Hot Tub Questions? We Have The Answers

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.

Do you have more questions about hot tub care? Ask the pHin team on Twitter or Facebook!

5 Benefits of Hot Tub Therapy

When it comes to enjoying your hot tub − there are no rules. The warm water is a great place to de-stress and relax, and having your own hot tub can unlock more fun and wellness.

The pHin experts share 5 benefits to taking a dip in your hot tub:

1. Reduced Stress

A study from Healthline showed that warm water can help reduce the hormones related to stress. When you’re soaking in a hot tub, leave your phone behind and focus on the warm water and massaging jets. The hot tub can be a place to escape – try putting on a relaxing playlist and unplugging in the evening or on the weekend. 

2. Muscle Relief

If you have sore muscles from a new workout, or just the daily grind, the hot tub can be your own physical therapist. The buoyancy of the water reduces body weight, relieving the pressure on your muscles. Sitting in front of the jets can stimulate your skin and muscle tissue, massaging away knots and aches. Not to mention, sitting in a hot tub increases the circulation of blood flow, helping to fuel your muscle tissue, all bringing you greater comfort and pain relief.

3. Lessened Joint Pain

Soaking in a hot tub has been known to help those with arthritis – The Arthritis Foundation reports that patients with arthritis who participated in warm water exercise programs two or three times a week had as much as 40 percent less pain. The natural buoyancy keeps pressure off your joints, and the warmth of the tub can be a great way to increase flexibility which has been known to relieve the symptoms of joint pain.

4. A Solution to Insomnia

If you have trouble falling asleep, a hot tub can help combat insomnia. Taking a dip in the evening before bed can put you into a state of relaxation and help to put both your mind and body at ease. A study from New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center notes that when you soak in a hot tub your temperature rises, and once you exit the water your core body temperature drops, signaling to your body that it’s time to sleep.

5. Improved Heart Health

According to a study from Harvard Health Publishing, relaxing in a hot tub increases your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. A quick soak can be beneficial in improving overall health muscle efficiency – the heat helps to widen blood vessels, helping to send nutrient-rich blood throughout your body.  Always consult your doctor about what’s best for your health. If the hot tub isn’t right for you, maybe a swimming pool would be the right option.

To take advantage of the benefits of having your own how tub, you have to know that your water is safe and balanced. Technology can help you get the measurements and chemicals right, and check the water temperature to make sure it’s ready to go before you hop in. pHin is the smart water monitor that simplifies hot tub care – it constantly monitors your water and sends alerts about the temperature, water balance, and chemical instructions. Learn more at phin.co.

How to Make Pool Time the First Step to #SelfCare

#Selfcare has been trending lately as we focus on improving our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The self-care revolution is a positive force, but it can be challenging to make these changes in our day-to-day lives.

Pool, hot tub, and spa owners have a leg-up on setting a wellness routine with hydrotherapy, swimming, and time outdoors. The pHin team put together a few ways to get started:

1. Shut off the notifications and pick up a book

Alone time can be the start of self-care – and spending time by the pool or hot tub with a good book or relaxing music is a great way to escape the daily hustle. Set aside time each week to leave your phone behind and pick up a good read – especially if you don’t have a waterproof phone! Set a playlist for 30-minutes to an hour and leave your phone out of reach.

2. Connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors

An article from Mental Floss points out that spending time outside can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure. Breathing in fresh air and listening to the sounds of nature can help relieve stress and improve your focus. Head out to the pool for extra sun and some Vitamin D when winter is over – invite friends for a swim, hang out on a floatie, or enjoy the jets in your swim spa.

3. Hydrotherapy and exercise

Exercise is a major part of physical and mental well-being – Medline Plus notes that regular physical activity can improve your mood, increase your chances of living longer, and help control your weight. Pools and spas are a great place to exercise, providing resistance and buoyancy that is effective without being high-impact. Squats, shoulder rolls, water aerobics, and more can be the start to your physical fitness in the pool; a hot tub can also be a great place to unwind after a difficult workout.

4. Family wellness

A self-care routine can also be shared with the entire family. Spending time together in the pool relaxing, playing games, or working out can help you connect, have fun, and achieve better wellness together.

Tip: Use technology for peace-of-mind that your water is safe for self-care time

To maximize the benefits of self-care from your pool or hot tub, technology can help provide peace of mind that your water is always safe for swimming. With pHin, you can check the water temperature before you dive in using the app, and it’ll also tell you ahead of time if your water is out of balance or needs chemical adjustments. Knowing your water is balanced can help make whatever pool or hot tub routine you choose even simpler.

