Is there a difference between the
various brands of spa chemicals?
no. Some of the chemicals are identical from one brand to
the next. Products that raise or lower pH or total
alkalinity are usually the very same compounds. Look for
the best buys on these. The Spa Depot offers a lower price
and/or larger size for the money. Non-chlorine shock,
potassium peroxymonosulfate or monopersulfate compound
(MPS), is a good example. We sell our 2 pound Oxy-Spa
Non-chlorine MPS Shock for less than some stores charge
for 1 pound! Compare and you will save money.
is the best sanitizer to use?
Bromine (in the
form of tablets) is the sanitizer preferred by most hot tub spa owners
because it is less irritating, less likely to cause
"red eye" and does not have the strong odor of
chlorine. The pool-type chlorine (found in chlorine tablets) is
not suitable for hot tubs. Bromine disinfects as well as chlorine and has
the advantage of evaporating more slowly in hot water. Bromine Tablets 1.5
you are looking for a good odor-free alternative to bromine or
chlorine, we recommend Cleanwater
Blue or Nature
is bromine maintained?
startup of your spa or hot tub, it is recommended to add a
small amount of granular bromine. This establishes an
immediate bromine reserve. The proper bromine level is
then maintained by using bromine tablets in a floating
device, not surprisingly called a "brominator"
or "float". The best brominators are adjustable
for proper dispersion of the sanitizer. Floating Bromine-Chlorine Feeder
is the proper level of bromine or chlorine in spa water?
National Spa and Pool Institute recommend a minimum level
of 2 parts-per-million (PPM), an ideal range of 3-5 PPM,
and a maximum level of 10 PPM of free chlorine or bromine
in spa water.
is sanitizer level measured?
chlorine or bromine easily with test strips. Many spa
owners check their water daily, others find that once a
week is sufficient, especially if bather load is not
excessive and a floating brominator is used.
there an alternative to bromine and chlorine?
Yes. Now there
are great alternative sanitizing systems on the
Blue and Nature2 which contain
no bromine or chlorine. Maintaining water
balance is essential, and regular use of non-chlorine Oxy-Spa
Non-chlorine MPS Shock is recommended when using these
is the purpose of shocking compounds?
the spa water is the process by which suspended organic
matter is oxidized or broken down. This is necessary
because this organic matter is the material on which
bacteria feed. Sanitizing alone does only half of the
process of maintaining clean water. We recommend the
addition of a non-chlorine oxygen-based shocking compound
there a difference between shocking compounds?
There are chlorine producing shocks, and non-chlorine
shock treatments such as our Oxy-Spa
that release oxygen to
breakdown foreign matter. The non-chlorine treatments are
preferred by many because they have no harsh chlorine
odor. There are so-called "buffered" shocks on
the market. These are expensive, and nothing more
than regular shock with a little sodium carbonate
added. Save money by buying our pure monopersulfate
compound, and add your own inexpensive pH
Buffer/Alkalinity Increaser or pH Increase to the spa
water, if necessary.
is the importance of pH?
proper pH level is essential for proper operation of a hot
tub spa, regardless of the sanitizing method used. If the
pH falls too low, resulting in water that is too acidic,
the sanitizer will dissipate rapidly, pipes and motor
seals will corrode, and bathers will notice eye
discomfort. If the pH rises too high, resulting in water
that is too basic or alkaline, damaging scale may form,
water may become cloudy, and eye discomfort may also
is the recommended pH range?
National Spa & Pool Institute recommends a range of
7.2-7.8, with 7.4-7.6 being considered ideal.
there a way to lock pH into balance?
There are now products on the market such as pH Proper
that will lock pH levels, once they are established, into
nearly perfect balance between water changes. This
eliminates the need for constant pH checking and
is pH measured?
recommend using test strips to measure pH. Testing
do I raise my pH level?
level can be raised by the addition of a product
containing sodium carbonate (pH
Increase). This will also
raise the Total Alkalinity. Sodium bicarbonate (pH
Buffer/Alkalinity Increaser) can also be used, but will
have less of an effect on pH.
do I lower my pH level?
level can be lowered by the addition of a product
containing sodium bisulfate
Decrease). Although Muriatic Acid is an excellent pH
reducer, it is not recommended because its fumes and skin burning
Magic is a Muriatic Acid replacement which is very
effective in lowering pH and TA, but is much safer. It will
not burn skin and has virtually no fuming.
is the importance of total alkalinity?
the proper range of total alkalinity will prevent wild
fluctuations in pH, will reduce the tendency toward
corrosion of pipes and fixtures, and will reduce the scale
forming potential of the spa water.
is the recommended total alkalinity level?
National Spa & Pool Institute recommends a range of 60
to 180 parts-per-million (PPM) with an ideal range of
80-100 PPM. Generally speaking, between 80-120 PPM
is total alkalinity measured?
measure total alkalinity with test strips. Testing
can I raise my total alkalinity level?
total alkalinity level can be raised by the addition of a
product containing sodium bicarbonate (pH
Buffer/Alkalinity Increaser). This compound will normally
bring up low pH into the acceptable range.
is the recommended calcium hardness of spa water?
National Spa & Pool Institute recommends an ideal
range of 200-400 parts-per-million (PPM) with a minimum
level of 150 PPM, and a maximum of 500-1000+.
can I measure calcium hardness?
hardness can be measured using Hardness Test Strips.
can I increase the calcium hardness of my water?
calcium increaser containing calcium chloride to boost
calcium levels that are too low. Note: calcium increasers
should not be used when using a pH locking product.
there a way to prevent algae formation?
