A Guide to Jacuzzi & Hot Tub water care basics July 16, 2015 17:50
New Hot Tub water care – starter or shock dosing
After your new Hot Tub or Spa has been installed or your Spa has been left unused for a period of time it is important to give the water a 20mg/l (ppm) dose of free chlorine. You should allow this dose of chlorine to circulate in the water for a minimum of 2.5 hours to eliminate any possibility of the water being contaminated.
To dose your Hot Tub, Jacuzzi Direct advise using Jacuzzi Bromine or Jacuzzi Chlorine Granules. You should add the granules whilst only your Hot Tubs pump is running. It is important to ensure your Spa water is back to the normal levels of bromine and chlorine (3-5 parts per million / ppm) before use.
The importance of circulation & filtration in your Spa
Most standard build Spas will include a cartridge filter chamber, pump and blower. To maintain clear, clean and healthy water it is important to use a reliable chemical water treatment whilst circulating water through the cartridge to collect any suspended particles and grease.
Jacuzzi Direct advises using your circulation on your Hot Tub on a daily basis, as advised in your owner’s booklet. Some modern Hot Tubs will automatically circulate using a timer, if this is the case you should regularly check that the system is in good working order.
It is important to note that when your Hot Tubs cartridge filter is dirty, the performance of your filter will deteriorate leading to dirty and potentially contaminated water. Usually Spa cartridges will need cleaning fortnightly (depending on use) however we would advise more regular cleaning of a Hot Tub cartridge if your Hot Tub is being used a lot, or the risk of contamination is high (e.g. grass in your Hot Tub).
How to test the water levels in your Hot Tub
Jacuzzi Chlorine Test Strips and Jacuzzi Bromine Test Strips allow you to quickly and accurately test the conditions of your Hot Tubs water and make any appropriate chemical adjustments, if necessary. We advise any Hot Tub owner to test their water on a daily basis whether their Spa is in use or not. This is to stay on top of the requirements of the water as warm water requires sanitising regularly.
When using any of Jacuzzi’s test strips it is vital to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully in order to get the most accurate reading. After you have been testing your Hot Tub conditions for a while you will become aware of how refilling, topping up, adding chemicals and general usage will affect the readings and chemical levels.
Chemical water treatments for your Hot Tub or Spa
Hot Tub bacteria control
Jacuzzi Direct recommends adding Jacuzzi Chlorine or Bromine Granules directly into your Spa water to disinfect it from things such as bacteria and slime. To raise your Spas water by 1ppm you should add 2 grams of Jacuzzi Bromine or Chlorine granules for every 220 gallons / 1000 litres of water.
To ensure your Spa water maintains the ideal reading of 3-5ppm when your hot tub is in use regularly or the weather is hot, we advise raising the water to 5ppm often. It is important to note that the rate of chlorine / bromine consumption will vary depending on the conditions. The consumption of chlorine / bromine will also continue even when your Spa is not in use (especially in hot weather). This is why it is advised to test your Hot Tub water regularly.
Another water care treatment that Jacuzzi Direct advises is oxidising of the water. We advise regular oxidisation, either weekly or fortnightly to help eliminate the risk of contamination and / or non-filterable waste.
Hot Tub water balance & pH control
The pH scale of 0-14 measures acidic and alkali conditions respectively. The middle measurement of 7 pH is natural meaning anything below 7 is acidic and a Spa water pH rating of above 7 is alkaline.
For Spa users the ideal pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6, meaning the water is slightly alkaline. This is to ensure the protection of the Spa equipment and the bathers comfort is maintained (the pH level of the human eye is consistent with this level of alkaline).
Maintaining balanced water Total Alkalinity (TA) and Total Hardness (TH) of the water is essential. Low levels of alkalinity lead to aggressive water while high levels can cause scale within a hot tub. It is fairly easy to raise the levels of alkalinity yet much more difficult to lower the levels without draining / diluting your Spa.
However high levels of water (Total Hardness) associated with hard water can be countered with regular doses of Jacuzzi No Scale.
Adjusting for water balance in a Hot Tub
If you need to adjust the pH levels in your Spa to lower below 7.6 pH you should use Jacuzzi pH minus. On the other hand, if your water pH levels need raising above 7.2 pH we advise the use of Jacuzzi pH plus. Please read the instructions on the bottle carefully before using.
Hot Tub foam control
If foam is appearing on the top of your Hot Tubs water this could be down to warm conditions, body oils, body cosmetics etc. The build-up of foaming agents has probably become too much for your Hot Tubs Spa filter and it cannot remove them.
Cleaning and maintenance of a Hot Tub
Periodic cleaning of waterline grease using Jacuzzi Surface Cleaner will not only keep your Spa looking good but it will also help to optimise the use of any spa chemicals dosed into your Hot Tubs water. Along with this, Jacuzzi Surface Cleaner will help to decrease the amount of time it takes to clean a Jacuzzi or Hot Tub filter.
NB: It is vital to use specific Spa cleaning chemicals as many household products contain chemicals that cause foaming in a Hot Tub.
Draining, refilling and cleaning Hot Tub cartridges
Over time your Spa water will absorb minerals, chemicals and other soluble materials which will lead to an increase of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). TDS reduces the efficiency of spa chemicals which can lead to dull Hot Tub water, making a Spa harder to maintain.
With the above in mind, Jacuzzi Direct advises draining your Hot Tub water every 3-4 months. When doing so, it is a good idea to purge your Hot Tub pipework using Jacuzzi Hot Tub Pipe Cleaner to maintain clear, working pipes.
When cleaning your dirty Hot Tub cartridges (we recommend every fortnight or so) it's a good idea to have a spare Hot Tub filter ready to reload in the cartridge chamber. When cleaning your Spa filters, use Jacuzzi Filter Cleaner for the best results.
General Hot Tub safety tips
For any Hot Tub owner / user it is important to keep our safety tips in mind at all times:
- Do not allow Hot Tub temperatures to exceed 40℃ (lower if children will be using the Hot Tub)
- Never leave non swimmers / children unattended in a Hot Tub
- Do not overload your Spa with more people than its recommended size
- Do not use electrical appliances near your Hot Tub
- Use plastic and not glass around or in a Spa
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages before or while using a Jacuzzi or Hot Tub
- If you’re pregnant, have high blood pressure or any cardiovascular conditions please contact your doctor before using a Hot Tub or Spa
- Always wear gloves when cleaning / changing Hot Tub cartridges
Hot Tub chemical handling
When handling any Hot Tub chemicals please stick to the following guidelines:
- Read instructions on any Jacuzzi product before use
- When pre-dissolving any Hot Tub chemicals always add the chemicals to the Hot Tub water and not vice versa
- Never mix any chemicals in concentrated forms
- Always pre-dissolve our chemicals in a clean, plastic container in a well ventilated area
- Avoid spillages wherever possible. In the event of a spillage clean up using cleaning receptacles and empty into your Hot Tub or Spa. Swill any spillage afterwards with clean water
- Never use any unlabelled chemicals
- Always wash your hands after contact with Spa or Jacuzzi chemicals
Hot Tub chemicals storage guidelines
You should also follow the below guidelines for storing Hot Tub chemicals:
- Store well out of the reach of children and pets
- Store in secure, cool and dry places
For more information on Hot Tub care and maintenance visit the Jacuzzi Direct Inspiration & Advice Centre now.