Hot tubs are a fantastic addition to any home. They are fun, relaxing, and have many health and wellness benefits. However, to ensure the safest and healthiest environment for everyone who uses them, hot tubs need regular care and maintenance, especially as we move into the winter and spa use increases.
Fortunately, we’ve created a complete hot tub maintenance checklist so that you can keep your spa functioning perfectly. This guide contains all the daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks required, so your hot tub is perfect every time you use it.
Hot Tub Maintenance: The Basics
If you’ve just purchased a hot tub, you might feel a little overwhelmed by all the new terminology, concepts, and science involved in proper maintenance. But, don’t be. While there are a lot of different elements involved in taking care of your spa, we’ve broken them down into an easy-to-follow checklist.
While it might seem like there are a lot of tasks to be conscious of, they can be divided neatly into a schedule. Some jobs need to be done daily, while others need to be performed over a week, month, or even seasonally.
At the most basic level, hot tub maintenance consists of three crucial concepts, known as the Three C’s.
The Three C’s
To ensure your hot tub environment is sanitary and healthy, you’ll need to be aware of the Three C’s. They stand for:
Let’s break these concepts down further to see how they relate to hot tub maintenance.
Good water circulation is necessary to keep your water clear of contaminants. The best way to do this is by constantly passing the water through your hot tub’s cartridge filters.
Body oils, dirt, lotions, and other types of debris get into your water when you use a hot tub. However, with good circulation, filters can pick up most of these agents and ensure your water stays clean. This process is crucial for ensuring a long-lasting performance for your hot tub.
Depending on the model you own, circulation can be done automatically or manually.
Many hot tubs will automatically circulate the water once or twice a day. This process usually takes about 20 minutes to pass all the water through the filter.
Not all hot tubs come with an automatic circulation feature. In these situations, you can manually run the water through the filters once or twice daily.
One essential aspect of hot tub maintenance is a consistent and regular cleaning schedule. Both indoor and outdoor hot tubs are prone to collecting dirt and scum. Additionally, a hot tub that is stationed in a backyard will collect leaves, debris, and even the occasional insect.
Wipe down the cover and shell of your hot tub regularly. A sponge with some white vinegar is perfect for wiping away any buildup. Additionally, you’ll probably notice some dirt forming at the waterline. Sponge this down, too, to keep your shell pristine.
Well-balanced water chemistry is vital for keeping your hot tub clean and safe to use. This process is similar to swimming pool maintenance; however, it requires a bit more vigilance because of the relative difference in size between a hot tub and a pool.
The three main chemicals you’ll need to be aware of are:
However, there are a number of other chemicals that you can use to keep your water perfect.
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to schedule a checklist so that maintaining your hot tub environment is easy.
Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist
Daily Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist
Keeping a hot tub in the best condition requires a few simple and easy-to-follow daily tasks. Check these off every day, and your hot tub will stay clean and functioning at its very best.
You can perform the daily tasks in just a few minutes. If possible, it’s best to work these tasks into your regular routine, i.e., before or after work, or whatever works best for you.
1) Hot Tub Cover
Make sure your hot tub cover is clean, tight, and secure. When the cover is sealed, it will keep the chemicals, water, and heat in, while keeping out unwelcome debris. Additionally, a well-secured cover means that the hot tub is safe from kids and pets.
2) Water Temperature
The following daily task is to measure the water temperature. Keeping an eye on these readings will give you a good indication of the overall health of your setup. If the temperature is reasonably stable, it’s a sign that your hot tub is working fine.
However, if you notice a drastic fluctuation in temperature, it could indicate a fault in your system that you need to address immediately.
3) Check For Damage
The next daily check involves scanning the hot tub exterior for any scratches or tears. If your spa is kept outside, it’s crucial to watch for any damage from animals.
4) Water Levels
If you use your hot tub every day, it’s worth keeping an eye on alkalinity, pH, and sanitizer levels as part of your daily routine.
Three Times a Week Checklist
While you can choose to build these checks into your daily routine, sometimes time just won’t allow it. So try and keep a regular cadence of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or even Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and so on.
This three times a week checklist is mainly concerned with monitoring the chemical balance in the water. Keeping on top of this will do wonders for the long-term health of your hot tub. Additionally, by identifying and remedying problems before they get out of control, you will save money on chemicals and potential repairs.
1) Check pH levels
pH levels are a measure of how basic or acidic your hot tub water is. If your pH is too acidic, it can corrode your hot tub. If it’s too basic, it can lead to unwanted scaling.
Use a test strip to test your pH levels and try to keep them around 7.5.
If your pH moves around dramatically, it could be to do with imbalanced alkalinity. Too many chemicals, body oils, or bacteria can cause excessive alkalinity in your water. It’s best to aim for around 80-120 parts per million, also known as ppm. Any readings above or below this number make it challenging to balance your pH levels.
