If you want to keep your hot tub happy and healthy -- not to mention the people who want to use it -- shocking your hot tub is important. As far as timing, you’ll want to understand the factors that go into it so that you don’t under- or over-shock your hot tub. It’s one of those things that seems really confusing ,but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to focus on the right details.
The role of shocking
If you’ve read up on hot tubs, you know that chlorine is going to sanitize it. So, why do you need to shock it, to? It seems like overkill, right? The thing is, no matter how careful and particular you are at watching your pH and your chlorine levels, shocking is crucial for safety and cleanliness (not to mention hygiene) on a regular basis. This kills organic matter in your tub and it will help your water return to its natural self, too. Your hot tub not only benefits from shocking, it is built deliberately to be shocked.
How often should you shock your hot tub?
There are a few factors that go into determining just how often you should shock your tub. Here are the main pointers that you’re going to want to think about for your tub’s shocking schedule:
Hot tubs require quite a lot of work when it comes to getting used to them ,but learning how to shock properly is going to really help keep your investment safe as well as make sure that everyone enjoys themselves -- including you. The good news is, once you adjust, it’ll be reassuring to know that you’ve adjusted to the right techniques and approaches to help you make the most out of your tub and its comfortable use.
Chemicals are always a little bit tricky in the beginning when it comes to treating your hot tub right, but if you are hunting for information on shocking and you’re worried that you’ve accidentally over-shocked your hot tub, you’re going to want to give this a read.
Shock and its role in hot tubbing
Okay, so firstly, let’s understand what shocking is when it comes to your tub. This is a strange term that refers to when you oxidize your water using chlorine. Shocking will help remove debris, destroy any kind of bacteria and germs that are floating around in your water, and also reactivate the chemicals in the water. Think of it as a tune-up, chemically speaking. This is done when you’ve had a lot of people in your tub, many of them might be bringing leaves and other organic matter with them, and you want to get your water back to basics.
Can you over-shock your tub?
This all sounds great, and you might love the idea of making sure that your water is fresh and sanitary before you get in it. Shocking is crucial, but you can overdo it. The main two causes include:
How to deal with over-shocking
Time is your friend, for most situations. Wait for the chemical levels to go down to where you need and expect them too and then you can enjoy the hot tub as planned. If you have a deadline to reach, you can definitely use a neutralizer, but you’ll have to make sure that you use it responsibly, otherwise you’ll go too far. Be careful and make sure that you follow the directions for your hot tub specifically.
The honest truth is that every hot tub owner has accidentally over-shocked their hot tub at least once. It happens from time to time and it’s not the end of the world. Try to keep it to a minimum, though, as it can damage your hot tub and actually harm your body, too. So, keep a close eye on the instructions and timings and make sure that you follow them as closely as possible.
The bottom line is that over-shocking is possible, but being responsible with your chemicals and timing will help you to avoid it as often as possible!
Hot tubs may be confusing and frustrating while you’re getting used to them, but there is a serious reason, which is that they take a lot of upkeep. If you are dealing with this all for the first time and you’re looking for support and help on what to add, some searching may have led you to baking soda. But why? Let’s take a look.
pH and baking soda
The water in your hot tube should be between 7.2 and 7.8 for pH rating. This is considered normal and not a reason for concern. However, what if you can’t get the pH to the right level and you don’t want to add in unnecessary chemicals? Baking soda can step! This will naturally increase the alkaline level in your water and can be just what you need to get it in the proper zone. Plus, since it’s natural, no chemicals needed
Another plus is that most of us have baking soda in our kitchen cupboards so that we can grab it and use it when you need to have it in a pinch.
How to use baking soda for hot tubs
If you want to use baking soda responsibly, you’re going to want to add 1 oz of baking soda at a time. Yes, really. No more, as it is deceptively strong and it may push your pH level over the top, defeating the purpose!
