Hot Tub Basics - Further Reading

Hot Tub Basics

If you are planning on a hot tub here are the steps to get you started.[1]


Concrete Pad

Make sure it is nice and level - and has a larger space than the hot tub footprint especially on the side you will be getting in out from.


The licensed electrician should have all the answers for you as far as Voltage, Panel Size, Wiring etc.


A Saltron Mini can be hung over the side of a hot tub. You have real saltwater, like a swimming pool would have, at about 3000 ppm. For reference the ocean has about 35,000 ppm of salt.

Initial Start Up for new and used spas

  • Fill the tub once - add a product specially made to clean "Gunk" out of the jets and follow the instructions to do a complete purge (I would suggest more than one purge). You can see in this link how this product purges everything out of the plumbing and anywhere else in the Hot Tub.[2]
  • Place the filters in the Hot Tub while purging
  • This would be a good time to make sure you trouble shoot any problems like the "flo" error message. You don't want to have to fill and drain it again to do any equipment repairs.
  • Check for leaks - now is the time to fix those as well.
  • Make sure everything is working correctly, heater, pump, blower, all jets, air valves, light(s) etc...
  • Remove the filter(s) from the Ahhsome tub water - clean out the filter(s) with a hose so that they are extra clean - make sure they do fit correctly.
  • Drain the tub - wipe down the inside surfaces as it drains. I use some bleach water (or some Ahhhsome water in a squirt bottle) and a high pressure hose to make sure the sides are extra clean - I wiped the interior down with a magic eraser last purge as well. Try to get as much of the water out as possible (shop vac or an air compressor on the jets clean out any extra water)
  • Install your now clean filters (or new ones)
  • Fill with new water (I would add a pre-filter if you have well water)
  • Run a full set of tests on your water and adjust water to proper TFP levels - depending on whichever method you will be using - Dichlor+Bleach, Bromine, or a SWCG - Using your TF-100 Test Kit

Balance the Water

What you need to do depends on your tap water chemistry. Here is one members experience:

My steps for balancing my tap water are as follows: (using Pool Math for the exact amounts needed):

  • since my TA is usually 150-170 I first lower the PH to 7.2 with Muriatic Acid
  • add a small amount of bleach to get the FC up to 6ppm
  • add a small amount of CYA in a sock to get to 40ppm
  • Optional - add a small amount of Calcium Chloride to get my water calcium hardness to 250ppm or so (helps prevents foaming in my tub)
  • add the amount of salt to get to 2000ppm - I am currently using "fancy" Himalayan Pink Salt that my wife finds on discount at Marshalls
  • Run the jets on full blast - then after 15-30 minutes check the PH - if it rises to 8 adjust with Muriatic Acid to get it back to 7.2 and repeat again in another 30 minutes. Once the PH settles down and stays stable in the mid 7's you can re-check your TA which should have dropped - I end up with a TA of 50 to keep my PH stable. This can take a while to finally settle down, and I even have to adjust this after several days until it finally gets very stable.
  • Drop in your SWCG
  • Let the water heat up and enjoy your tub.

Is Calcium Hardness Important in a Hot Tub?

It may not apply to the fiberglass or acrylic shell itself, but you still want some CH in a hot tub to help prevent foaming. A CH range of 130-150 is recommended for that purpose. If your local water is hard, you might get by with a slightly lower CH, but don’t go any lower than 100. If the CH gets low and you see foaming, it's time to add some.[3]

Using Chlorine Floater in Hot Tub?

We do not recommend using chlorine floaters in the hot tub. They are too acidic for the small water volume and dissolve too quickly in the hot water.[4]

Test the Water Frequently

  • Finally, test your water frequently, daily at first, and then if everything is going well you can probably switch to less frequent testing.
  • You should also purge and drain your tub every 3-4 months (more or less time depending on the amount of use the tub gets).

A Spa Is Not A Small Pool

Taylor Technologies - A Spa Is Not A Small Pool

Further Information