Commonly Asked Questions

Are all chemical products the same?

No. To meet the pricing demands of large wholesale buyers many chemical suppliers are willing to reduce the quality of their product by watering down their liquid chemicals and adding fillers to their powdered products. This means you have to use more chemicals (often then what’s even instructed on the label) and spend more money. To compound the problem many of these suppliers don’t adhere to strict quality controls, so the product consistency often varies. Which means you will need to relearn the amount of chemicals needed to care for your hot tub water after each purchase.

Also some large wholesale and online company’s package hot tub chemicals that should primarily be used only in swimming pools. Pool chemicals may be less expensive, but they are often the primary cause of damage to spa components (pump seals, electric heating coils, etc.).

We strongly recommend that in deciding which hot tub chemicals you purchase you ask these simple questions:

Where were these chemicals manufactured?

Am I buying chemicals designed for hot tubs or pools?

What is the true concentration of this formula?

Can I be assured that it will be the same the next time I purchase it?

 

Why should I use SpaEase Chemicals?

SpaEase Chemicals are made in the USA. All of our chemicals have been specifically formulated for hot tubs (not swimming pools), include the highest concentrations of active ingredients available, and are produced within highly monitored quality control standards. The owners of Hot Tub Discounts have been one of the largest suppliers of hot tub chemicals in the US for many years. Their high volume purchasing allows Hot Tub Discounts to sell you the safest and best chemicals available at the lowest prices in the country. Yes, even lower than many online and mass merchant retailers.

At Hot Tub Discounts we care about the products we sell and the customers who use them.

 

How Often Should I Change My Water?

The common answer voiced by all is every 90 to 120 days but it actually depends on how much chemicals you’ve added to your water. The more often you use your spa the more chemicals you use causing a high TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) level. A high TDS level means your water is over saturated and your chemicals become ineffective. Think of continuing to add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. Each teaspoon raises the salt content and at a certain point your water becomes saturated and the new salt merely settles at the bottom of the cup. AquaChek TDS test strips are the simplest method of knowing when to change your water. When you change your water remember to clean your acrylic shell with an approved cleaning product.

 

Do Chemical Products have a shelf life?

Most chemicals do not have a shelf life as long as they are kept in a temperature controlled, dry environment. Liquid chemical products that freeze-up and granular products that become hardened should be disposed of. Test Strips, unlike chemicals, do have a shelf life and also can be damaged by being exposed to moisture and excessive heat.

 

What is Scaling in the Water?

Scaling is a precipitation (like barnacles) that forms on the internal spa components along with the spa shell when they are in contact with water where the calcium hardness, pH, or total alkalinity is too high. The longer it remains on the spa surface the more difficult it is to remove. Since it is only the result of poor water maintenance or hard source water it is not covered by any spa manufacturer’s warranty.

 

Balancing the Water

What are the proper levels for balancing your water?

Your pH should be kept between 7.2 – 7.8, the ideal alkalinity level is between 80-150 ppm, and calcium hardness should stay within 150-250 ppm for spas and 200 – 400 for swimming pools.

 

Why is keeping a proper pH level so important?

If pH is too high you can get scaling in your water which could damage your acrylic surface. If pH is too low it will damage any metal parts in your spa components such as heating coils, pumps, blowers, etc.

 

What is Alkalinity?

Alkalinity is the buffering agent in the water to help prevent rapid fluctuations in pH.

Why does the pH/Alkalinity constantly change in my hot tub water?

There are many reasons pH and Alkalinity fluctuates: People using the spa, chemicals being added, are just some of the reason your pH level can change. Alkalinity can change when you add water. Ex: spa usage raises the pH level where chlorine lowers it.

 

After correcting my Alkalinity and my pH is too low, what should I do?

If pH is 7.0 or higher you should not make any further adjustments since many occurrences naturally raise pH along with bathers. If pH is below 7.0 slowly adjust using “SpaEase pH Up”.

 

After correcting my Alkalinity and my pH is too high, what should I do?

If pH is below 8.0 you should not make any further adjustments. If pH is above 8.0 add “SpaEase pH Down”.

 

What should I do if I have High Alkalinity and a pH below 7.0?

Drain 6 to 12” of water from your spa, refill, and retest.

 

Why is the pH level higher in my spa than in my pool, or when I test it from source water?

Warm water maintains a naturally higher pH level.

