hot tub maintenance

Hot Tub Care Made Easy

Chlorine and oxidizer, pH and alkaline. Water balance and shocking.

It might seem overwhelming when you start reading about how to care for the water in your hot tub. But we promise, no chemistry degree is required to keep your hot tub water clean and clear. 

The key to pristine hot tub water is regular maintenance. Small steps each week and month add up to more time in your hot tub and less time taking care of it. 

For beginners new to hot tub maintenance, just remember the word “once.” Check the water once before use, once a week and once a month. You’ll be surprised that these “checks” require less than five minutes — not much when you consider you will spend 20 to 30 minutes in the therapeutic warm waters of your hot tub. 

Factors that Affect Hot Tub Water Quality:

  • Air quality 
  • Placement of the hot tub in your yard
  • And you — how often you use it and who you use it with

Every Use

We recommend testing the water in your hot tub before every use. Spa chemistry test strips make it easy, and quick, to get a chemical reading. 

Depending on the strip, you’ll want to look for total chlorine or free chlorine levels. You will need to adjust if the free chlorine is below 2.0 ppm or the total chlorine is above 5.0 ppm.

While not every day or with every use, we recommend testing the pH and total alkalinity of your water three times a week. 

You want the pH to fall between 7.2 and 7.6, and the alkaline should be between 80 and 120 ppm.

DO keep in mind that everyone reacts to chemicals differently.


To maintain the quality of your hot tub water, it’s important to do a weekly shock. Take a breath. There’s nothing “shocking” or difficult about the process. 

You’ll need an oxidizer or chlorine, which you can purchase from your local Master Spas dealer. Follow the guidelines on the bottle and sprinkle the granules across the water while all of the therapy pumps are turned on. 

Spread across water with therapy pumps turned on. 

If you are using an oxidizer or non-chlorine product, you can get safely enter the hot tub after 15 minutes. If you use chlorine to shock, you must wait until the total chlorine reading is below 5 ppm.

Just a note: Master Spas does recommend shocking the water after every use. Leave the pumps on for about 15 minutes after shocking, with the cover off. 

DO read the directions on your chemicals to make sure you are using the right amount based on the size of your hot tub.

clean hot tub filter
Master Spas recommends cleaning your hot tub filter once a month.


Every month, hot tub owners should clean their filters. Select a day that you’ll remember each month. Maybe, it’s the first of the month or the 15th — or something with personal significance. If you think you will have trouble, set a reminder in an online calendar. 

To clean the filter. Turn off the pumps, including the circulation pump. Remove the filter and soak it overnight in a container with spa Filter Cleaner. When you wake up, rinse it with clean water and allow the filter to dry before re-inserting.  When you get home from work, the filter should be ready to be re-inserted. 

DO be sure to turn off the pumps as it could cause debris to circulate and get stuck.

Every Six Months

Twice a year, you should give your hot tub a fresh start. We like to perform the maintenance in the fall and spring when the weather is better. Plus, when it’s winter in Fort Wayne, Indiana — hometown of Master Spas — we’d much rather be in the hot water of a hot tub than draining it.

Drain and refill your spa with fresh water, install a new EcoPur® element, clean the regular filter and repeat the start-up procedure. The regular filter should be replaced at least once every year. Refer to your owner’s manual for step-by-step instructions (you’ll find it under the skirting panel or download it here.)

This process will take a little bit longer but it’s well worth it over the life of your hot tub.

DO check out our how-to videos, which break down hot tub care, on

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