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10 Water Chemistry Tips and Best Practices

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Maintaining your spa will ensure that you can enjoy its benefits for years to come. Keeping your spa’s water chemistry balanced is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your spa. Well-balanced water chemistry can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs and hours of your time. In this post, we will give you some valuable Water Chemistry tips that will help you spend less time fixing your spa and more time enjoying it!

1. Select Sanitizer

Use The Right Sanitizer.
The top 3 sanitization methods used for spas are Chlorine, Bromine, or a Salt Water Sanitizer System. Chlorine is the most popular method and the method we recommend because it is cheaper than the other options, easy to add, and gives you the best bacteria killing results. If you are using Chlorine as your sanitizer of choice, you will want to keep it as close to 3-5 ppm as possible (unless you are using it in combination with a Silver Ionizer).

Chlorine can be added directly to the surface of the water while the jet pump is running. If you are allergic to or sensitive to Chlorine; Bromine and Salt-Water Sanitizers are great alternatives; however, they will require extra attention (we will create a post on this topic in the future).

2. Test Hot Tub Water

Test Your Spa’s Water 2-3 Times A Week.
Maintaining great water chemistry starts with understanding how to test your water and read the results. For the average spa owner, we recommend using 5-way test strips. Five-way test strips measure Total Bromine (2-4 ppm), Free Chlorine (3-5 ppm), pH (7.4-7.6), and Total Alkalinity (125-150 ppm).

To use the test strip simply dip it into your spa’s water and remove immediately. Hold the strip level for about 15 seconds and then compare the color of each test pad on the strip to the color chart on the test strip container. Once you have your readings, you can add or not add chemicals based on the color chart. It is recommended that you completely drain, clean, and refill your spa with fresh water at least every 4 months.

3. Shock Your Spa

Shock Your Spa’s Water At Least Once A Week.
Shocking your spa helps to clear remaining bacteria and dead chlorine cells (chloramine) from your water. You will want to use Spa Shock-Oxidizer at least once a week, or if you use your spa often, two to three times a week. This is a very important step in maintaining good water chemistry and should NOT be ignored.

The amount of Spa Shock-Oxidizer you will need varies depending on the size of your spa. If you are shocking your spa for the first time, the recommended amount to add is 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) per 300 gallons. After the initial treatment, you can add at the rate of 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) per 300 gallons. Remember to shock your spa after using it, not before.

4. Clean Filters

Clean Your Filters At Least Once A Month.
Dirty filters can cause a multitude of issues for your spa. In the past, I have had customers who call in thinking they need to replace a circuit board because of the “flashing red light” and the only issue was dirty filters! Keeping your filters clean will ensure that your spa is working and filtering the water properly.

In addition to cleaning your filters every month, it is recommended that they are replaced every year. For more information on how to keep your filters clean, check out our blog post: The Best Way To Clean Your Spa Filters.

5. Use Mineral Spa Sanitizer

Use The FreshWater Mineral Spa Sanitzer AG+ Silver Ionizer.
The Freshwater AG+ Silver Ionizer is an amazing addition to any spa. This “mineral sanitizer” introduces silver ions into the spa water, inhibiting bacterial growth. This allows you to use less chlorine in your spa. When you use this Ionizer you only have to keep you Chlorine levels between 0.5 ppm and 1 ppm. The Ionizer is not a replacement for your sanitizer, but it does help keep your water clean and bacteria free!

6. Use Pre-Filter

Use A Pre-Filter When Filling Your Spa.
The best way to deliver easy-to-manage, longer-lasting hot tub water is to start with the cleanest water possible. This can be achieved with the new Clean Screen pre-filter. This one-of-a-kind pre-filter traps organic contaminants, metals (such as copper and iron), and tannins before they are introduced into the spa, so the water is as clean as possible at start-up.

Removing contaminants prior to introducing water into the spa helps to decrease the need for additional chemicals that would otherwise be needed to treat the water. Adding fewer chemicals means less work for every hot tub owner. Additionally, reduced chemical use can extend the life of the water – so water changes are less frequent. This pre-filter attaches to your garden hose and is good for up to 5000 gallons.

7. Install Ozone Generator (Ozonator)

Install the Hot Spring FreshWater 3 Ozonator.
One of the best ways to keep your water clear and smelling fresh is using an Ozonator. Ozonators have come a long way! The newly designed FreshWater® III CD Ozonator effortlessly replaces the older FreshWater II High Output ozonator, taking up half the space while packing twice the punch. This new design produces ozone differently than the typical ultraviolet style ozonators. The corona discharge method of ozone generation will release a higher concentration of ozone and that concentration level won’t decrease over the years like the ultraviolet style ozonators. The Freshwater III CD Ozonator is easy to install and its tiny bubbles will give your spa water that “rain fresh” fragrance.

8. Use Spa Cover

Keep Your Spa Covered.
This one is common sense. Do your best to keep your spa covered when you aren’t using it. This will ensure that debris such as leaves, sticks, insects, and other critters aren’t entering into your water system. Having debris in your spa can cause clogged filters, and in some cases, damage the pumps or heater.

9. Read Owner’s Manual

Read The Owner’s Manual.
HotSpring does a great job providing very useful information in their Owner’s Manuals. Reading through this manual will help you have the best experience possible with your HotSpring Spa. It contains all the information you will need to set up and operate your spa. The Owner’s Manual also contains great “best practices” and troubleshooting information. I guarantee that if you follow the information in your Owner’s Manual, it will save you money in the long run!

If you don’t have the Owner’s Manual for your spa, you can visit our Parts Finder and enter your spa serial number. Once you enter it, you will see information about your spa as well as a link that says “Download Manual”. Click the link and you’re all set! If you do not see the “Download Manual” link after you enter your serial number, please contact us and we can email it to you.

10. Shower Before Hot Tub Use

Take A Quick Rinse Before Using Your Spa.
Throughout the day our bodies collect all types of contaminants that are not ideal for your spa’s water chemistry. For example, hair products and lotion can cause the pores of your filters to clog and create a foamy, film-like substance on the surface of the water. The fewer bacteria you introduce into the water, the less work your sanitizer and filters will have to do to maintain good water chemistry balance. Another good practice is to rinse out leftover laundry detergents from bathing suits before getting in the tub.

Backyard Plus is Here For You.

Questions regarding your spa? Contact us! We are the top Hotspring spa parts retailer on the web. In addition to 10 Water Chemistry Tips and Best Practices, we offer:

Our goal here at Backyard Plus is to help save you money by avoiding costly service calls for repairs that you can easily do yourself!