A dirty hot tub is certainly not somewhere you want to relax, let alone spend time with friends or family. Looking after your hot tub is easy when you know what to do and why you're doing it.

General Maintenance

Every day, bacteria and other contaminants can find their way into your spa water. Proper circulation will prevent these contaminants from becoming problems. As water circulates, it passes through the filter, which traps suspended particles. Circulation will also ensure thorough distribution of the all chemical products that kill bacteria and eliminate undesirable compounds. What you need to do:

  • Run your spa's circulation system every day
  • Check your spa owner's manual to determine how long your spa's circulation should be run or ask your Hot tub sales representative for advice
  • If your spa has a separate circulation pump that runs continuously, simply make sure that your system is always in good working order

If left unchecked, contaminants such as dirt, oil and even bacteria can accumulate at the waterline, much like a bathtub ring. Regular cleaning of the spa preserves the surfaces so the whole spa environment looks and feels better. What you need to do

  • Use a skimmer net to remove floating debris
  • Brush and vacuum the spa
  • If you have a skimmer basket, empty it once or twice a week
  • Clean the oily ring that forms at the waterline using a spa surface cleaner and chamois leather. This fast acting product breaks up oils and debris at the waterline so you can easily wipe the surface clean

Regular draining and refilling is a normal part of spa maintenance. Over time, the water absorbs and dissolves minerals, chemicals and other soluble material. High TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) can make the water look dull, become foamy and develop an odour. What you need to do:

  • Drain the water every 3 months (or set up a maintenance plan with with Hot Tubs At Home)
  • Clean the spa surfaces with your surface cleaner. Rinse thoroughly
  • Refill the spa with fresh water
  • Add the recommended Chemical products in the order and amount determined by your test strips
  • Softubs should be drained every 2 months

Most spa problems are caused by poor filtration. A filter that's operating properly helps keep the water clean by capturing the hair, oils and cosmetics that wash off when people use the spa. When the filter is dirty or clogged, all this debris remains in the water. Most spas have a cartridge filter. Check your owner's manual for detailed information on how to remove the filter for cleaning. Typically, you should clean the filter OVERNIGHT at least every 4-6 weeks. What you need to do:

  • Remove the cartridge
  • Rinse with a garden hose weekly to remove loose debris. A hose-end nozzle is best - a pressure washer has too much pressure. (Note: this will not eliminate the accumulated oils)
  • Every time you soak your filter (every Month) use a specially formulated Filter cleaner according to label instructions. This will dissolve and loosen the built-up oil and dirt
  • Thoroughly rinse the cartridge again. (Ideally, the cartridge should be allowed to dry before being returned to service, this helps the paper fibres to fuse back together again before being returned to water, maximizing your filters efficiency)
  • Return the clean cartridge to the filter housing
  • Filters should be replaced every 12 – 18 months to ensure good water quality and bather comfort

Adding Chemicals to your water is all part of owning a hot tub, when used according to label instructions, they will:

  • Make the water feel clean and comfortable
  • Kill bacteria which can multiply rapidly in a spa
  • Protect spa surfaces from stains caused by metals which are often dissolved in water
  • Protect spa equipment from scale caused by calcium deposits. Scale can accumulate on the spa surfaces, inside filters and heaters, greatly reducing their effectiveness

There are two primary components that affect the spa water quality: sanitiser (either Bromine or Chlorine) and pH. These should be checked several times a week. To keep them within their ideal ranges, always ensure your Total Alkalinity reading is perfect before anything else!

  • Your water is comfortable, protected and clear
  • Your sanitisers and oxidisers work efficiently
  • Your spa surfaces and equipment are protected

Spa Care

A filter cartridge is there to filter dirt and debris from your spa water such as: skin particles, hair follicles, bugs, leaves, body fluids etc…Ensuring maximum water quality and bather comfort.

Follow these simple steps and your filter will not only last you as long as possible but also keep your chemical usage to a minimum and your parts working to their full capacity.

WEEKLY

  • Turn the Spa off at the isolator
  • Remove the cartridge from the filter housing and rinse with clean water - Cleaning between each pleat
  • (If this isn’t done, expect cloudy water and increased chemical usage.)

Do NOT use a high pressure hose (jet wash) or scrub with a brush.

MONTHLY

  • The cartridge should be removed, rinsed and soaked over night in an approved cartridge cleaner
  • (It is a good idea to have a spare filter so that you can use this whilst your other filter is soaking, and alternate them each month)

Never add Filter cleaners to the spa!

