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How do you clean a hot tub/spa?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 18 2012 - 10:16 PM

Neighbor is out of town for a week so I'm doing some work around her house. Want to clean her hot tub since I use it a lot. Figured starting with a gallon or so of bleach, letting it run overnight then draining it. Wipe it down, fill it again then another drain to flush out whatever is left and change the filters. She's very "nature" conscious and isn't big on chemicals unless they're "natural". She approved of the bleach so somehow it's okay. I have absolutely zero experience with hot tubs, so am just guessing on what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. If I do use chemicals of some sort, I figure I could flush them out with the second drain and she'd never have to know. It's actually very clean, but skin cells, hair, body oils, etc. build up and it needs a drain/refill every few weeks.
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#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Paul D G

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Posted September 18 2012 - 11:14 PM

I'm sure someone will point out this is all sorts of wrong, but we had a hot tub at our last home and all I really did was drain it, and we had some solution I cleaned the tub with. I'd scrub it down, fill the tub again and attempted to ph balance as best I could.   Stop in a pool supply place and I'm sure they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 19 2012 - 08:05 AM

I'm sure someone will point out this is all sorts of wrong, but we had a hot tub at our last home and all I really did was drain it, and we had some solution I cleaned the tub with. I'd scrub it down, fill the tub again and attempted to ph balance as best I could. Stop in a pool supply place and I'm sure they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
Poured in a gallon of bleach about an hour ago, will let it run until tomorrow, then drain, rinse and scrub the tub, fill and drain again. She does have some "green" natural solutions she adds once in a while, but I think I'll just let her take care of that. I'll do the grunt work, she can fine tune it. Her theory is that "stuff" is always left behind in the pipes, so hopefully draining it twice along with the bleach will take care of that. But I think I will check a pool supply place, she'll never know. I know for sure she's never checked the ph level, raised in the hippie era so very much a "nature" person. I had no idea they took so much work. Just assumed they were filtered, piped into the home water system, drained and kept topped off automatically, water kind of kept itself clean, etc. Never knew they are just stand alone tubs of water. Thanks for the advice.
Stan

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 19 2012 - 08:21 AM

Yep, those things are miniature pools... I had one inside my house in Indy. It actually did feed on the homes water supply. But that was built-in after the fact. Had a valve that connected it to the water line to the outside hose. Remove a cover, turn the valve...add water. The drain underneath ran into the septic...which probably wasn't "code"...

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 19 2012 - 04:42 PM

Yep, those things are miniature pools... I had one inside my house in Indy. It actually did feed on the homes water supply. But that was built-in after the fact. Had a valve that connected it to the water line to the outside hose. Remove a cover, turn the valve...add water. The drain underneath ran into the septic...which probably wasn't "code"...
My friend drains the tub into the alley behind her house which is almost level with the drain valve so it takes 7-8 hours to finish. I'm going to run a hose to the front street, which is about six feet below the level of the tub, so hopefully will go faster. (Any physicists feel free to comment, but seems to me that the larger elevation difference, the faster the drainage). Alley or street, they both flow to the same catch basin three houses away, just hoping my way is a lot quicker. Now as I learn more about hot tubs, my comfort level has dropped considerably. They aren't nearly as sanitary as I thought. It's like taking a bath, then a few days later taking a bath in the same water, after 15 other people have been in the tub.
Stan

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

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Posted September 19 2012 - 07:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan /t/323855/how-do-you-clean-a-hot-tub-spa#post_3977112 She's very "nature" conscious and isn't big on chemicals unless they're "natural". She approved of the bleach so somehow it's okay.
  Wouldn't vinegar be a more eco-friendly way to clean the tub than bleach? Never owned or had to maintain a hot tub myself, just wondering.   -Keith
As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#7 of 20 OFFLINE   retrax57

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Posted September 19 2012 - 07:29 PM

I think you be had a valve that connected it to the water line to the outside hose. Remove a cover, turn the valve...add water. ok wish you success :chatter:
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#8 of 20 OFFLINE   retrax57

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Posted September 19 2012 - 07:33 PM

I think you be had a valve that connected it to the water line to the outside hose. Remove a cover, turn the valve...add water. ok wish you success :chatter:.
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#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 19 2012 - 09:37 PM

Wouldn't vinegar be a more eco-friendly way to clean the tub than bleach? Never owned or had to maintain a hot tub myself, just wondering. -Keith
Actually thought of using the vinegar, obviously much more eco-friendly, but don't know enough about the water chemistry, etc. if it would work or not. Last time she cleaned it I wanted to spray Windex or something similar then rinse it out. Not allowed, wet rags only. As I said, my knowledge level of hot tubs is zero and even though she is very "environmentally conscious" about things (almost to the OCD level), it was her recommendation to use bleach, so that's what I'm doing. I'll find out in about ten hours if I've dissolved the pipes, ruined the surface of the tub or otherwise destroyed it. Bleach is a fairly natural product, probably a lot stronger than vinegar, but still pretty safe when diluted.
Stan

#10 of 20 ONLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted September 20 2012 - 02:43 AM

Personally, as a pool owner, I'd go with the previous recomendation of going to a pool/spa store and get their advice; they're usually very helpful. But if you want to play chemist, and who doesn't, why not use Clorox? It's chlorine, so it's no different than an extra high does of the usual chlorine she's using when running the hot tub (assuming she uses a chorline based system).

