The best thing about your hot tub will always be the time you get to spend in it. If you want to enjoy that time to the fullest, however, proper maintenance is a must. Routine maintenance really comes down to one thing: water chemistry. Ensuring your water is properly balanced with the right chemicals is key to keeping your spa in tip-top shape. While learning the right chemicals to use and how to use them may seem complicated at first, you’ll quickly have it all down to a science. In fact, we’ve prepared a handy cheat sheet to help you do just that.
THE CHEMICALS YOU’LL NEED
Spa Test Kit
A spa test kit comes with special test strips that allow you to test your water levels. You’ll be testing for bromine levels as well as total alkalinity, pH and hardness. You should test your water twice weekly.
Your water needs to have the correct amount of calcium — a range between 175 parts per million (ppm) and 250 ppm. If you’re below that, you’ll need to add calcium to your water. If your water has too much calcium, your water can become corrosive.
Your pH balancer makes it easier for your sanitizer to work effectively. The ideal pH range falls between 7.2 and 7.8. Unbalanced pH levels can lead to acidic water, which can corrode spa parts and irritate your skin and eyes.
Alkalinity increasers strengthen the total concentration of alkaloids in hot tub water. Alkaloids help shield your water’s pH levels by neutralizing acids.
Used to keep your water clear and your spa scale-free, a small amount of water clarifier can keep your hot tub and its water clean.
Bromine tablets are used to clean your hot tub water. Part of the tablet combines with bacteria in your spa, neutralizing it while the remainder stays active in the water.
Shock is another sanitizing product. It works in concert with bromine to kill bacteria and clear cloudy or murky water. Shock is a vital step in making sure the water is safe for you to use.
HOW TO USE THEM
- Set the water in your hot tub to 80°F before adding any chemicals. This will help them to dissolve completely, making them more effective.
- Use your test strips to check the pH level of your water. The color will change based on its acidity or alkalinity.
- If you get a low reading, use a capful of pH up in your water or pH down if it tests high. Allow the water to filter for 30 minutes before retesting.
- Next, test for alkalinity. Your water should fall between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm). If it’s too low, use an alkalinity up product to increase levels or an alkalinity down product to decrease levels.
- Now that your water is balanced, you need to focus on keeping it and your hot tub clean. Add a water clarifier to your hot tub, following the instructions on the container. This helps cut down on scum and scales in your spa caused by detergents, lotions and cosmetics.
- Now it’s time to sanitize your water. Using bromine tablets is as simple as following the instructions listed on the product. Be sure to use the number of tablets recommended by the manufacturer.
- Last, but not least, follow up the bromine treatment with a spa shock product to clarify your water. This works to keep it clear of foam and cloudiness.
AJ SPA & HOT TUBS
If you need advice about how to treat your hot tub water, our experts at AJ Spa & Hot Tubs can help. Our Patchogue, NY showroom is well stocked with high quality new and used hot tubs and spa accessories such as hot tub covers. Our hot tub pricing can’t be beat, so drop in for a visit any time or send us a message if you’re looking for a quote.