We’re often asked how hard is it to maintain a hot tub? It’s really not hard at all! All you have to do is have a basic understanding of water chemistry (you can use our water chemistry guide) and have a set schedule to make sure everything is on track. Regular maintenance and upkeep will increase your enjoyment of your hot tub, and help you get the longest life out of the spa and its components, and keep you happily soaking for years.
Here we’ll go over the areas of hot tub maintenance that need regular attention and how to best care for them.
Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule
Our top tip is to get on a schedule. You’ll have checks you want to do weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
• Weekly we suggest checking your water. Your PH and alkalinity are important to make sure your spa stays healthy and you stay healthy while enjoying it! We also think it’s a good idea to give your filters a weekly rinse, just to keep everything running smoothly. You can also use this time to wipe down your hot tub and your cover to make sure everything stays clean!
• Monthly you’ll want to make sure to give your filters a thorough cleaning and make sure all your jets are working.
• Quarterly you’ll want to drain your hot tub and refill it with fresh water. While it’s empty take that opportunity to wipe down the inside of the hot tub. This is also a good time to do your hot tub cover maintenance.
Maintenance of Acrylic Surfaces
The acrylic shell makes up the interior of your hot tub, and is what people sit on when relaxing. It is designed to be dirt and stain resistant, and can be cleaned when needed with warm water and a soft cloth.
Do not use household cleaners or detergents, as they may leave a dulling residue. Never use ammonia, abrasive or citrus-based cleaners as they will damage the acrylic. Further, certain chemicals in those products may react negatively with hot tub water treatment chemicals.
With proper installation and use, the hot tub acrylic should not get scratched or cracked. However, scratches and cracks may be repairable with epoxy or other methods.
Have foam in your hot tub? See this article on how to get rid of hot tub foam!
Cabinet Panel Upkeep
The panels on the sides of your hot tub are essentially maintenance-free and are designed to be water- and weather-resistant. There is no need to paint, wax or seal the spa cabinet panels.
With hot tub use, the cabinet panels may need an occasional gentle cleaning. Rinse it with a water hose using a moderate pressure nozzle. You can also use a soft, damp cloth for more stubborn spots.
Never use a high-pressure hose or abrasive cleaners on the cabinet panels, as they may scar the surface of the cabinet.
Hot Tub Jet Maintenance
Hot tubs jets are easily turned on and off by rotating them. The recommendation is to leave them open, as excessive pressure build up in the plumbing lines can lead to damage. Often, jets of the same size are interchangeable.
Observing proper water treatment programs, filter care and hot tub cleaning schedules is part of maintaining the jets. The jets should be removed and cleaned each time the spa is drained.
If the jets are difficult to rotate, it means they need to be cleaned. With the spa power off, simply rotate the jets until you can pull them out, place them in a bucket of white vinegar overnight and rinse with warm water in the morning.
Soft bristles brushes may be used on the white part of the jet body. Never use a wire brush or steel wool. If the white part of the jet body is damage it will need to be replaced.
Maintaining Spa Lights
The lens cover over the hot tub’s underwater light is permanently installed – do not try to remove it. The lens can be wiped with an eyewear cleaning cloth (to prevent scratching) when the tub is drained.
If the lens’ underside is dirty, remove the cabinet panel and remove the bulb from the underside. Clean the lens with an eyewear cleaning cloth. Be sure the bulb is properly replaced, that the light works and that the lens is securely in place before closing the panel and refilling the tub.
Do not try to clean the back sides of the perimeter lighting lens covers, and contact your local Aqua Living dealer for replacement bulbs.
How often should you change your hot tub water?
We suggest draining and refilling your hot tub water every three to four months depending on how many people use your hot tub and how frequently. Draining and refilling your hot tub gives you fresh water to work with and completely resets your water back to zero so you can work on getting your chemical balances right. Properly balanced water in your hot tub will allow you to use less chemicals and will significantly reduce your maintenance.
Maintenance of Hot Tub Pillows
Hot tub pillows are covered in a water-resistant vinyl. Wipe them off periodically with a non-alcohol-based, non-oil-based vinyl protector to prevent chemical residue and discoloration. Oil-based protectors can cause chemical imbalance and cloudy water.
If the hot tub won’t be used for a prolonged period, remove the pillows from the spa, dry them off and store them.
A puncture in the pillow vinyl exposes the foam inside and means the pillow needs to be replaced. Contact your local Aqua Living dealer for replacement pillows.
Audio/Video System Upkeep
Hot tubs with an audio or video system includes built-in speakers. The subwoofer enclosed on the spa cabinet does not require routine maintenance. Never handle audio or video devices while you are inside the spa or around other water.
Wipe chemical residue from the speaker covers with a soft cloth to prevent discoloration. Clean the built-in audio/video components and docking station compartment with a soft, dry cloth.
Never put any electronic device on the side of the hot tub, and never use headphones in the spa.
Spa Cover Maintenance
There are countless benefits to spa covers and cover lifters. Properly caring for the cover makes the cover last longer and protects the hot tub as well.
Three or four times a year, clean the cover vinyl with a soft sponge and a little mild dish soap diluted in warm water. When it’s dry, wipe the cover with a non-alcohol, non-chlorine-based, oil-free vinyl protector.
Alcohol- and chlorine-based products can damage the UV protective aspects of the vinyl and deteriorate the stitching. Products with oil can compromise the water clarity and chemistry. Any time the hot tub is not in use, put the cover in place with the locking tie downs. Consider adding wind straps to keep an outdoor cover in place during heavy wind; the tie downs aren’t heavy-duty enough on their own.
Remove and replace the hot tub cover using the handles or a lifter. Move heavy snow from the cover with a clean, soft bristle broom.
Never drag the hot tub cover on the ground, and never let people or pets stand on it. While the cover is study, rough ground and heavy loads can degrade its stability.