How do I select an appropriate sized pump?
When choosing a pump, important factors to consider are its capacity relative to the volume of water in your spa or hot tub, the number of hydrojets, the operating costs, and maintenance steps. Generally, a 1 hp pump motor is sufficient for a 500-700 gallon spa or tub with four hydrojets. Many new energy saving models, such as two-speed pumps are on the market, and your local pool professional will be glad to assist you in your product choice.
What is the difference between cartridge filters and DE filters?
Cartridge filters composed of non-woven polyester, Dacron, (or treated paper) trap dirt and residue as the water flows through them. A large majority of spas and tubs use cartridge filters. Properly maintained cartridges last 1-2 years before replacement is necessary. Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters are more efficient because they can carry a heavier dirt load than cartridge filters. Cleaning DE filters is more complicated than cartridges. When the DE filter needs to be cleaned, it must be backwashed (reverse-flow) or manually cleaned. A new coating of DE is applied and then the filter is ready for its new cleaning cycle.
I am a spa owner and live in a colder climate. What type of heater should I use?
You should go with a natural gas, propane, or oil heater. These heaters are designed to raise the water temperature quickly and are more desirable in colder climates. Electric heaters take longer to heat water but may be adequate for small installations, portable spas or highly insulated spas. Electric heaters usually run continuously if the spa or tub is used often.
Should I be testing for calcium hardness?
Testing for water hardness is important. Calcium is a mineral that affects the water’s overall balance and is no more than 150-300 parts per million. If the calcium level is very high, it may be time to replace old water with new. If it is too low, add calcium chloride.
What is an appropriate alkalinity level?
The recommended range for alkalinity level is 90-150 parts per million. This will keep your pH level stable and is one defense against forming excessive calcium carbonate, a type of alkalinity that causes scaling, cloudiness, and residue to form in your spa or tub.
What pH level should I keep my spa at?
The pH scale runs from 0-14. The recommended pH range is 7.2-7.8. Below this, the water can corrode a spa or tub finish and support equipment. Above this, the pH level can produce scaling, cloudy water or a clogged filter and reduce the efficiency of the chlorine or to a lesser degree, bromine. Soda ash or sodium bicarbonate is used to raise pH level; muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to lower it. As with any chemicals, carefully read and follow the directions for proper use of these substances.