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Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist – 10 Easy Steps To Follow


Purchasing a hot tub is a big investment that you’ll want to enjoy for as many years as possible. With regular hot tub maintenance, you’ll be able to keep it running smoothly and extend its life in just a few easy steps. When people consider buying a hot tub, one of the first things they wonder is how much work it will be to take care of it.

The good news is that hot tubs aren’t nearly as much work as many people would think. All you need is the right tools and a solid schedule to make taking care of your hot tub effortless!

Why Is Hot Tub Maintenance Important?

Keeping your hot tub well maintained will extend its life while protecting yourself from germs and bacteria. These can form in water that is not appropriately treated or doesn’t get cleaned regularly. This will also help reduce any future repairs your hot tub may need as it ages.

Creating an easy-to-follow routine for hot tub maintenance will help keep its water clean and clear and make your system run flawlessly. The last thing you want is bacteria to build up or contaminants entering your water, making it cloudy or foamy.

How Often Do I Need To Perform Hot Tub Maintenance?

Some things will need to be done more often than others, with timelines ranging from a couple of times a week, once a month, or possibly only once a year.

This can be affected by your water system, frequency of use, and if proper steps are taken before relaxing in your hot tub, such as showering to remove any body oils, you might bring into the water.

For example, simple care steps like wiping the edge of the spa or checking your water levels will need to be done more regularly, while others like draining your water will need to be done much less frequently.

What Hot Tub Supplies Will I Need?

The supplies to keep your hot tub clean and running its best can vary based on your spa’s needs. There are a variety of brands, cleaning chemicals and soaps, and water treatment products that can work for your hot tub.

Finding the right one for your system can be easy, but if you’re not sure what you should use for yours, contact our team of experts, and they’ll be able to help you find everything you need.

Some of the most common supplies you can expect to use to maintain the condition of your hot tub include:

  • Water treatment products, such as chlorine or salt
  • Cleaning brushes and cloths
  • Shell cleaner
  • pH strips or a digital meter
  • pH and Alkaline balancing treatments
  • A surface skimmer
  • A spa vacuum

10 Easy Steps To Maintain Your Hot Tub

When people think about taking care of a hot tub, many believe it’s difficult and time-consuming to take care of them. This is far from the truth. Following a steady hot tub maintenance routine can help make caring for your spa easy, letting you enjoy the relaxing hot water and precision jets anytime you want.

If you’re a first-time hot tub buyer looking for the perfect checklist to help you create your hot tub maintenance schedule or simply want a way to ensure you haven’t missed any steps throughout the year, you’ll find it here.

1. Buy The Right Cover (and use it)

The first step after buying a hot tub should be to purchase a cover that will effectively protect your hot tub. What cover is best for your spa will depend on your climate.

For example, if you live somewhere that experiences snow and cold temperatures, it’s important to make sure your hot tub cover has a peaked top, allowing snow and rain to drain away. This will help ensure you don’t cause unnecessary damage throughout the year, making it last much longer.

Another step to keep your hot tub cover in good condition is to clean it regularly. You can do this by rinsing it off and then carefully washing it with a gentle cleanser. For an additional layer of protection, you can include a protectant in your cover cleaning routine. This will add an extra barrier to the elements and helps give your cover a longer life.

When you purchase the right cover for your hot tub and use it anytime you’re not in it, you will relieve some of the work your system will have to do to reheat and clean the water from outside contaminants. Not only that, but it will be more energy efficient as it will keep the heat in!

2. Circulate The Water Daily

The water in your hot tub should be moving through the filter every day, even when you haven’t used it. Circulating your water will help keep it clean by allowing any particles and bacteria to be filtered out daily, removing the potential of your spa water becoming unbalanced. Without this, you may be causing extra treatment steps to be taken to fix the water when you’re ready to use it again.

If you aren’t filtering your water often enough, you’ll notice it getting cloudy, developing a different smell, or foam on the surface. How long you run your pump will depend on how often you use your hot tub, with some cycles ranging from 2 to 4 hours. At the very minimum, you should be circulating your water for 20 minutes every day.

3. Clean Your Filters

Your filter does some of the most important work in your hot tub. If it becomes damaged or dirty, you may end up with bacteria and contaminants that aren’t being pulled out of your water. This means your water will need to be treated more frequently, and your system will have to work harder to support your hot tub.

To maintain your filter, you’ll want to rinse it every 1-2 weeks and soak it in a high-quality filter cleaner every few months. This will help clear out any grime that has built up on it, leaving you with a filter that can easily do its job.

How long your filter lasts will depend on how often you use your hot tub, but a good quality one should last anywhere from 1-2 years. Make sure you inspect your filter regularly for any damage and replace it when it first begins to show signs of wear. You’ll know it’s time to change your filter when it no longer comes clean during your regular hot tub maintenance routine.

4. Skim The Surface And Vacuum Regularly

Taking the time to regularly skim the surface of your hot tub can help keep your water clear and remove the film that can settle on top of your water. This develops from bacteria, oils, or dirt that has made its way into your hot tub. A skimmer will make removing any leaves of bugs that have fallen into your hot tub a quick and easy job.

Including a hot tub sponge that floats on the water’s surface will help absorb oils or body products like lotions or hair products that may have ended up in your hot tub. You’ll want to use this after each spa session. This will help your clean water last longer and keep your hot tub’s systems running smoothly by removing some of its workloads.

Additionally, you should use a spa vacuum to help remove the film that may form under your hot tub’s water, leaving your seats feeling slippery. Vacuuming should ideally be done once a week to keep your spa clean and feeling brand new.

