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Pool & Spa Tips

Spring Pool Tips

  • Mesh safety cover customers – Save time and money in the spring by allowing the pool water to fill up to the coping area (after the risk of freezing). You will be able to vacuum to waste, this will allow you to lower your water level and vacuum the dirt out at the same time.
  • Cartridge filter customers – The average life of cartridges is 3-5 years. When replacing dirty or worn cartridges keep the old set for spring clean-up, and then install the new set. This saves the life of your cartridges.
  • Test your pool water on a daily basis to learn your pools “personality” – Every pool and every swim season are different. Once you become familiar with your pool you can check it 2-3 times a week, and then once a week.


Swim Season Pool Tips

  • Before backwashing or lowering water levels make sure the chlorine level is normalHigh chlorine levels may kill grass.
  • Automatic pool cover maintenance – Customers with automatic pool covers should lubricate monthly with a water based silicone spray (NOT WD-40 or similar oil based products).  Areas to be lubed are the track and guides at the cover end on the tracks.
  • Save money – Run your pump at night when electric is less expensive.
  • Water testing – Test your pool water on a daily basis to learn your pools “personality.”  Every pool is different. Once you become more familiar with your pool you can check 2-3 times a week, an then once a week.
  • Water testing log – Keep a written log of water tests to use as a reference of previous issues.
  • Pool cleaner – Check the automatic pool cleaner several times during the season to ensure it’s running properly.  Examples of it not working properly are it runs in circles; stays in the deep end; lays on its side; bag has nothing in it and pool is still dirty; cleaner is on, but doesn’t move.  Your manual has troubleshooting tips for fixing some of these issues.  Our retail store stocks replacement parts that may be the solution for some of these issues.
  • Keep pump lids lubricated with a Teflon base lube to eliminate air getting into the system.
  • Customers with fine landscaping debris (i.e. pine needles) can use old nylons over skimmer baskets to help eliminate clogged pumps. Remember to check more frequently!!!
  • Pool heater – Check the heater periodically or prior to a party to avoid last minute service calls. IMPORTANT: Check fuel supply.
  • Pool heater – Keep pool heater tops free from debris.
  • Take time to walk back around your pool equipment once a week to ensure everything is operating properly. You may find simple service things before they become major.
  • Chlorine generator – Check the cell regularly each month to ensure the unit is functioning properly. If debris (grass, hair, leaves, mulch, etc.) is found inside the cell you may have a problem with your filter.
  • Cartridge filter – When cleaning cartridges avoid using a high pressure washer (over 1,000 psi).  It damages the cartridge and drives the dirt deeper into the cartridge material, making them less effective. If you do not have good water pressure, a car wash is ideal for this.
  • D.E. filter – When backwashing your filter it is important that you are doing this properly to ensure a thorough cleaning and eliminate the damaging buildup of D.E. powder inside the filter.  See our website for instructions.
  • Why brushing your swimming pool is important?  After the first few days of pool ownership, nobody likes to brush their pool, and most pool owners don't do it. However, brushing your pool is one of the most important steps in swimming pool maintenance. You don't brush your teeth to remove cavities, you brush to prevent problems. The same is true for brushing your pool. A regular brushing prevents algae, removes dirt particles and continuously smoothes the pool surface to ensure a long lasting finish.
  • Keep landscaping and groundcover away from pool equipment. Equipment may overheat if covered with landscaping and groundcover.  It also limits the ability to properly service or even invites rodents to dwell inside the equipment.
  • IMPORTANT CHEMICAL SAFETY: Never add water to chemicals in a bucket. Always add chemicals to water in a bucket.
  • Dry chemicals should be thoroughly mixed before introducing to the pool!
  • Solar blanket - The use of a solar blanket will aid in the efficiency of the heater for early spring and late fall. Solar blankets are a great way to reduce evaporation.  Consider purchasing Natural Chemistry’s CoverFREE to place an invisible barrier on the pool surface helping to keep heat in and reduce evaporation.


