Hot Tub Chemicals 101: The Complete Guide for Beginner’s

Your hot tub provides you with a comfortable space for leisurely soaking. In turn, you as the owner must provide it with the proper care to keep it functioning properly for years to come.

Hot tub chemicals help to keep your spa water safe, clean and smelling good. Knowing when and why to use certain chemicals is essential to keeping up an excellent maintenance routine and solving any water issues you may be having.

In this article, we will discuss the crucial importance of hot tub chemicals and when to know it’s time to use them. Plus, we will cover some of the key advantages of working with a professional spa maintenance team!

Hot Tub Maintenance: Why You Need to Use Hot Tub Chemicals

To keep your hot tub functioning great and looking appealing, you need to keep up a regular maintenance routine that includes the use of hot tub chemicals.

There are several different types of hot tub chemicals, each with its own purpose and problem to treat. While some of these chemicals should be used regularly, others should be reserved as solutions to specific issues.

Potential hot tub water problems to look out for include:

  • Algae Infestations: Algae infestations can occur when a hot tub’s pH becomes imbalanced, when insufficient sanitizing chemicals are used, or when a hot tub is left exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods.
  • Staining: The build-up of oils, makeup, and lotions in your hot tub’s water can lead to layers of grime on the surface and walls. These can leave behind stains, as well as cause foaming.
  • Scaling: When there is too high of calcium content in your hot tub water, it becomes known as “hard water.” As this calcium becomes more concentrated, it begins producing white, flaky scales.
  • Corrosion: Corrosion can occur in your hot tub due to improper water chemistry, lack of routine maintenance, or an excessive level of salt within the water.
  • Discoloration: The biggest cause behind water discoloration is a pH imbalance. When your pH levels fall out of balance, this can result in the growth and build-up of bacteria that discolor the water over time.
  • Cloudiness: There are a few reasons why your water may appear cloudy including a chemical imbalance, dirty filters, and low sanitizer levels.
  • Contaminants: Both organic and inorganic contaminants can infest your water. Generally in the case of infestations, you will need to call a professional team for assistance.

Which Hot Tub Chemicals Do You Need?

When it comes to hot tub chemicals, there are several different ones to know about. Each serves a unique purpose and helps to keep your water clean and balanced.

Here are the 8 essential hot tub chemicals, including when and why to use them:

  • Spa Test Kits: Spa test kits are used between 1 to 3 times weekly to ensure the chemicals in your hot tub are correctly balanced. These kits test for crucial chemical levels including pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, metals, chlorine, and bromine.
  • Alkalinity & pH: Alkalinity and pH chemicals are often sold together, as they function alongside one another to keep your water balanced. There are increasers and decreasers for both of these chemicals that help to raise or lower them to the proper level. Use these chemicals when your weekly test kits show your alkalinity and pH to be out of the ideal range.
  • Calcium Hardness: Calcium Hardness is a type of chemical that helps to raise or lower the calcium in your hot tub. To increase calcium you will need a calcium hardness increaser, whereas to decrease calcium you will need a special chemical like a stain and scale remover. Use these chemicals when your weekly test kits show your calcium to be out of the ideal range.
  • Shock: Spa shock is a chemical that helps to maintain your hot tub water for longer periods of time. Shock works by oxidizing chloramines and contaminants from your water. You should aim to shock your hot tub at least once weekly.
  • Sanitizer: For spa sanitizers, you will need to choose either chlorine or bromine. These sanitizers are used to purify the water by killing bacteria and removing any contaminants that may be lurking within the water. Like with the spa shock, you should aim to use a sanitizer at least once a week.
  • Clarifiers: For when the water in your hot tub becomes cloudy, you will need a spa clarifier to help clear it back up. Because cloudiness can have multiple causes, make sure to test your water whenever it appears cloudy and use the clarifier as needed.
  • Defoamer: Defoamer – sometimes called anti-foam – works similarly to a clarifier by helping to remove contaminants causing foam to form on the water’s surface. As with clarifier, you should use defoamer along with a testing kit and apply defoamer to your water as needed.
  • Metal-Free: Metal-free is an especially important chemical for a brand new hot tub. When your hot tub is freshly installed, excess metal particles are likely to be present from its time in a factory. Metal-free helps to ensure these metal levels stay low.

When to Work with a Professional Spa Service Team

In general, it is always a good idea to work with a professional spa service team – even for routine maintenance and repairs!

Benefits of working with a professional team – such as the one found at All Seasons Pools & Spas – include:

  • Expert Care: When you work with a team specialized in the mechanics and maintenance of hot tubs, you can rest easy knowing your spa is in good hands.
  • Accurate Diagnostics: Professional maintenance providers can identify the exact issue causing problems with your water or machine function.
  • Part Replacements: Sometimes an issue with your water quality may have an underlying cause associated with a broken or malfunctioning part. A professional maintenance team can identify this issue and help order and install the correct part for your spa.

Contact All Seasons Pools & Spas for Your Hot Tub Chemical Needs

At All Seasons Pools & Spas, our expert team has been serving the northern California area for over 30 years. Our home and backyard leisure dealerships have 5 different locations in Granite Bay, Roseville, North Auburn, Grass Valley, and Shingle Springs. Along with carrying a wide selection of Sundance® Spas, we also offer Doughboy® Pools and Swim Life Swim Spas.

For your hut tub maintenance needs, All Seasons Pools & Spas has you covered as well. We offer repair and maintenance services for your hot tubs and pools that include jet replacements, leaky plumbing, lighting, and more.

No matter what you are looking for, All Seasons Pools & Spas is here to assist you in achieving the backyard of your dreams. If you found this article helpful, make sure to check out the rest of our blog on all things hot tubs!