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How to Maintain a Hot Tub

Caring for your hot tub is not as difficult as you might expect, so don’t despair! In the main, it’s about keeping the water healthy and clean and ensuring the right ratio of chemicals is in the water.

image - How to Maintain a Hot Tub
How to Maintain a Hot Tub

In the following article we will cover these subjects:

  • Is a hot tub hard to maintain?
  • How often do you need to change the water in a hot tub?
  • How expensive is it to maintain a hot tub?

We hope that by answering these questions for you, you will be happier with your purchase and enjoy your hot tub more! Let’s get started.


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Is a Hot Tub Hard to Maintain?

The simple answer is no; a hot tub is simple to maintain once you get used to the routine involved, but it does require you to take some time every now and then to do the job.

The main intention is keeping the water clean and sanitary. This is done by the use of a variety of hot tub chemicals which should be in the water in certain quantities.

You will need to test the water in your hot tub between two and four times each week. It is easy to do – you simply take a sample and add it to the test kit that is supplied by any hot tub dealer.

You are looking for levels of the following: pH, alkalinity, hardness levels, and sanitizer.

image - How Hard Is It To Maintain a Hot Tub
How Hard Is It To Maintain a Hot Tub

Without going into too much detail it is the above chemistry that keeps the water clean and usable. The levels you are looking for should be in the following ranges:

  • Chlorine – 1.0 to 3.0 ppm
  • Bromine – 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
  • pH – 7.4 to 7.6
  • Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness – 150 to 250 ppm

It is strongly recommended that with every test you keep a note of the levels, as this will show you any trends that may be present and help you to keep the balance right.

If you fill your spa with regular tap water – and generally it should be fine – then it may help to test your water straight from the tap or garden hose, so you will be aware of the chemical additions you need to make when it’s in the tub.

That’s the hot tub chemical maintenance, and all the chemicals you need are readily available from the hot tub and spa suppliers. Now let’s look at some other necessary hot tub maintenance you need to perform.

image - Cleaning a Hot Tub Filter
Cleaning a Hot Tub Filter

Clean the Hot Tub Filter

The filter is an essential part of the hot tub spa and works hard to filter your water for you constantly. You should follow the manufacturer instructions on hot tub maintenance and clean the filter as suggested.

It will usually be found among the other essential parts of the spa – your spa user instructions will show you where to find it and how to remove it – and needs cleaning when the pressure gauge reads 8 to 10 PSI above its fresh reading.

If you want to get into a routine, perhaps wash the spa filter every 4 to 8 weeks. Note that it should be replaced every two years.

Clean it by way of running it under water – don’t use any household cleaning products as that will affect the chemistry of the water – and then put it back as per the instructions.

You also need to clean the actual hot tub, and that can only be done when it’s empty so let’s move on to our next question.

image - How Often Should You Change Water in Hot Tub
How Often Should You Change Water in Hot Tub

How Often Do You Need to Change the Water in a Hot Tub?

You will need to change your water every now and then, and depending on whether it is a 2 person hot tub or larger, this means draining as per the manufacturer instructions.

How often you empty your hot tub also depends on how often it is used. Generally, to ensure water chemistry is correct your hot tub water should be changed every 3 to 4 months.

Once empty, you need to wash all the surfaces and again, don’t use household cleaning products in your hot tub care routine. The chemical hot tub will gather grit and dirt over time, and you’ll find it perhaps best to hose it down.

Use a pool vacuum to get rid of the dirt that will have gathered on the bottom – these are readily available from hot tubs and spa providers – and there are also a specialist pool and spa cleaning sprays that are useful at this stage.

Don’t forget to check the jets which can become clogged from time to time.

It’s also worth mentioning that the spa cover needs maintenance too. You should always air your spa cover a couple of times a week – as if it were a laundry item – as this will allow it to relax, so to speak.

The spa or hot tub cover is exposed to chemicals and moisture all the time, so giving it a break will extend its lifespan. You may also want to go over it with a hot tub vacuum once in a while to keep it clean.

Now all you need to do is add fresh water, chlorine, and other chemicals, and you’re ready to go.

Always keep the hot tub spa topped up to the required level – water will be lost to evaporation and people getting in and out – which is central to the skimmer intake or higher. Check your manufacturer’s instructions for any further advice.

image - Cost of Running a Hot Tub
Cost of Running a Hot Tub

How Expensive is it to Maintain a Hot Tub?

As you will have seen above, maintaining hot tub water is about ensuring alkalinity, chlorine, and calcium hardness levels in the hot tub water are present at the right levels.

Maintenance on a regular basis is needed and takes time, but it is not expensive. The only costs are those of the water you use to refill, and the chemicals hot tub needs.

The cost of chemicals for hot tubs is your only actual outlay other than your time. When it comes to the hot tub and spa care, once you get the routine you will do it automatically.

So, here’s a brief recap of all the hot tub maintenance you need to do to keep the water in your spa clean and ready for use:

  • Test the water for balance at least a couple of times each week
  • Clean your filter every few weeks depending upon usage
  • Drain and refill every few months and clean while empty
  • Air your cover regularly, and keep the spa topped up.

That’s our guide to maintaining your spa, so enjoy your hot tub and keep it nice and clean!


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