Hot Tub Care and Maintenance
Hot tub water care and maintenance
Taking care of your tub is simple and important to keeping your water clean and the tub running well. Good tub maintenance involves regularly cleaning the cover and filter of your tub, checking the water mineral levels and adding the right water treatment products as needed. It is especially important to maintain the right water mineral levels because your pump equipment will corrode if too high and bacteria can take over if the levels are too low. Simple cleaning of your cover as well will help keep your tub working better longer and protect from bad bacteria and germs. Overall, regular attention to your tub maintenance will keep your hot tub water sparkling and inviting for all bathers.
Testing and applying water treatment products to your tub
1 Use test strips to check the mineral levels in your tub.
You should be checking and adjusting the mineral levels in your tub once a week. You can buy spa test strips from most spa stores. Some test strips provide 6-in-1 readings, including total alkalinity, calcium hardness and total hardness. Put these strips in your tub for as little as 10 seconds and then view the results.
2 Add one water treatment product to your tub at a time.
When adjusting hot tub levels, add one product to the water and then wait a full two hours before adding another product. This will allow the products to disperse naturally and will help to maximize their effectiveness. Waiting also minimizes the risk of a reactions between the additives that can cause problems.
Keep your tub cover off for at least 15 minutes after you have added your products.
Keep your tub water running when you add the products. This is important because you want the jets to mix the products in the water well.
Pre-measure your product before you add them to your tub. Be careful not to heap the product into your tub. You want to make sure you are achieving the right balance by measuring the product before adding them.
3 Check total alkalinity first.
Depending on the test reading, add sodium bicarbonate (spa up) or sodium bisulfate (spa down) as needed. Use your test strips. A well balanced tub should be between 80-120 PPM in total alkalinity. If the total alkalinity goes above 120, you should add sodium bisulfate (spa down). If the test strip reads below 80, add sodium bicarbonate (spa up). Add these fast-dissolving products to your tub and then recheck your alkalinity in a couple of hours. It is important to maintain your alkalinity first because it affects your pH.
4 Use the mineral spa to sanitize your hot tub.
Refer to the instructions on the bottle
5 Check for calcium hardness.
The best way to keep the calcium hardness in your tub in check is to use soft water in your tub. If your tub has too much calcium hardness, it will cause scales to form in your tub. You can use a spa defender product to protect against these scales. On the other hand, if your tub does not have enough calcium hardness, the water will start to draw minerals from other sources, like the aluminium or iron in your equipment. In this case, use a calcium booster to balance the calcium hardness in your tub.
Calcium hardness should stay between 100-150 PPM
6 Check the pH levels last.
Add sodium bicarbonate (spa up) or sodium bisulfate (spa down) as necessary. Your pH should stay between 7.2-7.6. If the pH is off, first work to stabilize the total alkalinity. Then make sure you have added the proper amounts of chlorine/bromine to your tub. And then if the pH is still off, add spa up/spa down or a pH balance product to your tub pH level.
Your pH levels may be adjusted if: the sanitizer you use is not working well, your tub has cloudy water, scales have developed on your filter, or the water is causing skin and eye irritations.
7 Shock your tub.
Put a spa shock into the water as required, especially when there have been a lot of bathers using the spa. Spa shock kills the bather waste in your tub and keep the water clear and clean. Use Ozone as a shock treatment if you use mineral sanitizes.
1 Clean the filter every two weeks.
To unclog and clean your tub filter, take the cartridge out of the filter. Using a hose, run water over each pleat in the cartridge and clean any dirt and foreign matter out of the filter. Make sure to let the cleaned filter air dry completely before putting it back in your filter.
Replace the tub filter when it has become damaged or has stopped working. You’ll know this is the case when the filter quickly become dirty again after you have cleaned it.
2 Use a liquid filter cleaner (or napisan) for you hot tub to clean your filter every 3-4 months.
Also use the cleanser on your filter every time you replace the water in your tub. Replace the dirty filter with a new, clean filter while your dirty filter is being cleaned. Clean out the filter with a hose, soak it the solution overnight, or following the instructions on the cleanser and then let it dry it completely before putting it back into your filter.
