The 9 Common Hot Tub Questions

Hot tubs are a great way to unwind in the privacy of your own home or backyard. Whether it be with family, friends, or even just by yourself after a long day, your hot tub helps melt away stress and lets you relax. Since you never know when opportunity will strike, you want your tub to be ready whenever the mood strikes. This can be difficult if you don’t know how to maintain your spa, but caring for your tub should be just as easy as relaxing in it. Here are the top hot tub questions to consider.

1) How Often Should I Clean My Filters?

You want to thoroughly rinse your filter with fresh water every other week. A garden hose works great for this, since it easily dislodges hair and most other materials from the filter. You should also soak your filter cartridge in a filter-cleaning compound every three to four months, as well as whenever you change your water. Keep two filters on hand – one in the spa and a clean, dry spare. This allows you to pop in the spare while soaking the main filter. Then, after you rinse the cleaning compound off after the original is done soaking, you can replace it and clean the spare. Your filters last longer and you get to keep enjoying your hot tub.

2) How Often Should I Drain My Hot Tub?

The answer mainly depends on how often you use the tub and your sanitizing system. However, draining and refilling your spa every three to four months is a good schedule to follow to ensure that contaminants and solids that dissolve in the water do not become excessive, which makes it difficult to maintain proper sanitation.

3) Why is My Water Cloudy?

Cloudy water in your spa usually means one of two things: either the filtration system is failing to clean smaller particles out of the water or bacteria are growing in your spa. If it is a problem with the filtration system, products that act like a coagulant to trap the dust and dirt should help. Just make sure to pull out and clean your filters once the hot tub is clean, otherwise the coagulants can break down and reintroduce all the dust and dirt they just collected. If it is bacteria you need to act fast and use a double dose of both chlorine and non-chlorine shock.

4) Can I Use Pool Chemicals in My Hot Tub?

It might seem like a good idea to just use pool chemicals for your hot tub, but that is a big mistake. Pool chemicals are much stronger than those meant for a spa and can cause serious damage to your tub. When it comes to buying the chemicals for your spa, remember that you get what you pay for. Cut-rate products are more likely to include fillers and additional chemicals that can cause issues with your water and the filtration systems. A quality product keeps your hot tub running well for years to come. In addition, product labeling differs between pool and hot tub chemicals, particularly as regards acceptable EPA guidelines. Chemical overdosing is very common when you use products specifically intended for a swimming pool in your hot tub.

5) Should I Use Bromine or Chlorine as a Sanitizer?

The chemicals that you use to sanitize your hot tub really come down to personal preference. Chlorine has a stronger odor, but is a very effective sanitizer. However, chlorine can also cause colors to fade, whereas bromine does not. Bromine also causes less eye, skin, and nose irritation and can be an effective sanitizer in its own right when administered properly in a two-part form.

6) Can I Get a Rash From My Hot Tub?

Yes, but it typically means that something is wrong with your chemical routine, not the tub. Skin rashes can be caused by both a surplus of chemicals and a lack of chemicals. For example, pseudomonas folliculitis is a skin rash commonly known as “hot tub rash.” It occurs when hot tub water is not properly sanitized. It is important to make sure the chemical balance of your water is exactly where it needs to be. This is where your pHin device comes in handy. But, when in doubt, drain, clean, and refill your spa.

7) How Should I Care for My Hot Tub Cover?

Twice a month you should remove the cover and wipe the entire surface with a cover cleaning agent. You only need a few squirts, and make sure to use a clean, damp cloth when you wipe it down. To guard against odors and bacteria growth, clean the underside of your cover with a mixture that is one part bleach to nine parts hot water. You may also use a cover cleaner such as 303 Aerospace vinyl cleaner and preserver. These products are available at most local pool and spa retailers.

8) Why is My Hot Tub Green?

Your hot tub should never be green; this means that there is bacteria growth in your spa. Drain the water and scrub every surface with a chlorine solution, then rinse the tub out with water. Refill your spa and shock the water with a dose of chlorine and non-chlorine shock. Remember, you should use your hot tub if the water is not crystal clear.

If the problem persists even after you sanitize the tub, your water may contain excess copper, which attacks the plumbing and equipment. Similarly, chromium may turn the water a lime green Jello  color. Proper water chemistry, especially pH, balances chromium and copper levels in your hot tub water.

9) Why Doesn’t My Hot Tub Get Hot?

