Hot Tub Maintenance Checklist: Your Complete Guide

Published on

March 14, 2024

As hot tub water experts, we understand that maintaining a hot tub can be a daunting task for many hot tub owners. With the right knowledge and tools, hot tub maintenance can be easy and straightforward. That's why we've created a hot tub maintenance checklist to help with everything you need to keep your hot tub in top condition all year round.

By following our hot tub maintenance checklist, you'll be able to keep your hot tub water clean and clear, prevent costly repairs, and prolong the lifespan of your hot tub.

Whether you're a new hot tub owner or an experienced one, our checklist is an invaluable tool that will help you take the hassle out of hot tub maintenance and keep your hot tub in top condition.

The Basics of Hot Tub Maintenance

Maintaining a hot tub is essential to ensure that it remains in good condition and provides a relaxing experience for its users. Hot tub maintenance involves a few basic steps that owners should follow regularly to keep the water clean and clear.

Hot tub maintenance involves three basic steps:

  1. Circulation
  2. Cleaning
  3. Chemistry

1. Circulation

Good water circulation is necessary to keep your spa water clear of contaminants. The best way to do this is by constantly passing the water through your hot tub's cartridge filters. Use your hot tub only when these conditions are met.

Body oils, dirt, lotions, and other types of debris get into your water when you use a hot tub. By circulating the water, you can ensure that these contaminants are removed from the water and filtered out.

2. Cleaning

Cleaning your hot tub regularly is essential to keeping it in good condition. This involves:

  • Removing debris from the water.
  • Cleaning the filter.
  • Wiping down the surfaces of the hot tub.

You should also drain and refill your hot tub every three to four months to keep the water fresh. Learn more about it below.

3. Chemistry

Maintaining the proper water chemistry involves testing the water regularly using a test strip or a digital tester, and adjusting the spa water's pH, alkalinity levels, and sanitizer levels as needed.

You should also shock your hot tub regularly to oxidize contaminants and keep the water fresh.

Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule

To properly maintain your spa, it's important to stick to a hot tub maintenance schedule. The following table lists the main chores you need to perform to keep your hot tub in check:

Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule
1. Weekly Maintenance Tasks
- Clean the filter
- Manage water chemistry with O-Care
2. Monthly Maintenance Tasks
- Cover and cabinet cleaning
3. Seasonal Maintenance Tasks
- Deep cleaning
- Winterizing
- Draining and refilling the hot tub
4. Annual Maintenance Tasks
- Comprehensive inspection of all components
- Deep cleaning and scrubbing to remove grime and contaminants
- Check and replace spa filters as needed
- Replenish O-Care mineral product for water balance and wellness
- Schedule a professional inspection for expert guidance
5. Troubleshooting and Repairs
- Equipment malfunctions
- Plumbing problems
- Biofilm and other contamination

Weekly Maintenance Tasks

The two main weekly maintenance tasks are:

  • Cleaning the filter
  • Managing water chemistry

1. Clean the Hot Tub Filter

A dirty filter can cause poor water circulation, which can lead to cloudy water and even damage to the pump. This is why we recommend cleaning the filter at least once a week.

To clean the filter, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the hot tub.
  2. Remove the filter cartridge from the filter housing.
  3. Rinse the filter cartridge with a garden hose to remove any debris.
  4. Soak the filter cartridge in a filter-cleaning solution for at least 12 hours.
  5. Rinse the filter cartridge thoroughly with a garden hose.
  6. Reinstall the filter cartridge in the filter housing.

Find our full guide on How To Thoroughly Clean Your Hot Tub Filter

2. Water Chemistry Management

We recommend testing your hot tub water at least once to three times a week using a test strip to ensure the following levels are within the optimal range. This table lists the optimal levels you should aim for:

Parameter Range
pH level 7.2-7.8
Alkalinity 80-120 ppm
Total alkalinity 80-120 ppm
Calcium hardness 80-200 ppm
Sanitizer 1 - 3 ppm (chlorine) or 3 - 5 ppm (bromine)

If any of these levels are outside the optimal range, you'll need to adjust the hot tub chemicals accordingly. Follow the instructions on the chemical packaging carefully and retest the water after a few hours to ensure the chemical levels have stabilized.

