10 Important things you should know about your hot tub maintenance and use
1) Know what your water capacity is – This is essential in knowing how much chemical to add. Most owner’s manuals will state the gallons, or liters, your tub holds. The instructions on the chemical products will state to add “x” amount of product per “x” amount of liters of water. You can convert gallons to liters quite simply just by multiplying your gallons by 3.8 to get the liters.
2) Always use a sanitizer – Using sanitizer in the water kills all harmful bacteria and keeps the water clean. Sanitizer is a critical part for your hot tub maintenance. See Hot Tub Chemicals 101 for more info on sanitizers.
3) Ozone generator – Many hot tubs now, have the option of adding an ozone generator (at time of build), or may already have one installed. An ozone generator, or ozonator, is considered a sanitizing method as well. It is still recommended that you use chlorine or bromine with an ozonator, however; you won’t have to use as much.
4) Water Balance – Also critical for your ultimate hot tub experience and ease of maintenance. This includes, pH, Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness. Checking your water balance should be done regularly as part of your weekly maintenance. See Hot Tub Chemicals 101 for more info on balancing your hot tub water.
5) Your Water Source – If your regular water supply is hard, or high in minerals, you might want to consider using a pre-fill filter that attaches to your standard garden hose; and filters out some of the minerals in your water supply. This can help prevent scaling and calcium buildup.
6) Filter Cartridge Care – Your hot tub’s filter do a lot of dirty work! It is always a good idea to have an extra set of filter cartridges on hand so, you can rotate your filters in between cleanings. You should be giving the cartridges a good rinse every week, and a thorough soak and clean once a month. When it’s time for the monthly cleaning, you can simply put in a fresh set of filters in your tub without disrupting the usage of the tub! In doing this, you will also prolong the life of your filter cartridges.
7) Changing the Hot Tub water – You may think that because you haven’t used the hot tub regularly, or because you’re doing an amazing job at keeping the water balanced, you won’t have to change the water as often. While that does all help, your hot tub water quality still diminishes over time. A good guideline to determine when it’s time to change the water, is by doing a bit of simple math; take your total gallons of water, divide by 3 then divide by the average amount of users in the tub, and that will give you a rough number of days in between draining and refilling. For example; 375gal divided by 3 = 125, divide that by, let’s say 2 regular users, equals 62.5. That means for two regular users, you shouldn’t have to drain and refill your tub more often then every 63 days. Another good sign it’s time to start fresh, is when you just can’t seem to keep the water balanced properly. It can get cloudy, smelly, and dirty and it could take a lot of extra chemical to get that water back to clear and clean again, so you’re better off just starting fresh.
8) Think Safety when using your Hot Tub – Use caution to reduce risk of injury to users in the tub. Never heat the hot tub water above 104 deg F. Suggested time limit in the hot tub is 15 min intervals. Pregnant women and small children should use caution. People with open wounds should not use the hot tub for risk of spreading infection. Always use caution when entering or exiting the hot tub!
9) Never Use Household Chemicals on the Hot Tub Shell – Household chemicals can cause damage to the hot tub shell. Use hot tub specific chemicals for cleaning and maintaining your shell, as well as balancing the water. Cheaper is not always better.
10) Storing/Using your Hot Tub Chemicals – Always read the directions carefully! If you accidentally add Cal-Rise instead of Alka-Rise, you run the risk of high calcium levels and therefore causing you to unnecessarily draining and refilling the tub. Always add chemicals to the hot tub, never add water to the chemicals! DO NOT MIX the hot tub chemicals together! Add chemicals one at a time. Rinse the measuring cup in between chemical additions. Store chemicals in a cool, dry place, OUT OF REACH of children! Keep the container(s) closed in between use!
Following these tips and guidelines will ensure your hot tub enjoyment!