Making sure that your hot tub or jacuzzi is clean is essential for owning one, and it should be done every three to four months! While that sounds like a lot, it’s important to make sure that your hot tub isn’t growing any kind of bacteria. Cleaning and draining your hot tub is a pretty easy thing to do, it just requires a lot of time.
Think of your bath tub as a mini hot tub; they both require to be drained because of chemicals, oils from bodies, and the general bacteria growth.
If you don’t drain your hot tub every few months then there’s bound to be bacteria growing throughout it. If you try to combat this by adding chemicals to clear it up, you’re just exposing yourself and your loved ones to an unnecessary amount of harmful chemicals.
Chlorine and bromine are some of the most harmful chemicals in your hot tub, and those are used to sanitize it. When it comes into contact with bacteria in your hot tub, it’s neutralized and isn’t able to kill anymore bacteria, and the leftover pieces float around in your water. This is where the smell of chlorine comes from in your hot tub, so constantly adding more chemicals to your hot tub is making the water more dangerous for you.
Removing Biofilms in Your Hot Tub Plumbing
Most bacteria lives under biofilm in your hot tubs plumbing, a sticky tar later that feeds bacteria and stops chemicals from reaching the bacteria. Since it’s a hot spot for bacteria, it’s important to run line flush products through the plumbing before draining your hot tub.
Many of the different kinds of bacteria found in biofilms can be harmful, including the following:
– Mycobacterium Fortuitum
Just draining your hot tub and refilling it will transfer all the bacteria from the biofilm into the clean water you just put in. This can make you itchy, and in some cases it can give you hot tub rash!
How to Drain Your Hot Tub and Remove Biofilms
- Put a line flush product in your hot tub water. You can find line flush products at any local water store, and it should stay in your water anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours. During this step, you may see some brown foam come to the surface of your hot tub; this is common, and it’s just the bacteria from that biofilm.
- Take out the filters and stop power from running to your hot tub. You can focus on cleaning the filters while the hot tub drains, so remove the filters first. Make sure you disconnect anything that’s running electricity to your hot tub. If your hot tub turns on without any water in it, you could ruin your heater and/or pumps. Trip the breaker to ensure that all the power is disconnected.
- Start draining your hot tub. You can use the drain plug that’s on your hot tub or a submersible pump to drain the water down to about a foot of water. The submersible pump gets the job done quickly, so if you can, invest in one of those!
How to Clean Your Filters While the Hot Tub is Draining
All hot tubs contain filters that also need to be cleaned periodically to make sure that your water is safe and sterile. These filters keep debris and other not-wanted substances out of your water. These also have to be replaced occasionally, and depending on your location and how much you use it determines how often you’ll need to replace them.
You can clean your hot tub filters by spraying them with hot tub filter cleaner, another product that can be found at your local water store (you can also use any spa filter cleaner found at most water stores as well). Afterwards, let them sit for about 15 minutes, rinsing them off with clean water when they’re done. If you don’t rinse your filters completely, you’ll see foam in your hot tub water.
If you’re not comfortable with this, some local water stores offer a filter cleaning service, so you can look into those as well.
If it’s time to change your hot tub filter, make sure to soak the new filter in diluted hot tub filter cleaner for at least 24 hours. The filter should be completely submerged during this time.
How to Clean Your Hot Tub After It’s Been Drained
You can buy hot tub cleaner to wipe down the inside of your hot tub once all the water’s gone, or you can create your own mix with four parts water and one part white vinegar. Just like with cleaning your filters, it’s important to make sure that you’ve rinsed all the cleaner out from the inside of your hot tub. If not, you’ll get foamy water again.
Refilling Your Hot Tub
Once the inside of your hot tub is clean, you can refill it with fresh water. You can do this with a regular garden hose, but it’s a good idea to get a hose filter to stop any copper, iron, or calcium. This makes for hard water that can damage your hot tub. If you don’t have a hose filter, it’s possible to remove them after you fill your hot tub, but it’s a bit of a hassle to do.
Filling Your Hot Tub With a Hose Filter
- Put the hose filter on the end of your hose.
- Make sure you’ve closed all the drains on your hot tub.
- Make sure that there still isn’t any electricity running to your hot tub.
- Start putting water in and continue until your hot tub is full (determined by the hot tub manufacturer, look for fill lines).
- Turn the power back on and let the jets run. This is also when you prime your hot tub if necessary.
Start Your Hot Tub and Put In Chemicals
- The first thing you should do is test your water and make sure that your pH levels are between 7.4 and 7.6, your total alkalinity levels are 80ppm, and your calcium hardness levels are 100 ppm.
- If your hot tub is freshwater, shock the water and allow it to circulate.
- Make sure that the temperature of the water is between 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the cover back on and let it run for at least 24 hours to make sure the water heats up correctly.
- After those 24 hours, run the clean cycle and then adjust your pH levels, total alkalinity levels, and calcium hardness levels again.
If you drain your hot tub before the cold weather hits and before spring comes, you’ll help make the process run smoother and protect yourself and loved ones altogether!
Stop Biofilms from Returning
The best way to prevent biofilms from coating your hot tubs pipes is to keep the quality of your water high. You can easily do this by putting enzymes in your water weekly or monthly depending on how often you use your hot tub.
You should still use a line flush product when you clean your hot tub even with the enzyme treatment, along with cleaning your filters. Keeping regular maintenance and using the enzymes regularly will make the cleaning process easier, but it doesn’t mean that you can go longer without cleaning your hot tub.
Look Out for Limescale
Limescale can buildup on the inside of both your hot tub and its plumbing, causing it to not work as well and hiding more biofilm. If you notice any limescale buildup, you’ll need to go through this entire process again, so make sure to clean your hot tub frequently to prevent it!
Just like any other water utility you can own, recreational or otherwise, cleaning your hot tub on a regular basis is important and can prevent damage and bacteria buildup, also keeping you and your loved ones clean and healthy.
It’s important to realize that cleaning is the only effective way to get rid of bacteria. Consistently adding chemicals to your water instead of cleaning it might kill some bacteria, but it adds in the chlorine and bromine bacteria as well, and it doesn’t stop biofilm from growing.
Take a day out of your schedule every few months and protect your family and your hot tub by cleaning it!