How are you using your pool, spa, or hot tub to achieve your #selfcare goals? Sound off to the pHin team! On Twitter or Facebook.

6 Hot Tub Mistakes to Avoid

Hot tubs can have many benefits – they can help with a post-workout recovery, de-stressing, and even be a place to host parties. If not properly cared for and safe for soaking, hot tub water can pose health risks, like coughs and rashes. Yikes!

The warm water in a hot tub needs special care to remain a safe place for whatever benefits you seek, whether it’s fun, relaxation, or recovery. The certified pHin pool care experts put together a list of 6 Don’ts of hot tub care:

1.       Don’t cut the power on a full tub

Whether you use your hot tub regularly, a few times a month, or a few times a week, it’s necessary to maintain the same water level and a steady temperature. For both cold and warm seasons, this is ideal to maintain the chemical balance vs.  letting your hot tub cool down and then reheating it for each use.

2.       If you see green, don’t get in

If you’re ready for a soak and your hot tub water looks a little off, has a weird foam, green tinge, or flowing foam – don’t get in. These are signs that your hot tub water is unbalanced, unsanitary, or unsafe, and can have health risks. It will need chemical attention to be re-balanced, or you may have to drain and refill the tub to resolve the issue.

3.       Say “no” to plastic covers

Maintaining hot tub water is a delicate balance. A greenhouse setup or a plastic cover can magnify sun rays and trap heat in the tub. This extra heat can make it challenging to maintain a healthy water balance, and can even melt the plastic cover. It’s best to use the hot tub cover recommended by the manufacturer.

4.       Some like it hot – but don’t go over 104° F

The heat of the hot tub can be soothing for tired muscles, or even help with common headache symptoms. But be careful – a hot tub’s max temperature should be 104° F. Heating your hot tub above this level can be unhealthy and dangerous for swimmers, and could also damage your hot tub.

5.       Skip the soaps and suds

Aromatherapy can enhance hot tub relaxation, but it’s best to keep soaps, scents, and suds out of the water. Adding these products is not recommended by most hot tub manufacturers, as they can be detrimental to your system, requiring a drain and refill or  an expensive repair. It’s also a best practice to rinse off in the shower before getting into the hot tub. If you’d like some extra soothing scents, you can try an essential oil diffuser or candles in your hot tub space.

6.       Don’t forget your filters

For best results, hot tub filters need to be cleaned every two to three months and completely replaced every two years. Even if you don’t regularly use the hot tub, changing filters is important, because buildup can be a cause of unbalanced water and affect the lifespan of your hot tub. For a more efficient hot tub, the silver ion cartridge needs to be changed every four months.

Bonus tip #7: Use technology to monitor your hot tub water

Whether you have a service tech who manages your hot tub or you’re taking on the task yourself, the best way to know exactly what’s going on in your hot tub water is to have a smart monitor that analyzes it for you. The pHin has built-in analytics, a mobile app, and Bluetooth connectivity that keeps you informed about your hot tub water and guides you with chemical instructions.

Learn about the three simple steps for pool care with pHin.

Tips for Planning a Poolside Valentine’s Day

Pools and hot tubs can be a great venue for holidays, parties, and gatherings. This week is Valentine’s Day, and the pHin team brainstormed some ideas to make your pool, swim spa, or hot tub extra special for your loved ones:

  • Candles

The right lighting can add a romantic ambiance to the space, whether you place candles around the hot tub’s edge or light up a fire pit by the pool. If you don’t want to worry about matches and lit candles, you can try flickering lights or rope lights for extra sparkle.

  • Decorations

A few themed decorations can brighten up the space – try heart-shaped floaties or even floating flowers in the pool. Make sure that whatever you’re adding to the pool or hot tub is safe and approved to be in the water; be careful of adding decorations with a scent, sparkles, or pieces that can come loose in the water.

  • Pink Drinks and Festive Snacks

When you’re done swimming, grab a pink towel and take a break with a snack or a cocktail! You can set up a space by the pool or inside with Champagne, a red cocktail, or rosé. If it’s a kid’s party, you can also set up a space with fun snacks like heart-shaped cookies, chocolate-dipped pretzels with pink sprinkles, or red Jell-O! We love this list of snack ideas.

  • Mood Music

The last step is setting up mood music to play for your party or romantic evening. We can help! Check out the pHin YouTube channel for playlist inspiration.

Don’t forget to make sure that your pool or hot tub water gets some love too! Once you’ve set your music, decorations, drinks, and more for your Valentine’s Day celebration, remember to check your filters, water level, and water balance to make sure it’s safe for swimming. With pHin and the app – it’ll be the easiest step of your pool prep. Learn more here!

