The How To For Hot Tubs & Spas

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Hot Tub Information For Buyers & Maintenance After Purchase

Hot Tub University - The How To Go To For Hot Tub Maintenance & Info

Hot Tub & Spa Maintenance

Hot Tub Universe prides itself on providing top quality service, deliveries and maintenance for all makes and models of hot tubs and swim spas in the Atlantic Canada. Our team has a combined 20+ years of industry experience. The Hot Tub Universe team is devoted to providing you with top-notch quality service.

When it comes time for a check-up or repair, you want the best. Technicians are prepared to service any hot tub make and model! There’s almost no problem we haven’t seen or repaired. Our technicians are experienced, factory trained and dedicated to getting your hot tub up and running as quickly as possible. Our technicians carry a large, fully stocked inventory of most common parts onsite at all times.To ensure that our knowledge and procedures are always up-to-date, our technicians receive continuous training. You never have to worry. Keep your hot tub in prime working order by scheduling a service visit today. We are the hot tub specialists… it’s all we do!!!

Water Care Basics

The subject about spas that most people are intimidated by is how to keep the water clean. If you talk about water care at a typical spa store, you are going to be bombarded with terms that will take you back to high school chemistry. You will hear about alkalinity, pH, hardness, sanitizers, oxidizers, flocculants, and on and on. It can be really confusing! You do have to pay some attention to the water care of your hot tub. But you won't need to get a masters degree in chemical engineering to do it. Keeping your water fresh. clear, and clean can be easy. Just take a step back, and try to absorb the big picture. We'll help.We can break hot tub watercare down into 3 basic, fundamental steps that anyone can grasp. We will also give you the differences between the various ways you can sanitize your spa, along with some of the pros and cons of the available methods. This way, you can decide what system you want to use to keep your spa at its best.

Simple steps of spa water care

Step 1. Balance the water

Change your "drinking" water (from your hose) into "spa" water. After filling your tub, you simply use one of the test strips for spa water (a typical bottle has 50 of them). Dip it in the water, pull it out, and look at the color. You will see if it is too high, too low, or just right by comparing the color on the strip to the colors on the side of the bottle. And having the pH "just right" will help extend the life of your spa.

1st: Measure "Total Alkalinity" (adjust it if necessary)

2nd: Measure "Calcium Hardness" (adjust it if necessary)

3rd: Measure "pH" (adjust it if necessary)

That's really it. The test strips will tell you to either increase or decrease each one. And we offer inexpensive supplies to adjust each of these measurements up or down. Do take note - the order you change them does matter. But, conveniently, you can remember that - it's in alphabetical order (Alkalinity - Calcium - pH). There can be a little more to it - particularly if you are on well water - but the basics remain the same.

Complete this step, and you have done the hardest part. And, thankfully, if you do it carefully, your water will "behave" and not need major adjustments between drains and refills. So you only need to play with the water this much when you drain and refill the tub. Most spas recommend changing out the water every four months. Many people drain their hot tub only twice a year. So you won't do this adjusting as often as you think you might have to do it. And, there are systems available that will let you extend that time even further, so you won't play "chemist" too often at all.

Step 2. Use a sanitizer

Kill the bad stuff that would try to grow in your spa.

It's time to select something to use in the water - just a little - to stop any impurities from growing out of control. You have several options available to use. This step is generally much simplier than the first step. All you have to do is use one of these sanitizers in your spa, and you will either manually add a small amount of it on a routine basis, or in some cases, the spa will do it for you.

You only need to do one of them. Generally, the most common mistake in spa water care is using too much of a water care supply instead of not using enough. This is not the time for "if some is good, than more must be better!"

There are only four sanitizers approved by the EPA - chlorine, bromine, biguinide, and mineral sanitizers. That's it. Please select only one. Once you pick which you want to use, there are several ways to get an appropriate amount of your choice in your spa. Here are some of the most popular options available:

Chlorine is an effective killer of algee and bacteria. It is probably the most commonly used sanitizer in spas and hot tubs. Chlorine comes in a powdered form. You simply add more when you need it. Test strips designed for a spa that is utilizing a chlorine sanitizer will show you if there is too much, not enough, or just the right amount of chlorine in the water to keep it fresh and clean. If the chlorine level is correct, there is very little noticable odor.

Bromine can also be an effective sanitizer. Commercial "Bromine" sold for spas can be up to 85% chlorine. It is actually a "buffered" chlorine, and it is used the same way as chlorine. It the spa needs some, add some. If it has enough, don't.

