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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 Care (it's not just hot tub chemicals)

Ronald Parrs, Basic Author

Spa & Hot tub care is fairly simple.

There are 6 easy to follow & very effective Keys to make sure it's clean, safe to use and will help the spa and its components last as long as possible.

The 6 Keys work synergistically; the work together. You can't have good filtration without good circulation. Good water chemistry is achieved through proper water testing. We're here to help you.


6 keys to spa care - circulation Key 1 - Circulation
Good circulation in your spa means much more than filtering water - it's getting all of the water in the spa moving & through the filter.  Circulation is more than filter or pump turnover; its removing dead spots - you know those areas where algae always seems to grow or where dirt & debris always seems to accumulate. The better the water is circulating, the better the filtration, the cleaner the spa.  In fact it typically takes more than FOUR turnovers to get all of the water completely filtered.  Click here for more information on how to improve water circulation.
6 keys to spa care - filtration

Key 2 - Filtration

Now that the water is circulating properly, good filtration removes dirt, debris & even certain large bacteria & algae.  Filter your water for 8 to 12 hours every day that the spa is operating. By the way, for the best filtration, be sure to chemically clean your filter 6 to 8 weeks to remove accumulations of greases, oils & other bather and environmental waste that clog your hot tub filter & that routine rinsing will NOT remove.  Click here for more information on spa filtration.
6 keys to spa care - cleaning

Key 3 - Cleaning

Most spas have at least several areas with little or no circulation. This is where biofilms and bacteria can begin to grow. These areas produce the "stuff" that contributes to cloudy or "unhealthy" water and higher than normal chlorine or sanitizer usage. At least once a week, the surfaces should be wiped & vacuumed to remove debris that the filter misses. Wiping is a must.  It's like taking care of your teeth - you know that you should brush & floss, but...Oh, and don't forget to clean that water line regularly to break up bio-film build up.  Learn all about cleaning here.
    OTO - pH test kit Key 4 - Testing
Test your spa water at least 2 times per week & bring in a 1 quart water sample for a complete computerized test & analysis 3 times per season for best results.  Testing keeps you up to date on what's going on with your spa's water.  Don't rely solely on how the water looks.  In fact most of the SERIOUS water problems that we see (skin rashes, odors, slimy surfaces, etc.) occur when the water is "crystal clear".  Make pH, total alkalinity & calcium hardness adjustments promptly.  You'll protect the filter system, the spa surfaces, get better chlorine & sanitizer efficiency and virtually eliminate red eyes & dry skin. Here's what you need to know about water testing.

6 keys to spa care - water chemistry, chemicals
Key 5 - Water Chemistry
Finally we get to water chemistry.  Hot tub water chemistry IS easy - just 4 simple steps:
  1. Maintain a constant level of sanitizer in the spa. Slow dissolving bromine tabs or granular chlorine or bromine; proper level of biguanide (Soft Soak); Pristine Blue.
  2. Shock the spa weekly (biguanides shock every 10 to 14 days). Shocking oxidizes unfilterable wastes & breaks up chloramines that lead to cloudy water, biofilms, smelly spas & skin irritation.
  3. Add natural enzymes weekly or at least every 2 weeks to prevent & control biofilm build-up.  A good quality natural enzyme works as a back up so that the the chlorine or sanitizer can concentrate on killing bacteria due to heavy bather loads.
  4. Maintain good water balance.  Without good water balance, the sanitizer doesn't work properly or efficiently.  The water can become cloudy (high pH) or aggressive (low pH - water is often times really clear).  You'll also protect your friends & family who use your spa or hot tub.

Keep Spa Water Chemistry simple.  Here's how...

6 keys to spa care - drain & refill

Key 6 - Purge, Drain & Refill
The last key is draining & refilling.  This is a key to spa care because proper 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. Learn why...

The 6 Keys typically take about 30 minutes or less to accomplish each week.  Yes, that's it!  Just 30 minutes.  Now you can enjoy your pool more & actually work less.  In the long run, you'll also spend less time & money.

Remember, Par Pool & Spa is always able & ready to help if you need us.  Just stop by or give us a call. Always helpful, always friendly.

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

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