A Guide to Cleaning and Chemicals
Hot tubs, spas, and swimming pools, if not properly maintained, are prone to harbouring germs. The combination of water, a natural substance with an expiration date, and the continuous entry and exit of bodies can lead to an unsanitary environment. To counter this, chemicals are essential to maintain a clean balance, ensuring both the well-being of users and the longevity of the hot tub. This approach eliminates the need to treat the spa like a giant bathtub, requiring a complete water refill each time it is used.
Where to start?
To start the sanitization process, chlorine or bromine is employed. Anyone familiar with swimming pools is likely acquainted with the distinctive smell of these chemicals.
Chlorine or bromine, in tablet or granule form, is added to the water to effectively eliminate germs and maintain water hygiene.
Chlorine is a fast and effective sanitiser, and its biocidal properties are well-established and proven. The recommended chlorine levels are 3 – 5 mg/l, with specific usage instructions provided in spa manuals and complementary guides.
Bromine granules, with a reaction similar to chlorine, dissolve rapidly and are typically used alongside bromine tablets to enhance readings when necessary. The recommended bromine levels are 4-6 mg/l.
Converting a chlorine spa to bromine is a simple process of adding bromine, while switching from bromine to chlorine requires emptying and refilling the spa, followed by adherence to chlorine instructions.
Tips for Treatment of your Spa Water:
- Never add granules to water when people are bathing.
- Adjust the pH to between 7.0 and 7.6.
- On start-up or commissioning fresh water, use granules to shock dose the water to a minimum of 20ppm with circulation/blowers on and cover(s)s off.
- Test the water with a test kit - You should test regularly and before use or at least once per week. Test strips can be found here or you can purchase a water testing kit here.
- To increase the Total Bromine reading by 1 ppm, add 3g of bromine granules per 1000 litres of water.
- Bromine granules can be added directly to the water with circulation running and the water temperature above 20°C.
- If using a product to shock dose the water - wait for a minimum of 40 minutes before bathing and retest to ensure the readings are in the ideal range.
- The difference between Bromine and Chlorine is that Bromine is more stable at higher temperatures and has less of a potent smell, although commonly the smell of Bromine is harder to wash off the skin after you have bathed in it. Chlorine is still, however, a very reliable way to sanitise your spa water and continues to be popular among spa owners.
Other products that you will need to help keep your spa or hot tub clean include:
- Balancers – granules that help to adjust the pH and mineral balance of the water.
- Clarifiers – to keep your water crystal clear.
- No foam solution – to prevent foam from forming on the water surface.
- Shock cleaners – to boost sanitized levels of the water when needed.
- Filter cleaners- used to remove oils and greases from filter cartridges.
- Testing kits – you will definitely need a pack of test strips for testing the pH balance and chemical levels in the water before you get in so not to irritate your skin.
Always read your manual before getting into your spa or when you are setting it up, as chemicals in too higher dosage can prove harmful and need to be applied correctly.
You should also store them somewhere safe, away from animals and children. Although all of this can seem quite daunting, we think it is all part of the ritual of owning a luxury spa and the setup process is just as exciting as using your hot tub.
For further guidance on spa cleaning and maintenance, our team is readily available to assist or you can read our full maintenance tips here.