General Hot Tub Maintenance, Common Questions, and Answers
Every Arctic Spas dealership is trained and equipped to offer hot tub maintenance advice, supplies, and service. No dealer near you? We maintain a database of reputable hot tub service companies. Simply contact us directly and we will refer you to the nearest service provider. (use the form on the bottom of this page!). Is spa maintenance difficult? Expensive? In can be if you do not have the right materials or instruction. Arctic Spas and Coyote Spas brand hot tubs are sold through dedicated dealerships that offer expert advice and spa maintenance services. With the correct supplies and instruction, hot tub maintenance is very easy, inexpensive and takes only a few minutes every week. In fact, new technology introduced by Arctic Spas is making it even easier; the new Onzen™ salt water treatment system drastically reduces the amount of chemicals and time needed to maintain a spa.
How Do I Clean The Hot Tub Water?
It is easy if you follow a few basic steps. The most important step is to sanitize the water. The most popular way to do this is with chlorine or bromine based chemical, usually in a slow dissolving tablet form. There are several alternative sanitizing agents such as ozone, silver ions, copper ions, and enzymes but use these with caution since most are not effective without additional chlorine or bromine agents. Note: New water treatment technology based on salt water electrolysis has made sanitizing hot tub water even easier. Our Onzen™ salt water system utilizes this technology to drastically reduce traditional chemical use and time needed to maintain hot tub water. The next step is to “balance” the water. This refers to the acidity of the water and is important because the clarity and effectiveness of the sanitizing agents depends on the acidity (pH) of the water. This is done by occasionally adding small amounts of acid or base to the water, usually in granular form. Measuring the sanitizer and acid levels is quick and easy, usually with a litmus-style test strip that changes colour when dipped in the water. The next step is to filter the water. Most hot tubs have automatic built-in filtration systems with replaceable filter cartridges. However, the filter cartridges must be cleaned or replaced regularly for the water to be filtered adequately. We recommend a depth style cartridge such as the Silver Sentinel from Arctic Spas, rather than a pleated style filter that requires frequent cleaning. Lastly, over months of hot tub enjoyment dissolved particles build up in the water. These need to be removed or they start to prevent the sanitizing agents from working properly. Usually, people replace all of the water every 3 or 4 months but it is just as effective to do smaller more frequent water changes. There are easy to use test strips available to measure these dissolved particle levels. *All Arctic Spa dealerships sell the chemicals, filters, and other supplies you will need to maintain your hot tub. If you don’t have a dealer near you, everything can be ordered online at ArcticHotTubParts.com.
Is there anything I need to do to my spa if I go on holidays?
If you plan to be away from home for 7-14 days, follow these instructions to ensure that the water quality of your spa is maintained.
- Adjust pH as needed.
- Ensure you have sufficient sanitizer to last until you return.
- Shock the spa with Spa Boost or Refresh.
- Reduce the temperature setting if you wish.
Upon Your return:
- Shock the spa with Boost or Refresh.
- Ensure you have sufficient sanitizer for regular use.
- Return the temperature to its original setting.
You can use your spa once the residual sanitizer level falls within the ideal range, and the pH is balanced.
Hot Tub & Spa Repair
Want to do your own hot tub repair? Looking for hot tub parts? We can repair most brands and have access to thousands of hot tub parts for any DIY spa repair. Our network of 300+ hot tub dealerships worldwide offers hot tub repair service on most brands. No dealer near you? Contact us directly for free expert advice and a list of reputable hot tub service companies in your area. If your hot tub has reached the end of its life and it costs too much to repair it, consider a new or used hot tub from Arctic Spas.
What can I do to reduce my hot tub’s energy use?
You’ve already taken the first step by considering an Arctic Spa hot tub, the most energy efficient in the world. Here are a few more tips to get even more energy efficient:
- Turn your filtration cycle down. Your Arctic comes programmed for two four-hour cycles twice a day. If you don’t use your spa much, try two or three hours, and if you have an off-peak discount, set your filter cycles to come on during that period. But take care – proper filtration is necessary to maintain water quality.
- Maintain your cover and treat it well. If you find it getting heavy and waterlogged, consider replacing it.
- Set the thermostat to 102F. If you prefer a warmer setting, just leave it there. Turning the heater up before and down after use and down after won’t really save much.
- Consider using a floating thermal blanket. You can buy one or make one from readily available bubble insulation sheet.
- Conserve water. Any new water you add has to be heated. Have leaks repaired promptly. Try not to drip or splash too much water out of the tub.
- Don’t leave water features running when no one’s in the tub.
- Use the power management feature of the Arctic Spas app to limit power use during ‘peak times’ (when the utility company charges more for electricity)
How can I keep the hot tub temperature down in the summer?
As summer comes and the weather warms, many people turn the temperature down to enjoy a “cool tub”. Here are four tricks for effective summer cooling.
- Lower the temperature a degree or two at a time, over the course of several days. You might be able to do a larger drop in the evening if the night will be cool.
- Replace your insulated doors with screened louvered doors, which permit the shell and water to cool more quickly and also vents the heat from the running motors. (We do not advise leaving the doors open or off. The inside of a spa is not a safe place for children or pets, and you don’t want insects and rodents to get in)
- Prop the cover up with a rubber ball or something that won’t be damaged by the moisture (Again, we do not advise leaving the cover off for safety reasons)
- If you have Therapy Air, run the blower. A customer in Cyprus once commented that even at 80F, “a dip in the bubbles is brilliant!”
When I reduce the water temperature, why does the filtration stop?