The most common culprit when your hot tub goes cold is the filter. When the filter gets clogged, the heater shuts off because it needs water flow to be able to operate properly. Pop out your filter and give it a thorough rinse and soak in a cleaning solution. If your filters are over two years old, it is probably time to replace them. If cleaning the filter does not bring back the heat, turn the heater off for about 15 minutes. If it is still not working when you turn it back on, it is most likely time for a service call. Another common cause of heater failure is scale buildup on the heater core or element, typically caused by not using a stain and scale control. Scale buildup on the heater element of only 1/20” can reduce the heater’s efficiency by 40 percent!

To ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced, 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 to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.

When Should you Drain and Refill your Hot Tub?

Preventative maintenance goes a long way with hot tubs. Here is a simple plan to make draining, cleaning and refilling yours easy.

(Please check with your manufacturer’s instructions if those are available. The points below are fairly universal, still, checking with your manufacturer is highly suggested.)

Clean Filter

Open the filter well and have a look at your filter. If it’s been a year or so, you’ll want to replace the filter. If the filter is still in good shape, give it a quick rinse to get the grime off and use an approved spa filter cleaner, and either soak the filter element in a diluted solution or simply spray the concentrate and follow the directions on the label. Ensure you rinse the filters thoroughly as the residue can cause foam.

Click here to purchase Leisure Time® Spa Instant Cartridge Clean.

Shock (Optional)

If you have time for a deeper cleaning, then it is a good practice to super-shock the hot tub water. This will kill bacteria that are present in the water and allow the purge product to work effectively. With the hot tub running and jets off, add shock to the hot tub water. Circulate the hot tub for at least 30 minutes. Do not put the hot tub cover on, as shock needs to oxidize or time to release gases. Do not turn on the jets while shocking, as the product will oxidize too fast.

Purge Plumbing

Your hot tub plumbing can harbor a lot of nasty biofilms. A biofilm is a buildup of dirt and grime in the form of bacteria and other organic contaminants. Your hot tub plumbing is a great place for bacteria to hide and grow. Biofilm is effectively controlled with a plumbing purge, using a product containing enzymes that loosen up biofilms.

Pour in a hot tub specific plumbing purge product. Follow the directions on the bottle for the amount as each manufacturer differs slightly. To avoid under treatment, make sure to know the water volume of your hot tub. Turn on the jets and allow the system to circulate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours to thoroughly remove biofilm.

Drain and Scrub

Drain the water completely from your hot tub. Don’t use a soap based cleaner as it leaves residues and causes foam. An equal part of white vinegar and water does a great job or you can use a spa surface cleaner. Don’t forget to clean the hot tub cover, top and bottom with products designed specifically for hot tub covers.

Refill, Balance & Sanitize

Now that your hot tub is clean, it’s time to replace the water. This will take time and it’s a good time to walk around and check for leaks. Fill the tub by sticking the hose in the filter well. This directs water through the filter and pipes first to avoid trapping air in the system. Trapped air in the pipes can cause airlock and damage the pump. Once full, follow the instructions in your pHin Mobile App to balance and sanitize the water in this order: Adjust Total Alkalinity (TA), then pH, then sanitizers.

 

Is it Okay to Drain a Pool Into the Yard?

Is it Okay to Drain a Pool Into the Yard? If you own a pool for long enough, eventually you face the task of draining it. When that happens, you may wonder what to do with the water. After all, that’s thousands of gallons of chemically treated pool water; it can’t go just anywhere. Are there laws in your area about draining the pool? Is it safe to drain it directly into your yard? Does it matter whether your pool is chlorinated or uses saltwater? Is there anything you should do before draining to make the process safer? Read on for tips on how to safely drain your pool.

Check Before You Drain

Before draining your pool, call or look online for any regulations in your city or town. Not sure where to begin? Start with the environmental, public works, and sewage pages. Another option is simply typing the words “pool drainage regulations YOUR CITY” into Google. Then, just follow the links. If the city has a page devoted to draining your pool, it likely also includes tips on how to do it in a way that follows city guidelines, such as Mesa, Arizona’s page on draining and backwashing your pool.

The storm drains in most towns were built to handle standard rainwater, not thousands of gallons of water over a short period, and certainly not water treated with chlorine and other chemicals. Taking on too much water at once may cause flooding and other damage in the sewer system, and pool water may poison local bodies of water. Always check before you drain.