 

Is it better to have the pH read on the low or high side of 7.2 to 7.8?

Chlorine prefers a lower pH level (7.2 to 7.5) where bromine works equally well throughout the entire range of 7.2 to 7.8. It is always best to keep the pH between 7.2 and 7.8 ppm, but there is more inherent danger in using a spa with a higher level than 7.8 versus less than 7.2.

 

Why is Water Hardness Level Important?

The hardness of your water is determined by the calcium level. If the calcium is too high it could cause scaling. If it too little and it could cause foaming and cloudy water. Calcium levels should be maintained between 150 – 250 ppm in hot tubs. In water temperature below 90 degrees (like swimming pools and possibly swim spas) the calcium level should be between 200 – 400 ppm. To raise your calcium level use “SpaEase Liquid Calcium”. There are no chemical products available to lower your calcium level. Either, run your fill water through a water softener or drain 12” of water, refill and retest. A third alternative is to have water delivered, but make certain the new water has a good hardness level. Correcting pH and alkalinity levels and using a “SpaEase Mineral Purifier Stick” will assist in preventing scaling without softening your water.

 

Why do Swimming Pools require a different hardness level than hot tubs?

The simple answer is the temperature of the water. Because Calcium is less soluble in cool water is the reason the hardness level is required to be much less. So if you are keeping your hot tub or swim spa at a Fahrenheit temperature 80 degrees or less your hardness level should be 200 – 400 ppm.

 

What should I do if I pour in too much Liquid Calcium?

Wait 2 to 3 days and retest since Liquid Calcium takes a long while to fully dilute in the water, then retest. If level is above the recommended level drain 6 to 12” of water and refill.

 

If the water I fill my spa with has a high Hardness Level, what can I do?

There are no chemical products available to lower your calcium level. Either, run your fill water through a water softener or drain 12” of water from your spa, refill and retest. A third alternative is to have water delivered, but make certain the new water has a good hardness level. Another solution that sometimes works is to lower the alkalinity. Yes it will lower the pH but it should rise on its own as the hardness level drops. Also, correcting pH and alkalinity levels and using a “SpaEase Mineral Purifier Stick” will assist in preventing scaling without softening your water.

 

Keeping Water Clear

What Causes the Foam in Spa Water?

The most common causes of foaming are laundry soap residue on bathing suits and cleaning solution on filter cartridges that have not been thoroughly rinsed, along with deodorant, body lotions, and hair products. Other causes of foaming are: 1. high levels of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) which is the result of waiting too long to change your water, 2. Soft water, 3. High pH level, and 4. Poorly formulated chemical products sold at discount stores. SpaEase “Foam Away” instantly eliminates these types of foaming issues. But the correction is only temporary and will resurface shortly thereafter until the root problem is corrected. Remember foaming will not harm you or your hot tub but often the cause of foaming may have affected your sanitizer level, so test it after any high level occurrence of foaming.

 

What is Foam Away and what is the problem with adding too much?

SpaEase Foam Away is a silicon based product and adding too much could create a scum line along the surface of your water. Utilizing a spray nozzle with Foam Away is a great way of limiting your dosage and more evenly covering the affected foam area.

 

What are the causes of Scaling?

The four most common causes to scaling are a too high level of Calcium, too high level of pH, too high level of alkalinity, and excessively high water temperature.

 

How do I prevent scaling?

For spas up to 500 gallons add 16oz of SpaEase Stain & Scale each time you fill your spa while you are adding the water. Stain and Scale should be used before any sanitizer is used. You may need to remove and clean your filters within 24 hours of using stain and scale. If you top off your spa with fresh water be sure to add 1 oz. per 100 gallons to hot tub water while the pump is running. For spas with excessive mineral content be sure to add 2 oz. of Protection Plus weekly.

 

Will it hurt my spa or negatively affect my water chemistry if I put in too much Protection Plus or Stain & Scale?

No overuse of either product will not harm your spa, your water chemistry, or your hot tub.

What is the difference between SpaEase Natural & Clear and Traditional Clarifiers?

“SpaEase Natural & Clear” is a natural enzyme that breaks down the organics and contaminants in the water, purifying the water, helping to prevent oil slicks and common water scum lines.

