Spa Maintenance Advice
Your hot tub is a substantial investment as well as a source of pleasure, and it’s worth maintaining. The focus here is on water maintenance since it is the most important day-to-day element that owners can control themselves.
When the water in the hot tub loses its freshness, gets smelly or itchy, gets cloudy or even causes ‘hot tub rash’, you know there’s a sanitation problem. These signs indicate you need to take steps to recover water quality and clarity. Chemicals, however, are often NOT the answer.
The most important single thing you can do to maintain your hot tub water is keep the spa ozonator working properly. With the ozonator providing primary sanitation power, you should need a limited amount of chemicals to maintain water chemistry balance. Much of the time the only chemicals you will use between water changes will be a small amount of ‘shock’ (such as sodium dichlor) following each use. Ozonator maintenance basically involves two steps:
- Make sure the ozonator is generating sufficient ozone.
- Make sure the ozone delivery system, especially the ozone injector, is working effectively.
- Make sure the check valve is operable.
Spa Ozonator Maintenance
Most factory-installed hot tub ozonators last about 3 years (although the DEL MCD-50 and HO high output ozonators lasts longer) and when they stop generating ozone, the water quality will deteriorate. The Ozone Test Kit page explains how your spa technician can reliably determine if your ozonator is producing enough ozone. Once you know that, you may choose to replace or renew your ozonator.
DEL recommends regular ozonator maintenance intervals of 12 to 18 months.
The modern portable spa contains complex systems powered by electricity. DEL recommends most owners call a qualified spa technician to deal with basic service issues on pumps, heaters, controls and power source. Of course, some skilled do it yourselfers can handle these systems. Many people can install a replacement ozonator (see the guide at the link below), though you may prefer to call your service tech.
Hot Tub Water Maintenance Basics
Once the ozonator is working properly, there are a few basic steps you can take to keep the spa water fresh.
- Use standard test strips frequently to make sure your Ph alkalinity and chlorine or bromine are within normal ranges. Some experts recommend checking this every day, but it will depend on how much you use the tub. If you find that these levels change rapidly and cannot be balanced even with lots of chemical dosing, you should re-check the ozonator, injector, and check valve.
- Change the water approximately every 3 months, depending on use. When you refill the tub, you may want to add descaler if your water has a lot of calcium.
- Keep the filter clean. An overnight soak in a filter cleaner bath once a month will remove a lot of the accumulated contaminants and let your filter do its job removing larger particulates. Replace the main filter at least every two years.
- Keep the hot tub cover closed when you are not using the tub to prevent things from blowing into the water.