Checklist: 6 Steps for Hot Tub Maintenance


Ahhhh, hot tubs. Whether you’re just thinking about buying one or are already proud owners, there’s something about the idea of a hot soak in a relaxing tub that appeals to just about everyone. 

And what’s not to like about the idea of slipping into a soothing hot tub after a hard day? Or connecting with your family during a good soak? The benefits of using a hot tub are real: it can help soothe your aches and pains, improve sleep, reduce stress, and more.

Most potential and new users have questions about hot tub maintenance as experts, we here at Zagers have the answers. You can contact us anytime to pick our brains or schedule an appointment to have Zagers help with your hot tub maintenance. 

To answer some of the most frequently asked questions about hot tub maintenance, here’s a checklist you can use to do it yourself. We hope it will ease your worries about hot tub maintenance costs (they’re fairly low) and hot tub maintenance time (it’s fairly low, too) so you can simply enjoy your time in your hot tub.

Chemistry is Key

The first and most important part of hot tub maintenance is keeping your water clean (sanitized) and balanced. Fortunately, this step is both easy and relatively inexpensive. 


First, test your spa water once a week with a strip that checks its levels of pH, chlorine, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity. Next, adjust the levels as necessary. Properly balanced hot tub water will fall within the following ranges:

  • Chlorine: 1.0-3.0 ppm (when using with a mineral sanitizer or ozonator)
  • pH: 7.2-7.6
  • Total Alkalinity: 125-150 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 100-200 ppm 

Not sure about testing or balancing your water on your own? Bring a water sample to any Zagers location and we’ll professionally test it and provide advice on maintenance and help you get the balance right.

Maintain the Water Level

Keep an eye on your water level – make sure the water is high enough for proper filtration, the ability to heat the water, and jet performance. This is typically a few inches above the filter. Keep in mind that the water level will rise when people are in the hot tub, so you don’t want to fill it too high and risk an overflow. Just like b Goldilocks, you want it to be “just right.” Drain or add water as needed, and you’ll be just fine!

Clean Your Hot Tub Weekly

Although it’s a weekly chore, this one’s fairly simple. If your hot tub is outside, you’ll need to skim the water to remove any debris.

Beyond that, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you’ll want to wipe down the shell, waterline, and jets once a week with a non-abrasive sponge and cleaner.  We recommend BioGuard Off The Wall surface cleaner because it’s safe to use on hot tub surfaces.

Drain and Refill Your Hot Tub Quarterly

While a weekly wipe down is a key component of hot tub maintenance, you’ll also want to completely drain and refill the water every three to four months, depending on your usage. While it’s empty, it’s a good idea to do a thorough cleaning of the entire tub—once again with Off The Wall.  

Show Your Spa Filter Some Love

Your hot tub filter(s) work hard, circulating water and keeping it free of contaminants. Help them do their job by keeping them clean, too.

Once a week, when you clean the surface of the tub, locate and remove your filter(s) and give them a good rinse with regular water. We recommend using a cartridge filter cleaning nozzle that attaches to a garden hose to rinse between the filter pleats. Place the filter(s) back in the hot tub when done. These nozzles can be found at any Zagers location.

Then, on the day you drain and refill your tub, give your filter a deep clean by soaking it in a degreasing agent that is designed to remove body oils, debris, and residue.  One of our recommended product for this BioGuard Kleen It.

As part of your hot tub maintenance, you should completely replace your hot tub filters every year or two. We also suggest having extra set so you can rotate the filters. Not only will they last longer, but you can continue to enjoy your hot tub while the first set is being cleaned.

Give Your Cover a Breather

Spa covers endure a lot of heat and moisture, which might sound great to you but isn’t always best for vinyl. To extend the life of your hot tub cover, remove it once a week and air it out. To clean and rejuvenate the vinyl on your cover, we recommend using a marine vinyl cleaner and conditioner, or a 303 aerospace protectant.

That’s it! Doing these six things will help you enjoy your hot tub week after week, month after month, and year after year. The overall hot tub maintenance cost and hot tub maintenance time are relatively low. 

If you’d prefer to have us provide hot tub maintenance for you, we’d love to help. This service is quite popular, though, so be sure to contact us for details and availability. And if you’re having issues with your hot tub, we also offer service and repair.