If you’ve ever wondered what the best way to start up a hot tub is, you’re in luck! Today we will go step by step through our 6 step hot tub startup procedure that is designed to give you the best quality water with the least effort!

For New Hot Tubs

Most hot tub manufacturers add a small amount of antifreeze to the hot tub’s plumbing before shipping them to their dealers. This is done to prevent potential freeze damage if the hot tub is exposed to below freezing temperatures before being delivered.

If you’re starting up your new hot tub for the first time, we recommend doing a quick fill and drain of the hot tub to help flush this antifreeze out and give you the best water quality. To do this simply fill up the hot tub, turn it on, run the jets for a couple of minutes and drain it. Once the hot tub has fully drained, follow the rest of the steps below.

1) Clean Off The Surface

Before filling your hot tub it is a good idea to give the surface a quick clean to remove and dirt and biofilm that may have built up over time. When cleaning the surface be sure to use a cleaner meant for use in hot tubs. Traditional multi-surface cleaners contain sudsing agents that can cause water quality issues once the hot tub has been filled.

Read more: How to clean your hot tub

2) Fill The Hot Tub

Once the surface of the hot tub is clean, it is time to fill the hot tub. Using your garden hose fill the hot tub until the water level reaches between 1/2 and 2/3 up the skimmer hole (the opening in the side of the hot tub that leads to the filter). Maintaining this water level protects the pumps from damage caused by drawing in air while still allowing enough suction for the filter to do its job.

Dealing With Air Locks

Air locks are a common issue that people have when starting up their hot tub. An “air lock” occurs when air is trapped in the pumps as the hot tub fills. When the pumps turn on the trapped air prevents them from moving any water.

If you experience an air lock after filling your hot tub you will need to remove the air from the pumps. To do this you will need to turn the power to the hot tub off and “crack” the unions next to the pump. Slowly loosen the union until you see a small amount of water leaking from the union. You should also hear air escaping as this happens. Once the air is removed and there is only water coming out of the union, tighten it back up, turn the power back on and try running the pumps again.

To prevent an air lock from happening you need to ensure that the hot tub pumps fill with water first so no air can get trapped in them as the rest of the hot tub fills. The best way of doing this is simply by filling the hot tub from the filter canister. This is a direct line to the pumps and will ensure that they fill with water first so air cannot get trapped in them.

3) Put The Filter In The Hot Tub

Once the hot tub is full, take the hose out and put the filter back in.

Read more: Hot Tub Filters 101

4) Turn The Power On

Once the filter is back in the hot tub it is time to turn the power back on and let the water begin to heat up.

Note: Don’t add your starting chemicals at this time as the water will be too cold. Hot tub chemicals are designed to dissolve in warm water. If added to cold water they will have a very hard time properly incorporating in the water.

5) Add Your Startup Chemicals

Once the hot tub water heats up to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit it is time to add in the startup chemicals. Start by “shocking” the hot tub water to kill any bacteria that might be present in the water, then add in your chlorine or bromine tablets (if you use them).

Make sure to leave your cover open for at least 1/2 an hour after shocking the water to let the chemical vapours escape and prevent damage to your cover. After 1/2 an hour you can close the cover and let the water finish heating up. If you use any scale inhibitors or water enhancing chemicals you can also add in their recommended starting doses.

6) Test & Balance The Water

24-48 hours after the hot tub is up and running you will want to take a water sample and bring it in for professional testing to ensure that the water is properly balanced.

Read more: Why you should test your hot tub water?

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re staring up your hot tub for the first time or are simply getting it set back up after draining, following these steps will help ensure that you get your hot tub up and running quickly and smoothly while also ensuring the best possible water quality.

The Spa Shoppe

(905) 666-5333

1545 Dundas St E
Whitby, ON L1N 2K6



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