Hot Tub Maintenance

Hot Tub Maintenance: Comprehensive Guide To Keeping Your Hot Tub In Tip-top Shape

Hot Tub Maintenance: Comprehensive Guide To Keeping Your Hot Tub In Tip-top Shape

This year, each hot tub enthusiast in the U.S. will spend between $330 and $25,000 to enjoy a relaxing soak in the privacy of their backyards. If you’re ready to join the club, you’ll want to know how to make the most of your investment. 

It’s time to talk about hot tub maintenance.

We created a guide to help out. In it, we explore how TLC contributes to a trouble-free hot tub experience. From extending the lifespan of your hot tub to maximizing your relaxation time, maintenance is the key to getting the most out of your investment. 

Take a minute to learn more and keep the guide handy for reference.

Why Hot Tub Maintenance Matters

Just like any other piece of equipment, your hot tub requires attention and care. Regular maintenance is essential if you want to keep your hot tub in top-notch condition. Neglecting maintenance can result in costly repairs and premature wear and tear, putting a damper on family fun and relaxation.

When you properly maintain your hot tub, you don’t only prolong its lifespan; you also make sure it’s a safe and enjoyable space. From balancing water chemistry to cleaning filters and inspecting components, each maintenance task plays a vital role,

By staying on top of maintenance tasks, you can avoid unexpected issues and address potential problems before they become serious. This saves you time, money, and frustration.

So, don’t overlook the importance of hot tub maintenance. It’s the key to maximizing your enjoyment and getting the most out of your investment.

Developing a Maintenance Schedule

Maintaining a regular schedule for hot tub maintenance helps keep your hot tub in pristine condition. That’s why we don’t advise waiting until you notice algae growing or foul odors. Here’s an overview of key maintenance tasks:

Water Chemistry Checks

Test the water chemistry of your hot tub at least once a week using a reliable test kit. Monitor pH levels, sanitizer levels (such as chlorine or bromine), alkalinity, and calcium hardness to ensure they stay within the recommended ranges.

Adjust chemical levels as needed to maintain a balanced and safe environment for soaking.

Filter Cleaning

Clean your hot tub filters every one to two weeks, or as the manufacturer suggests. Remove debris and buildup from the filter cartridges by rinsing them thoroughly with water or soaking them in a filter cleaner solution. 

Regular filter maintenance ensures optimal water circulation and filtration, preventing clogs and promoting clean, clear water.

Surface Cleaning

Wipe down the surfaces of your hot tub shell and cover it with a non-abrasive cleaner weekly. Pay special attention to areas prone to buildup, such as water lines and jets, and remove any dirt, grime, or residue.

Regular surface cleaning helps prevent staining, discoloration, and the growth of algae or bacteria.

Consistency is key when it comes to hot tub maintenance. Set reminders, mark your calendar, or create a hot tub maintenance checklist. Do whatever it takes to stay on track with your maintenance schedule. 

Water Chemistry Basics

Proper water chemistry helps keep your hot tub water clean, clear, and free from harmful bacteria and contaminants. Balanced water chemistry also helps protect your hot tub equipment from corrosion and damage, prolonging its lifespan and reducing the need for repairs.

Ideal pH and Sanitizer Levels

The pH level of your hot tub water should ideally fall within the range of 7.2 to 7.8. Maintaining the correct pH level helps prevent skin and eye irritation and ensures that sanitizer chemicals work effectively. Chlorine or bromine are common sanitizers.

Please note: The ideal sanitizer level typically falls within the range the manufacturer recommends.

Balancing Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness

Total alkalinity acts as a buffer that helps stabilize the pH level of your hot tub water. The ideal alkalinity level usually ranges from 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm).

Calcium hardness refers to the concentration of calcium ions in the water. Maintaining the proper calcium hardness level (typically between 150 and 250 ppm) helps prevent scaling and corrosion. 

Again,  follow manufacturer guidelines and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about how to properly balance your hot tub’s water chemistry.

Cleaning and Maintaining Filters

Hot tub filters keep the water clean and clear, as well as prevent equipment damage. Ensuring the filters do their job efficiently depends on the frequency and your cleaning techniques.

Cleaning Frequency

To maintain optimal filtration efficiency, clean filters every one to two weeks, depending on usage and environmental factors. More frequent cleaning may be necessary if your hot tub sees heavy use or is located in a dusty area.

Proper Cleaning Techniques

If you follow the guidelines below, you can streamline the process. When you make it easy, cleaning won’t feel like a chore. The tool list is short: a garden hose and a soft brush.

Here’s the process:

  • Turn off the hot tub
  • Remove the filter cartridge(s) from the filter housing
  • Rinse the filters with the garden hose
  • Scrub the filter pleats 
  • Rinse the filters again with clean water 

Tip: For a deeper clean, soak the filters in a solution of filter cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar for a few hours.

Why You Should Care About Clean Filters

Have you ever wanted to soak in the hot tub at a hotel and noticed cloudy or dirty water? The culprit was likely a dirty filter. 

Dirty filters can restrict water flow, reducing the effectiveness of the hot tub’s filtration system. When the filtration system isn’t working correctly, it can to poor water quality. Clogged filters can strain the hot tub’s pump and other equipment, potentially causing damage and costly repairs.

Make filter maintenance a regular part of your hot tub care routine to enjoy crystal-clear water and a trouble-free soaking experience.

Surface and Shell Maintenance

Keeping the surface and shell of your hot tub clean and well-maintained is essential for both aesthetics and functionality. Don’t let the word “tub” fool you into thinking you can use the same cleaning techniques (and products) you use to clean the tub in your bathroom.

