Water care is important in maintaining a clean and clear hot tub. If you’re not a chemist, don’t worry! It’s easier than you might think! Hot tubs come with automatic cleaning cycles and some come with on-board sanitizing systems. There are three major parts to water care and each part of the equation is equally important. Skipping one step can make you work harder on the other steps. Think of hot tub water care as a three-legged stool.


The pumps move the water through the filtration system during heating cycles, cleaning cycles and as you enjoy the hot tub. The heart of the filter system is the cartridge. The polyester filter cartridge(s) collects any debris and body oils that enter into the hot tub water. Once a month, remove the filter cartridge and rinse off any debris, hair, lint, etc. If the cartridge looks discolored it’s time to soak it in BaquaSpa Filter Cleaner. This degreases the cartridges and removes body oils and lotions that simple rinsing cannot. Filter cartridges last about a year with proper cleaning and then should be replaced. 


As part of your weekly spa routine, wash the area above the waterline on the shell of the hot tub with freshly sanitized spa water. Make sure to remove headrest pillows and wash their backs as well as the area behind them. There are special cleaners such as BaquaSpa Surface Cleaner to help remove any sticky waterline deposits. To prevent waterline deposits, use 1oz of BaquaSpa Scum Shield each week. The natural enzyme removes organics that cause scumline build-up, odors and clogged filters and is compatible with all sanitizing systems. 

Washing the outside of the spa cover and periodically treating it with 303 UV Protector will keep the cover looking good and help it to last longer. This great product keeps the vinyl supple and protects the cover from harmful UV rays. 

If the underside of the hot tub cover develops a musty odor, flip it upside down and wash with a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part bleach. This will kill odor causing mildew.  

Water Treatment

There are several different types of water care systems available each with different benefits to meet your needs. Each system has to have two important components. First, there must be a sanitizer component which kills bacteria. This would be chlorine, bromine, or BaquaSpa Sanitizer in the most popular systems.  All systems also need to have an oxidizer. The oxidizer is used to “burn-off” organic materials such as sweat and other organic contaminants. Oxidizing is also sometimes called shocking. Most systems require oxidizer to be added weekly.

All water care systems need to have the water balanced to operate to their full potential. Bather comfort relies heavily on the pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness being in acceptable ranges.  Each week use a test strip to test for these water balance properties as well as the sanitizer level. Make any necessary adjustments. If you are unsure of what to do, bring 4oz of water to either Pettis Pools location for a free computerized water analysis.   If your levels are balanced but you’re still experiencing an issue, there are different problem solvers available such as BaquaSpa Foam Disperser or Spa Serum Total Cleanse. If the water does go awry, don’t worry we’re here to help!

Beyond sanitizers and balancing chemicals, there are proactive water care solutions to make the water feel softer, smell better, and prevent common issues. O-Care is a weekly additive which makes the water and your skin feel soft while keeping the spa plumbing clean. Keeping your spa’s plumbing clean reduces the sanitizer need which makes O-Care a great preventative product. Learn more about O-Care here. 

Pettis Pools has been in the hot tub business for decades and we know water! Let us help you discover how easy it can be to maintain clear, clean, and safe spa water.


Pettis Pools & Patios is a Greece pool builder proudly serving East Rochester, Wayne County, Ontario County and the surrounding areas. Family-owned and operated since 1962, Pettis Pools & Patios specializes in all pool and hot tub services, including new pool construction, hot tub sales & installation, and swim spa sales & installation. Pettis Pools & Patios also serves as a leading pool & hot tub service provider throughout the area, specializing in regular pool service, inground vinyl liner replacement, hot tub service, LOOP-LOC safety cover installations, and much more. Pettis Pools & Patios is proud to have two conveniently located pool supply stores in Greece and East Rochester, where pool owners can find all of their pool and hot tub care needs. 

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