Owning a hot tub can be one of the best choices anyone ever makes; the luxury and convenience of being able to slip into the warm bubbly water at any time cannot be beaten. Unfortunately, many people are discouraged from investing in a hot tub by the fear and worry of the maintenance involved. The reality, like most things in life, is, however, very different, once you understand and implement some basic procedures owning and running a hot tub is relatively easy and well worth the minimal maintenance time involved. Modern Day hot tubs are also well built, designed with ease of maintenance in mind, and if properly looked after and maintained, built to stand the test of time.
The Initial Setup
As you might expect, the first step in maintaining a clean and well-maintained hot tub is to ensure that the initial water used has been properly treated. Think of this step as the undercoat when you are painting, if you do not get the base correct, then it makes applying the finishing touches and general maintenance that much more difficult. Chlorine is the critical component in hot tub maintenance apart from the water itself, and so we always recommend adding 60g of chlorine granules per 1500 liters of water. The purpose of this is to get the sanitization process started. It is vital to allow the level to drop to between 3 and 5 mg/l before anyone is allowed to use the hot tub. If any member of the family is allergic to Chlorine, an alternative product to use is bromine. In terms of the normal value of bromine for safe use, the optimum level is 4 to 6 parts per million.
Once your tub is set up and running smoothly, all you need to do to ensure everything continues to run smoothly is focus on the three C’s – Circulation, Cleaning, and Chemistry.
Ensure That Your Water Is Benefitting From Good Hot Tub Circulation
Have you ever watched any of those property programs on television when a property with a swimming pool is on the market? The house has not been lived in for even a few months, and the pool, rather than being a selling point, has become an eyesore. The water is dirty, it probably smells, and it is attracting flies. The main reason for this is that the pool’s filtration system has been switched off, allowing problems to build up. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of your hot spa filtration system so let’s dive a little deeper.
As your hot tub water circulates, it is kept free of contaminants by being forced through the cartridge filters. Some hot tubs have an automatic circulation program built-in, which essentially means that the hot tub schedules itself to circulate the water through its filtration system once or twice every day. Obviously, this cannot occur if you have unplugged the hot tub, so everyone in the household needs to be aware of this. If you do not have the benefit of an automatic circulation system, then you must remember to manually turn the hot tub filtration system on twice a day every day, for anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes. This is enough time to ensure that all of the water in your hot tub is forced into and through the filtration system. Essentially the more you use the filtration system built into your spa, the cleaner your water will be.
Simple But Effective Tip
Every time we get into the hot tub, we add skin oil and dirt to the water, regardless of how clean we are. One excellent and inexpensive way to help soak up some of this is to throw some tennis balls into the water after you get out. The reason for this is that the furry coat of the tennis balls will absorb and attract oils, lotions, and soaps left behind in the water, helping your water filtration system to work without any significant additional cost.
Implement A Hot Tub Cleaning Schedule – And Stick To It
- Daily Clean – When it comes to keeping your hot tub clean, the real secret is never to let the dirt and debris build up in the first place. Let’s start with the very basic maintenance for a hot tub that is kept outdoors. Inevitably this will mean that your hot tub will capture bugs, spiders, and other unwanted visitors from nature. It will also end up with leaves and other debris landing in the water. Make a positive commitment to removing these unwelcome visitors daily rather than weekly. This will only take a minute or two every day but can make a world of difference to your hot tub, the water, and the filtration system. Imagine the amount of hassle two or three dissolving leaves can cause to either your filters or the clarity of the water if left in your pool for a few weeks unnoticed. Also, please pay close attention to the waterline, and the built-in seats, as they are prone to attract layers of dirt.
- Weekly Clean – Every week use a sponge and some white vinegar on the shell of your spa and around any jets. This will quickly cut through most grime and any scum build-up and is particularly effective against limescale if you live in an area that suffers from hard water. However, one thing to bear in mind if you are using white vinegar is to check the PH level of your water afterward, as it might increase the PH in your hot tub.
