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Spa Maintenance

12 December 2010 swimart

Getting the most out of your spa

Essential information to keep it clean and healthy

 

Did you know the concept of spas and hot tubs stems back to Macedonian king Alexander the Great? After his campaigns, he and his troops would soak in hot water to revive them and heal their ailments. Then in the late 1960s, Italy’s Jacuzzi family invented the first tubs with jets.

 

Today there are myriad spas available depending on what you’re after: exercise, entertaining, rehabilitation, or just to relax and ease your mind and body. Regardless of why you own a spa, with regular maintenance you will ensure it operates efficiently and effectively and the water remains clean and healthy.

Healthy water

Due to the smaller body of water and less splash out compared to a pool, spas are more likely to have an increased Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) present.  It’s therefore recommended to change spa water every three to four months, or replace about one-third of the volume every three to four weeks. As the water is generally warm, the treatment guidelines for spa pool water in comparison to a pool are different. However, properly applied, Aquahealth chemicals will keep your spa clean and healthy, eradicating all viruses, bacteria and algae.

Test the water before each use, or weekly when you’re not using the spa, and always wait one hour before using the spa after adding chemicals to the water. Regularly check total alkalinity, pH and sanitiser (PHMB, Chlorine or Bromine levels). The range of total alkalinity is recommended between 80ppm to 120ppm for effective sanitation.

With more clients wanting not only healthy water, but healthy bodies as well, Swimart stores are noticing an increase in requests for Chlorine Free alternatives such as the LoChlor AquaSpa range using PHMB or Aquahealth Lithium with Nature 2 Spa sticks.  For more information on these products, please call into your local Swimart store.

Testing pH

The pH level measures acidity or alkalinity and is measured on a sale of 1 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Below 7.0 is acidic, and above is alkaline. Incorrect pH levels can cause poor Sanitiser efficiency, eye and skin irritations, corrosion of metal fittings, cloudy water and the formation of scale on the spa walls and fittings.

The recommended range for pH is 7.2 to 7.8. It can be increased by adding Aquahealth Alkalinity Increaser, and reduced by adding Aquahealth pH reducer.  Always test again after one hour and for an accurate reading, at least once a month take a sample to your local Swimart store.

Sanitising

To ensure safe, healthy water which is free of harmful micro-organisms, sanitising your spa is essential.  The amount of sanitiser required depends on water temperature, how many people use the spa and how often.   In very hot water, the sanitiser can be used up very quickly, and should be checked regularly while the spa is being used.

The most common forms of sanitiser for spas are Lithium, Chlorine and Bromine, however PHMB is enjoying an increase in popularity due to being non-chlorine or bromine based therefore having none of the side affects such as chlorine smell.

Ozone systems are commonly installed on spas nowadays and, depending on how they’re installed, provide an effective sanitation and oxidation effect.   However, because ozone leaves no residual, Australian Standards dictate other forms of sanitiser must be used in conjunction with it although generally at reduced amounts.

If you are using a salt water chlorinator, ensure it is designed and sized to produce the correct level of chlorine required to sanitise a spa.

Chemical dosage

As discussed above, the amount of disinfectant required depends on water temperature and on how many people use the spa and how often. Keep in mind that very hot water (above 35 degrees) consumes the sanitiser very quickly, so make sure you check the level regularly when the spa is in use. As a guide, Chlorine should be kept at 2.00 – 3.00ppm, Bromine at 3.00-4.00ppm and PHMB at 15 – 50ppm.

After heavy use of the spa, the water should be shock dosed with Aquahealth Spa Shock. Make sure you check the sanitiser level again before use. Even if you’re not using the spa or hot tub, we recommend maintaining an appropriate sanitiser and pH level to prevent contamination.

Important tips

»        Keep the temperature below 40 degrees (a range of 35 – 38 degrees is ideal)

»        It’s important to keep the filter clean - clean the filter regularly and at least quarterly, soak your filter in           Aquahealth Filter Degreaser. If your spa pump has a pump basket empty hair and lint as often as           required

»        Store chemicals in a cool dry place out of the reach of children and animals

»        Never mix chemicals together and never add water to chemicals, only add chemicals to water

»        If your spa comes with a safety cover, ensure this is closed and locked when the spa is not in use

»        Do not put your head under water in a spa. Spa suctions are a main cause of entrapment risk for hair           and limbs

»        Do not allow children in a spa without constant adult supervision

»        Regularly check all suctions outlets are operating and suction covers are intact

»        If in doubt with regards to anything listed above, please call your local Swimart store who can carry out           a complete 94 point pool and spa check