Spa Care Guide

Owning a spa can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, for many the task of maintaining and cleaning a spa becomes overwhelming to the point it robs them of that enjoyment. At Pool Time, we seek to make spa care as effortless as possible. Customers that follow our recommended program find that spa care is manageable and doesn’t require a degree in Chemistry to perfect. SpaGuard, Pool Time’s preferred spa care product line, has a complete variety of spa care products to support both chlorine and bromine programs. SpaGuard offers sanitizers, oxidizers, balancers and accessories, all formulated for maximum performance and value. Though designed to work in conjunction with one another as part of a maintenance program, the products work superbly on their own, or in spas which use pre-installed devices such as ozonators.


There are six essential aspects to proper spa care. Review the links below for more information, or review a complete list of our spa products here:

 

spapic01.jpg

 

 

Circulation

Good water circulation is vital to keeping your spa water properly filtered and chemically balanced. As water is circulated, it passes through the filter cartridges where small particles are collected and trapped. Additionally, stagnant water has the tendency to become a haven for algae, bacteria and other microorganisms that can be detrimental to your spa experience. By ensuring adequate circulation, you can eliminate these microorganisms through proper distribution of sanitizing chemicals throughout the spa.

Tips:

-Run your spa circulation system daily. The information provided to you by the spa’s manufacturer should provide you with the appropriate duration, but if you are unsure, ask a Pool Time professional for assistance.

-Take care of your equipment. Don’t assume it is working properly if your spa is having problems staying clean.

 

Back to top 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Filtration

A large percentage of spa issues can be narrowed down to dirty or ineffective filters. Filters capture the hair, oils, and cosmetics that wash off when people use the spa, as well as any environmental debris that might be introduced. When the filter is dirty, these elements are not captured and remain in the water making it cloudy, smelly and oily. Most spas have a cartridge filter. Check your owner's manual for detailed information on how to remove the filter for cleaning. Typically you should clean the filter every 4-6 weeks.

Tips:

-Rinse your filter cartridge with a garden hose to remove loose debris. A hose-end nozzle is best. A pressure washer has too much pressure. (NOTE: this will not eliminate the accumulated oils.)

-Every time you clean your filter useSpaGuard Filter Cleaner and Degreaser according to label instructions. This will dissolve and loosen the built-up oil and dirt.

 

 Filter Cleaner and Degreaser

filterCleanDeg-m.jpg

-Chemically breaks down oils and dirt that stay embedded in your filter's fabric.
-Helps keep water clear by promoting better filtration
-Easy-to-use sprayer applicator

 
-Replace the filter element as often as the manufacturer recommends. An average lifespan of a cartridge is approximately 18 months to 24 months, but this will vary depending on usage and care.

 -Use SpaGuard Water Clarifier weekly. Some particles of debris are microscopic and too small for the filter to catch. Water Clarifier will help join these tiny particles together and allow the filter to remove them, keeping the water clear.

-Eliminate oils before they collect at the waterline or clog the filter with Natural Spa Enzyme.

Water Clarifier

1waterClarifier-m.jpg

Clears cloudy water by combining small particles into larger ones that filter can remove.

  • Helps clear cloudy water
  • Does not affect pH
  • Combines small particles into larger ones for easier filtration

Natural Enzyme Cleaner

1naturalSpaEnzyme-m.jpg

Eliminates oils before they collect at the waterline or clog the filter by converting them into carbon dioxide and other easy to remove compounds.

  • Reduces unpleasant odors
  • Improves water clarity
  • Reduces scum-line buildup
  • Helps keep spa water clear

 

 

Back to top 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing

Testing is a vital component in spa care. Because of the small volume of water relative to bather load, spa chemistry tends to fluctuate dramatically as spa usage increases. This leads to many difficult and hard-to-solve water chemistry issues. The best approach is to test spa water regularly in order to prevent these bad situations from arising.

We recommend the following Test Strips and Test Kits:

Pentair All-In_One Test Kit

testkit.gif

-Measures Chlorine, Bromine, pH, Total Alkalinity and Acid Demand

-Easy to use and interpret results

-Includes precise instuctions for use and guide to pool chemistry 

Aquacheck Yellow Test Strips
AC_cons_yellow.jpg

-Test results in seconds<

-Measures Free Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity and Cyanuric Acid 

Aquacheck Red Test Strips

AC_cons_red.jpg

-Test results in seconds<

-Measures Total Bromine, pH, Total Alkalinity and Totalhardness

Aquacheck TruTest Digital Reader
AC_TruTestMeter.jpg

-Tests for free chlorine / bromine, pH and total alkalinity.

-Get fast, accurate digital results in seconds

-Comes with 25 TruTest digital strips.

