The key to using chlorine is finding a balance between the bacteria introduced vs the sanitiser used to neutralize it. Public spaces are required to have a chlorine reading between 1-3ppm. However, in the comfort of your own home & hot tub, you can use chlorine a bit differently. For the most part, you should know if the water has taken a turn for the worse. If you lift the cover and the water is cloudy or has a musty smell, that is a pretty good indication that it will require some TLC before you or your family enjoys their next soak. Our rule of thumb is, "If it looks clean and smells clean, it's safe to use." Even if there is no chlorine reading immediately present on your test strip. I've got some tips below to ensure that you're adding just enough chlorine and having a positive experience as well.
USE CHLORINE AS NEEDED Whatever you do, do not fill up a sanitizer floating dispenser with more than two tablets of chlorine! These floaters are meant for bromine! What is the difference, you ask?
CLEAN YOUR FILTERS. CLEAN YOUR FILTERS. CLEAN YOUR FILTERS Your hot tub is a self-cleaning machine! With powerful pumps, it can cycle your water to keep it looking sparkly! At the centre of this powerhouse is your filter, and your job is to alleviate the debris & oils trapped in it as often as possible. A dirty filter will always equal a dirty hot tub, no matter how much sanitizer you add to the water. Anytime you have issues with water chemistry, this is the 1st step to turning it around. We recommend having a 2nd filter or 2nd set, allowing you to swap out the used filter for a fresh one, and then you can clean it at your convenience.
How do I clean my Filter to get the most out of it?
How often should you clean your filter?
SHOWER BEFORE YOU SOAK There’s a reason they ask you to shower before entering public bathing places, and the same concept applies at home. When you enter the tub, the cleaner you are, the less sanitizer is needed to maintain water clarity. Have a quick shower before your soak. Rinse off any oils, lotions & grime before you using the hot tub. The fewer contaminants you introduce; the less chlorine you need to use.
DON’T WASH YOUR BATHING SUITE AFTER EVERY SOAK This one might seem counterproductive, but there is a logic behind the theory, I promise! Freshly washed bathing suites with residual laundry soap is the #1 reason your hot tub turns into a bubble bath once those jets get fired up, and the Defoamer used to counter is made up of oils. Too much defoamer leaves your hot tub water greasy and quickly clogs up your filters. Pick a suit for the tub, hang it to dry after use, and wash it once every few weeks to reduce the suds!
HOW DO I FIX CLOUDY WATER?
The WHY: Clarifier can come in a powder or liquid form. Clarifier helps accumulate oils so the filter can easily catch them. Not all of the oils and particles will make it to your filter right away, so often, after use, this will show up as a SCUM line deposited on the inside perimeter of your hot tub.
The HOW: Use as needed. This is a highly concentrated product. The recommended dose is 20ml per 1000L of water. Give the bottle 1 or 2 squeezes into circulating water and let the jets run on high for one cycle. A scum line will appear on the perimeter of your hot tub, which you can wash with a cloth and encourage the capture of debris towards the skimmer/filter. It is recommended to schedule a filter cleaning following the clarifier treatment to remove the oils & debris accumulated into the filter.
WHY IS MY HOT TUB SUDDENLY A BUBBLE BATH?
The WHY: Soap residues from skin or swimsuits can cause a mini bubble bath.
The HOW: This also a highly concentrated product. Use extremely sparingly, or you may end up with an oily film on the surface of your water! The recommended dose is 10ml per 1000L of water. Run the jets at high speed to agitate bubbles. Shake up the bottle of the defoamer and give 1 light squeeze into circulating water. Let this work into the body of water for several minutes before deciding to add more. Often this will be enough to take care of any bubbles forming in the hot tub. Alternatively, the Defoamer can be placed directly into a spray bottle and misted onto the water's surface. This will give you the best control over how much product is used.
MY HOT TUB HAS BEEN EMPTY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
I PURCHASED A USED HOT TUB, HOW DO I CLEAN IT?
WHY DO I HAVE LITTLE WHITE FLAKES FLOATING AROUND?
