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Essential Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist: Expert Tips

Welcome to the world of hot tub ownership! There’s nothing quite like sinking into a warm, bubbling oasis after a long day. But before you can fully embrace the relaxation and rejuvenation that your hot tub provides, it’s essential to understand the importance of regular hot tub maintenance and having a checklist to do that.

Taking care of your hot tub not only keeps it clean and functioning properly but also ensures your safety and extends its lifespan.

Ready to Spend Less Time On Maintenance and More Time Enjoying Your Hot Tub?

Let’s face it. Balancing the water, cleaning filters, dealing with rashes, and trying to figure out which chemicals to buy and add can make you feel more like a chemist than someone who just wants to relax after a long hard day!

That’s exactly why The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course is so valuable!

This is from Matt over at Swim University and he developed it for people looking to save money, time, and frustration. His tips on chemicals can save you $100/year just by making sure you buy only what you need.

So if you’re ready to stop being confused or frustrated with your hot tub and start spending more time in it, check out The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course.

Just click that link to learn more on their website.

drain with pump 1

Importance of regular maintenance for hot tubs

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your hot tub in pristine condition. Imagine soaking in cloudy water or dealing with malfunctioning jets – not exactly the experience you had in mind when you invested in this personal paradise! By following a consistent maintenance routine, you’ll prevent such issues from arising.

Maintenance helps maintain ideal water quality, ensuring that it remains crystal clear and free of harmful bacteria or contaminants. It also keeps your equipment running smoothly, preventing costly repairs and extending the life of your hot tub components.

Furthermore, regular maintenance enhances the overall efficiency of your system, reducing energy consumption and saving you money on utility bills. Plus, by taking care of your investment diligently, you’ll be able to enjoy countless hours of luxurious relaxation without any unexpected interruptions.

Benefits of following a maintenance checklist

A comprehensive maintenance checklist acts as an indispensable guide on your journey towards maintaining a clean and well-functioning hot tub. It provides structure and ensures that no crucial steps are overlooked in caring for your beloved oasis.

By adhering to a checklist, you establish consistency in maintaining chemical balance within the water – such as pH levels and sanitizer quantity – which is crucial for both optimal performance and user safety. A checklist also prompts you to regularly inspect various components like filters, covers, jets, valves, and hinges, preventing any potential issues from escalating.

Moreover, following a maintenance checklist saves you time and effort by streamlining your routine. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the multiple tasks involved in hot tub care, a checklist helps you break down the necessary actions into manageable steps.

This way, you can ensure that each aspect receives the attention it deserves without feeling like you’re drowning in an endless sea of responsibilities. So, jump on board with regular hot tub maintenance and embrace the benefits it brings – from clean water to smooth functionality – all while enjoying those blissful moments of relaxation!

Basic Daily Hot Tub Maintenance Tasks

Checking Water Temperature and pH Levels

One of the essential daily tasks in maintaining your hot tub is to check the water temperature and pH levels. Start by using a reliable water thermometer to ensure that the temperature is within the optimal range, usually between 100°F and 104°F (37°C and 40°C). Maintaining the proper temperature ensures a pleasant and comfortable experience while soaking in your hot tub.

Additionally, it’s crucial to check the pH levels using test strips or a liquid test kit. The ideal pH range is between 7.2 and 7.8, as this promotes effective sanitization while preventing any discomfort for your skin or eyes.

Testing Sanitizer Levels and Adjusting as Needed

Ensuring that the sanitizer levels in your hot tub are adequate is vital for maintaining clean and safe water. Test strips or test kits can be used to measure sanitizer levels such as chlorine or bromine. These sanitizers help eliminate harmful bacteria, algae, and other contaminants that can thrive in warm water environments.

Ideally, chlorine levels should be between 1-3 parts per million (ppm), while bromine should be kept between 3-5 ppm. If the sanitizer levels are too low, you can adjust them by adding appropriate sanitizer chemicals recommended by your hot tub manufacturer.

