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Taking Care of Your Outdoor Hot Tub

By Liz Scott
Published: February 1, 2008

In any climate, it’s important to take good care of your outdoor hot tub to prolong its useful life. Consider these tips:

1. Ozone Generator
To maintain water quality, check the levels of pH, total alkalinity, hardness and chlorine or bromine in your water before each use. Adjust as needed if you don’t use an ozone generator. An ozone generator is a water purifier that sprays ozone gas into the water – significantly reducing, but not totally eliminating, the need for chemicals.

2. Filter
Clean your filter regularly on the recommended manufacturer’s basis. Dirty filters are often the cause of bacteria build-up and other water issues, which can cause health problems in spa-users.

3. Shock the Water
To assist the filter and ozone generator, shock the water weekly. For fresh water fills, use a chlorine shock which will leave chlorine residual; a critical component for a clean, safe spa. A non-chlorine shock, potassium monopersulfate, works great once you have established a residual of chlorine or bromine in the spa. However, if you are using a biguanide – bromineand chlorine-free – sanitizing system, you never need to shock the water.

4. Change It Up
Depending upon the use of your spa, plan to change the water completely about every 60 to 90 days. Chemicals can’t protect you properly in water that is old and used often.

5. Shell, Cabinet and Cover
Clean your cabinet, tub surface and cover according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If snow is an issue in your area: A plastic tarp over the cover can prevent snow shovel damage.

Liz Scott can’t wait to install her own hot tub at her family’s cabin in Eastern Washington State – and to teach her husband how to do the maintenance.  

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