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Cost and Maintenance of Your Spa or Hot Tub in 10 Facts

1. Spa or Hot Tub Cleaning

Due to the high proliferation of bacteria in warm water, monitoring and treating hot tub water is crucial. Otherwise, you may share your germs with your friends. Gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, and folliculitis will be on the menu! First, you must determine your water chemistry. Indeed, pH, alkalinity, and hardness of water may vary greatly from one city to another. Using a sample of water, your dealer can help you determine which products to add to each filling. Once these parameters are adjusted, you need to use a test kit or test strips to keep the settings at the level recommended by your spa manufacturer. The more you use your spa, the more you need to closely monitor and adjust settings as needed. Under the effect of hot water treatment, dead skin, bacteria, dirt, and moisturizers are detached from the body and are found in water. Therefore, it is recommended to take a shower before using your spa. Close monitoring of your water chemistry will also extend the lifespan of your spa.

2. Filter and Water Change

Once a week, clean your filter using a jet of water (your hose)r, and once a month, let it soak in a product designed for this purpose (C’est quoi le Produit excitement??). You’ll need a second filter that you’ll use when you clean the other. Most filters are sold for between 30 and 100$. They have a lifespan of about a year or two. In general, it is recommended to change your water every three months. Indeed, over time, the concentration of dissolved solids increases, and it may become difficult to maintain adequate water chemistry. It is then easier to completely change your water.

3. Disinfectants

The three most commonly used disinfectants in spas are bromine, chlorine, and lithium hypochlorite (a form of chlorine). Bromine is offered mainly in slow-dissolving tablets which are placed in a floating dispenser. Many consumers find them useful because they can last a few days. Lithium, sold in pellet form, is added every day. As for chlorine, it is found in tablets and granules. Bromine has several advantages over chlorine:

  • Resistance to high temperatures;
  • Disinfection ordor more subtle;
  • More effective response to pH variations.

However, bromine is more expensive. Moreover, lithium hypochlorite is diluted more and emits less odor than other forms of chlorine when it is dissolved. However, it costs a bit more expensive than the latter. It can be used to make a weekly shock treatment. If you opt for chlorine, it is better to use non-stabilized chlorine. It resists UV shorter than chlorine stabilized, but it is more efficient. Since hot tuba is generally not exposed to sunlight for several hours, so this choice seems more appropriate. Pour ça, on devrait avoir un tableau. Ca devrait être plus facile à comprendre.

4. Ozone Generator

Several spas are sold with an ozone generator, which can also be purchased as an option. The price of this device varies widely – from 150 to 1,500$ – depending on its complexity (movement and evacuation of ozone, etc…). Ozone destroys part of organic matter present in water and slightly reduces the number of chemicals necessary for disinfection. However, as it does not destroy micro-organisms, it must be used in combination with chlorine, bromine, or lithium. According to Nicolas Guillotte, business owner for maintenance and repair Spas and Pools, Ozonators feature a light bulb to be changed every two or three years (about 100$). A test can be done to detect the presence of ozone and determine whether to change the bulb.

5. Bleach

Bleach is a solution of sodium hypochlorite found in pool retailers: however, its chlorine concentration is about two times lower. Some consumers use it to treat their spa water because they see it as a bargain. We do not recommend bleach for water treatment. The quantities used are not specified because this product is not approved for this use. Furthermore, we do not know if additives such as perfumes or antistatic agents were added. Please note that bleach has a very high pH, which is not ideal in spas since the pH generally tends to increase.

6. Salt System

Very popular for pools, devices that generate bromine or chlorine from salt electrolysis are not yet on the market for spas. Only 3% of respondents to our survey use this technology, which can simplify spa maintenance. Simply put sodium chloride or sodium bromide to fill and adjust the production rate of chlorine or bromine, as required. Of course, you must also continue to control your water chemistry. Weekly shock treatment may be necessary. Salt generators are sold for between 600 and 2,000$. Before you decide to buy, it might be a good idea to check if the device is designed to work in your spa and if its addition will affect your spa warranty.

7. To Prevent Scale Formation

Depending on the hardness of your water, you may need to use a product the prevent scale formation. This product reduces the formation of scale on the components of your spa. (C’est quoi le produit????)

8. Allergies and Contraindications

Some people believe they are allergic to bromine or chlorine. However, according to Dr. Jean Cote, dermatologist, this type of allergy is extremely rare. The problem is that people often stay too long in the water, which dries out their skin. He recommends taking a shower after using the spa/hot tub and then applying a moisturizer. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), – children under the age of five should not use the spa. In addition, pregnant women and people with heart problems should consult their doctor before using a spa because the temperature can reach 104 º F (40 º C).

9. Base and Electric Installations

Most spas can be installed on a bed of compacted stone dust (about 500$), on a steel base (approximately 800$), or on a concrete slab (between 1000$ and 2000$). Some manufacturers may have restrictions regarding the installations and may refuse to honor their warranty if you decide not to follow their instructions. In addition, your spa must be connected to your main electrical box by a certified electrician. (Expected : between500 to -1,500$).

10. Insulation

In most spas, the space between the tub and the skirt is completely filled with foam. But you can also find on the market several insulation types. What insulation type is the most effective? A few studies have been conducted on the subject, however, it is difficult to determine their effectiveness. Note that a spa fully insulated with urethane may be more difficult to repair. According to Nicolas Guillotte, owner of Piscines Spa Poseidon, “To find and fix a simple leak in a pipe filled with urethane can take four times longer and therefore can be four times more expensive to repair”.

Protegez-Vous may 2009

Frédéric Perron

Réjean Poudrette


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