and reinfecting the water downstream of the UV system.
If you do turn it off, then when you turn the UV back on, yes, it will kill the bacteria inside the chamber BUT it won’t kill the bacteria downstream of the UV. Turning the UV on and off when you’re away would give your family a false sense of security.
Another important reason to not continually turn the UV system on and off is that it will severely shorten the life span of the ballast or controller, which is typically around $400 to replace that. The same is also true if you leave the lamp in the UV system for longer than 12 months.
NOTE: UV lamps age, regardless of the amount of water drawn through the system, so you will need to replace the lamp after 12 months or 9,000 hours of use.
Q: WHEN DO I TURN OFF MY UV SYSTEM THEN?
If winterizing your home or cottage and you need to drain the water from your UV purification system, then the UV system must be switched OFF.
During other long periods of non-use — in a vacation home, for example — the UV system can be shut off to save power and lamp life, provided shut off valves are used on either side of the UV system creating a physical barrier to keep the untreated water or bacteria from passing through the UV chamber while not in use.
Looking for more great information on how a UV system works or how to troubleshoot? Check out the expanded playlist here.