Hot Tub Maintenance

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Hot Tub Start up Procedure and Water Balancing

Start Up Procedure

  • After you cleaned your hot tub shell and filter, reinstall the spa filter.
  • Fill the hot tub with fresh water.
  • If you live in an area where the water is hard, use the Pure Fill Pre Filter when filling the spa. Do not fill the hot tub with soft water
  • Add 2 oz (60 ml) of SpaBoss Prevent II per 250 gal (1000 litres) of water.
  • Once the water is at or near operating temperature (95-104 deg), test water to get total Alkalinity, pH and Calcium Hardness reading.
  • Adjust the Alkalinity to be between 80-150 ppm (120 ppm is ideal)
  • Adjust the pH to be between 7.2 and 7.6
  • Ideal Calcium Hardness level for hot tub is between 150-280 ppm.  If your Calcium Hardness is below 150, use SpaBoss Cal Riseto raise it
  • If your water contains high levels of Calcium, add SpaBoss Prevent IIto protect against staining, scaling and cloudy water
  • Once your water is in balance, you can adjust the chlorine/Bromine levels.
  • If Using Bromine
    • SpaBoss Bromine Tablets
      • add 1.5 oz (50g) of Bromine Booster per 250 gal (1000 litres).
      • Add 4 oz (120 g) of Spa Shock per 250 gal (1000 litres).
      • This will establish an immediate bromine residual for disinfection.
      • Fill your floating feeder with bromine tablets and adjust the bromine level to 3-5 ppm
      • Maintain a 3-5 ppm Bromine residual.
  • If Using Chlorine
    • SpaBoss Chlor-Aid/SpaBoss Spa Plus (Dichlor)
      • Add 4 oz (120 g) of SpaBoss Spa Shock per 250 gal (1000 litres)
      • Add 1/2 oz (15 g) of Chlor-Aid/Spa plus per 250 gal (1000 litres).
      • Test for Chlorine after 15 minutes of circulation.
      • If Chlorine level is below 3-5 ppm, add another 1/2 oz (15 g) of Chlor-Aid or Spa Plus per 250 gal (1000 litres).
      • Maintain a 3-5 ppm chlorine residual.
    • SpaBoss Spa Tabs(Trichlor)
      • Add 4 oz (120 g) of SpaBoss Spa Shock per 250 gal (1000 litres)
      • Fill your floating dispenser with Chlorine tablets
      • Maintain a 3-5 ppm chlorine residual.
      • Test periodically for Chlorine.  Adjust floating dispenser accordingly.
Daily Maintenance (prior to use)
  • Using our Test Strips, test chlorine/bromine levels to see if they fall between 3-5 ppm and dose according to the attached instructions on the product container
  • Test Hot tub pH levels to see if they fall between 7.4 and 7.8. If not within these parameters use SpaBoss pH Booster or SpaBoss pH Recuder according to instructions
  • If water is foaming use our SpaBoss Defoamerproduct


Weekly Maintenance

  • Shock Hot tub with SpaBoss Spa Shock or a suitable oxidising agent.
  • Rinse your filters with water from the garden hose


Periodical Maintenance (Every 2- 3 months or so)


Changing the Water 

Every 3 months or so, it is necessary to change the water in your hot tub. Over time the water absorbs minerals, chemicals and other soluble materials. Sanitizers also begin to lose their efficiency as a result of the higher workload placed on them. The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level increases and the water will start to look dull and lifeless.  

Over time, unseen deposits of body oil, shampoo, grime, microorganisms, and other foreign matter can accumulate inside the plumbing system. We offer two products to clean the plumbing lines and jets of all these deposits:  EcoOne Pipe Cleanser and SpaBoss Whirlpool Rinse

We recommend you follow these steps every time you change the water (every 2 to 3 months)

  • Before draining your hot tub add the pipe cleanser to the hot tub water
  • Turn your air control all the way down and run the jets on High for at least 1 hour.  
  • Drain your hot tub and continue with the "Surface Cleaning" instructions.