The WHY: If a tub has been winterized or just shut off for an extended period of time, the residual water that has been left behind is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Once re-filled with water, bacteria will circulate through the new body of water and flow through the plumbing. You may notice that it doesn’t smell or look very clean even though you have filled it up fresh. Or you bought the tub 2nd hand, and it might be a good idea to give it a good clean when you’re not familiar with the previous owner’s sanitation procedures. Another scenario can be if the tub has been in use, but the chemicals have been neglected for an extended period of time, leaving you with little white flakes (bacteria) floating in the water. A proper Sanitize/Drain/Re-Fill will be necessary to re-enter the Tub safely.
WHY IS MY WATER TURNING REDDISH/BROWN?
The WHY: A high concentration of copper or iron typically found in Well Water, is oxidized by the chlorine instantly producing a rusted colour in your hot tub.
The HOW: This is a highly concentrated product. The recommended dose is 12ml per 1000L. Add a small amount of product to the water with the jets on. Allow the product to circulate into the water for at least 20 minutes before adding a 2nd dose. If Reddish/brown colour persists, add another small amount. The Cop-Out will solubilize the copper/iron in the water returning your water clarity to normal. If you have a hefty concentration of metals in your water, the cop-out may appear as a “pink dust” that can be vacuumed out of the tub.
HOW DO I REMOVE DIRT/DEBRIS THAT SETTLES AT THE BOTTOM OF MY HOT TUB?
The WHY: Hair, sand, dirt…you name it. Not everything gets caught by the filter. Debris can settle to the bottom of the tub and seating.
The HOW: The Quickvac has a clear plastic tube containing a check valve, and is attached to a hose. Pump the tube up and down into the water to establish water flow. This creates a siphon, and now you can direct the tube anywhere in the water to remove up all the little bits of debris settled in the footwell.
HOW DO I DRAIN MY HOT TUB?
The WHY: Generally hot tubs come equipped with a drain valve, but they can fail or be un-accessible. Or depending on where your tub sits, you might need an extra hose to avoid flooding the area immediately surrounding your hot tub.
The HOW: The Quick Drain has a large clear plastic tube containing a check valve attached to a hose. Position the hose to lie below the bottom of the tub. Pump the tube into the water with long & fast stokes approx. 10-15 times to establish water flow. To maximize flow, wait 1 minute, and then pump 5-10 more times. Let rest in the footwell of your tub until drained. If you want to remove any residual water, you can use a wet/dry vacuum.
DO I NEED TO ADD CALCIUM TO MY HOT TUB (HARDNESS)?
The WHY: While it is true if your tap water doesn't have enough calcium (soft water) that it will corrode the materials it comes in contact with. Typically, you'll see evidence of this corrosion in your home around the drains in your sinks & bathtubs.
The range for Calcium Hardness is pretty wide. 80 - 200ppm. The majority of City Water contains more than enough Calcium, which is why you're not experiencing pitting in your bathroom sinks/tubs.
We find that adding Calcium to the water has a tendency to cause more issues than benefits for the majority of users. You start to get into an unnecessary balancing act. Adding Calcium to the water, and then adding Stain & Scale to neutralize it, so you don't get the scaling. Essentially making those two products redundant. Too much calcium in the water shows up as a difficult to remove white ring around the inner perimeter of the hot tub. It also coats heaters and the interior walls of your plumbing. Once the calcium is there, it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to remove. You end up with constant white flakes showing up in your water. Over time, this will require you to start replacing equipment and components sooner than expected.
The HOW: If you're a stickler for making sure your levels are perfect, including Calcium, we recommend having no more than 80-100ppm max. Otherwise, the only time you may actually need to add it is if you're using a well water source that is completely void of calcium. In these cases, please follow the directions carefully and add specific amounts appropriate to the water capacity of the hot tub.
TEST STRIPS - INSTA-TEST 3
The WHY: Insta-Test is a quick and straightforward way to monitor the levels of Alkalinity (TA+), pH (pH+), & Chlorine (FCL) or Bromine (Br) in the water.
The HOW: Dip the strip into the water and compare the colours to the chart located on the bottle. If you have recently added chemicals, run the pumps & wait a minimum of 2 hours before testing the water. Testing too quickly will result in an inaccurate reading.
