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January 11, 2023 4 min read

When you own a hot tub, one of the most important things to think about is the quality of the water that you and other bathers will be using.

You will always be able to tell if your hot tub water is contaminated with bacteria because the water will be cloudy, have a sour smell and you may be able to see slime or a film over the top of the water.

Dirty and contaminated water can be extremely hazardous to health, causing serious illnesses such as Legionella and must be avoided at all costs.

Legionella is a lung infection that is caused by breathing in contaminated droplets of water, these can come from hot tubs, air conditioners and humidifiers etc. Symptoms of Legionella are

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • High Temperature, feeling feverish
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhoea

If the water in your hot tub has a smell of Sulphur the water should be changed immediately as this is an indication that you may have Legionella in your water.

Sanitisers are essential in a hot tub, the most commonly used sanitisers are Chlorine or Bromine, these can be used in either tablet or granule form. Bromine is the preferred option for people with sensitive skin, as it is less abrasive but just as effective as Chlorine when it comes to killing pathogens and bacteria.

Failing to keep your hot tub water fresh can also result in the appearance of Biofilm. Biofilm is a bacteria filled film that forms on the plumbing and equipment of the hot tub. If this is not treated immediately, it will begin to cause lasting damage to the filtration system and contaminate the water further making it extremely dangerous for anyone using the hot tub.

Many people ask how Biofilm gets into their hot tub. If the hot tub is not correctly maintained and left untreated a severe build up of bacteria will increase in the pipes of the hot tub. The bacteria is made up of fungus, airborne debris and hot tub users.

There are many ways that Biofilm can be prevented in your hot tub.

Firstly we would always recommend cleaning your filters once a month, they should be fully submerged in a bucket of water containing filter cleaner for approximately twelve hours to fully remove all bacteria and debris, such as dead skin from bathers. Provided that you maintain and take good care of your filters, they should be completely replaced every year, If they are poor condition from not being looked after properly, they should be changed more regularly.

Ensure that you perform a complete water change every eight to twelve weeks. This means the hot tub should be completely drained of all water and vacuumed out, the shell should be cleaned using tile and liner cleaner to remove all scum lines and debris that has fallen into the tub such as leaves, insects etc. The hot tub should then be refilled with fresh clean water and fully chemically balanced.

Another way to prevent Biofilm is to keep the water circulating, including the waterfall (if your hot tub has one) to keep a constant flow of water.

Making sure that you have the correct level of chemicals in your hot tub is essential. If chemical levels are too high, the hot tub equipment will begin to corrode and if they are too low, bacteria can multiply and cause health problems and skin irritation.

Hot tub testing strips are the best way to check your hot tub’s chemical levels. If you use your hot tub on a daily basis, you should check the chemical levels on a daily basis, to eliminate any bacteria issues. Simply hold the test strip in the hot tub water for a few seconds, take it out of the water and leave for approximately fifteen seconds then read the results. On the side of the test strip package there should be a series of colours, these colours indicate healthy levels of chemicals found within the water. If the colours on the test strip match the ‘healthy colours’ on the test strip package, the chemical levels are fine, if not you will need to adjust your chemicals accordingly, either using Alkalinity Increaser, pH Plus, pH minus or Non-Chlorine Shock Treatment .

As well as ensuring that the chemical levels within the hot tub are correct, there are other things you can do to keep your water as clean as possible, such as having a shower before entering the hot tub to wash off any deodorant, body lotions and make up which cause grease build up in the filter. We would always recommend having a shower after your hot tub session aswell, to make sure all chemicals are removed from your skin. Fake tan should be avoided when using a hot tub as the chemicals in the tan react with the water causing an imbalance. It will also cause a brown scum line to form around the water line of the hot tub. You should always keep the hot tub cover on when it is not in use. This will help to retain as much heat as possible, helping to keep your running costs as low and also it will stop bugs, insects, leaves and other foreign bodies from getting into the hot tub water, causing contamination.

To avoid foam within the hot tub, you should never wash your swimming costume or shorts with washing powder or any detergent, this causes extra bubbles and foam when the jets are put on. We would advise you to just rinse your swimming costume or shorts in clean warm water and then spin them in the washing machine or leave to drip dry.

At Hot Tub Liverpool, we sell a variety of hot tub chemicals, sanitisers, filters and accessories to keep your hot tub water in the best condition possible, we are also always on hand to offer any advice regarding chemicals and hot tub water maintenance.

Check out the chemicals section on our website or contact us via the contact page for information and clarification about hot tub maintenance and chemically balancing your hot tub water, to prolong the life span of your hot tub.