Draining the Hot Tub

Some hot tubs are equipped with a drain valve that one can attach a hose to. The drain valves are usually located inside your hot tub's access panel. If your hot tub does not come equipped with a drain valve, you must siphon the water out. Here are some methods you can use:

  • We sell a very popular product, the Quick Drain that not only pumps the water out, but it suctions the dirt and debris at the same time! 
  • You could also use a submersible pump 
  • And if you want to do it the old fashioned way, create a siphon by connecting a garden hose to a tap and submerge the other end in the hot tub water. Turn the tap on until the hose is full of water. Then turn off the water and disconnect the hose at the tap. Run the hose down an incline to allow the water to continue siphoning.
  • Generally a small amount of water will still remain in the tub after using either of these methods. It's a good idea to have a Wet/Dry Vac (Shop Vac) on hand to get all the water out.


As a general guide us the following formula to determine how often the spa should be drained:

  • Size of Hot Tub (gallons) ÷ 3 ÷ daily bathers = days between draining and refilling.
Don't live by this formula. If you hot tub water looks dirty, smells or is excessively foamy, we recommend that you change the water.


Cleaning your Spa/Hot Tub

Surface Cleaning
Over time, Scum lines, scale lines, and mineral deposits can build at the waterline on your spas surface. This provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and algae. We recommend you clean you hot tub every 2 or 3 weeks. To remove these lines easily and prevent them appearing follow these steps bellow.

  • Drain 4 to 6 inches of water out of your tub to expose the water line
  • Apply our EcoOne Shell Cleaner or SpaBoss Spa Polish to a sponge or cloth.
  • Using the sponge, wipe down waterline around the entire tub
  • Take a clean wet cloth or sponge once again wipe down the water line around the tub
  • Repeat this process to the entire spa surface everytime you change the spa water (every 2 to 3 months)


Cover Cleaning
Your hot tub cover can take a real beating, especially if it is outside in direct sunlight. Follow these instructions to clean, protect and to put the life back into your vinyl cover. Again, we recommend you clean you hot tub cover every 2 or 3 weeks.

  • Apply EcoOne Cover Cleaner or SpaBoss Cover Restore to a wet sponge or cloth.
  • Wipe down the exterior of the cover. If heavy soiled area, apply higher concentration of cover cleaner to that area.
  • Rinse with clean water


Decontamination - How to Super Shock your Hot Tub

Decontamination is the process of Super Shocking to Kill and Oxidize everything in your tub. There are two reasons why you would want to do this. One is your tub contains an excess amount of organic waste, and is using large amounts of sanitizer. The other is you have bacteria actively growing in your tub that has formed a protective shield (Biofilm), and cannot be killed from normal sanitation levels.

Another instance where you might want to decontaminate your hot tub is if you've purchased a used one. There is no way of knowing how the hot tub was maintained in its prior life.

Here's How

  1. Once the hot tub is full and running at operating temperature, Use a product such as EcoOne Pipe Cleanser or Spa Purge to clean out the pluming lines of your hot tub. Add this product, run the jets 30 minutes or as instructed on the bottle and let it site overnight. The longer this stuff runs through your hot tub the better it will work. Make sure you remove your filter before adding this product. Better yet, buy a new filter.
  2. Day 2, drain your tub and clean the shell using a Shell Cleaner (SpaBoos Spa Polish or EcoOne Shell Cleaner)
  3. Refill the hot tub with fresh water about 1/2 to 1 inch above the normal water line and install a clean or new filter
  4. Once the hot tub is at operating temperature, balance your water at this point. Alkalinity should be between 80 and 150 ppm and the pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. If the hot tub is not in balance, it will decrease the effectiveness of the sanitizer.
  5. Superchlorinate the water to 100 ppm using Dichlor Granular Chlorine (SpaBoss Chlor Aid) which has been pre-dissolved in a plastic bucket of water. Pre-dissolving the chlorine will prevent possible damage to your hot tub's surface. Please refer to the table below as 100ppm is too high to be measured with test strips

    Hot Tub Gallons Dichlor (Granular Chlorine) - 100 ppm Dosage
    100 4¾ tablespoons
    250 ¾ Cup
    500 1½ Cup
    1000 3 Cups