Biguanide is a fancy name for the hydrogen peroxide based system that are available (brands include Soft Soak or BaquaSpa). Biguanide systems use their own specific formulation of sanitizers, conditioners, shock, etc. to keep the spa water sanitary and clean without using chlorine or bromine. Many people who react to chlorine or bromine will try a biguanide water care system next.

Step 3. Use a shock

Off-gas ("ozidize") impurities to remove it from the water.

Once you've killed the bad stuff in your "step two", you need to remove the contaminants from your spa. If you neglect this step, you spa can be technically "sanitary" - but the water will still be cloudy, with perhaps a musty odor, and generally not very pleasant. "Oxidizing" the contaminants removes them from the water, leaving it looking and smelling as sparkling and fresh as when the hot tub was first filled.

The method of ozidizing (also called "shocking") you will utilize is directly related to which method of sanitizing you choose for your spa. One type is made for one system, and another for a second. Here is what you would have to do:

Chlorine systems use a chlorine-based shock. The product is added typically one time per week, and possibly other times after heavy spa usage. The chlorine levels can spike after shocking, so most manufacturers of chlorine shock recommend against using the spa for one hour after adding the shock.

Bromine has some ability to not only kill some impurities, but oxidize them to some degree as well. If using bromine, this can reduce the frequency or amount of chlorine-based shock you need. But you will still need some at a regular interval.

Biguanide systems require a shock treatment as well. Most recommended routines suggest using a dose of shock one time per week. Additionally, the use of another product - Stain and Scale Control - is required at the same interval. Even if your water is not particularly hard, it is recommended you utilize the Stain and Scale Control, since the various combined ingredients needed to make the entire biguanide system effective are often found within the different bottles.

That's it. Really. If you follow one of the routines listed above, at the recommended intervals, you will be well on your way to having a hot tub that is continually fresh, clean, and enjoyable. And the more times you open the spa to find the water inviting, the more times you will be in it - leading to a more enjoyable ownership experience.

What Method We Recommend?

After looking at your different choices - particularly "Step Two", where you pick which method you want to employ to kill any of the imputiries that would attempt to make your spa their home - which should you choose for your spa? You have to pick from chlorine, bromine, biguanide, minerals with ozone, or salt-water based systems. How can you settle on just one?

Here's what we recommend. After nearly 20 plus years of selling spas, with many of them going to repeat customers, we have found that people get far more pleasure from their spa if they spend their time enjoying it instead of maintaining it.

Use an All-In-One solution like "AquaFiness" to do most of the steps we have mentioned.

You can also buy "Spa Shock" by Spa Boss.

Hot Tub Buyers Guide

Buying a hot tub is a nightmare.

The truth is, there are so many side track issues, exaggerations and outright misinformation perpetuated by manufacturers and retailers alike that even an intelligent, diligent researcher does not have a hope in hell of making an educated buying decision.

Part of the problem is most of the retailers don’t really know that much about the hot tub industry or what really makes a great hot tub. For the most part they are just regurgitating the pitch they got when they bought the line of spas they are selling.

I’ll break this down into a few sections, first lets talk about the real issue that will make the biggest difference to your hot tub buying choice, then the pitches that are all about side tracking you… I call these the spin issues, then a list of questions to ask your local retailer.

After more than 20 years in almost all aspects of this industry, I don’t know much… but I know way too much about the hot tub industry...

First is the Dealer… Trust me here folks… A good industry person with 20 years under their belt who has been under the spas fixing them, selling them and designing them will have made a good choice on the line of spas he carries. They will also know how to look after you and the product in the field… If you are lucky enough to have an expert in your local market then you are golden, but the reality is most of the people in the hot tub industry are not experts… They just went to the spa industry show in las Vegas and bought in a line of hot tubs based on a sales pitch from the manufacturer… And now they are regurgitating the same pitch back to you… Ask questions… Get a feel for their product knowledge.



It is all about the components. When we build a hot tub we can buy good solid proven track record components like Balboa heating and control systems, and Waterways jets, pumps and fittings or we can buy inexpensive components like Rising Dragon jets, controls and filters… and there are also a whole pile of guys in the middle. but understand one thing!!!


Contact Us

Hot Tub Universe

3 Holland Road
Fall River
Nova Scotia
B2T 1J3

Hours Of Operation

Monday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
Thursday: 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m
Friday: 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m
Saturday: 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m
Sunday: Closed all day

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Office: 902 576 5115
Fax: 902 576 3303

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