Hot tub maintenance is possibly one of the hottest topics in the industry, and it’s often one of the first things people ask about when they begin their hot tub buying journey.

While it’s certainly a crucial element of owning a hot tub, keeping its bubbling depths safe isn’t as challenging as you may have been led to believe.

Don’t believe us?

In this guide, we’re going to break down everything you need to know to easily maintain your hot tub for years to come, in just six easy steps.

At the end, we’ll even throw in an expert tip that is sure to make hot tub ownership truly effortless!

Let’s get started.

Hot Tub Maintenance 101: 6 Basic Steps for Expert Care

Hot tub maintenance can actually be quite simple with the right routine, and it doesn’t require hours of work.

In fact, many steps can be completed in a matter of minutes, with only a few requiring a larger time commitment.

Hot tubs thrive with routine, so as long as you stick to a schedule, you can experience a pristine hot tub with little work.

Best of all, you don’t have to create a routine on your own. We’ve done it for you! All you have to do is follow along.

1. Test and Treat Your Water

First and foremost, keeping your water clean, clear, and safe is a must.

This all comes down to testing it on a regular basis and treating it appropriately by following the instructions on your water treatment containers.

Ideally, you should test your water with a pH test strip or water test kit at least three times a week. This test will give you three crucial bits of information regarding your water chemistry:

  • pH levels
  • Alkalinity levels
  • Sanitizer levels

These three aspects all work together to keep your water safe, and reduce the risk of it damaging your system. To adjust their levels, you’ll need pH up, pH down, and alkalinity increaser.

So what should these levels be?

Great question! You’ll want your pH levels to be between 7.2 and 7.8 and your alkalinity levels somewhere between 80 and 120 ppm.

These two elements show how acidic or “basic” your water is. If your water is too acidic (low pH), it can begin corroding various parts of your system, including your shell, heating element, and even your jets.

If your water is too basic (high pH), you risk scale deposits forming on any surface your water comes in contact with throughout your entire spa!

Your sanitizer, on the other hand, is responsible for keeping your water bacteria-free. There are a few different types you can use, with chlorine being the most popular.

To ensure your sanitizer is working properly, you’ll want to maintain chlorine levels between 1 and 3 ppm.

While the three levels above certainly hold the most influence over your water quality, you may also want to consider adding the following treatment products to your routine.

  • Shock
  • Calcium Hardness Increaser
  • Enzymes

The additional products you use will all depend on your local water quality and usage, with soft water requiring additional calcium, or heavy usage being combatted with enzymes.

2. Clean Your Filters

While properly treating your water goes a long way in ensuring your water is safe to soak in, your filters determine both how clean your water is, and how efficient your system is running.

Dirty filters can lead to a host of issues developing, from dirty water, rising energy bills, and even a sudden drop in your jet pressure!

Dirty water can also occur if your filters are damaged and are unable to do their job properly, so it’s crucial you inspect them on a regular basis and replace them if they’re damaged.

To keep your filters in prime condition, follow this simple routine.


Each week, your filters should be rinsed under gently running water, either from your hose or under a faucet.

This helps rinse off any debris they’ve pulled from your water as it’s circulated through your system.


Each month, you’ll want to go a step further and include a filter cleaner.

This can either be in a spray, or a powder, and helps to lift more stubborn debris that a regular rinse may not be able to remove.

If you’re using a spray, simply remove your filters from your hot tub, spray them with the cleaner, and let them soak for 15 minutes before rinsing them off.

If you’re using a powder, however, simply dilute the suggested amount in a bucket of water, and submerge your filters in the mixture.


Once every three months, alongside your water change, we recommend letting your filters soak overnight in diluted filter cleaner.

This helps deeply penetrate the pleats to break down more difficult grime, renewing your filters to their former glory.


Finally, after 12 months, it’s time to replace your filters with new ones!

3. Circulate Your Water

Even if you’re not using your spa every day, it’s important your water is still being circulated through your system.

This serves a few different purposes, including:

  • Filtration
  • Sanitization
  • Treatment product distribution
  • Heating

Ideally, you should be running your circulation system for eight hours each day, but this should be increased during the winter when temperatures drop below 32°F.

4. Inspect Your System

This monthly routine serves one purpose: to ensure your system is functioning properly!

During your inspection, you’ll want to look at any sealed areas to ensure no water is leaking, and check for any signs of damage on the various parts of your system.

This is also a great time to do a quick walk around your spa and look for any unexpected puddles, particularly around the corners of the cabinet.

5. Include Routine Water Changes

Each time you add chemicals to your water, you’re increasing the level of total dissolved solids (TDS), which can make your water difficult to balance.

Draining and refilling your spa will help give you a fresh start, making it easier to maintain your water quality, while ensuring you’re soaking in the cleanest water possible.

We recommend that you drain your hot tub once every three or four months. This is also the perfect time to include a deep clean of your shell and an inspection of your jets for any signs of corrosion or scale buildup.

Once you’ve cleaned your spa, you can refill it with fresh water from your garden hose before testing it and treating it with your hot tub chemicals to bring everything back into balance.

6. Change Your CLEARRAY®️ Bulb

All Sundance®️ Spas are outfitted with UV-C technology, a sanitization system that uses the power of UV-C light and oxygen to kill bacteria in your water.

This takes the work out of your maintenance routine by keeping your water cleaner with fewer chemicals!

However, much like any other light, the UV-C bulb in your hot tub will weaken over time and will need to be replaced.

CLEARRAY®️ bulbs have a lifespan of 12 months and will need to be replaced once that time limit has been reached.

This ensures your bulb is always working effectively to keep your water clean all year long.

Proactive Steps to Make Hot Tub Maintenance Effortless

The quality of your hot tub is ultimately up to you, and each step you take to maintain your spa will have an effect on every other aspect of your routine.

This is one of the many reasons people turn toward proactive measures to keep their water cleaner, and combat the need for additional treatments.

Some common proactive steps you may want to consider include:

  • Using hot tub sponges
  • Showering before you soak
  • Keeping your hair up while in the water
  • Removing your makeup first
  • Wiping the waterline once a week
  • Keeping the spa covered anytime you’re not using it

These seemingly small steps can make a big difference in the work needed to clean your filters or the amount of chemicals you need to add to your water to break down bacteria and organic matter.

Upgrade Your Hot Tub Maintenance Routine with Professional Service

Let’s face it, hot tub maintenance isn’t for everyone, but it’s a necessity for your hot tub’s basic functioning and longevity.

So what happens if you’re unable to properly care for your hot tub?

A professional hot tub service can easily bridge the gap in care, ensuring your hot tub receives the maintenance it needs without you having to lift a finger.

Whether you’re constricted by a full schedule, a traveling job, or simply don’t feel confident with the larger tasks, such as water changes, professional maintenance is the perfect solution!

Hot Tub Maintenance and Service in Appleton

At Fox Valley Pool & Spa, we offer a range of hot tub maintenance services, from troubleshooting and repairs, to water changes and basic water testing!

We want everyone to enjoy the luxury of a hot tub no matter their lifestyle, and with our service solutions, we’ve made that possible.

Whether you need ongoing service or need an issue diagnosed and repaired, our team is here to help!

Contact us today, request service online, or visit us at our Appleton, WI, showroom to find all your basic hot tub maintenance products.