  6. Run all jets and air features on high for 30-60 minutes. Turn the air on and then off for 5 minute intervals during this process to help disinfect air lines.
  7. Drain the tub. This water is highly chlorinated, so keep it away from vegetation.
  8. While the tub is draining clean the Cover and Shell using the appropriate cleaners.
  9. Refill tub with fresh water and balance. Alkalinity should be between 80 and 150 ppm and the pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. If the hot tub is not in balance, it will decrease the effectiveness of the sanitizer.
  10. If your using bromine as your sanitizer, bring the bromine levels up to the recommended amount and you're done. If you're using chlorine, continue on to step 11
  11. Shock with Dichlor (SpaBoss Chlor Aid) to 10 ppm. This is approximately 2 tablespoons per 400-500 gallons of water. Check the water with a test strip to confirm approximately
  12. Run the jets for 15 minutes, cover and allow the hot tub to circulate for 12-24 hours
  13. After the circulation period, check the free chlorine level. If you get a residual free chlorine reading on your test strips, the decontamination was successful. If no Free Chlorine is present, your tub is still using excess Chlorine, and needs to be decontaminated again. You won't need to complete steps 1 though 4. Jump right to step 5.

If you maintain your hot tub water regularly, you should not need to do this again.

Water Chemistry Explained

What is Water Balancing?

  • Water balancing refers to maintaining the correct chemical composition of your Hot Tub/Spa water. Maintaining correct water balance is crucial to your enjoyment, health and longevity of your hot tub.


Calcium Hardness

  • It is important to achieve the correct level of calcium in your water, the levels of which will vary depending on where you live and where your water supply comes from. Soft water tends to be low in calcium and hard water tends to be higher. Every time you top up or refill your hot tub with fresh water you need to check levels of calcium.
  • The ideal calcium hardness level for a hot tub is between 100 -200mg/If the level in your hot tub is below this it could lead to corrosion damage. If you do find the level is low, then use Calcium Hardness Increaser to bring it up to the correct level. If the level in your hot tub is above this it can lead to the water appearing cloudy. As a result, calcium can be deposited on the tub shell, heater element, filter cartridge element and the pipe work within. To reduce this use SpaBoss Prevent 2 which controls Stain & Scale to correct the level.



  • This also depends on your water source and should be checked every time fresh water is added. The ideal Total Alkalinity for your hot tub is between 100 - 150 ppm. If your test strip shows between this it will prevent the pH of the water fluctuating. If the level falls below the recommend amount the water can become corrosive causing damage to the hot tub equipment. This being the case, we suggest using Alkalinity Increaser to raise levels.
  • If the level is too high, the water can become poor in clarity and scale will form.


pH Levels

  • pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of your water. The pH scale has a range of 0 - 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Water with a pH below 7.0 is acidic and above 7.0 is alkaline.
  • It is essential you regularly check the pH of your hot tub water using 4-Way Test Strips. The ideal pH range is between 7.4 and 7.8 ppm. If the pH level is below 7.4 use SpaBoss pH Booster to raise the level and if the pH level is above 7.8 use SpaBoss pH Reducer to drop the level.
  • Maintaining proper pH levels provides the most comfortable condition for hot tub users and has a good sanitising efficiency



  • Sanitizing your hot tubs water is vital to kill bacteria and prevent algae growth. Levels should be checked regularly using Test Strips. You can use either Chlorine or Bromine to adjust the levels.
  • Bromine:
    • Bromine is an effective sanitizer and ideally suited to hot tubs.
    • Produces less of a chemical odor than Chlorine
    • Effective over a wide pH range
    • Available in slow dissolving Tablet form, Granular, or 2 part liquid bromine program.
    • Bromine level should be between 3 - 5 ppm
  • Chlorine:
    • Most commonly available in granule form.
    • Disinfects immediately
    • Chlroine level should be 3 ppm



  • We recommend that you shock your hot tub on a weekly basis using Non Chlorine Spa Shock such as SpaBoss Spa Shock. This destroys odours and other undesirable additions such as perspiration, cosmetics and body oils. By doing this weekly it improves the comfort and hygiene for hot tubs users.

Learn more on our hot tub water troubleshooting page.