DAILY WATER CARE
SPAS · HOT TUBS · SWIMSPAS
1. Filling the Spa
When you fill your spa you do it with your garden hose. Make sure the hose contains fresh water, (do nto use softened water) first let it run until all the old water in the hose is gone. Fill the spa to the indicator mark on the filter housing and make sure all jets are covered with water (or you will get awfully wet!) then turn the spa back on. Once the spa has gone through its startup routine and is operative with the pumps functional you can proceed to adjusting the water.
2. Eliminating Excess Calcium
If you live in an area where there is a lot of calcium in the water it is advisable to remove some of the calcium so that it does not form a crust on the surface of the spa, on the jets and in the pipes, pumps and heater. To do this use a calcium reducer product which you just pour in. This has to be done before adjusting the pH as it will reduce the alkalinity of the water. Add one capful of product at a time and after letting the water mix for 4 hours test the water by simply leaving a few drops on a piece of clean glass to dry out, if you still have a white residue repeat the procedure until you have no residue. Make a note on the bottle of calcium reducer the number of capfuls required for future reference.
3. Testing The Water
Testing The Water and Adjusting pH (see 6 and 7 below)
4. Shocking the Water
Once you have the pH adjusted you need to shock the water. This means that you put in a high dose of chlorine in order to clear all the bacteria out of the water so that you start with perfectly clean water. Although the normal level of chlorine when you are using the spa would be 1-3 ppm you now want to get it up to 10 ppm so you need to throw in about 2 tablespoons per cubic meter (1000 liters) of water. Test again after about an hour and if the level has slipped below 10 ppm raise it again with a bit more chlorine. You need to maintain the level at 10 ppm continuously for at least 4 hours to insure that the water is perfectly clean - so if you test after 1 hour and it has slipped down below 10 ppm you have to add more chlorine and also start counting your 4 hours from zero again. When adding chlorine in granulated form you can just sprinkle it onto the surface of the water with the pumps on as it dissolves very quickly. The kind of chlorine to use is Dichlor 55% - never use pool chlorine (trichlor) as it is very aggressive and can damage the pumps, jets and surface of the spa. Do not sprinkle chlorine on the surface of the spa, control panel or pillows as it can cause damage. To bring the chlorine level down afterwards just leave the cover open on the spa and the extra chlorine will dissipate into the air.
Now that your water is adjusted and sanitized your spa is ready to use! From now on all you have to do is to maintain the water by eliminating the bacteria that you bring in each time you use the spa. Aim to maintain the chlorine level at 3-5 ppm so that the next time you get in it will be below this level (see section 8 below). Once a week you should test the water and adjust the pH if necessary. Also take a look at the filter and the skimmer and rinse out any debris that has collected there.
Enjoy Your Spa!
Although we have a detailed explanation about spa and hot tub water maintenance on this site in our Water Maintenence Guide (at the top of the page) we have realized, over the years, that our customers don't always want so much detail. What they often want is simply a foolproof guide telling them in a nutshell what to do to have perfect water. So, here is our guide, a step-by-step bare-bones procedure that if you follow it to the letter will give you the results you want. We give a free, plasticized copy as part of the chemical kit that we supply with every spa and the best thing to do is to post it near the spa or hot tub so that it is always close to hand. You will find a .pdf version at the bottom of the page if you need more copies and if you follow this guide you will always have crystal clear water. Guaranteed!
Spa Water Care
6. Testing Water
Before the water can be adjusted it has to be tested with the test strips. Take out a strip and dip it slowly into the water removing it at once. Hold the strip horizontally so that the test pads (the cotton squares) are facing up and can absorb all of the liquid. After 15 seconds compare the strip to the scale on the bottle, compare only the pH and chlorine as the other tests are for pools where water is kept for much longer periods of time, spa water should be changed every three months at least.
7. Adjusting pH
The pH should be between 7,2 - 7,8 ppm (parts per million) and you have to add either pH increaser or pH reducer to bring it within this range. When adding pH adjuster first dissolve it in a glass or cup of water and be sure to turn the pumps on so that it will mix well. As it takes about 3 hours to work so you have to wait before you can test again. If, on the first attempt you do not get the water adjusted properly just repeat the procedure until you do. Sometimes this can take some time but please persist.
8. Sanitizing Water
Add chlorine to the water to raise the level to 5 ppm. When you enter the spa it is ideal to have as little chlorine in the water as possible so add chlorine after each use to eliminate any bacteria brought in by the bathers. A general rule of thumb is half a tablespoon per person each time. If you are using the spa a lot you could end up with too much (or too little) chlorine so if it starts to smell of chlorine skip one time or reduce the amount. If the water smells musty or looks milky shock the water. For water shocking instructions please see section 4 above. Never Use Pool Chemicals - Only Dichlor or Bromine!!!
(Trichlor and pool tablets can damage your equipment and jets.)
9. What If The Water Goes Funny?
If your water becomes cloudy or smelly you have not been using enough sanitizer and need to shock the water (see 4 above). Be sure to check the filter at this time because the water might be cloudy because the filter is so full it cannot filter out the debris. Also check the pH because if it is way out of line you can put loads of chlorine in but it will not work properly. The other cause of cloudy water is that the spa is not filtering long enough to remove the debris from the water. Consult the spa control card to ascertain how to adjust the filtration system.
If You Can´t Get The Water To Clear: CHANGE THE WATER!
Always Keep Your Spa Covered When Not In Use!