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Hot Tub Maintenance FAQ’s

Whether you’re a first time hot tubber looking for hot tub maintenance best practice tips or a seasoned hot tubber that needs a refresher, this article will help answer all of your hot tub water care and maintenance questions. Don’t see a question and answer you’re looking for? Comment below & one of our knowledgeable wellness consultants will reach out with help!

View our general hot tub FAQ’s for answers to general hot tub water care questions. View our FreshWater Salt System, FreshWater Ozone system, and @EASE system specific FAQ’s below.

General Hot Tub Maintenance FAQ’s

How do I fill my hot tub?

It’s very important to fill your hot tub through the filtration compartment. Why? Filling the hot tub through your filtration compartment minimizes the risk of getting an “air lock” which is when air gets trapped in your lines and will prevent the hot tub from functioning. When you fill your hot tub through the filtration compartment, your components will fill with water first, then the vessel. This will usually minimize the risk of an air lock. If for some reason your hot tub jets are not turning on after a dump and refill you probably have an air lock. Read below to learn how to release an air lock.

How to I add chemicals to my hot tub?

The most efficient way to add chemicals to your hot tub is through the filtration area with the jets running. This helps the chemicals disperse through the entire hot tub quickly.

How do I test my hot tub water?

With your salt water system, you are given two different types of test strips – 5-way test strips & salt test strips. The 5-way test strips will test the chlorine, alkalinity, pH, and hardness levels in your hot tub. This test strip is an instant read test strip. You simple dip the test strip and immediately take it out of the water. You’ll have 5 seconds from the time you take the strip out of the water to read the levels. Make sure you’re holding the test strip the right way when comparing the levels. Your salt test strip is a little more complicated. Dip one of the test strips in the water and wait exactly 20 seconds to find the proper salt content reading. Reading the test strip immediately is a very common mistake and most people will add way to much salt to their hot tub thinking their salt level is low. Be sure to wait the proper amount of time before comparing your test strip to the chart on the bottle.

How do I clean my hot tub filters?

Filters should be cleaned weekly. This helps keep the pores of your filter clean and takes strain away from your hot tub pumps & heater. Remove your filters and rinse them thoroughly with a high pressure water source (not a power washer as this will destroy your filters). A hose with a restrictor to increase pressure works just fine. After rinsing, place your filters back into your hot tub.

You should consider using a filter cleaner solution from our store to give your filters a deep clean every few months. This helps break up any build up on your filters and ultimately lengthens the life span of your filters.

How do I clean my hot tub shell?

If you’re doing a dump and refill and want to give your hot tub a good clean, we recommend using a small amount of soft scrub diluted in a bucket of water. You can use a soft microfiber towel to clean the inside. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. If you need to clean a water line, a soft microfiber towel should do the trick. For more stubborn lines from self tanners, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders!

How do I clean the bottom of my hot tub?

Seeing sand in the bottom of your hot tub? This is the only thing that is not picked up through filtration. Sand is too heavy for the jets to propel up and into the filtration area. You can purchase what’s called a “spa vacuum” to vacuum up the small sand particles.

How do I maintain cover quality?

Cover’s will generally have to be replaced within 5-7 years of owning your hot tub. The seasonal weather in the tri-state area really does a number on hot tub covers. Below are some tips on how to lengthen the life spa of your cover.

  • Cover with a tarp before a snow storm and after you winterize your hot tub
  • Never sit on the cover or allow animals to lay on the cover
  • Never use the cover as a table top to rest anything on
  • Use our cover shield frequently
  • Do not ever puncture the cover with anything
  • When the cover gets too heavy and old, replace right away to avoid damaging your cover lifter mechanism

How do I replace the water & how often?

This process is going to vary based on which hot tub you have. However, all of our hot tubs feature a water drain pipe at the bottom of the front of the hot tub. Connect a hose to this drain pipe, power down the hot tub at your breakers, and open the valve. The hot tub will drain like a bath tub. There will be some water left over on the seats and a couple inches in the bottom. You can remove the remaining water with a pump if necessary or with buckets and towels.

For salt water hot tubs, you should replace the water every year. For ozone or mineral based hot tubs, your water should be drained every 3-4 months. You’ll know when its time to drain the hot tub because you’ll notice your water just isn’t as clear as it usually is & chemicals do not help.

Why is there foam in my hot tub?

From your bathing suit! Yes, it’s true! Your clothes smell so nice after washing because your lovely laundry detergent sticks to the fibers in your clothing. When you put a bathing suit in a hot tub filled with hot water and mix it with jets, you get a giant washing machine! It’s one of the biggest headaches of new hot tub owners. Our suggestion to you is to dedicate one bathing suit to your hot tub and don’t wash it. It’s getting cleaned while soaking in your sanitized hot tub.

How do I get rid of foam?

This is a little more time consuming than expected. Below are some ways to remove foam.

  • Manually scoop foam out of hot tub
  • Run the jets for 20 minutes, rinse filters, and repeat until foam subsides
  • Check your chlorine reading. If low, shock your hot tub with 2-3 tablespoons of chlorine.
  • Use our defoamer solution. This will help break up foam particles but your filter system will still need time to filter out tithe foreign matter.


Freshwater Salt System Maintenance FAQ's

FreshWater Salt System FAQ’s

How do I set up my salt water system?

It’s really easy. But if you’re a first timer, you should view Hot Springs FreshWater Salt System Start Up Guide or visit Calderas FreshWater Salt System Start Up.

How do I replace my salt water cartridge & how often?

Both your Silver Ion cartridge & Salt Water cartridge should be replaced every 3-4 months. Your hot tub control panel will actually tell you when it’s time to replace your salt cartridge. You can view this video on How To Replace Your Salt Water Cartridge.

