FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If there is no sanitiser (chlorine/bromine) in your hot tub water, bacteria will multiply very quickly. If the water is a greenish colour, or you are not getting a reading of sanitiser on the test strips, it is due to there being too much bacteria in the water for the sanitiser that has been added to cope with. You need to ensure that enough sanitiser is added to the water to kill 100% the bacteria present. If there has been only enough sanitiser to kill 99% of the bacteria, the remaining 1% of bacteria will multiply again and again, and very quickly the levels will be higher than when you started.
For example, if we were to say that 1 part of sanitiser can kill 1 bacteria, and there are 100 bacteria currently in your hot tub, you would need to add at least 100 parts of sanitiser to kill all of the bacteria. If only 90 parts of chlorine were added, the 10 bacteria that remains would quickly multiply, and within 24 hours there would be 1000 bacteria in the water! With this in mind, you can see that the amount of sanitiser needed to kill 100% of the bacteria can increase very quickly if not achieved straight away.
Always check 12-24 hours after adding your sanitiser that the levels are reading within the ‘OK’ range on your test strips. If you do get a good reading after 12-24 hours after adding the sanitiser, you can be confident that you have killed all of the bacteria. If the sanitiser reading is low, you know that bacteria remains in the water and more sanitiser is needed. In some cases, when bacteria levels have built up a lot, a large amount of sanitiser would be needed to remove all bacteria and have a good sanitiser reading
How much sanitiser needed depends on the number of bacteria in the water. The more bacteria: the more sanitiser needed. The number of users and length of time the hot tub is used will affect the number of bacteria introduced to the water. No matter how thoroughly a person showers before entering a hot tub, millions of bacteria are taken into the water on every use. Therefore, you will need to test the water regularly to be able to get used to the amount of sanitiser needed for different circumstances. The key is ensuring the sanitiser levels are reading within the ‘OK’ range on your test strips 12-24 hours after adding. Using trial and error, you will be able to get used to the amount of sanitiser needed.
Chlorine and bromine are different chemicals and should not be used together. If you wanted to swap over from one to the other, you must drain and refill with fresh water.
Both chemicals are used to kill bacteria and it is personal preference which is used. Bromine has less of an odour and is more stable in warm water, but you may need to use a little more of this than chlorine and is generally a little more expensive.
A ‘Shock’ treatment, otherwise known as Oxidising, is a treatment that should be carried out regularly to remove organic matter in the hot tub water. When either chlorine or bromine kill bacteria, a residue is left behind and needs to be removed. If left to build up, you will find that you get a strong odour from the hot tub water and your sanitiser (chlorine/bromine) will be less effective. Generally, a shock treatment should be carried out weekly.
If using bromine, non-chlorine shock should be used. If using chlorine, either non-chlorine shock or chlorine shock can be used. Chlorine shock contains some chlorine, which is why it should not be used with bromine.
If your chlorine/bromine levels are correct, and you are still getting a good reading 24 hours after adding sanitiser, the cloudiness is caused by something other than bacteria. Any products taken into the water, such as make-up, hair gel, fake tan, etc. will have an effect on the water quality. Larger particles will be collected in the filter, but some particles are too small and will make the water appear cloudy. To combat this, a clarifier product such as Spamate Spa Sparkle should be used. This will lock onto the small particles and help them get collected into the filter.
Clean the hot tub filter regularly, use a clarifier when needed and carry out a drain and refill every 3-4 months.
It is very important to keep the pH levels correct. Having the pH too high or too low can corrode parts of the spa, irritate the skin and eyes, and could make the Chlorine/Bromine less effective.
The pH level can be altered by general use of the spa, perspiration, drinks spilt, rainwater, etc.
If the pH is reading too low, use pH increaser until the test strips read within the ‘ok’ zone. If the pH is too high, use pH Reducer until the test strips read in the ’ok’ zone.
It is best to start with small amounts (1-2 tablespoons) to begin with and re-test after 30 minutes if needed. Keep adding the relevant product until the level is correct..
Alkalinity in the water acts as a stabiliser for the pH. You need to get the TA (Total Alkalinity) levels correct before trying to stabilise the pH. If the TA is low, you will find it almost impossible to maintain the pH in the correct level. Use TA Increaser until the level is in the ‘ok’ zone on the test strips.
There is no such product as TA Reducer; this is something that will reduce naturally over time and should be topped up as required.
It is best to start with small amounts (1-2 tablespoons) to begin with and re-test after 30 minutes if needed. Keep adding the relevant product until the level is correct.
pH is a scale used to measure the Acid/Alkaline levels and is on a scale from 1 to 14. 1 being very acidic, 14 very alkaline and 7 neutral.
TA is a measure of the total amount of alkaline substances dissolved in the water.
The Total Alkalinity (TA) acts as a stabiliser for the pH.