In addition to testing the water chemistry, it's important to shock the hot tub once a week to kill any bacteria or algae that may be present in the water.

Follow the instructions on the shock treatment packaging carefully and wait until the chlorine or bromine levels have returned to the optimal range before using the hot tub again.

We also recommend that you use O-Care on a weekly basis for optimal water chemistry balance.

Monthly Maintenance Tasks

To keep your hot tub in top condition, you should clean the cover and cabinet every month.

It's important to keep your hot tub cover and cabinet clean to prevent damage and debris buildup. Use a hot tub cover cleaner and protectant to clean your hot tub cover and prevent damage from UV rays.

Wipe down your hot tub cabinet with a non-abrasive cleaner to keep it looking new. If you have a cover lift, ensure it's functioning properly and lubricate the hinges if necessary.

Seasonal Maintenance Tasks

As hot tub experts, we know that seasonal maintenance is essential to keep your hot tub in top condition all year round. Here are the two main steps you need to take:

  1. Deep cleaning
  2. Winterizing
  3. Draining and refilling

In addition to these seasonal hot tub maintenance tasks, it's important to maintain a regular cleaning schedule for your hot tub. This includes testing and balancing the water chemistry, cleaning the filter regularly, and using a hot tub scale preventer to prevent buildup in the water system.

1. Deep Cleaning

Every three months, it's important to perform a deep cleaning of your hot tub. This involves draining and refilling the water, as well as cleaning these hot tub parts:

  • The shell
  • The waterline
  • The filtration system

To clean the shell and waterline, use a hot tub cleaner and a scrub brush. For the filtration system, remove the filter and soak it in a cleaning solution for several hours. Rinse the filter thoroughly before reinstalling it.

If you notice any mold or mildew during the deep cleaning process, you need to use a cleaning product specifically designed to remove it. White vinegar can also be effective at removing mold and mildew.

2. Winterizing Your Hot Tub

If you live in an area with cold winters, it's important to properly winterize your hot tub to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. To do this correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Start by draining the water from the hot tub and removing the filter.
  2. Use a non-chlorine shock to clean the water system.
  3. Add a winterizing solution to the water.
  4. Run the hot tub jets for several minutes to ensure the solution is distributed throughout the system.

3. Draining and Refilling

Draining and refilling your hot tub is an important part of regular maintenance. Over time, hot tub water can become contaminated with algae, scum, and biofilm, which can cause health issues and affect the performance of your hot tub. You should perform this every three to four months.

Follow these steps to drain and refill your hot tub:

  1. Turn off the power to the hot tub.
  2. Remove the hot tub cover.
  3. Use a vacuum to remove any debris from the hot tub.
  4. Drain the hot tub using a submersible pump or gravity drain.
  5. Clean the hot tub shell with a non-abrasive cleaner.
  6. Refill the hot tub with fresh water.
  7. Test the water and balance the pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels as necessary.

After refilling your hot tub, adding a hot tub water treatment is important to prevent bacteria growth and keep the water clean. Follow the instructions on the water treatment product for best results.

Hot Tub Annual Maintenance

While regular monthly and seasonal maintenance tasks are crucial for the day-to-day upkeep of your hot tub, it's equally vital to perform an annual checkup to ensure your spa remains in top-notch condition year-round.

What to Expect

During your hot tub's annual maintenance, consider a comprehensive inspection of all its components. This includes carefully examining the plumbing, electrical systems, jets, and shell for any signs of wear or damage.

It's an ideal time to assess the hot tub cover's condition and functionality.

Cleaning and Refurbishing

An annual deep cleaning is highly recommended. Drain and scrub the spa thoroughly to remove any accumulated grime, biofilm, or contaminants. This process helps maintain water quality and the overall longevity of your hot tub.

Replacing Filters and Chemicals

Check for worn-out spa filters and replace them if needed. Consider replenishing your O-Care product to ensure continued water balance and wellness benefits.

