Note: A newer and more up-to-date version of this article can be found here.
Caring for your spa or hot tub is really no different than taking care of your pool, except everything happens faster. There are some changes, but ultimately if you follow the same general guidelines your spa will be just as clean and clear as your pool.
One of the main differences is bromine is commonly used to sanitize a spa instead of chlorine. This is because bromine holds up better under heat and will therefore be a more effective sanitizer over time. The most common application of bromine for spas is tablets in a floater which need to be refilled on a regular basis. Bromine is more expensive than chlorine, so while it may be more effective, spa owners who use bromine will be paying more.
When using chlorine in your spa, a product such as sodium dichlo (Spa Chlor Brite) is recommended. Dichlo has a more neutral pH, unlike bromine, and is also less expensive. Unlike bromine that is added in a tablet form, dichlo comes in a granular form and therefore needs to be added much more often than bromine tablets. It is recommended to add this at least once per week.
Mineral packs are also popular options for chlorine spas to reduce the amount of sanitizer needed to keep the pool clean. Products such as a Nature2 Spa Purifier are inserted into the water and work to remove bacteria and algae. When using this product, it is recommended to also apply Leslie’s Fresh N’ Clear on a regular basis to help remove organic contaminants from the water. We recommend adding Fresh ‘N Clear both before and after using the spa.
Custom Spa Covers
Leslie’s also offers custom spa foam covers. If your current cover needs to be replaced because it either does not function well or simply does not look good, view our ordering form to see what we offer. Leslie’s will make your spa cover exactly to your specifications.
- Testing your water more often is essential for proper pool care. Because the heat speeds up changes in water chemistry, your water has a higher likelihood of being out of balance. Testing your water at least twice a week (or more if you have a high swimmer load) will make sure your water chemistry stays under control.
- Spas need to be drained every 3-4 months. Regular draining helps keep your Total Dissolved Solids and Calcium Hardness levels under control. This will extend the life of your spa and allow your water to be more easily maintained.
- Many chemicals come with specific spa versions because the strength of those chemicals are better suited for the size of spas compared to pools. Because of this, it is important to use not only proper dosages but also proper, spa-specific chemicals. For example, to increase your alkalinity in pools you can use Leslie’s Soda Ash, but in spas it is recommended to use Leslie’s Alkalinity Up.
- If you have a significant chemistry problem like having metals in your spa, for example, sometimes it may be a better idea to simply drain your spa and refill it. Because of the number of gallons present in a spa, this is a much easier task than having to drain a pool.