Hot Tub & Spa Maintenance

Hot tubs are a great source of fun and relaxation, but you’ll need to spend time on maintenance to keep your home spa running efficiently.

Hot Tubs & Spas 101

Whirlpools and spas require weekly, monthly and periodic attention to ensure the water is always sparkling clean, and to keep the parts and equipment running at peak performance. This step-by-step maintenance guide will help save you money on costly repairs, and ensure every day is a spa day. 

Tools & Materials:

Maintenance Steps

  1. Test your water
    Using a water-quality test kit, dip a test strip into your spa water twice a week to check your pH levels, alkalinity, total chlorine or bromine, free chlorine and calcium hardness. By maintaining properly balanced water chemistry, you'll prevent algae growth, scaling, mineral buildup, corrosion and cloudy water, not to mention skin rashes and infections.
  2. Balance your water
    After testing your water, make any necessary adjustments by adding the appropriate types and amounts of spa chemicals. Follow the test kit directions and add the chemicals one at a time in alphabetical order (alkalinity, calcium hardness and pH). Allow two hours between adding different chemicals to avoid any negative chemical reactions. When properly balanced, your spa should have a pH of 7.2 to 7.8, calcium hardness of 125 to 400 ppm and a total alkalinity of 120 to 180 ppm.
  3. Adjust the sanitizer level
    Add chlorine or bromine, as needed, to “shock” the water, and eliminate any algae and bacteria present in your spa. If you’re using a floating dispenser, fill it with bromine or chlorine tablets and check it on a weekly basis. If you’re using a powder, add it to the water according to the results of your water test on a daily basis. To avoid bacteria buildup and poor water quality, try to maintain a level of one to five ppm of free chlorine or bromine, depending on your sanitizer.
  4. Add other chemicals, if needed
    Other additives may be needed on a weekly basis, depending on your water type and how often you use your spa. You may also want to add a clarifier to help the filter capture microscopic dirt particles, an enzyme cleaner to remove foul odours and scum lines, an anti-foamer to reduce buildup caused by lotions and detergents, and a descaling agent to prevent mineral buildup. Finally, you can also add aromatherapy products to enhance your spa experience.
  5. Wipe and vacuum weekly
    Clean your hot tub or spa by every week by scrubbing and wiping it down. First, assess the overall condition of your spa's various surface areas. Then scrub as needed with a nonabrasive pad and use a soft sponge dipped in vinegar to clean the scum line, jets, shell and accessories. Use a portable spa vacuum to remove any dirt or debris that has settled on the bottom of the spa.
  6. Clean the filter
    Remove and clean your spa filter every two weeks and replace it every six to 12 months to keep the water clear and sparkling. One way to clean the filter is to spray it with a garden hose. Alternatively, you could place it in a dishwasher or clothes washer and run it through a cycle with cold water. You may want to buy a spare filter to install when cleaning the dirty filter, so you have to shut down your spa.
  7. Change the water quarterly
    Drain your hot tub or spa completely every three or four months, depending on how often you use it, and refill the reservoir with fresh water to the recommended level. This step will help ensure your water is always clean, your spa parts operate at optimum efficiency, and your family gets the most possible enjoyment from their spa experience. If your hot tub has an ozonator, you may only need to change the water every eight to 12 months.
  8. Keep it covered
    Keep your hot tub or swim spa covered with a well-insulated, tight-fitting spa cover to prevent heat from escaping and cut your energy bill. Clean your cover with a mix of 10% bleach to 90% water to prevent mildew smells. Condition the exterior of your cover once a month to protect it from the sun’s UV rays and cold temperatures and keep the vinyl from hardening or cracking.

Maintenance Tips:

• Run your hot tub at least three hours a day to minimize maintenance
• Winterize your spa by consulting a service professional for proper techniques
• As part of winterizing, add a protective winter cover over your regular spa cover
• For preventative maintenance, schedule a yearly inspection by your local hot tub and spa service provider
• Use a skimmer to remove leaves, debris and dirt
• Always shower before you enter the spa to remove body oils, soaps and dirt
• Add tennis balls to the water to help extract oils, lotions and soap residue that filters leave behind
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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