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How to Fill a Hot Tub for the First Time - Complete Guide

So, you finally bit the bullet and bought yourself a hot tub. Now, all you have to do is finish setting it up. Nevertheless, that can seem daunting when it's something you have never done before. For that reason, we are glad you decided to stop by. Below, you'll find step-by-step instructions for filling it up. Plus, we've also included some additional tips that will help you take great care of the new spa. That way, you can continue enjoying its amazing relaxation for years.

Filling up Your Spa for the First Time

As soon as you get your hot tub, you are immediately confronted with the decision. Where are you going to place it? Hopefully you've already thought this through, but some actually wing it the day of. Typically, people place their spa or jacuzzi in one of two places. They either go inside the home or outside. In either case, pay special attention to the location you choose.

In some instances, poor locations can drastically complicate set up procedures. We recommend picking a spot with easy access to power and water. Additionally, try to avoid placing it underneath a tree. Otherwise, you'll have to contend with falling leaves and acorns.

Once you've identified a spot, go ahead and put it there. Then, you can begin unpacking everything. Afterward, it's time for you to put the water inside of it.

Before You Begin filling your hot tub

  • Clear Out the Hot Tub Entirely
  • Remove the Filter And/Or Filter Cartridge
  • Ensure You Create an Airlock With the Hose

Step-by-Step Guide to Filling Your Hot Tub

  1. Finish Spa Preparations: Just follow the steps listed above. As long as you adhere to them closely, you'll be fine.
  2. Wipe the spa surface down before filling: Use a spa surface cleaner to wipe down the spa shell before filling it with water. If there are stains or dirt marks on the shell, this is obviously needed, but even if the surface looks clean, it's best to wipe it down as there could be microcontaminants that will start your hot tub experience off on the wrong foot.
  3. Place a Hose in the Primary Filter Spot: Remember where the primary filter was? Grab your garden hose and place it there. Next, turn on the water.
  4. Allow the Water to Fill Until It Reaches Above the Jacuzzi Jets: Do not let the water rise too high. If it does, it could cause an issue and overflow. Follow the guide on your manual to identify the correct level for your hot tub water.
  5. After All Jets Are Covered, Remove the Hose: Once the jets are all covered, you can remove the hose. Turn off the water, and take the hose out of the primary filter spot.
  6. Now, Replace the Filter and Turn on the Spa: With the hose removed, your hot tub should be full of water. At this point, you've got to get the water just right.
  7. Activate the Jet Pumps: Once the filter is in place, you can turn on the jet pumps. Turning on the jet pumps begins to circulate the water. This is essential for its quality. Otherwise, the water will stagnate.
  8. Add Metal Prevent before adding other chemicals: It's important to add AquaDoc's Metal Prevent chemical before adding any other agents to your hot tub. Failing to add Metal Prevent can result in iron and other metal buildup that results in metal stains in the future.
  9. Begin Adding Your Water Chemicals: Refer to the owner's manual that came with your spa. Inside of it, you should find a list of chemicals to use with your particular device. Follow along with those instructions and sanitize the water.
  10. Adjust the Chemicals Until You Get a Stable Reading on Your Sanitizer: As you are adding chemicals, you should be testing the water. By using chemical test strips, you can ensure the final result is optimal.
  11. Turn on the Spa Heater: After the water is perfect, you can finally turn on the heater. It will take time for it to raise the temperature of all the water.
  12. Cover the Hot Tub: As you wait, you can cover the spa. By putting the cover on top of it, you speed up this process. That way, the water will be at a good temperature before you know it.

Additional Considerations for You to Keep in Mind

  • Do Not Use Water That Is Too Hard or Soft
  • Store Your Chemicals Securely
  • Raising the Temperature Setting Does Not Increase the Rate of Heating
  • Never Use Chlorine Tablets

Maintaining the Quality of Your Water

Perfect, you've got your hot tub all set up. At this point, you are probably ready to jump in and relax. Who could blame you? We certainly couldn't.

Unfortunately, there is more to owning a hot tub than just putting water inside of it. That's why you're here - reading this. Trust me, it won't be the last time you'll be coming to the Doc for help.

You need to set the water up for success and maintain the water over time. Otherwise, it will stagnate. Thus, bacteria will begin to invest in. To avoid this, we've got to use the appropriate chemicals. Plus, we must also follow the maintenance guidelines.

Common Hot Tub Chemical Agents

  • Ph Adjuster: There are several chemicals that you can use to adjust the pH of your water. For example, you can use baking soda to lower the pH. Of course, we recommend using pH up and pH Down to properly balance your hot tub. They will provide the best results.
  • Alkalizing Agent: If your water becomes overly acidic, you must use an alkalizing agent. These help to push the pH level up slightly.
  • Chlorine or Bromine: At the store, you will see these chemicals labeled as "spa shock." Chlorine is familiar to most people. Every time you visit the pool, you can smell it in the air. Bromine, on the other hand, is a little more unfamiliar. Nevertheless, both these chemicals serve the same function. When there are bacteria in the water, these will get rid of them.
  • Testing Strips: It's impossible to maintain water quality without test strips. Unless you have them, there's no way for you to tell if the water is out of balance. During the initial setup, you'll want to have a few of these on hand. Typically, you can start testing the water once a week afterward.
  • Spa Defoamer: This is an optional chemical agent. In some instances, the water in your hot tub will foam a lot. If you would prefer that this did not happen, you can use a defoaming agent. More than likely, your local pool supply store will have an ample selection in stock.

