Maintaining your hot tub properly
A hot tub comes with a long list of benefits. In order to make the most of those benefits, including supreme relaxation and rehabilitative potential, you will definitely want to learn how to maintain your hot tub. These are steps befitting the investment a hot tub usually demands.
If you want to enjoy your hot tub for years to come, maintenance is something you will naturally want to take seriously. Learning how to maintain a hot tub is an important part of ownership. Doing so ensures a relaxing space that everyone will enjoy. Furthermore, hot tub maintenance is not particularly difficult. It does come with a certain time demand, depending on the size and type of hot tub you own. However, by keeping the basics of hot tub maintenance in mind, you shouldn’t have any problems.
You can start by keeping in mind that maintaining a hot tub is not exactly the same as maintaining a traditional swimming pool. You will need to learn its unique basics, while simultaneously creating and sticking to a strict, ongoing schedule. Basic maintenance in the present can also prevent you from having to spend more time/money on repairs or other problems later on down the line.
What Does Hot Tub Maintenance Involve?
Start by learning the specific make and model of the hot tub in your home. This will make it easy to order parts unique to your make and model later on. There are also important stats that you will want to keep on hand, whether you are addressing a problem yourself, or calling in a professional for assistance. Such information will highlight your total capacity for water, the age of your hot tub, and any particular considerations/challenges that should be kept in mind. The presence of hard water is a good example of what we are talking about.
Let’s start with a closer look at the essentials of maintaining your hot tub:
- Circulating the water: This is one of the most important steps of all. By ensuring your water is properly moving through the cartridge filters of your hot tub, you are ensuring that the water itself will be free of undesirable contaminants. Certain models will run this necessary demand on an automatic schedule. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry. Just run your filters on their own for around 15 or 20 minutes a couple of times a day. You can run it for even longer if you like.
- Scrubbing your hot tub: This is obviously something else you will need to do with a certain degree of regularity. Both indoor tubs and outdoor tubs will build up a certain amount of scum along its surfaces. Debris can also become stuck to your surface, which can attract animals and various unwanted organisms. Simply scrubbing the tub once or so a week with a brush and some white vinegar will go a long towards destroying scum at the source. Also, you don’t have to drain your tub for these weekly cleanings, unless you really want to (it’s expensive, time-consuming, and quite frankly unnecessary). However, you will need to drain the tub for a comprehensive cleaning at least once every three to four months. That means draining the tub completely, scrubbing everything down, and then refilling the tub. You will also want to make sure you check your levels after doing all of this.
- Taking care of your filters: The third and final vital component to ongoing hot tub maintenance is essential for a hot tub you plan to use frequently for years to come. Remember that your filters are running and working hard whenever you are either using the tub or circulating the water to keep it clean. To that end, you will need to take seriously such tasks as rinsing the filters, spraying the filters, and even soaking the filters with a good chemical cleaner. Rinsing and spraying the filters are jobs you should tackle every week or so. Soaking the filters is something you will only need to do when you’re draining and refiling the tub.
These are the most important responsibilities associated with maintaining your hot tub. However, there are other things you will obviously need to keep in mind. The math and seeming science associated with hot tub care can be intimidating to some. It really doesn’t have to be. By keeping a few basic terms and figures in mind, you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever.
If you’ve ever had to maintain a traditional swimming pool, you’re going to find a few similarities here. They aren’t exactly the same, but there are some overlapping demands.
A Deeper Look At Hot Tub Maintenance
For example, testing your water is important, but many feel they won’t be able to understand the information they should be looking for. It isn’t complicated by any stretch of the imagination. When reading your levels, you will want to consider the following two components:
- pH levels: The ideal level for virtually all hot tubs will fall somewhere between 7.4 and 7.6. Anything below this range can create a hot tub with water that is far too acidic to be comfortable, useful, or even particularly safe. If your values are too high, you will notice cloudiness to your water. This is because the sanitizer has been rendered useless by high pH levels, inviting greater amounts of debris and other unwanted materials.
- Alkalinity: This is also pretty important. Ideal levels in this area will be somewhere between 125ppm (parts per million) and 150ppm. Anything higher than that can cause cloudiness in the water, as well as scaling.
You are going to need a sanitizer to ensure your water maintains the ideal levels for both of those things. There are a number of different products on the market that can help you. Just make sure you choose one that has been designed with your tub in mind. You will also need a testing kit or testing strip to test the water after the sanitizer has run its course. Make sure to follow all directions associated with the product carefully.
Finally, if a significant amount of time passes between hot tub uses, you will almost certainly want to shock the water, then test it. Shocking a hot tub is essentially the same as shocking a traditional swimming pool. In essence, you are “shocking” your water with a high degree of cleansing components. This is something you will probably want to do before opening up your hot tub for the season.
These are the main factors to consider when caring for your hot tub. You will need to create a foundation for success with all of these tasks by creating a schedule for maintenance, and then making it a point to stick to that schedule as closely as possible.
How To Create Your Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule
Ask any experienced hot tub owner or maintenance professional. Every single one of them will tell you that consistency and simplicity are the two biggest factors with the maintenance of any hot tub. Taking preventative measures with an ongoing weekly schedule, using the suggestions we have illustrated thus far, will likely save you from the grief of costly repairs and replacement work later on. You will want to establish a hot tub maintenance schedule as soon as possible.
Yes, you will still have to do a big drain/clean/refill every few months, but that’s nothing compared to damaged equipment, or water that isn’t fit for soaking by anyone. Hot tub repair work can get very expensive very quickly.
You can make things easy on yourself. Apps and calendars make it easy to create a schedule well in advance and to build that schedule around the best times in which to take care of things. You can do this with your laptop, your smartphone, or even your tablet. You’ll get ongoing reminders to help you stay on track.
Even a traditional calendar or dry-erase board (which is perfect, if you plan to split up hot tub chores among different members of your family) can be ideal for staying on top of things.
Even so, if you happen to forget once in a while, it will hardly be the end of the world.
Let’s wrap things up with a brief example of what a hot tub maintenance schedule looks like:
- Daily: Make sure your hot tub cover is both cleaned and secured. Check and adjust the temperature of the water as needed. Check for and deal with any damage to your tub and cover.
- Approximately 3X Weekly: Check the alkalinity levels, as well as your pH levels. Sanitizer levels should be inspected, as well. Make any adjustments as needed. The surface right above the water line should be cleaned, too.
- Weekly: Everything should be tested, sanitized, and shocked on a weekly basis. You should also rinse the filter with clean water, while thoroughly wiping down the cover.
- Monthly: Chemical rinses, clean jets, and professional inspection.
- Quarterly: Clean the cabinet, give the filter a chemical soak, and drain the tub for cleaning/repairs.
- Yearly: Flush your lines, check the hardware and wiring of the tub, and bring in a professional for an inspection/tune-up. Update your calendar for next year as needed.
These are the basics of how to maintain a hot tub. Happy soaking!