One of the perks of having an in-ground hot tub is being able to use it on cold winter days or nights. Shaking off a chill is easy and aching joints are soothed in the hot water. It’s also a great way to relax and catch up with your family after a long day! In addition to simply being enjoyable, spending time in the hot tub can boost your immune system and soothe tense muscles. However, operating your hot tub in the winter – even in our typically mild Texas winters – will require certain precautions or maintenance steps that you may not think about during the rest of the year. Here are some tips for using your hot tub during a North Texas winter:
Check your pool heater
It’s not unusual for pool heaters to develop problems over time, so it is important to make sure your pool heater is functioning properly. Before starting your heater, you will want to visually inspect it for possible damage. Rust or corrosion can present a potential fire hazard. If you see either, your pool heater should be replaced. You will also want to inspect the wiring, as rodents will sometimes chew on wiring and cause electrical issues.
Your pool heater’s valves should be completely open. Always check the filter to confirm it is clean and clear of dirt and debris. Make sure to remove any debris such as leaves, pine needles, branches and such from the top and sides of the heater. It is very important to ensure sufficient air flow to your heater and to reduce the potential for a fire.
Consider implementing pool automation
Pool automation such as the Jandy iAqualink system can be a huge help in keeping your hot tub running well all winter long. Pool automation from your phone or tablet means you can ready your hot tub for use at the press of a button. It also helps you keep your water chemistry balanced properly. It is equally important to balance your hot tub’s pH level in the winter as it is during the rest of the year. Your hot tub’s chemical balance should be tested at least once a week. If the water’s pH level is too low, the water will be acidic and your sanitizer will not be effective, leaving you at risk for contaminants. If your tub’s pH level is too high, the water will be basic. This will also prevent your sanitizer from working, but it will also put your tub in danger of scale build-up.
Keep your hot tub cover on
A quality hot tub cover will protect your hot tub prevent dirt and debris from getting in your hot tub. It will also prevent algae build-up. In the relatively rare instances of ice or snow in North Texas, your hot tub’s temperature won’t be affected by the precipitation. In addition, it helps prevent water evaporation. Not using a cover allows these factors to influence the temperature and level of the water, which will force your heater to work harder. As a result, your utility bills will be higher.
Don’t forget to check for leaks
A leak could indicate that there is a problem with the tub’s pump, light, filter, or plumbing. It is important to check for leaks regularly. An undetected leak can cause damage to the tub, or lead to freezing.
Don’t run your hot tub too hot or too cold
It is important to monitor your hot tub’s temperature closely. Recommended temperature range for most hot tubs is between 102°F to 104°F. At temperatures lower than 102°F, it is possible for the water to become too cold. Residential pool heaters will not heat a hot tub above 104 degrees. When humans are in water above 104 degrees, heat strokes are possible.
It is great to spend a cold evening than relaxing in the hot tub, but don’t forget about your winter hot tub maintenance. The most important thing is staying on top of it throughout the winter. Even mild winters like we experience in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex require some care and preparation. If you have questions or concerns about your winter hot tub maintenance, give Executive Blue Pools a call. We’ll be happy to help.