Hot Tub Quick Tips Guide and Basic Maintenance

Following these tips will help keep your spa clear, fresh and clean. Proper water maintenance will drastically reduce the amount of chemicals you will need to use in your spa!


Every Day, bacteria and other contaminants can find their way into your spa water. Care should be taken to enhance circulation - this will help prevent these contaminants from becoming problems. As the water circulates it: passes through the filter and the suspended particles are trapped. thoroughly distributes the sanitizing products that kill bacteria, eliminate undesirable compounds, and help prevent problems.

What you need to do:

  1. Run your spa's circulation system every day. Check your spa owner's manual to determine how long your spa's circulation system should run or ask Hot Tub Warehouse for advice.

  2. If your spa has a separate circulation pump that runs continuously, simply make sure that your system is always in good working order.


Many spa care mistakes are caused by poor filtration. A filter that's operating properly helps keep the water clear by capturing the hair, oils, and cosmetics that wash off when people use the spa. When the filter is dirty or clogged, all this debris remains in the hot tub water. Most spas have a cartridge filter. Typically you should clean the filter every 4-6 weeks. What You Need To Do:

  1. Remove the cartridge.

  2. Rinse with a garden hose to remove loose debris. A hose-end nozzle is best. A pressure washer has too much pressure. (NOTE: this will not eliminate the accumulated oils.)

  3. Every time you clean your filter, use SpaPure Filter Cleaner and Degreaser according to label instructions. This will dissolve and loosen the built-up oil and dirt.

  4. Thoroughly rinse the cartridge again. (Ideally the cartridge should be allowed to dry before being returned to service.)

  5. Return the cleaned cartridge to the filter housing.

  6. Replace the filter element as often as the manufacturer or Hot Tub Warehouse recommends.

  7. Use SpaPure Water Clarifier weekly. Some particles of debris are microscopic and too small for the filter to catch. Water Clarifier will help join these tiny particles together and allow the filter to remove them, keeping the water clear. SpaPure Water Clarifier is compatible with all spa chemical programs.

Spa Cleaning:

If left unchecked, contaminants such as dirt, oil, and even bacteria can accumulate at the waterline. Good water care involves regular cleaning of surfaces. This includes flushing your spa plumbing. This not only will preserve the surface, but will also make the whole spa environment look and feel better.

What You Need To Do:

  1. Use a skimmer net to remove floating debris.

  2. Brush and vacuum the spa.

  3. If you have a skimmer basket, empty it once or twice a week.

  4. Clean the oily ring that forms at the waterline using SpaPure Surface Cleaner. This fast-acting product breaks up the oils and debris at the waterline so you can easily wipe the surface clean. Unlike most common household cleaners, SpaPure Surface Cleaner is totally compatible with your spa's water chemistry.

  5. Prevent waterline build-up with SpaPure Scum Away. This natural product has enzymes that digest most oils and eliminate them from the water.

  6. To flush your hot tubs plumbing system add Natural Chemistry Spa Purge the night before draining your spa. This natural product will remove scum and oils that build up in your spas plumbing system.

By removing these oils:

  1. Your spa will be less likely to form foam.

  2. The surface will be easier to clean.

  3. The waterline will require less frequent cleaning.

  4. The filter will require less maintenance.

Testing Spa Water:

There are 4 primary components that affect spa water quality.

1. Sanitizer (Bromine, Chlorine, Pristine Blue, Spa Frog, Biguanide)
Maintain sanitizer within the recommended levels:

Bromine residual = 2 - 6 ppm

Brominating Concentrate = 3-6 ppm

Brominating Tablets = 2-4 ppm

Chlorine residual = 3 - 5 ppm

(If your spa is equipped with an ozone generator or you use Spa Frog products, you may choose to maintain the chlorine or bromine at the lower end of their ranges.)

2. Alkalinity
Total Alkalinity is a measure of the amount of buffering capacity in the water. It acts as a shock absorber for the pH. If Total Alkalinity is too low, the water is acidic and can corrode equipment and hot tub surfaces. It also causes pH bounce. The pH will drift down and any adjustments made to it will bounce and be difficult to control. If Total Alkalinity is too high, the water is alkaline and scale buildup and cloudy water can result. The pH will tend to drift up and will be very difficult to adjust.

Total Alkalinity, like pH, is affected by environmental factors. Rain, acidic sanitizers, addition of fill water and other product applications can all change the alkalinity over time. Total Alkalinity should be tested once every three to four weeks.

Proper Total Alkalinity levels vary with the water temperature and the sanitizer used. Ideal range for Total Alkalinity is from 125 - 150 ppm. For chlorine or bromine spas, levels of Total Alkalinity up to 200 ppm are acceptable, and the high cutoff is 170 for Biguanide spas. The cutoff is slightly lower for Biguanide spas due to the foaming tendency of the product and the tendency for pH to drift upward.