Any relatively still body of water is prone to contamination by bacteria or algae. Sanitizers, like chlorine, can prevent this sort of buildup and keep your water fresh and clean.
Finally, give the shell a quick wipe above the waterline. This step is critical if you keep your hot tub outdoors. Pollen, dirt, debris, and dust can easily collect in these areas and make their way into your water. A damp cloth should be enough to keep the surface clean.
Weekly Maintenance Checklist
The daily and three times a week tasks are quick and easy enough to complete that they can fit into a busy schedule. However, it’s best to put aside your weekly maintenance checklist for a day when you have a bit more time, like a Saturday or Sunday.
Weekly maintenance checks are a bit more involved. Additionally, it’s worth keeping a record of these checks so that you can observe trends that could highlight potential long-term issues.
1) Test the water
Checking pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels should be part of your three times a week routine. But build them into your weekly checks, too, to address issues as they occur.
2) Shock your hot tub
Sanitizer is just part of the battle to keep your hot tub clear of bacteria and other contaminants. A hot tub shock is basically a large amount of oxidizer that “shocks” your spa clean.
Make sure to follow the instructions that come with your oxidizer shock, and leave the hot tub cover off to allow any chemical gases to be released.
3) Clean your filters
You can remove most filter cartridges for easy cleaning. So take them out and give them a rinse with normal tap water. Regularly cleaning your filters keeps them optimized for cleaning your hot tub.
4) Wipe down your hot tub cover
Hot tub covers need to be wiped down once a week with a specialized cleaner to prevent the
Build-up of algae or mold.
Monthly Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist
To ensure your hot tub runs efficiently, you’ll need to put aside a bit of time each month to give it a check-up. This upkeep is vital if you want your hot tub to run as smoothly as possible for many years.
Take the filters out and give them a deep, chemical clean. This step is essential for washing away any dirt and grime the filters collect when doing their important work. Cleaning the filters is part of your weekly tasks, so just replace one of these cleanings with a chemical rinse.
2) Hot tub jets
Check over and clean your hot tub jets. Ensure they aren’t blocked or clogged.
3) Get your water checked by a professional
Take advantage of your local hot tub professionals’ advanced water checking equipment to get a detailed check on your water and chemical levels.
You can drop a water sample into your local pool store to analyze it. From there, they can identify any issues before they turn into a more serious problem.
Seasonal or Quarterly Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist
Around every three months, you should empty your hot tub and replace the water. This process will take a little time, so it’s best to take advantage of the empty tub to check the shell, jets, and so on for any damage.
Performing this maintenance every three months will do wonders for the longevity of your hot tub.
1) Hot tub cabinet
Once the water is drained, thoroughly clean your hot tub cabinet or shell. Make sure to check over every inch so you can see if it’s sustained any structural or cosmetic damage. Once you finish, you’ll be delighted with the results.
As mentioned earlier, you should give your filters a chemical rinse once a month. But for quarterly maintenance, you should soak them in a chemical solution to provide them with an even deeper clean.
3) Drain and Clean
It is vital to drain your hot tub and replace it with clean water once every three months. When it’s empty, clean the shell and check for any damage or chemical buildup. Again, this step will mean that your hot tub stays at peak performance for many years.
Annual Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist
Finally, here is a checklist for performing your annual hot tub maintenance. These tasks won’t take too long if you follow the daily, weekly, and monthly checklist. However, they are essential to have a healthy and happy hot tub.
It’s worth scheduling this maintenance for the same time each year. For example, if you use your hot tub most during winter, try to pick a day in the lead-up to that time.
1) Plumbing lines
Flushing the plumbing lines will get rid of any bacteria or biofilm buildups. You can also choose to make this part of your quarterly routine or do this anytime you drain and refill your hot tub.
2) Inspect your hot tub
Take some time to check your hot tubs controls, wiring, and other hardware. Check for damage, wear and tear, or any loose parts.
3) Get a professional check-up
Get your local hot tub store to perform a check-up to ensure your hot tub’s hardware and wiring are in complete working order. These professionals will be able to identify and fix any potential issues, which could save you a more considerable outlay in the future.
4) Hot tub cover
Perform a thorough check on your hot tube cover. Look out for mildew, mold, excessive moisture, and any physical damage or odd smells. Again, prevention is better than cure.
Hot tubs are an amazing and relaxing environment with a whole host of great health benefits. As such, it’s important to keep them in the best condition to ensure a sanitary soak. Additionally, adhering to a good maintenance regime will help ensure that your hot tub lasts for a long time.
Hot tub maintenance can be time-consuming for some. If that sounds like you, you can always call our team of certified technicians to take the hassle out of regular maintenance. If you notice a problem or you just want your hot tub cleaned and maintained, our expert staff are here to help. So get in touch today, and we can find the perfect solution.