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Is there anything better in the cold winter months than settling into your very own hot tub for a little R&R after a long and chilly day? If you’re going to have your own hot tub, you need to get acquainted with regular hot tub maintenance to keep your personal spa in good working order to last for many long winters to come.
Sticking to a regular care schedule will help you avoid costly issues with hardware and water treatment, so follow this easy guide to learn everything to maintain your hot tub this winter.
Caring for your hot tub breaks down to three essential parts – circulation, cleaning and chemistry. Focus on these three parts to keep your hot tub in good soaking order.
The more the water in your hot tub runs, the cleaner it will be, as it will move contaminants through the filter. Some hot tubs will have automatic or programmable circulation schedules that will automatically set your spa to run a couple of times a day, usually for about 15 or 20 minutes. If your hot tub doesn’t come with these settings, set yourself a reminder on your phone to turn your hot tub on to circulate twice a day. This includes times when the hot tub is in use, the spa does not need to be empty to get the necessary circulation time.
HOT TIP: Get more from your circulation sessions by adding tennis balls to your spa water after use. We leave behind oils, shampoo, body products and more when we sit in the hot tub and the fibers of the tennis ball will soak them up.
If your hot tub is indoors, you won’t have to worry about leaves and debris like you would in an outdoor spa, but both are susceptible to scum and dirt that will build up along the waterline and on seats.
You should wipe down your waterline and seat weekly using a sponge. You can also use white vinegar for the waterline if the scum is stuck on and you need a little help. Make sure you circulate your water after wiping so that loose scum gets filtered. You should also plan to clean the exterior of your hot tub on a regular basis. Wiping down your cover with a 10% bleach solution will help keep mildew from growing.
On top of this weekly clean, you will need to give your spa a thorough cleaning every few months or more often if it’s regularly used by many people. Drain your spa completely and wipe it down entirely, cleaning your jets as well. Flush the lines to remove any biofilm and bacteria – you can use a line flush product for this job.
You also need to regularly clean your hot tub filters. You should take them out and rinse them with warm water weekly. Filter cleaners are available in a spray and can be used regularly. When you do your quarterly big clean, you should soak your filters in a cleaner. Once your filters stop coming clean after soaking, it’s time to replace them.
You can think of your hot tub’s chemistry balance similar to that of a pool, but it can be a bit trickier to maintain as it is a small space. Essentially, you’ll be watching and working on the same elements: alkalinity, pH and sanitizer levels. Keeping your hot tub clean will go a long way to keeping your hot tub’s chemistry balanced.
When you first fill your hot tub, do a reading of your pH and alkalinity levels before adding anything to the water, this will give you an idea of your water’s natural levels. Once you’ve tested your levels, you will add different assisting chemicals to find and maintain the desired levels of each element in your spa.
You want to achieve a pH level between 7.4 and 7.6. If you find that your water is often cloudy, it’s likely that your pH levels are too high. If you find the water is irritating your skin, it’s likely your pH levels are too low.
You want your alkalinity to be between 125-150 ppm (parts per million). If you find your spa is prone to scaling, your alkaline levels may be too high.
Sanitizers come in many forms and you will want to align your hot tub’s levels with the specific directions on your product label.
Once you’ve achieved balanced chemistry, test your water weekly to insure you’re maintaining these levels. You will need to add different products depending on your testing results.
This could include:
Shock (used when the tub has been out of use and needs a lot of sanitizing)
HOT TIP: You should keep all of these necessary chemicals on hand so that you can respond to your chemistry levels as needed.
It’s a good idea to create a schedule and a plan for maintaining your hot tub. This goes for daily circulation runs to quarterly cleans. Set reminders on your phone or write it in your calendar so important maintenance steps aren’t being missed. Your hot tub needs you to give it the attention and care it requires in order to run clean and comfortable over time.