Water Maintenance

Hot Tub Heroes Tips

For chemicals, place your order online or contact us at (612) 600-4000.

Spa Supplier Tips

Balancing PH, Total Alkalinity (TA), and Calcium Hardness (CH)

  • When testing PH / TA, if one is high and the other is low, always adjust the lower reading first.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes (and no more than a few hours) after each PH and/or TA adjustment before retesting.
  • It is not out of the ordinary to have to make several, or many, adjustments to bring PH and TA into balance.
  • PH in newer water tends to rise on its own. Having to continually decrease PH for the first month or so is normal.
  • If clumps form in your bottle of PH reducer, dissolve them in a small container with water before adding to spa.
  • Calcium Hardness is important. If you use softened water then you will need to test/maintain Calcium Hardness.

Chlorine, Bromine and Oxidizer Shock

  • Low or no Chlorine/ MPS readings are normal if using a mineral purifier (ie: Nature2 system) as the purifier is contributing to some sanitizing with the Silver/Zinc inside the cartrdige.
    • With no mineral purifier the chlorine level would have to be continuously maintained at 2-5 ppm.
  • A non-chlorine is absolutely essential in maintaining water health and a good water “feel.” Way too often we run into people who are either not using a non-chlorine shock or are not using it enough. It is recommended, no matter which santizer you use (bromine or chlorine) to add 2oz of shock every week.
  • Oxidizer Shock should be added more than once per week for frequent (3-4 times/week) or heavy (party) use.
  • Wait 15 minutes before entering the spa after adding Oxidizer Shock (this eliminates the chance of irritated skin).
  • If possible, leave the spa cover open for 15 minutes after adding Oxidizer Shock (this allows off-gassing to occur).
  • For Bromine users: to increase bromine level, adjust floating dispenser (to higher number) or add Bromine Concentrate followed by a non-chlorine Oxidizer Shock.
  • Maintain a bromine level of 4-5ppm; 2-3 ppm if using an ozone system or a Spa Frog mineral cartridge; 1 ppm if using both

General Maintenance

  • Add chemicals by broadcasting them over the middle of the spa; run the pump(s) for more efficient mixing.
  • Cloudy water is usually caused by inadequate sanitation. To cure it, increase Bromine level, shock & clean filter.
  • Skin breakouts from spas are usually caused by low sanitation or low PH, not by too much chlorine or shock.

Understanding Water Balance

Everything you need to know about spa water can be lumped into 2 categories: Balance and Sanitation. Sanitation is simple; it is a measure of how clean the water is. It is easy to determine if spa water has adequate sanitation. If the water looks good, smells good, and feels good, then it is sanitized adequately.

Balance, however, has nothing to do with how clean the water is, and you can not tell if spa water is balanced by merely looking at it. Balance is actually a measure of how corrosive or scaling the spa water is. Corrosive water will “eat away” at pumps, heaters, jets, gaskets, etc. Scaling water, conversely, will deposit gritty or flakey scale formations, usually calcium, on pumps, heaters, jets, seats, etc. Balanced water will not do either of these things. Unbalanced water, however, can damage any spa and can void the manufacturer’s warranty. To determine if your spa water is balanced, you will need to test it. Using test strips is the most common way to determine if spa water is balanced.

There are three things to check for to determine if your water is balanced or not; PH, Total Alkalinity (TA) and Calcium Hardness (CH). PH, which stands for Potential Hydrogen, is a measure of how acidic or alkaline water is. If the PH is low or acidic, then the water can be corrosive. If the PH is high or alkaline, then the water can be scale forming. Total Alkalinity, despite what most people think, is not a measure of how “alkaline” the water is. Rather, TA is a measure of how resistant the PH is to change. Low TA readings can result in the PH moving out of range much easier than normal. A TA reading in the “ok” range or on the high side = a more stable PH level. Calcium Hardness is a measure of how “hard” the water is; or, more specifically, how much calcium is in the water. Low CH can lead to foamy water and corrosive conditions. High CH can lead to cloudy water and scaling conditions.

Balanced water is water that tests in the “ok” range in all three areas. Please see the below spectrums to determine if your water is balanced or not.