Here are some basic, but sometimes overlooked tips on prolonging the life and maximizing your enjoyment of your hot tub or spa.
Following these suggestions will help preserve your tub and equipment while making your water cleaner, safer and more clear. As an added bonus, it will also save you time and money!
1. Oil and soap based products are public enemy #1 when it comes to keeping your hot tub or spa water crystal clear. Never use regular household cleaners for cleaning the inside or outside of your hot tub or spa.
These products contain soap and/or ammonia which are both harmful and unsettling for your tub’s water chemistry. They can also clog up and prematurely age your spa equipment and you could easily wind up with a giant sized bubble bath if you don’t get all of the soap out of your spa’s water system.
2. Swim trunks and bathing suits are also a common cause of foamy and unappealing hot tub and spa water.
Small amounts of laundry detergent remain in bathing suits after they have been washed and dried and the residual detergent ends up back in your hot tub’s water supply.
An easy fix for this issue is to simply run an extra rinse cycle when you wash your swimwear or you can always just re-rinse your swimwear by hand.
3. This is a good one that most hot tub and spa owners aren’t aware of. When your hot tub or spa is not in use, keep the Air Control Valves closed. The image below shows air control valves from some of the most popular and well known spa manufacturers.
These valves or dials are usually located on top of or near the top of your spa and they allow air to mix with the water coming out of your jets.
This is great when your spa is in use, but not so great when it’s not. To image on the right shows
Besides letting cold air into the spa water and increasing heating costs, it can also introduce air borne debris and algae spores that can cloud your water and increases your chemical usage.
4. Personal hygiene products should be used in the shower and not in your spa or hot tub. Even though this is common knowledge, it’s amazing how many soakers seem to forget this basic rule.
Hair spray, hair mousse, styling gels, deodorant, anti-perspiration, sun tan lotion, excess sweat, make-up and skin creams of any sort will cloud your water and clog your filter, reducing its life and increasing your maintenance time.
5. Floating oil-absorbing sponges such as the Dirty Duck are fantastic at reducing the amount of clogging oils that are sent through your filter.
Remember to squeeze them out occasionally and to replace them when they start to deteriorate or when they no longer float.
6. Make sure your filter cartridge is fully seated in the filter compartment. This ensures 100% of the water passing through the filter, rather than bypassing it. Remember to clean the cartridge once a month for maximum longevity and to replace it every 1 to 2 years.
The fibers of the cartridge start to break down and deteriorate after a while and won’t do an adequate job of filtration after a while. It’s a not a bad idea to have two filter cartridges on hand for your spa and use them on an alternating basis.
This way, while one is being cleaned by soaking in a “Filter Cleaner” solution, the other one can be used in your spa to reduce the down time of your spa.
7. Make sure to test your spa water at least once per week and always after adding new water. Make sure that the pH and TOTAL ALKALINITY is within the proper ranges.
This is MOST important. Either adjust the pH and Alkalinity manually each week, or use “pH Balance”.
If you’re using a liquid test kit be sure to clean it after every use, keep the solutions out of the sun and to replace them ever year.
Also, always get your sample water from at least 12 inches below the surface. If you’re using test strips be sure to replace them if they are 6 months past the expiration date.
8. One quick and easy way to vacuum debris from the bottom of your spa is to simply use a garden hose and siphon it out.
9. If you have an in-ground spa you know you should never drain the water if it’s rained in the last few weeks, or if the ground is wet (if you didn’t know this, glad you’re here). If you do it’s very possible that the spa will float out of the ground.
But if you find yourself in that position and you need to change the water here’s a neat little trick. Drop a sump pump in the bottom of the spa and spread a large sheet of plastic over the top of the water.
As the sump pump removes the water, run water from a garden hose on top of the plastic. If the hose and pump are running at the same speed the water level won’t drop and the old and new water wont mix.