My New Hot Tub Has Arrived – What do I do now?
Assuming you purchased your new hot tub from a reputable supplier, you will have benefitted from having it properly installed and commissioned as part of the delivery service. A part of that service likely included having the hot tub filled with water and treated with chemicals, and a demonstration of how to use the control panel to operate the tub properly.
Great as that is, many new hot tub owners find it a little tricky at the beginning to maintain proper water balance and in the day to day operation and maintenance of the tub - in fact we always tell our customers we expect to be on hand to answer any questions or concerns in the post-delivery first few weeks!
Getting To Know Your New Hot Tub
As with any new item, it always pays to spend some time at the start familiarising yourself with the operating instructions. That way, you can enjoy using your tub as and when you want to – minus the headache of frantically scanning the user manual trying to figure something out at the last minute, when you’re expecting guests (haven’t we all been there at some point?!)
Some of the common queries we receive from new tub owners include:
Why Is My Hot Tub Not Heating Up?
The first thing to double check if you encounter a problem with your hot tub not heating up is the operating mode the tub is set on. Hot Tubs typically have three modes; Standard, Economy and Sleep (or Ready and Rest depending on the manufacturer). Here’s a brief explanation of what each mode means:
Standard: In standard mode the set temperature will be reached and consistently maintained.
Economy: In this mode the heater will only come on when the tub is in one of its standard filter cycles (typically for 1.5-2 hours twice a day, morning and evening) if the temperature is below the set temperature. Economy is ideal for daily users.
Sleep: Working on the same principle as Economy mode, but in Sleep mode the drop in temperature usually has to be 10 degrees below the set temperature for the heater to kick in during the filter cycle. Sleep mode is most commonly used when going on holiday or periods of absence where nobody will be using the tub.
I’m Struggling To Maintain Correct Water Chemistry
The most common query we receive by far from new hot tub owners is due to cloudy or murky water along with how much of each chemical they should be adding and when. And it’s no surprise, as there is a lot to get to grips with, particularly if you have never owned a hot tub before! High usage and being unfamiliar with water testing and chemical dosing are the usual causes of incorrect water chemistry during the first few weeks.
Some tips we offer are to get in the habit of regularly testing the water using the testing strips in your chemical starter pack. This will help you to understand when the water is calling for higher levels of sanitiser or pH adjusters etc, and it’s a habit that will save you stress and money over time.
Did you know that the ideal time to add sanitiser is after use, not before? This way, the sanitiser gets to work straight away on cleansing and cleaning the water – whereas if left until the following day, bacteria has had a whale of a time already starting to multiply overnight – beat it at its’ own game!
Factors that will increase the need for sanitiser are users not showering prior to use or removing make up (fake tan loves to make a filter cartridge work hard too). So, it’s a good habit to adopt from the start asking bathers to rinse off before using the tub – you could even get a little sign printed if you don’t like asking, or forget to ask.
Keeping a close eye on your pH level is important too, as if the water becomes too acidic or alkaline it can make for an uncomfortable user experience, and take its toll on the hot tub equipment.
What Do I Need To Do With Spa Frogs?
Our range of Caldera Spas have in-built water care courtesy of a Bromine Spa Frog cartridge and Mineral Frog cartridge. One is prefilled with Bromine to sanitise the water, reducing the need for sanitiser top-up dosing by up to 50% and the other with minerals, which condition the water for a softer feel.
You control how quickly these are administered into the water via a simple dial on the cartridges, allowing you to increase or decrease the level as needed (ideal for a weekend away, simply turn up the dial for automatic Bromine sanitisation!)
Frequency of changing Spa Frog cartridges depends on how you set the dials, and changing the cartridges is straight forward; ensure all jet pumps are turned off before opening the cap of the in-built housing compartment. Turn the handle counter-clockwise and lift the holder up and out before setting the dial on the new cartridges and inserting them into the holder. Secure them back into place by pushing the compartment down and twisting it clockwise, then close the cap.
How Often Should I Change The Water?
BISHTA guidelines recommend changing the water in your hot tub at least every 3 months, more frequently in the case of high usage. This will help to ensure optimum water quality and protect both bathers and the hot tub equipment.
Top Tip; Prior to emptying your tub, it is recommended to use a ‘flush’ such as Hot Tub Flush to thoroughly clean all of the internal pipework, removing debris and any bacteria lurking within.
Changing Filter Cartridges
As a guide, your filter cartridges should be removed and cleaned every 2 weeks or so, depending on usage. This can be done either by soaking them overnight in a cleaning solution like our Blue Horizons filter and cartridge cleaner or by using an instant solution eliminating the need to soak like the All Swim instant filter cleaner following the usage instructions on the label. New cartridges should be replaced approximately every 6 months.
Cleaning The Hot Tub
Regularly cleaning the surface of your hot tub will help keep the exterior in tip-top shape and help minimise scratching or marking the acrylic shell, while keeping it looking great. Surface cleaners such as our Lo-Chlor Spa Shield are great for polishing up the surface of the shell, simply combine with a soft microfibre cloth to buff the shell, taking care not to get the product in the water. When changing the water, take advantage of that time to give the entire shell a clean before you refill with fresh water to keep it looking good as new (just ensure there is no residual product on the surface before refilling.)
You’ve Got It Sussed!
Hopefully the above tips will prove useful when it comes to taking care of your hot tub and you can also find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page that may be of interest. For any queries or areas of concern, if in doubt, check it out with your supplier or give us a call on 02920 705059 for further help and advice.