The Importance of Regular Spa Maintenance
Whether you’re drinking it or soaking in it, clean water is essential to your health. But despite that fact, water maintenance remains one of the least understood aspects of spa ownership. But help is at hand.
Hot Spring dealers are ready to guide you through the entire process of spa water maintenance, and will do so with your unique local conditions in mind, ensuring your spa experience is as amazing as you imagined it would be.
Before getting started, it’s important to understand the make-up of your local water (levels of minerals, metals, etc.) which your local Hot Spring dealer will be happy to help you with. And remember that your Spa Owner’s Manual is always there whenever you’re in doubt.
Those disclaimers to one side, let’s take a look at what a good spa maintenance routine looks like, from day one to years into the future.
Filling the spa and conditioning the water
The process of filling the spa and conditioning the water plays out as follows:
- Filter the fill water
When filling the spa, use the Fresh Start® Clean Screen Pre-filter, which removes unwanted contaminants such as rust, dirt, detergents, metals and algae, which can cause health issues and damage your spa. Avoid filling your spa with swimming pool water, as pool chemicals are different to spa chemicals and can cause damage.
- Soften the water
Hard water is caused by excessive calcium. While it isn’t a common problem in New Zealand, it does rear its head from time to time. Vanishing Act Calcium Remover is a soft pillow that sits at the bottom of your spa, removing calcium minus the chemicals. Soft water is important, as it both feels more comfortable and protects your spa.
- Control staining and scaling
High iron or copper content can cause staining and structural damage. If your water has a concentration of minerals, an antiscalant like Freshwater® Stain and Scale Defense can help to control the damage that these impurities can cause. This problem isn’t restricted to areas with naturally high mineral levels either – as water evaporates from your spa and new water is added, mineral concentrations gradually increase.
- Avoid the bubble bath
As impurities such as soap, sunscreen and spilt beverages are slowly introduced into the water, the likelihood of unwanted spa foam increases. While showering before every soak helps to stop the bubbles, a liquid foam inhibitor ensures that they don’t pile up, and works in concert with all the other spa pool chemicals listed above.
After making your spa water perfect, the challenge becomes keeping it that way. In order to ensure your water is always pristine, you’ll need to have a regular testing regime – once a week is ideal, although if you use your spa every day it may be worth testing more regularly.
Hot Spring offers two main types of test kit:
- Freshwater® 5-way Test Strips are quick and easy – simply dip the strip, then check whether each measurement is in the ‘OK’ range. If it isn’t, you should adjust with the appropriate chemicals.
- Reagent test kits are the slightly more scientific version that offer increased accuracy. Liquid or a tablet is placed in a vial with your spa water, with the resulting color offering a reading.
It’s also important that you store your test equipment in a cool, dark and dry place to maintain accuracy.
Once your test kit has delivered the results, what then? It’s time to walk the spa pool water tightrope.
Balancing your spa water
Keeping your spa water perfect is a balancing act at first. The following three water components should be tested and adjusted in the order that they’re listed, as each helps balance the subsequent one, ensuring you use the minimum amount of chemicals necessary.
- Calcium Hardness (CH)
CH measures the level of dissolved calcium in the water. Low levels can make the water corrosive, while high levels cause scale formation and damage to spa components. The recommended CH reading is 50-150 ppm, and it will more commonly be too high than too low. If it is too high, use the Vanishing Act Calcium Remover to lower it, and always retest when you’ve added new water.
- Total Alkalinity (TA)
TA measures the water’s ‘buffer capacity’ – the ability to resist change to pH. A low TA allows the pH to fluctuate easily. The recommended TA reading is between 80-120 ppm. To raise the TA, use Freshwater® pH/Alkalinity Up (sodium bicarbonate). To lower the TA, use Freshwater® pH/Alkalinity Down (sodium bisulfate). Again, always retest when you’ve added new water. You can ignore the pH readings on the test strip while you are balancing the TA.
The old favorite of high school chemistry class, pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity. A low, acidic pH dissipates sanitizer, causes corrosion and irritates spa users. A high, alkaline pH neutralises sanitizer, promotes scaling and clouds water. Maintaining the proper pH level, meanwhile, will optimise sanitation, prevent spa damage and increase comfort levels. The ideal pH reading is an ever-so-alkaline 7.2-7.8. To lower it, use Freshwater pH/Alkalinity Down (sodium bisulfate). To raise it, use Freshwater pH/Alkalinity Up (sodium bicarbonate).
Every 30 days a Hot Spring spa owner is greeted with a flashing light on the front of their spa. The water care icon will pop up on the control panel indicating that it’s time for the following monthly maintenance routine:
- Test and balance your spa water (which you’ve been doing weekly)
- Confirm output level (only applicable for Freshwater® Salt System or ACE® Salt Water System owners)
- Rinse/wash filters
- Check spa cover and apply the spa cover shield (especially during summer)
While spa pool maintenance is far from complicated, it can feel daunting, particularly when the time comes to choose or reorder the right products in the right amount. Thankfully Hot Spring now offers a better and far easier way: subscription spa pool maintenance packages.
Our range of subscription packages ensure that you have all the necessary tools and chemicals to keep your spa pool pristine, and that they are dropped on your doorstep like clockwork every four months. Three different discounted bundles are available, and you are in total control, able to cancel or postpone your subscription at any time.
Never scratch your head over spa maintenance again. Sign up today!