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First Time Hot Tub Owner - Some Questions

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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forums here as I am awaiting my first hot tub to be delivered. I have some questions/concerns I would like to address, as I am totally new to this hot tub ordeal. I have never owned a hot tub, or a pool. been in them before, but that's about it.

We just purchased a smaller 220 to 250 gallon hot tun from Aqua Rest Spas - Model number AR-600. I am not sure exactly how many gallons it will hold, as the official site says 220 but the home depot site we ordered it from says 250.

Either way, this is the official link to the spa we have ordered:


We are currently in the middle of remodeling projects where we plan on putting the tub on the new deck outside.

Question 1: With the new deck not having any kind of a roof over it, and the area where the tub will be placed gets a lot of sun during the summer ( 6 to 9 hours a day depending), is there anything special i should do for the cover? I keep seeing topics of conditioning the cover, and a product called 303 formula pops up a lot.

Question 2: My contractor offered to run a hot water spicket to the deck for the new tub. We have a tank-less hot water system. As I read up a bit on this, I am second guessing this option. I am reading that you should only use general tap water with a garden hose, and allow the tun to heat it up. Is this accurate?

Question 3: I have heard a story or two about mice getting into the tubs from time to time. Is this a regular thing? And if so, what precautions can we do to prevent it?

Question 4: Is anyone on here familiar with 'Simple Blue" products for the spa treatment? We have a local pool store called Pool Mart, They will do a free water test for us, and yesterday they suggested the Simple blue treatment system. They said it was a once a week treatment, and the regular customers to the store are repeated buyers of it. It's not a chlorine or Bromine treatment i guess. It has minerals and what not in it, and the require calcium hardness to use it effectively is aboce 300ppm. They have a whole line of products that go with this system. I don't know much about water treatment, so again, this is all new to me. We do have well water with a culligan water treatment system on it.

If anyone has any general tips or suggestions for a new spa owner such as myself, please feel free to share. With this being a good sized investment, I would like to maintain this as best as possible!

Thanks in advance for any replies!

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1) yes 303 is a good product, use weekly if you can

2) For best use tap water but use a food grade hose (if you can) atleast not a cheap hose and if you filter the water it's better.

3) Don't know

4) I have tried some of these "blue" treatments, to me more of a pain in the rear, I keep going back to chlorine, it's simple, effective and if you use it right it works well, I keep rather low levels but right after a use is when I mainly add it so it takes care of what was just left in the water and the next use it doesn't kill your skin or eyes and have had zero problems since.

Last, if you have well water, check your hardness and PH, both are important to keep water chemistry correct and it will lead to longer life and easier to control the water.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the reply! The guy at the pool store was really pushing the simple blue system because of the one a week treatment. He said they sell a lot of it, and a lot of people have had positive results. So I'm kinda unsure. Again this my first go-round with this, so I'm looking into options.

We plan on taking a water sample into them for a test. They do them for free, so we'll see what the results of those are.

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