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A Beginner’s Guide to Hot Tub Maintenance

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Did you just move into a new home with an existing hot tub? Did you just buy a hot tub for your backyard or indoor patio? Either way, I’m so glad you found Swim University to help you take care of your hot tub.

A Beginner’s Guide to New Hot Tub Ownership

I created this page to highlight must-see articles and videos for new hot tub owners in this exact order. If you’re a hot tub care novice, I highly recommend you read through each and every article before moving forward.

The best thing you can do for your hot tub is to be well educated. A knowledgeable hot tub owner rarely has problems, and if they do, they know exactly how to solve them. So let’s begin.

Getting To Know Your Hot Tub

Before we dive into actually taking care of your hot tub or portable spa, you need to know what you’re dealing with. You need to understand some of the basic terms.

For instance, the word “hot tub” is the same thing as “portable spa” or just “spa”. When people say the word “Jacuzzi” they mean the same thing, but Jacuzzi is actually a brand of hot tub.

When you go to your car mechanic they ask you, “what’s the make and model of your vehicle?” You probably know the answer – it’s expected of you. So why do few people know what kind of hot tub they have and when it was manufactured?

Mainly because they’re not asked it enough. But if you knew it, getting the right parts and solving issues would be a lot easier. Take the time to know your hot tub and how much water it holds.

Just like taking care of a swimming pool, a hot tub is just a smaller body of water, but it requires the same three fundamentals: circulation, cleaning, and chemistry. This is all it takes to run a clean hot tub all year long.

1. Circulating Your Hot Tub

Your hot tub may come with a built-in schedule for how often it runs. When it runs, it will usually circulate the water for about 15-20 minutes through some cartridge filters. It’s important that you run your hot tub at least once a day, if not twice.

The more you run your hot tub, the cleaner it will be. Put your cartridge filters to work!

Here’s a hot tub maintenance schedule to follow

2. Cleaning Your Hot Tub

This is a really big part of taking care of your hot tub. There are a few things you need to make sure are always kept clean: The shell and the filters.

First and foremost, you need to drain and clean your hot tub every 3-4 months – more often if you use the heck out of it. Think of it like this, you wouldn’t keep your bathtub filled all year and have your entire family use the same water, right? Yes, that would be gross. Drain it and clean it!

When the hot tub is filled with water, you need to keep the waterline and seats clear of scum and debris. This will occur more if your hot tub is outside. Inside hot tubs will experience waterline scum, too.

Make sure you clean the inside of your hot tub as often as possible. And again, you should drain and refill the tub every 3 or 4 months.

You also need to keep the cartridge filters clean and there are three methods: rinse, spray, and soak.

You should rinse your hot tub filters as often as possible with warm water or your garden hose. This will keep the filters working properly.

Every week or so, you should use a chemical spray to clean the filters and rinse them afterward. This keeps the filters nice and clean while you’re running your hot tub. Also, every time you drain and refill your hot tub, you should soak your filters in a cleaning solution. I’ve outlined all the methods in this article and video about cleaning hot tub filters.

3. Hot Tub Chemistry

Now that you understand how to keep your hot tub clean, it will make dealing with the chemistry that much easier. The chemistry is tricky because we’re dealing with a much smaller body of water than a swimming pool. However, they require the exact same chemicals: pH, Alkalinity, and a sanitizer of your choice. My choice: chlorine.

It’s important that you read through this article about hot tub chemistry to make sure you understand hot tub chemistry. It’s very easy, but it requires due diligence on your part.

Before you go adding any chemicals, you need to know where your hot tub stands. That’s why testing is so important. You don’t want to overdo it on adding chemicals. Here’s an article and video on how to test your hot tub water accurately.

Happy Soaking!

Recommended Reading

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10 Easy Hot Tub Maintenance Tips
I've put together a video of the best hot tub maintenance tips to get you started, or help you continue on the path to excellent hot tub care.
How to Drain and Clean a Hot Tub
You should drain and clean your hot tub every 3 - 4 months. I'll teach you how to drain and clean a hot tub properly with just a few steps.
26 Awesome Hot Tub Care Tips and Tricks
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The Hot Tub Handbook

The Last Hot Tub Manual You Will Ever Need

You'll save $100 right away with this easy-to-follow digital handbook. This is the guide that hot tub manufacturer doesn’t provide you.

Click here to learn more
Last Updated: Thursday, January 4th, 2018