From complementing your workout regimen and supporting your weight loss goals to providing broader personal benefits that contribute to your overall needs, a hot tub is a worthwhile investment in your body and soul. One aspect of hot tub ownership that can be daunting is hot tub maintenance; but it really is quite manageable. We’ll start with a few safety tips specific to hot tubs — some that even veteran swimming pool owners may not realize.
Hot Tub Safety
While some of these safety issues would also apply to swimming pools, others are clearly hot-tub specific. Be sure chemical containers are kept out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place while being kept sealed and out of the reach of children. Proper chemical care includes reading and following instructions on the labels and handling all chemicals with care. Be sure to accurately measure chemicals and always add them into the water, avoiding mixing them directly together.
Regardless of the type of hot tub you choose, water temperature can also be a safety hazard. You should never allow the water temperature to rise higher than 104 degrees, F (or 86 degrees for children). Pregnant women and those who are on medication or have cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure should consult a health care professional before getting into any hot tub.
In addition to chemical and heat-related safety measures, general waterside safety principles also apply. Like pools, hot tubs can also increase your risk of water-related injuries, drowning, lightning strikes, and sun damage. Hot tubs also require extra care of swimwear, due to the combination of heat and chemicals.
Hot Tub Maintenance
Following the basic safety tips outlined above regarding hot tub chemicals will be extremely important. We’ll break up the basic hot tub maintenance tasks into those that need to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and periodical basis.
Daily tasks should take about 2 minutes. First, test chlorine levels to make sure they fall between 3 and 5 mg/l and, if necessary, add more according to the instructions on the chlorine container. Next, test pH levels, ensuring that they’re between 7.2 and 7.6; if you need to adjust the pH, use a product designed for that use. In the case of foaming water, use an anti-foam product.
In addition to your 2-minute daily maintenance routine, you’ll want to incorporate a 10-minute weekly one. During that weekly session, you’ll need to shock your hot tub with an oxidizing agent, clean the filter (using a hot tub filter cleaner) and swap out the current filter with an alternate filter to allow the one that was just in use to dry and the fibers to bind together following cleaning.
Now add in a 5-minute monthly scale-removal session (if you have high calcium, hard water) and a periodic 2-month cleaning. The cleaning should take between 1 and 2 hours and includes cleaning the hot tub cover with a weak chlorine solution (3-5 mg/liter). On a bi-annual annual basis, you’ll also want to replace your hot tub’s filter and change out the water.
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