Preventative maintenance goes a long way with hot tubs. Here is a simple plan to make draining, cleaning and refilling yours easy.
(Please check with your manufacturer’s instructions if those are available. The points below are fairly universal, still, checking with your manufacturer is highly suggested.)
Open the filter well and have a look at your filter. If it’s been a year or so, you’ll want to replace the filter. If the filter is still in good shape, give it a quick rinse to get the grime off and use an approved spa filter cleaner, and either soak the filter element in a diluted solution or simply spray the concentrate and follow the directions on the label. Ensure you rinse the filters thoroughly as the residue can cause foam.
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If you have time for a deeper cleaning, then it is a good practice to super-shock the hot tub water. This will kill bacteria that are present in the water and allow the purge product to work effectively. With the hot tub running and jets off, add shock to the hot tub water. Circulate the hot tub for at least 30 minutes. Do not put the hot tub cover on, as shock needs to oxidize or time to release gases. Do not turn on the jets while shocking, as the product will oxidize too fast.
Your hot tub plumbing can harbor a lot of nasty biofilms. A biofilm is a buildup of dirt and grime in the form of bacteria and other organic contaminants. Your hot tub plumbing is a great place for bacteria to hide and grow. Biofilm is effectively controlled with a plumbing purge, using a product containing enzymes that loosen up biofilms.
Pour in a hot tub specific plumbing purge product. Follow the directions on the bottle for the amount as each manufacturer differs slightly. To avoid under treatment, make sure to know the water volume of your hot tub. Turn on the jets and allow the system to circulate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours to thoroughly remove biofilm.
Drain and Scrub
Drain the water completely from your hot tub. Don’t use a soap based cleaner as it leaves residues and causes foam. An equal part of white vinegar and water does a great job or you can use a spa surface cleaner. Don’t forget to clean the hot tub cover, top and bottom with products designed specifically for hot tub covers.
Refill, Balance & Sanitize
Now that your hot tub is clean, it’s time to replace the water. This will take time and it’s a good time to walk around and check for leaks. Fill the tub by sticking the hose in the filter well. This directs water through the filter and pipes first to avoid trapping air in the system. Trapped air in the pipes can cause airlock and damage the pump. Once full, follow the instructions in your pHin Mobile App to balance and sanitize the water in this order: Adjust Total Alkalinity (TA), then pH, then sanitizers.