Neglected Hot Tub

Floatit

Member
Aug 17, 2013
7
I acquired a good condition tub that has been drained for about a year. I notice a funky smell from the tub when empty. I’m thinking of filling it up and running ahh-some in it. I read some where they recommend to super chlorinate it also to kill any bacteria in. Then drain and fill and start fresh.

Does sound about right or do you recommend anything else to do to it?

Thank you!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,703
Evans, Georgia
You might find that after you do the Ahh-some, that you may want to repeat it. Then I would fill the spa up and superchlorinate to 50ppm and after letting that soak a while (30 min? I forget how long I let it soak) then drain that and refill for your soaking pleasure. :party:

Dry seals and gaskets may be a problem... look for leaks on the ground coming from under the spa.

Enjoy!!

Maddie :flower:
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
On many new tubs, it takes a ahhhsome cycle just to loosen up whatever grew in the pipes from factory testing. After it sits for an extended time it may take more. Mine was winterized for a couple years and took 3 cycles to see any gunk expelled. Rounds 4-8 (? It was a while ago) were NASTY.

You don’t have to drain each cycle, just add half as much for the subsequent cycles. Once it starts working, you’ll know when to drain. Lol. I used my pool net to scoop all the floating stuff / foam out and keep the water relatively clean for more cycles.
 

Floatit

Member
Aug 17, 2013
7
You might find that after you do the Ahh-some, that you may want to repeat it. Then I would fill the spa up and superchlorinate to 50ppm and after letting that soak a while (30 min? I forget how long I let it soak) then drain that and refill for your soaking pleasure. :party:

Dry seals and gaskets may be a problem... look for leaks on the ground coming from under the spa.

Enjoy!!

Maddie :flower:
Good point on the seals Thank you!
 

Floatit

Member
Aug 17, 2013
7
On many new tubs, it takes a ahhhsome cycle just to loosen up whatever grew in the pipes from factory testing. After it sits for an extended time it may take more. Mine was winterized for a couple years and took 3 cycles to see any gunk expelled. Rounds 4-8 (? It was a while ago) were NASTY.

You don’t have to drain each cycle, just add half as much for the subsequent cycles. Once it starts working, you’ll know when to drain. Lol. I used my pool net to scoop all the floating stuff / foam out and keep the water relatively clean for more cycles.
Good tip! Thanks
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
Good tip! Thanks
I had long trusted the advice here when I did my hot tub. I happily kept at it until stuff came out. And when it did, they were right. My OH my were they EVER right. :ROFLMAO:

We moved a few years later and inherited an infrequently used whirlpool bathtub, so I was expecting another gunk fest. When nothing happened 5 cycles in, I absolutely trusted that there was no gunk to get after what I saw with my own eyes the first time. The peace of mind was so worth the little effort.
 

Ahhsomeguy

In The Industry
Jul 26, 2016
237
Vero Beach, Florida
What Newdude is saying regarding not having to drain after a “purge cycle” is correct. For very highly contaminated hot tubs or tubs that have been drained for the off season and then refilled for use, you may want to practice a procedure that is highly effective, without using an ocean of water for successive purges. Here is what you do. Let’s base the purge on a typical 400 gallon hot tub. After removing the filter(s), headrests and pillows and placing the filter(s) into the hot tub proper, add 3-4 LEVEL TEASPOONS of Ahh-Some Gel into the FILLED tub. It is ok if the water is not hot. The product is as effective in any temperature water but warm or hot water dissolves the gel faster. Ideally, your hot tub has a residual of a sanitizer in the water at the time of the purge. We want to be sure to kill any organic animate bacteria we will be really ticking off during the purge process. Note also that some filters, especially the pleated paper disposable filters should NOT be placed into the tub while purging. The same thing may be true for ceramic filters (Watkins). Always wear latex gloves and wear eye protection. It is not just for the chemical contact issues but it is for the biofilm issues as well. This released stuff can harbors a wide array of bacteria. Turn the jets on high for 10-15 minutes. You will see foam and this is good. Turn the high speed pump on and off intermittently a few times to possible blow any hanging chads of biofilm from the colonized slimy gunk in the plumbing. WIPE and of the peanut buttery sticky stuff you see around the waterline and especially in the filter housing area where the suction is strongest. The foaming will now go down since the turbulence has subsided. Using the same water that you added the first dose of Ahh-Some to, add 2 more LEVEL TEASPOONS of gel to the tub. Run the high jets for 5-10 minutes. Shut off pumps. Wipe any released sticky colorful gunk with a wet towel. Very important to wipe ALL the gunk you may see at the waterline. Let the hot tub set overnight with the pumps OFF.
No activity at all. Just shut it down. Note: It may be helpful to turn the high pump on periodically for a minute or so during the shutdown. WIPE and new residual sticky gooey stuff that may have been released. Next day, add 1 additional LEVEL TEASPOON to the same water. Run the jets for 5 more minutes. Drain the hot tub using the gravity drain at the hot tub base or hasten the drain by using a submersible pump. Hose and rinse the shell as the water drains to eliminate any sticky stuff. Wipe the shell clean. Add water to the tub always making sure that you place the hose into the skimmer (filter) area. This will eliminate any chance of a “dry fire” in the heating element and allow the pump(s) to pick up a prime without having any air in line issues. Hopefully, your filter(s) are clean and dry so you can place them back into service. So, you have used the same water for 3 purges. We recommend that you NEVER leave a hot tub empty for an extended period of time. We also recommend that you always have adequate sanitizer in the vessel at all times, not just when you are soaking. We strongly recommend that you ditch the test strips and get yourself a reliable test kit. Sorry for the long post but this is important If you want to enjoy the clearest and healthiest hot tub water ever.
 