Tips and Recommendations:

-Bring a water sample into the store regularly for a complete water analysis. In addition to testing the pH and sanitizer, this analysis will measure the water's total alkalinity, calcium hardness, iron, copper, manganese and total dissolved solids. Based on this report, we can give you a professional analysis of your spa’s water chemistry and help you keep the spa clean, clear and enjoyable.


-Test sanitizer, pH and Total Alkalinity levels several times a week with the test strips. These strips provide quick, easy and accurate readings. The test process is easy. Follow the label instructions. Simply dip and read. Alternatively, a drop-test kit can be used if preferred.

-Maintain residuals of your sanitizing agents within the following ranges:

Bromine residual = 3 - 6 ppm
Chlorine residual = 3 - 5 ppm
Biguianide residual = 30-50 ppm

-Maintain the pH between 7.4 - 7.6.

-Maintain Total Alkalinity level between 100-125 ppm.

 

 

Back to top 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chemistry

Spa chemistry is one of the more confusing aspects of spa care. We at Pool Time strive to be the area’s best source of spa maintenance knowledge. We believe that by using the best quality chemical products you will save yourself time and effort and enhance your enjoyment of your spa. We recommend SpaGuard products to meet all your spa maintenance needs. By using a SpaGuard program in your spa care regimen, you’ll receive numerous benefits. When used according to label instructions, SpaGuard products will:

  • Make the water feel clean and comfortable.

  • Kill algae and bacteria which can multiply rapidly in a spa.

  • Protect spa surfaces from stains caused by metals which are often dissolved in water.

  • Protect spa equipment from scale caused by calcium deposits. Scale can accumulate on spa surfaces and inside filters and heaters, greatly reducing their effectiveness.

Sanitizers

The first step in any spa maintenance program is to decide which type of sanitizing agent should be used. Each has various benefits and drawbacks and no single solution is right for everyone. Even if your spa is equipped with an ozone generator, you still need SpaGuard sanitizing and "shock products." Ozone can provide some oxidizing support, but ozone is very short lived. SpaGuard sanitizers provide the continuous, reliable protection you need.

Bromine is the most effective sanitizer available for spas and requires the least amount of maintenance. Available in either tablet or granule form, bromine is extremely effective at killing algae and bacteria, yet forgiving of minor chemical imbalances. Bromine is not compatible with Nature2 silver nitrate cartridges.

Brominating Concentrate
brominatingConcentrate-m.jpg

The strongest bacteria fighter with powerful granules that is extremely easy to use.  Brominating Concentrate is applied in the correct amount while the pump is running.  This "one-step" product is used as a regular sanitizer and as an oxidizer to rid the spa of odors and undesirable compounds.

-One step fast dissolving brominating granules
-Acts as a sanitizer and an oxidizer; no need for two products

-May be added directly to spa, no predissolving needed

Brominating Tablets

brominatingTablets-m.jpg

The power of an organic brominating compound (BCDMH) compressed into 1-inch tablet. Use Brominating Tablets in a brominator or in a SpaGuard Floating Dispenser.

-Dissolve slowly and protect continuously.
-Powerful sanitizer
-Particularly good for commercial spas and other spas with big bather loads.

Chlorine is also an extremely effective sanitizer and works almost as well as bromine with regard to killing algae and bacteria. Chlorine typically requires spending slightly more attention to the spa as it is applied in granule (powered) form and must be applied more than once a week in regularly used spas. The advantage of chlorine is that the smell is generally preferable to bromine and has less effect on individuals with skin sensitive to chemicals. Furthermore, because chlorine has to be manually added to the spa in granule form, it promotes a more programmed and disciplined approach to spa care and thus a cleaner spa. Additionally, chlorine is compatible with alternative sanitizers such as <link>Nature2<link> silver nitrate cartridges

Chlorinating Concentrate

chlorinatingConcentrate-m.jpg

The sanitizing power of chlorination in concentrated granules.  Chlorinating Concentrate should be added directly to spa water while the pump is running. Use regular doses as a sanitizer and shock doses as an oxidizer.

-Granular stabilized chlorinator
-Fast acting
-Quick dissolving
-Acts as a sanitizer and an oxidizer; no need for two products
-May be added directly to spa, no predissolving needed

In some cases, neither chlorine nor bromine is an appropriate chemical sanitizer because of adverse skin or eye reactions to the chemicals, aversion to chemical odors, or a desire for softer, gentler water. That is why Pool Time offers the Spaguard Soft Soak system. For more information on this system, please visit the SoftSoak website.

Oxidizers

When people use spas, they leave undesirable compounds like body oil, perspiration and cosmetics that can irritate skin, burn eyes and create odors. Oxidizing, also known as “shocking” the water, removes these undesirable compounds and restores water clarity and comfort. An oxidizer should be used weekly in most residential spas, more frequently in heavily-used or commercial spas. Both chlorinated and non-chlorinated shocks are available in the SpaGuard line. Either can be used in Chlorine and Bromine systems, and both are effective in eliminating unwanted compounds and contaminants in spas.

