Some people like to work out or watch reality TV after a stressful day. But for a fortunate few, slipping into a relaxing spa tub helps to shed the weight of the day. The experience isn't so relaxing, however, if your tub isn't clean.
A spa tub, also known as hot tub, can be very easy to care for and maintain if you know what you're doing and very difficult if you don't, according to James Sturgeon, industry expert and owner of Premier Hot Tubs in Alpharetta, Ga.
One of the best long-term tips Sturgeon has to offer current and would-be spa tub owners is to buy and install an ozone generator. For between $400 and $600, you can purchase a quality generator, which will pay for itself in about two years in terms of money saved on chemical purchases.
What can a spa tub owner do in the short term though? On a weekly basis, Sturgeon recommends gathering the following items to clean and sanitize your spa tub:
- Test strips for measuring alkalinity, chlorine and pH levels in your tub
- Non-chlorine shock treatment
- Regular granulated chlorine
- Sodium bicarbonate treatment
- Calcium inhibitor
- Special purpose cleaning pad
- Spa wand
Now you're ready to conduct routine weekly maintenance with the following steps:
- With jets running, add about 2 ounces of non-chlorine shock treatment for every 250 gallons of water. This treatment will oxidize the contaminants in your spa, making it possible for them to be tested and sanitized after about 15 minutes of exposure.
- Use your test strip to measure the level of chlorine, pH and alkalinity (sometimes called total alkalinity) in your water.
- If your pH level is within the optimal range between 7.2 and 7.6, don't adjust alkalinity because adjusting one will affect the other. Optimal alkalinity falls between 80 and 120 parts per million, but again, if alkalinity is measuring slightly outside of that range while pH levels are fine, just leave it alone.
- Adjust chlorine levels using regular granulated chlorine treatment for spa tubs. The optimal range is about 1 to 3 parts per million.
- Test again, to be sure that your levels are now optimal. If not, make necessary adjustments.
- Once your levels are optimal, adding 2 ounces of calcium inhibitor will help to prevent the hot water environment from staining and scaling the inside of your spa tub.
- Finally, use your spa-tub surface-safe cleaning pad to wipe down the water line and remove any loose debris from the foot wells using a spa wand.
That's just the weekly maintenance. Read on to see what else will make your spa tub happy.