Water care is the treatment of your spa water’s chemistry to allow adequate function of the spa and to ensure sanitary, comfortable water in your hot tub. At Ohio Pools & Spas we understand that water care can be seen as a complex and stressful task, which is why we strive to make things simple and easy with some of the hot tub water care terminology for you:
Your sanitizer is what keeps your spa clean, and destroys microorganisms that can irritate skin, make you sick, give the water an unpleasant appearance, or create a buildup of organic material. Luckily, there are many systems you can use if you have an allergy or irritation to a more common sanitization system (ex: Chlorine). Whether you choose to run on chlorine, bromine, salt or a less common sanitizer system, we want to ensure you that this is an important part of spa water chemistry. Ideal range varies between each system, and ideal dosage varies between each spa.
Spa shock (usually monopersulfate) is a chemical that aids in sanitization by oxidizing (binding oxygen molecules) to contaminants. This will also destroy organic toxins that are present in the water. Shock also maximizes chlorine availability. When chlorine binds itself to contaminants or other chemicals, it becomes ineffective. Shock will raise your available chlorine count by releasing the bonded chlorine. Ideal range varies between each system, and ideal dosage varies between each spa. Alkalinity Alkalinity is the total count of alkaline materials in your water to neutralize the naturally acidic contents that may be present in your hot tub water. This helps keep your pH level steady. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is used to add an alkaline content to the water that will raise your total alkalinity. Alkalinity increases will stay in your hot tub for a longer amount of time than the chemical in pH. The Alkalinity should be kept at 80-120 ppm.
pH is the scale that measures if a chemical is acidic, alkaline or neutral. The total alkalinity has a direct effect on the pH scale, if the alkalinity and pH are both out of range, the total alkalinity should be adjusted. To ensure comfortability and protection to the health of your skin, it is important to keep the pH level at 7.2 to 7.6 on the pH scale. The lower end below 7.2 is considered acidic, acids irritate skin. pH level higher than 7.6 could corrode skin. It is important to not have your water too acidic if you don’t want to experience itching or burning sensations, and faster depletion of spa chemicals. Low pH indicates the waters acidity is closer to the acidity of lemon juice than it should be. High pH will also irritate skin, and indicates the water is more “alkaline”. The water would be slippery to touch, and closer to the alkalinity of a chemical like ammonia (chemical found in Windex™) and will lower the effectiveness of other spa chemicals. It is important to keep this factor within range to insure comfortability, chemical efficiency, and healthy skin.
The calcium (otherwise referred to as hardness or calcium hardness) should be within a certain range to maximize chemical efficiency. Calcium does not leave the water once it is added. If calcium is within the range of 150-400 ppm, it will balance water’s chemistry. Additionally, calcium should not be too high, as it will create calcium scales in the water which will build up on the surface of your hot tub. There are methods to add calcium to the water, as well as products to filter it out. However, there is no chemical that will directly lower calcium.
In the winter months, it is important to keep the water in the tub from freezing, unless you choose to winterize your tub. If the water within the piping or spa compartments freezes, it can crack the tubes or appliances within the hot tub.
Be sure to speak to an Ohio Pools & Spas associate and have a free water test done if you are unsure of your spa water quality. We can assist you and provide proper chemicals if needed to make your water clean and healthy again. Eventually, your water will need to be changed due to buildup of chemical and organic residues. We recommend changing your water every 3-6 months.
FILTERS AND PARTS
The filtration is necessary for filtering dirt, debris, microorganisms (algae spores), and oils from the spa. Over time, your filter will build up organic deposits and excess oils and will eventually need to be cleaned. It is recommended to clean your filter cartridges to maximize their life span and to ensure filtration of the spa water. Standard filters can be rinsed down periodically and making sure to thoroughly go between the pleats in hard to reach areas where dirt tends to build up. Also, a chemical called Filter Fresh can be used to help loosen hard to reach debris. However, if you have a Tri-X model ceramic filter (used in Highlife and Highlife NXT Collections), they can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
Circulation in your hot tub is important to help circulate chemicals, bring and pass the water to the heater, and prevent stagnation (bacteria forms easily in stagnation). Heat is one of the main assets in a “hot” tub, or a spa. It raises the blood flow and promotes relaxation and faster nourishment of nutrients through the blood stream. Helping your body relax and rejuvenate and speed up natural processes.
Ohio Pools & Spas is Here for You
If you believe you have any of the above described issues, please do not hesitate to fill out our service request form and we will be happy to assist you. Your relaxation and health is our #1 priority.
by Donald Beck