Enhanced Shock
enhancedShock-m.jpg

Every spa needs to be shocked to eliminate undesirable compounds that build up with use. Enhanced Shock allows you to quickly shock your spa and re-enter in just fifteen minutes as long as the free chlorine does not exceed label recommendations. It also offers additional benefits—like keeping the water sparkling and fresh.

-Restores water sparkle
-Removes unpleasant odors
-Multipurpose shock
-Can be used in chlorinated or brominated spas and those using ozone or ionization systems

Spa Shock
spaShock-m.jpg

This non-chlorine shock is the ideal oxidizer for spas with an ionizer unit.  It makes undesirable compounds disappear. Spa Shock is simple to use - just apply directly into your spa water while the pump is circulating. Try Spa Shock in two convenient sizes of 40-oz and 5-lbs.

 -Non-Chlorine oxidizer
-Can be used with chlorinated or brominated spas
-Does not raise chlorine residual
-Quick dissolving shock treatment
-Destroys organic contaminants

Balancers

Keeping spa water chemically balanced is vital for comfort, clarity, effectiveness and efficiency of sanitizer and keeping spa surfaces and equipment maintained. With our selection of SpaGuard products, Pool Time can recommend the solution for any spa balancing issue that might arise.

PH, or the level of acidity of the spa water is the most important issue when considering chemical balance. pH is notoriously sensitive to chemicals being introduced into the spa as well as substances introduced by bathers.

pH Decreaser 
pHDecreaser-m.jpg

Lowers the pH.

-Protects spa and equipment due to improper pH
-Prevents cloudy water due to high pH
-Balances water for bather comfort

pH Increaser
pHIncreaser-m.jpg

Raises the pH

-Protects corrosion of equipment due to low pH
-Balances water for bather comfort

Keeping Total Alkalinity within ideal range is important as a pH buffer, in that it helps to prevent large shifts in pH. A popular alternative to maintaining Total Alkalinity is use of a dedicated pH buffer such as Spa Sentry.

Spa Sentry
 
spaSentry-m.jpg

Spa Sentry is the easiest way to control pH for clear, stable water. pH is the most critical factor because it changing rapidly when bathers, products or other elements enter the water.

-Controls pH for up to two full months.
-Introduces a buffering compound, making pH easier to keep in balance.

Total Alkalinity Increaser
totalAlkalinityIncreaser-m.jpg
Raises the total alkalinity.  

-1 tbs. per 100 gallons raises total alkalinity 25ppm  
-Eliminates pH bounce     
-Helps prevent equipment and spa surface corrosion and damage

Minerals, metals and suspended particles in your spa can cause staining, damage to equipment, chemical inefficiency and cloudy water. Prevent these problems pro-actively as part of your normal maintenance with any of these SpaGuard products.

Stain and Scale Control
stainAndScaleControl-m.jpg

Scale or calcium carbonate build-up can cause damage to your spa surface as well as your circulation system. SpaGuard Stain & Scale Control does a great job of preventing scale by introducing powerful agents that bond to problem-causing calcium ions in your spa water.

-Prevents scale formation and cloudy water due to high calcium levels
-Removes some scale buildup on spa surface
-Removes relatively fresh metal stains from spa surfaces

Water Clarifier
waterClarifier-m.jpg

Clears cloudy water by combining small particles into larger ones that filter can remove.

-Helps clear cloudy water
-Does not affect pH
-Combines small particles into larger ones for easier filtration

When water chemistry is not ideal, spas will often present a host of symptoms that warn you to fix the problem. It is always best to solve the underlying chemistry problem, but SpaGuard offers products to give you immediate results in eliminating foaming and odors.

Anti Foam
antiFoam-m.jpg

Quickly eliminates any surface foam caused by undesirable compounds and detergents.

-For use with all sanitizer types
-For use in all spas and hot tubs

Water Freshener
waterFreshener-m.jpg

SpaGuard Water Freshener works well with any sanitizer and eliminates odors. Other fresheners cover odors with a fragrance or become less effective when bromine or chlorine residuals are present.

-Eliminates odors in spa and hot tub water
-Makes spas and hot tubs smell fresh

 

Back to top 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning

A major component of spa care is cleaning the surface of the spa. Bacteria, algae, dirt, oil and other contaminants can accumulate on the spa surface, especially near the waterline, creating unsightly stains and scum line deposits.

Tips:

-Use a skimmer net to remove floating debris.

-Brush and vacuum the spa.

-If you have a skimmer basket, empty it once or twice a week.

Use Bioguard Off the Wall or SpaGuard Spa Mitts. These fast-acting products break up the oils and debris at the waterline so you can easily wipe the surface clean. These products, unlike normal household cleaners are completely compatible with your spa’s water chemistry.