ALKALINITY - DAZZLE BALANCE TA+ (Total Alkalinity)
The WHY: TA Stands for Total Alkalinity & helps to stabilize the pH levels in the water. If Alkalinity is low, pH will burn off faster. Increase/balance your Alkalinity levels 1st, and pH levels 2nd * *See Note On pH+*
The HOW: The goal is between 80-120ppm, which gives you a range of 40ppm to have an acceptable level. Focus less on aiming for perfection. Instead, try to avoid faded or vibrant colours to maintain your Alkalinity levels. If the test strip reads faded 0-40ppm, add TA+ to the water with running jets. Wait a minimum of 2 hours to re-test. Repeat this until you have the ideal colour range. It's okay to bring TA+ up slowly, over several hours or a few days, to ensure you don't overdo it. For maintenance, check levels once a week and add as needed. If your Alkalinity levels read too vibrant 180-240ppm and you need to bring them down, you can use a pH down (which will also reduce your pH)
HOW MUCH TO ADD:
*These are estimated values to give you an idea of how much to put in your hot tub. Adding small increments & being consistent is more important than being exact*
Small Tub (68”-76”) 1000L
Med Tub (78”-86”) 1500L
Large Tub (88” – 96”) 2000L
20g or 2 Capfuls = 10ppm/1000L
30g or 3 Capfuls = 10ppm/1500L
40g or 4 Capfuls = 10ppm/2000L
pH DAZZLE BALANCE pH+ (up) / DAZZLE BALANCE pH- (down)
The WHY: pH signifies the acidity/alkaline level in the water. Your sanitiser (Chlorine/Bromine) is an acidic product that will continue to drive your pH levels down. When pH is low, the water is more acidic. If you don't continually bring these levels back up, the water's acidity will break down plastics/metal components in the hot tub at an accelerated rate. You will need pH+ to increase the levels.
Sometimes pH Levels are high right out of the gate (Fresh Tap or Well Water), meaning the water is more alkaline; this can result in skin irritations during soaks. You will need pH- to decrease the levels.
The HOW: The goal is between 7.2 & 7.8, giving you a range of 0.40 to have an acceptable level. Focus less on aiming for perfection; instead, try to avoid the faded or vibrant colours to maintain your pH levels. If the test strip reads faded 6.2 – 6.8, add pH+ to the water with running jets. Wait a minimum of 2 hours to re-test with a strip. Repeat this until you are in the ideal colour range. It's okay to bring pH+ up slowly, over several hours or a few days, to ensure you don't go over. For maintenance, check levels once a week and add as needed. If your pH levels read too vibrant 8.4-9.0 and you need to bring them down, you can use a pH- (down)
NOTE * If you need to bring your pH levels DOWN, do this before increasing your Alkalinity, as the pH- will also drive your Alkalinity levels down significantly*
HOW MUCH TO ADD:
*These are estimated values to give you an idea of how much to put in your hot tub. Again remember, adding small increments & being consistent is more important than being exact*
Small Tub (68”-76”) 1000L
Med Tub (78”-86”) 1500L
Large Tub (88” – 96”) 2000L
24g or 2.5 Capfuls = pH under 7.2/1000L
36g or 3.5 Capfuls = pH under 7.2/1500L
48g or 4.5 Capfuls = pH under 7.2/2000L
CHLORINE DAZZLE MINI CHLORINE TABLETS
The WHY: Chlorine is an optimal choice for sanitization. Hot water is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, and chlorine is quick & effective in killing bacteria regardless of the pH and alkalinity levels. It works by creating chemical reactions with oils, suntan lotion, moisturizers or anything else is left behind from bathers.
The HOW: For good measure, it's recommended to add two tablets of chlorine upon starting fresh, but not necessary until after your first use. After soaking in the hot tub, for maintenance, add the recommended amount of Chlorine tablets to kill any bacteria left behind. Having a chlorine reading on the test strip is (advised by Health Canada) but not necessary to safely enter the water for the next soak. Look for signs of clean water, including clarity and scent. If the water looks clear & smells clean, then often it is!
HOW MUCH TO ADD:
0 – 0.5 ppm WHITE - FADED = Add 2 Tablets
1 – 3 ppm FADED - LIGHT = Add 1 Tablet
5 – 10 ppm LIGHT - BRIGHT = Add 0 Tablets
BROMINE DAZZLE MINI BROMINE TABLETS
The Why: Based on personal preference of sanitization, Bromine can be used alternatively to chlorine. Bromine is a softer chemical and it's recommended to be dissolving in the water at all times. It also requires additional diligence to be effective. This chemical dissolves slowly and works best when your pH and Alkalinity levels are residing in their recommended ranges.
