Whether you’re a long-time hot tub owner or have just invested in your first one, knowing how to properly care for it is essential.
How long your hot tub lasts will be determined by the steps you include in your hot tub maintenance routine and how well you stick to your schedule.
If you often struggle with cloudy water because you forgo testing it regularly, your system will begin deteriorating much faster than one that’s been rigorously tested and maintained.
With hot tub maintenance being so important, you may be wondering what maintenance a hot tub needs, and we’re here to tell you.
In this article, you’ll find the essential steps you should include in your hot tub maintenance routine and learn how they help support your spa long-term.
Ready to learn how to care for your hot tub like an expert?
Let’s get started.
7 Steps to Include in Your Hot Tub Maintenance
Many worry that taking care of a hot tub is difficult, but the truth is, with a well-rounded schedule, keeping your hot tub running smoothly and your water crystal clear is simple.
When you create your hot tub maintenance routine, here are seven things you should include.
1. Regularly Test and Treat Your Water
Your water is one of the largest factors at play when it comes to your hot tub’s lifespan.
Healthy water goes a long way and will minimize the risk of damage to your system over the years.
While testing your water before each soak is recommended, at the very least, you should be testing it a few times a week to track any fluctuations in your chemistry.
When testing your water, there are three main levels you’ll want to look for:
- Sanitizer levels
- pH levels
- Alkalinity levels
Your sanitizer is the chemical you use to keep your water clean, such as chlorine or bromine.
Hot water creates the perfect atmosphere for bacteria to thrive, and without the proper levels of sanitizer, your hot tub can quickly become unsafe to use.
This is why maintaining your sanitizer levels is especially important to the health of your water.
Your sanitizer levels will depend on the sanitizer you use, so it’s important you know what range your chosen chemical requires.
The two most commonly used sanitizers and their recommended levels are as follows:
- Chlorine – 1 to 3 ppm
- Bromine – 3 to 5 ppm
If you’ve chosen a saltwater system, you’ll want to ensure your salinity levels remain between 2000 and 2500 ppm.
pH and Alkalinity
Your pH and alkalinity refer to how basic or acidic your water is and need to be kept in balance.
If your pH is too low, your water can become acidic, making it corrosive to your system.
If it’s too high, your water becomes too hard, resulting in scale forming in your pipes and on the surface of your shell.
Your alkalinity is your water’s ability to combat acidity, making it highly influential to your pH levels.
Neither of these are ideal conditions, and while the damage they can cause to your system is enough to make balancing your water essential, there’s more to it than that.
Unbalanced water is also unsafe to soak in and could lead to itchy, dry skin and even cause red, irritated eyes, so it’s important to only use your hot tub when the water is properly balanced.
The good news is this is a simple process, and once you bring everything within its proper range after filling your tub with fresh water, you shouldn’t have to make any big adjustments afterward!
To balance your pH and alkalinity, you’ll need three types of chemicals:
- pH increaser
- pH decreaser
- Total alkalinity increaser
If your local water is particularly soft water, including a calcium hardness increaser can be helpful in balancing your water as well.
Your total alkaline levels should be between 80 and 120 ppm, whereas your pH levels should always be between 7.2 and 7.8.
If they aren’t within this range, you’ll need to use the necessary chemicals to bring them back into balance.
Pro tip: Always adjust your alkalinity first. Because it has such a significant influence over your pH levels, bringing it into range first will make adjusting your pH much easier.
Adding an oxidizing shock treatment to your hot tub once a week will help keep your water clean and clear, allowing your sanitizer to work more effectively.
Shock treatments help oxidize any organic matter in your water, such as oils from hair products or body lotions.
Your sanitizer isn’t able to effectively break down this matter, which can lead to foamy or cloudy water forming in the future when a shock treatment is not included in your routine.
Not only will shock help make your water easier to maintain, but it will reduce the amount of sanitizer needed to treat your water.
2. Circulate Your Water
Still water is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, and your chemicals won’t be evenly distributed throughout your water if it doesn’t circulate each day.
Not only that but debris that may be floating in your water can only be filtered out as it moves through your filtration system and can quickly make your water dirty if not removed.
Even if you’re not going to use your spa every day, it’s important to circulate your water to allow your system to easily maintain its quality so that it’s ready to welcome you back with clean, safe water next time you jump in.
The good news is you’ll only need to run your system for 30 minutes each day to combat any issues, and this doesn’t have to be done all at one time.
In fact, the best practice is to run your pump for 15 minutes twice a day!
To make this completely effortless (and cost-effective), schedule your system to circulate during the off-peak hours of the day, either in the early morning or in the late evening, and it’ll do the work for you!
3. Clean Your Filters
Your filters are in constant contact with any contaminant your water faces, from oils to specks of dirt and even dead skin cells!
They’re always working to keep your water crystal clear for you, and all that work adds up over time, leaving layers of debris on their surface.
Taking time to clean your filters will ensure they can continue to keep your water clean and keep your system runs smoothly without requiring long run times.
With such a vital role and a 1-year lifespan, your filters will require a thorough cleaning routine throughout the year to keep them in their best condition.
