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Chlorine Start-Up & Maintenance Instructions

At Hot Tub Things, we understand the importance of keeping your hot tub clean and ready for use. Knowing the right amount of chemicals and how often to use them in your spa is essential for maintaining it. Here we will give you a run-down of just what to do with the chlorine your spa needs and also maintenance instructions.


  • Make sure to allow at least 30 minutes for all chemicals to dissolve and disperse in your spa. Following this retest your hot tub’s water before using.
  • Always read all chemical labels prior to using in your spa and always use the appropriate protective gear when handling chemicals.
  • Keep all chemicals out of children’s reach.
  • While diluting your spa always add chemicals to the water, NEVER water to the chemicals.
  • Be accurate when measuring the quantity of chemicals that is called for on the label. Overdosing your spa with chemicals can damage the spa itself and also cause irritation to the body.
  • Keep chemicals stored in a cool dry location and when you are not using your spa’s chemicals be sure to keep the containers tightly closed.
  • Do not inhale fumes from your spa chemicals and do not let the chemicals come in contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • In the case of a reaction due to contact or if a chemical is swallowed, follow the emergency directions on the label carefully and call your doctor if necessary.
  • Clean up all chemical spills immediately.
  • If you are using liquid chemicals they can be added directly to the spa water by simply pouring slowly just above the spa water level, to avoid splashing.
  • If you are using dry chemicals, they should be dissolved and diluted before you add them to your spa's water. To dissolve dry chemicals, dip a clean plastic bucket of water out of the hot tub and add the proper amount of dry chemicals to the water inside of the bucket. Mix the chemicals until they are completely dissolved then lower the bucket back into the spa.

Testing the pH and Alkalinity

The pH in your spa should be between 7.2 and 7.8 PPM. The Alkalinity in the spa should be between 80 and 120(always test the alkalinity first). Testing the pH and Alkalinity of your spa can help you to determine just how much of certain chemicals you need to add to your spa to keep it balanced. You should test your spa’s pH and Alkalinity at least three times a week at the initial start up. The importance of testing your spa’s pH and Alkalinity balance is imperative to the upkeep of your spa for several reasons.

  • Low pH and Alkalinity can cause eyes to burn in spa water and also corrode your spa’s equipment.
  • Alkalinity and pH that is too high can cause build up to accrue on the spa walls and plumbing.
  • The effectiveness of your chlorine is reduced when your spa is not in balance.

Testing the Chlorine

To accurately test your spa's chlorine levels, use your spa test strips 24 hours after the spa is first heated. Following this, test your spa's chlorine every other day at least three times a week. The chlorine in your hot tub acts as a sanitizer and kills bacteria that may be in the water. Keep in mind though that over time the chlorine will lower the pH and Alkalinity levels, so it is crucial to test your spas water on a reoccurring basis. Here are some additional tips on chlorine:

  • Spas generally require using 2-4 doses of chlorine per week. Some spas require more or less chlorine based on the size. Add enough chlorine to your spa to get the proper chlorine reading.
  • The amount that your spa is used and the number of people that use your hot tub can affect how much more or less sanitizer you may need to add to your spa.
  • Keep in mind that the higher your spa’s temperature, the quicker the chlorine will be used up.
  • The amount of water in your spa affects how much chlorine you need to use, for instance a 500 gallon spa will use twice as much chlorine as a 250 gallon spa.

Spa Cleaning Tips

Metal Protector/ Stain & Scale
Use a metal protector or stain & scale only at start-up and when you have filled your spa with fresh water. Add 4 ounces of this product and it will precipitate metals such as Iron, Zinc, Copper, and magnesium out of your spa’s water. Metal protector is an important addition to your spa care routine because it helps protect your spa’s equipment as well as enhancing the effectiveness of the sanitizer.

Non-Chlorine Shock
Non-chlorine shock should be added to your spa once or twice a week, only on a day when you are not adding Clarifier or Enzyme cleaner to your spa. Non-chlorine shock helps burn up and oxidizes the by-products of bromine, by burning up the food in which bacteria may feed on and is effective on all spas.

Defoamers are used as needed in spas. The water in your spa may get foamy due to too much chemical buildup or even a presence of soap products in your water such as laundry soap and body soap.

pH & Alkalinity Down
Add pH & Alkalinity Down as needed to your spa to lower your levels of pH & Alkalinity as indicated on your spas 3 in 1 test strips.

A clarifier should be added to your spa once a week in 2 ounce increments, on a day when you are not adding non-chlorine shock. Clarifiers are used in spas to help ensure the spa water remains clear and works by coagulating oils and microscopic particles that may be to small for the filter to catch.

Scum-Out or Other Enzyme products
Instead of using a clarifiers for water clarity once a week you can use Scum-Out or Other Enzyme products every week. Scum-Out or Other Enzyme products are used to accomplish the exact same thing that clarifiers are set out to accomplish they just work differently. Instead of coagulating oils and particles they actually dissolve the oils in the water and allows for the filter to stay cleaner and become more effective. Please note: do not overdose or use more than the suggested amount in your spa.

Spa Defender/ Spa Stain & Scale Defense
To help prevent staining and mineral build up on you spa equipment and walls, you can use a Spa Defender/ Spa Stain & Scale Defense per the instructions once a week. This is not a must in spa maintenance but it is strongly advised to use especially if you have hard water.

