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Home > Spa FAQ


Spa Frequently Asked Questions

Should I treat my spa water the same way as I treat my pool water?

Although the pH and total alkalinity measurements are the same, the sanitizer level (bromine or chlorine) should be kept between 3-5 ppm. In a spa, the filter requires more frequent cleanings. In addition, the water will require more frequent care to assure pH and sanitizer levels are correct.

I decided to buy a product to lock my pH at the proper level. When I added the product (such as Leisure Time pH BALANCE) my spa water clouded up! Why?

These products are meant to be used in water that contains less than 150 ppm calcium hardness. Have your dealer test your water to ensure that your calcium level is below 150 ppm before using any of these products. If your water does cloud, the filter will remove the cloudiness, but you should clean the cartridge after the water clears. Once the spa clears, the spa will resume normal operation.

I am using bromine tablets to sanitize my spa and the directions for use say I need to add a "bromide bank" first. Why do I need to do this?

It is recommended that you add this "bank" in order to ensure that the sanitizer in the water is all bromine from the moment you first start using it.

My dealer tells me not to use soft water (low calcium level) in my spa. Why is the calcium level important to my water's balance?

Too little calcium in the water can cause corrosion, particularly in heaters and other metal components. To increase the hardness to the recommended level of 150-400 ppm, add a calcium hardness increaser such as Leisure Time CALCIUM BOOSTER. Too much calcium can cause scaling on the walls and heating elements or cloudy water. To prevent calcium in the water from causing these problems, add a sequestering agent such as Leisure Time SPA DEFENDER.

My spa has an ozonator. I have heard that I should not use a clarifier in my spa. Why?

Ozone is a highly reactive oxidizing agent. Some people are under the impression that ozone will destroy clarifiers and make them ineffective. We have found, however, that ozone does not affect the effectiveness of clarifiers. Clarifiers do provide a very real benefit in ozonated spas by helping the filter keep the water clean.

My cartridge filter is dirty, and I was told to just put it in my dishwasher to clean it. Is this the best way?

The dishwasher will clean out the larger debris, but can also damage the fabric on the filter. The best way to clean your filter is to use a filter cleaner that contains both acids and detergents and is designed specifically for cartridge cleaning. This will ensure that all oils, lotions and minerals will be removed from the filter. Cleaning properly increases the longevity of the cartridge. Check your cartridge filter once a month. Try Leisure Time FILTER CLEAN.

I just refilled my spa and I'm having problems balancing my water. The pH is low and the total alkalinity is high. What can I do to fix it?

When the pH and the total alkalinity are opposite of one another, always fix the low number first. In this case, add a pH increaser until the pH is within a normal range. Then, adjust the total alkalinity by adding a pH level reducer. Using Leisure Time pH BALANCE PLUS after this will lock your pH into the proper range.

My spa has odd-shaped white chips on the bottom after I shut it off! Where's this stuff coming from?

The white chips are calcium deposits (scale which forms on the heater elements) which are knocked off when the blowers and jets are on. This problem can be prevented by using a sequestering agent, such as Leisure Time SPA DEFENDER, on a weekly basis to prevent calcium in the water from forming deposits.

I am using a non-chlorine shock in my spa. Is it the same product for both pools and spas?

Non-chlorine shock for pools is not buffered and may affect the overall water chemical balance of the spa water. It is best that you use a non-chlorine shock, such as Leisure Time RENEW, designed specifically for spas. This will help reduce the need for extra chemical treatment to keep pH in the proper range.

My spa is foaming. Why?

There are several reasons that a spa foams. A common cause is the rapidly moving water combined with bathers bringing in soaps and detergents on their bodies and bathing suits. Showering before entering the spa helps prevent this problem. If excess detergents are the cause of the foam, using a defoamer such as Leisure Time FOAM DOWN will reduce the amount of foaming.

Another cause of foaming is soft water. This means that the calcium level in the water is low. This can be corrected by raising the calcium level to 150-400 ppm.

Organic waste build up can also cause foaming. By shocking the spa on a regular basis, the wastes are oxidized out of the water and foaming is reduced.

My dealer offers both chlorine and bromine as sanitizers. Which should I use?

Overall, bromine tends to be more popular among spa owners. Bromine is offered in both a tablet form and as a two-part system. Unlike chlorine, bromine is effective over a wider pH range, doesn't irritate your eyes or bleach bathing suits. Additionally, bromine is effective in its combined form, doesn't smell and is an effective sanitizer.

Many spa owners however, elect to sanitize with chlorine. It is traditionally used in pools, and it is an effective sanitizer and oxidizer. Granular chlorine is the easiest form to use and will keep the water sparkling clean!

How often do I really need to shock my spa water?

How often you shock spa water depends on the sanitizer used and the bather load. If you are using the 2-part bromine sanitizing system such as Leisure Times RESERVE and RENEW, it is recommended that you shock each time you finish using your spa. If you are using chlorine or bromine tablets, it is recommended that you shock at least one time per week. It may be necessary to shock more often if the bather load is heavy or the water is cloudy.

I have an ozonator on my hot tub. Do I need to use a sanitizer with it?

Yes. Even though ozone is an effective oxidizer and will even destroy microorganisms directly exposed to the ozone, the ozone is relatively short lived in your hot tub water. As such the ozone is not present in the water for a sufficient length of time to assure adequate sanitation of the entire tub and the surfaces and plumbing. The use of an ozonator will reduce your consumption of chlorine or bromine as it makes it easier to maintain proper levels of these in the water it does not eliminate their usefulness.

Do I need to maintain a calcium hardness level in my spa?

Absolutely. Water that is low in calcium hardness can be corrosive to other metal parts in your spa, particularly your heater. We recommend maintaining a calcium hardness level of 150 - 400 ppm.

Proper Levels
for Balanced Water:

pH 7.2 - 7.8
Alkalinity 80 - 120 ppm
Calcium Hardness 
150 - 400 ppm
Sanitizer 3 - 5 ppm

Be sure to check your spa water regularly.
Ensure sanitizer levels are within the proper range of 3-5 ppm prior to each use.
If you use your spa more than three times per week your testing and water care should be performed more frequently.
Your filter cycles should be run at a minimum of 6 to 8 hours per day.
To ensure optimum water quality and to keep the water easy to balance be sure to drain your spa at least every three months or more often if the spa is used more frequently.
If you have a bromine generator your water should be drained between 8 and 12 months depending on  usage.  Be sure to always keep your pH balanced and your calcium hardness within proper range to avoid costly corrosive damage.