With warm temperatures and sunny skies, swimming in your pool is top of mind. Although your hot tub might be an afterthought this time of year, it doesn’t mean you have to shut it down completely until the mercury dips again in a few months.
Instead, you can take measures to
limit maintenance demand but still ensure the hot tub is ready for a warm soak on a chilly summer evening.
Here are three tips for maintaining your hot tub as your attention turns to your pool.
1. Put your hot tub in standby mode.
If you’re cutting down on hot tub use, Shawn Maynard, co-owner of Bullfrog Spas in Ogden, Utah, suggests you turn the temperature down as low as possible on your spa, and set it to vacation
or sleep mode. Putting the hot tub in standby mode will reduce maintenance demand.
Maynard says water at 60 degrees will last several weeks without attention, assuming
spa was clean and balanced before lowering the temperature and putting it into standby mode.
Spa bather loads also decrease significantly during pool season, which means less sanitization and general maintenance, says Ellen Meyer, microbial control technology manager with Arch
Chemicals, Inc., now part of Lonza.
“You’ll have less stuff accumulating on your filter that needs to be backwashed off,” she says. “You just have a lot fewer
2. Focus on water chemistry.
Although your hot tub’s maintenance demand will decrease during pool season, Meyer stresses the importance of sustaining a sanitizer residual at all times.
“If you don’t maintain a sanitizer residual, then you can grow some bio-film in the piping, and that’s not a good thing,” she says.
To avoid this issue, circulate the water regularly—eight hours a day—and turn on the jets to make sure the sanitizer is reaching all parts of the spa, including the plumbing system. If you fail to check your spa’s sanitizer level for more than a couple
of weeks, bacteria and algae can begin to grow, creating a larger issue that will require more work to mitigate, Maynard says.
Regardless of how much you use your spa, it’s important to have core products on hand. For example, if your spa has been inactive for a few weeks and is in need of care, consider the three-step program from the BAQUASpa® brand, a chlorine- and bromine-free system.
- Step 1: BAQUASpa® Waterline Control prevents the formation of waterline deposits on the
- Step 2: BAQUASpa® Oxidizer consists of specially stabilized hydrogen peroxide that keeps spa water sparkling clear by oxidizing organic compounds.
- Step 3: BAQUASpa® Sanitizer with Stain & Scale Control effectively controls bacteria and protects against staining and discoloration due to metals. It stores indefinitely, is highly stable at elevated temperatures and lasts longer than bromine.
3. Don’t forget to drain and cover your spa.
Draining, cleaning and refilling your hot tub are all part of your maintenance routine during spa season. But it’s also an important activity during pool season, depending on use. Meyer offers the following formula to determine how often to drain your spa: Take the number of gallons in your spa and divide it by three. Then divide that number by how many people use the hot tub each day. That calculation will result in the number of days between draining, cleaning and refilling your water.
“Whenever you replace the water, you should drain it, clean the shell, flush out all the pipes and refill it,” Meyer says.
Keeping your hot tub covered is also important during times of infrequent use. A general rule of thumb is to keep it covered when you’re not using it, Maynard says.
addition to keeping debris out of the spa and maintaining a more consistent water temperature, the cover can help maintain your pH levels.
“The higher your water temperatures and the more agitation you have of the water, the faster your pH is going to drift up,” Meyer says.