Most products on the market are clarifiers (synthetic coagulates) that collect/bind small particles into a larger mass so that they can be captured in the filter cartridge. They are not as effective in keeping your water free from oils and lotions, and do not prevent water scum lines. Clarifiers are synthetic so if you overdose with a clarifier you can create a gummy film on your filter which could result in reducing the pressure on water jets. “SpaEase Natural & Clear” is a natural enzyme so there is no negative side effect to overuse.

What causes milky water and how do I correct it?

Untreated cloudy water can become milky water. Adding too much pH Up to a spa with a very low pH level can cause a temporary chemical reaction that creates cloudy water. Also overdosing with Clarifier’s (especially pool clarifiers) can cause a milky look. Make certain to add pH up at the recommended levels. Plus adding “SpaEase Natural & Clear” and “SpaEase Protection Plus” each week and keeping your filter clean or installing a new filter will help prevent and correct cloudy water.

 

Chlorine or Bromine

 

Are all Chlorine products the same?

No. There are primarily three common types of chlorine sold within the pool and spa industry; Dichlor, Trichlor, and Calcium Hypochlorite (aka CalHypo). Unfortunately, all three are sold for hot tubs. The only one recommended by industry professionals is Dichlor. Trichlor and CalHypo are excellent products for the larger volume of water in swimming pools and because of the types of equipment used on pools.

Trichlor usually comes in a tablet and has a very low pH (2.8 to 3.5) which can cause damage to your spa components. The low pH 3 of Trichlor is very acidic and can rapidly destroy the heating coils commonly found on hot tubs.

CalHypo comes in either a granular or a liquid and has a very high pH (8.5 to 11.8) and includes no stabilizer. This is fine and very effective for large or commercial swimming pools but should not be used in hot tubs. This very high pH in hot tubs often causes cloudy water, scaling, and excessive eye irritation in hot tubs.

“SpaEase Chlorine” is a Sodium Dichlor granular compound that is perfect for hot tubs for three reasons:

  1. It is the fastest dissolving sanitizer available which has two benefits; it instantly cleans and sanitizes the water in your hot tub and it quickly reaches the required ppm level so there is little time required to wait if retesting is needed.
  2. It has nearly a perfect pH of 6.7 so there is little fluctuation in balancing your water and virtually safe in protecting your spa components.
  3. It is considered the least expensive sanitizer annually to use to safely keep your water clean and healthy.

 

Are there any negatives to using “SpaEase Chlorine” Dichlor?

The downsides to using any Chlorine is that it requires you always maintain a 3 to 5 ppm level of chlorine which means you need to add a small amount every other day. If not properly maintained it could give off a scent that is not favorable to many bathers.

If “SpaEase Chlorine” is your sanitizer choice it is recommended to always shock your water with 2 oz. of “SpaEase Spa Activator” each time you get out of your hot tub. This will assist the chlorine in being more effective and also is excellent at for activating any Chloramines. Chloramines are the chemical compounds suspended in spa and pool water that is most often caused by improperly treated water. Chloramines are often the root cause of the unwanted chlorine scent in the water.

 

Why do most people choose Bromine?

SpaEase Bromine Tablets may be slightly more expensive to use annually than SpaEase Chlorine Granules but it is number one choice of most hot tub owners for a variety of reasons.

  1. It’s easier to use, simply fill a bromine floater with a few SpaEase Bromine Tablets, set the feeder accordingly to use, and refill once a week.
  2. Bromine is more effective over a wider pH range, so if your pH is fluctuating your sanitizer is still working. Bromine is also more effective in hot water environments, where Chlorine is more effective in cool water environments.
  3. There is no Chlorine scent in using SpaEase Bromine Tablets, though there can be a slight bromide scent, which is not as bothersome to most versus the chlorine.

The downside to Bromine is that it is a slow activating sanitizer (2 to 3 days) compared to Chlorine that activates instantly.

To instantly reach a proper bromine ppm level we strongly recommend to add 2 oz. of SpaEase Brom Bank and 2 oz. of SpaEase Activator to the water when first add Bromine Tablets or whenever you allow you ppm bromine level to drop to “0”. This will provide you an immediate bromide sanitizer level and the SpaEase Tablets will then slowly activate and keep you there. The combination of Brom Bank and Activator create pure bromine with no chlorine scent whatsoever. To constantly maintain a good ppm level of bromine add a small amount of SpaEase Brom Bank and SpaEase Activator after each use of your hot tub. This will also allow you to lessen the opening on you Bromine Feeder, extending the life of your SpaEase Bromine Tablets.

