Skip to main content

Hot Tub Maintenance: What You Need to Know

By March 25, 2021Hot Tub
Hot Tub Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Hot tubs are great to have as an addition to your back patio or deck.  They are cheaper than a swimming pool and give you a place to relax and chill. Some people will add these to their outdoor living space to have a place to entertain when the weather is too cold for the pool. However, like anything, it does require maintenance.

What is involved in hot tub maintenance?  Making sure the water is circulating well, have a hot tub cleaning schedule, and balance the water chemistry.  However, there are also things you can do weekly and monthly.  We will take a look at these as well.

Why Hot Tub Maintenance is Important

Everything we use must be maintained.  For example, swimming pools, bicycles, air conditioners, etc. all require maintenance that may be daily, weekly, or monthly. If you don’t maintain the hot tub, it will break down. There are some simple ways to maintain it so you can have years of use.

Circulation of The Water is Important in Hot Tub Maintenance

Circulation of The Water is Important in Hot Tub Maintenance

Circulating the water allows it to go through the filters.  If you have an automatic circulation system, it should run 15-20 minutes 1-2 times a day.  If the system is not automatic, you will need to set aside time to run it 1-2 times a day- especially in the hotter climates.

Hot Tub Cleaning Schedule

Once a week you will need to clean the hot tub.  Using white vinegar that is in your pantry and a sponge, wipe down the shell of the tub and the jets.

After you clean that area, wipe down the cover with a bio cleaner or 10% bleach to water concoction to keep mildew and mold away.  Just like an indoor Jacuzzi, the outdoor hot tub can have a lot of the same maintenance and issues.

Have a stubborn stain on the cover or sap that won’t come off?  You can use a little bit of olive oil that you have in your kitchen to wipe it off.

Spray the Filters

If you are using the hot tub often, rinse the filters with warm water or a garden hose.  Put together 50% water and 50% white vinegar and spray them each week and rinse. Replacing the filters every 1-2 years will be on your list but you might adjust this depending on how often you are using the hot tub.

Draining the hot tub

Draining the Hot Tub

Every 3-4 months- plan to drain the spa completely, unless you use it more often, then it may need to be more often. 

When you drain the hot tub:

  1. Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket or spray bottle.  Shake it up so it all mixes together.  If you’re using a spray bottle, spray your hot tub shell or cover thoroughly.
  2. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Wipe down your shell or cover with a cloth or sponge.  If you have stains that won’t come off, you may have to repeat the process.
  4. Once your shell or cover is clean, rinse it thoroughly before refilling your hot tub.
  5. Set a timer to refill your hot tub so it doesn’t overflow.

Stubborn Stains on a Hot Tub

If the olive oil doesn’t work to get rid of stubborn stains, try baking soda next. Add a little bit of baking soda to your sponge and scrub to get rid of stains in a healthier way than using bleach.

Additional options: Rubbing alcohol or Magic Eraser. Once the Magic Eraser is wet, it is activated and removes soap scum, grease, and dirt. If none of these work, use bleach as a last resort but make sure you dilute it with water and clean it thoroughly out of the tub before refilling.

Balance the Water Chemistry For Hot Tub Maintenance

This is just like balancing the water chemistry for a swimming pool, but it is much smaller. It is important to test your water each week by following the steps below:

  1. Make sure the hot tub is full
  2. Test the water 3-4 times a week to adjust pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness and sanitizer levels.
  3. Use hot tub test strips that you can buy at a pool store or on Amazon to make sure the levels are where they need to be. If you are unsure how to read them or need help, visit a pool store for help.

Leslie’s Pools states these are the levels you are looking for:

Chlorine: 1.0-3.0 ppm

Bromine: 2.0-4.0 ppm

PH: 7.4-7.6

Total Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm

Calcium Hardness: 150-250 ppm

If you are unsure of what you need to add to balance out the water chemistry, contact a professional.  It is important that you maintain the proper ph and alkalinity so you don’t have green color in your water or a funky smell.

Here is a great video about testing your water:

Other Hot Tub Maintenance

Water level

Make sure the water level stays right above the skimmer.  If the water drops, the pump will suck air and stop working.  Having a hose nearby can help with this when you notice the water level is going down.

After Using the Hot Tub

Put tennis balls in- adding tennis balls in the hot tub will allow them to soak up the oils, lotions, and soap that the filters won’t be able to get rid of.  This is because of the fuzzy’s on the balls that will soak it all up.

Cover the hot tub

Cover for the Hot Tub

The cover should be aired out a few times a week so mold and mildew don’t grow on it. To do this, remove it from the hot tub.  You can leave it off for a few hours just so it can breathe.  In addition, this is a great time to add any chemicals that you need to the water, test the water, or add more water if it is low.

Saving Money

Using the hot tub in off peak hours is a great idea.  There is not a high demand on the electricity in the evenings.  However, we know most people like to use their hot tub at specific times of the day, whether off peak or not.

Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule

Every day– check the cover for any holes or damage, and check the water temperature.

Three times a week- test and check the ph of the water and levels, and alkalinity.  Check the sanitizer levels and clean the tub above the waterline.

Weekly- in addition to the info above, also shock the water when needed, rinse the hot tub filter, and clean the cover.

Monthly– give the filter a chemical rinse, make sure the jets are clean and have a professional check your water quality levels.

Every 3-4 months– clean the hot tub cabinet, deep clean your filters drain, and clean the hot tub.  If there are repairs that need to be made, this is a perfect time while it is empty.

Yearly– flush the lines to remove the biofilm and bacteria.  Just like biofilm can show up in a shower, it also shows in a hot tub. Have you noticed a pink or orange film in the shower?  This is a bacteria called Serratia Marcescens and needs to be cleaned.

Inspect the wiring of the hot tub and make sure it isn’t exposed or gnawed on by an animal. Finally, have a professional come to your home to do yearly maintenance and check the hot tub and inspect the cover for any issues.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you need help with testing the water or not sure what the water strips mean.  If you have a swimming pool and have it serviced, you can ask the pool cleaner about the readings of the hot tub.  If the hot tub stops working or is giving you problems, contact a professional.

In addition, if you are buying a home and want to know how much life is left in the hot tub, call a professional.


Many people will have a hot tub in addition to a swimming pool to have the feel of hotter water in the colder months. Just like a swimming pool, there is maintenance to be done.  This won’t cost you very much and will allow you to keep your hot tub longer.  Question about your hot tub or in need of our services?  We will inspect your hot tub mechanical system in New Hampshire and Southern Maine!  Comment below!