1) Check For Leaks
The first thing that you should do in the spring is to check your hot tub for leaks. While minor hot tub leaks are usually little more than a nuisance, over time they will get worse. This can lead to big repairs bills and put your hot tub out of commission for several days or even weeks.
To check for leaks in your hot tub you’ll simply need to remove the service door from your hot tub cabinet and check the inside of the hot tub for wet spots. Pay special attention to the area surrounding your pumps and heaters. If you find any wet spots, follow the path of the water to find the source of the leak and get it fixed before the problem worsens.
2) Open Your Vents
If you own a hot tub with a perimeter insulation system (like Hydropool’s Hydrowise insulation system), you will want to open the vents located on either side of the hot tub’s cabinet once the weather starts to warm up. These vents are designed to be closed in the colder months to trap as much heat in the hot tub cabinet as possible and reduce the hot tub’s energy costs. When the days start getting warmer, however, these vents should be opened to keep the pumps properly vented and prolong their lifespan.
3) Drain & Refill The Hot Tub
Regularly draining and refilling your hot tub is one of the best things you can do to keep your water feeling fresh. Over time, ultra fine particles (commonly called dissolved solids) build up in your hot tub water. While these particles (typically salts and other minerals) are harmless, high levels of dissolved solids can cause the water to look cloudy. They also affect the feel of the water, making it feel “harder” than fresh water.
The only way to remove dissolved solids in hot tubs is to drain and refill the hot tub with fresh water. Normally, most hot tubs will need to be drained every 3-4 months. This isn’t always practical in the winter, however, with the extremely cold temperatures making the process much harder. For this reason, we recommend draining and refilling your hot tub in early spring, as soon as the temperatures are consistently above freezing.
Clean The Plumbing
Before draining your hot tub, we recommend that you first clean out the pipes with a hot tub plumbing cleaning chemical. These chemicals remove biofilm and other contaminants that build up in the plumbing over time. Removing these contaminants will help your sanitizing chemicals work more efficiently, leading to easier to maintain water and a better overall bathing experience.
Clean The Surface Of The Hot Tub
Before you refill your hot tub, take a few minutes to clean the surface of the hot tub. This should be done with a soft cloth and a cleaner specifically designed for hot tubs. If you don’t have a hot tub surface cleaner on hand, you can also use bleach that has been diluted in water (use gloves if you do). Avoid using regular household cleaners when cleaning any part of your hot tub as they often contain sudsing agents that can make hot tub water foam and affect the balance of the water.
4) Clean & Protect Your Hot Tub Cover
Along with the surface of the hot tub we also recommend cleaning the underside of your hot tub cover. Hot tub covers are often overlooked in the cleaning process but can have just as many bacteria on them as the hot tub surface. As steam rises and hits the cover it condenses and fall back into the water; taking the bacteria from the cover with it!
When cleaning the cover, make sure to get in and around all of the stitching and zippers as these are usually places that get neglected.
Once the cover is clean, you should also treat the topside of the cover with a UV protectant. UV radiation from the sun will damage the vinyl skin of your hot tub cover over time; making it brittle and reducing its lifespan. UV protectants will both clean the cover and protect it from UV damage; extending the life of your hot tub cover.
Does Your Cover Need To Be Replaced?
Over time, the various components that make up hot tubs covers will degrade; becoming less and less effective at insulating the water in the hot tub. As they become less effective, more heat is allowed to escape the hot tub and your heating costs increase. Before too long these increases in heating costs will outweigh the cost of replacing the cover and it only makes sense to replace the cover.
We recommend looking over your cover in the spring to see if it’s in need of replacement. While the bulk of your energy savings will come in the winter months, you don’t want to make it to winter with a worn out cover. New covers can take several weeks to manufacture and ship once ordered so knowing what you’re dealing with in spring will give you the time needed to get your replacement cover in time for the fall.
5) Clean Or Replace Your Filters
Spring is also the perfect time to check and clean your hot tub filters. Along with basic rinsing every 1-2 weeks, you should chemically clean your hot tub filters every 3-4 months to remove trapped oils and lotions that rinsing doesn’t remove. Doing this will keep your filters working at peak efficiency and help keep your water clean and clear with less chemicals.
To chemically clean a hot tub filter you will need to purchase a specialty hot tub filter cleaner. Add the filter cleaner to a bucket of water large enough to fully submerge the filter. Place your filter in the bucket with the cleaning solution and let sit for at least 3-4 hours. When the time is up, remove the filter and rinse it with a garden hose to wash off any cleaner and debris left on the filter.
Even with regular cleanings your hot tub filters will eventually need to be replaced, however. This is because the fibres in the filter will stretch over time, allowing larger and larger debris to pass between them. If your hot tub water has a hard time staying clear, even after cleaning the filter or changing the water, it may be time to get a new filter.
There are many benefits to properly cleaning and maintaining your hot tub; from a better bathing experience to a longer lifespan for your hot tub equipment (pumps, filters, heaters, covers, etc). While it’s only natural to neglect your hot tub in the winter, once spring hits you’ll want to get back on track to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your hot tub.