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Basic Spa Maintenance


  • Your spa should be drained, cleaned and refilled with fresh water at least every 6 months, more often under heavy bather loads. In fact, it can make sense to drain your water more frequently instead of always using chemicals to balance or correct your water.
  • Check your filter on a regular basis to ensure it is clean and free of any major debris blocking its performance.
  • Run your spa filter a minimum of 2 hours, twice per day. This is for light use. For average use increase the running time to 4 hours each cycle, twice per day. If these levels do not appear to be adequate or if water clarity becomes an issue, run your filter for the next 24 hours to see if this clears up the issue. Check and clean your filter after each 24 hr session.
  • Be sure your pH and sanitizer levels are at optimum levels.
  • Use Spa Shock. weekly.
  • Add Spa Shock. whenever you are experiencing a heavy chlorine type odour.
  • If so equipped, check your spa’s skimmer frequently, removing any debris that may have been captured that might affect its performance.
  • Keep your spa cover clean regularly using a fabric protector on it.

Regular Spa Maintenance

  • Regular testing of your spa’s water is important. We recommend three times per week with a test kit or test strips; more often if the frequency of use and bather load is high.
  • Two of the most important readings are pH and sanitizer levels.


  • Too low and corrosion can take place in pipes, filters, pumps and other parts and components of your spa.
  • Too high lowers the effectiveness of sanitizers which can result in bacteria and algae growth.


  • Chlorines and Bromine are two of the most common sanitizers used in Spas. Health Canada requires the use of at least one of these sanitizing agents.
  • High bather load, high water temperature and the aeration caused by jets all contribute to deterioration in sanitizer. Therefore, as any of these activities increase, increased test frequency and additional sanitizer will likely be required.

Filtration is an important contributor to the state of your water. Ideally, you should run your filtration system for a four hour cycle, twice per day at a minimum for what would be considered regular use of your spa. More if the bather load and use in general of the spa is high.

  • A weekly inspection and maintenance of your filter should help to ensure this system operates optimally.

Regular cleaning (once a month depending on use and bather volume) ensures the filter will operate trouble-free. It’s also important to regularly remove the debris it has collected so that it is no longer in contact with the water. To clean the filter:

  • Remove the cartridge.
  • Clean using a garden hose.
  • Using a soft brush, dislodge any remaining debris.
  • Rinse again.
  • Soak the filter using Spa Contact.
  • Rinse; allow to dry and then reinstall.
  • Tip: Having an extra filter medium means you can still enjoy your spa while one set is being cleaned.

Tip: Using Spa Clarifier weekly can help to improve the performance of your filtration system.
Water Balance
Pool and hot tub care fundamentals: Balance your water – and your life!
Understanding how your pool or spa works and the steps you will need to take to ensure it runs optimally is half the battle to avoiding problems throughout the pool season. Add to this a little planning and you’ll see how relatively easy it is to keep your pool the happy, safe and fun place it’s meant to be.
No two pools or hot tubs are the same. Everything from source water to weather patterns to vegetation and proximity to other environmental factors can have a profound effect on your pool or spa. Because many of these factors can change from day to day, regular testing is a must to avoid problems before they occur. The two most important things to test for are the pH and the level of active sanitizer present in your pool or spa's water. We recommend two to three times per week – more often if your pool has an unusually large number of bathers on a regular basis. Finally, it’s a great practice to have your source water tested prior to opening up your pool. This can go a long way to get your season started on the right foot.
We get it; you’re a pool or hot tub owner, not a chemist. That’s why we and our network of experienced dealers have done the heavy lifting for you. When you use products that have been proven to be effective, you negate many of the potential problems that can ruin a planned day around your pool or spa. While it’s tempting to shop for products on price alone, it’s very important to know what you’re getting to avoid issues that could cost you more in the long run.
Optimal Water Balance
Properly balanced water provides the following; a comfortable swimming or soaking environment, efficiency of your sanitizer and longevity of your pool or spa surface and equipment. Proper water balance can be regularly monitored at home using a test kit or test strips and following the recommended water balance parameters listed below. Your pool or hot tub water should be tested by your professional retailer every 3 to 4 weeks.




