Weekly Swim Spa Maintenance
Test Your Water At Home
The most important step of swim spa maintenance is maintaining a proper water balance. Properly balanced water is not only more comfortable to bathe in, it also helps to extend the life of your swim spa. The best way of ensuring that your water remains well balanced is with regular water testing.
Every 2-3 days you should test your swim spa’s sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) and pH levels. If you notice that the levels are too high or too low, adjust as needed. If you’re unsure how to balance your water, consult your local swim spa specialist.
“Shock” The Water
Along with regular testing and balancing the water, you should also “shock” your swim spa every 1-2 weeks (depending on how often you use it). Shocking a swim spa allows the sanitizer in the water to work more effectively. This makes it easier to keep the water clear and can also reduce the amount of sanitizer needed to maintain a safe residual of bromine/chlorine in the water.
Note: When shocking your swim spa, be sure to keep your swim spa cover full open for around 30 minutes. Shocking releases nitrogen and other gases which can harm the underside of the cover if it is closed during this process.
Add Your Other Maintenance Chemicals
Along with shocking, we also recommend adding a scale prevention chemical once per week, especially if you have hard source water. This stops calcium and other minerals in the water from forming scale in the swim spa and can extend the overall life of various swim spa components, especially the jets and heater elements.
If you use bromine or chlorine tablets to sanitize the water, you should also add a few more to your dispenser at the same time (unless your water tests show a high level of sanitizer that is).
Rinse The Filter
Your swim spa’s filter should be removed and cleaned with a garden hose every 1-2 weeks (again based on usage). This will keep your filter working at peak efficiency while also avoiding potential damage to your filtration pump.
Check The Skimmer Basket
When you remove your filter for cleaning it is also a great idea to clean out the skimmer basket that sits inside the skimmer. Remove any leaves and other debris from the skimmer basket and give it a quick rinse along with your filter.
Check Water Level
The last thing you should do for your weekly swim spa maintenance is to check the water level in your swim spa.
The water in a swim spa should cover around 1/2 to 2/3 of the skimmer hole. Any higher and floating debris won’t be skimmed off the surface of the water. Any lower and the pumps might not get enough water flowing through them, which can reduce their lifespan. If your water is too low, simply add more with your garden hose until the water level reaches at least halfway up the skimmer.
Monthly Swim Spa Maintenance
Get Your Water Professionally Tested
Along with testing the water yourself every few days, you should also have your swim spa water professionally tested around once per month. This is because your local swim spa specialty store is able to do a much more in-depth, and accurate, water analysis than a home test kit can.
Things like metals and phosphates are not able to be tested with home kits but can cause real problems if not properly treated. After your water test is complete you will be given your results, as well as a list of recommendations for how to properly balance the water and fix any potential issues.
Vacuum The Swim Spa
If you notice sand and other small debris sitting on the floor of the swim spa you can buy a small manual vacuum to quickly and easily filter it out. If you own a Self-Cleaning Hydropool swim spa, this won’t be necessary as the built-in floor vacuum will filter out the debris for you.
Quarterly (Every 3-4 Months) Swim Spa Maintenance
Chemically Clean The Filters
Along with regular rinsing, you should also chemically clean your filters a few times a year. While rinsing the filters does remove dirt and other large particles, oils and lotions can still build up on them. Using a filter cleaner 3-4 times a year will remove these oils and keep your filter working at peak efficiency.
Add UV Protectant To Cover
UV radiation from the sun can damage the vinyl skin of your swim spa cover; reducing the lifespan of the cover. To combat this, apply a UV protectant spray every few months. This spray will both clean the cover and protect it from UV damage; extending the life of your swim spa cover.
Yearly Swim Spa Maintenance
Drain & Refill The Swim Spa
Over time, ultra fine particles (referred to as “dissolved solids”) build up in the water. While these particles (typically salts and other minerals) are harmless, high levels of dissolved solids can cause the water to look cloudy. They can also affect the feel of the water, making it feel “harder” than fresh water.
The only way to remove these dissolved solids is to drain and refill the swim spa. On average, most swim spas will need to be drained every 6 to 9 months. Your local swim spa specialty store will be able to tell you when it is time to change the water.
Clean The Plumbing
Before draining your swim spa, it is a good idea to add a plumbing cleaner to the water. Swim spa plumbing cleaners are specifically designed to remove scale and biofilm buildup in plumbing; giving you better quality, easier to maintain water when the swim spa is filled back up.
Simply add the cleaner to the water around 30-60 minutes before draining, keeping the water circulating continuously until you drain it. Note that these cleaners are environmentally friendly and completely safe to drain out with the swim spa water with no ill effects for your lawn.
Replace Your Filters
Depending on how often you use the swim spa, its filters should be thrown out and replaced every 12-18 months.
Over time, the filter fibres begin to stretch, allowing larger and larger debris to pass through them. This means that swim spa filters become less effective over time. If your swim spa water is fresh but still has a hard time staying clear, chances are your filters are ready to be replaced.
Check Your Cover (Does It Need To Be Replaced?)
Lastly, it is a good idea to check over your cover at least once a year to assess whether or not it should be replaced. While new swim spa covers aren’t cheap; waterlogged or damaged covers are extremely inefficient. This inefficiency can easily cost an extra few hundred dollars a year in added energy costs.
For new swim spa owners there can be a steep learning curve when they first get their swim spa. Once you get a routine down however, swim spa maintenance is actually quite simple! Spending 5-10 minutes per week on maintenance is all you need to keep the water safe to use and ensure a long life from your swim spa.