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The Complete Hot Tub Maintenance Guide

March 24, 2024

Your hot tub is similar to a car in that it requires regular maintenance to function properly.

And to do that, you need certain tools – things like test strips, cleaning chemicals, and filter replacements.

Test Strips

hot tub test stripsTest strips are like health monitors for your hot tub. They allow you to check the water quality – including pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels, quickly and easily.

By managing the water chemistry, you’ll be able to prevent the growth of contaminants so that your hot tub will always be ready for your next spa session.

Cleaning Chemicals

Similar to how a house needs regular cleaning to stay tidy, your hot tub also requires attention to stay clean.

More specifically, it requires sanitizers, pH adjusters, and shock treatments, all of which work together to maintain a clean and balanced hot tub water environment.

Filter Replacements

Hot tub filters work tirelessly behind the scenes, catching and eliminating contaminants like hair, oils, and dirt from the spa water.

Regular replacement of these filters ensures optimal water filtration and also prevents the build-up of contaminants, which helps keep the water crystal clear.

Routine Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule

Hot tub maintenance isn’t a one-off task. Rather, it should be part of a routine.

Just like maintaining good health requires a daily routine of proper diet and exercise, your hot tub also requires a routine maintenance schedule.

Daily Tasks

These tasks include checking the water chemistry, ensuring the water circulates properly, and skimming the surface for any debris.

The key factor here is consistency; this means incorporating the tasks into your everyday routine.

Weekly Tasks

cleaning hot tub filtersWeekly tasks are a bit more comprehensive than daily tasks but are equally important.

These tasks involve cleaning the filter, testing the water chemistry, and adding the necessary hot tub chemicals.

Think of these as your weekly house cleaning tasks – a little more time-consuming, but essential to maintaining a clean and safe environment.

Monthly Tasks

Monthly tasks for maintaining your hot tub include:

  • Thoroughly cleaning the hot tub’s shell
  • Inspecting the spa equipment
  • Looking for any signs of wear and tear early on to prevent major issues down the line

Yearly Tasks

Yearly tasks involve draining and cleaning the hot tub, winterizing if necessary, and scheduling professional service for any repairs.

These tasks ensure that your hot tub stays in top shape year after year.

Maintenance Hot Tub Tips

Maintaining your hot tub isn’t just about following a routine; it’s also about being smart and efficient – and that’s where these tips come in.

Proper Circulation

proper circulationProper circulation will allow you to remove contaminants and will also help prevent water issues. Given that, it’s highly recommended that you run your circulation system for at least 20 minutes every day.

Just like our bodies need efficient blood flow for optimal functioning, your hot tub also requires effective circulation of the hot tub’s water to ensure purity and clarity.

Shower Before Use

Showering before using the hot tub is an easy yet effective way of reducing contaminants and ensuring cleaner hot tub water.

Not only that but it will also reduce the strain on the filtration system, keeping the water cleaner for longer.

Natural Water Care Options

Going green isn’t just beneficial for the environment; it can also be beneficial for your hot tub. For example, natural water care options, such as saltwater systems or mineral-based sanitizers, can reduce chemical usage and provide a more comfortable soaking experience.

Caring For Your Hot Tub Cover

While the hot tub itself requires regular maintenance, let’s not forget about its protective shield – the cover.

Regularly caring for and maintaining it will not only prolong its lifespan but will also ensure that it continues to provide optimal insulation and protection.

Regular Cleaning

Just as you wouldn’t wear a dirty dress to a party, you wouldn’t want a dirty cover on your hot tub. Regular cleaning with a mild cleaner will not only keep your cover looking good but will also prevent the growth of residues and grime.

Inspecting for Damage

An important part of maintaining your cover is inspecting it regularly for damage. This could be in the form of tears, sagging, or even discoloration.

By spotting these signs early, you’ll be able to take immediate action, either repairing the damage or replacing the cover altogether.

Proper Storage

Proper storage of the cover (when not in use) can significantly extend its lifespan. Here are some tips:

  1. Store your cover in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight
  2. Avoid storing your cover in extreme temperatures
  3. Make sure your cover is clean and dry before storing it
  4. Use a cover storage bag or cover cap to protect your cover from dust and debris.

Cleaning Your Hot Tub Filter

active hot tub filter cleanerCleaning your filter regularly will not only prevent the build-up of debris but will also keep the jets functioning properly.

Assuming that you use the hot tub regularly, it’s best to rinse and clean the filters once a month.

While you can just rinse it off with water, we highly recommend using ACTIVE Hot Tub Filter Cleaner. It features a heavy duty deep cleaning and descaling formula that will remove grease, dirt, oils, and soap residue.

Not only will it extend the filter’s lifespan but it will also improve water impurity. It’s also compatible with all hot tub and spa cartridge-style filters.

And it’s easy to use. Start by turning off the hot tub and removing the filter. Using a hose or faucet, rinse off any loose dirt and debris. Next, mix 16 oz. of the filter cleaner with 4 gallons of water in a large bucket.

Once the solution is mixed, place the filter in. Let it sit for 12 hours before rinsing with clean water and reinstalling.

