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Your Complete Guide to Hot Tub Chemicals

Modern home with a Jacuzzi Hot Tub installed in the backyard at night.

If you’ve ever been tempted to skip your weekly hot tub maintenance or skimp on the chemicals you use, then this article is a must-read. Think of it this way, the same water stays in your hot tub for up to three months at a time. Without proper sanitization, your spa would become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Clean water — and a properly working spa — starts with using the right chemicals on the right schedule. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to keep your spa sparkling clean and ready-to-use whenever the urge strikes.

1. Test Kit

Using a test kit regularly is crucial for keeping your water balanced. A kit will have all of the items you need to determine if your water requires chemicals.

2. Chlorine Granules or Bromine Tablets

Chlorine Proper Level: 1-3 ppm

Bromine Proper Level: 3-5 ppm

Both chlorine granules and bromine tablets are both ideal options to help keep the water clean in your hot tub. The experts at your local hot tub supply store can work with you to determine the best one for your lifestyle.

Below, we will review the pros and cons of chlorine and bromine in a hot tub.

Chlorine Benefits

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Remains stable when exposed to UV rays
  • Remains stable at lower temperatures
  • Effective

Some reasons that chlorine may not be the best option for you can include a strong smell, difficulty to keep pH levels balanced, needs to be added regularly, and may be irritating to those with sensitive skin.

Bromine Benefits

  • Remains stable at higher temperature
  • Easy to balance pH levels
  • Little to no scent
  • Effectively keeps water clean
  • Ideal option for sensitive skin
  • Doesn’t need to be added frequently

Some reasons that bromine may not be the best option for you can include that it’s not as effective in lower temperatures, hard to rinse off skin, and it’s not as affordable as chlorine.

Safety Precautions

  • Never combine both chlorine and bromine inside your hot tub or in their dry state. Mixing chlorine and bromine can cause a dangerous chemical reaction.
  • If you wish to switch from one to the other, the experts at your local spa service center can assist you. If you wish to handle the transition yourself, you will need to drain and clean your hot tub, along with a line flush.
  • Don’t store them next to one another, as the fumes they create can combine and become dangerous and combustible.
  • Always use separate feeders. Even if you have cleaned one, small traces of the chemicals can cause a reaction.

3.  Alkalinity Increaser

Proper Level: 100-150 ppm

The main role of alkalinity is its regulation of your water’s pH levels. Without proper alkalinity, your water’s pH levels will drop and your water will become acidic.

Keeping alkalinity increaser on hand and using it as needed will prevent that from happening. If alkalinity gets too high, a pH decreaser can be used to bring the level back into the target range.

4. pH Balancers

Proper Level: 7.4-7.6

Low pH can damage your hot tub over time. Acidic water and scaling are both risks of low pH and can damage the inner workings of your spa. High pH, meanwhile, can cause cloudy water and hot tub foam.

Once your water’s alkalinity is balanced, it’s time to test your water to determine the appropriate pH level. pH up is needed if your water tests low while pH down is added if it tests high.

5. Hot Tub Shock

Shock, which is used to prevent foam and cloudy water, should be used regularly to keep your water clear.

 If your hot tub receives average use — say two people five times a week — then a weekly dose of shock should do the trick. If you have more bathers or use it more than once a day on a regular basis, your water may require two shock treatments a week.

While shock is great for prevention, it can also be used to get rid of murky water, hot tub foam and even algae.

6. Stain and Scale Control

If you have hard water, staining and scales are inevitable. Your best defence against either issue is stain and scale control. It protects your hot tub from the harmful effects of scale buildup and staining.

Commonly caused by excessive calcium, iron, copper and other minerals in your spa’s water, scale buildup can cause damage to the exterior and interior of your spa, including the circulation system.

Using this chemical weekly, or as needed, can help keep both problems at bay.

Now that you have the low-down on what chemicals you need and how they work, be sure to use them as directed. When used properly, your spa chemicals will help your hot tub to work well for many years to come.

Eden Spas

Our goal at  Eden Spas is to help you get the most out of every hot tub experience. Whether you’re shopping for a new outdoor hot tub or hot tub supplies, we’re your top local source for high-quality products. Drop-in at our Prince George showroom to shop for hot tub accessories or necessities such as hot tub filters and chemicals. Our experts are always on hand to help you find what you need or to help you schedule regular hot tub maintenance or repairs.

Eden Spas Jacuzzi

105 – 892 Central St. East
Prince George, BC, V2M 3B8 Canada

250-614-1700

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