9 Essential Hot Tub Service and Maintenance Steps For Expert Care


If you’ve invested in a hot tub, keeping it running smoothly and efficiently for many years to come is likely one of your top priorities, and rightfully so.

Hot tubs provide a truly soothing environment for you to settle into and enjoy an unmatched hydromassage to ease your aching muscles at the end of every day.

But like any luxury item, your hot tub requires regular maintenance to keep it functioning properly and maximize its lifespan.

Hot tub service is a crucial element in keeping your hot tub in peak condition and performing well.

From your chemicals and water care to your system maintenance, servicing your hot tub is a multi-step process.

Whether you want to take the basics on yourself or schedule a hot tub service appointment to have the professionals manage them for you, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know to keep your spa in pristine condition!

Keep reading to find out why hot tub service is an important part of hot tub ownership, the most important steps to include in your regular hot tub service and maintenance, and the vital signs that it’s time to schedule a service appointment.

Why Hot Tub Service is Important

As mentioned above, hot tub service is vital in keeping your spa running properly, but it’s for much more than just that.

Hot tub service is a preventative measure in your regular maintenance routine and aims to diagnose and repair any potential issues before they become larger problems.

This is one of the main reasons it’s essential to include a professional in the process at least once every three months.

They have the expertise and field experience to catch small problems that may not be noticeable.

This can help to save you from damage spreading to other areas of your spa and reduce the risk of expensive repairs down the line.

To make this even more important, the professionals from your dealership have the best knowledge of your warranty information.

They can ensure it’s not voided by improperly performed repairs or unexpected missteps in your service.

Hot Tub Service and Maintenance Checklist

With hot tub service being so important, including the right steps into your regular care routine is vital.

Not sure where to start?

Here are some of the essential steps to include to ensure your spa is always in the best shape!

1. Balance Your Hot Tub Chemicals

Your water quality plays a significant role in how well your system functions and how quickly parts of your system degrade over time.

For example, if your water is improperly balanced too often, it can slowly eat away at your heating element or result in a hard scale forming on the surfaces of your system!

Using the right chemicals and keeping your water balanced is essential, and this all comes down to three things; your alkalinity, pH, and sanitizer.


Your alkalinity is one of the most influential aspects when it comes to keeping your water balanced.

It works to manage the acidity in your water, making it easier to keep your pH balanced.

When testing your water, you’ll want to ensure your alkalinity levels remain between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million).

To treat your alkalinity, you can use one of two things:

  • Baking soda
  • Total alkalinity increaser

Baking soda is a natural way to increase your water’s alkalinity, but a total alkalinity increaser is both quick and reliable.

An alkalinity decreaser isn’t a product, but because alkalinity and pH affect one another, you can use your pH decreaser to bring your alkalinity down into an acceptable range if it’s too high.

Special note: When adjusting your water, you always want to ensure you bring your alkalinity into balance first because it has such a heavy impact on your pH levels.


Your pH is the measure of how acidic your water is.

If your pH is out of balance, it’ll result in corrosion or scale, so keeping this balanced is essential.

Your pH levels should be between 7.2 and 7.8, and will be treated using the following products:

  • pH increaser
  • pH decreaser

After testing your water with a test strip, digital meter, or water test kit, treat your alkalinity, then use these pH chemicals to bring your water into balance.


Your sanitizer works to fight the bacteria in your water, keeping it clean and safe to be in.

Sanitizer comes in many forms, and which one you choose will all come down to personal preference.

The three most common sanitizers include:

  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Bigunaide (Baquacil®️)

Chlorine is easily one of the most popular sanitizer options and is highly effective and affordable.

If using chlorine, your sanitizer levels should be between one and three ppm.

Bromine, another chlorine-based sanitizer, is also a popular choice, mainly because it leads to softer water. While still an effective option, it does break down faster in the sun and is more costly.

If using bromine, your sanitizer levels should be between three and five ppm.

Biguanide is a non-chlorinated sanitizer and is a great option if you have a chlorine sensitivity or allergy. While effective, this sanitizer is often the most expensive of the three options.

If you’re using biguanide, you’ll want your sanitizer levels to remain between 30 and 50 ppm.

2. Water Maintenance

Maintaining your water takes more than keeping your chemicals in balance.

