The Easy Steps For Spa Care
By keeping in mind the basic ABC’s of spa water chemistry, you’ll be assured a pleasant and healthy hot tub spa experience for yourself, your family and friends.
Although similar in one way to bath tubs, hot tub spas are not drained after each use, so we must take measures to ensure clear, clean, sparkling water. This means balancing the chemical properties of our spa water so that it is neither too alkaline nor too acidic. It also means maintaining a sanitizing system to keep the water healthy and free of harmful microorganisms.
A – Always maintain your sanitizer.
The warm water of hot tubs would provide an ideal breeding ground for potentially harmful microorganisms if we did not initiate and maintain an effective sanitizer system to control them. Bacteria from our bodies, as well as airborne mold spores, algae, and even viruses can find their way into the water.
B – Be certain to shock treat.
Shock treatment is simply the routine of applying a compound to your spa water which oxidizes or breaks-down the dead organic material left behind from your sanitizer system, as well as non-filterable material such as dirt, soap films, hair spray and perspiration. Allowed to remain in the water, these contaminants provide a food source for bacteria and algae. Regular shock treatments eliminate them and the organics on which bacteria feed.
Regardless of which sanitizer system you use, periodic shocking is essential for clear, clean hot tub water. It will also allow your sanitizer to perform at peak efficiency.
C – Control your water balance.
When the mineral components of spa water are correct proportion to one another, the result is balanced water. Balanced means that it is neither too alkaline (high pH) which causes destructive scale buildup on equipment, nor too acidic (low pH) which may erode plumbing and cause costly damage to spa pumps, seals and heaters.
Balanced water has a more pleasant feel to the skin, and allows your sanitizer to work more effectively. We take periodic measurements of spa water with test strips to achieve balance.
Total Alkalinity (TA) & pH
TA is important. It is the measure of all the alkaline material in the water and really an indicator of the ability of the water to resist changes in pH– the water’s buffering capacity. Too high TA will cause scale to deposit on the surface as well as internally in pipes and equipment. Too low TA will cause pH to become low and cause corrosion and damage to the spa and equipment. Keep in mind that this can void warranties. Maintaining the proper TA will often bring the pH into line automatically. Typically it is a rule to adjust TA first, then check your pH. There are certain situations when the pH needs to be adjusted first. When the pH is low and alkalinity is high, pH must be treated first. If the alkalinity is treated first it will cause the pH to go even lower. That can be very damaging to your spa and equipment. Water chemistry is balanced by adjusting its TA and pH with compounds such as Alkalinity Increaser, pH Decreaser and pH Increaser.
The hardness level of spa water– measured as the amount of dissolved calcium and minerals, is also important. Insufficient calcium and minerals can cause equipment corrosion and also result in water foaming problems. DO NOT use soft water in your hot tub. Soft water is aggressive and will cause damage that a warranty will not cover. If you must use soft water, get calcium increaser in when the tub is filled. Continue to maintain the proper water hardness balance by having your water checked often, especially every time more water is added from evaporation. Although there is no practical way to reduce extremely high hardness levels, it is easy to increase levels which are too low by adding Calcium Increaser. Treat hard water with a stain and scale inhibitor.
Stain & Scale Prevention
To prevent problems with hard water, and also spa shell staining and scale formation, when refilling your spa, be sure to add a metal/mineral stain & scale inhibitor. It is also very important to add this on a weekly basis. Otherwise scale will form on the spa surface as well as internally, which can lead to damaged equipment.
Tropical Fiberglass Pools & Spas has a State of the Art Water Analysis Machine. Bring your spa or swimming pool water into the store for a free analysis which will give a printout with instructions to balance your water. We offer one free water analysis weekly.