As a maintenance practice, treating the water after testing and confirming that any water chemistry such as chlorine, pH or alkalinity, or calcium is balanced is very important to avoid breakdown of your hot tub and other damage.
Your water can go untreated for so many weeks after refilling and the first treatment; it just depends on how quickly the water gets imbalanced.
However, if your spa has shown any sign of low or high chemistry property and you ignore it, in a period of 2 weeks you will not be able to use the spa because it will exhibit changes such as green color, wall stains, faulty filter, and so many other problems.
However, before treating the water, make sure you have tested to know what is actually wrong, because signs of low water properties can be very much alike.
How long can you leave water in a hot tub without chemicals?
Changing the water in the spa can be done every 2 to 5 months depending on the maintenance rate. If you always change the water, add necessary chemicals such as chlorine, pH increaser or decreaser, clarifier, algaecide, flocculant, etc., the water should last for as long as 5 months before you can refill with fresh water.
However, if you do not want to use chemicals in the hot tub, then you should check and test the water source to know the levels of chlorine, pH or alkalinity, calcium, and other chemistry to know the level and how long the water can last.
But with overtime experience, a hot tub that is not preserved with chemicals will not last up to 2 weeks before exhibiting changes such as green color, wall stains, calcium buildup, and so on.
In summary, if you get your water from a source like a borehole, well, or rain that has high metal compounds, they will be ready to lurk around the spa.
Replacing water in the hot tub can be different. In cases where your spa is not regularly maintained, your water should be changed every 2 months, whereas when you always check the water chemistry and balance when needed, the water can be changed after 5 months.
The major factor is just to regularly test and know when your water chemistry is no longer balanced, at least twice every week, and when you have started noticing algae blooms or have left the tub open during rainfall, spring, or winter season, it also determines if the water should be replaced.
What happens if you don’t put chemicals in a hot tub?
Application of chemicals to the spa can simply be compared to the daily food we eat to maintain good health, sound mind, and growth. In other words, chemicals like chlorine, pH increaser or decreaser, flocculant, and hydrogen peroxide help to sanitize, keep the spa healthy and comfortable for swimming, and prevent unwanted microorganisms.
Not using chemicals in the hot tub can allow compounds like calcium in the water to slowly erode the skimmer baskets and liners and cause build up on the walls. Organisms like algae can start blooming and turn the water green because sanitizers like chlorine and bromine are not available to prevent them.
Water with a low or high pH can be balanced using chemicals. Irregular usage of chemicals does not just affect your hot tub by damaging it; it also affects anyone who swims in it by depositing bacteria on the skin and leading to rashes, redness of the eye, and other infections.
How long does it take for bacteria to grow in a hot tub?
You might wake up in the morning with algae everywhere in the hot tub, wondering why since the tub was clear at night without any signs of algae.
Well, the rate of algae or bacteria growth in water depends on the level of phosphates available and the chlorine level because they feed on phosphates to grow and chlorine is responsible for killing them.
Chlorine serves as a sanitizer for the spa, which helps to prevent and kill bacteria, but when the phosphate level of your hot tub is high, bacteria like algae take just about 4 to 6 days to grow and multiply in the tub.
When this algae gets into the water, the sanitizer becomes weak and unable to kill microorganisms. Phosphates also affect chlorine because when it is available in high amounts in the tub, it aids the bacteria to feed on it and grow, since phosphates are one of the bacteria’s good foods for fast growth.
Can you get an STD in a hot tub?
There are so many possible diseases that you could acquire if you use a hot tub that has not been cleaned up or sanitized correctly.
As a result of the heat the hot tub emits, most disinfectants like chlorine breakdown very fast and become ineffective, making the tub a good breeding environment for bacteria and contaminants like water borne diseases.
There are many diseases that can affect humans when they swim in a hot tub, but it is rare to be infected with any sexually transmitted diseases without physical contact with the fluid of the carrier.
Hot tubs offer a suitable environment for many germs to inhabit, leading to many skin reactions and infections in the ear when not dealt with before swimming.
How do I know if my hot tub has bacteria?
While hot tubs can be very comforting and relaxing, they also come with some microbial risk. Like any other spa, hot tubs can be a very good environment for germs, and they are usually smaller and have a higher probability of having certain diseases.
If you tested the water in your hot tub on a regular basis with the appropriate test strip or tester, you would notice that the water changed from crystal clear to green or cloudy. When you swim in this type of water, you develop a skin rash (pseudomonas folliculitis).
When you notice signs of bacteria formation in your tub, the best thing to do is to test and treat the water immediately or drain the water and check your water source to know the problem and change your water source if possible. Avoid entering the hot tub with cosmetics, sweat, or body oil on your skin.
How do I keep my hot tub clean?
Hot tub maintenance is one of the most important factors in making your hot tub last longer. If you do not want to have to change the liners, skimmers, and other equipment frequently.
If you want to always have a clean hot tub aside from brushing and cleanup days, make sure you clean the tub anytime you notice dirt or sediment. And also make a strict rule of not entering the tub with sweat, cosmetics, or food.
How often should I change spa water?
As overwhelming and exciting as getting a spa is, it could also come with other strenuous activities, especially when your rate of maintenance is very poor. The rate at which you change your water can be even more frequent than others; it just depends on the activities that take place in the hot tub.
Although the longest your hot tub should retain water should be 5 months, then you have to drain and refill with fresh water, test and add chemicals again. If you have had skin reactions from using the hot tub, test to know the reason and, in some extreme cases, do not hesitate to change the water.
However, because water can stay in the spa for up to 5 months, it does not mean that anytime the water in your hot tub gets unbearably dirty, smelly, and uncomfortable, you should leave it. You must change the water when you notice that it has become hard to stabilize the chemistry.
How often should you add chemicals to your hot tub?
Almost all humans, animals, pets, insects, and reptiles depend on so many things to grow and survive. Your hot tub water depends on chemicals to serve you longer to your satisfaction.
Always add chemicals to the spa after;
- Changing the water
- Testing and confirming imbalanced chemicals like chlorine or bromine, pH or alkalinity, etc.
- Noticing bacteria, dirt, or microorganisms
- Heavy rainfall
- Having so many people in the tub
Chemicals do not have a specific time or period when they should be added. And it also does not make any sense to just pour chemicals into the spa because you feel like they are needed in the hot tub or it has been a while since you used it without testing first.
To summarize, don’t put more than one chemical in the tub at a time, and test the water at least twice a week to monitor your water chemistry and save money.