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Don't be fooled by high priced Starter Chemical Kits offered as high as $89.00 by some spa dealers. Your local Wal-mart store usually will have Starter Kits for as low as $19.00. You can also get Chemical kits from your local Home Depot or Lowes stores. We recommend SpaTime® chemicals for your new spa which can normally be purchased at the stores mentioned above and they won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Take the work out of spa maintenance. Just follow these simple A-B-Cs
Balancing Your Water Is Step A
Balanced spa water has the right pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels to prevent corrosive or scaling conditions. This is vital to:
• Improve product effectiveness, especially the bacteria-killing power of the sanitizer.
• Prevent corrosion of metal components.
• Prevent the formation of scale deposits that can damage spa equipment and cloud the water.
What is pH and why is it important?
Maintaining a proper pH level – a balance between the acidity and alkalinity in your spa water – is essential for your sanitizer product to kill harmful bacteria effectively. Proper pH also prevents staining and corrosion of spa equipment, skin and eye irritation, cloudy water and scale.
For proper spa maintenance, the pH level should always be kept between 7.2 - 7.6. Your test kit or test strip is all you need for a quick pH check. If you’re using a test kit, add a few drops of the test reagent to a small sample of the spa water. Then compare the water sample with the test kit color chart to determine the pH level. With a test strip, simply dip the strip into the spa water and compare the color pads on the bottle chart to determine the pH level.
If the pH level is too low (below 7.2), the water can become corrosive, irritating bather’s skin and damaging the spa. To correct this, add SpaTime® pH Up according to label directions.
If the pH level is too high (above 7.6), the sanitizer is less effective, scale forms and the water becomes cloudy. An application of SpaTime pH Down as recommended on the label will bring the pH level back into the desired range.
SpaTime pH Stable is an easy, one-step liquid for maintaining a stable, comfortable pH and softening you spa’s water. It makes balancing the water simple, eliminating the need for most pH balancing products. pH Stable not only establishes proper pH, but prevents pH from "drifting" so your spa and its equipment are protected. At the same time, it softens the water by removing dissolved calcium for a clearer, more comfortable spa. pH Stable enhances water clarity and helps prevent stains from dissolved metals in fill water. The result is a spa that is easier to maintain and enjoy.
Always keep the pump running while adding pH balancers to the water. During one application, do not add more than one ounce of pH balancer per 250 gallons of water. Retest the next day to make sure the pH reading is in the proper range.
What is total alkalinity?
Total alkalinity measures the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in spa water. They are the buffering agents that control the stability of pH. A total alkalinity of 125-150 ppm (parts per million) is crucial to keeping pH in the desired range.
Total alkalinity should be tested at least once a week until it stabilizes in the proper range. Testing can then be limited to monthly as levels do not change abruptly like pH. If your total alkalinity level is low, pH may bounce up and down frequently. Water may become corrosive, damaging metal components. To raise total alkalinity, add a total alkalinity increaser according to package directions.
NOTE: Always make adjustments to low total alkalinity before adjusting pH levels. Addition of a total alkalinity increaser will also raise the pH level.
If your total alkalinity is too high, it can cause scaling and cloudy water. The addition of SpaTime pH Down helps to lower the total alkalinity level, but will also cause the pH level to decrease. It may take repeated applications to neutralize the excess alkalinity enough to stabilize the pH and bring the total alkalinity down to an acceptable level.
What is calcium hardness?
The amount of calcium (hardness) in your spa water depends on your local water source. The ideal hardness range is 200-275 ppm for plaster spas or 175-225 ppm for other types of surfaces. Testing once or twice annually is usually sufficient in all but extremely hard water areas.
When hardness is too high, the spa can be drained and refilled with water that has a lower calcium content. If this is not practical, use SpaTime Stain & Scale Control to tie up excess calcium and reduce scale formation. Be sure to follow label directions.
If the calcium hardness level is too low, it can corrode metal pipes and equipment. In this case, raise the calcium hardness level with the addition of a calcium hardness increaser, following label directions.
Sanitizing Your Water Is Step B
Bacteria enter your spa continuously from many sources – fill water, bather contaminants and environmental factors. Warm or hot water is the perfect haven for the rapid growth of bacteria and algae. Proper sanitation with bromination or chlorination plays a very important part in keeping your spa or hot tub protected from algae and bacteria.
While brominating and chlorinating products are effective sanitizers, brominating products provide less odor and skin irritation, and work particularly well in the higher temperatures associated with spas and hot tubs.
The bromine level in your spa should be checked several times a week. Bromine levels should be maintained between 2.0 — 4.0 ppm for spas brominated with SpaTime® Brominating Tablets and 3.0 — 6.0 ppm for spas sanitized with SpaTime Brominating Granules.
When using chlorinating products to sanitize your spa, keep your free available chlorine level between 3.0 — 5.0 ppm. When additional chlorinating product is needed, add SpaTime Chlorinating Granules according to label directions while the pump is running. It is stabilized to resist degradation by sunlight. However, additional applications may be needed when the weather is hot or the spa is heavily used. This is especially true for outdoor spas and hot tubs.
Shocking Your Water Is Step C
Cosmetics, suntan lotion, perspiration and other bather contaminants cannot be filtered out of spa water and are resistant to normal levels of bromine or chlorine. These undesirable contaminants can quickly build up in a spa. They contain nitrogen that combines with chlorine to form chloramines.
Chloramines can cause skin and eye irritation, strong chlorine odor and cloudy water. Chlorine in this combined form also has a greatly reduced ability to kill bacteria. A shock treatment once a week will destroy the chloramines and undesirable compounds that can cause these problems.
SpaTime® Shock Treatment removes chloramines and gives spa water extra protection against bacteria. If you prefer an alternative to a chlorinating product, use SpaTime Non-Chlorine Shock.