Spa Water Cleaning FAQs | Spa Water Care | Waters Choice

Spa FAQ from Waters Choice

Frequently Asked Questions for Spas

Q – How to Startup with Waters Choice Enzymes.

  • Start with clean water that is less than 60 days old.  If not, purge spa with Clean & Drain and refill with clean water.
  • Add 1 bottle of Pure Enzymes for Spas.  This is a monthly application that is added every month and does most of the work keeping your spa clean.
  • Use a simple test strip & balance pH & Alkalinity. Add 1 capful of pH product (pH Up or pH Down), let circulate for 1 hour, then retest. Adjust accordingly.
  • Add Sanitizer (granular chlorine).  We recommend adding 2 teaspoons every other use.
  • Set filtration to run a min. of 8 hours/day for the first 6 weeks.
  • Clean filters with a high-pressure hose (no special cleaner needed) 1x per week for the first 6 weeks, then 2x month after that.

Q – When it's time to drain and refill

  • When using Waters Choice Enzymes in your spa, you only need to drain and refill 1x per year, instead of every 3-4 months on a traditional chemical system.
  • Clean and Drain Spa Purge is designed to break up any gunk that may be in your plumbing.  This product gets into the plumbing and cleans out the places you can't reach.
  • To use, remove filter from spa, add 1 tube of Clean and Drain to the filter compartment, and let spa run for at least 1 hour.
  • You will need to restart your jets every 20 minutes or so.
  • When you are ready to drain, get a wet rag and wipe down the spa shell while it is draining, so none of the gunk dries on your spa or it will be very difficult to get off.
  • Then flush out all of the plumbing by holding a garden hose up to each of the jets.
  • After draining, flushing, and wiping down the spa, refill with clean water.

Q – My spa water is CLOUDY.

  • If this is occurring in the first month, this is a normal process of the enzymes getting established and will clear up in 4 -6 weeks. When first starting on our enzymes, cloudy water indicates that the enzymes are getting established and are working.  Please be sure to add 2 tsp. of Sanitizer/chlorine every other time you use the hot tub, until the water clears up.
  • If your water is cloudy with a tint of green, then you should check your water for phosphates (see “Phosphates in Water” below) and add 2 tsp. of chlorine after every use until clear.

Q – Difference between 2 oz. Spa Treatment (enzyme concentrate) & 4 oz. Swim Spa Enzyme Concentrate.

Q – My SPA water is GREEN.

  • If your spa water has a tint of green, this is probably algae. Add enough chlorine to clear it up. If it does not clear, or clears and turns green again in a few days, then….
  • Test for PHOSPHATES (a food source for algae). Also, test your fill water. They should both be 0 ppb. If your fill water is above 200 ppb, see next step.

Q – I have Phosphates in my spa water.

  • If you have Phosphates in your hot tub and your FILL water, follow one of the steps below.
    1. Test water for phosphates monthly and add a phosphate remover, or
    2. Purge with Clean & Drain and refill, or
    3. Add enough Sanitizer/chlorine to get rid of the green, or
    4. Use your spa; the tinted water is not harmful.

Q – My spa has an ODOR.

  • The smell is most likely CARBON DIOXIDE trapped between the cover and the water– This is present due to the breakdown process where the enzymes are breaking down organics in the spa. This is usually strongest in the 1st month and gets milder with time. It should gas off a few minutes after opening the cover.
  • If it smells like a DIRTY SOCK after the cover has been opened for a few minutes, sniff the filters. Most of the time, the smell is in the filters. Soaking the filters in a bleach water solution should take care of it.
    1. Soak filters for 1 hour in 1 cup of bleach or vinegar per filter and enough water to cover the filter. Rinse thoroughly before putting back in the spa.
    2. Wipe down the pillows and the cover with a bleach/water solution.
    3. If 1 & 2 do not fix the smell, add 2 extra teaspoons of Sanitizer to the water.
  • Another smell could be from the ENZYMES. They can have a yeasty smell. This is normal and should become milder with time.

Q – My spa is FOAMING.