  • Rinse Well the next day and then leave to DRY before returning to the spa
  • Drying the filter(s) will help the fibres in the paper material to knit back together properly, thus being more efficient

YEARLY

  • After 12 – 18 months of normal usage the pores in your paper cartridge material will gradually block up and the filter will need replacing. You won't always know just by looking at the filter. Some can still look quite white but it's the fibres which break down
  • A blocked cartridge, if it isn’t replaced, can put undue pressure on your pump and motor, will harbour your chemicals efficiency and can create air locks within the spa

Active Oxygen is a non Chlorine or Bromine system that is easy to use and particularly suitable for use in inflatable spas or for those with particularly sensitive skin or allergies.

The active sanitising component of Active Oxygen water treatment is potassium monopersulphate.

Commissioning a New Hot Tub on Active Oxygen

When commissioning your new hot tub you should use an initial dose of Chlorine to ensure that any contamination originating from the manufacturing process or factory wet tests is irradicated prior to use. You should fill the tub and apply Chlorine granules to achieve a level of 20 ppm and maintain that level for 2 hours. Following this process you can obviously drain and re-fill your spa, should you wish. Alternatively it is perfectly safe to wait until the measured chlorine level has reduced to 5 ppm or below and then proceed with application of the Active Oxygen system as described below.

In order to use Active Oxygen to sanitize you spa on a regular basis you'll need to perform the following steps:

Daily:

Add 1 Bayroklar Spa Tablet daily, and an extra tablet depending on the size of your spa one hour prior to bathing. It is better to add the tablets via a floating dispenser.

One hour after application of the tablets use an Active Oxygen test kit or test strips to ensure that the potassium monopersulphate concentration in the water is in the range 5.0 - 10.0 mg / litre (ppm).

NB: the pottasium monopersulphate concentration should not fall below 5 mg / litre while the tub is in use.

Weekly:

Test and adjust the water balance, if necessary. Re-apply the Bayroplus Spa -A Combination liquid at the dosage recommended on the bottle. Shock the water weekly (or fortnightly if you rarely use your hot tub use) to remove dissolved organic contaminants such as perspiration, body oil or make-up. You can shock the water with a double dose of O2 tablets if you wish, but use of a chlorine-based powdered shock, such as a 1-shock, will be more effective and so will extend the period between water changes. It is also a good idea to shock after any period of very heavy use or if children have been in the tub.

Clean your filters weekly as described below.

At Each, 3 Monthly, Water Change...

Clean the Plumbing:

Add half a bottle of Spa Flush or an alternative plumbing cleaner to your existing tub water and turn on all jets and pumps for at least 30 minutes. Remove the filter(s) during this process if you are able to run your pumps without the filters in place. It’s preferable to leave the plumbing cleaner to work overnight if possible.

Drain the Tub:

Use a non-scouring pad to wipe away any deposits left on the shell as the water drains. For significantly dirty spas use a specialist spa surface cleaner. DO NOT use any household cleaners.

Clean the Filter(s):

Rinse any debris from between the pleats under a running tap, or use a Water Wand on your garden hose. Then soak them overnight in a suitable container using a powdered filter cleaner, then rinse thoroughly.

Allow your filter(s) to dry naturally before replacing them in the tub. This is important because the filter material will last much longer if it is allowed to thoroughly dry between uses. Filters can take a very long time to dry so it’s a good idea to keep a spare set and to rotate them each time you clean them.

Refill the tub with clean water.

Balance the Water:

Test the water using active oxygen test strips and adjust the Total Alkalinity and pH , using the directions on the water balance product containers:

the Total Alkalinity should be within the range: 80 - 160 ppm

the pH should be within the range: 7.0 – 7.4

the Total Hardness should be in the range: 250 - 500 ppm

You should first adjust the Total Alkalinity, then when that is in the correct range adjust the pH and finally the Total Hardness. You must persevere until you get the correct balance because the chlorine won't work effectively if the balance is outside the required range.

Shock the Water:

Use a chlorine-based powdered shock, such as a 1-Shock, to shock the water and run the pumps with the cover off for at least an hour.

Apply an initial dose of Active Oxygen Liquid at the dosage recommended on the bottle.

Chlorine is the traditional pool and spa sanitizer, it is also the most aggressive towards bacteria and one of the the hardest sanitizers to use correctly.