Skimming the Surface for Debris

To keep your hot tub water crystal clear, it’s important to skim its surface regularly for debris such as leaves, insects, or any other foreign objects that may have found their way into the water. Using a skimmer net with a long handle will allow you to reach all areas of the hot tub easily.

Simply run the net across the surface of the water to collect any visible debris floating on top. Removing debris promptly not only enhances visual appeal but also prevents clogging of filters and circulation systems, maintaining the overall cleanliness of your hot tub.

Weekly Hot Tub Maintenance Tasks

Shocking the water to eliminate bacteria and contaminants

Shocking refers to adding chemicals that eliminate bacteria, algae, and other contaminants that may have accumulated over time. It helps maintain optimal sanitation levels for bathing.

To perform this task, ensure that all bathers are out of the hot tub and turn off all air induction valves before proceeding. Follow instructions provided by your specific sanitizer manufacturer carefully regarding dosage and timing when applying shock treatment chemicals directly into your spa water.

Remember to let the chemicals circulate for at least 15 minutes before using your hot tub again so that they can effectively eliminate any contaminants present. It is worth noting that different sanitizers may have varying shock treatment requirements, so be sure to consult the instructions of the product you are using.

Scrubbing the interior surfaces above the water with a non-abrasive cleaner

Over time, oils, lotions, and minerals from the water can accumulate on the walls and seats of your hot tub, leading to unsightly residue or even staining.

To tackle this task effectively, use a non-abrasive cleaner specifically formulated for hot tubs. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers as they can damage the surface of your hot tub.

Start by emptying your hot tub and ensuring it is free from any debris. Apply the cleaner directly onto a soft sponge or cloth and gently scrub all areas of the interior surface, including walls, seats, and jets.

Pay extra attention to areas that are prone to buildup such as waterline scum or scale deposits. Rinse thoroughly with clean water after cleaning to remove any remaining residues.

It’s important to note that regular cleaning will not only keep your hot tub looking pristine but also prevent potential health hazards caused by bacterial growth in neglected areas. By following these weekly maintenance tasks diligently, you can ensure that your hot tub remains in optimal condition while providing you with pure relaxation and enjoyment every time you take a dip.

Monthly Hot Tub Maintenance Tasks

Cleaning the filter

The filter plays a crucial role in keeping the water clear and free of debris.

To clean the filter, start by turning off the power to the hot tub. Remove the filter cartridge from its housing and rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose to remove any loose dirt or debris.

I do this every 3-4 weeks.

If there are stubborn particles stuck in the folds, you can use a soft brush to gently scrub them away. For a deeper clean, soak the filter overnight in a solution of water and a specialized filter cleaner.

Rinse it thoroughly once again before placing it back into its housing. 

Inspecting and Cleaning the Cover, Removing Any Mold or Mildew Buildup

The cover of your hot tub plays a crucial role in maintaining heat retention while keeping debris out when not in use. However, it can also become a breeding ground for mold or mildew if not properly maintained. To start inspecting your cover, carefully remove it from your hot tub and lay it flat on a clean surface.

Look closely for any signs of mold or mildew growth on both sides of the cover—not only on top but also underneath where moisture tends to accumulate. If you notice any unsightly spots or discoloration caused by mold or mildew, take action immediately!

Mix a solution of one part chlorine bleach with three parts warm water in a bucket. Use a soft-bristled brush dipped in this solution to gently scrub away any visible mold or mildew spots on all surfaces of your cover.

Seasonal Maintenance Tasks for Hot Tubs

Draining and Refilling the Hot Tub Water Completely – every 3 months

About every 3 months, it’s essential to drain and refill the water in your hot tub to maintain its cleanliness and prevent any buildup of impurities. Start by turning off the power supply to your hot tub to ensure safety. Locate the drain valve, usually positioned at the bottom of the tub, and attach a garden hose securely.

Open the valve and let gravity do its job as the water starts flowing out. While draining, take this opportunity to rinse off any residual dirt or debris from the interior surfaces using a gentle cleaner suitable for hot tubs.

