Water Care FAQ

Water Care FAQ

Using a test strip, verify all levels (chlorine, alk, ph, calcium hardness) are in the correct range. If they are out of balance then correct these steps before proceeding. If all levels are in the ideal range then look to “shock” your water with two or four ounces of Renew (leave your hot tub cover open for 20 minutes while using this product). If you’ve done this recently then make sure your hot tub filter has been properly cleaned. 

Cloudy water can come from:

Zero residual of chlorine or bromine levels in the water (add in sanitizer)

Too high pH and alkalinity (adjust pH)

A build up of dissolved solids (use of Renew)

Dirty or clogged filters (doesn’t allow proper filtration)

Water has been in the hot tub too long (excess of 3-4 months)

Keeping your pH and alkalinity in ideal ranges (7.2-7.6 for pH and 80-120ppm for alkalinity) will keep the water in your hot tub feeling nice. When the hot tub water has too low pH the water becomes acidic and may damage the hot tub’s equipment.  When the hot tub water has too high pH the water can produce scaling that will line the plumbing and acrylic surface. At times the water may become cloudy.

There are several possible reasons for a foamy hot tub. One common cause is the rapidly moving water interacting with bathers who have soaps and detergents on their bodies (think body wash, deodorants, and lotions) and bathing suits. Showering before entering the spa helps prevent this problem.

*TIP*: when washing bathing suits in your washing machine, use an extra rinse cycle to help remove as much soap detergent as possible. Hang dry the hot tub bathing suits and wash periodically. This will help reduce and avoid foaming. Remember any friends or outside family members will need to have their bathing suits rinsed, too.

Another cause of foam is soft water. This may look like a “rolling foam” or foam that does not build (like soap suds would). The water may also sound like its sizzling if you have low calcium. To correct these issues raise the calcium level to 250-450 ppm with Calcium Booster.

Organic waste build-up is a third cause for foaming. “Shocking” the spa on a regular basis oxidizes the wastes out of the water.  To “shock” the water add in 2 ounces of Renew to the water with the jets on. *Make sure to leave the hot tub cover open for 20 minutes while circulating the Renew.*

If you already have foam then use of Seaklear Defoamer can help break down what was causing the foam and help remove it from the water.

Calcium deposits appear as scale on the heater elements. It flakes off from the action of the blowers and jets. Leisure Time Defender, can prevent this scaling with a bi-weekly application.

White or clear “chips” may also be a build up of skin cells. Using Spa Cleanse can help remove build up from calcium, biofilm, and skin cells from the plumbing lines annually.

If the “chips” look more like wet tissue paper you may have a water mold which will need to be treated immediately. Please contact our office prior to draining your spa for a detailed plan to get your spa thoroughly cleaned.

While pH and total alkalinity requirements are the same, the bromine or chlorine sanitizer levels (and the products used to adjust these) for a spa should are different; the level for a spa, without mineral cartridge and Ozone unit, needs to be kept between 3-5 ppm.

Spa filters require more frequent cleaning. In addition, the water requires more frequent care to assure correct pH and sanitizer levels. This is due to the fact that a spa contains less water than a pool, and the water is hot rather than cold.

Soft water has a low calcium level. Too little calcium can cause corrosion, especially in heaters and other metal components. To increase water hardness to the recommended level of 250-450 ppm, add a product such as Leisure Time Calcium Booster.

Conversely, too much calcium can cause wall and heating element scaling or cloudy water. Leisure Time Defender will prevent scale/calcium buildup.

The pH is low and the total alkalinity is high. Adjust the low reading first whenever the pH and the total alkalinity are opposite of one another. For example, add Spa Up (pH increaser) until it is within a normal pH range. Then, adjust total alkalinity by adding a pH level reducer. After you have completed this process and your pH and alkalinity are in the appropriate range, you are now able to use New England Spas’ Silky Smooth to lock these characteristics into place for up to three months.

Frequency depends on the sanitizer and the bather load. If you are using the two-part bromine sanitizing system, we recommend that you shock each time you finish using your spa. If you are using chlorine or bromine tablets, we recommend that you “shock” at least once a week. If there are many bathers, or the water gets cloudy, shock more often. Make sure when doing a “shock” treatment you leave the hot tub cover open for at least 20 minutes.