High Total Alkalinity

Add PH Down over a period of several days to lower the total alkalinity to the proper level. Discontinue PH Down additions if the pH drops below 7.2. Resume the applications where you left off when pH returns to 7.4 - 7.6. pH adjustment should not be necessary, as the alkalinity will tend to pull the pH up.

If the total alkalinity is high and continues to increase, and the pH is low and does not respond to additions of Balance PH Increaser, the problem could be bicarbonate scale. This occurs when spas are not allowed to gas off properly. Trapped gases or poor ventilation in indoor spas are reabsorbed into the water and drive the pH down and the TOTAL ALKALINITY up. It can also cause the water to cloud. To balance successfully, remove any covers and/or ventilate as well as possible and begin making adjustments again. Keep the area well ventilated or the cover removed until the hot tub water balance is returned to normal. To prevent this problem, remove covers or ventilate indoor spas for several hours a day to allow gasses to escape.

3. pH
Maintain the pH between 7.4 - 7.6. In this range bathers are comfortable, the spa surface and equipment are protected, and the sanitizers perform efficiently.

PH is one of the most important aspects right behind of spa water quality. However, maintaining the proper pH can be a challenge in a spa. The heated, aerated water, combined with heavy bather loads can cause the pH to change quickly, unless a means for buffering these changes is present.

Test sanitizer and pH level several times a week with the test strips. These strips provide quick, easy and accurate readings. The test process is easy. Follow the label instructions. Simply dip and read.

4. Calcium Hardness
Calcium Hardness: Total Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. This naturally occurring mineral helps prevent surface etching, jet and equipment corrosion. If the residual gets too high, the water may not be able to hold all the minerals, and calcium can fall out of solution, causing scale buildup and cloudy water.

Low Total Hardness:

If the hardness is low, add Balance SpaPure Hardness Increaser according to label instructions to prevent etching or other surface damage and corrosion.

High Total Hardness:

If the fill water has a lower hardness residual, the spa can be drained partially and diluted to lower total hardness. If the fill water has a high total hardness, add SpaPure Stain and Scale Preventer.

Draining and Refilling:

Draining and refilling is a normal part of spa care. Over time, the water absorbs and dissolves minerals, chemicals and other soluble material.

What You Need To Do:

  1. Drain the water. Check your owner's manual for information.

  2. Clean the spa surfaces with SpaPure Surface Cleaner

  3. Refill the spa with fresh water.

  4. Add spa chemicals according to manufacturer instructions.

Ozone Generators: For optimal water quality, you should consider installing an ozonator. If your spa has an ozonator, make sure it is operating properly!

Baseball Caps: Keep baseball caps near your spa so that people with long hair can tuck their hair into the hat and keep it from getting in the water. This will minimize the amount of oils that will get into the water from gel, hair spray, mousse and shampoo residue. This will help keep your water clear and will also prevent foam from forming in your hot tub.

Filters: Always be certain that the filter is seated properly in the canister. This will ensure that all the water is being filtered and will maximize jet pressure. Filters should be replaced after twelve months of use. Degraded filters will not work properly and will cause cloudy water. Filters should be cleaned every month and soaked in a degreaser solution. Some people find it handy to have two filters and use on an alternating basis. For best results, let your spare filter soak in the filter cleaning solution all month and rinse thoroughly before use. If you have a lot of bathers in your hot tub, you may have to clean the filter more frequently.

Oils & Soaps: Try to avoid getting oil based or soap based products in your spa water. When cleaning your spa, avoid cleaning products that contain soap or ammonia. These products can have dismal effects on your water chemistry. Use a water and bleach solution or spa cleaner to wash down the spa shell. Always rinse well with fresh water and dry with large clean towels. Also, try to avoid using hair products, deodorant, sun tan lotion or skin cream while using your spa. These products will cloud your water and clog the filter. An operable ozonator will quickly and effectively break down oils and other organics, further clarifying the water. Last, use minimal soap when washing bathing suits and always rinse well.

Scumballs: Use Zorbies or floating Bobs to remove oils from the water. These products will reduce the amount of oils that are pumped through the filter and will reduce scum lines that form at the water level. Bob’s actually breakdown oils keeping the spa water clear and fresh for a longer period. For best results, always remember to squeeze out these products (not in the spa water) when you use your hot tub.

Venturi Air Controls: Make sure the air valves are closed when you are not using your spa. These controls are the dials on top of your spa that mix air with the water coming out of the jets. These valves allow cool air into the water, so if left on for long periods, your spa water will cool down and cause your heater to run more often.

Water Testing: Test your spa water every week. Always test for pH, alkalinity and for the sanitizer you are using (chlorine or bromine). Keeping the pH and alkalinity in the proper ranges allow your chemicals to work effectively and will lengthen the life of your jets, pumps and heater. If you are new to water chemistry, you should test the sanitizer level before every use. This will prevent any bacteria growth and will keep your spa completely safe and sanitary.
Spazazz RX Spa Aromotherapy

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