 

Do Bromine Tablets have Chlorine in them?

All Bromine Tablets have Chlorine in them to assist in providing some immediate sanitization to the slow dissolving tablets. SpaEase Bromine Tablets are pressed with pH neutral chlorine that dissolves rapidly to begin the sanitizing process. This assist process happens instantly preventing any chlorine scent in the water.

 

Can I use the skimmer basket to feed the Bromine Tablets?

The answer is yes, the skimmer basket will work but there are inherent problems in using it. Bromine Tablets are not pH neutral, they have a pH level of 4. The slow activating tablets in a bromine feeder are raised to a neutral, safe level in the water. In a skimmer basket they are in the direct flow path of the heater coils which are easily damaged by a low pH acidic level. A primary cause of failure of heating coils is spa users that feed Bromine Tablets via there skimmer. Another problem with skimmers is that there is no adjustment such as found in a bromine feeder, so you will go through more Bromine Tablets than necessary and often have too high of a bromine reading.

 

What are the primary differences between Chlorine and Bromine?

SpaEase Chlorine is pH neutral and dissolves rapidly to begin sanitizing almost immediately. It is a good sanitizer at lower pH levels. Bromine tablets are slow dissolving and take several days to leave a residual in the water. Bromine is a better sanitizer over a wider pH spectrum and is especially effective in hot water systems.

           

Why is “SpaEase Activator” recommended to be used with all sanitizers?

“SpaEase Activator” acts as a shock treatment by oxidizing organic matter and contaminants. It is best product for activating any Chloramines suspended in the water that are often the root cause of unwanted water scent. Highly recommended to be used with all sanitizers; Bromine Tablets, Mineral Cartridges and Chlorine. Recommended dosage in a 300 to 400 gallon spa is simply add 2 ounces (for 1 to 2 people and an additional ½ ounce for each additional user) each time after you use the spa and 2 ounces each week when spa is not in use.

 

Can I just use “SpaEase Activator” in place of Chlorine or Bromine?

No, “SpaEase Spa Activator” oxidizes organic material but requires a certain level of chlorine or bromine to disinfect (kill bacteria and viruses) in your water.

 

Mineral Purifiers

 

What is a Mineral Purifier?

Mineral Purifier’s as the name states use minerals to keep your water fresh and clean. They are very effective in improving your water quality and reducing the amount of sanitizers (chlorine or bromine) you are required to use by up to 50%. This helps reduce chemical scent and improves the overall quality of your hot tub water. They cannot be used in replace of sanitizers.

Are there differences between each mineral purifiers available on the market?

Yes each mineral purifier is slightly different and uses different mineral products. The 3 most commonly sold mineral purifiers on the market are Frog, Natures 2, and SpaEase Mineral Stick.

 

NATURES 2:

Natures 2 is designed to be used exclusively with chlorine sanitizers and requires Chlorine to be active. It is also sold under a variety of private label names such as ThermoClear. It consists primarily of a pure form of silver that is compressed into a bead. Natures 2 is very effective when used in conjunction with Chlorine and not recommended for use with Bromine. Installation is consists of simply inserting the mineral stick into the interior open hole in your filter cartridge and replacing it every 3 to 4 months.

 

FROG MINERAL STICK

The Frog can be used with either Chlorine or Bromine and is activated by either sanitizer. It is made with 2 mineral compounds Silver which is highly effective in killing bacteria and Limestone which assists in keeping your pH in balance by absorbing the acidic particles that naturally come into your water from the use of sanitizers, rain water, etc. The Mineral Cartridge stick is installed by installing it into the open hole in your filter cartridge and replaced every 3 to 4 months. An added advantage to the Frog is that you can dial in the month you installed the mineral stick eliminating having to remember. If the filter cartridge is shorter than the Frog Mineral Stick you will either need to cut the end of the stick or place it into the skimmer basket.

 

The Frog is also sold as a floating package with 2 cartridges; Mineral and Bromine. The mineral cartridge consists of the same minerals as the stick: Silver and Limestone and the bromine cartridge consists of Granular Bromine, similar to SpaEase Bromine Tablets. The Mineral Cartridge should be replaced every 4 months and the Bromine Cartridge every 2 to 3 weeks. Each of the cartridges has a release dial from 1 to 6. The higher settings are recommended for those that use their hot tub more often and result in requiring replacement sooner. Some hot tub manufacturers have built them into the top of their spas to make it convenient to for their users by eliminating the need for a floating system.

