Fall is coming and it’s a wonderful time of year to get a new hot tub. Nothing is better than soaking in the crisp, autumn air! Your brand new hot tub has been delivered, the electrician has installed the GFCI, and you’re ready to start soaking - but you may be left with some questions on how to actually get it running properly. It takes a little work to get it started, but if you follow these simple steps you’ll be ready to enjoy your new spa in no time.
- Read the owner’s manual. If you’ve purchased a brand new hot tub, it will come with an owner’s guide filled with instructions, tips and tricks on how to get your specific spa running and operating smoothly. For example, some hot tubs may include a priming mode feature that the manufacturer advises you utilize during start up.
Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for your spa.
- Disconnect all power from the spa. Before doing any major cleaning or maintenance on your hot tub, you must always completely disconnect your hot tub from power to avoid any risk of electric shock. Unplug your spa and turn off the breaker to ensure all power is cut off from the hot tub - water and electricity don’t mix.
- Inspect your jets and parts. Hot tub parts, and specifically jets, can sometimes come loose during transport, so check that all jets are screwed in tight. Give your hot tub and the internal plumbing a once-over to make sure nothing looks loosely tightened or has obvious damage.
- Give it a good scrub. Your hot tub may have gotten some dirt or residue on it at the factory or during transport, so use a hot tub shell cleaner to give the shell a thorough clean. Avoid using household cleaners, as they can alter your water chemistry and cause water problems such as foaming later on, and can even cause damage to the shell.
- Rinse it out. There may be residual chemicals or even dirt and dust in the hot tub lines or remaining on the shell. Gives the shell a thorough rinse with the hose to remove any leftover chemicals or residue and allow the water to drain out your drain lines (you’ll likely need to open the drain valve - make sure you close it again after the rinse).
- Start filling hot tub with water. If you’re using one, now is when you want to install the pre-filter on your garden hose (pre-filters help remove bacteria, algae and even metals from the water - read more about them here) Insert your garden hose directly into the filter housing, pushing the hose pipe into the housing as far as it can go until it stops. Filling through the filter housing helps prevent air from being trapped in the pump which obstructs water flow and can cause issues later (when that happens it’s known as an air lock).
Helpful tip: Another way to help prevent air locks is to ensure all jets are in the open position when filling - most jets can either be in an open or closed position, by rotating the face left (counter clockwise) to close or right (clockwise) to open.
- Pause and check for leaks. Once your hot tub has been filled in the foot area with water, turn off the hose and examine the outside for any leaks. Every spa is checked at the factory, however shipping and delivery or loose connections may cause a leak. Before filling your spa all the way, give it a check to make sure that there’s no water leaking out.
- Fill it up! Everything looks good so there’s nothing holding you back - fill up the spa to the top! And by the top, we mean about 2-3 inches from the top of the shell which will be about an inch or two above the highest jet. Some spas even come with a handy sticker or indicator to show how full your hot tub should be.
- Reinstall your filter. The filter is an incredibly important part of your hot tub and ensures you have nice, clean water. Reinstall the filter and remember to keep it clean!
- Turn on the power. Now that the water is in and the heavy lifting is complete, turn the power back on and start the water circulating. Make sure everything is flowing well and test the jets and blower (if applicable) to make sure they’re functioning properly.
- Test water and add chemicals. Always test your spa water using test strips before adding any chemicals to get a base line idea of what your water is like. Then add any necessary alkalinity or pH balancers and sanitizers. Leave the cover off for at least 30 minutes, and continue to allow chemicals to circulate.
For more information on what your maintenance schedule will look like, take a look at our maintenance guide here. If you’re looking for a more in depth guide at what each chemical does and how to keep them balanced, have a look at our chemical guide here.
- Enjoy! Once your hot tub is filled and the chemicals are balanced, it’s time to get in there and embrace the relaxation of your bubbly hot water.
It may seem like a daunting list at first, but after owning your hot tub for a few months you will become increasingly familiar with all the parts and water maintenance required and will be going through these steps in no time and with no thought! For now, enjoy the relaxing soaks in your brand new hot tub.