Preparing to Drain: Neutralize pH and Cut the Chlorine

If you know you need to drain your pool, stop adding chemicals to the water for at least a few days. Before you drain, test the water; you’re looking for a chlorine level that’s either zero or close to it. Chlorine is particularly toxic and could damage your landscaping or infect wildlife should any water enter your local drainage system. You also protect your neighbors’ plants from water that enters their yard.

You also want to balance pH levels. Highly acidic water damages landscaping and plants just as chlorine does, both in your yard and beyond it. Again, we’re talking about thousands of gallons of water. Unless you empty the pool with a bucket, it’s almost guaranteed that some of that water will wind up in a neighbor’s yard, surrounding greenbelt, or the local sewer system, so do everything you can to make the water as safe as possible.

Draining a Saltwater Pool

The Dead Sea got its name because its high salt levels inhibit life. Of course, your saltwater pool doesn’t have nearly the salinity levels of the Dead Sea, but it’s still not a good idea to dump thousands of gallons of saltwater into your yard. For best results, drain your pool in intervals, saturating the ground with fresh water after each draining session.

Avoid Flooding when Draining the Pool

Most yards don’t have the ability to absorb all of the water from a pool. One the ground reaches its saturation level, you need to worry about flooding, especially since stagnant water attracts mosquitoes, which begin breeding within two or three days.

Flat, level ground is particularly prone to flooding. Guard against this by moving the hose to different parts of the yard. You may also need to drain the pool in intervals.

To ensure that fresh new pool water is perfectly balanced, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects local, qualified pool techs with pool owners. You can also use the pHin smart monitor to keep the water in your pool or hot tub balanced. This handy device constantly monitors the water, automatically sending you the exact chemicals you need for safe, healthy swimming all summer.

5 Ways to Conserve Water During the Pool Season

5 Ways to Conserve Water During the Pool Season. Water conservation may not be at the forefront of your priorities as a pool owner, but it fulfills to big green initiatives: good for the planet and good for your wallet. Pool and hot tub water conservation can save a bundle on utility bills, not to mention money spent on repairs. If your pool doesn’t have the proper water levels, it can damage both equipment and plumbing, which can lead to expensive repairs.

Not sure how to start? Keep reading for water conservation ideas.

1. Use a Pool Cover

Many pool owners use a cover outside of pool season to protect the pool from the elements. Pool covers are incredibly beneficial during the pool season as well. Like all other bodies of water, the water in your pool evaporates, especially during hotter months. Over the course of a year, it is possible to lose more than half of the water in your pool. A properly fitted pool cover greatly reduces evaporation, though, helping to maximize the amount of pool water you conserve. In addition, a cover continues protecting your pool from the elements and nasty debris, reducing the need for more chemicals by minimizing algae growth.

2. Check for Leaks

Regularly check your pool and its plumbing for cracks and leaks. You’d be amazed at the amount of water that can escape through even a small crack. Each ounce of water that leaves your pool is water that you could have saved and, in turn, money you could have saved. And, of course, leaking water has to go somewhere. Eventually, that accumulated water damages pool structures. Regularly checking your pool for signs of cracks or leaks helps stop the problem before it starts.

3. Shut Off Fountains and Waterfalls

Additions to your pool that use extra water, such as fountains and waterfalls, lose a significant amount of water to evaporation. They look and sound pretty, but they prevent you from conserving water and add to your water and utility bills. It is best to limit the amount of time you run water features, by shutting them off when the pool is not in use or only running them when you’re entertaining.

4. Check the Pump

To conserve water, you want to run your pool pump only when necessary. Start by running it for eight hours a day and, if it stays clear, you may reduce the time it runs. The size of the pool and time of year determines the amount of time your pump should run, but the less you run it the more water you will save. It takes a bit of trial and error to determine the right length of time to run the pump. Getting a timer rated for the size of your pool pump helps prevent calculation errors. If your pool begins to get cloudy, you should run your pump for longer. A typical Rule of Thumb: operate the filter pump one-hour for every 10 degrees of water temperature.

5. Drain the Pool Only When Necessary

Some pool owners prefer to start the pool season with freshly scrubbed pool walls and brand new water, but the amount of water this process wastes is astronomical. What’s more, it’s unnecessary in a properly maintained pool. Most experts agree that you only need to drain a pool every three to seven years, depending on the level of regular maintenance and the quality of the water used to top-off the pool level. To conserve water and save costs, only drain your pool only when necessary.

To keep the water in your pool or hot tub 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 or look for leaks and cracks, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects you to local, qualified pool techs.