- Treat The Hot Tub The Same Way You Treat Your Bath – A hot tub is, in many ways, an outdoor bath with a few added benefits, so follow a similar cleaning schedule to that of your bath. Focus primarily on cleaning the inside of your hot tub, but don’t ignore the outer shell. The Hot tub cover should also be given a regular wipe-over to remove any mildew and prevent its return. For this, our recommendation is to use a 10 percent bleach to water solution.
- Every Three to Four Months – You must drain the hot tub every three to four months to enable you to give it a thorough clean. This timespan might need to be reduced if the hot tub is getting used daily or after a few summer parties if a lot of people got in and out of the spa. If you think about it logically, would you be happy to get in a bath full of the same water that 25 other people had been in the night before?
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Hot Tub Filters
The filters are the part of your spa which does all of the hard work and heavy lifting. Over time as they remove dirt and debris from your water, they will become less efficient and clogged up. The good news is that cleaning the filters is relatively quick and easy.
Again three is the magic number –
- Step One: Rinse the filters as often as possible, either with hot water or, if it’s easier, just use the garden hose.
- Step Two: Invest in a good quality hot tub filter cleaner product, and spray your filters about once a week. Always remember to rinse the cleaning product off the filters before turning the spa back on, as the last thing you want is to force that cleaning material into the water you plan to sit in.
- Step Three: Every time you drain the hot tub to clean it properly, use that opportunity to soak your filters in a chemical cleaner. This will ensure that any deep-rooted or stubborn particles are removed, maximizing the overall efficiency of your filtration system.All filters have a lifespan, and when the time comes to replace your filters, it will be pretty obvious. When they come out of a deep chemical soak still looking dirty, then you know it is time to invest in some new filters.
And Now It’s Time For The Chemistry Lesson
The most important thing to remember when dealing with your pool’s PH is to take your time and not stress too much over it. Once you have filled up the hot tub, the first thing to do is to take a baseline reading. You need to know the exact PH and alkalinity levels before you can make any informed decisions.
Your Water Treatment Toolbox
The next thing you need to have is a list of products capable of solving whatever issues the water tests reveal. These should include:
- PH Increaser, PH Decreaser – As the name suggests, these chemicals will be used to increase or decrease the PH levels dependent on the test results.
- Alkalinity Increaser – This product is used to minimize any large swings in PH levels
- Chlorine or Bromine – The sanitizing products which are responsible for killing any bacteria within the water.
- Shock – This product is designed to complement the Chlorine or bromine. It works by adding oxygen and removing chloramines and bacteria.
- Test Strips – These strips will provide you with the relevant information needed to decide what course of action to take.
- Defoamer – Occasionally, your hot tub can become foamy. As the name suggests, the defoamer quickly and efficiently deals with this issue.
The Perfect PH and Alkalinity Levels For Your Hot Tub
In an ideal world, you should keep the PH level of your hot tub between 7.4 to 7.6; anything below this level should be regarded as acidic. This is bad both for you and your hot tub – as the acidic water could slowly cause your hot tub to perish, and more importantly, is likely to cause irritation to your skin and eyes. If the PH levels are too high, the water is likely to become cloudy, and the Chlorine will not be able to work as well as it should.
In terms of alkalinity, the optimum level should be between 100 and 150 parts per million.
Adding Chlorine or Bromine is Simple
When it comes to adding Chlorine to your Hot Tub, it is as simple as following the instructions on the packaging. Always remember to check the PH levels after you have added the sanitiser.
How Often Should I Test The Levels?
The testing process should be conducted every week using the test strips mentioned above. This should mean that any water chemistry alterations are relatively minor as you are keeping a close eye on the situation. Hot tub maintenance follows the old-fashioned adage of little and often.
Once you get a routine established and are conducting weekly checks and regular cleaning, the hot tub will essentially run itself. Then all that remains is for you and your family to slip into the spa and let the bubbles wash your aches and pains away. If you have any worries or concerns about hot tub maintenance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Hot Trub Fun.