How to Maintain Your Hot Tub

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How to Maintain Your Hot Tub

A hot tub provides relaxation, as well as numerous health and wellness benefits. But in order to ensure a safe and fun environment for all who enjoy it, your hot tub requires regular maintenance. Although this is the not-so-fun part of hot tub ownership, breaking down the maintenance schedule makes the duties seem less overwhelming and more manageable – which means you’ll be more likely to keep your hot tub in top condition!

Although Certified Leak Detection doesn’t perform hot tub or pool maintenance, we want to be sure you get the most from your slice of Central Florida paradise! Also, being diligent about your hot tub’s care will mean you’ll probably notice suspicious conditions that could indicate a leak. Our blog post – “Is Your Hot Tub Leaking?” – covers this topic in detail.

Here is our hot tub maintenance schedule, which incorporates advice from the good people at Ace Swim & Leisure, Fresh Water Systems and National Pools & Spas.

Daily Hot Tub Maintenance Steps

Circulate your hot tub water – Run the pump for at least 20 minutes daily to circulate the water, even if you don’t plan to use the hot tub that day. Stagnant water creates the perfect environment for bacteria to develop. This will help ensure the water moves through your system, and the filters can clean any contaminants out of the water each day. 

Make sure that your hot tub cover is clean, tight and secure – Cover your hot tub when not in use. When the cover is in place and sealed, it will keep the chemicals, water and heat in, while keeping debris out. A well-secured cover also protects children and pets.

Check the water temperature – It should remain fairly consistent from day-to-day. If so, it’s a sign that your hot tub is working fine. However, if you notice a drastic fluctuation in temperature, it could indicate an issue in your system that you need to address immediately.

Check for damage – If your hot tub is outdoors rather than in a screen enclosure, it’s susceptible to scratches and tears from animals, fallen tree branches (especially during hurricane/summer thunderstorm season), etc. Do a quick visual inspection every day to catch any kind of obvious damage before it becomes more extensive – and expensive to repair.

Check the water level – Hot tubs lose an inch or two of water weekly, depending on the water and air temperature. If you notice more than a two-inch drop over seven days – or if you see water pooling around the base of the hot tub, especially when the jets are on – it may have a leak.

Weekly Hot Tub Maintenance Steps

Test and treat the water – According to Ace Swim & Leisure, “Balancing your water is possibly one of the most important parts of maintaining your hot tub. If your water is unbalanced, it can cause lasting damage to your hot tub’s shell and system from the water being too acidic or not acidic enough, which results in corrosion or scale build-up.

“Once a week, or directly after a water change, test your water with your pH test strips. Many of these strips will also give you a value for the alkalinity of your water as well, which is vital. You’ll want your pH level to be between 7.2 and 7.8 and your alkaline level to be anywhere from 80-120 ppm. Based on your starting levels, you’ll want to use pH and alkaline increasers and decreasers to bring your levels back into the proper range. 

“Always adjust your water’s alkaline levels first. When you add your alkaline balancing products, they will drastically influence the range of your pH, whereas your pH will have much less influence over your alkalinity. Once you’ve brought your alkaline levels into balance, then adjust your pH to bring it into range.”

Shock the water – Sanitizer is essential to keep your hot tub free of bacteria and other contaminants – such as lotions, body oils and even dead skin cells. A hot tub shock is basically a large amount of oxidizer that “shocks” your spa clean. Carefully follow label instructions, and leave the hot tub cover off to allow any chemical gasses to be released.

Clean the filters – Most filter cartridges are easy to remove. Take them out and rinse with gently running water, then let dry and replace. Check for wear and damage. Regular cleaning keeps them optimized for filtering dirt, insects and other contaminants.

Wipe down your hot tub cover – The cover needs to be wiped down once a week with a specialized cleaner to prevent the build-up of algae and mold. You also should wipe the top edge of the hot tub shell with a damp cloth to keep it free of dust and dirt that could get into the water.

Monthly Hot Tub Maintenance Steps

As important as the weekly steps are, you’ll need to put aside some time each month to give it a check-up to make sure your hot tub runs as smoothly as possible for many years.

Deep-clean the filters – Take the filters out and give them a deep, chemical clean. This step is essential for washing away any dirt and grime the filters collect when doing their work. As cleaning the filters is part of your weekly tasks, just replace one of these cleanings with a chemical rinse.

Clean the jets – Check over and clean your hot tub jets. Make sure they aren’t blocked or clogged.

Have your water checked by a professional – Your local pool and spa supply store should have water checking equipment that provides a detailed analysis of your water’s chemical levels. Take a water sample to identify any issues before they become a more serious problem.

Quarterly Hot Tub Maintenance Steps

The big task here is to drain your hot tub and replace the water. Although this process is time-consuming, it will only need to be performed once every three to four months. As Ace Swim & Leisure observes, “While your sanitizers, filters, and oxidizers will help keep your water clean, they can’t do so forever. Your water will slowly build up dirt, oils, and bacteria over time as you use it. Your filters can strip much of this out, but as they become dirty, they won’t be able to do as effective a job.”

Once the hot tub is empty, use a high-quality shell cleaner to clean the entire surface of the shell. You’ll also want to perform a deep clean on your filters. As with the monthly maintenance, run them under water to flush out any dirt and debris, then submerge in filter cleaner. Replace the filters if they aren’t able to get completely clean.

This is a good time to clean the underside of your hot tub cover, as well. Because it’s constantly exposed to steam and chemicals, mold or mildew can grow over time.

Once the hot tub is clean, refill it with a garden hose, test its pH and alkaline levels, and rebalance the water.

Pro tip: Using a submersible pump can drain your hot tub in as little as 15 minutes!

Annual Hot Tub Maintenance Steps

Although this may seem daunting, performing annual maintenance won’t take very long if you’ve kept up with daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly maintenance. Schedule for the same time each year.

Flush the plumbing lines – This will get rid of bacteria or biofilm buildups. You can also make this part of your quarterly maintenance, or do any time you drain and refill your hot tub.

Inspect your hot tub – Check the controls, wiring and other hardware. Look for damage, wear- and-tear, or any loose parts.

Get a professional maintenance check-up – Schedule an appointment with your local hot tub or pool-and-spa maintenance service for a thorough inspection. A pro will be able to quickly identify and repair any issue so it doesn’t escalate into an even bigger and costlier problem.

Inspect and clean the hot tub cover – Look for mildew, mold, excessive moisture and any physical damage or odd smells. Again, prevention is better than the cure. Replace if it’s damaged or too old to be cleaned thoroughly.

The Take-Home Message

With cooler days and evenings coming, this is the time to get your hot tub ready! If you suspect a leak – or just want to be sure all is well – Certified Leak Detection is experienced in leak detection for swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and fountains. Serving areas throughout Central Florida – including Orlando, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Kissimmee, Clermont and Winter Springs – our team is ready to answer your call! Contact us for quick, reliable service.

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