Skip to content
Family Owned and Operated Since 1973!
Family Owned and Operated Since 1973!
Spa Care & Hot Tub FAQ

Spa Care & Hot Tub FAQ

Looking for answers to some hot tub FAQs? You’ve come to the right place. Mention a spa or hot tub, which immediately comes to mind is a thoroughly relaxing experience. But it’s also important to regularly take care of them and maintain clean, clear, healthy spa water. 

We believe that spa care and hot tub maintenance must be routine activities. It shouldn’t be something you do when you notice a problem. It should be something you regularly do to avoid problems. That’s why it’s important to know about the hot tub FAQ center.

If you own a hot tub or spa, you have your oasis to unwind. But you also have specific responsibilities to make sure that you have hygienic spa experiences. When you understand common hot tub FAQs, you will save money and have peace of mind.

Spa and hot tub owners can have multiple hot tub FAQs. Should you treat your spa water the way you treat your pool water? How do you control the pH levels? Why is the calcium level important for the water’s balance? What’s the best way to clean a cartridge filter? What can you do when the alkalinity level is high? Why is the spa foaming?

These are just some of the hot tub FAQs we have covered. You will find answers to the most common and even uncommon questions about spa care and hot tub maintenance here. These will help you understand the importance of maintaining the water balance and chemistry.

Need help maintaining your clean, clear and healthy spa water? We are here for you!

Should I treat my spa water the same way as I treat my pool water?

Although the pH and total alkalinity measurements are the same, the sanitizer level (bromine or chlorine) should be kept between 3-5 ppm. In a spa, the filter requires more frequent cleanings. In addition, the water will require more frequent care to assure pH and sanitizer levels are correct.

I can't seem to control my pH. It seems to be high one day, then low the next. What can I do?

Controlling the pH in a spa can be challenging. Using Sirona pH Balance every time the spa is refilled will lock the pH in the proper range until the spa is drained again (usually 90 days).

I am using bromine tablets to sanitize my spa and the directions for use say I need to add a "bromide bank" first. Why do I need to do this?

It is recommended that you add this “bank” in order to ensure that the sanitizer in the water is all bromine from the moment you first start using it.

My spa installer told me not to use soft water (low calcium level) in my spa. Why is the calcium level important to my water's balance?

Too little calcium in the water can cause foaming and corrosion, particularly in heaters and other metal components. To increase the hardness to the recommended level of 150-400 ppm, add Sirona™ Calcium Booster. Too much calcium can cause scaling on the walls and heating elements or cloudy water. To prevent calcium in the water from causing these problems, add Sirona™ Defend.

My spa has an ozonator. I have heard that I should not use a clarifier in my spa. Why?

Ozone is a highly reactive oxidizing agent. Some people are under the impression that ozone will destroy clarifiers and make them ineffective. We have found, however, that ozone does not affect the effectiveness of clarifiers. Clarifiers do provide a very real benefit in ozonated spas by helping the filter keep the water clean.

My cartridge filter is dirty and I was told to just put it in my dishwasher to clear it. Is this the BEST way?

The dishwasher may damage the fabric on the filter. The best way to clean your filter is to soak it in a bucket of water with Sirona™ Filter Cleaner. This will ensure that all oils, lotions and minerals will be removed from the filter. For quick cleanings, use Sirona™ Spray & Rinse Filter Cleaner.

I just refilled my spa and I am having problems balancing my water. The pH is low and the total alkalinity is high. What can I do to fix it?

When the pH and the total alkalinity are opposite of one another, always fix the low number first. In this case, add a pH increaser until the pH is within a normal range. Then, adjust the total alkalinity by adding a pH level reducer. Using Sirona™ pH Balance + after this will lock your pH into the proper range.

My spa has odd-shaped white chips on the bottom after I shut it off! Where is this stuff coming from?

The white chips are calcium deposits (scale which forms on the heater elements) which are knocked off when the blowers and jets are on. This problem may be prevented by using a sequestering agent, such as Sirona™ Defend, on a weekly basis to prevent calcium in the water from forming deposits.

I am using a non-chlorine shock in my spa. Is it the same product for both pools and spas?

Non-chlorine shock for pools is not buffered and may affect the overall water chemical balance of the spa water. It is best that you use a non-chlorine shock, such as Sirona™ Activate Granular designed specifically for spas. This will help reduce the need for extra chemical treatment to keep pH in the proper range.

My spa is foaming! Why?

There are several reasons that a spa foams. A common cause is the rapidly moving water combined with bathers bringing in soaps and detergents on their bodies and bathing suits. Showering before entering the spa helps prevent this problem. If excess detergents are the cause of the foam, using a defoamer such as Sirona™ Foam Out will reduce the amount of foaming.

Another cause of foaming is soft water. This means that the calcium level in the water is low. This can be corrected by raising the calcium level to 150-400 ppm.

Organic waste build up can also cause foaming. By shocking the spa on a regular basis, the waste is oxidized out of the water and foaming is reduced.

Dickson Brothers offers both chlorine and bromine as sanitizers. Which should I use?

Overall, bromine tends to be more popular among spa owners. Bromine is offered in both a tablet form and as a two-part system. Unlike chlorine, bromine is effective over a wider pH range, doesn’t irritate your eyes or bleach bathing suits. Additionally, bromine is effective in its combined form, doesn’t smell and is an effective sanitizer. However, many spa owners elect to sanitize with chlorine. It is traditionally used in pools, and it is an effective sanitizer and oxidizer. Granular chlorine is the easiest form to use and will keep the water sparkling clean!

How often do I really need to shock my spa water?

How often you shock spa water depends on the sanitizer used and the hot tub load. If you are using the 2-part bromine sanitizing system such as Sirona™ Enhance and Sirona™ Activate, it is recommended that you shock each time you finish using your spa. If you are using chlorine or bromine tablets, it is recommended that you shock at least once per week. It may be necessary to shock more often if the bather load is heavy or the water is cloudy.

I have an ozonator on my hot tub. Do I need to use a sanitizer with it?

Yes. Even though ozone is an effective oxidizer and will even destroy microorganisms directly exposed to the ozone, the ozone is relatively short lived in your hot tub water. As such the ozone is not present in the water for a sufficient length of time to assure adequate sanitation of the entire tub and the surfaces and plumbing. The use of an ozonator will reduce your consumption of chlorine or bromine as it makes it easier to maintain proper levels of these in the water it does not eliminate their usefulness.

Do I need to maintain a calcium hardness level in my spa?

Absolutely. Water that is low in calcium hardness can be corrosive to other metal parts in your spa, particularly your heater. We recommend maintaining a calcium hardness level of 150 – 400 ppm. Maintaining proper calcium hardness levels will also help reduce foaming.