Hot tub maintenance isn’t nearly as difficult or expensive as many folks are led to believe. In fact, it’s actually fairly simple. In most cases, you can keep your hot tub properly maintained in just a minute or two per day. And if you put in this tiny daily investment, you’re more likely to keep your hot tub working properly, which means you’ll enjoy using it even more.
But like any kind of maintenance, it’s when you get behind that the more difficult problems arise. So it makes sense to consider hot tub maintenance another daily chore.
Just like owning a car, owning and operating a hot tub comes with the its own maintenance schedule. The good news is that most of the daily “work” only takes a few minutes per day, and the more time-intensive tasks can be spread out every few months.
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Here’s An Easy Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule Maintaining Hot Tub Water (daily).
Keeping your water sparkling, clean and inviting is actually the most “strenuous” task you’ll face as a spa owner. Not because it’s difficult, or even because it takes hours of labor, but simply because you’ll need to take care of it every day. Just a few minutes per day will keep everything in check.
Your daily water maintenance should include checking and adjusting (through the use of hot tub chemicals) the following:
- Chlorine level (or bromine or other natural sanitizer)
- pH balance
- Water level
It’s recommended that you check and maintain your hot tub water at the same time everyday whenever possible.
Shock The Hot Tub (weekly)
Shocking the water blasts it with a heavy dose of sanitizing chemicals designed to obliterate any organic compounds. This is important because your daily sanitizer will eventually struggle to stay on top of the buildup of organic stuff, such as bacteria, algae and whatever gets tracked in from the people.
Just be sure to follow the instructions on the shock product label, and under no circumstance should anybody be allowed in the spa until the advertised amount of time has passed – these chemicals destroy all organic compounds, including our skin! The good news is that there are several hot tub shock products that are safe for swimmers in as few as 15 minutes.
Check The Hot Tub Filter (weekly)
Filters won’t clog up overnight (unless you don’t cover your tub and debris blows into it frequently), so I wouldn’t stress over meticulously checking the state of your filter. But it does make sense to check it often enough that you don’t get surprised! Besides, a clean filter keeps the water flowing at maximum efficiency, and puts less stress on your pump.
Most filters are simple paper elements, and are sometimes cleanable. If yours is, follow the cleaning instructions provided with the filter itself. If not, buy a replacement filter – they’re usually relatively cheap.
Changing The Water (every two months)
Regardless of how well you maintain your water, there comes a point where it’s impossible to keep it balanced. This happens because of a combination of warm temperatures, exposure to organic compounds and dirt. Those who work with spas on a regular basis say “The water wears out.”
When you get to this point, no amount of shock will make much of a difference, so your only effective course of action is to literally dump the water and start over from scratch. Reference your owner’s manual on how to properly drain your hot tub water, and try to get as much out of it as possible (the more new water you get in there, the better).
Hand Cleaning (seasonally)
If you keep up with your maintenance, you shouldn’t need to actually clean your tub by hand very often, but it does make sense to do it about once per season, just to remove larger dirt particles out of circulation.
Clean the whole thing out while you’ve got the water drained, and use a cotton cloth. Your owner’s manual may include suggestions on types of cleaners to use, so be sure to check. It might also include special instructions for your particular model.
While you’re at it, you might want to take a look at your hot tub cover, particularly the underside. If it’s starting to smell like old socks, it’s time to clean it off. Most covers will include cleaning instructions, but if not simply scrub it with clean hot tub water. Don’t experiment with bleach or any other chemicals unless specifically instructed.
Winterizing Your Hot Tub (cold months – optional)
If you’d rather not worry about keeping your spa and running in the cold winter months, it’s smart to winterize it so it doesn’t get damaged when the temperature drops. It’s actually fairly simple: Drain all of the water, blow out the lines with an air compressor, plug up any holes and then keep it covered.
The reason it’s so important to blow out the water is that when it freezes (which happens very easily when it’s not heated and the amount of water is small – like what you’d find in the low spot of a jacuzzi line), it will expand and break whatever its in. In our case, this means pipes, jets, motors, pumps and a whole variety of other expensive pieces that could cost a small fortune to repair when the weather warms up.
Of course if you keep your hot tub up and running all winter long, and follow a solid maintenance schedule, you won’t have to worry about winterizing it. As long as the heater keeps the water hot, it won’t freeze, but it’s a good idea to check the temperature every day in the coldest months, and if you notice that the temperature is consistently dropping from day to day – even by just a little bit – it might be a sign that your hot tub can’t keep up with the heat loss from the cold temperature, and it might make more sense to winterize it than risk a freeze.
While this is a very solid maintenance plan, it’s a good idea to read your owner’s manual for specifics. If your manufacturer includes or recommends a different hot tub maintenance schedule, then by all means follow it.