Sometimes people lower the water temperature set point dramatically, usually to cool the water in the summer. The next thing they know, they are struggling to maintain water purity, and they think something is wrong because their spa no longer filters. Here’s what’s going on: The filter cycle is programmed to prevent overheating. Remember, an Arctic Spa is so thermally efficient that the heat from the motors running the filter cycle will warm up the water. In order to keep the water from getting hotter and hotter, the filter cycle is suspended until the water temperature falls below the set-point. So if you drop the set temperature by a large amount, this has the side-effect of turning off the filtration for a long time, until the water temperature drops below the set point again. In warm weather, this might take several days. Hot weather, hot water, suspended filtration — not a good thing! That’s why we recommend a gradual cooling, to ensure proper filtration during the process. *Note, this function can be disabled from your topside control. Your dealer can explain, or learn how in the manual.
Do I Need To Winterize My Hot Tub?
Arctic and Coyote spas are all designed to be run year round, so you do not need to winterize your Arctic or Coyote Spa, just keep it running. However, if you must shut your spa down due to prolonged absence or other reason here is how its done. *Other brands of hot tub may need to be shut down in cold weather, beware of poorly insulated spas if you live in a place that gets freezing temperatures. Note: This is the factory winterizing procedure for northern Canada; your dealer may recommend a different method based on local experience. Having your dealer do both the winterizing and the spring start up is the best way to protect your spa and your warranty. It will take approximately 4 to 6 litres (1 to 1.5 gallons) of RV antifreeze, depending on the model of the tub. A funnel with a flexible spout will give best results.
- Remove as much of the water in the spa as possible.
- Remove all of the unions off of the pumps and heaters to allow all of the water to drain out.
- Us a wet/dry vac to remove as much of the water as possible out of the jets and lines. Remove the filter and suck out any water in the canister.
- Reattach the unions to the pumps and heaters.
- Remove the diverter valves and pour approximately 500 ml (16 oz) of RV antifreeze down each position of the diverter (left, centre, right).
- If you have a waterfall, remove the control handle and pour 500 ml down the line. (Note: there is a special procedure for correct re-installation of the waterfall valves. Ask your dealer for Information Bulletin 145).
- Using a small funnel, put a few milliliters (1 tbsp) of antifreeze down each of the jet lines.
- Make sure to get some antifreeze into the pumps and heater as well.
- Pour approximately one litre of antifreeze into the filter canister.
- If you have a Peak Ozone system, remove the large fitting at the top of the stainless steel mixing chamber and get as much water out as possible. Pour some antifreeze into the Static mixing chamber. Add antifreeze until the chamber is full or until antifreeze begins flowing out of the peak jet into the bottom of the tub.
- Remove the wet end off of the circulation pump and leave disconnected.
- Make sure that all lines have some antifreeze in them.
How can I stop my hot tub jets from surging?
Surging jets generally indicates a water shortage or suction problem. You may also see a message on the display like this: “FLO”. There are four possible issues for surging jets:
- Low water level – top up your water, and check inside your spa to see if there is water inside. A low water level commonly results from heavy use (evaporation, splashing, brought out on skin and suits) but may indicate a leak.
- A sticking filter weir. We introduced an adjustable weir basket some time ago, which has been included on all spas produced after Jan, 2006. If your spa was made before that time, you might ask your dealer for a replacement (this is NOT a warranty item). If your spa was made after that time, check the adjustment of the black ring at the bottom.
- Clogged filter cartridges (easy to check and fix)
- Partial airlock in a pump. Re-prime – See below
The jet pump, heating system and all internal plumbing will achieve a partial prime as the spa is filled. To check the operation of the jet system and to remove any remaining air from the heating system, push the jets button twice (for Signature series spas, push both JETS 1 and JETS 2 buttons; for Legend series spas also push JETS3) to make the jet pump(s) run on high speed for one minute. Once the jet system is fully operational (as indicated by strong, non-surging jets), priming of the spa is complete. Weak or surging jets are an indication of a low water level condition or clogged filter cartridges. If the display continues to show FLO after attempting to resolve with the above methods, it could indicate a pump or pressure switch failure. Please contact your dealer for assistance if that is the case.
How do I know if my ozone system is working?
It may be difficult for the average consumer to determine this. Here are some tips that will help. You might get an occasional “fresh air” smell when you open the cover, but the off-gas system will take care of most of the free ozone and you won’t normally smell the ozone much. Bubbles coming out of the ozone jet are not necessarily a good indicator either. Any ozone system moves air and pumps it out the jet. If the ozone unit is working, those little bubbles will contain ozone; if the unit has failed, the bubbles will be nothing but air. In an Arctic Ozone or Coyote system, you’ll only have bubbles when a pump is running. With Peak Ozone, you might see very fine bubbles all the time. So if you don’t see bubbles when you should, suspect the circulation pump or air intake rather than the ozonator. Some ozonators have an indicator light; if the light is working, so is the ozonator. However, not all ozone generators have such a light! The best indication that your ozone system is working is clear, sparkling water with a minimum of sanitizer. But even if you find yourself having to add more sanitizer, there are many other possible causes other than a lack of ozone. If you begin to suspect that your ozonator might not be working, take a water sample to your dealer for a thorough test. Have the other possible reasons checked and eliminated before discussing a check of your ozonator.
Our spa display is showing HL. What does this mean?
This indicates a High Limit condition: The temperature protection system is reporting that the water temperature has exceeded safe limits, and has shut down the heater. As long as the HL switch is tripped, the heater will not come on, even if the water is actually cooling down. This does not necessarily mean that your water has overheated; there are other factors that can cause this particular report. The first thing to do is to shut off the GFCI breaker for the spa, wait 10 seconds, then turn the breaker back on. This will force a system reboot (yes, your spa is run by a little computer!) and restore all settings to factory default. If this clears up the HL report, all is well. Simply re-enter your filtration cycles and other custom settings. However, if the HL condition remains, or happens again within a short time, please contact your dealer for service.