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Freshwater Ozone System Start Up Guide

Before you begin your hot tub start up:

  • Make sure power to your hot tub is OFF.
  • Drain caps are secured tight and any valves are closed. 
  • If you are using well water or water that is high in metals, it is absolutely necessary to use a Clean Screen Pre-Filter.

For start up, you’ll need:


Attach your Clean Screen Pre-Filter to your garden hose. Fill your spa through the filter compartment until the water level reaches one inch (2.5 cm) above the highest jet.

For proper sanitation, you should be using a FreshWater Mineral Spa Sanitizer silver ion cartridge along with the FreshWater Ozone System, insert it into the filter compartment now. 

💧You will need to replace this cartridge every 4 months, so take note in your phone calendar now so you don’t forget!

Silver ions help to inhibit bacteria growth and will lower the amount of chlorine needed to keep the water clean and maintain the desired chlorine level.


Once the spa is filled with water, turn the power on (see spa Owner’s Manual for specific instructions based on the voltage of your hot tub). Set the temperature to your desired level. You should start to see bubbles floating up from the bottom of your hot tub, this means your ozone is working. If you have a Hot Spot or Vacanza Series hot tub, you will not see bubbles – don’t worry your ozone system is functioning without them. Check your jet systems by pushing the jets icon on the control panel home screen. When you’ve confirmed that the jets are fully operational, adjust your diverter valves to middle position and leave the jets on for adding your water care products. 


Test your water using a FreshWater® 5-Way Test Strip. Make sure your pH & alkalinity levels are in the “okay” range on the test strip bottle. If your pH & Alkalinity levels are not in the okay range, you will need to adjust with either ph/Alk Up or Down to bring them into balance. Keeping these levels in the “okay” range is very important for your health and your hot tubs health. Make note of the calcium hardness level as this will be addressed shortly. Once the water has been balanced, retest the water using a FreshWater 5-Way Test Strip. Repeat the process until the water is balanced.


With all jets on and the diverter valves turned to the middle position, add chlorine to the filter compartment (refer to the product label for instructions). Run jets for five minutes and measure the chlorine with a new FreshWater 5-Way Test Strip. Your target chlorine level is 5 ppm. If your level is less than 5 ppm repeat the chlorination process. Wait five minutes then test again. Repeat until the target level of 5 ppm is reached. Once you have the proper chlorine level in your hot tub, add your MPS non chlorinated shock to your hot tub.

💧If using liquid chlorine – DO NOT USE splash-free or scented bleach of any kind.

💧This chlorination step is very important for a successful startup. Skipping this step can cause unnecessary water care troubles.


Hard water can damage your hot tub equipment, so it’s important to make sure your water is soft. Your target calcium level is 50 ppm. Use the following guidelines if your calcium hardness is over 75 ppm: 


💧75-150 ppm – Use the Vanishing Act® pillow provided in your start up kit (refer to Owner’s Manual for instructions) 

💧150-300 ppm – Use the Vanishing Act XL or an On The Go® portable water softener (available at your local dealer) 

💧Over 300 ppm – Use an On The Go portable water softener during fill process 


After 24 hours, test spa water with a FreshWater 5-Way Test Strip. If calcium hardness level still reads above 75 ppm, repeat the process until you get close to 50 ppm. Discard Vanishing Act in your normal trash after recommended amount of time and before continuing to next step.


The FreshWater Ozone System reduces the amount of chlorine needed to keep your spa water clean. This system combines the cleaning power of the FreshWater® III high-output ozone generator with MPS non-chlorine oxidizer and silver ions for protection against contaminants. It is important to note that maintaining balanced and sanitized spa water is ultimately the responsibility of the spa owner. Here are some helpful tips:


💧Regular Water Testing: Test your water frequently with your 5-way test strips. Testing frequently will allow you to see if your hot tub water is starting to become un-balanced and you can fix any imbalances right away.

💧Weekly Maintenance: Make sure you’re adding chlorine to your hot tub throughout the week to keep that 5ppm level. Also, make sure to add MPS after each use to help keep your hot tub water ready to use everyday.

💧Change your cartridge every 4 months: Make sure to replace your FreshWater Mineral Cartridge every 4 months. Without a fresh cartridge, your hot tub is missing a key component for proper sanitation.

💧The system is compatible with chlorine, MPS, and silver. 
💧Please see your Owner’s Manual for detailed instructions and other best practices.

Having issues with your hot tub water?

Check out our Hot Tub Maintenance FAQ’s for all of your troubleshooting needs!

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