Free Chlorine/Bromine

1.0 - 3.0 ppm (3-5 Spa)

1.0 - 3.0 ppm (3-5 Spa)


7.2 – 7.8

7.4 – 7.6

Total Alkalinity (Chlorine)

80 – 120 ppm (100-150 Spa)

120 ppm (140 Spa)

Total Alkalinity (Bromine)

100 – 150 ppm

150 ppm (150 Spa)

Calcium Hardness

200 – 300 ppm
(100-200 Spa)

200 – 300 ppm (100-200 Spa)


30 – 100 ppm

40 – 60 ppm (40-60 Spa)

pH – The most critical measurement of them all:
The ability for chlorine to do its job effectively completely depends on the pH of your pool or spa. High or low level always lead to sanitation problems ideally, pH should be kept between 7.2 and 7.8. This correlates to the pH of our eyes which normally sit between 7.4 to 7.6. Therefore keeping pH within these ranges can greatly reduce the experience of red, itchy eyes that some swimmers experience in pools that have not been so closely monitored.
Effects of high pH:

  • Scaling or calcium build-up
  • Dull or cloudy pool water
  • Clogging of filter medium or elements
  • Drop in the effectiveness of chlorine resulting in algae growth
  • Burning eyes – itching nose
  • Dry, itchy skin and scalp

Effects of low pH:

  • Erosion in pool plaster or tile grouting
  • Corrosion of metal pool accessories and equipment and staining from this
  • Rapid dissipation of chlorine resulting in excessive usage being required
  • Burning eyes and nose
  • Dry, itchy skin and scalp
  • Disintegrating effects on swimwear, pool toys and accessories

Lowering the pH of your water:

  • To lower a high pH, pH - is used. Providing that the Total Alkaline levels of the pool are between 80-120 ppm, pH - should be used according to the instructions on the container.

Raising the pH of your water:

  • Low pH is often a result of acid rain and can occur after periods of heavy precipitation. While adding a base or alkali can raise the pH, the normal tendency of pool water is for the pH to rise through exposure to wind, sun and bathers.
  • If raising the pH is required, pH+ should be used. Providing total alkalinity is normal – simply follow the instructions on the container.
  • Since the most common cause of consistently low pH is low Total Alkalinity, this should always be adjusted before trying to increase the pH.

Total Alkalinity
The key to successfully balancing pH and keeping it there

  • Often referred to as TA, Total Alkalinity is a measurement of all of the alkaline materials dissolved in your water. This directly affects your water’s ability to resist changes in pH. A low TA can cause the pH to move in and out of range. For example a high TA can make it difficult to adjust the pH as needed.
  • The recommended TA levels according to Health Canada are as follows:
  • Vinyl, Fiberglass, Paint, Synthetic Surfaces – 80-120ppm
  • Plaster (Marcite), Fully tiled, Aggregate – 80 – 120 ppm
  • Water that is low in TA will result in pH ‘bouncing’ up and down – in and out of range, almost uncontrollably. A high TA will cause the pH to be constantly high and in need of reducing. It may also cause a greater risk of scale formation, cloudy water and shorter filter life.

Raising your Total Alkalinity
To raise a low Total Alkalinity, Alka Plus is used. Providing that the Total Alkalinity levels of the pool are below 80-120 ppm, Alka Plus should be used according to the instructions on the container.

Lowering your Total Alkalinity
To lower a high Total Alkalinity, pH – or Muriatic Acid is used. Providing that the Total Alkalinity levels of the pool are below 80-120 ppm, pH – should be used according to the instructions provided by your Professional Sani Marc Retailer.

  • Calcium Hardness: Balancing clarity and corrosion
  • The term ‘Hard Water’ most often refers to water that has a high concentration of dissolved minerals (mostly calcium carbonate). But problems can occur on both ends of the hardness scale
  • For instance, water that has ‘Low Calcium Hardness’ can corrode equipment or cause etching in some pool surfaces. High ‘Hardness’ can lead to cloudy water or scale.
  • The best way to determine where you sit is to take a water sample to one of our authorized dealers who will be able to test the water and recommend the best steps to get the levels where they are supposed to be. They will advise how much Calcium is required to raise to recommended levels.


Stabilizer – UV protection for your chlorine:

  • Without the use of a stabilizer, chlorine in your pool would be destroyed very quickly by the UV rays from the sun. This would make maintaining recommended levels of chlorine (1-3 ppm for pools, 3-5 ppm for spas) very difficult, costly and a sanitation hazard to bathers.
  • Bromine pools can benefit from the use of stabilizer and stabilizer is only required in outdoor pools where UV rays can come in direct contact with the water.

On top of the benefits to keeping chlorine levels at their optimum amount, stabilizers can help to reduce deterioration in vinyl liners (this is why many Bromine pools are stabilized).
 Studies suggest that a stabilizer level of 30-50 ppm can significantly increase the life of vinyl liners.