5. Test Your Waters pH and Alkaline Levels

Testing the pH and alkaline levels is essential in maintaining the balance of your hot tub’s water. If either one falls out of balance, your water will cause damage to your plumbing, filter, jets, and even the surfaces of your hot tub if left long enough. The good thing is that keeping them balanced is simple.

Your water’s alkalinity can be affected by several things. If it’s high, it may be a sign of excess chemicals in the water, a buildup of oils like body lotions, makeup, sweat, or bacteria. It may also result from hard water, so it’s important to know the water quality where you live.

Natural elements like rain mixing with your hot tub water can also reduce your alkalinity, making your water’s pH acidic. This is one of the many reasons you should always keep your hot tub covered when you’re not using it.

Having a low pH means the water has become increasingly acidic, which, left untreated, can begin to cause corrosion on the parts of the hot tub and the surface. If the pH is too high, you will risk scale beginning to form on parts of your system that are in contact with the water.

Testing your pH and alkalinity is easy. You can purchase test strips or a digital pH meter to easily show these levels. Try to find one that displays as much information as possible to make this process easy and effective. Once you know your water levels, you can treat them to bring them back into balance.

6. Treat Your Water With The Right Products

The products you use to treat your hot tube will depend on the water system you’ve chosen to use. The primary sanitizers for your hot tub will be liquid chlorine or chlorine tablets, bromine, salt, or Baquacil if you use a chlorine-free system. These products will help kill any bacteria in your water, keeping it clean and clear.

As mentioned above, testing your water’s pH and alkaline levels will help keep your water balanced. This is especially important after a water change. Water is different in every region, so it’s important to know if the water you get is ‘soft’ or ‘hard.’

Hard water generally is caused by an increased level of calcium being present in the water. Knowing this will help you understand what to expect when rebalancing your water and will make the process quick and easy every time.

It’s important to note that alkalinity affects pH, and vice versa, so treating them in the proper order is vital in balancing them with ease. You should always adjust the alkalinity first by bringing it within the range of 80-100 ppm (parts-per-million). Once your alkalinity is within range, you can adjust the pH level. You’ll want this to be between 7.2 and 7.8.

You should also always have shock treatments available when you need a more intensive clean of your water. If your hot tub water is becoming cloudy, shock treatment will help clear it up and kill any bacteria and germs in the water.

After treating your hot tub with any chemical, leaving the cover off is essential so the gas that results from the cleaning process can be released. If your hot tub is inside, you’ll want to ensure you’ve opened any ventilation into the room.

7. Change Your Water Regularly

Changing your water is a crucial part of hot tub maintenance. The frequency you do this will depend on what type of water system you use, such as chlorine or salt. If you use a chlorine system, this will need to be done every 3-4 months, depending on how often you use it. However, if you use a salt water system, this process may only need to be done once a year.

To change the water in your hot tub, you must completely drain and clean it before refilling it. If you have a submersible pump, the draining process will go much faster, with drain time averaging 15 minutes based on the hot tub size. This will make the process easier and less time-consuming, getting you back to enjoying your spa sooner.

8. Deep Clean Your Hot Tub Shell

Before thoroughly cleaning your hot tub shell, you’ll need to drain the water as mentioned above. Once the water is fully drained, you can clean the surface with a soft cloth and gentle cleaner made specifically for hot tubs. This will help avoid any damage being caused to the shell’s protective coating.

Make sure the shell is dried before you refill it. Once it’s thoroughly cleaned and ready to be refilled, simply close the drain and use your garden hose to fill your hot tub. Once it’s refilled, you’ll want to test the water and use your pH and alkalinity balancers to bring it into the perfect range for clean and clear water.

It’s important to remember to clean the systems that keep your hot tub running smoothly. During some deep cleans, you should include a quick clean of your plumbing equipment to ensure no bacteria or organic matter builds up in your pipes.

9. Winterize

While this may not be something we’d have to do in California, winterizing is a vital step for many Jacuzzi® Hot Tub owners.

Winterizing your hot tub will need to happen if you’re shutting it down for any time during months when it’s cold enough to freeze the water in the pipes. If the pipes in your hot tub freeze, they could burst, causing a much bigger problem when you try to restart it again.

Winterizing your hot tub can take a few hours, so be prepared to spend some time on it. The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off both the power and the heater. Then, completely drain your hot tub, including the jets and pipes. You can push the water out of the jets by using a blower to force it out.

Many hot tubs have this built in to help remove the water from the jets. To blow the water out of the pipes, you’ll need to use an external blower like a shop vac to push the water out, but only after loosening the fittings to provide an exit for the water. Then, clean up any excess water and replace the cover.

If you leave your hot tub running throughout the winter, you won’t need to winterize it. However, you will need to continue checking your water and completing your regular hot tub maintenance steps to keep the water from developing any issues.

10. Schedule Service Repairs Right Away

If you think something might be wrong with one of the parts of your hot tub, schedule a time for a service technician to come to your home and inspect the problem. Diagnosing the issue is vital in ensuring all damaged parts are identified and repaired before you use your hot tub again.

This will keep your hot tub running smoothly without causing additional damage and allow you to enjoy it for many years.

Get Your Next Jacuzzi® Hot Tub In Orange County

When done well, these hot tub maintenance steps are quick and straightforward, and if you follow your schedule, you’ll have less work to do each time you clean your hot tub.

However, if the more rigorous hot tub maintenance steps aren’t for you, or your schedule doesn’t allow for it, we’ve got a team of professional service technicians who can take care of that for you.

Simply contact us to request a service, and we will find a solution that works for you.

If you’re looking to add a new hot tub to make your backyard a relaxing escape, our team of experts in Orange County, CA, can help.


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