Add 1 oz and then let it circulate over 2-3 hours. Test the pH again and you’ll likely find that it is where it needs to be. If not, you can add another oz and try the same thing again. This will get it to where it should be in most situations. Remember to wait the full 2-3 hours or longer, as it needs time to circulate and dissolve into the water.
Baking soda is not a replacement
If you love the thought of relying on natural baking soda instead of pH chemical regularly, this is a common thought. However, pH balance chemicals are required for safe and long-term use of your hot tub. Your tub is designed for them and all spas will recommend them. They are designed to maintain your tub’s water long-term and keep your system running smoothly.
While using baking soda to give it a little boost is great and done widely by hot tub users of all experience levels, it is not intended as a long-term replacement, just a little helping hand when you’re in need.
It’s so cool to think that something so ordinary can help keep your pH level in the right zone when it drops, but it is really important to make sure that you see it as a temporary fix instead of just being something you can substitute whenever you feel like it. A great boost when you need it, you’ll want to add a box of it to your cupboard just for those situations where you are in need of a natural solution for your pH balance!
One of the things that you’re going to get used to doing with your hot tub is cleaning it. Sure, not everyone’s idea of a good time, but it’s definitely important to make sure that you stay safe and healthy -- as does everyone else who uses your hot tub. If you’re looking for some tips on how to clean your hot tub water, you’ll find yourself in just the right spot! Here’s what you should know.
Frequency of water change
On average, you’re going to need to completely change over your hot tub water about every 3 months. There are some factors that make this earlier or later, of course, but this is the standard number to go by. However, you’ll also need to clean the hot tub water itself while it’s still in the tub. This should be done, ideally, after you use your tub each time.
Chemicals to use
You’ve got your basic hot tub chemicals that you’ll want to add in, and this is going to be specific to your unit, so make sure that you read the instructions properly. The two products to use are going to be chlorine and pH controllers.
Chlorine is a natural bacteria killer and sanitizer for your hot tub, whereas the pH controller is going to be for maintaining the proper pH level in your water (important for your tub’s cleanliness and general health).
These chemicals are absolutely essential, so make sure that you don’t skip them. You must have these in your water to make sure that you aren’t accidentally growing an entire fish tank of bacteria (gross, right?). Hot water is perfect for that kind of thing, so these chemicals are not to be skipped.
Once a week, or so, you’re also going to want to add a specially designed filter cleaning agent that will help keep your filter humming and your water clean, A dirty, clogged filter is a useless one, after all. Not to mention that it’ll put more strain on your system and can even create more need for maintenance.
The tub itself
Keeping you water clean itself with the right chemicals is going tobe the main point here, of course, but it goes to say, too, that you should make time to clean your actual tub. Most people will time this with draining the water for simplicity. After all, build-up will get into the jets, the pipes and the tub itself. You can have a series of tools to help you, including a spa vacuum, suction hoses that create a siphon, and a good old soft mop or towel. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but having a squeaky clean hot tub is certainly going to be worth it.
While cleaning the hot tub is admittedly less fun than using it, you can bet that knowing you are in clean water is going to add a little extra relaxation to your session, so make sure that you take the time to properly clean your water with chemicals and full water changes when the time comes!
We get it. You’re looking forward to turning on your spa and hopping in to soak away your woes and troubles. We’ve all been there and, yes, the bubbling water is additive. However, part of making sure that you can soak your troubles away is in knowing and trusting that the hot tub is clean! So, here are some tips and suggestions to look at when you want to assure yourself that it is, indeed, clean and entirely safe for you to enjoy your soak.
Top cleanliness tips
Here is your sensory-friendly list of ways that you can determine how clean (or not clean) your hot tub is:
Extra safety tips
Feeling kinda grossed out now? It’s okay, it’s to be expected. If you want to make sure that you are keeping your health controlled and general heebie jeebies down, then here are some tips to keep in mind.
Your hot tub is going to be your oasis from the world, so keep it safe and healthy by making sure that your clean water is really going to be clean. Since looks can be kind of deceiving, those tips will help you stay on top of the water quality so that your health stays a priority.
