Hot tubs have become a very common sight in gardens all over the UK. They can be an excellent way to relax after a long, hard, week at work or just for a bit of fun for family and friends to enjoy. To keep that fun rolling, you’ll need a guide on how to maintain a hot tub, and that is exactly what we are bringing you here today. We’ll try to cover all the essentials, plus one or two other things that you might not have considered so that you get your money’s worth out of that new grown up toy sitting in your garden.
Checking the water
It is essential for your own health and safety, plus that of others, that you check the water before using a hot tub. The main things that you need to check are the water’s pH level, total alkalinity, and the sanitiser level.
The first thing to check is the total alkalinity, or TA for short. This is because it is the TA that will keep the pH level in the water stabilised once it is at the right level. The optimal TA level is between 125 and 150 ppm (parts per million). You can use alkalinity increasers to get the right reading.
Now you need to get the water pH levels right, and the ideal range for this is 7.2 to 7.6 pH. If your pH is too low, you can use soda ash to raise it, but if you do so, you will need to recheck the TA level as soda ash can affect it. Soda ash can turn your hot tub water cloudy too, but that can be fixed by adjusting your overall water chemistry.
A pH level that is too high can be adjusted using a pH decrease or product, or a diluted solution containing muriatic acid. Using a pH decrease can also have an effect on the total alkalinity, so it is always best to check it again after sorting your water pH.
Finally, comes the chlorine check, and levels should fall between 3-5 parts per million. To adjust this level, refer to the instructions on your chlorine container. Once a week, use chlorine shock to oxidise the old chlorine, and with it any urine or other contaminants in the water.
Clean out and swap your filters
Cleaning your hot tub filters needs to be done every week. Not doing so is the cause of the vast majority of issues relating to the power of the jets, and can also affect the heaters. I always recommend people having spare filters to replace the ones being cleaned as it takes time, both to clean the old ones, and more importantly, to give them time to dry out as this is when the filter fibres rebind.
To clean your filter, first remove it then soak it in a cartridge filter cleaner, then rinse it off and leave it to dry out. You can also use instant filter cleaner on a weekly basis and do a full soak with cartridge filter cleaner less often. After about 6 months to one year, you should buy new filters and discard the old ones.
Changing the water
Even with regular use of chemicals to keep the water as clean as possible, it still needs emptying and changing after three months, and much sooner if you use the tub on a regular basis. Before emptying the water, it is a good idea to use some hot tub pipe cleaning product to clear any debris caught in the pipes, or at least loosen it up enough so that it will get washed out with the old water when its drained.
Keeping the water clean
Over time, a layer of grease can appear on the surface of the water and make a line around the edge of the water. This can lead to algae build up and also allows bacteria to flourish so it needs to be dealt with. Thankfully, it is an easy issue to deal with and only requires you to buy some water line cleaning paste.
If you are experiencing a lot of foam build up, it is because oils and lotions from people’s skin have gotten mixed into the water. It is likely harmless, but still not nice to have in your hot tub. Get rid of it using hot tub no foam products, but if the problem persists, you might have to change the water completely. If you live in a hard water area, metals in the water might cause a calcium buildup which can damage your hot tub, so use a hot tub decalcifying/descaling product in this instance.
Get a professional in
Even with following all the basic maintenance advice lined out above, you should still call a professional every year to give your hot tub a proper service. A professional will be able to check all the mechanical and electrical parts to make sure that they are still working properly and also be able to spot any potential problems that could arise in the future and deal with them before they get out of hand.
If you are using your hot tub quite regularly, I would suggest getting it serviced 2-3 times a year to keep it working exactly how you should. By spending a few quid on services, you will ultimately increase the working life of your hot tub and make it a better investment overall.
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With these tips, you should be able to get the most out of your hot tub and not fall prey to the common pitfalls associated with hot tub maintenance. We hope you found this article informative and interesting, and invite you to check out our other how-to articles that cover a wide range of gardening based subjects. This site also contains pages dedicated to growing and caring for specific plants and crops, and has heaps of in-depth product reviews such as lawn mower, pressure washer or Leaf Blowers & Vacuums that could save you from wasting your money on the wrong thing, so feel free to browse.