Troubleshooting Common Hot Tub Issues

Even with regular maintenance, your hot tub might sometimes face issues like cloudy water, unpleasant odors, or equipment malfunctions. But don’t worry, these are common issues that can be easily addressed with a bit of troubleshooting.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water can be a common issue in hot tubs, but it’s easily fixable. It can be caused by factors like imbalanced water chemistry, dirty filters, or insufficient circulation.

The remedy? Test and adjust your water chemistry, give your filters a good clean, and ensure that your hot tub’s circulation system is running properly. Follow these steps and you’ll soon be looking at crystal clear water in your hot tub.

Unpleasant Odors

Unpleasant odors can be a bit of a party spoiler when you’re looking forward to a relaxing soak in your hot tub. But don’t worry, these odors are usually a result of leftover residues or chemical imbalances, meaning that they’re easily fixable.

To get rid of these odors, it’s recommended that you clean the filter and balance your hot tub water chemistry.

Equipment Malfunctions

Equipment malfunctions may seem daunting, but they don’t have to be. If your hot tub is facing issues like leaks, broken pumps, or water chemistry problems, it’s time to call in the professionals. A trained technician can inspect and repair any faulty components, ensuring a well-functioning and safe hot tub for you to enjoy.

Winterizing Your Hot Tub

With winter’s arrival, it’s crucial to prepare your hot tub for the plummeting temperatures. This process, known as winterizing, involves steps like draining and cleaning the hot tub, preparing the plumbing and equipment, and securing the spa cover.

By following these hot tub maintenance steps, your hot tub will be well-protected from the harsh winter elements, ensuring that it remains in top shape for your next spa session. By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll be using your hot tub correctly.

Draining and Cleaning

Before you winterize your hot tub, it’s important to give it a thorough drain and clean. This involves removing debris and using a gentle cleaner on the shell. You can also use a garden hose for the draining process.

That will ensure that your hot tub is clean and ready to face the winter months.

Preparing Plumbing and Equipment

Preparing your hot tub’s plumbing and equipment for winter is a crucial step in the winterizing process. This involves blowing out water from the jets and pipes, turning off the power and heater, and adding antifreeze if necessary.

That’ll prevent potential freeze damage, ensuring that your hot tub is ready to spring back into action when the warmer months roll around.

Securing the Cover

Last but not least, you want to make sure to secure your hot tub cover before winter sets in. A tightly secured cover will prevent heat loss, moisture infiltration, and potential damage from snow and ice.

Importance of Hot Tub Care – Overview

importance of hot tub careMaintaining a hot tub isn’t just about cleaning and repairing; it’s about understanding and caring for your little oasis of relaxation.

By following a regular hot tub maintenance routine, keeping an eye on the water chemistry, and preparing your hot tub for the changing seasons, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your hot tub all year round.

So, whether you’re a new hot tub owner or a seasoned spa enthusiast, remember to keep your hot tub clean!

Caring For Hot Tubs – Frequently Asked Questions

What maintenance does a hot tub need?

We recommend keeping a weekly spa maintenance checklist to upkeep your hot tub. That will help ensure proper functioning and cleanliness.

What chemicals are needed to maintain a hot tub?

You will need chemicals such as chlorine tablets, bromine, pH increaser and decreaser, and alkalinity increaser to maintain a hot tub.

How difficult is it to maintain a hot tub?

Maintaining a hot tub can require some effort, but with a regular routine of testing and balancing water chemistry, cleaning the spa filter, and ensuring proper coverage when not in use, it won’t be too difficult.

How often should I clean my hot tub filter?

You should clean your hot tub filter on a weekly basis and perform a monthly chemical clean to prevent chemical residue and foaming. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your hot tub in good condition.

What is the recommended pH range for spa water?

To ensure proper maintenance of your hot tub, it’s recommended to keep the pH of the spa water within the range of 7.2 to 7.8. That will help to maintain a healthy and balanced environment for your spa.

Can I clean my hot tubs with vinegar?

can i clean hot tub with vinegarYou can use white vinegar to remove stubborn stains. Start by mixing white vinegar with a bit of baking soda – you should end up with a pasty solution.

Using a soft sponge, apply the paste to the stain and scrub gently. Never use abrasive pads or steel wool on your hot tub as it can cause permanent damage.

When you’re finished, wipe away any remaining residue with a damp cloth.

Why is my hot tub’s water cloudy?

Several things can cause cloudy hot tub water. For example, it can be caused by high alkalinity, high pH, or low sanitizer. Dirty spa filters, old water, or body care products can also contribute to the problem.

To clear up cloudy water, check the pH levels and treat as necessary. After adjusting the water and cleaning the filter, run the jets for several minutes – that will allow the water to circulate through the system. For the best results, let the water settle for a few hours before using a clarifier.

Is it safe to use bleach in a hot tub?

No, you should never use household bleach to clean your hot tub. The harsh chemicals found in the product will not only damage the hot tub itself but can also damage the components inside. In some cases, it might even change the pH level of the water, which can lead to other problems.

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Picture of John Harrington

John Harrington

John Harrington, with over 20 years of experience in pool and spa maintenance, generously shares his expertise on the ACTIVE blog. His in-depth knowledge and practical advice provide invaluable guidance for maintaining pristine pools and hot tubs. John's insights help enthusiasts and homeowners ensure their aquatic havens are always in top condition.

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