Once all the water is drained, close the drain valve tightly, remove the hose, and proceed with refilling your hot tub using a clean water source. Be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines for recommended water level.

Alternately, use a submersible pump like this one on Amazon to drain yours in about 15 minutes.

Deep Cleaning the filter and replacing it if necessary

To deep clean the filter(s), remove them and place them in a 5-gallon bucket.

Fill the bucket with hot water and about a cup of Spa Depot Power Soak filter cleaner from Amazon. Then just let it sit for 1 hour. When done, rinse them thoroughly and put them back in the hot tub.

I do this every 3 months.

If you opt to use cold water, just know the soak time will be 24 hours and in that case, you should have a backup set of filters to use so it’s not going that long without any filters.

In some cases, no matter how much you clean or soak your filter, it may become clogged or worn out over time.

If you notice that even after cleaning, your hot tub water remains cloudy or has poor circulation, it might be time to replace your filter altogether. Consult your hot tub’s manual or contact the manufacturer for specific instructions on how to properly replace your particular model’s filters.

Winterizing your hot tub to protect it from freezing temperatures

Winterizing your hot tub ensures that it remains intact and ready to be enjoyed when the frosty grip finally loosens its hold. By taking a few simple steps, you can shield your oasis from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures.

That being said unless you don’t plan to use it, get frequent power outages, and also get temperatures WELL below freezing, you may not find this necessary. I have never winterized any of the 4 hot tubs I have owned.

1) Draining all water from pipes, pumps, and heaters

To accomplish this feat, start by disconnecting the power and turning off all circuit breakers associated with your hot tub. Next, locate the drain valve or plug and attach a garden hose for efficient drainage.

Allow gravity to work its magic as you watch mesmerized while every ounce of water makes its way out. Ensure that no residual moisture is left behind by tilting the hot tub slightly in different directions.

2) Adding antifreeze to prevent damage

Carefully select an appropriate non-toxic antifreeze formulated specifically for hot tub use. Begin by pouring this magical elixir into each jet port until you observe a small pool forming at their base.

Remember not to substitute automotive antifreeze as it may contain harmful additives or chemicals unsuitable for soaking purposes. This step ensures that any remaining trapped water within hidden crevices is protected from freezing and causing costly damage to your hot tub.

3) Covering the hot tub securely with a thermal blanket or tarp

Use a thermal blanket, specifically designed to retain heat and prevent cold air from seeping in. This layer of insulation acts as an extra shield against sub-zero temperatures, keeping your hot tub safe from harm.

For added protection, consider securing the cover with bungee cords or straps to prevent any gusty winds from removing its cozy armor. With this final step, you can confidently face the winter knowing that your hot tub is safeguarded against nature’s harshest elements.

Remember that proper winterization techniques may vary depending on your specific hot tub model and manufacturer guidelines. Always consult your owner’s manual for detailed instructions tailored to your oasis.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Hot Tubs

Hot tubs can occasionally experience common issues that can be easily resolved with a little troubleshooting. In this section, we will discuss three common problems and provide you with practical solutions.

Cloudy or Foamy Water: Causes and Solutions

If you notice that your hot tub water appears cloudy or foamy, don’t panic. This issue is quite common and typically caused by poor water chemistry or insufficient filtration.

The first step is to test the water’s pH level using a testing kit. If the pH is off-balance, adjust it by adding the appropriate chemicals as recommended by the manufacturer.

Make sure to also check the sanitizer levels, as low levels can contribute to cloudy water. Additionally, ensure that your filter is clean and properly functioning; regular cleaning or replacement may be necessary if it is clogged.

Low Sanitizer Levels: Tips for Maintaining Proper Balance

Maintaining proper sanitizer levels in your hot tub is crucial for keeping the water safe and free from harmful bacteria. If you find that your sanitizer levels are consistently low, there are a few steps you can take to rectify the situation. Firstly, check whether your sanitizer dispenser is clogged; if so, clean it thoroughly to ensure proper distribution of sanitizing agents.