If you’ve done any amount of reading on the so-called magic of vinegar, it’s pretty neat to think about using it in your hot tub. After all, if it’s so helpful and useful in everything from skin care to cleaning, it makes sense that a hot tub is going to be a great location to use it to your advantage! You’re absolutely right, as it so happens, and there are two main ways that you can use it when it comes to your hot tub, specifically.
Vinegar and pH
One of the most popular ways to rely on vinegar is when you’re having a hard time keeping your pH between the accepted levels of 7.2 and 7.6. Vinegar is the easier option to get it between those ranges with minimal effort, too. Using either household vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, measure out 4 cups and pour it directly into your hot tub. No more, as once it works through your water filtering system, the pH may be okay. If, after a few hours, it still measures outside of the accepted range, you can then consider adding another 4 cups. Continue to do that, waiting several hours before retesting, until you get it to the proper pH zone.
Cleaning your hot tub with vinegar
The other popular do between your hot tub and vinegar is, of course, cleaning. Since it's naturally acidic, it will easily wipe away the build-up, water scaling and more that builds up in your hot tub over time. It’s also harmless to the water, too, in case of any residue left over.
When used properly, vinegar can help deodourize your water and even help effortlessly take care of those water spots and residue that is stuck in those hard-to-reach corners. It will even prevent clogs in the future, too, thanks to its excellent descaling.
Another perk to vinegar is that, since it’s chemical-free, you don’t need to worry about it hurting sensitive skin or causing irritations if it’s put in a bit too often or in too large amounts. While you’ll want to make sure to be responsible with the vinegar, of course, it’s nice to know that it is harmless when it comes to human skin.
Magic has its limits
So, vinegar is pretty fantastic and it has an important role to play when it comes to your hot tub and its maintenance. However, it’s not a replacement for proper draining and treating with chlorine and other chemicals as indicated in your care manual. While vinegar can help keep the scrubbing and fuss to a minimum, it won’t replace those cleaning tips and tricks that you’re also responsible for.
When you’re ready to step up your hot tub care game and you need some support on doing it right, vinegar is going to be the ideal starting point for pH balance and cleaning. Effective, safe, professional, and available at cheap prices in both small and large amounts, as you need it, what’s not to love?
Okay, so you really want to figure out how you can effectively clean your hot tub but you don’t want to drain it. Perhaps you just drained it and it’s got some build-up, or some dirt or something that is now making your entire hot tub dirty, you may want to figure out how you can clean out your hot tub without having to drain it again. We get it, so here’s some advice to keep in mind.
The best solution
You aren’t going to want to hear this, maybe, but you’ll most likely find that your best bet is going to be draining your hot tub. It’s the only way that you’ll get all of the dirt and grit and general build-up out completely, and that’s part of why regularly draining your hot tub is so important! Sure, it’s an extra drain cycle, but it can help you out a whole lot.
Other non-draining solutions
Okay, if that’s really not an option for whatever reason, there are a few alternatives that you can try to help clean your hot tub effectively when you are looking for a little extra power and comfort when it comes to cleanliness. These include:
While they are not quite as effective as just draining your spa, it is nice to know that there are trustworthy options to help you lighten the load when you need it. Whether you try all of these or one of them, they’ll be what you need to give you the best clean in your tub without the need to drain the water.
If you’re new to the hot tub world, you may be worried about the safety of the water when the time comes to drain it. After all, you want to drain it onto your lawn or use it to water the trees and such, to make proper use of the water and make sure that none goes to waste. Right? One of the questions that people tend to ask is whether or not draining hot tub water will kill your grass.
The short answer
If done correctly, as directed, then your hot tub water will not kill your grass. In fact, watering your grass, flowers and trees is a great use of your hot tub water! However, doing it incorrectly could possibly kill your grass and anything else that you water, so you’ll really want to make teh time to read the instructions on that! Here are the main things to focus on.
