Who wouldn’t want to call it a day with a warm and relaxing dip in a hot tub spa?
But as exciting as installing a hot tub at home sounds, the repair costs can take a toll on your budget if you don’t know about hot water chemistry. So, in this beginner’s guide to hot tub maintenance, we’ll share some tips and tricks to help keep your hot tub in pristine condition.
But before we get into the deets in our guide to hot tub maintenance, here’s a pro tip- check the brand, model, and make of your hot tubs. You can also note the spa water capacity of the product, as these stats will help follow proper maintenance steps for that particular hot tub.
How To Maintain A Spa At Home?
Hot tub maintenance is not necessarily expensive; however, you should be clear about some basics before buying a new spa.
1. Hot Tub Water Circulation
A hot tub requires regular water circulation to eliminate germs and bacteria. The water is passed through the cartridge filters in the hot tub; however, the process may be automatic in some models.
Such units will automatically trigger the circulation process once or twice a day. It lasts 15-20 minutes, filtering the tub water until it’s clean.
Alternatively, you could manually turn on the circulation process at the same time to ensure that the hot tub water is filtered sufficiently.
You could also try adding a few tennis balls into the tub to soak the body oils, soaps, and lotions that may have washed off from your body. Sometimes the hot tub filter cannot eliminate such substances, so the fibres on a tennis ball are ideal for the job.
A hot tub can quickly turn into a breeding ground for mould and mildew if not cleaned regularly. Hence, we recommend a weekly cleaning schedule, especially if the spa tub is outdoors. In such cases, you should also watch out for fallen leaves, twigs, insects, and other unwanted substances that may land in your tub.
Some household items to clean the hot tub are white vinegar, bleach, and warm water! White vinegar is suitable for cleaning various surfaces, so use it generously to scrub all that gunk in your hot tub. And after scrubbing, you can use a spa bleach and water solution for the showdown!
3. Water Chemistry
Maintaining the spa water chemistry in your spa is crucial for keeping unwanted contaminants at bay. But before you try adding any chemicals to the water, fill your hot tub and check the pH and alkalinity levels with a test kit.
You can use a pH decreaser (sodium bisulphate)/ pH increaser (sodium carbonate) and alkalinity increaser (sodium bicarbonate) to control the pH levels. Top it off with a sanitiser (bromine or chlorine) and shock (di-chlor or non-chlorine) to eliminate bacteria and germs.
Another kitchen ingredient that can help in this step is baking soda, so you can try it out if you do not have an alkalinity increase.
How To Clean Hot Tubs / Spa Filters?
A crucial step in the hot tub car is cleaning the filter cartridges. We have discussed how to clean your filters to maintain your hot tub’s water.
Use warm spa water to rinse the hot tub filters regularly, depending on how often you use the spa. We suggest using a garden hose for better convenience.
Spray a suitable cleaning solution every once to clean the filters deep. But note that some cleaners may need to be rinsed off, so read the usage instructions carefully.
Soak the spa filter in a chemical cleaner to get rid of stubborn particles. Again, don’t forget to rinse off thoroughly after the soaking session.
Finally, you will have to replace the filters if you cannot thoroughly clean them even after performing the above steps.
How To Adjust pH And Alkalinity Levels?
The pH level of the water should range between 7.4 to 7.6, as anything too acidic will corrode the hardware and irritate your skin. On the other hand, values above the said range will be too basic, thereby minimising the effects of the sanitiser.
Here’s what you need to do to adjust the pH level:
- Use a test strip to check the current pH level and turn on the pumps.
- Add the required amount of pH decrease/increase and wait for 5-10 minutes.
- Stop the pumps and perform the pH test again.
- Repeat the process until the water shows the desired pH level.
Although the ideal alkalinity is between 80-120 ppm, it is better to go for 100-to 150 ppm while adjusting the levels in the hot tub. This is because the alkalinity level of your hot tub is very volatile, so opting for a higher range will allow the water to adjust accordingly.
How To Sanitise And Shock Your Hot Tub?
Follow the packaging instructions while adding the sanitiser/chlorine to the hot tub. Conduct the pH and alkalinity test again to ensure the ideal water chemistry.
You can even turn off the air valves to speed up the process.
Before shocking the spa, always ensure that the water is in the optimum pH and alkalinity range. Anything more or less will affect the shocking process and not offer the desired result.
Turn on the circulation pump but turn off the jets to maintain a steady water flow. Then measure the amount of shock required and check the product packaging for a better idea.
Never pour the shock directly into the water without proper measurement.
Add the shock carefully by following the instructions on the packaging. Leave the tub uncovered for at least 20 minutes for the shock to take effect.
After that, you can use the spa or cover it to prevent evaporation.
Invest in a spa cover and keep it clean, especially if the hot tub is outdoors. Also, check the temperature regularly, as sudden changes may indicate system issues.
Check the pH and alkalinity levels at least thrice a week and adjust accordingly. While you’re at it, don’t forget to sanitise the hot tub to prevent allergies and illnesses caused by bacteria.
Moreover, clean the waterline and any debris that landed in the tub. After all, proper cleanliness plays a key role in maintaining water chemistry.
Give your tub a chemical rinse and troubleshoot the jets if required. We also recommend getting a monthly inspection by a professional to identify existing issues, fix them, and prevent them from recurring.
Soak the spa filter in a chemical solution while cleaning the hot tub cabinet. It is also good to empty the entire tub and check for structural damage.
Use a line flush while draining the tub to eliminate bacteria, biofilm, and other gunk. Check the hardware, wiring, and condition of the tub cover. If repairs are needed, we would always suggest contacting a professional.
Spa Maintenance: Tips & Tricks
Well, that completed our article on hot tub care. Before we sign off, here’s a word of caution- the hot tub chemicals used for spa maintenance should not come in contact with your skin and eyes. So, remember to wear your safety goggles, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and covered shoes before using any of the chemicals mentioned above.
Although spa maintenance takes a lot of time and effort, all of it is worth saving a few dollars on untimely repairs and replacements. Plus, you get to enjoy a serene spa treatment in the comfort of your home, and that feeling is indeed priceless. Having a hot tub maintenance schedule can save you a lot of time and money!
Here at The Pool Co, we believe in providing Sydney’s residents and businesses with premium quality pools and spas. Each client receives a product that exceeds expectations due to years of perfecting our technique. You can reach us anytime if you require any assistance with your spa or are interested in talking to a professional about installing one.
That’s all for this guide!