Hot Tub Setup – A Start-up Guide for New Spa Owners

You’ve chosen the hot tub placement site, your spa has arrived, and you’re ready to start using it! The great news is, once your spa is in its final location, initial start-up is easy. I’ve put together the steps to make setting up your hot tub a breeze. You’ll be relaxing in your spa in no time!


Before proceeding, you’ll want to make sure you’ve read your owners manual. This information will help you get an idea of how your spa works and prevent any mishaps or damage to your new tub.


(240V spas will need to be hooked up by a licensed electrician.)

Prepare Your Spa for Fill Up

Make sure all electrical power to the equipment at the circuit breaker is turned off, as you will need to access the spa equipment inside the cabinet.

Inside your spa cabinet:

  • Make sure your gate valves are open, this will allow water to flow through the pump, heater, and into your spa.
  • Double check that your drain valve is closed or you will end up with watery mess around your tub.

Next, clean the interior of your new spa with a suitable mild, non-foaming, non-abrasive cleanser.


Q: “Wont I need to rinse the spa of any cleaners before filling it?”

A: Many spa cleaning products such as CleanAll are earth friendly & biodegradable, containing nothing that will harm you or your spa if left in the water. These cleaners are very mild and will be nearly completely diluted when you add the water to your tub.

*Common household cleaners should be avoided as they can cause damage to the spa shell, foaming problems and alter pH balance.

Now it’s Time to Fill Your Spa!

Tip: Before filling, be sure that your filter cartridge is installed. This will ensure that your new spa water is being properly filtered from start-up.

The best way to fill your spa is with a garden hose placed over the filter area (which will help to prevent an air lock). A good option is to use a hose end filter, which will reduce the amount of impurities such as iron, lead, and other contaminants that could make it into your tub. Be sure that your spa is filled to the water level specified in the owner’s manual. Low water levels can cause damage to the pump and heater element.

After your tub has been filled with water, it is a good idea to re-open the equipment door on your spa cabinet and check for any leaks around the fittings. If you do detect any small leaks around any of the union fittings, you will want to make sure to hand-tighten them right away.

“With new components, hand tightening should be ample to make sure the fitting is sealed tightly. Using a wrench could easily crack the nut and cause the leak to worsen.”

– Mark, Hot Tub Expert

Power up!

Once you’ve checked all fittings and made sure no leaks are occurring, you can replace the cabinet door and turn the power back on at the circuit breaker.

Review your owner’s manual on how to operate your new spas controls.


*Hot tubs can take approximately 7-24 hours to heat, depending on its size and other factors such as outside temperature.

Check the functionality of all the components such as buttons on the topside control panel and jets to make sure water is flowing.

Choose Your Sanitizer System

  • Cleanwater Blue System

Cleanwater Blue is an easy-to-use, healthy alternative mineral water purifier in liquid form. One bottle lasts 4-6 months. Cleanwater Blue is odorless and will not cause red eyes or skin irritation. This sanitizing system frees you from the chore of frequent maintenance, as it requires testing and dosage only twice a month.

  • Bromine System

Brominating Tablets provide excellent sanitizing for spas and hot tubs, without nearly the odor of chlorine. Bromine tablets are slow-dissolving for optimal use in warmer water. These tablets are placed in a floating dispenser which releases a metered amount of sanitizer into your spa as the water circulates.

  • Nature2 System

The Nature2 spa purifier fits inside your spa filter cartridge. The unit sanitizes by releasing a small amount of minerals into the hot tub water during circulation and lasts for 4 months. If used with Oxy-Spa or Dichlor granular chlorine, Nature2 is an odorless system.


If you are still unsure of which sanitizer you would like to use, visiting this page in our Spacyclopedia may be of help:

Get All Your Start-Up Essentials

Rather than buying all the products needed for your spa setup separately (which can become costly), the best way to get all of your supplies for a lower price is to buy a Pro Supplies Kit. This will equip you with all of the essential products to get your spa up and running.

Balancing Your Water

Balancing your water before you introduce your sanitizer is important in order to avoid unwanted problems such as cloudiness, discolored or bad smelling water. Keeping your water balanced is crucial to promote long equipment life, and healthy, clean, clear spa water. While taking the time to balance your hot tub water may seem like a tedious task at first, you will soon get the hang of it, and it will become a simple routine.


Using these easy to follow printable instructions, depending on your sanitizing system, will be the simplest way to learn how to balance your water and add your sanitizer system.

Bromine Quick-Start Guide:

Cleanwater Blue Quick-Start Guide:

Nature2 Quick-Start Guide:

Time to Enjoy!

Once your spa has heated and you’ve allowed your chemicals to circulate for at least 30 minutes, it’s time to put on your suit and hop in!

Remember, our Spacyclopedia can provide you with tons of insight and useful information on your new tub.