Ideal stabilizer levels for chlorine pools:
Stabilized chlorine program – 20-60 ppm
Salt pools – 50 ppm
Maximum level (for both) – 100 ppm

High stabilizer readings
As levels rise above 100 ppm the ability for chlorine to effectively kill microbes in the time required to ensure proper disinfection is greatly reduced. Stabilizer does not break down or wear out – therefore water must be drained from the pool with fresh water then added to effectively lower stabilizer levels to their optimum levels as outlined above.
Cloudy Water
The cause can be as simple as a dirty or blocked filter that is in need of rinsing or cleaning. In some cases, it can be an indication of inadequate treatments of shock.

  • Run the filter for 24 hours.
  • Check the pH to ensure it is between 7.4 and 7.6.
  • Add Spa S.W.A.T. using the dose recommended for your spa’s specific volume.
  • Add 30 ml per 1,000L of Spa Clarifier.
  • Wait 24 hours, rinse the cartridge and repeat every 24 hours until the water is clear.

Foam can be caused by one or a combination of any of the following factors:

  • Dirty filter
  • Low calcium hardness level
  • High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • High phosphate level
  • Cleaner residue


  • Rinse the cartridge and check that the pH is between 7.4 and 7.6.
  • Run the filter for 24 hours.
  • Add Spa S.W.A.T. using the dose recommended for your spa's specific volume; wait 15 minutes.
  • Add 10 ml of Spa Anti Foam per 1,000 litres of water.
  • Let the product work for about 10 minutes; repeat if foam persists.
  • Lower the alkalinity level if it's above 150 ppm.
  • Check the spa's calcium hardness level (ideal: 150 ppm).
  • Clean the cartridge filter with Cartridge cleaner

Staining usually indicates that there is an issue with the level of metals in your water.
The most common origin of metals in spa water is the source of your water itself. Water that runs through soil and rock can dissolve minerals, including iron, copper and manganese. In time, these minerals end up in wells and other water sources that return to the surface. Pipes and other metallic equipment parts are subject to corrosion, especially if the water's pH or hardness levels are too low.
Phosphates are also a known cause of staining in a spa.

  • Clean the cartridge.
  • Run the filter for 24 hours.
  • Adjust the pH to between 7.4 and 7.6.
  • Add 30g of Spa Stain Control Plus per 1,000 litres of water directly in to your spa’s water. Wait 8 hours.
  • Add Spa S.W.A.T. using the dose recommended for your spa’s specific volume. Wait for 24 hours and rinse the cartridge.

Note: Future sanitizer additions will have to be done slowly.
Dirty Foam
Dirty foam in a Hot Tub or Spa can be the result of any number or combination of factors which may include an extremely dirty spa filter, bacterial/slimy coating on the walls of the spa, inadequate levels of sanitation, or high Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level.

  • Add 25 g of Spa Sani Brom for every 1,000 litres of water. Wait 24 hours. Run the hot tub for 20 min. Wait 24 hours.
  • Add 250 ml of Spa Cal Pro for every 1,000 litres of water. Let spa run 1 hour then drain spa.
  • Refill spa and start your maintenance program.

Water Smells of Chlorine/Bromine

  • First, test your water to be sure that the chlorine or bromine level is within the desired range.
  • A high sanitizer reading indicates that this is the likely source of the odor.
  • The level will gradually disappear over time.
  • If your combined chlorine sanitization level is too high (test to ensure) then shock your spa's water using SPA S.W.A.T. This will oxidize any dissolved organic impurities that may be present in your water causing the odors, as well as help to restore water clarity

Tools and Chemicals
Taking care of the cleanliness of your hot tub just makes sense. Keep it running smoothly to ensure safe and enjoyable soaking conditions all season long. Of course, having the right tools for the job is essential.

  • The filter is responsible for keeping the spa water clean on a regular basis. As the spa’s pump circulates the water, the filter sifts out any floating matter before the water returns to the spa.


  • Sanitizers eliminate organics such as sweat, algae, bacteria and other germs from the spa water. Chlorines and Bromine are the most commonly used sanitizers and the only two approved by Health Canada .

Test Kits

  • While your spa water might look great, we recommend checking chemical levels at least 3 times per week to ensure a safe soaking environment.

Test Strips:

  • Simply dip the strip into the water for a specified number of seconds and then compare the colors to those provided by the manufacturer;
  • This will tell you the water’s current levels of sanitizer and pH.



  • Your cover plays a big role in the efficient operation of your spa. It also helps to keep debris out and heat and chemicals in.
    • Tip: Add spa locks to your cover to help protect unsupervised children from drowning and keep unwanted guests out.
  • Maintain your cover using a  fabric protectant