If you’ve never owned one before, the thought of maintaining a hot tub may seem daunting. Fortunately, hot tub maintenance is actually pretty easy! The key is consistency. That’s why we have come up with this handy hot tub maintenance schedule.
Semi-Daily (Every 2-3 Days) Hot Tub Maintenance
Test Your Water At Home
Testing your hot tub water is the most important thing you can do; both for yourself and for the hot tub. Properly balanced water is not only safe to use, it is also more comfortable to be in and will extend the life of the hot tub.
Every 2-3 days you should test your hot tub’s sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) and pH levels. If you notice that the levels are too high or too low, adjust as needed. If you’re unsure how to balance your water, consult your local hot tub specialist.
Weekly Hot Tub Maintenance
Along with testing and balancing the water, you should also “shock” the hot tub every 1-2 weeks. Shocking a hot tub allows the sanitizer in the water to work more effectively and can reduce the amount of sanitizer needed to keep the water clean and clear. When shocking your hot tub, be sure to keep your hot tub cover full open for at least 5-10 minutes. Shocking releases nitrogen and other gases which can harm the underside of the cover if it is closed during this process.
Along with shocking the hot tub, it is also a great idea to add a scale preventer once per week. This stops calcium and other minerals in the water from forming scale in the hot tub and can extend the overall life of the hot tub.
Rinse The Filter
You should rinse your hot tub’s filter with a garden hose every 1-2 weeks; depending on how often you use it.
Check The Skimmer Basket
When you rinse your filter it is also a great idea to check the skimmer basket. Remove any leaves from the skimmer basket and give it a quick rinse along with your filter.
Check Water Level
The water in the hot tub should cover around 1/2 to 2/3 of the skimmer hole. Any higher and floating debris won’t be skimmed off the surface of the water. Any lower and the pumps might not get enough water flowing through them, which can reduce their lifespan. Once per week, check the water level in your hot tub and adjust as needed.
Monthly Hot Tub Maintenance
Get Your Water Professionally Tested
Along with testing the water yourself every few days, you should also have your hot tub water professionally tested around once per month. Your local hot tub specialty store is able to do a much more in-depth, and accurate, water analysis than a home test kit can.
Things like metals and phosphates are not able to be tested with home kits but can cause real problems if not treated. After your water test is complete you will be given your results, as well as a list of recommendations for how to properly balance the water.
Vacuum The Hot Tub
If you notice sand and other small debris sitting on the shell of the hot tub you can buy a small manual vacuum to quickly and easily filter it out. If you own a Self-Cleaning Hydropool hot tub, this won’t be necessary as the built-in floor vacuum will filter out the debris for you.
Quarterly (Every 3-4 Months) Hot Tub Maintenance
Drain The Hot Tub
Over time, ultra fine particles (commonly called dissolved solids) build up in the water. While these particles (typically salts and other minerals) are harmless, high levels of dissolved solids can cause the water to look cloudy. They can also affect the feel of the water, making it feel “harder” than fresh water.
The only way to remove these dissolved solids is to drain and refill the hot tub. On average, most hot tubs will need to be drained every 3-4 months. Since they filter the water so efficiently, Self-Cleaning Hydropool hot tubs should only have to be drained every 4-6 months though.
Clean The Plumbing
Before draining your hot tub, it is a good idea to add a plumbing cleaner to the water. Simply add the cleaner to the water an hour before draining and let circulate until it is time to drain. These cleaners are environmentally friendly and completely safe to drain out with the water.
Along with regular rinsing, you should also chemically clean off your filters a few times a year. While rinsing the filters does remove dirt and other large particles, oils and lotions can still build up on them. Using a filter cleaner 3-4 times a year will remove these oils and keep your filter working at peak efficiency.
Add UV Protectant To Cover
The UV radiation from the sun can damage the vinyl skin of your hot tub cover; reducing the life of the cover. To combat this, apply a UV protectant spray every few months. This spray will both clean the cover and protect it from UV damage; extending the life of your hot tub cover.
Yearly Hot Tub Maintenance
Depending on how often you use the hot tub, the filters should be replaced every 12-18 months.
Over time, the filter fibres will begin to stretch, allowing larger and larger debris to pass through them. If the hot tub water is fresh but still has a hard time staying clear, chances are your filters are ready to be replaced.
Check Cover (Does It Need To Be Replaced?)
Lastly, it is a good idea to check over your cover at least once a year to assess whether or not it should be replaced. While new hot tub covers aren’t cheap; waterlogged or damaged are extremely inefficient insulators. This inefficiency can easily cost an extra few hundred dollars a year in added energy costs.
To learn more, consult our hot tub cover replacement guide.
For new hot tub owners there can be a steep learning curve when they first get their hot tub. Once you get a routine down however, hot tub maintenance is actually quite simple! Spending 5-10 minutes per week on maintenance is all you need to keep the water safe to use and ensure a long life from your hot tub.