How do you know when to change your hot tub water? This is a very important question, and if you don’t know the answer, you could damage your hot tub. Improperly balanced water can be very corrosive and that causes equipment failures. Proper water care is essential to enjoying your hot tub. After all, enjoying your hot tub is why you got it in the first place.
It’s a good idea to drain your tub at least once every 3-4 months. If you drain your spa less frequently, water chemistry becomes very difficult to keep in balance. Some people spend more time, effort and money than necessary because of this. Following some simple directions, and knowing where to find them will help you get the most out of your hot tub.
Causes of Cloudiness
Adding chemicals to your spa water is a necessity, but will eventually cause particle build-up and cloudiness. You can monitor this using the “PPM” (parts per million) indicator on your test strips. The key to crystal clear water is using fresh water, the right sanitizer, right amount of sanitizer and the use of an oxidizing shock. Without these, you’re going to experience water quality issues (the most common issue is cloudiness). If you fill your spa and find that the water becomes cloudy within a couple of weeks, there's something wrong.
Here are a few things you can do to fix this:
1. Talk to an expert. There are technicians, like myself, that have been working with hot tub chemistry for many years, and can troubleshoot your problems. This service is usually free if you’re dealing with a good company. You’ll know when you're talking to someone that loves hot tubs because they will be delighted at the opportunity to help you.
2. Try a different sanitizing system.There is no such thing as a "One system fits all" sanitizer. If you have trouble with one, experiment with another. No need to struggle when there are other options that could be perfect for you.
3. Stay on top of your schedule! I can't emphasize this enough. I know it can be a pain (especially in winter) to go outside and test the water. But, it's better to drop into crisp, clean, beautiful hot water and forget all your worries, than to go out and find your tub full of green stinky water! It's also a good idea because if you don't balance your water properly over the long term, the components in your hot tub are going to break down faster. That could cost some serious money. Don't let it happen.
4. CLEAN. YOUR. FILTER. Don't ignore it for 3 months. Pull it out once a month and use a filter cleaning product to make sure you get it as clean as possible each time. It's also a very good idea to get two sets of filters and rotate them. That way when you remove one to clean it, you'll already have another to put in your tub right away. Cleaning and rotating your filters will also increase their longevity.
How Bather Load Effects Your Water
The more you use your spa, the more chemicals you need to add. Additionally, the more people you have soaking in your hot tub, the more chemicals you need to add. And, as stated previously, if you’re adding chemicals, you are increasing the PPM. The more the PPM builds up, the more difficult it becomes to keep things like pH, Alkalinity and your sanitizer in the proper ranges. These are the factors that determine how often you need to drain and refill. There it is, there you go....that's the formula. Pretty simple really. The more times you use your spa, and the more people that use your spa, the more frequently you will have to replace the water.
The Draining Formula
If you use your spa 2 or more times a week, you should be draining it about every 4 months. Less use and less people mean that the PPM will take longer to build up to the point where it's a problem. Does that mean if you use your spa once a week you can wait a year to drain your spa? Sorry, unfortunately not. Even if you only use your spa weekly, you're still adding chemicals weekly. If you're not, that’s gross, and we have more problems than we thought.
Getting the Most Out of Your Hot Tub
Managing your chemistry properly is the best way to get the most out of each tub refill. Again, stay on top of it and add the chemicals on schedule. The more you do it, (like anything else) the easier it will get, and the less time it will take. Think of your hot tub like you think of any other investment. Take care of it like you take care of your car or your home. You have to clean your car, put the right gas in it and follow the routine maintenance or it will break down. You have to clean your house, maintain your lawn and yard, etc. You get the picture.
Making sure you manage your water chemistry properly is essential to insure years and years of hot tubbing in clean, crisp, inviting, beautiful hot water.
Click here to watch a great video by Swim University on how to drain your hot tub.