Wishing our pHin friends a happy Valentine’s Day filled with family, friends, and happy moments – hopefully pool-side!

Maximizing A Hot Tub for Post-Workout Recovery

Working out is good for your health and it can also boost your mood. To get the most out of physical activity, it’s important to wind down and stretch afterward to prevent achy, tired muscles. According to some new research, heat plays an important role in post-exercise recovery.

The benefits of heating muscles and blood makes recovering after a workout more efficient. The heat helps initiate the healing process, increases blood flow and, best of all, relaxes your muscles. Whether you run, spend a day on the slopes, attend a yoga class, or lift weights at the gym, a hot tub or swim spa soak can help relax those aching muscles. The warm water helps you — and your muscles — relax but the jets can also be used to target specific areas of extreme soreness.

If you already use a hot tub or are considering adding a hot tub to post-workout recovery, the water and equipment need to be kept in good condition. One of the best ways to extend the life of your tub is to keep it clean. Remember to shower before you enter the hot tub, because water balance can be easily thrown off from sweat and dirt. You don’t want to be stressed about the dangers of algae, or other factors that can cause a rash from unbalanced hot tub water.

For that post-workout relaxation, you need to be confident that your water is clean and safe for soaking at any time. You don’t have to worry about trying to get it balanced after exhausting yourself from a workout with smart water monitoring solution like pHin can help you know at-a-glance that your hot tub is properly balanced. pHin tracks your hot tub water quality, measuring your pH, sanitizer, and temperature over 1,000 times per week. It also notifies you when your water is out of balance and provides dosing recommendations of the chemicals you need to make it safe to use, ensuring that your hot tub is ready to help rejuvenate your body after any workout.

Recovery is as important as a good workout. A hot tub can help you unwind after a workout and make your muscles feel great and ready for your next session.

4 Ways to De-stress in Your Hot Tub

Your stress levels should drop just thinking about easing into a hot tub and enjoying the combination of heat, jets, and the soothing sound of bubbling water. Here are ways to maximize your well-deserved relaxation time:

1.                  Meditate (or just breathe)

Meditation involves deep breathing and is designed to help you reach a state of mental tranquility. To get the benefits, you only need a calm and quiet place – some practice in homes or studios but the added warmth and movement of the hot tub offers a great time to slow your breathing, quiet your mind, and get to a meditative state. Even if meditation isn’t your thing, the hot tub is a great time and place for a little serenity after a busy day. Relax. Breathe. Be in the moment.

 2.                Wine, or your cup of tea

Enjoying a nice glass of wine in the hot tub can definitely ramp up the relaxation factor. If wine isn’t your thing, hot herbal teas offer antioxidants and a wonderful calming effect too. Sipping your favorite beverage while feeling the warm water can help you forget about the day and relax, no matter what season. One tip: Make sure you have an insulated cup for hot drinks and a non-breakable glass for wine and aim for those with lids to help avoid getting any dirt or leaves in your beverage. They also help prevent or minimize spills!

 3.                Essential oils (or scented candles)

Aromatherapy can intensify your relaxation experience. Lavender, chamomile, vanilla and jasmine are traditionally known as the best scents for de-stressing and relaxation, but scents are extremely personal. You can use those that calm you, or even mix a few for different effects. You can place scented candles near the hot tub (but not on the edges!) to infuse the air with relaxing aromas, or use an essential oil diffuser in an indoor hot tub room. Especially if you use a smart water monitoring system like pHin, it’s easy to get your water balanced again after you’re done. 

 4.                Jets (or jets, jets, and more jets!)

Take advantage of the variety of jets and seating positions in your hot tub to create true relaxation. If you’re recovering after a busy day at work or home, find the jets that target wherever you carry tension,  whether in your neck, back, and shoulders, or other areas. Adjust the pressure to a more gentle and soothing level so that it’s less intense  if you are recovering from a long ski day or a tough workout. Switch to different positions so that all of your muscles get some attention. And don’t forget your feet! Placing your feet over the jets creates a similar result as reflexology, relaxing all of the tension and stimulating blood flow while stimulating nerves that have a positive impact for your whole body. A hot tub foot massage is pretty magical so don’t skip this important part of your relaxation experience!

Everyone has their own secret for elevating the relaxation effects of their hot tub. Here’s one more tip: the less time you spend worrying about pH balances and chemical levels, the more you’ll be able to focus on stripping away the stress. Use a smart water monitor to automatically monitor your hot tub’s chemical levels and receive alerts if anything needs attention. Knowing that your hot tub is always ready and waiting for you is an easy way to decrease stress and enjoy life!

pHin Reaches New Milestone: Over One Billion Water Samples Tested!

