How to Clean Up Your Pool or Hot Tub After Hurricane Season

Weather-related disasters can damage pool and hot tubs with heavy wind and rain. As hurricane season comes to a close along the coast, here are some steps you can take to get your backyard back to a beautiful and safe oasis:

1. Clean up debris and check water levels

Start restoring your pool to its pre-season glory by cleaning debris from the pool water. If your pool doesn’t drain excess water on its own, remove the necessary amount of water to get your pool back to its normal water level. Check that the pump and skimmer aren’t clogged with debris to ensure they’ll work properly. A pool vacuum may be helpful for catching any debris or dirt that has fallen to the bottom of the pool.

2. Restore power to your pool

Flood waters caused by hurricanes may have damaged your pool or hot tub’s electrical equipment. Before restoring power, double check that no equipment is water damaged. If you are unsure, it’s safer to have an electrician double check the area. Once the power is restored, the pool will begin to filter properly again, getting rid of the small debris and particles that were not picked up during the cleaning process.

3. Check water quality

Hurricane flooding and rainfall could have contaminated your pool or spa area, making it unsafe for swimming. Before you re-balance the water, don’t let anybody (including pets!) swim until it’s back to normal chemistry levels. Pools should be at a 7 pH level, which can be affected by the hurricane; it’s also important to check the chlorine, hardness, and cyanuric acid levels in the water. Once you’ve gotten your pool or hot tub back in balance, use the pHin Smart Monitor to easily maintain your water health. pHin monitors your pH, and sanitizer and temperature levels over 1,000 times per week and notifies you when your chemicals need adjusting.

Learn more about pHin here: www.phin.co

Questions to Ask When Buying Your First Hot Tub

Congratulations on your decision to join the world of hot tub owners! You have many hours of fun and relaxation in your future. Before you buy, though, you want to answer a few questions to be sure you get the right hot tub for your lifestyle. Should you take it out for a test soak? Does it come with a warranty? How about cleaning, does it require a lot of cleaning? Answering the following questions when buying your first hot tub helps ensure you enjoy your new purchase for many years to come.

Can You Test a Hot Tub before Buying It?

In a word, yes. Taking your hot tub out for a test soak is called “wet testing” and it’s something you do with a demonstration model at the dealer. Most spa dealers offer demo models specifically for shoppers to do a wet test.

During your wet test, pay attention to the seating and the jets. If the seating is uncomfortable, or the water goes too high or too low, you don’t get the full hydrotherapeutic value. Also, make sure that the positioning of the jets is comfortable.

Aim for a 15-minute test soak to get a true feel for the spa.

How Much Does it Cost?

Before conducting your first wet test, determine your budget and decide what you are willing and able to spend. Once you have your figure in mind you can start shopping. When you begin dealing with sales reps, remain confident in your predetermined price range. Most of them work on commission, so they often push larger models or extra features that you don’t necessarily want or need. That’s okay, they’re just doing their job, but if it’s more than you’re willing to spend, don’t let yourself be talked into more hot tub than you want. And, if you want to haggle, go for it. Most hot tubs have a decent markup, so there’s usually a bit of wiggle room.

Where Should I Put My Hot Tub?

While the majority of hot tub owners choose to put their tubs outside, they can also be installed inside. Installing a tub inside comes with three main concerns:

  • Will it fit through the door? Will it fit through my gates? Will I need to pay for a crane service?
  • Will the floor support the spa’s weight? Hint: a full, 3-person tub typically weighs around 2,500 pounds; larger tubs can weigh four times as much.
  • Do you have proper ventilation to avoid moisture buildup?

If you choose to go the more traditional route and install your spa outside, your main concerns are electricity and support. The closer the hot tub is to your home, the less it will cost to install, since it will be closer to any electrical outlets or wiring and you don’t have to worry about underground wiring. As for support, it is important to make sure that whatever surface you place your hot tub on can support the extra weight.

If want an in-ground tub, you need to place it at least four feet deep, or below the frost-line. Since the ground will thaw every spring, you want to make sure that you have the support in place to keep the spa’s shell from cracking once the ground shifts.

What about the Warranty?

Warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so request a copy of the warranty for any hot tub you are considering purchasing. The main things you want to keep an eye out for when it comes to the warranty are the:

  • Hot tub shell, usually covered for five years against leaks and failures
  • Plumbing, usually covered for three years
  • Electrical components, usually covered for five years

Although these are your main areas of concern, read all the provisions of your warranty carefully.

The dealer you choose also plays a role. If they go out of business or have a reputation for bad customer service, you may have a harder time getting warranty items handled. You want to be happy with the retailer, the hot tub, and the warranty before making your final decision.