Professional Inspection

While hot tub owners can handle many maintenance tasks, it's advisable to schedule an annual professional inspection. A qualified technician can identify any potential issues early on and offer expert guidance on maintaining your hot tub in its prime condition.

Troubleshooting and Repairs

At times, hot tubs may require troubleshooting and repairs to keep them running smoothly. It's important to stay on top of any issues and address them promptly to avoid further damage. Here are some common troubleshooting and repair tips for hot tub owners:

  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Plumbing problems
  • Biofilm and other contamination

Equipment Malfunctions

If your hot tub is not heating up or the jets are not working, it could be due to a malfunctioning heater or pump. Check the electrical components and make sure everything is connected properly.

If the issue persists, it may be time to call in a professional to repair or replace the equipment.

Plumbing Problems

Leaks, clogs, and other plumbing issues can cause problems with your hot tub's water flow. Check the plumbing for any signs of damage or wear and tear.

If you notice any issues, it's best to call in a professional to repair or replace the plumbing.

Biofilm or Other Contamination

Biofilm and other types of contamination can be a common issue in hot tubs. If you notice a slimy film on the walls or floor of your hot tub, it could be due to biofilm. Use a specialized product to eliminate the biofilm and prevent it from returning.

By staying on top of these common hot tub equipment issues and addressing them promptly, you can keep your hot tub running smoothly and enjoy it for years to come.

Safety and Precautions

At all times, safety should be a top priority when using a hot tub. Hot tubs can pose a risk of injury or illness if not used properly. Here are some safety tips you need to know and keep in mind:

What Why
Ensure the hot tub cover is securely in place when not in use. Prevents accidental falling of children and pets, reducing the risk of drowning.
Keep the water level at the appropriate level. Overfilling can cause water spillage and create a slip hazard, while underfilling can damage the pump and heater.
Avoid exceeding the hot tub's water capacity. Prevents water overflow, which can damage the hot tub's components.
Clean the hot tub's cartridge filters regularly. Ensures good water circulation, which keeps the water clear of contaminants.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for adding chemicals. Incorrect chemical levels can cause skin irritation or chemical burns.
Never allow unsupervised use by children. Children can overheat, become dehydrated, and are at risk of drowning in hot tubs.
Keep hot tub temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit for young children. Prevents overheating in young children.

How O-Care Helps with Hot Tub Water Maintenance

Maintaining hot tub water is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. O-Care offers a comprehensive solution for hot tub maintenance that simplifies the process and keeps your hot tub clean and safe year-round.

Regular Monitoring and Adjustments

O-Care recommends a proactive approach to hot tub maintenance. By checking the water temperature three times a week, you can ensure that your hot tub remains at the ideal temperature for relaxation. This regular monitoring allows you to make timely adjustments, ensuring that your hot tub's water is always comfortable and inviting.

Effortless Cleaning

One of the key benefits of O-Care is its ability to keep your hot tub clean and free from impurities. By using O-Care products as part of your hot tub maintenance routine can prevent the buildup of scale, biofilm, and other contaminants that can affect water quality. This means less time spent on manual cleaning and more time enjoying your hot tub.

Customer review of O-Care Spa Care on

By incorporating O-Care into your hot tub maintenance routine, you can enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, safer, and more relaxing hot tub experience. With regular monitoring, effortless cleaning, and annual checkups, O-Care simplifies the process of hot tub maintenance, allowing you to focus on the enjoyment of your hot tub oasis.

Remember, consistent hot tub maintenance with O-Care products is the key to keeping your hot tub water pristine and your hot tub experience worry-free.

Find more useful information here:

  1. Find O-Care in a store near you.
  2. Download the O-Care app for weekly maintenance and step-by-step problem-solving.
  3. Use our online water assistant to diagnose your water quality issues.
  4. I need to solve an underlying contamination issue in my hot tub; maybe it's biofilm?
  5. How to avoid future problems and keep your hot tub clean?
  6. What kind of sanitizers can I choose from?
  7. What is the best way to maintain my hot tub water?
  8. How to test the water in my hot tub?