A hot tub is a place to relax and de-stress, have fun, or enjoy with family and friends. But the heat of the water can make it tricky to maintain crystal clear water and a safe chemical balance.
The pHin experts are here to help! We’ve answered 7 common questions about hot tub care:
Q: How often should I clean the filters in my hot tub?
A: In general, hot tub filters should be rinsed with fresh water every other week. You can use a garden hose to clean off debris in the filter, but for best results it will need a deep clean every three to four months. To do so, remove the filter and soak it in a specialized chemical solution.
Tip: Keep a spare filter on-hand so you can continue enjoying your hot tub while your filter is soaking. It’ll help your filter last longer, and you’ll never be without a clean one.
Q: How often should I drain my hot tub?
A: As a rule of thumb, hot tubs should be drained every three to four months. But this might vary depending on how often you use your tub, and whether you use a bromine or chlorine system. Draining and refilling your hot tub is necessary for proper sanitation, and to prevent chemical build-up.
Q: Why is my water cloudy or green?
A: A number of factors can turn water cloudy or green, such as algae, unbalanced chemicals, bacteria, or even problems with the filtration system. Don’t go in the tub if the water if it looks off – always check the water balance before you use your hot tub or swim spa to make sure it’s safe (pHin can help with that).
If it’s green or cloudy, start by double checking that the filter is clear of dust and dirt – some products can trap debris and cause cloudy water. If there’s bacteria growing in the water, refer to your chemical instructions to add another dose of shock or chlorine to balance the water.
Tip: If you’re not sure what chemicals to add, pHin can help you with the right amount whether you have a bromine or chlorine tub. It would also alert you ahead of time if your water balance is off.
Q: Can I use pool chemicals in my hot tub?
A: Water balance is delicate, and chemicals should be calculated based on the type of system you’re using, and the vessel size. Always use the correct type of chemicals for your hot tub — pool chemicals are a lot stronger and more concentrated, and a chemical overdose could throw your pH balance off and cause damage. Using the correct chemicals will keep your hot tub in top shape for years to come.
Q: Should I use bromine or chlorine as a sanitizer?
A: The chemical system comes down to personal preference. Bromine is a gentler chemical, while chlorine is a more effective sanitizer. Each have pros and cons – read pHin’s guide to choosing your hot tub chemical system and refer to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Q: Can I get a rash from my hot tub?
A: Yes, you could get a rash from your hot tub, but only if the water isn’t properly sanitized. With the right water care routine, a hot tub or swim spa should be safe from “hot tub rash,” or pseudomonas folliculitis (read more about it in this fact sheet from the CDC). To ensure safe water, always check the levels of the chemicals in your hot tub before swimming, and make sure you rinse off after getting out of the water.
Q: Why doesn’t my hot tub get hot?
A: Nobody wants to dip their toe in a cold hot tub – yikes! If the water just won’t warm up, there could be an issue with the filter. When it’s clogged and water can’t flow through the filter, the heater shuts off. For a quick fix, try popping out the filter and giving it a quick rinse and soak in a cleaning solution. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might need to replace the filter. A professional can also help to give your hot tub or spa a full check-up.
If you’re having trouble setting up your hot tub care routine, technology can help. pHin is a smart monitor that constantly monitors the pH, sanitizer, and temperature. You can check the water status on the app to make sure it’s safe for a soak or relaxation. And, if the water gets out of balance, pHin sends an alert straight to your smart phone with chemical dosing instructions.