There are more than 15 million pools and hot tubs in the U.S., and even though water chemistry can be challenging, about 75% of owners test their own water. Maintaining healthy pH, sanitizer, and temperature levels requires water testing at least two to three times a week, which adds up to a lot of hands-on maintenance for pool and spa owners who’d rather be relaxing or splashing around.

pHin, was designed to streamline pool water care so families can just enjoy their pools without all the guesswork. Now part of the Hayward family, pHin has just reached an exciting new milestone: We’ve tested and analyzed over one billion samples of pool and hot tub water!

Because there are so many environmental factors that affect water chemistry such as usage, weather, water temperature, sunlight exposure and more, pool water can easily become unbalanced. pHin helps keep things in check by keeping a constant eye on the chemical levels. There are pHin monitors floating in  pools, hot tubs, and spas around the country, which have collectively taken over one billion samples!

When pHin takes a reading of the sanitizer, pH, or temperature that needs attention, it sends an alert to the user on the mobile app with instructions, so they know exactly what to do to keep the pool or spa water safe and ready for swimming. With a proven track record and years taking measurements pHin is family-tested and industry approved.

pHin is constantly improving to make pool care easier. Having taken over a billion water samples, the monitors provide families with exact instructions to balance their pool water with the chemicals of their choice from a growing database.

Join the families who are letting pHin take the guesswork out of pool care – learn more here: phin.co.

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Adding Hot Tub Chemicals

Managing the pH level of your hot tub is like an ongoing science experiment. It can be difficult to keep up with your water’s chemical levels as they’re ever-changing. It’s  critical to keeping your hot tub safe for your family and friends, as unbalanced water can have health implications for those who come in contact with it.

To keep your hot tub balanced, avoid making these three mistakes:

#1: Not Testing the Hot Tub Water

When it comes to hot tub water, pH and alkalinity are cousins, and you can’t adjust the pH and alkalinity of your hot tub accurately if you don’t know the levels in real-time. Most people check manually with test strips and charts to balance their pH and alkalinity levels. The process can be tedious and sometimes might feel like you need a chemistry degree to figure out the right balance — but it doesn’t really have to be that hard.

Hot tubs can be fickle. When a pH is too high in a hot tub, the water becomes scale forming. High pH can cause premature equipment failure and increase your sanitizer consumption. Highly acidic water makes it more difficult for your sanitizer to work effectively, leaving bathers in your hot tub exposed to potentially harmful contaminants. Alkalines serves as buffers for the pH. When any metal part comes into contact with water that has low total alkalinity, it can corrode, putting heating elements, pipes, and heaters at risk. Calcium scaling can also occur, making it more difficult to keep surfaces clean and plumbing free of scale buildup.

You can use a smart water monitor like pHin, which tests your water balance over 1,000 times per week and sends you an alert if anything needs to be adjusted. The proven technology makes the process much easier, more convenient, and more accurate.

Recommended pH Level: 7.4 – 7.6

Recommended Alkalinity Level: 125 – 150ppm

#2: Not Keeping the Cover Off Long Enough While Adding Chemicals

It takes time for the chemicals you add to your hot tub to become fully functional, as they emit gases while absorbing into the water. When adding chemicals to a hot tub, it’s important to leave your hot tub cover open for at least 15 minutes so they can breathe and work effectively. When chemicals don’t properly dissipate, the water feels acidic. Bathers may also feel uncomfortable, experiencing skin or eye irritability as acidic water strips their skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling itchy and dry.

Sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine will better defend against bacteria, viruses, algae, and other contaminants from forming in your water if you keep the cover open for an adequate amount of time. Without oxygen, the chemicals are less effective. Chemicals like shock also require oxygen to circulate, oxidize, and clean the hot tub.

#3: Not Checking and Adjusting Chemicals Often Enough

There are a lot of reasons as to why your water level are off. Often, people accidentally add too much pH increaser when they are trying to correct a low pH level, they measure incorrectly or they spill. For some of us, the local water source may naturally have a higher than normal level. You may have to check and adjust your chemicals more frequently depending on how much you use your hot tub. If you use it daily or recently had a party with a large group of people, you might need to add more chemicals than usual. It’s a best practice to check and adjust the chemicals and shock your hot tub at least once a week, However if you have a large group or if there’s a possibility that leaves and other organic materials may have gotten into your hot tub, you may need to check it more often.

Smart water monitors check the chemical balance of your hot tub multiple times a day and will alert you if you need to add any chemicals. The beauty of an automated system is that you always know your hot tub is perfectly balanced the second you are ready to hop in.

