Spas- Did You Know?

We are committed to helping you find the best way to keep your hot tub clean and safe, no matter where you bought it! Here’s a few questions we are frequently asked that may help make your life a little easier. Just keep in mind that everyone has a different style hot tub, different water source and different levels of use, so what works for the “average” person may not be the same for your family!


“My water is always cloudy, how can I get the water bright and clear”?

Cloudy water has very little to do with the sanitizer you are using (ex. Chlorine, Bromine, Baqua Spa, etc). Many people think that adding more sanitizer will solve the problem, but it won’t. You will just end up with a heavy chemical smell and too much sanitizer can actually damage the internal components of your hot tub.

When your spa’s water becomes cloudy it’s most likely the result of too much organic matter in the spa. Organic matter is stuff that we introduce to the hot tub every time we use it (body oils, skin cells, lotions, detergents, etc.) If you can’t take a shower before using your spa, you will want to “shock” your hot tub’s water with an oxidizer. Sometimes we refer to this as “MPS” or Potassium Peroxymonosulfate. Using 1 tablespoon of MPS per person, after each use will dramatically improve your spa’s clarity. It breaks down all of the organic particles that you bring into the spa with you. You may also want to check you spa’s pH and Alkaline levels. A low reading could result in cloudy, foul smelling water and could, over time corrode the plumbing lines and plastic components in the hot tub. Your spa’s pH should remain between 7.2-7.6ppm and the alkalinity should be between 80-120ppm.

“I keep testing for chlorine, but it always reads at zero ppm! What’s going on?!”

The most important things you will want to test for regularly (weekly) are pH and alkaline levels. Maintain your pH at 7.2-7.8ppm and your Alkaline levels at 80-120ppm. If your alkaline and pH levels are off, then you may be burning through chlorine because of pH imbalance. OR, if you are adding chlorine and it burns out within a couple hours, you have an ozonator! Ozone is designed to burn off all chlorine very quickly and it will be impossible to maintain a reserve of chlorine in a spa with an active ozonator. But it is still important to add chlorine weekly to your hot tub. When you add 1 tablespoon of sodium di-chlor to your water, run a clean cycle. By the end of the clean cycle you want to see that the chlorine is still registering on your test strip. So re-test after the clean cycle ends and if your chlorine is reading a zero…you need to add more chlorine and repeat until you can get a steady reading of 3-5ppm! After several hours your chlorine will lower and will eventually go down to a zero. We also recommend that each week and use 1 tablespoon of MPS per person after each use. An ozonator combined with a Nature 2 Mineral Cartridge works very effectively at killing bacteria and breaking down organic matter.

“How often should I replace my spa’s filters?”

You should replace you spa’s filter’s every two years…however, you should be cleaning you spa’s filters regularly! Regularly means every 3-4 weeks. Periodically, you will want to clean them with SpaGuard Filter Cleaner to get those deep down particles released. DO NOT ever use detergents or household cleaners on your spa or spa filters!! Your filters are holding on to all that that organic stuff that makes your spa water cloudy and eventually smell unpleasant. Simply being proactive and maintaining clean filters, you will prevent many issues from occurring (see below, FLO error). Sure, it may take an extra 10 minutes of your time each month, but there’s nothing worse than opening you spa’s cover after a long day at work and discovering murky, not-so-clean water!

“I keep getting a FLO error code on my hot tub’s control panel, what do I do?”

A FLO error code indicates that the appropriate amount of water is not able to flow through the circulating pump and heater. The most typical cause of this error code is a dirty, clogged filter. Cleaning your spa’s filter is the best way to prevent damage and keep your water clean and fresh. If you have cleaned your filter and reset the power and you continue to have a FLO  code, call your service technician discuss other troubleshooting tips or schedule a service call.

“Can I keep my spa water cooler in the summer?”

Sure, it’s possible to lower your spa’s temperature during the summer months. But it’s important to remember that you bought a hot tub, not a cool tub. If your hot tub is set to 90 degrees in the summer and you keep your cover closed (and vented)* you can enjoy using it year round. In the hot summer months, it’s unrealistic to think that you could maintain a water temperature below about 90 degrees, unless your spa is in a cool, covered area. Many spas will actually trip off to prevent “overheating” if you set the water temperature too low, so try to be realistic with your desired temperature settings in the summer months.

*Tip: Vent your cover by placing two bottle caps on opposite sides of the spa’s shell before closing the cover. By allowing any excess heat that may be building up under the cover to escape, you can keep the tub cooler.

“My Hot Spring ACE Salt Water System is offline and the light is blinking, what do I do?”

First, use your test strips to determine if you have enough salt in the water for the system to function. You can also test your salt levels by pressing the “test” button on your spa’s controller. Confirm your output/system level (0-10). If your salt levels are in range (approx. 1700ppm) then you may want to check to see if the cord attached to the salt cell is correctly positioned. Every hot tub model needs a different cord length and the cord is marked with the correct position for your spa. Sometimes, when cleaning your filter or salt cell the cord will move and the position will change. An incorrect cord position will give you an error code indicating that cell is offline and the indicator light will blink. You can easily adjust the cord length and re-tighten to set the cord in the correct position. You may also want to be sure your salt cell is not clogged or dirty. The manufacturer recommends that you clean your cell every 3-4 months for optimal use. If the problem persists, please call the service department

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