Electrical issues aside, many of the most common spa troubles stem from failures to properly maintain the water’s chemistry.
High temperatures and inconsistent circulation can make a spa an
inviting breeding ground for bacteria and algae — but this
can be avoided by sticking to a few simple principles.
Test twice a week
In a warm, covered spa, algae blooms can take over in less than a
day — and so can bacterial infestations. Thus, although many
pools can stay sanitized with a once-a-week chemical checkup,
it’s best to test a spa’s chlorine level at least twice
a week — and ideally, to encourage homeowners to check the
water before each use. It’s better to be safe than
Take pH in context
Testing the water’s pH immediately after running the
spa’s pump and jets will result in a higher-than-usual
reading, because the release of carbon dioxide (CO2)
from the bubbles drives the water’s pH up. For a more
accurate pH reading, wait approximately an hour after the jets have
been turned off.
Choose chemicals with care
Some water treatment products can lead to problems that are unique
to spa environments — for example, quaternary ammonium
(“quat”) algaecides tend to produce lots of foam in
bubbly spa water. Just because a product works well in a pool
doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll translate to a spa, so
check with the distributor or manufacturer before pouring it in.