Five Ways to Enjoy Your Hot Tub This Winter

Most people put their hot tubs in hibernation mode during the summer when it’s just too hot to enjoy the spa. As the last leaves fall from the trees and the first fall chill hits the air, it’s a good time to uncover the hot tub and prepare it for a full season of winter fun. While hot tubs are a perfect après-ski gathering place to soothe sore muscles after a day on the slopes, there are so many other ways to make the most of it during the winter.

Here are five reasons to enjoy your hot tub throughout the winter months:

  1. De-stress from the holidays. As winter kicks in — so do the holidays! But there’s an added layer of stress for most of us — decorating, shopping, family dinners, and work parties all create more stress for our already-busy lives. Schedule a few minutes every couple of days to enjoy your hot tub and let some of the tension soak away. You’ll feel better, be more focused, and be in a better mindset to truly enjoy the holidays. 
  2. Connect with family. Hanging out in the hot tub with your family is a great opportunity to enjoy quality time and genuine conversations. Lots of people focus on dinner as the main time to chat about school, work, and life — but let’s be honest, with the demands of work, after-school activities, commutes, and everything else life throws at you, finding time to dine together as a family just doesn’t always happen. Jumping in the hot tub in the evening is a great way to wind down, have meaningful conversations and, as an added bonus, keep everyone away from screen time — a great way to get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Recover from workouts. It’s important to keep up a consistent workout routine, and in the cooler winter months, that often means shifting your exercise regimen indoors. Any time you change your workout, you may experience different sets of achy muscles. The warm water can help soothe muscles after your cool down, and you can experiment with jet settings for added massaging so you’re ready for the next day of exercise.
  4. Socialize with friends. It can be hard to find time with friends, especially during the holidays. Sometimes we think that a quick Facebook or Instagram check-in counts as a connection, but quality time in-person is more valuable. Inviting friends over for a cocktail or cocoa and a dip in the hot tub is a great way to inspire genuine conversations and face-to-face connections with friends. Keep a couple of extra comfy spa robes and some flip-flops around so that your guests are warm and comfy, and feel like they’re being pampered.
  5. Enjoy peace and quiet. Being bombarded by the news, social media buzz, traffic, and meal planning all add to the stress of a busy day at the office or helping your family get through the week. Spend a few minutes in the hot tub, listening to the calming sounds of bubbling water, gazing at the stars, and breathing in the crisp, fresh air. This quiet time  connecting with nature can make you feel calmer.

Make sure your hot tub is well-maintained throughout the winter season with a few simple tips:

  • Clear out any leaves or debris. Fall leaves are beautiful but they clog filters quickly.
  • Make sure the water level is full. If you haven’t changed your water recently, now is the time to drain your hot tub and fill it with fresh water.
  • Check and clean or replace your filters. It’s a good idea to have two sets of filters so you can clean one set while using the other set.
  • Check and adjust the chemical levels…pHin makes it incredibly easy to keep your chemical levels correct by alerting you on your mobile device when they need attention.
  • Make sure your cover is in good shape and sealed to keep the heat. No matter how cold it gets outside, it’s not recommended to have your hot tub set at more than 102°F, especially if you have children.

How do you benefit from your hot tub? Sound off with us on Facebook or Twitter.

For help keeping your hot tub in top-shape, learn how pHin can help.

pHin Doubles Scannable Chemical Database

Pools, hot tubs, and swim spas are meant to be enjoyed, but it also  can take a lot of work to keep their water clean and safe. Water chemistry can be confusing but the pHin Smart Monitor provides an easy way to make pool and hot tub care more fun, with less work.

pHin has helped thousands of families by taking the guesswork out of water care so they can just have fun enjoy their pools and hot tubs. pHin floats in the water, measuring temperature, pH, and sanitizer levels over 1,000 times per week. With pHin’s monitoring subscription, alerts and our three-color notification system makes pool and hot tub care easy to understand. A blue disc indicates balanced water, orange advises that the water is safe for swimming but needs attention, and red cautions that the water is not safe and needs chemicals.

When the water needs to be balanced, the pHin gives specific dosing recommendations. Users get detailed instructions on the chemicals they need to add to their water, whether it’s bromine, saltwater, or chlorine. The system also works with hundreds of chemical brands so families can choose what’s right for their pool or hot tub.

The pHin team is always working hard to improve the experience, and we’ve just doubled the number of scannable chemicals in our database! pHin users can check out the new chemical brands added including Poolife, hth, and Leisure Time directly from their app. It’s easy to select which chemicals to use by simply scanning the chemical’s barcode or from a drop-down list. See the full list of supported chemicals here.

pHin is the proven path to easier water care.

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.