1 Clean your hot tub cover once a month.
The first step to maintaining a clean tub is keeping the cover in good working order because it does the majority of the work to keep your tub clean. Before you apply your vinyl protector, you should clean your cover. You can use a gentle purpose cleaner and a rag or soft sponge on the hot tub cover to clean it.
Do not use abrasives, dish soaps or any detergents to clean the cover, because they can damage the topcoat of the vinyl causing it to deteriorate faster
Choose a warm or sunny day to wash your cover so it gets lots of sun while it air dries.
2 Condition your vinyl hot tub cover once a month during the summer and 3-4 times through the year.
Conditioning your cover will prolong it’s life. Conditioning the cover protects it against UV rays that break the chemical bonds and cause the cover to harden and crack. Additionally, conditioning your cover protects against mildew, which can grow on damp vinyl and damage the cover.
Only use conditioning products on the outside, and not the inside, of your tub cover.
Make sure your vinyl cover is clean and dry before you apply the conditioning product.
Spray a light coat of vinyl conditioner on the top and skirt of your cover. Use a soft sponge without abrasives to condition the cover and remove any stains. Rinse thoroughly, and dry the cover in the sun.
You can use cover treatments recommended by your manufacturer and avoid petroleum based conditioning products that can be harmful to your cover.
3 Clean the mildew inside the vinyl covering if you have mildew problems.
You will be able to tell if you have mildew problems because your cover will start to smell. First unzip the cover and then carefully remove the foam interior from the cover.
Spray the inside and outside of the cover with a gentle multi-surface cleaner and scrub with a soft sponge to clean it. Then rinse the cover thoroughly. Towel dry the inside and outside of the cover and any inside parts.
Air dry in the sunlight for a day or two to kill the mildew.
Replace the foam core if it has been waterlogged or rotted.
4 Be careful handling your cover.
If you mishandle your spa cover, it may sustain damages that lead to premature deterioration. Here are some tips for keeping your spa cover well maintained:
Do not sit or put your feet on the cover or allow children to sit on the cover.
Use the handles when opening or closing the tub cover. And do not lift the cover by the skirting.
Do not drag your cover across the ground.
Avoid puncturing the top of the cover with sharp objects.
Keep pets away from the cover so they do not chew or scratch the cover.
5 Protect your tub cover from the elements.
If rain water puddles start to accumulate on your cover, you can flip over the foam core in your cover so that the bottom is facing up, and it may help correct the problem. If this does not work, you may need to purchase a new tub cover. Or if you live in a snowy area, make sure to carefully remove the snow accumulation off of top of your tub cover.
Ensure that your cover fits tightly over your tub and buy a new cover if needed.
6 Use a patch on your cover if it rips.
You can buy vinyl patch type A or B for different kinds of tears. If you get holes in the liner, use type A, and if you get small rips in the cover itself, you use type B. These patches are inexpensive and can you from prevent having to go to a professional to repair the cover. Prior to adhering your vinyl patches, clean and dry the surface with a gentle multi-purpose spray where you will be applying your patch.
Keep your hot tub running well
1 Ideally, shower before using the tub.
Ideally, rinse out your hair and body care products before you get in the tub. If your tub water is murky or there is foam forming in your tub, it could be due to lotions and body products people wear into the tub. The temperature range 38 °C to 40C is comfortable for many people.
2 Change the water every 4-6 months (depending of usage).
Depending on how much your tub is used and the type of tub you have, you will need to perform a complete water change two to four times a year.
If you have a typical family tub you will want to change and refill the water approximately every 4-6 months.
You can use a total dissolved solids (TDS) test strip to decide when to change your tub water. You can find these strips at your local spa store.
Add a flush product (also found at a spa store) to your tub water before you drain it, and run the jets for 20 minutes on high before you drain your water. Adding a flush product can help keep the equipment in your tub clean.
3 Leave your hot tub on at all times.
Turn down the temperature when you are not using the tub, but keep the tub running at all times. Your tub is equipped with circulating pumps that will occasionally circulate the water. This circulation will keep your tub from building up algae while continually filtering and cleaning the water. The circulation helps keep your tub water clean.