How do I keep my rental spa clean?

Sjde

Well-known member
Apr 29, 2016
109
Denver CO
#1
Great post-I just found it and it's brought up a lot of questions.

I have had a spa in a vacation rental for 3 years and am trying to figure this out myself , even though we have a person who does it for us since we are 75 miles away. It's tough getting someone who knows what they are doing (based on my testing when I go there after they've balanced it). We've decided to send our cleaner to school for the certification class so she can do it.

We have occasionally had the yellow scum too and we were told it's from oils/lotions.

After reading about Ahh-some here, I bought some after our first year and asked our guy to use it when he emptied. He said it did nothing-almost nothing came out.

We have a bromine spa and started out using MPS. he convinced us to add a bit of dichlor since he was having trouble clearing up the cloudiness.

Ant83-the Pool School chart you posted the link for says it's for pools. Not spas?

If foam can be removed with a skimmer, what are the guidelines for when to use Foam Down?

What are the guidelines for using clarifier? Our guy told us dichlor will usually clear up cloudy water (though I think not immediately).

TIA!
 

joecooler

Active member
Jan 13, 2019
27
Colorado
#3
Since my original post I've gotten much more rigorous about managing my spa. Here are some details, and my answers to your questions below.

1) Like everyone here says, get a test kit - the strips are hard to read and so are hard to get reliable results from. I got the often recommended TF-100; mostly I just use the included Taylor chlorine and pH test but the other tests are good to have especially when refilling the spa w/fresh water, when you'll need to adjust hardness and alkalinity.
2) I started keeping a daily record of what I've done to the spa in terms of use and chemicals, the results of any water tests, and my own observations of clarity and feel of the water. This has helped me a TON in seeing and understanding how the various elements affect water quality.
3) The single biggest thing I've learned is that you absolutely have to keep on top of chlorine and not get lazy about it. I had a lot of problems w/the water getting cloudy every couple of weeks and taking days to clear up. I've come to understand that this was because I wasn't keeping the chlorine at the right level - every time the water clouded up, it was because I got complacent and skipped a day or two of checking, and usually adding, chlorine. Since getting more rigorous about this, I've only had issues, and minor issues at that, when I had a higher than usual bather load, and the problem quickly resolved with an extra hit of chlorine.
4) Good filter care is also important. I didn't realize I was supposed to be rinsing my filters weekly; once I started doing this I have had a lot less issues with the yellow scum from oils and lotions. I also have two sets of filters and swap them on a monthly schedule, and clean the used ones w/Eco Soak from Spa Depot. A couple of times when it seemed like the filters weren't doing the job I did a mid-week rinse, or swapped them early. This has addressed all my yellow scum issues.

We have occasionally had the yellow scum too and we were told it's from oils/lotions.
This is almost certainly correct. I have seen exactly the same thing and after tracking use and when I see the scum, it is pretty clear this is what it comes from.

What are the guidelines for using clarifier? Our guy told us dichlor will usually clear up cloudy water (though I think not immediately).
After some experimentation I'm suspecting that clarifier does little or nothing. I really see no difference between the weekly dose recommended on the label, and not using it at all. Per above, proper chlorination has solvee pretty much all my problems. Focus on this and I suspect you will be fine.

Good luck and have fun!