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 20 2012 - 08:56 AM

Personally, as a pool owner, I'd go with the previous recomendation of going to a pool/spa store and get their advice; they're usually very helpful. But if you want to play chemist, and who doesn't, why not use Clorox? It's chlorine, so it's no different than an extra high does of the usual chlorine she's using when running the hot tub (assuming she uses a chorline based system).
Unknown to me until recently, she doesn't use Clorox, however I am while she's out of town and I'm cleaning the tub. She prefers natural, pure water (which being city water, probably has a bit of chlorine in it). She does use other chemicals once in a while, but not very often and they're all edo-friendly so not sure how useful they are. The water looks fine, never cloudy or disgusting looking, but my hot tub days may be ending unless I can convince her to keep up on the maintenance a little more often. It's relaxing and very comfortable, I always shower before and after using it, but this thread has really made me a bit paranoid about what I'm really immersing my body in. Part of my paranoia is that we just cleaned the tub a week ago, had a small gathering and four of us got in the tub. The next day, the owner wouldn't even use the tub, saying it needed to be cleaned again. It's supposedly a 500 gallon tank, could I just sneak in a couple of cups of Clorox to help keep things sanitized or would the odor give it away?
Stan

#12 of 20 ONLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted September 20 2012 - 10:54 AM

She prefers natural, pure water (which being city water, probably has a bit of chlorine in it). She does use other chemicals once in a while, but not very often
Okay, now you're scaring me; I didn't realize that no chemicals were being used.. The temperature that the tub runs at promotes germ growth. As far as I'm concerned it's nuts to use it as if it were a tub. Repeatedly draining it has to be more eco unfriendly than using a little chlorine. If you have the pool drained, I don't think she'll notice if you used Chorox to wipe it down. I wouldn't pour it into a full tub though. I suggest researching a salt water filtration system for her. I know they use them for pools. I don't see why it wouldn't work for a spa, and salt water seems pretty eco-freindly to me.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 20 2012 - 04:31 PM

If you have the pool drained, I don't think she'll notice if you used Chorox to wipe it down. I wouldn't pour it into a full tub though.
To late for the Clorox, added a gallon to the full tub yesterday, it was in the tub about 26 hours and am now draining it ( so far about seven hours with a few more to go). It can be filled within an hour, but the drain hole is like the size of my pinky finger and takes forever, plus I'm rinsing down the sides every couple hours to help out and adding even more water. I'll get it as clean as possible, but she trusts me, so if it needs chemicals added, I think she'll listen to me. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from the tub, especially relaxing my back muscles, but I won't use it again until she agrees to some sort of treatment to keep the water clean. As mentioned above, a pool supply store would be the best. I'll try and wean her off the "clean green nature" stuff she tries to use and get her to use chemicals that truly help.
Stan

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 22 2012 - 02:18 AM

Finally drained the tub, after a full day of running Clorox through the system. Refilled and let it heat up again. She did buy new filters I installed and poured in about a cup of something callled "Shock" which is supposed to help. Learned a lot about hot tubs the last few days and although I've always showered before getting in, I'll now shower after getting out. Thanks to everyone for the info and advice.
Stan

#15 of 20 ONLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted September 25 2012 - 06:02 AM

You took the long way around the block on this one Stan. Shock is concentrated chlorine. (It adds chlorine, and reactives the chlorine that has gone into solution.) This goes against your assumption that she doesn't use chemicals. If she's periodically shocking the tub, you have no cause for concern. And if you want to be on the safe side, buy some test strips for her; they show where the chemical levels are for a number of important items.

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted September 25 2012 - 08:28 AM

You took the long way around the block on this one Stan. Shock is concentrated chlorine. (It adds chlorine, and reactives the chlorine that has gone into solution.) This goes against your assumption that she doesn't use chemicals. If she's periodically shocking the tub, you have no cause for concern. And if you want to be on the safe side, buy some test strips for her; they show where the chemical levels are for a number of important items.
She has chemicals, but doesn't use them. The bottles she showed me were covered with dust and hadn't been used in several years. She just explained what some of them did and left it up to me to try them out if I felt like it. I'm definitely going to become more of a pest and make sure she does start using things to help with the water, rather than just draining/refilling every other week or so.
Stan

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   mitchelejohn

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Posted September 27 2012 - 03:24 AM

I own a hot tub in my home and i does the hot tub cleaning with bromine. I would suggest you should better get the advice from the hot tub store. There are also spa sanitizers and spa kits for the maintenance job.

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   linguyen

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Posted October 23 2012 - 06:21 AM

I think:

1. Pour 1/4 cup dishwasher detergent into the bottom of an empty hot tub spa.
2. Turn on your water supply and fill up the tub until all jet openings are under water.
3. Pour 1/2 cup of either oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach into the tub water.
4. Turn on your spa jets and let them run for 15 minutes.
5. Drain the tub, wipe the sides with a sponge if needed, and refill the tub with hot water. Run the jets an additional 15 minutes and drain again.


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#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Sauna

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Posted March 07 2013 - 02:13 AM

You are welcome to find more information on how to clean a hot tub by reading water maintenance

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted March 07 2013 - 07:50 AM

You are welcome to find more information on how to clean a hot tub by reading water maintenance
Never realized I was such a "posting hog", sorry guys. Sauna, I'll look through the article you mentioned and see what I can do. She'll be out of town next week so I'll drain and clean the tub, adding whatever is necessary to keep things clean as long as possible. Thanks to everyone for the advice.
Stan




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