Hard water will create a limescale build up around the components in the hot tub. This will result in the hot tub becoming less efficient and things going wrong. Firstly, similar to a car, an annual service is very important to keep all components running effectively. A Calcium Decreasing product should also be used regularly if you have hard water.
Generally, a weekly dose of Spamate Decrease Calcium should be used to prevent the scale from forming. You may not notice an effect to the levels on the test strip, but by adding regularly it will prevent scale from form around the hot tub components.
Replacing the water is required when the water reaches saturation point. This is when there are too many chemicals and organic substances dissolved in the water, and the water struggles to dissolve any more. Imagine adding salt to a glass of water; at first the salt will dissolve, but as more and more is added, there will become a point when the salt will no longer dissolve. This is when the water reaches saturation point. You are unlikely to reach a point where the chemicals will no longer dissolve at all, but the water will be less and less efficient at dissolving the chemicals being added. Usually, it is time to drain and refill after around 3-4 months, but the amount of use will have an effect on this.
How often the water balances change can vary from person to person, so there is no set rule for how regularly you should test. However, it is important to ensure the levels are correct, so testing daily to begin with is advised. Once you are more familiar with your water and how often the balances change, testing can be done less frequently. Testing 12-24 hours after adding sanitiser is recommended to ensure that all bacteria has been killed.
Yes, always leave the cover open for 30 minutes after adding any chemicals. Failing to do this will mean that the gases released by chemicals get trapped between the water and the cover and will result in deterioration of the cover, pillows, plastic and metal parts around the hot tub.
Foaming on the water is caused by soaps or products getting into the water. Using an Antifoam product will remove the foam. This may not remove the cause of the foam, so the foaming may return quickly. If you constantly get foam appear on the water, ensure that all levels are correct on the test strips, clean the filter and use a Clarifier product such as Spa Sparkle. Turning off any air control switches on your hot tub when not in use will also help to reduce foam build-up.
Tablets are not recommended as they dissolve slowly, producing a slow release of off-gas. As it is not practical to leave the hot tub cover off, the gas being released by the tablets can build up, causing the cover, pillows, plastics and metals around the hot tub to deteriorate. If using tablets, regular ventilation (at least daily) would be required by removing the hot tub cover for 30 minutes. Even with regular ventilation, tablets can cause harm to you hot tub parts which would not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
This would vary depending on use, but generally every 2 weeks is recommended to rinse your filter with a hose pipe. You should carry out a thorough clean by soaking in a Filter Cleaner solution for 24 hours around once a month. Having a spare filter will mean that you can alternate between the 2, meaning that your hot tub isn’t left switched off for long periods of time while your filter soaks. Always rinse the filter after it has been soaked for 24 hours, and if storing, ensure it is kept dry.
A length of cable that reaches from your isolation point to the furthest point of where you would like your hot tub to go is recommended. This way, you would be able to have your hot tub positioned in any orientation on the day of install. Our team can always trim the cable down if necessary, so it is always best to have too much than too little.
Unfortunately, the level of the hot tub cannot be adjusted, so a firm, level base is essential. A small difference in the level to prevent water pooling is common on most patios, and this would not cause any issues with the function of the hot tub. However, if the difference in level is too much, you will notice a difference in level when the hot tub is filled and may not look quite right.
If you have no access at all, you may need a crane to get your hot tub into place. Award Leisure can arrange this for you, but would be a cost payable directly to the chosen crane company. Using a crane is a fairly common way to install hot tubs.
It is always worth checking with a neighbour to see if access through their garden is possible before resorting to using a crane. Fence panels can often be removed to gain access.
How much room do I need to leave around the hot tub?
It is recommended that around 50cm is left around all 4 sides of the hot tub. This will allow enough room to get access to all components, and leave room for a cover lifter to be installed if required.
One of the most common areas for water loss is from the filter lid. As the filter is pressurised, if the lock ring has not been tightened enough, water will be lost. Check the ‘How to Clean & Replace Your Hot Tub Filter’ video for a demonstration on replacing your filter lid.
It is also recommended to check that the drain valve for the hot tub has been attached correctly, and the waterfalls are not set too high when not in use. If the waterfalls are left on with the cover closed, the water can hit the underside of the cover and leak over the edge.
This error is caused by a lack of flow through the heater. Check that the water level is correct and there is nothing restricting the flow. This could include a blocked filter. This error could also be caused by an air lock, which means that there is air in the pump and pipework which would need to be removed. This commonly happens after draining and refilling your hot tub.
This is a general reminder to check that the electrical circuit is working correctly. It is advised that household breakers (RCDs) are checked regularly to ensure that they are operating correctly. Your hot tub has a built-in reminder function to check this. To test your RCD, there should be a button with the letter T on the breaker itself on your fuse board. When you press this button, it will trip the breaker if working correctly. By doing this, the hot tub will turn off and reset this message.