How do I check for phosphates?

Phosphate testing is new to HotSpring & Caldera hot tubs. We have found that if your hot tub is high in phosphates, it can affect your chlorine reading. You can purchase a phosphate test in our store or bring your water in for us to test for you. Add the water into the small test tube to the marked line. Open the small package of granules that come with the test kit and add it to the water. Put the cap on the test tube and shake for about 40 seconds to 1 minute. If your water turns blue, you have phosphates in your water and need to use a phosphate remover. The test kit will show you the level of phosphates that you have based on the saturation of the blue water. Read the phosphate remover bottle to understand how much phosphate remover to add.

Do I have to replace salt system?

You do not have to replace the salt system regularly unless something should unexpectedly go wrong. There is a warranty on your salt system to help cover any unexpected failures. It is recommended to replace cartridges every 3-4 months to have proper sanitation in your hot tub.


Freshwater Ozone System FAQ's

FreshWater Ozone System FAQ’s

How to set up Ozone System?

  1. Attach clean screen to hose. The clean screen is a water care product that helps filter out any unwanted metals and contaminants.
  2. Fill up hot tub through filter compartment.
  3. Power on hot tub at the breakers. IMPORTANT: Check your owners manual to see which breaker to turn on first as this varies by hot tub model.
  4. Add your Silver Ion Cartridge to your hot tub. To do this, open your filter lid, locate the gray filter cap & unscrew the cap. You’ll notice this standpipe is hollow. Put together the two parts of the Silver Ion Cartridge. Gently lower the Silver Ion Cartridge into this hollow standpipe and screw the filter cap back on tightly. You’ll need to replace this cartridge every 4 months.
  5. Shock hot tub with di-chlor (chlorinated granules). Read directions on bottle to figure out how much based on your size hot tub.
  6. After a few minutes, add the proper amount of MPS granules as per the instructions on the bottle.
  7. Add vanishing act calcium pillow near the water intake in your hot tub and leave for 24 hours.
  8. Test water with Freshwater 5 way test strips.
  9. You can ignore the first line that says bromine, you do not have a bromine system.
  10. Check your chlorine level, you should have a high chlorine reading after shocking your hot tub with the di-chlor (chlorine).
  11. Check your pH & alkalinity levels. These levels may be off at first, give them 24 hours to adjust. If they are still not in the “okay range” 24 hours later, adjust with pH/alk up or down.
  12. After 24 hours, remove the vanishing act pillow and retest your water with the 5 way test strip. Your calcium level should be in the “okay range” now. If not, call your local dealer – you may need another vanishing act pillow if your water was very hard.
  13. Your chlorine, pH, and alkalinity levels should be in the “okay range” as well. If not, adjust according to the directions on the bottle.
  14. After all levels are adjusted, your hot tub is ready to use!
  15. Add chemicals to adjust levels weekly. It’s important to use both chlorine & MPS weekly. We usually recommend adding MPS after each use for preventative maintenance.

How often do I replace my Silver Ion cartridge & how?

When you open your filter compartment, you’ll see one of your filter caps is gray. Remove this one and you’ll see the filter standpipe has an opening at the top. This pipe is where your silver ion cartridge goes. You can either remove the existing and replace with the new, or install it for the first time. Simply screw the filter cap back on and you’re ready to go! You should replace your silver ion cartridge every 4 months.

Which chemicals do I add and how often?

This is going to depend on your hot tub size & type. Your ozone system is going to need chlorine (di-chlor), MPS, a silver ion cartridge, and possibly pH & alkalinity up or down. You should be adding chlorine weekly & MPS after each soak for best results. For details on how much of each chemical to add, you can read the back of the bottle or contact one of our wellness consultants who will take the time to explain each step to you.

Do I have to replace ozonator?

Our Freshwater Corona Discharge ozonator is the best in the industry. Most ozonators last 1 year, however, ours lasts anywhere from 5-7 years. How do you know if it’s time to replace the ozonator? Either you won’t see bubbles coming from your drain anymore or you won’t smell that “fresh copy machine” smell when you open your cover anymore. It will also seem more challenging to maintain your water clarity.

What kind of ozonator do I have?

Freshwater III Corona Discharge Ozonator.


@ease Maintenance FAQ's

@ease System FAQ’s

How do I set up my @ease system?

It’s super easy! This Frog @ease Start Up Kit video goes through each step thoroughly.

How do I replace mineral & chlorine cartridges & how often?

Your chlorine & mineral cartridges are located in a cartridge holder next to your control panel. You unscrew the cap & raise the cartridge holder out of the hot tub shell. Remove your cartridges & install the new cartridges. Always make sure you have one chlorine and one mineral cartridge. You should replace your @ease cartridges every 4 months. The chlorine cartridge may need to be replaced more often depending on your use and how large your hot tub is. Check your chlorine cartridge each month to determine if it’s time to change it or not.

Which chemicals do I add and how often?

Although the cartridges will take care of some of the work for you, it is still necessary to add in chemicals like chlorine, pH up or down, alkalinity up or down, and MPS. Chlorine can be added weekly & MPS should be added after every use for preventative maintenance. How much chlorine should be determined by the gallonage of your hot tub & how much chlorine is already present in your hot tub by testing your water with a test strip. pH/Alkalinity up or down should only need to be used occasionally if your levels change. Otherwise, this is not a regular practice.

How do I test my hot tub water?

You’ll need your Frog @ease test strips & their easy to use Water Care App. The App is helpful in testing your water and diagnosing a water care issue. The test strips are instant test strips and are color coded for each reading. Compare the test strip to the color chart immediately after submersing into your hot tub water.

Have more questions about Hot Tub Maintenance?

Feel free to comment below or email us at info@healthmatespasinc.com.



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