Last edited:

Floatit

Member
Aug 17, 2013
7
What Newdude is saying regarding not having to drain after a “purge cycle” is correct. For very highly contaminated hot tubs or tubs that have been drained for the off season and then refilled for use, you may want to practice a procedure that is highly effective, without using an ocean of water for successive purges. Here is what you do. Let’s base the purge on a typical 400 gallon hot tub. After removing the filter(s), headrests and pillows and placing the filter(s) into the hot tub proper, add 3-4 LEVEL TEASPOONS of Ahh-Some Gel into the FILLED tub. It is ok if the water is not hot. The product is as effective in any temperature water but warm or hot water dissolves the gel faster. Ideally, your hot tub has a residual of a sanitizer in the water at the time of the purge. We want to be sure to kill any organic animate bacteria we will be really ticking off during the purge process. Note also that some filters, especially the pleated paper disposable filters should NOT be placed into the tub while purging. The same thing may be true for ceramic filters (Watkins). Always wear latex gloves and wear eye protection. It is not just for the chemical contact issues but it is for the biofilm issues as well. This released stuff can harbors a wide array of bacteria. Turn the jets on high for 10-15 minutes. You will see foam and this is good. Turn the high speed pump on and off intermittently a few times to possible blow any hanging chads of biofilm from the colonized slimy gunk in the plumbing. WIPE and of the peanut buttery sticky stuff you see around the waterline and especially in the filter housing area where the suction is strongest. The foaming will now go down since the turbulence has subsided. Using the same water that you added the first dose of Ahh-Some to, add 2 more LEVEL TEASPOONS of gel to the tub. Run the high jets for 5-10 minutes. Shut off pumps. Wipe any released sticky colorful gunk with a wet towel. Very important to wipe ALL the gunk you may see at the waterline. Let the hot tub set overnight with the pumps OFF.
No activity at all. Just shut it down. Note: It may be helpful to turn the high pump on periodically for a minute or so during the shutdown. WIPE and new residual sticky gooey stuff that may have been released. Next day, add 1 additional LEVEL TEASPOON to the same water. Run the jets for 5 more minutes. Drain the hot tub using the gravity drain at the hot tub base or hasten the drain by using a submersible pump. Hose and rinse the shell as the water drains to eliminate any sticky stuff. Wipe the shell clean. Add water to the tub always making sure that you place the hose into the skimmer (filter) area. This will eliminate any chance of a “dry fire” in the heating element and allow the pump(s) to pick up a prime without having any air in line issues. Hopefully, your filter(s) are clean and dry so you can place them back into service. So, you have used the same water for 3 purges. We recommend that you NEVER leave a hot tub empty for an extended period of time. We also recommend that you always have adequate sanitizer in the vessel at all times, not just when you are soaking. We strongly recommend that you ditch the test strips and get yourself a reliable test kit. Sorry for the long post but this is important If you want to enjoy the clearest and healthiest hot tub water ever.
Thank you very much! I don’t mind it being a long post, it’s thorough and makes complete sense! I will definitely do this.
 
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