5 Common Hot Tub Myths Exposed

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Myths and misconceptions surround our everyday lives, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction.  Save yourself time and money by knowing common hot tub myths and the facts.

Myth #1: You Can Use Household Bleach as a Sanitizer & Cover Cleaner.

Fact: Some people are tempted to use household bleach as a hot tub or pool sanitizer. The truth is, household bleach can cause damage to the finish of your hot tub, deteriorate filter media and permanently damage your hot tub cover.

Tip: Excessive ozone, chlorine or bromine levels can also bleach the underside of your spa cover. Testing your water regularly and using a ThermoFloat blanket can prevent this problem.

Cover2

Pick a sanitizing system designed for hot tubs.

Myth #2: Adding Antifreeze to Your Hot Tub is a Good Idea.

Antifreeze

Fact: Antifreeze is extremely difficult to flush completely out of the system once it is added. Residual antifreeze can be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin.

There are far better ways to prevent your hot tub from freezing. Read more about how to properly winterize your hot tub.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need Chemicals if You Have An Ozonator.

Fact: Ozone has a very short half-life in water (about 15 minutes) and it is not totally effective as a sanitizer. You will still need to use a system such as bromine, Cleanwater Blue or Nature 2. However, ozonators do decrease (up to 25%) the amount of chemicals you need to achieve balanced water.

Myth #4: Chlorine Causes my Eyes to Burn in The Hot Tub.

Fact: While chlorine can cause skin irritation, the most common cause of a burning eye sensation while soaking in a hot tub is due to imbalanced pH and/or Alkalinity. Low pH results in acidic water, while too high of alkalinity can cause the water to become caustic.
TestStrips4

Prevent burning eyes by testing and balancing your water once a week.

Myth #5: You Can Clean Your Filter by Running it Through a Dishwasher.

Dishwasher Filter

Fact: The high heat in your automatic dishwasher is a quick way to deteriorate the filtering media and ruin your filter cartridge.

To properly clean your filter, simply soak it in a filter cleaning solution for 1-2 hours and rinse thoroughly. This will remove dirt and oil while maintaining the integrity of the filter media.

Have questions about hot tub maintenance or any of the myths we discussed above? Post a comment below!

 

19 comments

  1. We recently moved out tub. It was cycling and heating just fine. Now it is not heating, but still cycling. Is there a way to reset it to get it hot, again?

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  2. Hi Sheila, Thank you for your comment. Based on the problem you”re describing, the issue may be the heater element itself. I would recommend having the element tested by a technician. If the element is getting the proper power and still not heating the tub, it will need to be replaced. If the element is not getting the proper power, the technician will be able to identify what is causing the problem and repair your hot tub. Thank you, Mark The Spa Depot

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  3. I would never have considered running my filters through the dishwasher. On the other hand, I drained, cleaned, and refilled my spa today. I pulled some of the nozzles, as the green gunk from the spa flush had gotten behind them. It also happens I cleaned our bathroom whirlpool today, and the manufacturer says it is fine to pull the nozzles and run them through the dishwasher (avoiding the high heat dry cycle, which for technical reasons our dishwasher doesn””t have anyway). Sooo… would something similar work with the jet nozzles for our spa? (it””s a Belize e750l)

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  4. Hi Matt, Thanks for writing! It would not be a good idea to wash your hot tub jets in your dishwasher. The water that your dishwasher uses is very hot, and you do not want to risk damaging any of the jets. I would recommend cleaning your jets by using a high-pressure spray nozzle attached to your garden hose. If you have any other questions, please let me know! Thank you, Mark The Spa Depot

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  5. I purchased a new cover for my hot tub and we have been using it for about one month. Today we went to use the hot tub; the inside of the cover has a slime feeling. The test strips show the water levels are good. Do you have any ideas? Thanks, Diane

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  6. Hi Diane, Great question! Typically a slime feeling on the underside of your hot tub cover would be the result of an imbalance in the water. I would recommend a couple of things. If your filter is over a year old it should be replaced, if not I suggest a thorough cleaning. I would also recommend draining and refilling your tub if your water has been in the spa for longer than 4 months. You will also want to thoroughly clean your cover with a non abrasive cleaner such as CleanAll Spray in order to remove the current film: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/CleanAll-Spa-Surface-Cleaner-P765C57.aspx Please feel free to give us a call if this problem persists, we are happy to help! (800)-823-3638 M-F 8-5pm Pacific Thanks, Bonni The Spa Depot

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  7. I have a question. What is the quickest, safest way to remove spry on foam insulation from the pipes on a hot tub?

