The hot tub is the ultimate relaxing tool in a modern home. You can have your home spa and you do not have to share it with other people. But the comfort also requires attention and responsibility. In the following lines you can read tips regarding how to keep your hot tub adequately clean, safe for your sanity, plus recommendations on how to avoid corrosion and other problems related to the functioning of your home spa.
- Check daily the quality of water, including Ph level, calcium hardness and alkalinity. The Ph level should be above 7.2 and below 7.8, the optimal level being 7.4. Use strips, 1 or 2 times a week to check water balance, this is just as important to check as any other chemicals you might add. If the levels do not correspond with those which are shown on the chart that came with the test strips, adjust them.
The Calcium level depends of the hardness of water of the area where you live. Soft water is low in Calcium, hard water contains higher amount of calcium than the normal level. If the Calcium level is below 100 -200mg/l, use Hot Tubs Hardness Plus, if it is above use Hot Tub No Scale to adjust it.
The alkalinity should vary between 125 -150mg/l. It also depends on the properties of the water used to fill the hot tub. If the alkalinity level is stable, the Ph level will also be stable. If it will deviate from the normal level, you should use Hot Tubs Ph minus (if it increases above) or Hot Tubs Ph plus (if it decreases below).
If the alkalinity and the Calcium level is higher than normal, the water will not be clear, and if those levels will be above the normal ones, it can result in corrosion which will damage the hot tub’s components.
- Check your algicide/bactericide levels. Here at SpaCap.com we prefer that people use PristineBlue which is easy to use and maintain with the advantage of being safer for skin and hair, plus more environmentally friendly. If you choose to go the caustic chemical route, you will need to check the chlorine or bromine levels with either test strips or the more accurate test kit method. If you don’t check these levels, your hot tub can become a “deposit” of bacteria and algae. If the bromine level is not between 3 – 6mg/l, and the Chlorine between 3 – 5mg/l, you have to correct it with Bromine tabs or Chlorine granules. One more thing to note for those who use chlorine or bromine, these chemicals are not just hard on your skin they also will eventually wear down spa parts like impellers and jets.
In order to increase the hygiene levels of your hot tub try to oxidize it one a month. That will eliminate odors, cosmetic and body oil remaining. For oxidizing use Hot Tub Non Chlorine Shock.
For keeping clean the water, there is also the Aquafinesse, Aquagarde or BaquaSpa, which are patented solutions with many beneficial effects. They are environmentally friendly, easy to use, gentle to skin, prevent forming bacteria, but they tend to be a little more expensive than the other products.
- Check for foam! If you see foam on the surface of the water, apply Hot Tub no Foam. If the solution does not eliminate it, clean and refill your hot tub with fresh water.
Try to schedule and determine an order regarding what you have to check, because in this way you will not omit anything. Add chemicals separately, for example if you add Chlorine wait at least two hours to add another type of chemical, so you will avoid reactions between the substances and will increase their efficiency. Another recommendation regarding chemicals is that you should choose high quality ones, because, despite the convenient price, there is a chance that they will prove to be ineffective. You don’t want to jeopardize your health or peace of mind and perhaps the trouble free functioning of your hot tub for the sake of a few pennies.
- Clean the filter once a month with a proper filter cleaning solution. The dirt and detritus which accumulate in the filter can obstruct the flow of the water and therefore the normal functioning of the tub. The procedure is simple: remove it, spray it with a hose to eliminate the residues, place it in a bucket with filter cleaning solution. Then rinse it again with the hose to be sure you removed any dirt and chemical residues.
- Change the water periodically, taking into consideration the frequency of use of the hot tub. If you use it quite often you should change the water at least 4 times a year, if not, you can refill it twice a year. When you are changing the water, after draining it out, do not forget to clean the spa shell itself. Use a tub surface cleaner and wipe it clean with a slightly wet sponge. Rinse the shell well. Then you can fill up the spa with clean and fresh water.
- You can use fragrances, but only those ones which are designed for hot tubs, otherwise it will form foam on the surface of the water. As mentioned above, foam is not good for your home spa.
- To be eco friendly, keep the hot tub’s temperature low, at eco-mode, and raise the temperature 20-30 minutes before you want to soak. Do not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check with a thermometer too, because the thermostat may not be as accurate and you do not want the water to be too hot for you or your guests safety.
- Always cover the tub when you’re not using it, and check to be sure the cover is properly secured on the hot tub, because in this way you can avoid wasting energy which is good for you as well as for your pocket. If you are using a traditional rigid foam cover to do this the dealer you bought it from may have recommended to clean and condition it once a month with vinyl protector, because in this way you will avoid to let UV rays to damage it. What they don’t tell you is that the vinyl on the outside of your cover is rated by HOURS outdoors. 1500hrs to be precise. Cleaning it and rubbing it with vinyl treatment is just wasting your time and money while prolonging the inevitable. Which is why all SpaCap Hot Tub Covers employ Sunbrella outdoor fabric which is rated by (wait for it) YEARS outdoors. In fact we have seen Sunbrella fabric still looking brand new after ten years outdoors. Nothing else comes close. That said, if you do need to clean your cover for some reason, use the solution just on the top of the cover and pay attention to not let the solution to pour into the water of the spa. It is better to take it off and clean also the underside of it with a mild cleaning solution. Rinse well and air dry.
When using the chemicals for cleaning, please read the instructions carefully (the ones on the label of the product) and use them according to the instructions, precisely measure them, never mix the solutions. This may sound like we are harping on this but for good reason. Believe it or not, some common cleaning solutions can be extremely dangerous when mixed with other common things. For instance, the reason you won’t see exposed aluminum on the bottom of a pool or spa cover (like a radiant reflector to bounce heat back into the water) is because if it were to come in contact with chlorine, it produces a poisonous gas. Always store your spa chemicals in a cool and dry place and more important, away and out from the reach and sight of children and pets! Keep chemicals away from the direct sunlight.
So you have to pay attention to many aspects regarding the cleaning and normal functioning of the hot tub, which in the beginning may seem endless, but after a little time passes it should become the part of your regular routine. It’s worth the effort! You can enjoy your hot tub every day while it banishes away your stress and helps your muscles, joints, and your whole body to relax. It will also be a place where you can spend hours with your friends and family knowing it is always ready.