The HOW: Add two tablets to a chemical floater or into your skimmer basket. For smaller tubs, add one tablet at a time. Add more tablets as they get close to dissolving.
SHOCK DAZZLE AMAZE & AMAZE+
The WHY: Once Chlorine/Bromine comes in contact with organic material, it leaves behind chloramines/bromines, scented inactive particles that can no longer kill bacteria. These particles build up in the water and require oxidation to release them. Using a shocking agent designed for hot tubs will oxidize the chloramines/bromines, reducing the scent/irritations associated with these sanitizers. There are chlorinated and non-chlorinated shocks available. Having a chlorine-based shock will help when your water chemistry goes un-treated, and you need a quick-dissolving treatment as a boost to combat excess bacteria.
The HOW: Once a week, put a cap full of Amaze Plus into the Hot Tub with the pumps on high speed and let the water circulate with the cover off for one cycle to allow for aeration. (Pumps should time out and turn off after about 15 minutes)
FILTER CLEANER DAZZLE RAPID ACTION FILTER CLEANSE
The WHY: The filter is responsible for catching particles and oils left behind by bathers. Cleaning your filter monthly will result in having cleaner water and reduced sanitizer usage. It is arguably the most essential component of Hot Tub maintenance. Dirty filters will result in poor water quality, as your sanitizer will use up its resources trying to combat bacteria/oils caught in the filter and not the bacteria residing in the body of water.
Every 1 – 2 Weeks: Rinse Filters with garden hose nozzle on Jet Spray to remove debris caught between the pleats.
Every 2 – 4 Weeks: After rinsing the filters, soak in a bucket with enough water to cover the fabric pleats and 1/3rd bottle of Rapid Action Filter Cleanse Solution. Allow to soak for about 1-2 hours & rinse with the hose. Alternatively, you can place Rapid Action Filter Cleanse in a spray bottle. Spray your filters down and let them sit for 1-2 hours, and rinse.
Ask us how to get Sparkling Clean Filters, QUICKER and EASIER with the
Aggregate or Granite is an ideal base for your hot tub! Here are a few reasons why!
STEP 1: Create your frame; the hot tub will sit on top of the rock inside the wood framework.
Example: If the hot tub is 78x78 (that equals the acrylic measurement, so the bottom perimeter is typically smaller), create an inside box size of 80” and allow extra length for steps. Your box should be a rectangle; 80” inside measurement one way, then the front of the tub, or where you plan to put the stairs, you should allow an additional 27” for steps, if you don't plan to build any deck/platforms up to the hot tub.
STEP 2: Attach 4x4 pressure treated lumber together with corner brackets. Once your box is secured, lay it down where you want it to go. Spray-paint around the outside to mark the soil to be excavated after removing the box.
STEP 3: Remove approx. 3” of soil so that the 4x4 box will sit into the dirt but proudly above the lawn.
Note: You want to excavate dirt from the lawn's highest side first. There is always a little bit of a slope, so starting from the high side ensures you don’t end up going too deep. Try to estimate as you go what you believe looks flat; You can make adjustments in Step 4.
STEP 4: Now that you have a relatively flat hole, put your 4x4 box back inside and drive four wooden stakes into the dirt on the inside of each corner, tight up against the wooden box. The stakes will allow you to lift each corner individually and put a screw through them into the box. You’ll need to do this as you level the box. Once you have the box level, go around and put some of the rock under any parts of the box you have lifted to add support.
STEP 5: Remove your wooden stakes and fill the entire frame with your crushed rock. Smooth out and tamp down to ensure there are no low spots. High spots are okay. Take a long piece of 2x4 that spans across either side of the wooden box. Next, use the 2x4 (having a partner helps) to scrape across the top of the box, pulling any excess rock with you. Do this both ways and even diagonally if you like.
You now have a level non-compactable base for your hot tub!!
Basic Chemical Maintenance is going to be our starting point. Gaining knowledge of required products will allow a greater understanding of why saltwater may or may not be a fit for your hot tub.
