Most of us love the idea of stepping out into a winter wonderland and slipping into a steamy hot tub. Relaxing in our own personal spa, we melt our cares away and feel our stresses subside. But nothing comes with out work. So the question that often arises is this: "How much work is a hot tub?"
Owning a hot tub is a luxury with many benefits that far out weigh the work required to maintain it. It's not as much work as you might imagine. Let's discuss the basics of looking after and maintaining a hot tub in a residential or private home. In about 15 minutes per week you should be able to accomplish the following tasks.
1. Testing & Balancing. You don't need to have a degree in chemistry, but a basic understanding will help keep things safe and clean. The key components of water chemistry in a hot tub are chlorine or bromine, alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness. Keeping these levels in proper balance will protect your equipment (pumps, heater, jets, etc) from failing prematurely, and the water will feel more comfortable for the bathers.
On average, hot tub water should be tested at least once per week. There are several methods of testing available including kits that use drops and kits that use test strips. Test strips have become a very popular way of testing since they are quick and easy to use. Each brand may have a slight variation of instructions, but the gist of it is to take a strip, dip in the water at elbow depth, and compare the colours on the strip with the guide on the package. Most of the levels will indicate if they are low, OK, or high when compared to the guide.
How much chemical is added to the spa? That depends on the current levels and the directions found on the labels of the chemicals. These dosage rates may vary from one brand to another. While there are numerous ways to treat the water, a local pool and hot tub professional can help with the initial setup and usually offer free in-store water testing. We recommend bringing a water sample for testing to your local professional at least once a month.
2. Filter Cleaning. Most hot tubs come equipped with a cartridge filter that collects debris, oils and particulate from the water. Weekly, these filters should be rinsed off with a garden hose. However, oils and greases can saturate the filter media and may not come off with a simple rinse. Using a filter cleaning chemical on a monthly basis will help prolong the life of the filter and result in clean, safe water. Most filter cleaning products require soaking the filter in a solution to allow the de-greasing agents to work on the filter media. Follow the instruction so on the product label carefully. Having a second filter on hand and rotating between the two, can allow you to keep your hot tub running while one is being cleaned. For information on sand filters click here.
3. Draining and refilling. Over time, the water in a hot tub becomes saturated with everything that goes into it. Draining and refilling the spa with fresh water will help eliminate odors, and make the water easier to balance. The general rule of thumb is to drain a hot tub every 3 months.
So, how much work is a hot tub? Not much compared to the pleasure of relaxing, rejuvenating, and improving your quality of life. Once you develop a consistent routine, the process becomes quite simple. If maintaining a hot tub still sounds like more work than you're comfortable with, ask us about our Hot Tub Maintenance Packages. We're here to make maintaining your hot tub as easy as possible so you can focus on enjoying it.