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Care for your Spa or Hot tub 6 Keys of Spa Care Chlorine-Bromine Spa Start Up Chlorin-bromine maintenance Soft Soak Start up & Maintenance Pristine Blue Spa Care AquaFinesse for Spas & Hot tubs Nature2 for Spas Spa Frog Swim Spa care Spa & Hot tub chemistry questions Purge, drain & refill spa or hot tub Spa Hot tub Water Balance Spa Biofilms Foaming, cloudy water Odors Spa Water Mold Spa water illlness, rashes Text Box: Spa & Hot Tub Care

6 Keys to Good & Easy Spa & Hot tub Care
(it's not just chemicals)

Ronald Parrs, Basic Author
Key 6 - Purge, Drain & Refill
The last key is Purging, draining & refilling.  This is probably the most important key to spa care because proper purging, draining & refilling MUST be done on a regular basis - usually every 2 to 4 months depending on usage. 

If the spa water is getting funky looking & smelling and it's been several months, don't bother with anti-foams or water clarifiers!  Just drain it.  Let's look at WHY...


6 keys to spa care - drain & refill

As you're soaking & relaxing in the nice warm, bubbling waters of your spa or hot tub, your body is releasing literally liters of perspiration, body oils, skin cells, not to mention deodorant, make up, perfume, lotions - need I go on?  In a swimming pool it's not so bad.  But in a spa, well...

Keep this in mind...4 people in a 300 gallon spa is roughly equal to 120 people in a 20,000 gallon pool.  Plus there's the significantly warmer water. Do you remember the last time you took a real bath?  Not a shower - but a bath.  Would you soak in that same water 2 or 3 days later?  We didn't think so! Now I think I have your attention.

The reason a spa gets foamy after a period of time is because you are producing soap.  To make soap you need 3 things: heat, an alkaline base (something with a high or higher pH) & animal fat (read that as body oils & perspiration).

Now you ask, "I thought the chemicals & filter system were supposed to take care of all of that."  Yes and No. Yes, the chemicals & filter will oxidize and remove some of those contaminants, but not all of them.  Most of those substances are "insoluble" meaning they can�t be broken down any further.  Shocks help to oxidize and enzymes help to "eat up" these insolubles, but again, not all.

That's why the spa MUST be regularly purged, drained & refilled (click on that link for greater details).  But how often?  Here's a formula that we use...

1. Determine the number of gallons in the spa.

2. Divided the number of gallons by the average daily bather load (for example, 3 bathers, 2 times per week would equal approximately � 2 x 3 = 6 divided by 7 = 1 bather per day).

3. Then divide that number by 3 to get your answer (in days).

Let�s do 2 examples�

First example: a spa or hot tub with 300 gallons of water that is used by 2 people twice each day 5 - 7days (2 people times twice a day equals a bather load of 4) 
300 ÷ 4 = 75 ÷ 3 = 25 days or about once per month.

Second example: a spa or hot tub with 300 gallons of water that is used by 2 people once each day 5 - 7days (equals bather load of 2) 
300 ÷ 2 = 150 ÷ 3 = 50 days or about once every 2 months.

This formula is not concrete, however it is a good guideline to follow.  Depending on how much the spa is used, directly determines how often it needs to be purged, drained & refilled. Most commercial spas need to be drained & refilled at least once per week!  Or they should!

Cleans biofilm from hot tub spa plumbing

A quick word about bio-films. Bio-films are colonies of bacteria that grow & thrive in moist areas; any moist area. Research at leading universities has shown that roughly 99% of the bacteria present in a spa or hot tub resides in the bio-film. That means Only 1% is floating around the water. Bio-films need 2 things to grow: a surface & moisture. If you notice a bit of pinkish or white-ish film around your spa pillows, that�s bio-film. But keep in mind that the bulk of bio-film is in the plumbing lines where you can�t easily get at. And did I mention that bio-films are very sanitizer resistant? Read more about bio-films here.

Even if the spa has been standing empty for a period of time without being treated or used, it is recommended that prior to filling the spa, first fill it then purge it by adding a spa plumbing line cleaner (such as AquaFinesse Spa Cleaner, Spa Purge, Spa System Flush, or, Swirl Away) & clean the spa's plumbing lines. Follow the label directions.  This will help provide a more successful experience � bio-films can build-up even when not being in use (Did you ever leave a thermos or cooler with a little bit of liquid in closed up for a period of time? Same problem).  A fill, treat, drain & refill is worth the extra time & effort (doing this a second time). By the way, if you own a jetted bathtub, this is a great procedure to perform every few months as well.

If at all possible, from time to time (a couple of times per year), tip the spa on its side to more thoroughly empty the water that is in the lines.  Be sure to check with your local spa professional to avoid damaging the spa.

Regular use of AquaFinesse® will continually (and is the only spa chemical product on the market to perform this job) remove & prevent the the bio-film build-up. To learn more about bio-films click here.

Water Chemistry Tip: if things get too out of control, drain the spa & start over.

Pristine Blue users click here for more information & usage tips.

For more information on the workings of your pool, click on the 6 Keys to Spa Care

Some information contained in this article is courtesy of the BioGuard Chem PLUS 2003, 2004, Chem College 2007 & H2-Know 2011 Reference Guide. 

Listen to or Download this Information
Ronald Parrs, Basic Author Links to all of the 6 Keys:
  1. Circulation
  2. Filtration
  3. Cleaning & Maintenance
  4. Testing
  5. Water Chemistry
  6. Drain & Refill

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