The best way to clean a pleated filter cartridge is by using Leisure Time Filter Clean which is designed specifically for pleated cartridges. The solution contains both acids and detergents to ensure that all oils, lotions, and minerals will be removed from the filter. Proper cleaning increases the longevity of the cartridge, as well as ensures your hot tub jet pumps can operate at their optimal level. Clean your cartridge filter once a month. This may need to be increased depending on use and bather load.

Some filters do not require filter clean. Be sure to discuss with a local retail or sales associate to make sure the filter in the hot tub does not require this.

*TIP: Using a dishwasher on rinse cycle only will clean out the larger debris, but can also damage the fabric on the filter (unless you are using Tri-X filters from HotSpring). Tri-X filters do not require any detergent to be added to the machine but a hot rinse ONLY cycle in the dishwasher (no jet dry).

We recommend using both. Even though ozone is an effective oxidizer, destroying micro-organisms, ozone has a relatively short life in hot water. Ozone is not present for a sufficient length of time to assure adequate sanitation of an entire tub, including the surfaces and plumbing. An ozonator, however, does reduce chlorine or bromine consumption. We recommend you pair a Side Kick Mineral Cartridge in conjunction with the ozone for optimal results.

While ozone is highly effective at oxidizing, it does not destroy clarifiers, or make them ineffective. Clarifiers, such as Enzyme or Bright & Clear, are beneficial in ozonated hot tubs by either:

  • bringing the particles together to help the filter pick them up
  • using enzymes to break down oils and other organics

Both allow the filter to help removing these particles from the water.

The number one cause of a Moto-Massage jet not working is a clogged filter. Make sure your filter(s) have been cleaned within the last four weeks by soaking in Filter Clean (if applicable) and that the filter is not older than 18 months (unless it is a Tri-X filter). In this case you need to soak the filter if it has been more than three months, if less than three months, please run your filter through the rinse cycle on your dishwasher with NO DISHSOAP and NO DRYING CYCLE.  reword or remove?

A quick test to see if the spa filter is the cause: Turn the power off to the spa at the main breaker (for about 15 minutes) then take out the filter(s) from the hot tub. Make sure that nothing is floating in the spa that could get sucked into the filter area before you turn the breaker back on. Once power is returned, without the filter(s) in, see if the Moto-Massage jet begins operating properly. If it does not fix the issue please contact our Service Department to schedule a repair.

The water source being used likely has very heavy metal content. When adding in Chlorine, Bromine, or Oxizider to the hot tub water when the metal content has not been resolved with result in either discolored water or a scum ring. This can be wiped away with a soft cloth. Using a Start Rite pre-filter may be necessary for each water change.  This product can be accompanied by Leisure Time Metal Gon to sequester and remove metals from the water. We recommend rinsing your filter after using either product to rinse off any residual from the filter cartridge.

First try “shocking” the water with Renew (remember to leave your hot tub cover open for at least 20 minutes while doing this). Re-test with a test strip to see if the level of chlorine has changed.

If not, add in 1 ounce of Spa 56 Chlorinating Granules and test your spa in one hour. If no chlorine is present, continue to add 1 ounce per hour until you can hold a 3-5ppm reading on a test strip for 6+ hours.

If your water is older than 6 months old it’s time to change the hot tub water and start over. If the hot tub has had heavy use and is only 3-4 months old it still may be time to change the water.

We do not recommend draining and refilling your hot tub once the weather has consistently been under 35 degrees. There is a high chance of encountering a potential freeze situation which may damage the hot tubs’ components and is not covered by warranty. If you absolutely need to drain and refill, plan to do so when the weather breaks and it’s a warmer day. Make sure to reference our Winter Filling Procedure (link it from service FAQ).

If winterizing the hot tub: follow detailed steps in Owner’s Manual or contact our store for assistance. Damage caused to your spa by improper winterizing is NOT covered by your spas’ warranty. New England Spas offers a Winterizing and Un-Winterizing service. As the months get colder NES may not be able to complete this service. We recommend you consider and schedule a call prior to November 30th.