Winter Pool Tips

  • Maintain proper water levels – Do not allow water or precipitation to rise up on to the tile line during freezing conditions.  This will potentially cause problems and damage to the tile and coping.  Proper levels are 3-4” below the tile line.
  • Ice and snow build up – If winter brings a large amount of ice and snow buildup do not attempt to remove the precipitation.  LET THE ACCUMMULATION MELT NATURALLY! Heavy ice and snow loads can also displace pool water.  Allow the pool to fill up with rain and snow melt.
  • Solid winter safety cover – Remove excess water and debris from cover to reduce wear and damage.
  • Mesh winter safety cover – Save time and money in the spring by allowing the pool water to fill up to the coping area (after the risk of freezing). You will be able to vacuum to waste, this will allow you to lower your water level and vacuum the dirt out at the same time.
  • Mesh winter safety cover customers – Water may be removed from the pool by pulling up a corner of the cover to gain access.
  • Mesh winter safety cover customers – Consider adding Natural Chemistry’s Pool Magic “Spring & Fall” in mid February or March (depending on the freeze-thaw cycle) after the pool as completely thawed.  This will help reduce the food source for algae.
  • Storing automatic pool cleaner – Over winter months the hose should be laid out as straight as possible. This practice eliminates the hose from retaining a “memory” and running in a circle. If you cannot lay it out in a straight line, at the beginning of the season stretch out the hose on the pool deck on a nice sunny day to erase the “memory” of being coiled over the winter.
  • Moth balls inside a pool heater may help to limit rodents and spiders from dwelling there.
  • Overflow pipe – Check the overflow pipe outlet periodically.  Keep debris away from the outlet.  The pipe is located inside the pool below the tile line.
  • Overflow plugs – The overflow plug may be installed after mid March or after the threat of a freeze.


General Spa Tips

  • Snowfall – In the event of a large snowfall, be sure to shovel around the spa in case a service call is ever needed.
  • Test Water Weekly – Testing your water weekly is important. It is easier to test water regularly in the cold months than to dump water in the dead of winter.
  • Power Outage – If power goes out to your home for a length of time and you have a generator, you can put a heat cell inside the cabinet to maintain the spa above freezing.
  • Strong Winds – Strong spring and fall winds play havoc on spa covers.  Take a moment to check straps are secure and cover on tight. This simple step can prevent an unnecessary service call.
  • Lower Spa Temperature – When lowering your temperature to a desired cooler temperature it is important to remember you should only lower 2 degrees at a time.  Lowering more than 2 degrees causes the filtration to shut off.  Continue to lower temperature in stages until you have reached the desired temperature.
  • Louvered Door – A louvered door can help reduced spa temperatures significantly.
  • Topping Water Level Off – Check your spa water level before you put your hose away for the season.  Water levels should touch the bottom of the pillows.
  • Spa Filter Life – Remember to change the filter as needed.  Most filters have a life of three (3) months. Life expectancy for filters with a fresh fill is about a 2-4 weeks.
  • Keep cabinet wood and covers looking like new with Cover & Cabinet Renew.
  • Error Messages – If your spa indicates an "Error" message the first line of defense is to turn the breaker off for a minute and then turn it back on to see if the message goes away.  Most times the "Error" message is from an interrupted power source to the spa.  Storms and power surges are the primary cause for interrupted power.  This is similar to your alarm clock flashing after the power goes out.
  • Arctic Pure Refresh is simple and inexpensive way to purify your water after each use.  It is designed to destroy foreign contaminates which reduces the effectiveness of bromine and chlorine as a disinfectant. Refresh is completely soluble and will not alter pH. Genesis Sodium Bromide Purification System and Onzen customers do not need Arctic Pure Refresh as often.
  • Clean Lines – Help keep lines and equipment clean by using Arctic Fresh Start before dumping spas. Always fill tubs promptly after purging to avoid bacteria growth.
  • Foaming – Have you ever invited friends over to enjoy your spa and later find an abundance of foaming detergent in the spa? Dumping your spa and starting all over with clean water is one solution. There is a more simple way to eliminating the suds without dumping your spa. Try this solution.*
    • Turn all pumps on to agitate detergent.
    • Use a shop vac to lift the suds off the surface of the water. Place the vac hose near the filter basket while removing foaming detergent.
    • Water level may lower as much as 4 inches while removing suds.
    • Drop hose in the spa and refill to the bottom of the pillows.
    • Replace micron depth filter.
    • Check water chemistry and adjust accordingly.