To keep your filters working efficiently, you’ll want to include three different cleaning routines in your hot tub maintenance schedule that cycle throughout the year.
A Weekly Rinse
Each week, you’ll want to set aside a few minutes to remove your filters from your hot tub and rinse off any debris they’ve collected.
To do this, simply rinse them under the running water of your faucet, gently moving the pleats so that the water can get between them.
Once they’re clean, set them aside to dry before returning them to your hot tub.
A Monthly Clean
Each month, you’ll need to use a filter cleaner to saturate your filters after rinsing them.
This will help lift any deeper set debris out from the pleats.
After spraying your filters, leave them to soak for 15 minutes before thoroughly rinsing them off under gently running water.
After they’re clean, set them aside to dry before returning them to your hot tub.
A Quarterly Deep Cleaning Soak
While your regular cleaning routines will help remove surface debris and build-up, your filter will develop stubborn stains near its core and between the pleats.
The best way to clean these hard-to-reach areas is by letting your filters soak in a diluted mixture of filter cleaner and water every 3-4 months.
Following the direction of your filter cleaner, fill a bucket with the appropriate amount of water and cleaner.
After rinsing your filters, add them to the bucket and allow them to soak for 12 hours.
This will allow the cleaning solution to deeply soak into your filters, pulling up any deeply set debris that you were unable to reach during your other cleaning routines.
After they’ve finished soaking, remove them from the bucket and thoroughly rinse off all the filter cleaner, setting them aside to dry afterward.
Once dry, return them to your hot tub.
Pro Tip: During each clean, quickly inspect your filters to ensure they haven’t sustained any damage, such as rips or tears.
A damaged filter won’t be able to properly filter out debris and result in your system working harder to clean your water.
If you discover any issues during your inspection, replace the damaged filter with a new one.
4. Clean Your Cover
Both the outside and inside of your cover will need some attention over the course of the year.
The underside of your cover is constantly exposed to the moisture and chemicals in your water, which can build up and cause mold to form if not properly cleaned.
To combat this, take some time each month to remove your cover and wipe down the underside of it with a diluted mixture of vinegar and water.
This will help remove any stains that may have built up over the last month.
The top side of your Vinyl cover will also need to be cleaned periodically to maintain its condition, especially as it’s exposed to the hard outside elements.
You can clean this much the same as you would the underside, but you’ll want to include a UV protectant after it’s been cleaned and dried.
This will help it maintain its quality, minimizing the risk of cracks and fading that can occur over time.
5. Include Monthly Inspections
Inspecting your system will help ensure you catch any issues early, drastically reducing the risk of expensive repairs being needed from undiagnosed issues.
Some aspects of your hot tub your should be inspecting each month include:
During these inspections, you’ll want to check for any puddles of water, leaks, or damage that may have occurred.
Small issues can quickly expand into larger, more expensive ones, so you’ll want to catch them early and have them fixed right away should they occur.
6. Drain and Refill Your Hot Tub
While your hot tub chemicals are vital to the health of your water, they also become detrimental to it after prolonged exposure.
Each time you treat your water, your chemicals slowly build up. This build-up is a natural result of treating your water properly and will eventually need to be changed for fresh water.
After a few months of your dissolved chemicals accumulating in your water, you may find it’s become difficult to maintain your water chemistry.
This is because your water has become overloaded, and the new chemicals you’re adding aren’t able to effectively do their job.
This is where a water change comes in.
Every 3 months, usually at the beginning or end of each season, you’ll need to completely drain your hot tub.
After it’s drained, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your shell to wash away any chemical residues stuck to the surface. You can do this using a soft cloth and a shell cleaner.
After you’re finished cleaning your shell, rinse all the cleaner off so your fresh water won’t be contaminated as it enters your hot tub.
Once you’re confident your shell is cleaned and ready to be refilled, grab your garden hose, and start refilling your spa!
Pro tip: Attach a hose filter to your garden hose to pre-filter the water that’s going into your hot tub. This will make balancing it easier and give you a cleaner starting point.
7. Don’t Forget to Schedule Professional Service
Including a professional service can be a powerful addition to your hot tub maintenance routine.
Expert spa techs will have a far greater chance of catching minor issues, allowing you to maintain your spa much easier.
Additionally, they’re a great resource to help you learn how to care for your spa when issues begin occurring, such as cloudy or foamy water you’re having trouble managing.
Better yet, professional hot tub service allows you to take the work out of owning a hot tub.
If you have a busy schedule but don’t want to miss out on all the benefits hot tubs have to offer, taking advantage of professional service is the way to go.
Hot Tub Maintenance in Morgantown
With over 40 years of experience, Koval Building Supply is your one-stop shop for everything home improvement, from hot tubs that elevate your backyard to kitchens and bathrooms that boost the value of your home.
Our team of experts is here to help you create the home of your dreams, and with showrooms in Morgantown, Granville, and Uniontown, we’re sure to have a location near you.
Contact us today to get started on your next home improvement project, or visit your local showroom. Need service on your hot tub? Request a service appointment right from our website, and one of our experts will be in touch shortly.