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When making a large purchase such as a hot tub, you want to make sure it will last through the years and provide a great return on your investment. And while premium hot tubs (like Hot Spring spas) are designed for maximum durability and reliability, it's important to maintain a consistent maintenance and cleaning routine to keep your hot tub safe, sanitary, and performing at its peak.

By staying informed about your hot tub's care and maintenance needs and understanding when to seek professional help, you can minimize your hot tub maintenance cost, and keep your spa running smoothly for years to come.

Is It Hard to Maintain a Hot Tub?

Maintaining a hot tub doesn't have to be difficult. By a simple routine of cleaning, water care, and chemical monitoring, you can count on a quality hot tub to provide years of wellness and enjoyment. While issues may arise with the spa water or controls over the years, this can be easily detected in a variety of ways and easily resolved with support of your local dealer.

Water care is something all spa owners must become familiar with. Fortunately, there are many products available to simplify the process. Opting for a smart salt water system can minimize the guesswork and hassle of water care.

By spending the time to address these items, you can look forward to soaking in fresh, crystal-clear spa water.


The best way to keep your spa clean and free of debris is to keep water moving through the filters even when your spa is not in use. Water circulation is typically facilitated by an energy-efficient circulation pump that moves water through the spa's filtration system 24 hours a day. In some spas, the hydrotherapy pump does double-duty, circulating water as well as powering the massage jets. If this is the case for your spa, it's important to program the length of your filter cycles based on your spa usage. Reference your spa Owner's Manual for programming instructions and recommendations for the length of each cycle.


To make sure your spa water stays fresh and balanced, test the water once a week to monitor pH, alkalinity, hardness, and sanitizer levels, then adjust chemicals as needed to keep them within the recommended range, following manufacturer guidelines.

To streamline water care, Hot Spring Spas offers the FreshWater® IQ system, a smart monitoring salt system that automatically tests your water every hour and provides clear instructions when adjustments are needed. In addition, the FreshWater Salt System automatically generates chlorine from low levels of salt in the spa water that results in softer, clearer, better-smelling water.


Your hot tub filter works hard to remove impurities from the water, so it must be cleaned once a month. Your spa's Owner's Manual will have model-specific instructions if you need more detailed guidance, or you can learn more about how filters work and cleaning instructions on the Hot Spring website.

Not only does regular filter maintenance help prolong its lifespan, but it also ensures efficient filtration for a clean and enjoyable spa experience.


Draining, cleaning, and refilling your hot tub regularly is important to maintain performance and water quality. While the frequency of this maintenance routine will vary depending on factors like usage and environmental conditions, the general recommendation is to drain and clean the spa every three to four months.

If you own a hot tub equipped with the FreshWater Salt System, you’ll only need to drain and replace your spa water about once a year* saving you time and water.

*Many factors affect the life of spa water, such as bather load and water chemistry. When these factors are accounted for and the spa is properly maintained, the FreshWater Salt System will keep water clean and clear for up to a full year.


In addition to keeping children and wildlife out of your hot tub, a quality spa cover provides an effortless way to maintain clean water and optimize energy efficiency. When used correctly, a properly fitting cover creates a tight seal, preventing debris, leaves, and other contaminants from entering the water when the spa is not in use. Additionally, the cover helps retain heat, reducing energy consumption and preserving water temperature, which can minimize the need for frequent heating and water replacement.

Woman testing water temp of Hot Spring® Hot Tub

Create a Hot Tub Maintenance Schedule

Adhering to a hot tub maintenance checklist will give you peace of mind, knowing that your hot tub is being well taken care of. The daily and weekly tasks just take a few minutes and can be incorporated into your regular hot tub soaks. They will soon become second nature, and with minimal effort, you can keep your water balanced, at the correct temperature, and free of debris. Remember, many modern, high-quality hot tubs offer the option of advanced water care and water monitoring systems, like the FreshWater Salt System and FreshWater Smart Monitoring System, which can further simplify and streamline your maintenance routine.


  • Confirm power: Keep your spa powered on to maintain ideal water temperature and ensure water is circulating.
  • Check your spa cover: Take a quick look to ensure your cover is firmly latched and locked in place in order to maintain water purity and safety.


  • Balance your spa water: Test pH, alkalinity , and sanitizer levels with test strips. Use test strips to ensure water remains balanced, and add chemicals as indicated.
  • Skim the surface: Even if you keep your spa covered, dust and oil can sit on the surface. A quick skim about once a week can do wonders to keep your water looking and feeling its best. If necessary, use a fine mesh spa skimmer to remove debris you see in the water.


  • Rinse your filters: Remove your spa filters monthly and give them a quick rinse with a hose so they remain unclogged and can continue working at their optimum level.
  • Shock your water if you're using your hot tub regularly: Shocking, also known as oxidizing, means giving water a large dose of chlorine to break down any buildup of contaminants. Ask your dealer to recommend spa shock products.


  • Deep clean your filters: Use a product such as FreshWater Instant Filter Cleaner or FreshWater Filter Cleaner to improve their lifespan and keep them in good operating condition.
  • Drain and change your spa water every 3-4 months: The frequency will vary based upon how often you use your hot tub, environmental factors, and your hot tub’s filtration and water care system. For example, if you have a FreshWater Salt System, your spa water can last as long as a full year.
  • Clean your hot tub shell: Once your hot tub has been fully drained, take the opportunity to wipe down the entire inside of your spa. Use a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and a soft cloth to gently wipe down the shell and a nylon scrubber to remove any remaining dirt or build-up. Remove pillows and clean with mild soap and water.


  • Flush your plumbing lines each year to remove bacteria and biofilm buildup. You can also do this each time you drain and refill your hot tub.
  • Schedule a yearly check-up with your dealer or pool and spa professional to ensure hardware, controls, and wiring are in good condition and address any potential issues.
  • At least once a year, inspect your cover for mildew, mold, excessive moisture, and physical damage to make sure it provides the highest level of safety and protection.
  • Winterize your hot tub, if needed. If you plan to be gone for an extended period in the winter or if you live in an extremely cold climate, consult your dealer or pool care professional.

Conversely, even if you don't plan to use your hot tub in the colder months or if you're going to be gone for a couple of weeks, winterizing isn't usually required, especially if you keep your water warm and balanced. High-quality hot tubs are well-insulated and easy to keep warm, regardless of the temperature.

Two women enjoying time infront of Hot Spring® Hot Tub

Years of Wellness, Vitality, and Enjoyment

Your hot tub is designed to last a decade or more when well-maintained and serviced regularly. Simple filter and water care maintenance can be handled by you with the help of a checklist and your Owner's Manual. Your local hot tub dealer is always ready to handle more serious issues quickly and help you take steps to prevent other problems in the future.


Take the first step on your ownership journey today and reach out to your local Hot Spring Spas Dealer. They're uniquely qualified to provide guidance and answer your questions, recommend water care and maintenance products, and service your spa for as long as you own it. With a network of dealerships around the world, Hot Spring takes pride in knowing our customers are served with comprehensive service plans and straightforward warranties.