The chlorine level
As you most likely know, chlorine is not good for grass. It’s strong and grass is pretty sensitive to begin with. Since draining your hot tub is not something you just randomly decide to do, plan it so that you add your last chlorine at least 48 hours before you plan on draining it, or even longer if you wish. Before you drain the water, make sure the chlorine level measures at 0.
The pH level of the water
As far as gras is concerned, pH is more of the issue. In order for it to be safe water for your grass, you are going to have to make sure that it’s between 7.0-7.8 on your reading. If it’s not within that range, you’ll be safer to use it on your trees or your shrubs, which are heartier with their ability to handle different water pH levels. It will take a day or two before you realize that it’s caused a problem, so you can always test on a small portion of your grass if you want to be sure.
In the event of a splash
If you’ve got kids or a few extra people in your hot tub, water will often splash over the edge and onto the pad below. Of course, your hot tub should be on a properly sized and designed slab so that it doesn’t hit your garden. However, if there are a few splashes here and there, your grass should be fine! If someone is dumping bucketfuls out of the tub and directly onto the grass, you may have a problem.
In most situations, the only time you’ll have to worry about hot tub water killing your grass is if you drain the water directly after adding your chlorine to your hot tub, or if your pH level is outside of the normal range. Since these are both things that you can check before you drain your water, you’ll be a-okay to let it pour over your grass (though you will want to move the hose around to prevent flooding!
Alright, so this is one of those topics that a lot of people don’t really want to think about. Why? Because it requires effort and scheduling. Sure, your hot tub is your spot of relaxation and forgetting about the world, but that doesn’t mean that you get to simply forget about how to take care of it! Both your financial investment and your health are depending on that, too. So, let’s tackle it head-on and get back to relaxing, okay?
How often should you change the hot tub water?
The standard, fast answer is that you should change your hot water (as in, completely drain and refill fresh) approximately every 3 months of use. However, this number is going to be a little different for each hot tub, because there are a few factors that go into how that approximate number is calculated!
Factors that impact the timing
The first two items of the list below are going to be used to help you figure out the actual timing. The third item is more about your own comfort and sanitation practices!
What a lot of people do is turn this into a simple math equation to take the guesswork out of it. This math equation would be: the hot tub volume divided by 3 and then divided by the amount of people in your tub. This will give you a number of days. So, every time that number of days goes by, change your water.
The importance of changing your hot tub water
Let’s say you get the math done and the final answer is 20. But, you don’t feel like changing your tub water every 20 days. Well, technically you don’t have to. But, you’ll soon get filmy, smelly and foamy water. Not only is it uninviting, it’s also asking for trouble when it comes to bacteria and germs.
It also puts a lot more work on your system and can create buildup in your pipes and filter. This means more repairs and leaks.
Sure, it takes time and effort to drain and refill your hot tub, but it will be worthwhile when you can enjoy fresh, healthy water that is going to truly bubble away your troubles and concerns.
Realistically, hot tubs can take a lot of effort to care for properly, even if they are worth it. One of those questions that often comes up with recent buyers of hot tubs is how to get the water out of the bottom of the hot tub itself. There’s always that little bit left over and you’re looking at how to get it out since you can’t exactly just tip it over and manually drain it, right? Here are some tips!
Real tips for getting the water out of the bottom of your hot tub
These are some of the “tried and tested” approaches for getting the bottom of your hot tub emptied without getting stressed or frustrated in the process:
One of the cool features about all of these is that they’re pretty much all low-tech. No gadgets or gizmos needed here, just simple, straight-forward tools to do all of the heavy lifting! You have to admit that sticking a towel to the end of a stick is kind of funny, right?
Sure, it’d be nice if hot tubs were designed to pour out every single last drop from every little crevice of your tub, but that’s not likely. When you need manual help for the dregs at the bottom, any and all of these options are going to keep the manual labour to the minimum while still giving you effective draining tips for your hot tub, even if it’s irregularly shaped.