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Hot Tub Chemicals the Easy Way

Updated on February 20, 2015

Hot Tub Chemicals Step by Step

Hot tub chemicals may seem overwhelming, but not using them can cause skin rashes or worse. Maintaining a hot tub is not that difficult if you get into a routine such as the Spa Breeze Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine. Just 5 minutes a day, 3 days a week is all it takes for crystal clear water in your hot tub and no dirty looks from your visitors. Your hot tub equipment will thank you too! Spend less time maintaining and more time enjoying your hot tub spa!

Filling your hot tub spa
Filling your hot tub spa

Filling Your Hot Tub - The Beginning

Good hot tub water chemistry begins when filling the hot tub for the first time. Starting with a nice, clean tub, simply fill with water and make sure the filter has been cleaned. When filling the spa, it is a good idea to fill it through the filter or skimmer area to avoid an air lock in the plumbing line.

Start with a bottle of First Step. This creates a base for preventing staining and scaling on the spas surface.

Tip: Always add chemicals to the water and never water to the chemicals!

One more thing you can use is a pre-filter which attaches to a garden hose. The pre-filter can prevent unwanted debris and metals from entering the water. It is especially advisable to use a pre-filter for rural areas or those that use well water. For city folk, the hose water should be just fine.

Filling the Spa - Detail


1. Fill the Spa with water.

The spa should be allowed to fill until the water level is at the center

of the skimmer. If using a garden hose, allow it to run for several

minutes to avoid introducing bacteria that may be living in the hose.

As the spa fills, add First Step to prevent build up of minerals

on the spa surface. Add one bottle per 500 gallons of water. This

should be allowed to circulate in a filled spa for 60 minutes before

proceeding to Phase 2. A bottle of First Step is included in the Spa

Breeze Starter Kit.

First Step Sanitizer for Chlorine based hot tub chemical sanitizing
First Step Sanitizer for Chlorine based hot tub chemical sanitizing

M - W - F Hot Tub Care - Chlorine Based

To maintain the chemical levels in your spa follow the Spa Breeze M-W-F

Spa Maintenance Program. On the 2nd, 4th & 6th day of the week use the

chart below to maintain safe chemical levels. First select either chlorine or bromine as your main sanitizer and then proceed down the chart:



*Test pH and total alkalinity

*Adjust with pH Up or pH Down

* Test chlorine

*Add Chlor 62

*Add Sparkle


*Test pH and total alkalinity

*Adjust with pH Up or pH Down

*Test chlorine

*Add Protect

*Add Scum Away


*Test pH and total alkalinity

*Adjust with pH Up or pH Down

*Test chlorine

*Shock water with Refresh

Crystal Clear Hot Tub Water
Crystal Clear Hot Tub Water

M - W - F Hot Tub Care - Bromine



*Test pH and total alkalinity

*Adjust with pH Up or pH Down

*Test bromine.

*Add Brom 61

*Add Sparkle


*Test pH and total alkalinity

*Adjust with pH Up or pH Down

*Test bromine

*Add Protect

*Add Scum Away


*Test pH and total alkalinity

*Adjust with pH Up and pH Down

*Test bromine

*Shock water with Refresh

Hot Tub Test Strips
Hot Tub Test Strips

Hot Tub Test Strips

Test strips are the easiest way to instantly check on hot tub chemicals. Some test strips are for hot tubs that use bromine as the main sanitizer and others are for spas that use chlorine as the main sanitizer. There are even multi-purpose test strips that check for either bromine or chlorine for convenience (although the 2 chemicals should never be mixed).

Test strips should show pH level (ideally between 7.2-7.8) and alkalinity level. They should then show the sanitizer level (either bromine or chlorine) that you are using in your particular spa. Simply dip the test strip briefly into the water, remove and then get a reading fairly quickly before the color wanders. The initial colors can be compared with the chart on the test strip bottle to determine if the pH, alkalinity and sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) are at the correct levels. pH can be adjusted up or down with either pH plus or pH minus. If there is not enough sanitizer in the water, then add bromine or chlorine or increase the dosing of the sanitizer from the chemical dispenser. If there is too much sanitizer, then reduce the feed of the sanitizer from the chlorine or bromine floater or feeder. Following a weekly system will insure your hot tub water is beautiful for all to enjoy.

Bromine or Chlorine - Which Hot Tub Sanitizer to Use

Both chlorine and bromine to a fine job killing bacteria in hot water. The difference between a swimming pool and a hot tub is that there is a much higher bather load in a relatively small hot tub and the hot tub water is much hotter than a swimming pool. Where chlorine works perfectly in a pool, in hot water, chlorine offgasses at a lower temperature than bromine. This means having to monitor chlorine levels more often than bromine, but it works very well as a sanitizer too.

Sanitizing the Spa

Spa Breeze™ offers two options in

chemical sensitizers Brom 61 bromine

tablets or Chlor 62 granular chlorine. (note that some other hot tub bromine and hot tub chlorine on the market might only be bromine 56 or lower, or chlorine 56 or lower. This means the concentration of bacteria killing active chlorine or bromine is lower, so that may explain why some bromine or chlorine is cheaper than others. You will want the maximum sanitizing power and not more filler in your hot tub chemicals.

Each method offers prevention and control of bacteria that can grow in the warm environment created by your spa.

Natural mineral purification can also be used to enhance the effects of bromine or chlorine such as Spa

Mineral Cartridge or a professionally installed ozone system. While these

items aid in sanitation, they are not a replacement for bromine or chlorine as the main sanitizer to kill bacteria.

Brom 61

Place Brom 61 Tablets in the chemical feeder as needed. Check the bromine levels before each use to insure a proper reading. Check

the feeder regularly to make sure there are enough tablets in the feeder.

Refer to your feeder’s directions for proper feeder adjustment.

Chlor 62

After your spa has been filled add 1 level tablespoon of chlorine to

supershock the water and to establish a chlorine residual. Allow the spa to

circulate until a chlorine reading of 1-3 ppm is attained. Do not use your spa

until you have obtained a 1-3 ppm reading. At this time test the water again

to ensure that the pH is between 7.2-7.6. If pH is below 7.2 add pH Up and

if it is above 7.8 add pH Down.

NOTE: Frequent use, high temperature, and turbulent aerated water will

require more frequent additions of the sanitizer system to maintain the 1-3

ppm level.

Take the poll to help others decide whether to use bromine or chlorine in their hot tub as their main sanitizer.

Do you use Bromine, Chlorine or Neither in Your Hot Tub?

See results

Maintain Your Hot Tub and Spend More Time Enjoying Your Spa

Hot Tubs and Spas Maintenance
Hot Tubs and Spas Maintenance

Having a hot tub maintenance routine in place takes the guesswork and randomness out of maintaining the hot tub. Assure perfect water every time you or a visitor wants to enjoy the spa without the embarrassing excuses that accompany out of balance water. The risks of skin infection and other bacterial and fungal infections grow astronomically when there is no sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) in the water to kill the bacteria. Get your spa on the M-W-F program and enjoy your hot tub spa!

Get the M-W-F hot tub chemicals online at .

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      1. Clinic Pharmacy Practice,3. Geriatric Pharmacy


    • hottubspatips profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Awesome, thanks so much for taking the time to provide feedback. I think the enzyme products are starting to be a great alternative to chlorine or bromine!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      We have a Softub and use an enzyme product called Clarity for Spas to treat the water. It's 100% nontoxic and we've used it with success for more than 5 years. We also use test strips regularly as you suggest.


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