  • This is almost always due to soap or detergent in the water.
  • If you are wearing swim suits, use NO detergent when you wash them, then rinse very well. Simply rinse suits after soaking in your tub and hang them to dry. Alternatively, you can wash your suits in vinegar.
  • T-shirts and regular clothing hold even more detergent. Please do not wear t-shirts or boxers in your spa.
  • The best way to get rid of existing foam is to scoop it out over the sides of the tub.  You should not need to add a de-foamer.
  • If you recently did a purge on your hot tub, it is possible that the lines were not completely flushed out or the blower wasn’t rinsed out. Again, scoop foam out over the side and this will dissipate.
  • Another cause of foam is Calcium Hardness that is too low (water is too soft). If you are experiencing foam, make sure your Calcium Hardness is between 175 and 250.
  • To prevent scaling associated with Calcium Hardness that is too high, use a pre-filter when filling your spa.
  • If you use a commercial filter cleaner, any residual residue could cause foaming.  Instead, you can use a simple bleach/water solution to clean your filters.  (See "How Often Should I Clean the Filters" below).

Q – How much CHLORINE should I add & how often?

  • For compliance reasons, we must tell you to follow the recommended label rate.

Q – Can I use BROMINE instead of CHLORINE?

  • Yes, they are interchangeable.

Q – What about Non-Chlorine Shock?

  • You do not need to use any shock with our enzyme system.

Q – What is the difference between the 12 oz. Pure Enzymes for Spas and the 2 oz. Spa Enzyme Concentrate (little blue bottle)?

  • The 12 oz. Pure Enzymes for Spas is a spa enzyme treatment that is applied once a month.
  • The 2 oz. Spa Enzyme Concentrate (little blue bottle w/black lid) is a concentrated enzyme treatment that is applied at 1 cap full every other week.
  • Both are enzymes. Both are equally as effective as the other.
  • The 12 oz. Pure Enzymes for Spas is our easiest enzyme treatment to use, adding one full bottle once a month.
  • The 2 oz. Spa Enzyme Concentrate is more cost efficient, but can become burdensome when trying to remember which week to add it. If you choose to use the 2 oz. Spa Enzyme Concentrate, we recommend using the Pure Enzymes for Spas for the first month to make starting up your spa easier. However, you do not need to start with the 12 oz. bottle again after draining and refilling your spa.  You can restart with the 2 oz. Enzyme Concentrate.

Q – What about filtration?

  • You should set your filtration for 8 hours/day for the first month when starting on our enzymes or any time the water is cloudy.
  • After the first month on our enzymes, and the water is clear, you can slowly back your filtration hours down to no less than 4 hours/day, as long as your water remains clear. If it does not stay clear, bump the amount of filtration hours up a little more.
  • Check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer's website for directions on adjusting your filtering times.

Q – How often should I clean the filters?

  • You should clean your hot tub filters 1x/week for the first 4-6 weeks with a garden hose and pressure nozzle.
  • After that time, if your water is clear, clean your filters every 2 weeks with a garden hose.  A special filter cleaner is not necessary.  Using a commercial filter cleaner could cause foaming in your spa if there is any residual residue in the filter.
  • If, after cleaning your filters, they do not come back to white or if they have any kind of odor, soak for 1 hour in 1 cup of bleach or vinegar, per filter, and enough water to cover the filter. Then rinse and replace.

Q – How do Enzymes affect pH?

  • Enzymes tend to push the pH up.  So it is best to keep your pH on the low side of normal; around 7.2.

Q – What happens when pH is out of balance?

  • pH that is too low is corrosive to your spa equipment and can be irritable to your skin and eyes.
  • Unbalanced pH can cause foaming.
  • pH that is too high, can cause cloudy water and scale can begin to form on your spa.
  • To prevent scale buildup associated with pH that is too high, fill spa through a hose-end pre-filter to remove calcium and keep pH between 7.2 and 7.6.

Q – Rough sandpaper feeling / Scaling on tub

  • Scaling is a result of high calcium hardness levels (hard water) and pH that is too high.
  • This can cause internal damage to your spas plumbing, motor, and heater, etc.
  • Keep pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8.
  • If you discover scaling on the tub or flakes in the water, lower your pH to the low side of normal and keep it there until there is no more scaling. 
  • To get rid of existing scale, lower your pH to the low side of normal and periodically scrub your tub walls to loosen and remove scale.
  • If you have hard water, you can fill your spa using a hose-end pre-filter that reduces minerals, metals, and other contaminants.  This will make balancing your spa water much easier.

Q – Using a Hose-End Pre-Filter

  • Using a hose-end pre-filter when filling your spa will reduce or eliminate metals, minerals, and other contaminants that could cause problems in your spa like brown water from metals and scaling on the tub from too much calcium.