Being a hot tub owner is definitely rewarding.
Not only are hot tubs considered major status symbols, but they are also great for stress relief and muscle relaxation, can help relieve pain, can help improve sleep, and can even help you lose calories. Nevertheless, you must keep your spa well-maintained in order to reap these benefits. To do so, you must do things such as test the chemicals in your spa 1-2 times per week, clean the spa filter every 1-2 weeks (replace annually), clean and drain the spa every 3-4 months, air out the spa cover weekly, and keep the spa filled as much as possible.
Speaking of which, finding the best hot tub chemicals for your spa is also significant. With that in mind, the following is an overview of how to do just that.
Why Are Hot Tub Chemicals Important?
Before we delve into the best hot tub chemicals for your spa, let’s discuss why hot tub chemicals are so important. Although it’s indeed harder for certain germs and toxins to survive in hot water, an untreated spa can be a breeding ground for viruses and diseases of all kinds.
Either way, in order to properly maintain a hot tub, you need to ensure that it has the proper levels of chemicals such as sanitizers, which are required to reduce, if not eliminate, bacteria, as well as an array of other chemicals as they help maintain the spa’s chemistry.
For those who are yet unfamiliar with the concept, hot tub chemistry is a term used to describe the chemical balance that is constantly changing within the spa. Therefore, hot tub owners must take the time to test the water and regularly assess their tubs’ chemistry. This makes it possible to determine which chemicals are low and may need to be replaced to ensure that the hot tub has a balance of chemicals that is safe to sit in, while also eliminating the various germs in the water.
Here are some other terms to know when you are assessing your hot tub’s chemistry:
PPM means Parts Per Million. This is how we measure the number of chemicals present in any given hot tub. Typically, hot tubs need to keep the amount of chlorine between 3-5ppm.
On the other hand, PH is a scientific term used to describe whether a tub’s water is alkaline or acidic. Ideally, the PH of any hot tub should be between 7.2 – 7.6. However, there can be a large degree of variation, depending on the situation. Either way, a tub that is too alkaline or acidic can be very harmful. The scale goes from 0-14; 7 is neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, while scores above 7 are considered alkaline.
Total Alkalinity (TA) is used to measure how much dissolved alkaline is present in the water. If your reading is too high or low, the balance of your tub will be negatively impacted. If you need to raise the alkalinity of your water, you should slowly add sodium bicarbonate until it is between 80 – 120ppm. On the other hand, if the alkalinity is too high, you may want to try a pH reducer.
Total Hardness (TH) is a term used to describe the level of calcium salts that are present in the water. TH can affect the overall balance of your hot tub and lets you know how scaling, or corrosive the water may be. When your hot tub is in a state of “total hardness,” your tub water will appear to be cloudy, and there will often be noticeable scale around the shell of your tub. On the other hand, if the hardness of your hot tub is incredibly low, the water will begin to draw minerals such as copper, iron, and aluminum, which are minerals present in the structure itself. Therefore, this will start to cause damage to the tub itself if you do not correct it fast enough. Either way, you should ensure that the calcium reading of your hot tub is between 100 – 250ppm. If the calcium levels are above this, using a no-scale product is strongly advised.
If your hot tub has been severely neglected or is otherwise experiencing water issues, hot tub shock may be recommended. This is a procedure that helps you quickly raise the sanitation level of your hot tub water.
When it comes to hot tub maintenance, there are lots of chemicals to choose from. Depending on the design or your tub, the materials used to create it, how often it’s used, etc., certain products may be recommended over others. Either way, here is an overview of the most commonly used chemicals.
One of the most commonly used products is the product created to help adjust the water’s PH. This includes both PH increasers and PH decreasers, as either of these products may be necessary at any given time. Your water is only safe for soaking when your PH level is neutral. Therefore, you should always keep these products handy to avoid any unexpected issues.
Another commonly used product is the sequestering agent. These are used to help remove heavy metals and calcium from your tub water. The failure to remove these chemicals can result in the water turning an unsightly shade of orange, red, green, or brown. A sequestering agent should be added whenever you are adding new water to the tub to when your tub water turns one of the previously mentioned colours.
This chemical is used because it has a similar effect to chlorine, which is used to kill bacteria, germs, infections, and more, but it is free of the chlorine chemical. Adding a non-chlorine shock chemical temporarily increased the chlorine level before returning to normal. It also sanitizes the water and helps boost water clarity, helps remove oil dirt, and can get rid of other unwanted substances such as bacteria, chloramines, and more. Additionally, unlike chlorine, this product does not oxidize; it lasts longer and is gentler to the skin.
Another commonly used chemical is the defoamer. This is used as a way to reduce the amount of foam present in hot water temporarily. This is because oils, cosmetics, lotions, and other products can cause the foam to form in hot water. Although the hot tub owners should encourage their visitors to shower before entering the spa to help eliminate this issue, there may still be some lotions and oils on the skin. Using a defoamer can help reverse the effects of what happens when people get into the spa without properly rinsing their skin first.
Moreover, sanitizers are also very useful in terms of keeping your tub clean and well maintained. No matter if your guests choose to shower before entering the tub or not, it is still possible for them to leave germs and bacteria in your spa. However, adding sanitizer to your water helps ensure that your water is balanced and safe to use. However, you must be mindful of the type of sanitizer you use, as some dissolve much more quickly than others.
Calcium is often needed to ensure that your water is not too hard. When your calcium levels are unbalanced, your tub water will appear to be cloudy or foamy. Adding calcium can help you reduce the appearance of cloudiness and foam and prevent damage to the metal components of your tub. Therefore, you should have a calcium increaser and decreaser available at all times.
One optional yet still commonly used chemical is the spa fragrance. For those who don’t enjoy the smell of the other commonly used chemicals or simply want a nice, calming smell to help boost their level of relaxation, there are plenty of safe hot tub fragrances that you can add to your water.
Moreover, another optional chemical is the salt system. Many people are unaware of the fact that you can have saltwater hot tubs, just like you can have a saltwater pool. By purchasing a salt-chlorine generator, the generator will convert the salt into chlorine. Rather than investing in chlorine, you can simply add salt and allow the system to convert it into chlorine. Moreover, this water is safer for hair, skin, and eyes.
Overall, if you are in search of high-quality hot tub chemicals, we’re here to help. Here at Jacuzzi Hot Tubs and Backyard Living, we specialize in providing our clients with a wide variety of premium quality hot tubs, swim spas, pools, as well as backyard living essentials. No matter if you are looking for a new tub or simply need the tools to help keep your hot tub clean, you can find it here at Jacuzzi Hot Tubs and Backyard Living. Contact us today for more information.