Hot tubs offer a great way to relax, ease stress and enjoy time spent with loved ones.
Like any other significant investment, especially one in your health and home, it’s important that you take proper care of it.
With regular hot tub maintenance, you can help to ensure that your spa remains operational and in spectacular condition – for many years to come.
In this article, we take a closer look at the importance of hot tub maintenance, what must be done and how often, and how professional service may help.
Hot Tub Terminology – 7 Terms You Need To Know
Throughout this guide, we will use the following terminology, and it is best that we first understand them.
The shell is the outer casing of the hot tub. It’s usually made from acrylic, fiberglass, or other durable material.
The liner is the inner wall of the hot tub. It’s usually made from PVC or another type of waterproof material.
Jets are small outlets that shoot out water and air. They’re used to create hydrotherapy benefits and can be adjusted to suit your needs.
The heater helps to keep the water at a comfortable temperature. Some models also have a built-in thermostat so that you can maintain a consistent temperature.
The filter helps keep the water clean by trapping dirt, debris, and other contaminants. It’s important to clean or replace the filter regularly.
The pump circulates the water through the system, including the jets and heater. It’s typically located behind the access panel.
The pH level measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water. Maintaining a balanced pH level is essential to avoid skin irritation and other health problems.
Hot Tub Maintenance – 3 Important Rules Of Thumb
The key to a successful hot tub experience is proper maintenance. Taking care of your hot tub can extend its life and keep it running smoothly for years to come.
There are three rules of thumb when it comes to hot tub maintenance:
- Regular cleaning schedule.
- Good water circulation.
- Maintain a balanced PH
1. Regular Cleaning Schedule
The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often the hot tub is used, but a good rule of thumb is to test and treat the water weekly.
Many other maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the filters, should be performed every couple of weeks, depending on how frequently the spa is used and how often the water is treated.
Once every week or so, remove all the filters from the hot tub and rinse with a hose. Once a month we suggest removing the filter and allowing it to soak overnight in a bucket filled with a filter-cleaning solution diluted with water. Rise, replace, repeat!
2. Good Water Circulation
Good water circulation is essential for a healthy hot tub. The circulating pump helps circulate the water, providing oxygen and removing impurities.
In addition, the circulating pump helps evenly distribute the heat, ensuring that all hot tub areas are at the same temperature.
The circulating pump also helps to circulate the chemicals, keeping the pH levels balanced and preventing the amount and growth of bacteria.
Finally, the circulating pump helps keep the water clean by filtering out debris and particles.
3. Maintaining a Balanced PH
A balanced pH is essential for a healthy hot tub. The pH of your hot tub water should be between 7.4 and 7.6.
If the pH is too high, it can cloud the water and cause scale build-up on surfaces. Maintaining a balanced pH is not tricky, but it does require regular testing and adjustment.
The best way to test the pH of your hot tub water is with a digital pH tester. These testers are available at most pool and spa supply stores. To adjust the pH, you must add either an acid or a base.
The acid lowers the pH, while the base raises the pH. The type of product you use will depend on the current pH of your hot tub water. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when adding chemicals to your hot tub.
Hot Tub Chemicals Needed
While maintaining healthy chemistry, the following chemicals will come in handy:
- PH increaser/decreaser: These two products are used to adjust the pH of the water accordingly.
- Sanitizer: Chlorine and bromine are the most common sanitizers used in hot tubs.
- Alkalinity increaser/decreaser: Alkalinity measures the water’s ability to resist changes in pH. The ideal alkalinity level is between 80 and 120 ppm.
- Defoamer: Defoamer is used to prevent and remove foam from the water’s surface.
You will also need a test kit for testing your hot tub water’s pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels.
Hot Tub Maintenance Schedules
Maintaining a hot tub requires you to adhere to certain routines to achieve the best possible results.
You should do the following on a day-to-day basis:
- Ensure the hot tub cover is clean and well fastened when the hot tub is not in use. Also, check for any physical damage to the cover.
- Skim any debris that may have accumulated on the water’s surface.
- Check on the water temperature and adjust if need be.
- Test the water with a kit and treat with chemicals as needed.
- Balancing the PH: The most critical weekly routine in maintaining a hot tub is checking and balancing the PH levels. A well-balanced PH ensures healthy hot tub chemistry.
- Check and Refill sanitizer levels: Sanitizers in a hot tub help in keeping the water clean and free of bacteria. The type of sanitizer used will determine how often it needs refilled.
- Check the water’s alkalinity: A balanced alkaline level ensures a steady PH. Low alkalinity levels in water can lead to rapid changes in pH. High alkalinity levels can cause the water to become cloudy.
Monthly maintenance is geared toward the overall longevity of your hot tub.
- Clean all the filters: Cleaning the filters every month will ensure that your hot tub’s filtration system is functioning properly.
- Descale the hot tub: Like kettles and coffee machines, limescale can build up in your hot tub over time. This can reduce the efficiency of your hot tub’s heating system and cause the water to become cloudy.
- Unclog the jets: Over time, the jets in your hot tub can become clogged with dirt and debris. This can reduce the water pressure and prevent the jets from working properly.
- Please seek a professional opinion: It is a good idea to have an experienced hot tub technician look at your hot tub once a month. They will be able to spot any potential problems and make sure that your hot tub is running smoothly.
Quarterly means every three to four months.
- Drain and refill the water: Over time, the water in your hot tub can become contaminated with dirt, debris, and bacteria. Draining and refilling the water quarterly will help keep your hot tub clean and fresh.
- Clean the hot tub cabinet: The cabinet is the part of your hot tub that houses the pump and filter. Cleaning the cabinet every quarter will help prolong your hot tub’s life. A good way to clean the cabinet is to use mild detergent and a soft cloth.
The yearly routine is a maintenance schedule that seems to be forgotten or disregarded. However, it is equally as important as the rest of the routines.
- Flush all the lines: The lines that supply water to your hot tub can become clogged with dirt and debris over time. Flushing the lines yearly will help keep your hot tub’s plumbing system clean and free of blockages.
- Clean the shell: The shell is the part of your hot tub that holds the water. Annually cleaning the shell will help prevent dirt and debris build-up. An excellent way to clean the shell is to use a mild detergent and a soft cloth.
- Check the electrical system: The electrical system is one of the most critical components of your hot tub.
- Arrange for a professional service appointment to have an expert perform a full inspection.
Hot Tub Care Tips
While regular hot tub maintenance is essential, there are also a few things that you can do to help prolong the life of your hot tub.
- Shock your tub: Shocking means adding a high concentration of chlorine to the water to kill any bacteria that may be present. Shocking should be done when there is uncontrolled algae growth.
- While away on holiday, lower the temperature: If you are going to be away on holiday, it is a good idea to lower the temperature of your hot tub. This will help to conserve energy and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Always use a cover: When your hot tub is not in use will help to keep the water clean and free of debris. It will also help to prevent evaporation, which can lead to high energy bills.
Hot tubs are a great way to relax and unwind, but they require some maintenance. By following a regular maintenance schedule, you can help to prolong the life of your hot tub and keep it running smoothly.
Remember to clean the filters, descale the hot tub, unclog the jets, and seek a professional opinion every month. Then, quarterly, drain and refill the water, clean the surfaces, and flush all the lines.
Every year, check the electrical system and clean the shell. Finally, remember to shock your tub when necessary and lower the temperature when you are away on holiday.