Being a new hot tub owner can be both exciting and a little overwhelming at first. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of quick tips to help you get the most out of your new hot tub!
Regularly Test & Maintain Your Water
Our first tip is also the most crucial to your long term enjoyment of your hot tub; don’t forget to regularly test and treat your hot tub water! Unbalanced water can cause a host of issues with your hot tub water; from foam and scale buildup to cloudy or green water. To ensure that your hot tub water stays clear and comfortable to use you’ll want to test it every 2-3 days using a home test kit.
Based on the results of those tests, you may need to add in some small amounts of balancing and/or sanitizing chemicals to make small balancing adjustments. If you’re unsure about what to add, or how much of it to add, consult your local hot tub retailer for more info.
If your hot tub water is well out of balance, or if it has slightly out of balance for over a week, we recommend bringing a sample of your water to your retailer for a free professional test and a more in-depth water care consultation.
Even if everything looks good on your home tests, we recommend that you still get your hot tub water professionally tested around once per month. This is because professional tests are both more accurate and test for more things; giving you a more complete look at the overall health of your hot tub water while catching some potential issues that your home tests might miss.
Add Your Chemicals Correctly
Believe it or not, how you add chemicals to your hot tub water can make a big difference in how effectively they do their job. To ensure the chemicals you add to your hot tub water are working at peak efficiency you will need to do 2 things:
- Make sure the jets are turned on. Turning the jets on (with the air controls off) keeps the chemicals suspended in the water as they incorporate into the water; ensuring that the chemical is spread evenly throughout the water.
- Add each chemical at least 15 minutes apart. Spacing out your chemicals by at least 15 minutes give each chemical the opportunity to fully incorporate into the water before the next chemical is added. This prevents the chemicals interacting with each other in ways that can reduce their effectiveness and negatively affect the water balance of your hot tub water.
Take Your Water Samples With The Jets Running
Before taking a water sample for testing we recommend that you run the hot tub’s jet pumps for a couple of minutes. This is because still water will actually develop areas with slightly different water balances than others. Taking your test at the surface of the water, for example, might yield different results than if the sample were taken from water at the bottom of the hot tub.
This is especially true of sanitizer levels, with the level of sanitizer typically being much higher near the dispenser. By mixing up the water you even out the small differences in the water balance throughout the water; giving you a more accurate result.
Leave Your Cover Open After Shocking
Shocking your hot tub water helps the bromine (or chlorine) in it work more effectively. It does this by releasing gases like Nitrogen that bond to them and reduce their ability to kill bacteria. If you close your cover immediately after shocking the water these gases can’t escape, however, reducing the effectiveness of the shock treatment while also damaging the underside of your cover. For this reason we always recommend leaving your cover fully open for at least 30 minutes after shocking your hot tub water.
Store Your Chemicals and Test Kits Indoors
High heat and humidity can negatively affect the performance of both powder based chemicals and test strips. Extreme cold can also freeze liquid based chemicals, which can degrade their effectiveness once thawed back out. To keep your chemicals and test kits working at peak efficiency you’ll want to store them in a dry space that isn’t too hot or too cold; ideally somewhere indoors.
Shower Before Using The Hot Tub
One thing that many new hot tub owners don’t consider is how they affect the balance and quality of their hot tub water. Your skin has quite a lot of extra particles sitting on it at any given time. Dead skin cells, lotions, deodorant, makeup and bacteria are all commonly found on the average person’s skin. Showering before getting into your hot tub helps to remove the majority of these extra particles so that they’re not added into your hot tub water.
Keeping these particles out of your hot tub water will help to keep your water balanced and reduce the amount of sanitizing chemicals that you need to add to the water; lowering the time and expense required to maintain your hot tub.
Launder Your Swim Suits Properly
Another way that you can easily maintain a high water quality is by properly laundering your bathing suits for your hot tub. Bathing suits actually hold onto some of the detergents used in the washing machine. When put into your hot tub, these detergents will escape into the water; negatively affecting your water balance and causing foam to build up over time.
To get as many of those detergents out of your bathing suits as possible we recommend doing an extra rinse cycle if you’re machine washing them. If you also machine dry your bathing suits, avoid dryer sheets as these will introduce other impurities to the bathing suits that can affect the quality of your hot tub water.
Regularly Clean & Replace Your Filters
To keep your hot tub’s filters working at peak efficiency, you will need to rinse them every 2-4 weeks (depending on use). This can be done either with a garden hose or under a sink. These regular rinsings will remove any built up dirt or other particulate trapped in the filter but won’t effectively remove all of the oils and lotions. For that you will need to chemically clean the filters by submerging them in a specialized hot tub filter cleaner. This should be done every 3-4 months, depending on how often you use the hot tub.
Over time, the woven layers that make up a hot tub filter will begin to loosen and expand. As they expand, larger and larger material can pass through the filter. This can lead to water quality and clarity issues. For this reason, hot tub filters should be replaced around once per year (depending on use).
Get A Set Of Backup Filters
For best results, you’ll want to let your filters fully dry after a chemical cleaning before you put them back into the hot tub. To ensure that your hot tub doesn’t run without a filter during this time, we recommend rotating between two sets of filters. While you clean one, the other can be put into the hot tub. When it is time to chemically clean that filter, the original can be put back in the hot tub and so on.
Note: In this case each set of filters would only be working for around 6 months of the year, meaning that you would then replace your filters every two years rather than every year.
Keep Your Cover Closed & Locked When Not In Use
When you’re not using the hot tub, it is a very good idea to keep the cover closed. There are a few reasons for this:
- Closing the cover insulates the water from above, greatly increasing the energy efficiency of the hot tub.
- If the cover is closed, debris like dirt and leaves can’t get in the water. This keeps the water cleaner and means that you’ll go through less chemicals.
- If the cover is open during the day, the UV radiation from the Sun can quickly break down the sanitizer in the water, allowing bacteria to grow more easily.
Hot tub covers come equipped with straps that clip into special locking clips on the cabinet of the hot tub. Anytime you close the cover, make sure you also clip in the straps. Locking the cover down with these straps forms a tighter seal with top lip of the hot tub; greatly increasing the energy efficiency of the hot tub.
Close Your Air Controls When Not In Use
Before getting out of your hot tub you’ll want to make sure that you’ve shut all of its air controls. This is because adding air to water raises it’s pH, lowers the water temperature and can cause you to go through more sanitizer!
Open All Waterfalls and Jets When Not In Use
When you’re finished using your hot tub, you will also want to ensure that all of your waterfalls and jets are in the open position. Closed waterfalls and jets lead to poor circulation and dead zones in your plumbing. These dead zones are ideal places for bacteria to grow; leading to cloudy water and increased sanitizer use.
Maintain A Proper Water Level
The water in your hot tub should cover around 1/2 to 2/3 of the skimmer hole when the hot tub isn’t being used. Any higher than this 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. Once per week, check the water level in your hot tub and adjust if needed.
While hot tubs can have a bit of steep learning curve, once you master a few basics you’ll find that they’re typically quite easy to maintain. Following these tips will help you to get cleaner, clearer water with less effort, and can save you some money at the same time!
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