Weekly Hot Tub Maintenance

Weekly Hot Tub Maintenance
December 08/2015

Hot Tub water care can be confusing, but it often makes the difference between people who enjoy their hot tub on a regular basis, and those whose tubs go unused.
The goal of this article is to provide you with some insight into what needs to be done in order to allow your water to be as clear and clean, as it was the first time you used it.

Hot Tubs / Spas require weekly maintenance as well as a drain and refill every 3 months. Following these basics steps will help you minimize hassle and increase the quality of your water.

Step 1: TESTING. The first thing you should do is test your spa water balance. This will determine what products your hot tub / spa needs to bring the water back into balance. Select a kit (either liquid or test strip) that tests for pH, alkalinity, total chlorine or bromine, free chlorine, and calcium hardness. These are the critical elements of water chemistry, but you can also use specialized kits that also detect phosphates, dissolved metals, or total dissolved solids. Be sure to follow the directions included with the test kit EXACTLY for the highest possible accuracy.

Step 2: BALANCE WATER. After testing your water, immediately make any adjustments needed to bring your spa pH and alkalinity back into balance. This is extremely important because most chemicals work much more effectively if the pH and alkalinity are in their optimum ranges. When selecting products, be sure to choose chemicals specifically designed for use in hot tubs and spas.

Step 3: ADJUST SANITIZER LEVEL. Now you should add your sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) to keep your spa free from bacteria. If you are using a floating dispenser, it should be filled with bromine or chlorine tablets and verified on a weekly basis. If you are using a powder, it must be added to the water according to the results of your water test on a daily basis. Allowing your sanitizer level to drop to zero for even one day, will likely result in cloudy water and a build-up of bacteria. It won’t be visible to the eye immediately, but over the period of the next few days or weeks, the water quality will slowly decrease until eventually the water becomes visibly troubled.

Step 4: ADD WATER CLARIFIER. There are some particles of dirt that are too small for the filter to catch. By adding a clarifier on a weekly basis, these little particles will end up sticking together, such that the filter can capture them. The result will be visibly clearer and more inviting water.

Step 5: OPTIONAL ADDITIVES. The last stage of products that you can add are purely cosmetic, such as an enzyme cleaner to remove scum lines and foul odors, anti-foamers to reduce any annoying buildup, and aromatherapy products to help you enjoy the relaxation experience. To judge if you need any of these additives, no test kits are necessary; your eyes and nose will do the job.

Step 6: WIPE THE WATER LINE. Hot Tubs / Spas need to be cleaned periodically to stay in peak condition. Because most spas are drained and refilled every three months, they usually don’t need much scrubbing, but a weekly wipe will help keep the water line clean. Simply assess the overall condition of your tub surface and scrub as needed with a non-abrasive pad. If there is any dirt or other debris resting on the bottom of the spa, simply vacuum it away with a portable vacuum available from your local Pool & Spa Store.

Step 7: CLEAN THE FILTER. The last task you need to perform is to clean your spa filter element. This will ensure that your spa water will stay clean and clear. Because virtually all hot tubs use cartridge filters, this is a fast and easy task. Simply remove the filter element from its housing and spray it off with a garden hose. Once you are finished, let it dry in the sun. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a spare cartridge element to use in place of your primary element, letting you avoid having to shut down your spa until the primary element is dry. Once it is dry, swap the elements and return the spare filter element to storage.
If you follow these 7 STEPS, your hot tub water should remain clear and clean with little or no smell. For more advice on the right products to use and the quantities that are appropriate for your specific hot tub, visit your local IPG store (link to Locate a Store page).

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