Controlling the Ph Level

Why does it matter what the pH of the water is? Depending on who you ask, you might get a different response. However, at the end of the day, it comes down to the same thing. When the pH is not in balance, it will damage your hot tub. Therefore, you've got to maintain equilibrium to ensure your hot tub is protected.

It Should Be Between 7.4 and 7.6:
Of course, you should refer to the manual of your hot tub for the Precise number. Be that as it may, in most instances, you can use this as a guideline. Suppose the water goes out of range. When that occurs, use the appropriate chemical to readjust it. That way, the pH never stays out of bounds for too long.

You Do Not Want It to Become Too Acidic or Basic:
If the water becomes unbalanced, it can cause damage to the mechanical components of your hot tub. In the worst-case scenario, it can even break the hot tub. Then, you would need to get a replacement. To prevent this, regularly test your water. When it is unbalanced, adjust it.

Sanitizing Your Hot Tub

The water in your hot tub can become unsanitary if you do not maintain it. When this occurs, bacteria will begin to grow uninhibited. Thus, the hot tub can quickly transform into a cesspool when you are not careful.

Bacterial Growth Can Occur:
A hot tub represents an ideal environment for many bacteria. One, it happens to be rather warm. Two, it also is very moist. Why don't bacteria grow inside of hot tubs more often in that case? Well, it's because most hot tub owners maintain the water to prevent bacterial growth.

Using Chlorine or Bromine Will Get Rid of Them:
When you have a bacterial infection inside your hot tub, you can rely on these chemicals to get rid of them. Always use the instructions from the product to guide your decisions. Although these chemicals are very helpful, they can also be toxic. For instance, let's say you add too much of them. In that case, once you get in the hot tub, it could cause a chemical burn. On the contrary, by using too little, you won't eliminate the bacteria. Then, you'll be at risk of an infection when you are in the hot tub.

General Tips for the First Time Hot Tub Owner

Now, your hot tub is full of water. Plus, you've got a general understanding of how to maintain the quality of the water. Yet, there is still faint anxiety lingering on your mind. In our experience, that will go away with time. As you begin to work with your new product, you will develop an understanding of its intricacies. Eventually, you'll be the one giving other newcomers advice. Until that point, we collected a few additional tips that we believe will be of great assistance. Hopefully, you'll find a few of them useful. In any event, we want to wish you luck on all of your future spot endeavors.

  • Follow the Directions on the Package: Throughout this guide, we've given you some general recommendations. Of course, in most instances, you can follow everything from here by the letter. Nevertheless, we always recommend referring to your manual. In some instances, directions may differ. When that happens, go with what the owner's manual states.
  • Be Careful When Picking a Location: Once you get to the hot tub, you've got to decide where you will put it. On its surface, this may not seem like a very consequential decision. Even so, it has much more of an impact than you realize. Thus, you'll want to be mindful while contemplating your decision. Consider all of its implications. For example, if it is outside, will there be trees above it? If so, then you'll want to ensure the hot tub is kept covered. Otherwise, it will constantly be full of leaves.
  • Don't Neglect Regular Maintenance: Owning the hot tub is a commitment. Without putting forth the requisite effort, it will fall into disrepair. At that point, it can become more of a headache than it is anything else. In our opinion, it's easier if you put the maintenance on your calendar. That way, you don't forget to maintain the spa.
  • Use the Cover When the Hot Tub Is Not Occupied: Often, our lives are pretty hectic. That is still not an excuse to leave the hot tub uncovered. If the hot tub is uncovered, then it's exposed to all the outside elements. Plus, it raises the risk of bacterial growth. Ultimately, it decreases the overall quality of the water. As soon as you are done using the hot tub, close the cover. By doing this, you ensure the water is kept secure. That way, you won't have to worry about out-of-control bacterial growth. Therefore, your mind can remain focused on relaxation. Isn't that the whole reason you got a hot tub in the first place anyway?
  • Test Your Spa Water Weekly: After you finish setting up the hot tub, you'll still need to work with the water regularly. Sometimes, it will need some adjustment. When it does, you can apply the appropriate chemical treatment. However, you'll never know when it needs treatment if you do not test it. Thus, we suggest stocking up on test strips. Then, you can start testing the water every week. Typically, it will be easiest if you do it at the same time weekly. That way, it can become a habit. Then, it'll be much less likely for you to forget it. In the end, you'll appreciate all the effort because your hot tub will be pristine.