Back to Blog
Close up shot of water streaming from jets

Hot Tub Maintenance Tips to Help You Avoid Costly Hot Tub Repairs & Cloudy Hot Tub Water

Hot tubs are a great way to relax and enjoy your own private oasis in your backyard. But even in this state of serenity, there are still things that could go wrong if you don’t properly care for your hot tub.

So to avoid costly hot tub repairs, practice regular hot tub maintenance and avoid making mistakes by following these hot tub don’ts.

Don’t Forget to Test the Water (But Don’t Use Pool Chemicals)

You should test your hot tub water weekly, even if you aren’t regularly using your hot tub, and especially before stepping in. Regular testing prevents chemical overdosing and bacteria buildup. And balanced water chemistry will help keep your hot tub in good shape and safe to use.

Also, you should only ever use spa chemicals in your hot tub—never pool chemicals. Spa chemicals are made to work in hot water and with hot tub surfaces. Spa chemicals also have accurate dosage instructions based on the small size of hot tubs.

Don’t Leave Your Hot Tub Full & Running If You’re Not Going to Maintain the Water

Without testing and treating the water weekly, your hot tub will no longer be a relaxing backyard escape. Instead, it will become a smelly, bacteria-filled swamp-like mess that you’ll never want to step foot in.

And it will take plenty of time and work to clean it thoroughly and get it back to a safe, sparkling condition.

Don’t Ignore Basic Maintenance

A bit of time spent on basic hot tub maintenance will save you plenty of time and money in the future. Basic hot tub maintenance includes:

  • Testing and treating the water;
  • Rinsing the filters;
  • Cleaning the cover; and,
  • Wiping the waterline and drain refill.

You should also follow a maintenance schedule even if you aren’t using your hot tub regularly.

Don’t Turn Off the Power and Leave Your Hot Tub Full of Water

To maintain a consistent hot tub temperature and avoid costly energy bills, keep your hot tub on at all times. The hot tub temperature will drop if turned off, and it will cost you more to reach the ideal temperature again.

Also, stagnant hot tub water is a hospitable environment for bacteria growth. So to keep your spa water circulated, filtered, and sanitized, keep your spa running.

If you go out of town, keep your hot tub covered and have the pump timer set so your hot tub water gets a few hours of high-speed circulation each day, along with low-speed circulation throughout.

Although you don’t need to keep the pump running all day and night in a covered hot tub, your hot tub water does need daily circulation.

Keeping your hot tub running in winter will also prevent freezing damage to the equipment.

Don’t Let Your Cover Get Too Heavy

Hot tub covers protect hot tubs, so in turn, you should protect your cover. Clear snow and ice from your cover in the winter to prevent damage from excess weight. If your hot tub cover gets too heavy to lift because of all the snow piled on top, then it will likely sink in, tear, and experience damage to the lifter.

Also, don’t leave an unattended hot tub uncovered. Open hot tubs are a safety risk for small children and animals.

An uncovered hot tub will also get dirty, lose water and chemicals to evaporation, and cause your equipment—notably your spa heater—to work harder, sucking up electricity and costing you more in energy bills.

Don’t Overfill the Hot Tub

Overfilling a hot tub can happen if you get distracted and forget that you left the hose running. While an overfilled hot tub may not experience any damage to the components, some models might. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Consider using a plastic timer that screws onto a hose and shuts off the water flow after a set time so you can reduce the risk of overfilling your hot tub.

Along with not overfilling your hot tub, also be careful to never under-fill it or you’ll risk overworking the pump and having air sucked into it.

Don’t Run It Without the Filter

Running the pump in a spa for too long without a filter can lead to clogged pump impellers and a fast decline in the water quality. So if you need a new filter, replace it as soon as possible. And in the meantime, only run the pump on low speed instead of turning it off.

Don’t Clean It With A Pressure Washer

Any type of pressure washer is too powerful for a hot tub, especially for cleaning cartridges. The high pressure will push dirt, oil, and scale deep into the filter fabric while also damaging the fibers by separating them and bunching them together.

To gently clean your cartridge, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle. And also use a spa filter cleaner one to two times a year to help clean out dirt, scale, and oil.

Don’t Take the Hot Tub Filters Out of the Filter Compartment and Forget to Clean Them Before They Dry Out

Be sure to clean the filters right away when removing them from the filter compartment. Otherwise, if they dry out, you’ll need to buy new filters.

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Filters

You should clean your filters every two to three months, even when you aren’t using your hot tub regularly. And replace your filters every two years to ensure they keep your hot tub clean.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Silver Ion Cartridge

Change your silver ion cartridge every four months so it works efficiently and helps keep the water clean.

Don’t Use the Hot Tub as A Bathtub to Bathe In

If you’re dirty or sweaty, you’re better off taking a shower before you jump in your hot tub. Dirt, sweat, and contaminants will take a toll on your hot tub water, especially on the filter, sanitizer, and pH levels. As a result, your water will become unbalanced and less sanitary.

You should also never add bubble bath to your hot tub water unless you want all the water to foam up and out of your hot tub.

Don’t Forget to Check Your Ozonator Periodically to Find Out If It’s Working

Ozonators help sanitize the water. But if they are not producing enough ozone for sanitation, then they are useless. So keep an eye out to make sure it is working properly and producing enough ozone to get the job done.

Don’t Get into the Hot Tub if the Water Is Green, Has A Musty Smell, Or Is Overflowing With Foam

If your hot tub is green, smelly, or foaming, then it isn’t safe to use. Before using your hot tub again, drain the water, refill, and follow the hot tub start-up process of adding spa cleaners.

Don’t Cover Your Hot Tub With Clear Plastic or Enclose It in A Plastic Greenhouse

Clear plastic and plastic greenhouses will magnify the sun’s rays and trap heat. As a result, the insulation in your hot tub cover could melt.

There are many benefits to using spas and hot tubs. So don’t ruin your enjoyment by making these mistakes. Instead, take care of your hot tub so it can take care of you!