How would you like being compelled to give up a warm hot tub soak on a cold day just because the water looks and smells unpleasant, and the chemicals needed to clear up the water are out of stock, and it is too inconvenient to go shopping to restock the chemicals? This scenario illustrates the importance of always keeping a supply of essential hot tub chemicals.
The same case with simple spare parts like the seals of joints that you might be able to replace on your own. Unless you are a trained person, however, don’t try to replace the more complex assemblies. Electrical parts, in particular, need special care for repair and replacement.
Do keep stocks of the simpler parts. You don’t want to forego that pleasurable soak just because a joint is leaking owing to a worn out seal. You might be able to replace the seal easily if you have spare supplies.
The basic criterion is whether you will be able to use the stocked supplies yourself without calling for expert help.
What are the essential chemicals you should always keep in stock?
Water sanitizers such as chlorine, bromine or another chemical top the list. You don’t want your water full of bacteria and other disease-causing organisms. The sanitizing chemicals disinfect the water by killing off such organisms.
Oxidizers break up stuff such as dead skin and residues of oil and cosmetics that can dirty the water and make it quite unpleasant to soak in.
Chemicals that regulate the acidity and alkalinity of the water (the pH level) constitute another essential requirement. Acidic water corrodes and also causes skin irritation; alkaline water leaves stains and deposits. Their levels are controlled by testing the water using special test strips and using additives that maintain the pH level within desired range.
If you live in an area where the water can be “hard” or “soft,” you will need additives that control the level of calcium in the water. An excess of calcium can make the water cloudy and unpleasant. It is also possible for the water to contain metals and minerals that lead to stains and other undesirable effects. These too are controlled with the use of appropriate chemicals.
As would be clear, you need to know the characteristics of the water that you use in your hot tub to identify and stock the right chemicals. It is a good idea to talk to your hot tub maintenance person.
Norma J. Johnson
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