BASIC CHEMICAL MAINTENANCE
Chemical maintenance requires four products, Total Alkalinity, pH+, a Sanitizer (Chlorine or Bromine), and Shock.
Total Alkalinity is a powdered chemical that acts as a stabilizer. It ensures drastic highs and lows don't occur from the pH levels. After the first initial balance, it generally requires minimal adjusting.
pH is a powdered chemical responsible for bringing the water back to less acidic levels. The sanitizers used (Chlorine or Bromine) are acidic products. The more used, the more acidic the water becomes. Adding pH+ allows the water to maintain a more alkaline level. If pH is not adjusted, issues can arise resembling skin irritations. Water with high acidity will eventually destroy components in the hot tub like gaskets, heaters & pump seal, etc.
Chlorine or Bromine comes in powdered or tablet form; its job is to kill bacteria. Since we don't drain our hot tubs after each use, we need something to combat the bacteria left behind by bathers. Especially since temperatures above 100 degrees F are an ideal
breeding ground for bacteria. We recommend using tablets as they are slow dissolving.
Shock is a powdered chemical treatment. When the Sanitizer (Cl or Br) comes in contact with bacteria, it leaves behind a by-product, known as "Chloramines" Or "Bromines". These particles build up in the water and are responsible for any irritations (harsh scents, skin/eye irritation). Chloramines/Bromines must be shocked or aerated out of the water. To do this, we add a shock treatment every week, allow it to work into the water with the hot tub lid open and the by-products gas off.
Now we’re on to Saltwater Generators. These systems ONLY replace the sanitizer. (Cl or Br) Users are still required to add Total Alkalinity, pH, and shock treatments to the hot tub regularly. There are two kinds of Salt Water Generators.
Sodium Bromide Generators = Sanitizes the Spa with Bromine
--If you have one of these systems, please consider removing/replacing your sanitizing system with a Sodium Chloride Generator or Bromine/Chlorine Tablets
Sodium Chloride Generators = Sanitizes the Spa with Chlorine.
--If you are currently using or considering one of these systems, see our list of Pro’s/Con’s
1. Generates Sanitizer automatically on demand.
2. The perception of "No Chemicals" since there is no need to add Chlorine tablets manually.
3. Assists with shocking/aerating chloramines from the water, which is why users report little to no irritation
4. The salt content in the water offers a soothing experience to bathers.
1. Chlorine is still the chemical used to kill bacteria, just in an alternative form.
2. Salt Cell Generators are an expensive upgrade. Salt cells average replacement every 1-2 years.
3. Salt cells generate automatically and will continue to produce chlorine daily. A tub that goes un-used by bathers can cause issues from over chlorination. Chlorine is acidic and corrosive if used in excess. If more sanitizer becomes available, then there are bacteria for it to neutralize, then it can cause damage to the tub’s components.
4. Users are still required to balance the Total Alkalinity, pH and clean filters to maintain healthy water chemistry.
5. The constant presence of Sodium Chloride (aka Salt) is also corrosive. Over time the salt content will cause rust & deterioration to the hot tub's components. Users will be required to replace heat elements, manifolds, pump seals & other equipment far sooner than necessary.
Take out the middle man; Sodium Chloride (aka Salt), and simply use Chlorine Tablets as needed.
We also recommend using chlorine as an after-soak treatment. It is not required to have chlorine reading on a test strip to soak safely in the spa. Add a chlorine tablet AFTER each use of the hot tub. The chlorine tablet will combat the bacteria left behind by bathers and dissipate by the next use. If the water looks and smells clean, it's safe to go in even if there is no chlorine in the water by the time of the next soak. This method will offer confidence that users are not over chlorinating the spa.
Invest in an OZONE generator. Ozone generators create an O3 gas that reduces the rate at which bacteria multiplies, and it shocks or aerates the by-product of chloramines out of the water. The automatic aeration the ozone provides will drastically reduce any irritations associated with using chlorine.
SALT WATER & POOLS
Even though we don't recommend Saltwater Systems for Hot Tubs, they are a great option for Pools! Here are the reasons & differences why.
A link has been provided for a video further discussing Saltwater generators on Hot Tubs for personal use. SALTWATER VIDEO