Chlorine is very sensitive to pH fluctuations and doesn't work effectively if the pH is outside of the optimum range.

In order to use chlorine to sanitize you spa you'll need to perform the following steps:

Add the Chlorine:

You will need to use chlorine granules to give an initial shock does of chlorine to a freshly filled spa. Pre-dissolve the weight of granules recommended on the product container in water in a clean plastic bucket, stirring well to make sure that the granules are completely dissolved. Apply the solution to the spa whilst the pumps are turned on to aid distribution. You should aim to maintain a chlorine level of 50ppm for 1 hour or 20ppm for 2 hours, you may need to add additional chlorine to maintain this level. After the initial shock, allow the chlorine level to reduce to 3-5ppm. Test the water after 30 minutes and at intervals, if necessary, and do not get into the water until the level has reduced to less than 5ppm.

Regular Maintenance

Daily:

Check the water balance using chlorine test strips and adjust as necessary to maintain the range specified above. Apply a maintenance dose of chlorine by pre-dissolving granules in a clean plastic container and applying to the spa with the pumps running to maintain a reading of 3-5ppm. As an alternative to applying chlorine granules daily you could use 20g Chlorine tablets either in your spa's in-built chemical dispenser or in a floating dispenser. Chlorine tablets dissolve slowly and evenly to give consistent and long lasting chlorination, avoiding the need for daily dosing, but some tablets have a very low pH and so they can consequently reduce the pH of your spa water leading to the potential for equipment damage and skin and eye irritation. Do not place chlorine tablets directly into a skimmer basket or elsewhere in your tub. NB. If you use chlorine tablets you will still need to check and, if necessary, adjust the water balance daily.

Weekly:

Use a chlorine-based shock treatment to remove non-filterable organic contaminates. You should shock your tub weekly as a matter of course. It is also a good idea to shock after any period of very heavy use or if children have been in the tub. NB. Don’t check the chlorine level for at least 12 hours after you have applied the shock because you will get an incorrect reading. Clean your filters weekly as described above.

At Each 3 Monthly Water Change...

Clean the Plumbing:

Add half a bottle of Spa Flush or an alternative plumbing cleaner to your existing tub water and turn on all jets and pumps for at least 30 minutes. Remove the filter(s) during this process if you are able to run your pumps without the filters in place. It’s preferable to leave the plumbing cleaner to work overnight if possible.

Drain the Tub:

Use a non-scouring pad to wipe away any deposits left on the shell as the water drains. For significantly dirty spas use a specialist spa surface cleaner. DO NOT use any household cleaners.

Clean the Filter(s):

Rinse any debris from between the pleats under a running tap, or use a Water Wand on your garden hose. Place the filter(s) upright on the bottom shelf of your (clean) dishwasher and use a powdered filter cleaner in the powder dispenser and run the dishwasher on a normal 50ºC wash cycle. If your filter(s) won’t fit in the dishwasher then soak them overnight in a suitable container using a powdered filter cleaner, then rinse thoroughly. Allow your filter(s) to dry naturally before replacing them in the tub. This is important because the filter material will last much longer if it is allowed to thoroughly dry between uses. Filters can take a very long time to dry so it’s a good idea to keep a spare set and to rotate them each time you clean them. Refill the tub with clean water.

Balance the Water:

Test the water using chlorine test strips and adjust the Total Alkalinity and pH , using the directions on the water balance product containers: the Total Alkalinity should be within the range: 80 - 120 ppm the pH should be within the range: 7.2 – 7.8 the Total Hardness should be in the range: 250 - 500 ppm You should first adjust the Total Alkalinity, then when that is in the correct range adjust the pH and finally the Total Hardness. You must persevere until you get the correct balance because the chlorine won't work effectively if the balance is outside the required range.

Here are some things that you should know if you decide to use chlorine as a sanitizer:

When Chlorine reacts with organic material in the water it forms Chloramines. Chloramines are a bi-product of the Chlorine working to kill bacteria, they do not perform any sanitizing themselves, but it is the Chloramines that give that 'chlorine smell' to a spa and sting your eyes. In addition, Chlorine can cause skin irritation if used at any more than a very low concentration. Chlorine only works properly i.e it only kills bacteria when the pH of the spa water is correctly adjusted. The pH of the water changes as the Chlorine level changes, it can also be affected by the weather, so maintaining the correct water balance can quickly become a difficult if not managed regularly.

