Water Care & Chemicals – FAQs

Water Care
Q:
What is the proper level for Bromine or Chlorine in a hot tub?
A: Bromine should be 5 ppm, (parts per million) and Chlorine should be 3 ppm, (parts per million)

Q: What is the correct pH range for hot tubs?
A: pH level should be between 7.2 – 7.8 ppm

Q: What is the ideal range for Alkalinity?
A: Alkalinity should be between 100 – 150 ppm

Q: Can I switch from a Chlorine disinfectant to a Bromine sanitizer?
A: Yes. You can switch from chlorine to bromine without draining your hot tub or spa. You can call, fax or email Roberts Hot Tubs and we’d be happy to explain the process to you. You can also switch from Bromine to chlorine but the process is a little more intricate. For more details, please give us a call or send us an email.  Our contact information is listed below.

Q: How accurate are Test Strips?
A: Test Strips are more than adequate for your private or residential hot tubs, spas or pools.  It is important to remember that all test strips are not created equal, some are much better than others.  For accuracy, strip longevity and results you can count on, purchase quality brand name test strips by manufacturers such as Leisure Time, AquaChek or Taylor.

Q: Should Bromine be stabilized in hot tubs, spas and pools?
A: No. Bromine cannot be stabilized.

Q: How often should a hot tub be drained?
A: Most hot tubs require the water to be changed every 60 – 90 days.  This number of days vary based on how often you use your hot tub and how well you maintain, balance and sanitize your water.

Q: Can I use a non-chlorine pool shock product in my hot tub?
A: A non-chlorine spa shock is buffered as to not affect the ph or total alkalinity.  The non-chlorine pool shock will lower the pH and alkalinity if used.  DO NOT mix chlorine and bromine together.

Q: When I used pH Balance by Leisure Time, my hot tub water became cloudy. Why?
A: pH Balance reacts to reduce calcium hardness.  The calcium cloud will be filtered out and the filter should be cleaned.  Ideally, pH Balance should be used when calcium hardness is less than 150ppm.

Q: If I have an Ozonator, do I still need a bromine or chlorine sanitizer?
A: Yes!  Ozonators are extremely effective oxidizers, but you still need a chlorine residual of 1-2 ppm or a bromine residual of 3-5 ppm for sanitizing purposes.  The good news is that your Ozonator makes chlorine and bromine last longer, so you won’t have to add nearly as many chemicals as you have in the past.

Q: I start coughing whenever I take off the insulating cover off my hot tub. What might cause this?
A: Sanitation and disinfectant fumes are the most likely culprits. If the residual of the sanitizing disinfectant is high, fumes will accumulate under the cover.  Inhaling these fumes could easily induce coughing or sneezing.  Fumes can also accumulate if you don’t shock your hot tub on a regular basis. We recommend you use Renew by Leisure Time or Sea-Klear Chlorine-Free Shock.  Whenever you add any chemical to your hot tub water, it is recommended that you leave the spa cover open for a minimum of 20-30 minutes to allow any gas to escape.

Q: Which sanitizer is better, Chlorine or Bromine?
A: They both have their pluses and minuses, but it really boils down to your own personal preference. Stabilized Chlorine has a stronger odor, but it is a very effective sanitizer. Chlorine also causes colors to fade, while Bromine does not.  Bromine causes less eye, skin and nose irritation and is an effective sanitizer when properly administered in a combined two-part form.  It’s really a toss-up that depends on each soalers personal preferences.

Q: How often should I shock my hot tub or spa water?
A: In a perfect world, a hot tub should be shocked after each use. Once shocked, wait several hours before retesting because it takes at least that long for anything that you have added to the water to properly mix with all of the water in your hot tub. We recommend a minimum of waiting 3-4 hours after shocking before retesting.

Q: Is it OK to add fragrances or scents to my hot tub water?
A: Yes, but make sure the fragrance or scented product is water based.  Oil based products can leave your water and your skin looking oily and greasy.  Oil based products will also shorten the life of your hot tub equipment and increase equipment maintenance.

Q:  How often should I clean my filters?
A: Pleated Hot tub filters should be thoroughly rinsed at least once a week.  Do not rinse or clean with high powered pressure washers as they can damage the filter.  To clean your filter properly, it must be submersed in a filter cleaning solution and then rinsed off thoroughly with clean water before putting it back into your hot tub or spa.

Q:  Why does foam accumulate on the surface and around the edges of my hot tub?
A:  The two main culprits responsible for foaming on the surface & around the edges of hot tubs and spas are:

  1. Bacteria – Bacteria is nothing to mess around with and you should discontinue use of your hot tub or spa immediately. The best course of action is to call in a hot tub professional or at the very least, discuss the situation in detail with your local hot tub professional.
  2. Residual Laundry Soaps & Body Oils – A good quality hot tub Defoamer should eliminate foaming caused by excess laundry soap or detergent. Many of our customers have significantly reduced or completely eliminated their foaming problems by using a quality product called Foam Out by Rendezvous.