Maintaining your hot tub.
I often get asked what all is required to maintain a wood hot tub. As an owner of both acrylic tubs and of course, wooden tubs, the maintenance is virtually identical. There are 4 areas that need to be considered. Water maintenance, filter maintenance, exterior maintenance, and interior maintenance.
Water maintenance: Regardless of whether you purchase an ozonator or ionizer you will still have to keep up your water chemistry. These extra devices will reduce the amount of chemicals used but they will not eliminate them. Water maintenance is a simple task once the water level is in balance. There are two tests that I concentrate on. The 1st is the level of chlorine or bromine. The 2nd is the PH level. These control the bacteria and acidity. With our standard starter chemical kit, you will have all the tools to keep your water chemistry in perfect harmony. Water hardness and total alkalinity is something you may have also read about. These become important only if your water supply is at the extremes (for example water too soft). In that case you may experience premature failure of some metal parts, such as the heater sheath. This can be adjusted by adding suitable minerals.
Filter Maintenance: I recommend a monthly cleaning of your filter. The cleaner the filer is the more efficient your pump will be. Because a clean filter allows more water circulation, you will also find your water stays much clearer. A filter can be cleaned using a tap or garden hose. I don't recommend using a pressure washer as this can damage the filter. I also recommend using filter cleaner chemical. This chemical aids in breaking down dirt and debris resulting in an almost new filter. I recommend replacing the filter with a new one on an annual basis. Also, important, is to check for debris that may collect on the bottom intake suction. This suction has a cover that prevents any larger objects from being sucked in. It can easily get clogged by fibers, hair, and leaves. Clean this each time you use the hot tub by reaching into the water and removing debris.
Exterior Maintenance: This is a personal choice. Some people prefer the natural grayed look of aged cedar. Others want to keep the new look of western red cedar. If you want the grey look then simply do nothing. If you choose to preserve your cedar color, then I recommend using Sik ken Cetol products found in most specialty paint supply stores. In my opinion it is the best! You will pay for it, but nothing works better. I have used 3 different tints of this product and they all look beautiful. The Cetol 'Clear' provides a more yellow finish, the Cetol 'Oak' will provide a browner finish and the Cetol 'Redwood' provides a red hue to the tub color. If you choose to stain your tub, this should be done as per manufacturer's instructions, with 3 coats. Depending on the amount of sun received, you may need to redo the finish every 1-3 years.
Interior Maintenance: The inside of a tub is cleaned in the same fashion you would with an acrylic tub. You will find over time a "bath tub ring" may form. This can easily be removed by using a soft scrub brush and water lightly mixed with Javex bleach. I usually recommend doing this each time you drain the water (every 2-3 months). This is a simple task that takes 15 min.