on May 17, 2013 in Care & Maintenance
1. I’m going on vacation for a week. What should I do with my hot tub?
Ideally, you would have someone come to your house to perform the weekly hot tub maintenance. If you cannot do this, you are advised to drain your spa. When your hot tub is left unattended for more than a week, bacteria will build up and cause a mess in your spa. If you do end up leaving your hot tub unattended for more than a week, when you return you will need to flush and clean the hot tub lines; then drain the spa and refill. Since you will have to drain the spa when you return anyway, it’s better to save time and drain it before you leave!
2. How often should I change my filters?
Since the main purpose of your hot tub filter is to remove particles and sediment from the water, an overloaded filter can cause a buildup that interferes with the functioning of your hot tub heater and jets. You should never wait longer than one month to clean your filters, and most manufacturers recommend cleaning them once a week. Note that a dirty filter does not necessarily mean that it needs to be discarded! You can give the filter a deep cleaning by soaking it for 3 hours in the ThermoSpas’ Filter Clean solution. A dishwasher may be used, but is less ideal since it can damage the filter fabric. If you do use this method, be sure to avoid the machine’s heat/dry cycle.
Cleaning your filters regularly will also lengthen their lifespan. A well-maintained hot tub filter can last up to 18 months before needing to be replaced. If dirt particles and buildup still remain on the filter after a deep clean; it is time for the filter to be replaced.
Need a new filter? You can always visit the ThermoSpas online store, open 24/7!
3. Can I use bleach instead of chlorine in my hot tub?
The answer to this question is a definite NO. These two substances are made up of two distinctly different ingredients. Despite what the name implies, there is actually no chlorine in ‘chlorine bleach’. Chlorine is used in the manufacturing of chlorine, but they do not have the same ingredients.
This is important to know, because bleach and chlorine have notably different pH levels. Let’s break down the chemistry:
- Bleach has a natural pH level of 13.3 vs Chlorine with a level of 6.
- Bleach strength is 10% vs the strength of Chlorine at 56%
So what does this mean? In short, you would have to use four times the amount of bleach to equal the strength of chlorine. All that bleach in your water will not only produce a strong smell; it will cause eye and skin irritation as well.
4. How do I know when it’s time to drain my hot tub?
Your hot tub needs to be drained every four months, regardless of how much you use it. This may seem like a lot, but think of it this way – how often will you need to drain your spa anyway? If you go on vacation; you drain your spa. To winterize your hot tub; it needs to be drained. If your chemicals become too imbalanced then the only choice sometimes is to… drain your spa.
When it comes time to drain your hot tub, follow tip #9 of our article Become a Greener Hot Tubber: “Don’t waste water. When it’s time to drain your hot tub, reuse the water to irrigate your lawn. Make sure to not add chemicals 3 days prior to the drain.”
Once you have drained your spa, follow our tips to properly refill and start your hot tub: How to Fill and Start your Hot Tub
5. What’s that stuff floating in my spa?
There is a lot of ‘stuff’ in your spa water even before you get in, such as metals, minerals, chemicals, etc. When you get into the spa, you bring even more ‘stuff’ into the water in the form of dirt, pollen, and the like. The good news is, you can easily control the amount of “floating stuff” in your hot tub with a few extra minutes of chemical maintenance:
If you have white flakes: These are most likely caused by calcium scale deposits. First, it is important to keep your pH alkalinity properly balanced since scale will form when your pH is too high. Second, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, use a scale inhibitor like ThermoSpas Stain and Scale. This chemical treatment keeps unwanted metals and minerals from forming on your hot tub components. The scale inhibitor will react with the particles and cause them to break down, literally peeling away the existing scale from your spa.
All other particles:: Small particles may get past your spa’s filters and into your water. To catch these unwanted particles, ThermoSpas offers an enzyme product, Thermospas Natural and Clear, that breaks the particles down to be filtered out. Again, this can be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Did we miss anything? What questions would you like to see answered on our next blog post? Let us know in the comments below!