Many families actually prefer to use a hot tub when the weather is the coldest. On a chilly winter’s night when toes are numb, nothing beats a hot soak in the tub!

If there is snow on the ground, it can only add to the pleasure.

With the winter weather upon us we want to ensure that you have all the required information to prevent any damage to your spa. If it is necessary to leave the spa unattended for long period of time during cold weather conditions, you should drain the spa to avoid accidental freezing caused by power outages. Most damage that occurs to a hot tub is caused by improper Winterisation. Damage that can be done due to freezing is very costly to repair so be very careful if you choose to close down your own spa.

If you have any doubts, it is much better to contact us for free advice!

Draining:

  • Turn power OFF at the breaker
  • Locate the drain valve (usually at the front left-hand corner of the skirt)
  • Remove the safety cap and attach garden hose. Turn outer ring counterclockwise and pull outward on the garden hose. This will open the drain valve fully
  • Or drain by actually pumping the water out with a submersible pump. Either way, make sure you leave the bottom drain spout open when you are done
  • Drain water to a convenient area. (Spa water may harm grass or plants if sanitizer levels are high)
  • If you have a Coast spa; When water begins to flow out of the hose, open air relief valve located on filter lid
  • The spa will drain except for a small portion left in the foot well. This can be removed with a sponge and pail
  • Once empty, clean as required
  • To finish push garden hose forward and turn outer ring clockwise, remove garden hose and attach safety cap

Winterizing:

  • After draining, your spa may still have water remaining in the equipment and plumbing fittings. Disconnect the hand-tightened union fittings going to and from the jet pumps. Be careful not to lose the o-rings between the unions and pump housings. Loosen or unscrew any fittings on your spa equipment that look like they could be loosened or unscrewed. These are usually quick disconnect fittings on either side of the heater and on either side of the pump. As you loosen each fitting, water will come out. This is what you want! Leave all fittings unscrewed. Remove any drain plugs that may be on your pump housing. This is most important! Pump housings crack easily with only a small amount of water in them. Make sure you also drain out the heater and remove any drain plugs that are there.
  • Leave drain valve in the open position and safety cap off.
  • To completely drain the plumbing lines, a wet/dry shop vac can be used to draw out any remaining water. Place the vac hose over the jet fittings in the spa as well as the plumbing lines in the equipment area. You should also disconnect the union on the crystal clear inspection tube.
  • Remove the filter cartridge, clean and store in a warm, dry area and make sure that all the water is out of the filter canister compartment. Leave a large terrycloth towel in a lump in the bottom of the foot-well to soak up any additional water that might get in.
  • Clean the spa shell and place spa cover on spa. Be sure to lock the cover in place in case of high winds or rain.
  • Please do not put any type of pipeline antifreeze in your spa, pipes or equipment. It is very difficult to get this liquid completely out of your system come Spring, and it really is not necessary, provided that you have performed all of these winterising procedures properly.
  • The purpose of winterizing your Spa is to ensure that you remove every last drop of water from the system to prevent freeze damage from occurring.
  • Replace the hard cover back on the unit. Secure the cover to the spa so that wind will not flip it up.

Coast Cascade/Niagara:

When draining your Cascade Series there is a second drain located on the bottom right corner which is connected to the tank. You can use the sight tube in the equipment area as a guide.

Pump #1 must be programmed to circulate for 24 hours. Failure to so do could result in freezing during colder weather.

Emergency Situations: To eliminate freezing in the event of equipment failure, use a 100- watt light bulb or small heater via extension cord and place it in the equipment area, keeping it away from plumbing lines. This will help for a short period of time until proper service can be rendered.

Remember - If you are worried or hesitant about closing down your spa by yourself, we strongly suggest that you contact us for advice, please note this is general information and you must contact your original spa supplier for exact guidelines.

  • Remove the cartridge
  • Rinse with a garden hose weekly to remove loose debris. A hose-end nozzle is best - a pressure washer has too much pressure. (Note: this will not eliminate the accumulated oils)
  • Every time you soak your filter (every Month) use a specially formulated Filter cleaner according to label instructions. This will dissolve and loosen the built-up oil and dirt
  • Thoroughly rinse the cartridge again. (Ideally, the cartridge should be allowed to dry before being returned to service, this helps the paper fibres to fuse back together again before being returned to water, maximizing your filters efficiency)
  • Return the clean cartridge to the filter housing
  • Filters should be replaced every 12 – 18 months to ensure good water quality and bather comfort