Secondly, consider adjusting your daily maintenance routine by increasing the frequency of adding sanitizing chemicals. Remember to keep an eye on bather load; heavy usage may require more frequent chemical additions to maintain adequate sanitizer levels.

Noisy Jets or Malfunctioning Controls: Troubleshooting Steps

Noisy jets or malfunctioning controls can be frustrating when trying to relax in your hot tub oasis. To troubleshoot noisy jets, start by checking for any obstructions such as debris or mineral buildup that might be blocking the water flow. Clean the jets thoroughly, and if the problem persists, inspect the pump for any mechanical issues or contact a professional for assistance.

As for malfunctioning controls, ensure that they are properly connected and not damaged. If you suspect an electrical issue, it’s recommended that you consult with a qualified electrician to address any potential safety concerns.

Advanced Maintenance Tips for Hot Tubs

Do a biofilm cleanout

Biofilm is comprised of layers of microorganisms that can accumulate in hot tubs. Cleaning them out is critical, and here’s a quick guide to doing it right using the Oh Yuk! Healthy Hot Tub Cleaner I get on Amazon:

Steps for a thorough biofilm cleanout:

  1. Before draining, add the recommended dose of Oh Yuk! cleaner to your hot tub water (always consult the product’s label).
  2. Activate the jets, allowing the cleaner to circulate throughout the system.
  3. Every 15 minutes, as most jets time out, restart them. Continue this for an hour.
  4. After an hour, drain the tub.
  5. Give it a brief rinse and wipe down the shell to remove any lingering residue.
  6. Refill with fresh water.

By following these steps every three months, you ensure a cleaner, more hygienic hot tub experience. Don’t let biofilms ruin the fun—stay proactive with your cleanout routine!

Balancing Total Alkalinity Levels for Optimal Performance

Maintaining proper total alkalinity levels is essential for ensuring that your hot tub functions efficiently and provides a comfortable experience every time you soak in it. Total alkalinity refers to the ability of water to resist changes in pH levels.

If this balance is off, it can lead to various problems like pH fluctuations, corroded equipment, or cloudy water. To balance total alkalinity levels effectively, you should use a test kit specifically designed for hot tubs.

If needed, you can adjust total alkalinity by adding either an alkalinity increaser or decreaser agent based on your test results. Regularly testing and adjusting these levels will help ensure that your hot tub remains in top condition.

Safety Considerations in Hot Tub Maintenance

Electrical Safety Precautions

When it comes to hot tub maintenance, ensuring electrical safety is of utmost importance. Before performing any maintenance tasks, always disconnect the power supply to the hot tub.

This can be done by turning off the circuit breaker specifically dedicated to the tub. This is usually a disconnect box located just a few feet from the hot tub. If you don’t have one, just cut the breakers to the hot tub on the main breaker panel.

It is crucial to avoid any contact with electrical components while the power is still connected, as this can lead to electrocution.

Additionally, regular inspection of wires and cables for any signs of wear or damage is essential. If you notice any frayed or exposed wires, it is best to call a professional electrician for repairs.


Maintaining a hot tub properly not only extends its lifespan but also ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for all users.

By following a comprehensive maintenance checklist that includes basic daily tasks, weekly and monthly checks, seasonal preparations, troubleshooting common issues, and adhering to necessary safety precautions such as electrical safety measures, you can keep your hot tub in optimal condition year-round.

So dive into your well-maintained hot tub with confidence, knowing that relaxation awaits you in a clean and safe oasis of bubbling bliss!

Ready to Spend Less Time On Maintenance and More Time Enjoying Your Hot Tub?

Let’s face it. Balancing the water, cleaning filters, dealing with rashes, and trying to figure out which chemicals to buy and add can make you feel more like a chemist than someone who just wants to relax after a long hard day!

That’s exactly why The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course is so valuable!

This is from Matt over at Swim University and he developed it for people looking to save money, time, and frustration. His tips on chemicals can save you $100/year just by making sure you buy only what you need.

So if you’re ready to stop being confused or frustrated with your hot tub and start spending more time in it, check out The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course.

Just click that link to learn more on their website.

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Jeff Campbell