In order to enjoy your hot tub to the full it’s important to ensure that it is well maintained, and that the chemistry of the water is balanced correctly. The water needs to be kept clean and free of bacteria, and the pH must be kept balanced in order to prevent skin irritation or damage to the hot tub system. If the water in your spa is not maintained properly, then bacteria can grow, potentially causing a risk of infections, and the water can become cloudy.
Fortunately it is quite straightforward to manage the water chemistry of your hot tub. The important thing is to test the water regularly (up to weekly) with test strips and take corrective action if any problems are beginning to develop.
Hot Tub Sanitizers
Because the water in hot tubs is kept warm, there is significant potential for bacterial or even viral growth if the water is not kept clean. Coupled with the fact that hot water causes the pores to open, there is increased risk of infection. It is therefore important to add sanitizers to your hot tub water. The most commonly used sanitizers are chlorine and bromine. You don’t need a lot of either of these substances to keep the water clean, typically 1.5-3.0 PPM (parts per million) for chlorine or 3.0-5.0 PPM for bromine.
You may need to add a non-chlorine spa shock or oxidiser to the water from time to time to help remove contaminants. Depending on how much you use your hot tub you may want to do this fairly regularly.
Because of the mix of chemicals in spa water it is important to balance the pH correctly to avoid causing skin irritation. It is best to keep the pH between about 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH is too low the water will become acidic and may cause skin and eye irritation or even affect the surfaces of the hot tub. If the pH is too high, the water may become cloudy, scale may form and filters will need to be changed more often, in addition to potentially causing skin or eye irritation. In either case, your sanitizer is likely to be less effective.
In addition to the pH the total alkalinity of the water needs to be maintained within an acceptable range – typically 80-120 PPM. If it is allowed to go too high, the water may become cloudy and it can be difficult to change the pH. If it falls too low then pH can change too quickly and metal components in the hot tub may suffer corrosion.
Hardness refers to the amount of minerals such as calcium in the water. If the hardness is too high, scale may form and the water may become cloudy. If it is too low you may get some corrosion of metal components or the water may become foamy. About 100-250PPM is a good hardness level for most hot tubs.
ACE Salt Water Sanitizing System
If the above seems like a lot of work to maintain your hot tub’s water balance, then don’t despair. The ACE Salt Water Sanitizing System from Hotspring takes a lot of the effort out of maintaining your spa. The ACE System automatically generates powerful cleansers in the spa water using a unique diamond electrode to create active oxygen from water with a very low salt concentration. This keeps your water fresher for longer and eliminates the odours and irritation which can occur with bottled sanitising products. This hands-off approach to maintenance lets you spend more time enjoying your hot tub and less time maintaining it.