Hot Tub Chemical Information

Hot Tub Chemicals And Water Chemistry

You love your new hot tub. Its relaxing, relieving tension, and reducing your everyday stress. However, all of a sudden the water is not sparkling clear like when you filled it, it’s cloudy and has a smell. What do you do? You need to balance the water. The first thing is to make sure pumps are working, your filter is clean, and now you must test your water. The most important things is that you have sanitizer in the hot tub, and the alkalinity/PH are in the correct range. Remember a Hot Tub is like a large pool in a small space due to the temperature of the water.

Maintaining Your New Spa With Hot tub chemicals


As you know things such as bacteria and viruses like to grow in any kind of water especially hot water. Sanitizers are used to effectively disinfect and keep water smelling fresh. The two most popular ones are Chlorine and Bromine. You can test these by using a test kit or test strips. Proper reading for chlorine is 1.5 - 3.0 PPM and 3.0 - 5.0 PPM for bromine.


These are non-chlorine shock treatments that eliminate odours and reduce irritating contaminants for fresh, clear water. Remember because of the high temperatures and heavy bather loads, spas require higher sanitizer levels, as well as heavier oxidizer doses to eliminate bather waste and maintain clear, sparkling water.


Important chemical that prevents staining and controls scale buildup.


Total alkalinity is very important to the cleanliness of your spa, and must be balanced before PH. The total alkalinity is the buffer of pH, if it is not balanced correctly, the pH will not give you a correct reading. Total alkalinity is the ability to control pH. Use Total Alkalinity increaser to achieve the correct range before adjusting the PH. To decrease Alkalinity it is recommended to either use PH Down or Muratic Acid. Muratic Acid is a common solution for people who use well water as a source. The goal is to keep the total alkalinity between 80 to 120PPM. This is tested using the test strips. Here is a chart of what problems could occur if the Total Alkalinity is not balanced.

High Total Alkalinity

    • Hard to Change pH
    • Scale Formation
    • Cloudy Water
    • Skin and Eye Irritation
    • Poor Sanitizer Efficiency

Low Total Alkalinity

    • Rapid Changes In pH
    • Corroded Metals/Equipment
    • Skin and Eye Irritation


Its VERY IMPORTANT to balance the alkalinity before balancing the PH.. Some consider this the most important component of water balance. It measures how acidic or basic your water is. If it is not kept in check you run the risk of damaging your equipment, i.e. heating elements, pump seals, and the internal works on gas fired heaters. Listed are the most common problems associated with both high or low pH levels:

High pH Readings

    • Poor Sanitizer Efficiency
    • Scale Formation
    • Cloudy Water
    • Skin and Eye Irritation
    • Shorter Filter Runs

Low pH Readings

    • Poor Sanitizer Efficiency
    • Corroded Metals/Equipment
    • Skin and Eye Irritation
    • Etched or Stained Plaster
    • Destruction of Total Alkalinity

Hot Tub Chemicals And Accessories


Increases overall water comfort by reducing skin and eye irritation, works to enhance water clarity, protects metal surfaces with unique corrosion inhibitors, enhances overall chemical effectiveness, has a unique, PH-neutral formula and comes in a fresh, pleasant fragrance.


Clears cloudy water by helping filter collect floating particles. It improves the filter’s efficiency, without affecting water balance.


Removes oil, grease, scale, rust, and other debris from spa filters to enhance filtration and improve water clarity.


Quickly eliminates any surface foam caused by undesirable excess bather compounds, and detergents. Quick fix, but problem is arising from either soap entering hot tub i.e. bathing suits, or hot tub water is not balanced.


The benefit of this product is that they address a specific problem - scum and oily buildup - with a targeted approach. That is, the enzyme chosen - a specific form of lipase - breaks down body oils and lotions into glycerol's and amino acids, which are readily oxidized by common water treatment practices. Therefore, regular use of Natural Enzyme can eliminate scum lines at the water's edge and also prevent buildup in filters that would otherwise shorten the filters life span. Plus, these biodegradable products appeal to earth-conscious consumers because their active ingredient is truly natural.

Common Problems

Green water is a result of not enough sanitizer. The water begins will begin to get a darker green as time progresses. Do not use your spa, use your test strips to determine the level of sanitizers. If low, add sanitizer right away (Chlorine or Bromine). Note, if you have too much sanitizer in the hot tub, it could actually bleach your test strips giving the appearance that you need to add more sanitizer even though you don’t need to. Bring a water sample in to our lab if in doubt. It may take some time to clear up the green water (1-3 days). Wash your filters frequently during this time.
This is the precursor to green water. Check your sanitizer levels. Cloudy water can also be caused by dirty filters, pH level being too far outside of the ideal range. Also make sure your water is being filtered enough. This can also take 1-3 days to clear up.
If there is no display on controller, none of the pumps or lights work there are several places to check. First, is the household circuit breaker tripped? If the household breaker is fine, reset hot tub breaker. If you turn it on, and it trips again, call Sunspa, damage may occur if you keep reseting the hot tub breaker. We can be reached at 403-243-8434, 24 hours a day, or submit a service request.
Press the different pump buttons. If there is no water movement but a noise if occurring from the equipment area, the pump could be airlocked. This can occur after refilling the hot tub. Try turning the pump on and off a few times until some movement occurs. Do not run the pump longer than 5 seconds or damage may occur if no water is moving. If it still keeps happening, it still maybe airlocked. Many pumps have a bleader valve to release the air. It may be time to phone Sunspa for more info, we can be reached at 403-243-8434, 24 hours a day, or submit a service request. Flashing FL/FLO Error Many problems are reparable by customer. One of the most common problems are dirty filters. If you are experiencing not heating, “flo” errors, High limit errors, etc. Turn off power to hot tub, remove your filters and reset your breaker to see if problem disappears. If not, please phone us at 403-243-8434, 24 hours a day, or submit a service request.
  1. Check for error messages on Display.
  2. Make sure temperature adjustment is set correctly.
  3. Check if spa is in economy mode.
  4. Is circulation pump running.
  5. Remove filter temporarily to see if heat increases.
  6. If you still have not resolved the problem, please phone us at 403-243-8434, 24 hours a day, or submit a service request.

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Our Sundance® experts are here to help you with all of your questions. Whether you are looking for a new hot tub or need servicing or repairs on your current hot tub, our professionals in Calgary can assist you.
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