How to maintain SPA/Hot Tub Water
This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.
1.Check Total alkalinity
Depending on the test reading:
If total alkalinity >120, add sodium bisulfate (spa down).
If total alkailinity < 80, add sodium bicarbonate (spa up).
These fast-dissolving spa products.Recheck your alkalinity in a couple of hours. It is important to maintain lkalinity first because it affects your pH
Normal Range: 80-120 PPM in total alkalinity.
2. Use chlorine or bromine to sanitize
Use test strips to maintain the correct chemical levels. Chlorine is the old standard for sanitizing your spa; however, it has been largely replaced by bromine because bromine is less harsh and has a less potent smell.
If using chlorine, put 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) directly into your spa water every other day or as recommended a chlorine level between 1.5 - 3 PPM.
If using bromine ,the test strips should stay between 3.0-5.0.
Buy a floater for bromine or chlorine tablets.Load 4-6 tabs into the floater, and they will dissolve in your spa over time.however, continue using the test strips to check the chemical and mineral levels in your spa once a week.
Do not over sanitize with chlorine. Make sure you put the appropriate level of chlorine in your spa, but do not add more than the recommended amount, because it could damage the spa's equipment and cover.
Consider adding a mineral based purifier to reduce the amount of chlorine or bromine you have to use. Nature2 makes a product called Zodiac that reduces the amount of chlorine you have to use to maintain your spa
Bromine level between 3.0 - 5.0 ppm
Chlorine level between 1.5 - 3.0 ppm.
3. Check for calcium hardness
The best way to keep the calcium hardness in your spa in check is to use soft water in your spa. If your spa has too much calcium hardness, it will cause scales to form in your spa. You can use a spa defender product to protect against these scales. On the other hand, if your spa does not have enough calcium hardness, the water will start to draw minerals from other sources, like the aluminium or iron in your equipment. In this case, use a calcium booster to balance the calcium hardness in your spa.
Calcium hardness between 100 - 250 ppm spa has an acrylic finish
Calcium hardness between 250 - 450 ppm if the spa has a plaster finish
Test Strip Color Chart 7-Way
pH: 7.2 – 7.8
Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
Bromine: 3-5 ppm
Cyanuric Acid: 30 – 50 ppm
4. Check pH levels last.
Add sodium bicarbonate (spa up) or sodium bisulfate (spa down) as necessary. Your pH should stay between 7.2-7.8. If the pH is off, first work to stabilize the total alkalinity. Then make sure you have added the proper amounts of chlorine/bromine to your spa. And then if the pH is still off, add spa up/spa down or a pH balance product to your spa pH level.
Your pH levels may be adjusted if: the sanitizer you use is not working well, your spa has cloudy water, scales have developed on your filter, or the water is causing skin and eye irritations.
pH levels between 7.2 - 7.8
Clean Filter every two weeks
Unclog and clean your spa filter, take the cartridge out and using a hose, run water over each pleat in the cartridge cleaning any dirt and foreign matter out. Make sure to let the clean filter air dry completely before putting it back in.
Replace damaged filter or if it stopped working. You’ll know this is the case when the filter quickly become dirty again after you have cleaned it.
If cleaning your filter cartridge in a dishwasher, be sure to turn off the built-in water heater. Water over 140 °F (60 °C) can damage the filter.