Are Hot Tubs High Maintenance?

One common misconception about hot tubs is that they are difficult to maintain. Are hot tubs high maintenance? We’d like to think not! Personal hot tubs have been popular in North America for over 50 years now and there have been many advances in hot tub technology, manufacturing, and materials. This has led to modern-day versions that require a lot less attention and care compared to those from the 1960s and 70s. Today’s hot tubs are quite user-friendly and will allow you to spend more time in the water rather than worrying about it. To help educate those who believe running a hot tub is too much work, we’ve put together this article.

Water Chemistry

Keeping your water clean ensures a safe and healthy soaking environment. And while this process has become easier and more streamlined over the decades, it’s still something that needs to be tended to on a regular basis. That said, the effort needed to keep your water chemistry balanced is minimal compared with the problems that could arise if it was ignored. Monitoring the chemical levels in the hot tub doesn’t require any advanced knowledge or special skills. Running some simple tests using paper test strips or a liquid testing kit will tell you exactly what needs to be added to the water to bring it back into balance. You’ll test for pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer concentrations about once a week. You may also need to shock the water which consists of adding chlorine or another chemical to break down the organics which causes the water to become murky or cloudy. If everything is going well with your hot tub, you won’t have to spend more than five minutes doing this.

Water Filter Cleaning

The majority of large particulates in the hot tub water are removed by water filters. Your hot tub may have a single filter or a series of them. Giving your filters a spray with a garden hose is recommended about once a month. This will dislodge any accumulated dirt and debris and, depending on how many filters your hot tub has, should take less than 20 minutes. On a quarterly basis, the water filters will need a deeper cleaning. If your hot tub has ceramic filters you can simply run them through the dishwasher. For those with fabric filters, you’ll need to soak them in a chemical solution for eight hours. This will dissolve and remove any accumulated oils that have been captured by the filters. Since this is largely a passive process it shouldn’t require more than a half-hour of actual work.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is the biggest job associated with running a hot tub and should occur about every three or four months. The frequency of this will actually depend on how much your hot tub is getting used. For those who have invested in a saltwater system, a deep cleaning may only be required once a year. The job simply entails emptying the hot tub, scrubbing down the interior of the shell, refilling it with fresh water, and getting the water chemistry levels back into balance. Depending on the size of your hot tub, you should allocate approximately one full day to complete this job.

Hot Tub Covers

The amount of effort you need to put in to keep your water clean and fresh really depends on how much foreign matter gets in the water. The best way to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris is to keep your hot tub covered whenever it isn’t being used. A properly fitting hot tub cover not only keeps out detritus, it keeps in the heat of the water. This will cut down on the costs associated with both cleaning and heating.

To learn more about hot tub maintenance, download our hot tub buyer’s guide.

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