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Hot Tub Startup Chemicals

YOU’VE JUST PURCHASED that shiny new hot tub, had it delivered, and hooked up. The jets work, the heater works, and you’re ready to invite some friends over to break it in. You grab the garden hose, and fill it up to the level recommended by the manufacturer. Now what?

You’re going to need some hot tub startup chemicals if you want the water to stay that clean, for starters. To see why, let’s look at what would happen if you didn’t add any chemicals. You’d use the tub for the first week in ignorant bliss, heating the water up to over 100 degrees every night. By week’s end, the water would have a distinctive odor, kind of like hard, dirty water. By the middle of week two, traces of algae would be showing. Leave it for a full two weeks, and you’d have a nasty green mess on your hands, and dumping the water would be the only way to fix it.

You need hot tub startup chemicals followed by regular chemical additions because of what happens inside of a hot tub. As you raise the temperature and heat the water, the hot water opens up the pores of the bathers, causing them to strip off oils, perfumes, and skin lotions right into the water. Yes, kind of like bathing. 104 degree water is not in and of itself a good medium to support algae growth – it’s much too hot for the algae to live at that temperature. A funny thing happens however: as soon as the bathers leave the water and the heat is turned off, the water begins to cool until the next time the spa is used. This lukewarm water is the perfect temperature for algae to take a foothold in and thrive.

In order to prevent all this, you will need to invest in a series of hot tub startup chemicals to prepare the water right the first time. First off, invest in a set of test strips so that you can get a baseline reading for the way the city water is to begin with. City water will already have some degree of chemicals added to it, but not enough to keep the water clean in a pool or spa setting. Look at the test strips to determine the pH of the water, the first and foremost thing you need to check. If the pH is lower than 7.4 or higher than 7.6, you will need to fix this by adding acids or bases as required. You need your sanitizer to work extremely well in a hot tub or spa, so the pH has to be just perfect for this to be accomplished.

Next off, the hot tub startup chemicals you will need are the sanitizers. Whether you select bromine or chlorine, you will want put in a much higher startup dosage than normal – this is called a shock treatment. Shock treatments are used when starting up a pool or spa, and then periodically once in a great while afterward. What a shock treatment does is kill bacteria and stabilize the water initially so that a baseline of clean water can be achieved.

Especially when dealing with a hot tub or spa, pay attention to the alkalinity, which is a measure of the hardness of the water. You want relatively soft water (water with a small concentration of minerals) in your hot tub or spa because minerals attack pump seals, seize up jets, and prematurely corrode the motors used to power spas.

Hot tub startup chemicals wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a dab of algaecide to keep the water plant free. Regular, small applications of algaecide, even if you don’t have an algae problem will go a long way to keeping your water clear.

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