Owning a hot tub can provide a lot of relaxation. However, you will need to perform regular hot tub maintenance.
Keeping your hot tub clean is important, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s look at some of the things you should know about hot tub maintenance.
The Basics of Hot Tube Maintenance
Before you slip into the hot water of your hot tub, you should know some of the terms that go along with it. Sometimes, a hot tub is called a spa, portable spa, or even a Jacuzzi. However, Jacuzzi is actually a brand name, but any of these terms can refer to your hot tub.
You will want to know the make and the model of your hot tub, as well. This can make it easier if you need parts or services at any time.
It can also be very helpful to have the vital statistics for your hot tube handy. This will include the following:
- Water capacity
- Water challenges
This is all important information to have before you get into hot tub maintenance.
The Three Cs of Hot Tub Maintenance
Circulation is vital to keeping your hot tub clean and maintaine3d. You want to make sure the water circulates well, which should be pretty easy if you’re using it regularly.
Some hot tub models have an automatic circulation schedule. This will ensure your hot tub runs once or twice a day to keep the water circulating. Some cycles will circulate the water for 15 to 20 minutes and some will circulate it longer.
If you don’t have this feature, you will want to make sure the water gets circulated once or twice a day for at least 15 minutes. This will help the water run through the filters and remain clean.
Of course, a big part of hot tub maintenance is cleaning. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor hot tub, it will develop scum and need to be cleaned regularly. Outdoor hot tubs tend to get leaves and other debris in them, as well.
Cleaning the hot tub with white vinegar every week is a good idea. You can simply use a sponge with white vinegar and clean the shell and the jets. It can also be used to scrub the waterline, which is where you will find the scum, typically.
Along with weekly cleaning, you will want to drain your hot tub every three or four months and do a more thorough cleaning. Just as you would never let your bathtub go without regular cleaning, your hot tub needs to be cleaned regularly, too.
You will also need to clean your hot tub filters. These will need to be cleaned by rinsing them often with warm water or water from your outdoor hose. You can also spray them every week or so with filter cleaning. Soaking your hot tub filters when you drain it for a thorough cleaning is also smart.
The final of the 3 Cs of hot tub maintenance is Chemistry. Keeping your water balance is much like balancing the water in a swimming pool. However, the smaller size can make it quite a bit harder to do.
It’s important to get a baseline reading for the water chemistry before you add anything to it. After the tub is full, take the pH and alkalinity levels.
You will need to keep several chemicals on hand for your hot tub including:
- pH increaser
- pH decreaser
- Alkalinity increaser
- Sanitize, usually bromine or chlorine
- Shock, usually non-chlorine or di-chlor
- Testing kit
These chemicals are all important to keep the water chemistry correct in your hot tub.
Tips for a Cleaner Hot Tub
1. Add Tennis Balls
Adding a tennis ball or two will help to extract the oils in the hot tub. Your filter will likely not get these for you. When you get into a hot tub, the hot water will pull oils, soap, and lotions from your body and your clothing. Adding tennis balls will help to soak these oils up and keep your water even cleaner.
2. Use Your Hot Tub During Off-Peak Times
The majority of the energy used by your hot tub will be when you’re using it. If you can use your tub more often during the off-peak hours, you will likely pay less for electricity. This can also keep the water circulating more often to keep your hot tub clean.
3. Use a Timer
When you’re refilling your hot tub after cleaning, use a timer. You don’t want to overflow it and have to pay for that water and clean up the mess.
4. Keep a 7.4 to 7.6 pH level
Your hot tub should always have a pH of 7.4 to 7.6. This is where you want the water to sit. If it becomes too acidic, it could damage the hardware. However, if it gets above this level, it can make it harder to keep the water sanitary.
Setting Your Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule
Now that we have gone over some basics, let’s set up a hot tub maintenance schedule.
Every day, you will want to do the following:
- Make sure the cover is on securely
- Check for damage to the cover
- Check the temperature of the water
If there is a drastic change in water temperature, you might have a system issue. Be aware of this.
Every week, you need to do the following:
- Check the alkalinity of the water
- Test the pH and adjust accordingly
- Check the level of your sanitizer
- Clean above the waterline of the hot tub
- Shock and sanitize the water
- Rinse the filter
- Clean the cover
Most of these tasks you can do once a week, but you may need to test the water a few times a week.
Some tasks don’t need to be done as often and only need to be done once a month, such as:
- Check the jets for damage and clogs
- Do a chemical rinse on your filter
- have the water tested by a professional
These three tasks should be done about once a month.
Every three to four months, you will want to do the following:
- Do a chemical soak on your filters
- Drain and clean your hot tub
- Handle any necessary repairs while the tub is drained
- Clean the hot tub cabinet
These tasks can be done every three to four months.
The final part of your hot tub maintenance schedule is the tasks you do once a year, which include:
- Flush the lines
- Inspect the wiring and hardware
- Get it professionally tuned up
- Inspect the cover for mold, damage, and mildew
Some of these can also be handled as you notice an issue with the rest of your maintenance schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hot Tub Maintenance?
Will my hot tub require a lot of maintenance?
The schedule above might seem overwhelming, but it’s not as much work as it sounds. The amount of maintenance is actually rather low. You will need to spend about $20 per month on the right testing supplies and chemicals.
Most of the tasks don’t take that long to perform. In some cases, there are automatic features on some models that will handle some of the tasks, as well.
Is there anything I should put in my hot tub after each use?
Yes, you should add just a pinch of chlorine after every use. This can help to keep it clean and sanitary. Chlorine tablets can also be used with a floating dispenser.
Do I need to add chlorine daily?
No, you don’t need to put chlorine in your hot tub daily. You do want to test the water every week and spring in some chlorine after every use. A floating dispenser can also be helpful, but you don’t need to put it in every day.
Am I allowed to use salt instead of chlorine in my hot tub?
Yes, but you will have to have a saltwater system or it won’t work properly. If you install a saltwater system into your hot tub, you can use salt instead of chlorine. This type of system will actually turn the saltwater into chlorine.
Is it okay to use baking soda in my hot tub?
Yes, you can use baking soda if you need to increase the alkalinity of the water. Add a tablespoon for every 100 gallons of water in your hot tub.
Is vinegar safe for cleaning my hot tub?
Not only is white vinegar safe, but it’s recommended for cleaning your hot tub. It should always be white vinegar since it’s an all-purpose cleaning and safe for your hot tub. However, vinegar should not be used to adjust the pH. Use a pH decreaser for this task.
If you plan to buy a hot tub or you just got one, this guide to hot tub maintenance can be very helpful. You will want to get on a regular schedule to keep your hot tub in the best shape possible and keep it clean.