There’s a lot of fun to be had when you have a spa of your own, but you’ll want to keep it in the best condition possible – not only so that you can continue to enjoy it for a long time, but also to make sure you stay healthy while using it. If not looked after properly, the warm water of a hot tub can be the perfect breeding ground for everything from algae to various different types of bacteria. Proper maintenance, thorough cleaning, and even personal hygiene all play a part in keeping your hot tub safe for you to enjoy – just follow these easy steps to find out how.
Step 1: What to do before using your hot tub
Before using your hot tub, it’s a good idea to take a quick shower to remove any body lotions or oils from your skin. These can cloud the water or make a foam appear, and over time they could actually stain the side of the tub. Such stains (known as chemical staining) appear as brown marks above the water line and in places where your body comes into contact with the hot tub, such as around the neck and shoulders.
Step 2: Use a sanitiser
In order to keep your spa in optimum condition you should clean it at least once a week, as well as giving it a thorough clean and drying it properly before storing it away.
There are 2 main types of sanitiser available, chlorine and bromine, and it is vital that you use one of them to ensure any bacteria in the water is killed. Chlorine is the most common, but make sure you use the quick dissolving kind, not the slow dissolving type that is intended for larger swimming pools.
Chlorine for hot tubs is available in dissolvable granules that you simply sprinkle into the water or dilute with warm water before pouring it into the spa. Make sure you only add a small amount of chlorine to prevent over-chlorination, and leave it to distribute evenly into the water.
Step 3: Check the pH balance of your spa
The level of chlorine in the water of your hot tub is not only important for keeping it free of bacteria, but also for making you comfortable and keeping the spa in good working order. If the pH balance falls too low the water will turn acidic and you might feel discomfort such as stinging eyes, and the spa’s pump and seals might suffer corrosion. If the pH rises too high and the water turns alkaline, scale can appear in the pump and the massage jets.
You’ll need to conduct a pH test around 2 hours after adding chlorine to the water – if the water is very dirty all of the chlorine will have been used up and you’ll get a low reading. If the water is properly balanced, you won’t need to add any more chlorine to it. You should check the pH balance of your spa at least once a week. Use test strips or a handheld colorimeter to do this, and make sure the PH levels fall somewhere between 7.0-7.6.
Step 4: Change the filters
Filter cartridges are an essential feature of a Lay-Z-Spa pump as they remove dirt and grime from the water in the hot tub, and prevent it from getting into the pump or heater which could cause damage, reducing its lifespan. As your pump will usually be continuously cleaning and filtering the water when it is turned on, this dirt can quickly build up, especially when the hot tub is used regularly.
You should remove the filters and give them a wash to remove any dirt between each use, and at least once every 3 days. Every few weeks, depending on the intensity of use, old filters should be replaced with new ones (especially when they become harder and discoloured). The more often you use your Lay-Z-Spa the more often you should clean and replace the filters.
Failure to wash out the filters can result in them becoming soiled and clogged which will ultimately constrict water flow. This will put extra strain on the pump motor and potentially cause a mechanical breakdown. Poor filter care and maintenance is the number 1 cause of pump/heater failure, so it’s important that you keep your filters clean. It’s also worth always having spare filter cartridges ready to ensure continued trouble-free enjoyment of your Lay-Z-Spa.