In many cases, “winging it” can work with spa and hot tub maintenance because of the small size of the spa or hot tub, and if you mess up, it’s kind of easy to just drain it and start from scratch, although that is a waste of water, time, and money!
There’s actually just one secret to maintaining your hot tub and spa and that is the water! With cleaner water, everything else just falls into place! And the secret to cleaner water starts with water chemistry.
Yes, winging it can work, but if we want clear and repeatable results that we can expect, then following a simple spa maintenance regimen is the best way to go about it.
Recommended chemistry levels for spas and hot tubs
- Sanitiser: Chorine 1ppm to 3ppm / Bromine 2ppm to 4ppm
- pH: 7.4 to 7.6
- Total Alkalinity: 80ppm to 120ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 150ppm to 250ppm
Once you get all of those chemical levels in line then everything should be easy peasy!
Quick Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist
- Test and adjust spa water balance and chemistry - If you don’t use the spa often, you can get away with testing and balancing your spa water. If you often use your spa, it’s a good idea to check and balance your spa’s chemistry a day after using it to ensure that it stays nice and balanced the next time you use it.
It's also helpful to note the chemical levels that your spa needs to have to stay crystal clear:
- Chlorine: 1 to 3 ppm
- Bromine: 2 to 4 ppm (if not using chlorine)
- pH: 7.4 to 7.6
- Total Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 120 to 250 ppm
- Cleaning your spa filter - give your spa filter a good rinse every once a month (you can get away with cleaning it once every two months if you don’t use your spa a lot). We also recommend giving your filter elements with some Aquaspa Spa Filter Klenz to melt away any stubborn gunk! A bottle can go a long way (up to a year, depending on how often you clean your filter) when compared with the traditional filter soaks where you use an entire bottle for a cleaning session. And as a big plus, after spraying, give it a few minutes and rinse it afterwards! No time wasted!
- If a spritz with a filter cleaner doesn't work then it's time to bring out the big guns! The Water TechniX Filter Cleaning Solution can melt away the most stubborn gunk and junk on your spa filters, guaranteed!
- At a minimum, drain and refill your spa every 3 to 4 months - Even if your spa water is perfectly balanced all the time, it’s always a great idea to give your spa a thorough drain and scrub every three to four months.
- Air out your spa every two weeks - if you use a spa cover (and you should!) don’t forget to air out your cover every two weeks to prevent any gasses and bad smells from developing in your spa. Even if your spa water is perfectly clean and balanced, the moisture from it can lead to bacterial growth (and other smelly stuff) to develop under the covers.
- Add water as needed - although this goes without saying, check your spa frequently and top off with water if the levels drop significantly. You want your spa to be ready to use at all times! Not only that but maintaining proper spa water levels will prevent your filter elements and other spa internals from drying up if the water level drops to below your skimmer boxes!
Quick Spa and Hot Tub Troubleshooting Guide
Spas and hot tubs will eventually run into some problems, that’s a given. Knowing the right tool to use for the situation will undoubtedly make your spa and hot tub ownership much easier.
Spa Scum and Foam
- What is it: Spa scum and foam is primarily composed of body oils, lotion, cosmetics, and other biological waste in our spa reacting with the hot water and getting amplified when they get pushed through the spa jets.
- How to treat: There are two options that are available to us when we have a spa foam or scum problem. The first one is to use an anti-foam chemical like the Aquaspa Anti-foam, which will actively treat the symptoms. The other way is to use something like a life spa disc which is usually placed in your spa’s skimmer box to actively catch oils and other biological waste in the spa, keeping your spa water cleaner and foam/scum free!
- How to prevent: There’s no absolute way to keep body oils from the spa because the hot spa water will lead our bodies to excrete them faster than normal, but in order to minimize them, we can ask everyone who will use the spa to take a quick shower before using the spa to wash away any cosmetics and oils on their bodies.
Cloudy spa water
- What is it: This is usually caused by inadequate levels of sanitisers from either heavy usage or from lack of maintenance.
- How to treat: A quick way to deal with cloudy spa water is to give it a good shock. Shocking your spa will destroy tiny organic particles that are too small for your filters to catch. You can shock your spa after a heavy spa session to prevent cloudy spa water from ever occurring in the first place.
- How to prevent: Refer to the quick guide above and stick to a dedicated spa maintenance regimen to ensure that you’ll have clear spa water the whole year-round.
Slimy and dirty spa pipes
- What is it: It’s often said, out of sight, out of mind. We only detect slimy and sticky pipes when we give our spa a thorough cleaning. This can be the source of cloudy pool water and other spa water problems.
- How to treat: It’s very hard to manually get rid of grime in our spa pipes simply because of their location. Good thing Lo-Chlor has a product called Pipe Clenz which is specially formulated to attack grime and oil build up in your spa’s pipes!
- How to prevent: Stick to a good spa cleaning regimen and you should be able to minimize oil and grime build-up on your spa pipes. But it’s still advisable to treat your spa with some pipe Clenz every time you drain your spa to ensure that you’re guaranteed to start off fresh! I mean, what’s the point in replacing all of your spa water if you have an oil and gunk deposit just waiting there to contaminate your water right?
We’ve covered spa leaks extensively in our finding, fixing, and preventing spa leaks guide here.
Stinky Spa Covers
This is an understated problem that many of us have to deal with. The reason for this is all of that trapped mousture underneath the covers is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and other unmentionables. A way to avoid this is to air out your spa cover two three times a week, this lets the bad air out and the fresh air in. This simple step will do wonders to combat stinky spa covers.
By doing this simple step, you're also prolonging the life of your spa covers by preventing the top part from drying off and the bottom part from suffering growths of algae and bacterial colonies.
Do you want a chlorine-free and bromine-free spa that's easy on the skin and easy to maintain? Be sure to check out our special on how to transform your spa into one!
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)