Allow about 20 minutes to do the following:
1. Raise spa cover; leave it up for about 20 minutes to protect it from any fumes. Turn jets on high speed.
2. First, add 1-2 large capfuls of non-chlorine shock (MPS). Shock oxidizes (burns up) organic pollutants, which create haze and odor. Shock also reactivates the sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) already in the water, so you can measure it accurately (see step # 6). Reactivation lets you use LESS sanitizer (and that’s good!). Also adding a capful of shock before each use of the spa keeps your water clearer and cleaner.
3. Add to the water 1-2 capfuls of a demineralizer such as Stain and Scale Defense, to inhibit calcium deposits.
4. Filter Cleaning: Disconnect the power to the hot tub. (If you don’t disconnect, be very careful that nothing falls into the unprotected plumbing while your filter is out). Pull out your filter; use a garden hose with a power nozzle [essential!] to clean out each of its folds. Don’t skip this step– if your filters are not squeaky clean, the tub will often shut down and not heat. Also, if your tub has several filters, rotate them every week.
5. Replace the filter, reconnect the power. If electronic controls have defaulted to factory programming, reset your temperature. If you reset the filtration cycle, select a minimum of 8 hours per day. Tubs with a dedicated 24 hour circulation pump do not need resetting.
6. Use a test kit or test strips to find the pH and the level of bromine or chlorine in the water.
a. If your pH is not in the ideal range, add a “pH increase” chemical to raise it, or a “pH decrease” chemical to lower it. (NOTE: Changes in pH take several hours to register fully.)
b. If your bromine or chlorine reading is low, even though you added shock (see step #2):
- Chlorine users, add 1-2 tablespoons of chlorine granules.
- Bromine users, add a tablet to the dispenser, OR open it up a little more.
- If you use a mineral ionizer cartridge (spa frog), add only 1-2 teaspoons of chlorine.
7. Make sure the water level is always just above the jets, or they will suck air and “surge”. ESSENTIAL: be sure when you leave the tub that every jet is flowing. Adjust any diverter valves, open any closed jets to get flow out of every jet. If you don’t, nasty crud will grow in your pipes behind the jets.
8. Once a month, apply a sunscreen-containing vinyl protector to the top of the cover.