Now that you have made the decision to purchase a hot tub and have been using it for a few weeks there are a few things you need to know about how to maintain your hot tub water. It’s not rocket science however can be confusing to the first time owner of a hot tub.
Below you will find a few items and what their role is in proper water care.
Firstly the water in your hot tub is kept warm to give you that incredible, relaxing soak however you need to ensure you have adequate sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) to make sure there is no potential for bacteria (biofilm) to grow. Hot water is more susceptible to the growth of bacteria. Sanitizers are used to kill any potential bacteria. Bromine is the more popular sanitizer for hot tubs and can be purchased as tablets to use with a dispenser which floats around in your hot tub or you can add granular bromine to the water on a regular basis. It’s important to be checking your sanitizer in the hot tub regularly with test strips. Our company also offers a full water test which is completed by one of our water care specialists.
pH is important to test as it can be acidic when low which is like an acid in the water. I find that when my hot tub is acidic it itches the skin. Think about it, what does acid do – it eats away at everything it touches. If it is not kept in check you run the risk of damaging your equipment, i.e. heating elements, pump seals etc. The ideal pH range for spas is 7.2 to 7.8.
Shocking is a necessary component of water care because it aids in removing bather waste. Waste like sweat, skin as we exfoliate, body oils and products that we put on our skin, hair care products, make-up etc. Each time we soak we contribute to the bather waste and the filters get overworked trying to rid the water of all this stuff. By shocking your water each week you help to keep it clear and allow the filters to filter the fine particulate.
What does alkalinity have to do with water. Well the alkalinity is like a partner to pH therefore it’s important to check both the pH and alkalinity before adding any products to the water. By keeping the alkalinity at the correct level you help to buffer the pH, or more specifically to keep it from bouncing. I hear clients say to me all the time “my pH is all over the map, one day high, the next day low” and I’ll ask them “what was the reading on your alkalinity and they don’t know. Again, when your alkalinity is balanced it buffers your pH and keeps it stable i.e. keeps it from bouncing therefore before doing any pH adjustments check your alkalinity to ensure it’s in the right place. Use your test strips to ensure it’s between 100 to 150 PPM.
If there’s too much calcium in the hot tub you risk scale and calcium build up. Calcium scale in a tea kettle is similar to calcium scale in a hot tub. Scale will attach itself to the pipes, heater element and can etch the surface of the hot tub. Typically when you are using well water you may find there is a higher than normal level of calcium in the water. If there is too much hardness, you may see evidence of this on the hot tub’s surface, like a gritty scale on the walls. There are some good options today to remove some of the calcium from your well water prior to it be added to the hot tub. Charcoal filters are a good option for example. In some cases using your softened water may be a better alternative than your well water. The PPM of calcium is best between 100- 25o. Using our Dazzle Stain and Scale 1 on your fresh fill and adding a weekly dose of Dazzle Stain and Scale 2 is a good option when you know you have high calcium.
Remember it very important to test your water regularly. You can do this using test strips weekly and then take a sample to your water care specialist every 5-6 weeks.
I know that you will soon be comfortable and develop a routine that works for you when it comes to maintaining your hot tub. Until then feel free to contact us to ask questions and most importantly enjoy that new hot tub!