How Often Should the Hot Tub be Cleaned?

It is usually recommended to clean your spa no more than three or four times a year, but it depends on how frequently it is used and how well the water is maintained.  Typically, cleaning your hot tub takes about an hour. Proper water care is vital to your enjoyment of the hot tub and fairly simple, but it’s even easier with pHin.

Should You Shower before Using the Tub?

If you are perspiring, have recently worked out, or have any creams or lotions on your skin, it is a good idea to take a quick shower before hopping into your hot tub. Any contaminants that enter the water can upset the chemical balance and lead to more frequent cleanings or maintenance issues.

As you look at these questions to ask when buying your first hot tub, there are many great tools to simplify the maintenance process. If you want an easy way to ensure the water in your hot tub is always safe and ready for a relaxing soak, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your water and tells your smartphone what you need to do to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. Use it with your own chemicals for flexibility or get our single-dose, pre-measured chemicals delivered right to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.

4 Benefits of Enzymes for Pool Care You Didn’t Know

The typical pool care routine requires numerous chemicals, including sanitizers, oxidizers, and algaecides. Used in conjunction with brushing, skimming, and vacuuming, your pool or hot tub stays sparkling clean.

A little known secret among pool aficionados is the use of enzymes when caring for their pool or hot tub. 

What Are Enzymes?

Enzymes Are Biological Molecules

An enzyme is a protein that speeds up chemical reactions without being destroyed or altered in the process. Enzymes break down organic waste by accelerating the decay process and converting the organic matter to carbon dioxide. Pairing them with other chemicals, such as surfactants and sanitizers, lifts materials from the pool bottom and walls and keeps the pool clean. While enzymes are compatible with all available sanitizers, they are sensitive to, and can be destroyed by, high levels of bromine and chlorine. It is important to note that, since enzymes are biological molecules, they do not do well in severe heat or cold and have a shelf life. Storing your pool enzymes at the proper temperature (when in doubt, the home is always a good option) keeps them fresh for about a year.

Natural and Synthetic Enzymes

There are two types of enzyme: natural and synthetic. Natural enzymes form through fermentation, while synthetic enzymes are manufactured. The biggest difference between the two is the range of use. Natural enzymes break down a wider variety of organic material, whereas synthetic enzymes are more specific in what they can break down and are less stable than natural ones. Both are viable products with specific uses.

Specific Enzymes

Since enzymes occur both naturally and in a lab, you must understand which works best for a particular purpose. When using enzymes in a hot tub, their main target is biological waste. In a swimming pool, enzymes treat both biological and environmental components. Use the right enzyme for the particular body of water.

4 Reasons to Use Enzymes In Pool And Hot Tub Care

  1. Enzymes Can Be Versatile

While it is true that enzymes mainly break down organic material, they can be incredibly versatile in their functions. In fact, enzymes can handle several tasks in a single treatment. Although their primary purpose is to break down organic waste such as sweat, mucus, and body oils, they can also restore clarity without the addition of any specific clarifiers. Enzymes can also reduce the possibility of any unscheduled sanitizer dosing.

  1. Enzymes Reduce Cleaning

Cleaning a pool or hot tub requires continuous maintenance (adding chemicals, brushing, filter cleaning, etc.), and enzymes can greatly reduce the amount of cleaning needed. By adding enzymes as part of your regular pool maintenance, you enjoy superior water clarity and prevent scum lines. When the enzymes break down the organic material, scum lines are less likely to form, and the water becomes clearer. Enzymes also increase a filter’s run cycle, as they break down any organic waste before it has a chance to build up on the filter.

  1. Enzymes Save Time

Adding enzymes to your pool maintenance routine can greatly reduce the amount of time spent cleaning your pool or hot tub. With less organic material floating around, clogging the filter, or causing buildup on the floors and walls, there is less work necessary. This is not to say that you should perform maintenance less often. What it does mean is that, when you do, it won’t take nearly as long since less work is necessary. Enzymes allow you to clean your pool better and faster.

  1. Enzymes Are Safe

Perhaps the most important aspect of any pool-cleaning product is its safety. After all, no one wants to swim in an unsafe or unhealthy pool. Not only are enzymes completely safe for humans, animals, and plants, but they may actually make your pool safer as well. In addition to enzymes removing organic waste, they can reduce pool shocking and the addition of other chemicals by up to 50 percent.

If you want to ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced, consider a pHin smart monitor. This little device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you the exact chemicals you need to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects you to local, qualified pool techs.