It’s also important to take additional steps to keep your water clean so that your chemicals can properly do their job.

Here is the basic water maintenance you’ll need to include in your routine.

Remove Debris

As you enjoy a quiet moment of peace in your spa, your water will be exposed to the elements, resulting in dirt, leaves, and other debris floating on its surface.

Removing debris from your water will reduce the work your filters need to do to keep your hot tub clean, minimizing the stress on your system and making maintenance easier.

Using a skimmer, remove any surface debris from your water each time you’ve finished using your spa.

Minimize Oils

Each time you use your spa, oils from your body dissolve into the water.

These oils aren’t able to be broken down by your sanitizer and can result in cloudy or foamy water if not properly combatted.

While this is a natural part of using your spa, there are steps you can take to minimize the amount of oils your water is exposed to.

  • Shower before getting in the water
  • Keep your hair up
  • Use hot tub sponges
  • Add an oxidizing shock treatment

Showering will help remove any oils on your skin and wash off any makeup, and keeping your hair up will keep your hair products from leaching into the water as you soak.

Adding hot tub sponges or tennis balls to your water after each use will soak up any oils on the surface of the water, and an oxidizer will help break down any remaining oils and allow your sanitizer to work more effectively.

Clean Your Filters

No matter what ends up in your water, your filters will collect it and keep it from reentering your water as it circulates.

Over time, this debris builds up on your filters, making it more difficult for them to keep your water clean.

Furthermore, clogged filters can lead to a wide range of issues with your spa, so keeping them clean is vital.

Clean your filters once a week by rinsing them off under gently running water, and include a chemical spray with a filter cleaner once a month to help remove stubborn buildup.

3. System Maintenance

Your system is just as important as your water, and when not properly serviced, can result in ample problems occurring.

Here are three things to ensure you’re keeping your system supported and functioning properly.

Maintain Water Levels

Your hot tub needs to have the proper amount of water in it for your pump to work properly.

If your water levels get too low, you may notice your pump making strange noises or see signs that your circulation system isn’t working properly, such as dirty water or a weak water flow.

If you find your water is too low, top it up with your garden hose, then retest and treat as needed.

Drain and Refill Your Spa

Each time you treat your spa, the amount of chemicals in your water is slowly increasing.

Over time, this can make your water increasingly difficult to balance. The only way to combat this is by draining, cleaning, and refilling your spa with fresh water.

Every three months, you’ll want to completely drain your spa and clean the shell.

During this time, you’ll also want to perform an inspection to ensure there is no damage to your shell that requires repair.

After you’re finished cleaning your spa, refill it with fresh water using your garden hose, then test and rebalance as needed.

Inspect Your Heater

Your heating element is constantly exposed to water, which can lead to damage over time.

While poorly balanced water will result in scale or corrosion much faster, heating elements generally only last five to seven years and will need to be replaced at least once over the course of your hot tub’s lifespan.

Inspecting your heating element will give you a good understanding of how your water is affecting it and may help you better maintain your water to minimize damage over the years.

Signs Your Hot Tub Needs Service

While the steps above are more than possible to perform yourself, there are some signs to watch for that could point towards some more sinister issues on the horizon.

Some signs to watch for include:

  • Malfunctioning jets
  • Frequently dirty water
  • Quickly dropping water levels
  • Unexpected temperature fluctuations
  • Errors on the control panel
  • Puddles around your cabinet

If you notice one or more of these signs, it’s time to schedule a hot tub service appointment to have the professionals take a look at your system and diagnose the underlying cause of the issue.

Catching issues early is vital, so don’t hesitate to get the experts involved anytime you’re unsure what’s happening with your spa.

Hot Tub Service in Huntsville, AL

How you care for your hot tub and the steps you have in place, play a key role in how well your spa performs and how long it lasts.

Whether you’re just learning how to properly care for your spa or have recently discovered a worrisome warning sign that your hot tub needs support, scheduling a hot tub service appointment can help.

From basic maintenance steps like chemicals and water care to frequently dirty water and unexpected puddles coming from under your cabinet, the experts at Johnson Pools & Spas can help.

With over 44 years of experience, our team can easily diagnose and make any necessary repairs to your hot tub. We’re happy to help you discover how to better care for your spa to keep it running smoothly.

Contact us today or request a hot tub service appointment online to get started right away!


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