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  8. Hi David, Thank you for your question! I would recommend using a smaller putty knife to remove large pieces of foam from the pipes. This will have to be done carefully as the pipes and fittings underneath the foam could become damaged if they’ve become brittle. Once the larger pieces of foam have been removed, you can carefully scrub the remaining foam off the pipes with a piece of steel wool. I would also recommend wearing protective eyewear and a protective mask to avoid breathing in any insulation particles. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks, Bonni The Spa Depot

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  9. My 300 gal spa water is milky – chemical balance is perfect, and the filter is filled with white sticky stuff ( looks like Elmers white glue) . I changed filters b/c it was too much too clean, there is no change in water appearance, cleaned out the new filter before it clogged up again — Now I am emptying the spa. There is a white film stuck to the side of the empty tub that I cannot rub off with a sponge. The only thing I can think that caused this was from adding calcium when level was low a few weeks ago, otherwise no new changes to my regimen. What shall I do before refilling?

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  10. my husband broke a string of lights that we had above to hot tub. He does not feel it is necessary to empty the hot tub. He thinks it is ok to just sweep it with a regular broom, water still in tub, and turn the filter on. What do you think??

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  11. Hi Bernie, I would highly recommend that you do drain your hot tub and look carefully for glass or any remaining pieces of the light strand before you continue use of your spa. It may also be a good idea to use a shop vac to vacuum the lines in case any pieces of the light strand have gotten stuck in them. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you, Bonni The Spa Depot

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  12. Hi Deb, The milky water and residue in your tub could be cause by adding calcium at the same time (or very near to the same time) as other chemicals. Before refilling I would recommend that you thoroughly clean the spa shell. A non-foaming cleaner such as CleanAll may be helpful to get the tough film off the side of the tub: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/CleanAll-Spa-Surface-Cleaner-P765C57.aspx . After refilling your spa, try adjusting the calcium first, and then wait 4-6 hours before adding any other chemicals. If you have any further questions please feel free to give our technical department a call at your convenience. One of our techs would be more than happy to help you troubleshoot this issue. (800) 823-3638 M-F 8am-5pm Pacific Thank you, Bonni The Spa Depot

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  13. Hello, I have had my hot tub for over 10 years. I recently purchased a new cover, using the same chemicals. Within a year, my cover started to smell. I opened the cover and found mold inside the foam core and the cover itself. The company gave me a new core but another year and black mold started to appear on the under side of the cover. Once again I opened to find more mold, I have been having to clean the underside of the cover to clean the mold before I use the hot tub. I think its the cover itself, could it be the ozonator?

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  14. Hi Diana,
    Thank you for posting! I am happy to help.
    Mold is usually not caused by the cover itself. Could you please give me an overview of your water maintenance routine and what chemicals you are using?
    Thank you,
    Kaisa
    SpaDepot.com

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  15. Had my hot tub for two months now. Water chemical is perfect yet I can’t get it crystal clear. Kinda hazy. What can I do. I clean my filters every 3-4days.

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  16. Hi Tammy,
    If your chemicals are all reading within range, the haziness could be coming from your water source.
    I would recommend filling your spa using a Prefresh Fill Filter to reduce impurities from the water getting into your spa: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/PreFresh-Spa-Pool-Water-Fill-Filter-P784C632.aspx
    I would also recommend using SeaKlear Clarifier on a weekly basis: http://www.spadepot.com/shop/SeaKlear-Natural-Spa-Clarifier-16-oz-P99C635.aspx
    Please let me know if you have any further questions!
    Thanks,
    Bonni
    SpaDepot.com

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  17. My father in law has had a hot tub for 25 years. He dumps some chlorine in every week or so. I have a hot tub and use all the recommended chemicals ( expensive compared to a bottle of chlorine) his hot tub looks fine. My question is do I need to buy all the chemicals or can I just pour in some chlorine now and again. Like I said his is fine so the proof is in the pudding. However I dropped 8K on the Tub and I don’t want to damage it. Thanks!!

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  18. Hi Jeff,
    You are right to be concerned about damaging your $8000 investment! Most forms of chlorine are not suitable for hot tubs. Since chlorine degrades easily in hot water, granular chlorine must be added every day or two in small amounts to keep a residual up.
    Adding a large amount once a week means that the spa water is unusable for a day or two each week (since water with concentrated chlorine is harmful to skin) and after your spa is sitting untreated for days. Large amounts of chlorine also damage spa headrests, gaskets, seals and spa covers.
    Mineral sanitizers are gentle on skin and your spa components. If you are looking for something that is easy to use and requires little maintenance, the @ease system is a new product that combines minerals with a constant, very low amount of chlorine. You get the clear water that comes with chlorine without the side effects.
    http://www.spadepot.com/Spa-Frog-ease-Floating-Sanitizer-System-P10641C43.aspx
    Additionally, it is very important to test at least weekly for pH and Alkalinity. Just about every chemical added to the spa affects the pH, including the sweat, oils, lotions, etc, that we bring into the tub on our bodies. If pH goes too low, then the water can appear to be very clear but be corrosive to spa parts and irritating to the eyes. If pH is too high, calcium can be pulled out of the water and form scale on the walls of the tub and inside your plumbing.
    Sometimes it may seem like others are doing the right thing because their spa water looks clear, but when you look under the cabinet or see the inside of the spa cover, you will find that the extra work that you put into your water chemistry is well worth it.
    Thanks,
    Sarah
    SpaDepot.com

    Like

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