 

 

SPAEASE MINERAL STICK

SpaEase Mineral Stick can be used with either Bromine or Chlorine and unlike other Mineral Sticks it will activate without the presence of either sanitizer. It consists of Silver, Copper, and Zinc and each of these minerals provide their own unique benefit. It should be replaced every 4 months and is effective throughout its entire 4 month life cycle. It does not include an attached handle and is designed to be installed in the skimmer basket of the spa.

 

NOTE: When using the Frog or Natures 2 on spas with a filtration pump that runs on a high flow cycle of 2.5 HP or larger place them into the skimmer basket similar to that of the SpaEase Mineral Stick.

 

Using Ozonators

What is Ozonator and can I use it to sanitize my water?

A standard Spa Ozonator is a single vessel system that produces approximately 30 mg of ozone per/hour and feeds it into the spa water as a gas. It is an excellent product to assist you in sanitizing and keeping your water healthy and clear but is not a substitute for using chemicals. You still need to use one of the traditional sanitizers to properly keep your water clear and healthy.

 

Will an Ozonator help me reduce my chemical usage?

Yes, using an Ozonator allows you to lessen the amount of sanitizers (chlorine or bromine) you will need to use by about 20%. The reason Ozonators are not more effective and cannot be used in replace of chemicals is that the ozone gas your Ozonator produces only has a life of about 12 seconds, plus it only works when your spa is operational. Caution, the use of an Ozonator does not relieve you of shocking your water each time you use your spa or lessen the amount of balancing and maintenance products you may need to use for your hot tub.

Does having an Ozonator installed in my spa save me money?

Only if you receive the Ozonator for free. Ozonators require replacement every 1 to 2 years and the savings you receive on lessening your sanitizer usage rarely pays for the cost of purchasing an Ozonator, or replacing it. Ozonators are recommended for those willing to pay extra in order to do all they can to maintain the highest level of water quality possible.

 

Are there any negatives to using an Ozonator?

Ozonators work by feeding ozone gas into the spa water during the filtration cycle, preferably via an independent jet located at the lowest point in your spa’s foot well. These gases rise through the spa water killing bacteria in its path. As this gas reached the water’s surface it produces “off-gases” (any ozone gas that reaches the water’s surface that has been used up killing bacteria). These “off-gases” are usually the primary culprit in the discoloration to the underside of your cover and pillows, along with the yellowing of spa jets covers. These “off-gasses” are what you smell when you raise the cover. They are also the reason standard Ozonators are not recommended for hot tubs installed indoors in rooms with no ventilation system. If you do have a spa indoors with an Ozonator make certain to always keep your cover on the hot tub when it is not in use. Standard Ozonators are best to be used on hot tubs installed outdoors.

 

Maintenance Products

 

SpaEase Jet Line Cleaner

Over time, even a well-maintained spa or jetted bathtub will accumulate unseen, bacteria breeding deposits in the plumbing lines. Anyone who has activated the jets on a bathtub, after a period of non-use, has experience both a foul odor and viewed unsightly dirt particles. Our Jet Line Cleaner dissolves the dirt, soap, and bacteria hidden within the plumbing helping to keep your spa and jetted bathtub water fresh and clean. It is also very effective in cleaning the jets and fittings that discolor over time. Recommended to use at least twice a year.

SpaEase ALL PURPOSE CLEANER

This non-foaming based solution that can be used to spray and clean the acrylic surface above the water line when the spa is filled without affecting the water’s chemistry. It’s also perfect for cleaning the acrylic shell when spa is drained. This could easily become your favorite household cleaner; perfect for hard water stains on sinks, eliminates mold and mildew without bleaching.

SpaEase SPAGLOSS

Helps create a durable, protective coating on the shell surface and hides the scratches in the acrylic without affecting your water’s chemistry. Each time you drain your hot tub clean the acrylic surface with our “All Purpose Cleaner”, when spa is completely dry, apply “SpaGloss” and simply wipe clean. SpaGloss protects your shell surface along with enhancing the color.

Spa Ease COVER CONDITIONER

Protect and extend the life of your cover. A silicon based product helps protect all forms of vinyl and leather from hardening and cracking and includes a UV inhibitor to protect cover from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun. Also leaves the cover with a high sheen.