Regular shock treatment and maintaining sanitizer to
proper levels will help greatly. If algae persists, add a
spa algaecide. Keep you spa at normal operating
temperature at all times to minimize the possibility of
algae formation, as it does not thrive as well in hot
is the cause of cloudy water?
water can be caused by pH that is too high, but the most
common cause is excessive contaminants in the water. Make
sure your filter is clean and in good condition. Add a
water clarifier is best?
are two basic types of clarifiers recommended: flocculants
that actually coagulate foreign matter so it can be more
easily trapped by the filter media, and enzyme scum
digesters which break-down oils and lotion residues which
can cloud hot tub spa water.
causes the musty odor I detect when I open my spa cover?
A common cause
is mold or mildew growth on the inside of the spa cover
itself. These organisms grow here because they don't come
in contact with the sanitizer. Condensation forms on the
inside ceiling of the cover, then rains
back down into the spa water, contaminating it as well.
The remedy is simple: clean the inside of your cover at
least once a month (Clean All spray is perfect for this)
and apply a cover protectant (303
Protectant) to help
prevent re-growth of mold.
flakes occasionally collect on the bottom of my spa. What
causes them, and how can I get them out?
These are most
likely calcium scale deposits which have formed on heater
parts, and then flaked off. The easiest way to remove them
from your spa is to vacuum them out... the Shake-a-Vac Spa & Pool Water Vac
very effective for this. Remember to keep your water
balanced (TA & pH). This will help prevent future
adjusted my TA, and it is correct, but now the pH is too
high. How can I lower pH without making my TA too
simple spa chemistry balance -- think of a three legged
stool. One leg of the stool is Total Alkalinity (TA), one
is pH, and one is sanitizer. Each leg must be even, or the
whole stool topples over. When balancing spa water, always
start with Alkalinity, then pH, and then sanitizer.
In your unusual case, try this: Purposely raise your
Total Alkalinity 20-30 ppm too high, then lower the
pH by adding sodium bisulfate pH Decrease - pH & TA Reducer 1 lb.
starting with a high TA, you'll find that the two will
likely balance out when you adjust the pH. Remember: if
you cannot get your water to balance perfectly, it is
better to be a little on the high pH and/or TA side, than
too low (corrosion).
use our spa in the summer (at reduced temperature) to
cool-off. Will that adversely affect the water
of tubbers do the same, and it's perfectly OK to enjoy
your soak at a lower temperature. Keep your water in
balance, and it should be fine. If you have kids,
remember, a hot tub is not a small swimming pool. If
they use it as a play pool, with frequent trips in and out
(as most kids will do) you will have to change your water
can be done about the harsh, choking fumes my spa emits
when I operate the air jets?
It is important
to let your spa breathe. When opening the cover, be
careful not to take in a lung-full of trapped gasses (from
ozonator, chlorine, or bromine) which have accumulated
there over time. Let it air-out. Make sure to keep
your water pH and TA balanced, and sanitizer at proper
level. Prior to each use, run the jets for a few
minutes with the cover open. This will release some of the
dissolved gasses in the water.
chloramines can also be a cause. To remedy,
shock or superchlorinate the water with Granular
Dichlor. If the problem persists, consider switching
to an odor free alternative purifier system like Cleanwater
Blue or Nature2.
bromine level got way too high. How can I lower it?
Whether bromine or chlorine the easiest, fastest,
and cheapest way to reduce an excessively high level is
simply to drain a portion of the water, and replace it
with fresh. You may need to re-balance your TA &
pH after adding water.
can I find conversion tables for tablespoons to ounces?
find the answer to that question, and many more weight,
measure, and electrical conversions on our Conversions
What can be done to prevent dry skin from spa usage?
an excellent product, Velvet Touch from Leisure
Time which will help to eliminate dry skin
conditions. Simply add Velvet Touch Moisturizer
to the water prior to use. Its soothing
conditioners, including Aloe Vera, do wonders for the
skin. If you are using Bromine or Chlorine as your
sanitizer, you may wish to consider an alternative which is more
gentle to the skin:
My water immediately turned green. What is going on?
colored water problems result from the presence of
metallic impurities such as iron (rusty color), copper
(green) or other minerals (black, brown, etc). These
discolorations may be present in the source water, or can
be the result of the acidic action of water with low pH
on: pipes, metal heater parts, and equipment.
Prevent and correct this condition by using Metal
Free water discoloration control and by keeping spa water in balance.
How can I prevent the formation of oily scum on the spa water?
oil scum absorber will wick-up many times its weight in
body oils and lotion residues from your hot tub spa.
Use the ZorbO in conjunction with a good
scum digester such as Scum Buster or
After recently using a hot tub I got some small reddish bumps under the skin. What would cause this?
Check for symptoms of Hot Tub
Folliculitis (Pseudomonas). Read more about the symptoms, as
well as hot tub decontamination and prevention: Spa
Microbiology 101. Contact your health care provider if
you have symptoms.
What caused my gold jewelry
to turn color after handling spa chemicals?
Although pure 24k gold will not tarnish, gold alloys of lesser gold content, particularly lower-quality jewelry below 14k, is susceptible to corrosion from exposure to various chemicals including: chlorine, bromine, household bleach and even those found in perspiration. When handling chemicals, avoid contact with your jewelry, and if contact occurs, be sure to promptly rinse with clean water.