Rinse Filter
Your spa’s filter needs to be rinsed at least once per month. The oils that our bodies produce can slowly clog your spa filter over time. You can rinse your spa’s filter with a hose or in your bathtub in hot water. The hot water will loosen up the oils and allow for a better clean. Cleaning your spa’s filter regularly will ensure your spa runs smoothly and is a preventative step in having to endure expensive repairs.

Treat Cover With Cleaner
Once a month you should hose down your spa’s cover. Following rinsing your spa’s cover you should then apply 303 Protectant or another non-petroleum distillate cleaner that is made specifically for vinyl. Taking proper care of your spa’s cover from elements such as the sun is the key to preventing it from fading or deteriorating.

Soak Filter in Cleaning Solution
Twice a year you should soak your spa filter in a filter cleaning solution. By soaking your filter in a filter cleaning solution every 4 to 6 months, it will allow your filter to last the full two years before needing to be replaced.

Mineral Purifier Cartridge
Mineral Purifiers allow you to use less chlorine to keep your spa clean. You will only need to use chlorine once a week if you use a mineral purifier. Keep in mind that a Mineral Purifier Cartridge can lose its effectiveness after four months so it is essential to replace it or you will need to start using more chlorine to kill the bacteria in your spa.

Replacing Your Spa Filter
Before you replace your spa’s filter, consult your owner’s manual to find out the essential information on your spa’s filter life. The longevity of your spa’s filter is based on how well your spa is maintained, keeping the proper water balance, how often your spa is used and more. It is recommended that you rotate between two spa filters between cleanings to help maximize their life span. If you have any questions in regards to spa filters do not hesitate to contact one of Hot Tub Things customer service representatives.

Chemical Usage Guide

At Spa Start up

  • Test spa pH/Alk making sure the pH is between 7.2 and 7.8 and the Alk is between 80 and 120
  • Test the spas chlorine levels
  • Add a Metal Protector/ Stain and Scale if needed
  • Add the correct amount of Chlorine
  • Add Shock

At Start Up- Day 1, Day 3, Day 5

  • Test spa pH/Alk making sure the pH is between 7.2 and 7.8 and the Alk is between 80 and 120
  • Test spa’s chlorine levels

As Needed Spa

  • Defoamer to reduce foam
  • pH/Alk up to balance spa water
  • pH down to reduce pH levels if needed
  • Chlorine- after spa usage

On a Weekly Basis

  • Add shock to spa water
  • Add Stain & Scale Defense
  • Add Clarifiers or add Scum out to replace the Clarifier


  • Rinse spa filter
  • Soak spa filter with cleaner
  • Rinse spa cover, treat with cleaner/protectant

Every 4-6 Months

  • Change Mineral Purifier Cartridge if needed
  • Switch out filter

Every 1 to 2 years

  • Replace spa filter

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Leisure Time Spa Up - 2 lb.
Leisure Time Spa Up - 2 lb.
List Price: $8.98
Our Price: $6.98

Leisure Time Spa Up is a granulated formula that increases the pH and alkalinity of hot tub water.
AquaChek Test Strips - Chlorine - 50 ct.
AquaChek Test Strips - Chlorine - 50 ct.
List Price: $9.98
Our Price: $6.98

AquaCheck Yellow easy-to-read strips test spa water for free chlorine, cyanuric acid, pH and total alkalinity.
Leisure Time Spa Down - 2.5 lb.
Leisure Time Spa Down - 2.5 lb.
List Price: $8.98
Our Price: $6.98

Leisure Time Spa down is a granular formula that lowers the pH and alkalinity of spa water.
Leisure Time Metal Gon - 16 oz.
Leisure Time Metal Gon - 16 oz.
List Price: $10.98
Our Price: $8.98

Leisure Time Metal Gon prevents metal build up and staining in the hot tub.
Leisure Time Foam Down - 16 oz.
Leisure Time Foam Down - 16 oz.
List Price: $12.98
Our Price: $9.98

Leisure Time Foam Down is a liquid formula that eliminates foaming in hot tub water.
Hot Tub Things Metal Out - 16 oz
Hot Tub Things Metal Out - 16 oz
List Price: $16.98
Our Price: $11.98

Prevent scale, staining, and calcium build-up on surfaces.

The water used to fill your spa may contain high amounts of metal that can stain or discolor your spa's surface. The presence of minerals can cause oxidizing and scaling on the shell's surface and erosion of the heater element. Metal Out protects your spa from metal and metal impurities found in spa water by suspending and inhibiting stain and scale causing minerals.

Use: Add 16 oz. to spas up to 500 gallons of water while it is being filled, before any sanitizer is added. Remove and clean cartridge filter within 24 hours of dose with filter cleaner.

NOTE: Draining and cleaning of spa or hot tub is recommended every 3 months.

Leisiure Time Renew Tabs - 1.75 lbs.
Leisure Time Renew Tabs - 1.75 lbs.
List Price: $17.98
Our Price: $12.98

Leisure Time Renew Tabs is a non-chlorine shock oxidizer tablets dissolve soaps, deodorants, oils and organic materials
Leisure Time Bright & Clear - Safe for Ozone - Does not cause build-up! - 32 oz.
Leisure Time Bright & Clear Clarifier - 32 oz.
List Price: $17.98
Our Price: $13.98

Leisure Time Bright & Clear makes cloudy water sparkling clear.
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