Off The Wall
offTheWall-m.jpg

Off The Wall® allows you to efficiently remove scale, dirt, and stains on most types of pool and spa surfaces including vinyl, fiberglass, ceramic, stainless steel, aluminum and painted surfaces. This new gel formula is specifically formulated for compatibility with swimming pool and spa water.

  • Gel-like formula is 10x thicker than the previous formula
  • 2x faster at penetrating scale deposits
  • Formulated specifically for use in pools and spas
  • Clings to pool and spa surfaces and cleaning tools for easy application and use
  • Long-lasting cleaning for fewer reapplications
  • Even more efficient cleaning of soiled areas than the previous formula
  • Safe for use on most pool and spa surfaces

Spa Cleaning Mitts

spaMitts-m.jpg

Keep your spa clean with this innovative way to remove oil, dirt and waterline deposits on all spa surfaces.

  • Pretreated with powerful cleaner
  • Gentle, no scratch mitt surface
  • Keeps spa surfaces sparkling and smooth
  • Can be used on patio/pool furniture, bath tubs, shower surrounds and sinks
  • Effectively  removes scale, dirt, oil, scum, and waterline buildup around the spa surface

Prevent waterline build-up with SpaGuard Natural Spa Enzyme. This natural product has enzymes that digest most oils and eliminate them from the water.

Natural Spa Enzyme
naturalSpaEnzyme-m.jpg

Eliminates oils before they collect at the waterline or clog the filter by converting them into carbon dioxide and other easy to remove compounds.

  • Reduces unpleasant odors
  • Improves water clarity
  • Reduces scum-line buildup
  • Helps keep spa water clear

 

Back to top 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draining and Refilling

Regular draining and refilling is a normal part of spa care. Over time, the water absorbs and dissolves minerals, chemicals and other soluble material. Pool Time can perform a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) test to help determine if it's time to replace your water. High TDS can make the water look dull, become foamy and develop an odor. Other factors can also play into the decision of whether a spa should be drained.


Tips:

-How often you drain and refill your spa depends on how often you use it.
This simple formula can help: (# of Spa Gallons / # of Daily Bathers) / 3 = Days Between Draining
* Example: (300 gallons / 2 daily bathers) / 3 = 50 days

-After draining your spa, clean it with SpaGuard® Off The Wall and SpaGuard Spa Mitts to eliminate oils and scum.

-After refilling the spa, add a bottle of Spa Sentry to help maintain the pH

-Bring a water sample into Pool Time following a refill. We can advise you what chemicals should be used to start-up the spa.

 

Back to top 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternative Spa Programs

SoftSoak

SoftSoak is the non-chlorine, non-bromine spa program for people who want the benefit of a clean spa without the noticeable odor and occasional drying of skin and eye irritation of chlorine or bromine. SoftSoak’s advantages:


  • Soft, gentle water

  • No dry skin or hair

  • Non-irritating to eyes

  • Odorless

  • Ease of use


SoftSoak Startup Kit
ssStartUpKit-m.jpg

Eliminates oils before they collect at the waterline or clog the filter by converting them into carbon dioxide and other easy to remove compounds.

  • Reduces unpleasant odors
  • Improves water clarity
  • Reduces scum-line buildup
  • Helps keep spa water clear

 

 
Nature2

Nature2 is a sanitizing system that uses patented mineral-bed technology to provide crystal clear water and improved water quality. Working with the pool filtration system, Nature2 uses elemental minerals that combine with a small amount of chlorine to inhibit bacteria growth and eliminate contaminants. Minerals make the water noticeably softer, and less chlorine means a lower potential for red-eye, dry skin or foul odors. With Nature2, your swim experience is clean, fresh, and gently soothing.

Extensively tested and proven to sanitize your water more effectively than chlorine-based treatments alone, Nature2 uses precise mineral combinations for its pool and spa treatments. Its Controlled Release Technology provides precise amounts of minerals in the water at any one time, ensuring optimum cleaning and no staining. In pools, silver and copper work in conjunction with the small level of chlorine to destroy bacteria and other organics.

Nature2 Spa combines zinc and silver, teamed with an oxidizer, to effectively sanitize even at the higher water temperatures. When used with MPS, the most recommended oxidant for spas, Nature2 Spa becomes the only EPA approved complete, non-chlorine sanitizing system.

Nature2 Spa Cartridge
product_nature2_spa.gif

The Natural Alternative to Chlorine

-Clean, clear water without harsh chemicals
-No more chlorine smell or eye irritation
-Simply drop it into your spa filter
-Improves water quality, reducing skin irritation and dryness

Nature2 Test Strips
sm_product_teststrips.gif

Nature2 Spa Test Strips

-No mess, no fuss
-Instant readings for MPS, alkalinity, and pH
-Color-coded quick guide on package
-50 strips per package

 

Back to top