Spring Cleaning Methods for Your Hot Tub or Swim Spas

Spring is approaching and so is the better weather, which means that it is time wake your hot tub from its winter hibernation and do some good ole hot tub maintenance. Performing a spring cleaning on your hot tub is essential to maintain water quality, ensure proper functioning of equipment and control, and, most importantly, to ensure a long lifespan for your hot tub. Here’s a step-by-step guide to Spring cleaning your hot tub or swim spa.

  1. Drain the Water: The first step is to turn off the power to the hot tub and do your best to completely drain all the water. Use a sump pump for fast draining (~15 minutes) or simply use the built-in drain on the hot tub (~60 minutes) using a garden hose to direct the water to a good place for runoff. Keep in mind that before you drain it is also good practice to use a purge product that can be added to the hot tub just before draining. These products typically sit in the water for 15-30 minutes with the jets running to help scrub deposits off of the interior plumbing lines before draining.
  2. Clean the Shell: Use a mild non-abrasive, non-foaming, and non-toxic cleaner or a solution of water and vinegar to clean the interior shell of the hot tub or swim spa. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners that can damage the surface.
  3. Clean the Jets: Remove any debris or buildup from the jets using a specialized jet cleaner tool or a small soft brush. This may require you to remove the jets and put them back in. You may need to use a pipe cleaner to clean out any blocked jets. Be careful when cleaning jets so they don’t get damaged.
  4. Clean the Filters: Remove the filter(s) from the hot tub and rinse them thoroughly with a garden hose with a pressure tip to remove any debris. Try to rotate the filters as you spray them and spray between the pleats in an up and down fashion to dislodge dirt and debris that may be trapped. For a deeper clean, soak the filters in a solution of water and filter cleaner according to your hot tub manufacturer’s instructions. First do need to be replaced every 12-24 months depenidng on usage so if you are due for new filters, you can easily get them online or thru a supplier like Wellis Spa.
  5. Inspect and Clean the Vinyl Cover: Inspect the hot tub cover for any signs of damage, such as tears or mildew. Clean the cover with a mild soap solution (like Simple Green) and rinse it thoroughly. If you’re cover is starting to feel extremely heavy then it might be time to get it replaced as covers can become waterlogged around the 4-6 year mark and can both lose their insulation value and become a burden to open and close.
  6. Check and Clean the Plumbing: Inspect the plumbing for any signs of damage or leaks. We recommend removing your access panel to do this so you can see all of your equipment. An obvious sign of leaks can be indicated by unusual water loss and the need to continually top off the hot tub. Another indication is if you see small pools of water on the ground near the hot tub.
  7. Refill the Hot Tub: Once everything is cleaned and inspected, refill the hot tub with fresh water. Use a hose filter or pre-filter attachment to remove impurities from the water as you fill the tub. You can get a prefilter online or from almost any hot tub store. Prefilters are especially important if you are on well water. If you have good water pressure a standard hot tub takes about 45-60 minutes to refill.
  8. Balance the Water Chemistry: Test the water using a reliable test kit or test strips and adjust the pH, alkalinity, calcium, and sanitizer levels as needed to ensure the water is balanced and safe for use. Follow your hot tub manufacturer’s recommendations for adding chemicals.
  9. Run the System: Turn the power back on and run the hot tub system for at least 30 minutes to circulate the water and ensure the chemicals are properly distributed. It is important to run the test before using the hot tub.
  10. Regular Maintenance: Establish a regular maintenance schedule for your hot tub, including routine cleaning, water testing, and filter cleaning/replacement, to keep it in good working condition throughout the year.

For regular chemical dosing, you can use W.I.S. (made by Wellis) , which routinely checks the condition of the hot tub water chemistry. All other inspections are due weekly or monthly, and a comprehensive inspection at the end of the season is recommended. If you need help, contact an expert near you.

For more information on how to shop and compare hot tubs before purchasing please visit our hot tub buyer’s guide pages. You can also click on the pink boxes at the top right of every page to get a free local quotes from dealers in your area. Or, click our “Spa Buyer’s Consult” link above to get one-on-one expert advice on how to shop around for the best hot tubs available in your area.

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