The following tips are for hot tubs, not bathtubs.

Regular Cleaning Routine

Wipe down the surface of your hot tub shell with a soft cloth or sponge and a mild, non-abrasive cleaner. Pay close attention to areas around water lines, jets, and skimmer baskets where dirt, oils, and debris tend to accumulate.

Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the surface of your hot tub. 

Preventing Staining and Deterioration

Regular surface cleaning helps prevent staining caused by dirt, oils, and mineral deposits. By removing debris and contaminants from the surface of your hot tub shell, you can prevent deterioration and extend its lifespan.

Maintaining a clean surface reduces the risk of algae growth and bacterial buildup. Both create an unhealthy soaking environment. 

Protective Measures

Consider applying a protective sealant or wax to the surface of your hot tub shell. It provides an extra layer of protection against staining and deterioration.

Covering your hot tub when not in use can also help protect the surface from exposure to the elements and minimize maintenance requirements.

Inspecting and Maintaining Components

Regular inspection and maintenance of hot tub components can optimize performance and prolong the lifespan of your hot tub. Here’s why it’s essential and how to do it the right way.

The jets, pumps, heaters, and covers play vital roles in not only the way your hot tub functions but also how comfortable it is to soak in it. Routine inspection and maintenance help identify and address potential issues early on, preventing costly repairs. 

Inspect jets regularly for signs of clogging, damage, or wear. Clean or replace jets as needed to maintain proper water flow and massage performance.

Check pump and heater components for leaks, unusual noises, or fluctuations in performance. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure efficient operation.

Examine the cover for signs of deterioration, such as cracks, tears, or water absorption. Replace worn or damaged covers to maintain insulation and protect your hot tub from debris and weather elements.

Guidance for Component Maintenance

Documentation is critical when maintaining your hot tub. After all, when you’re having too much fun soaking, it’s easy to lose track of when you last performed maintenance. 

To make things easier, create a maintenance checklist. Include routine inspections of all hot tub components, along with recommended maintenance tasks and intervals.

Stay vigilant for any changes in performance, unusual noises, or visual signs of wear during regular use of your hot tub. If you notice something off about its performance, address the issue sooner rather than later.

Refer to your hot tub manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for specific maintenance procedures and schedules to ensure proper care of your hot tub components.

By regularly inspecting and maintaining hot tub components, you can catch potential issues early and address them before they escalate into more significant problems.

Addressing Common Hot Tub Maintenance Challenges

Hot tub ownership comes with its share of maintenance challenges, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can overcome them. Issues you may need to deal with include cloudy water, algae, foaming, and unpleasant smells. Here’s what to do for each of these challenges:

Cloudy Water

Several factors can cause cloudy water in a hot tub. They include improper water chemistry, insufficient filtration, or organic contaminants (perspiration and dead skin cells).

Test the water chemistry and adjust pH, sanitizer levels, and alkalinity as needed. Ensure the filters are clean and functioning properly. Consider using a clarifying agent or shock treatment to help clear up cloudy water.

Algae Growth

Poor water circulation or inadequate sanitizer levels are the usual culprits behind algae growth. Too much sunlight can also impact algae development.

Increase circulation by running the pump more frequently or adjusting jet settings. Make sure sanitizer levels are within the recommended range and shock the water to kill algae. Keep the hot tub covered when not in use to prevent sunlight from promoting algae growth.


If you notice foam in the hot tub, it might be time to post a sign alerting your friends about what isn’t welcome while soaking. Soap residues, body oils, or cosmetic products introduced into the water can all cause foaming.

The solution is relatively simple. Shower before using the hot tub to rinse off oils and residues. Use a spa defoamer to eliminate foam quickly, or try adding a small amount of anti-foam agent to the water. 

Unpleasant Odors

A stinky hot tub is about the last place you want to submerge your body. Bacteria, algae, or organic contaminants in the water can create some pretty unpleasant odors. It’s probably time for a shock! 

Use a high-dose sanitizer to eliminate bacteria and algae. Clean and sanitize the hot tub cover regularly to prevent mold and mildew growth. Use a spa enzyme treatment to break down organic contaminants and reduce odors.

Remember to follow a hot tub cleaning and maintenance schedule, test the water frequently, and consult with a professional if you encounter persistent issues that require expert assistance.

Winterizing Your Hot Tub

Did you know you can enjoy a hot tub year-round? It’s true, but maybe you prefer to put yours to bed for the winter. If you decide to DIY winterization, here’s an overview of the process:

  • Drain the water using a submersible pump or gravity drain
  • Clean the hot tub shell, surfaces, and components
  • Remove and store filters
  • Remove remaining water from components
  • Add non-toxic antifreeze (optional)
  • Cover and secure

Freezing temperatures can cause water in the plumbing lines to expand, leading to cracked pipes, damaged equipment, and costly repairs. By draining the water, cleaning and protecting components, and covering the hot tub, you can safeguard it from winter weather conditions and ensure it’s ready to enjoy when warmer weather returns.

Is Your Hot Tub Ready for a Little TLC?

Maintaining your hot tub is essential for its longevity and your enjoyment. While DIY hot tub maintenance is an option, working with the experts at Crystal River Spas in Carbondale, CO, ensures optimal performance and peace of mind.

Speak with a specialist about maintenance needs and hot tub repairs. Or request a test soak if you’re planning either a hot tub purchase or an upgrade, because your relaxation oasis deserves the best care possible.


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