*This solution may not be a guarantee as detergent levels vary. Owner, Craig Horning, has experienced success with this process. It only took 30 minutes to rectify the problem. His chemical adjustment showed success within 24 hours. Tub on!

  • Onzen Purification – Maintain the pH level of 7.6 ppm.  This will help alleviate any calcium build up from forming on the Onzen cell.
  • What Is An Airlock? What are the symptoms of air lock? How do you fix an airlock? Can I fix it myself?  Airlock means that air is trapped in the pump, and can't get out. Since the vanes in the pump aren't designed to move air, they just spin helplessly. The symptoms of airlock are the pump loses suction (runs but does not circulate any water); the pump may cavitate (make a gurgling or sucking noise), or the jets may surge (go in spurts).  Correct an airlock by trying one of these two methods:
    1. Our pumps are intended to be self-priming.  Running the pump on high speed for 1-2 minutes will usually get rid of the air lock.  This will be most effective if you filled the tub through the filter canister.
    2. If the above does not work (which it might not if you filled the spa just with a hose in the tub) it may be necessary to shut off the pumps then crack open the pump unions to bleed out the air.  Be prepared for a little water to escape too.  For information on tightening pump unions, download the PDF document below.
    3. To avoid an airlock, we recommend that you fill your hot tub by placing the hose in the place where the filter normally goes.
  • Onzen Purification Systems – Preventing False Chlorine Readings – When taking water samples from your spa be sure to use water samples away from the Onzen jet.  Samples taken over the jet where the chlorine discharges will create a false chlorine reading.  It is a good idea to turn on a pump to mix up the water before taking a sample as well.
  • How do you know if the Onzen Purification is working?
    1. Turn the temperature below your actual temperature by 2 degrees. Conducting a "Smoke" Test. How to test if sanitizer is being produced (ONZEN SALT SYSTEMS ONLY).
    2. Set filtration to zero by pushing the filter key and changing FD to "0" (using the down arrow key).
    3. Hold the filtration key down for 20 seconds until "bL 0 OR bL 1" is displayed.
    4. Scroll through the LL settings by pressing the filtration key until it reads "CP X". ("x" will be a value between 0 & 6).
    5. Make sure this is not set to CP "0".
    6. Continue scrolling through the LL settings by repeatedly pushing the filter key until the pack resets.
    7. The software revision will flash for 5 seconds.
    8. Do not push a button, as this will delay the output for 40 minutes. If a button is pushed at this stage, start the test from step 1.
    9. Locate the Onzen fitting in the foot well of the spa. There should be a fine mist of bubbles coming from the fitting within about 15 seconds.
    10. Small bubbles indicate that sanitizer is being produced. If there are no bubbles, something may be wrong. Call your dealer for a service call. (Note you can still sanitize your spa with granular chlorine!)
    11. If you see bubbles, sanitizer is being produced. Leave it to produce for the next few hours and make sure it does not shut off. If you do not see these "smoky" bubbles call for service.
    12. After a visual check, you can turn your filtration back up (FD 1 FF 4 is recommended) and reset your temperature.
  • How do you know if the Arctic Ozone Purification is working?
    1. Ozone has a distinct fresh smell. If you cannot smell the fresh scent it would be a good time to check the Arctic Ozone box. The box is located in one corner of the tub inside the cabinet.
    2. Set the filtration cycle to FD 1 OR 2 and set FF 1 to 4.
    3. Push the filtration button once. Do not touch any other buttons.
    4. Take a visual look inside the cabinet in one of the corners for a small box with a purple light.  If the purple light isn’t illuminated it is possible the chip may need replaced. Replacing the chip is a simple fix. Call our service department to schedule a service call.



Items needed:

  • Arctic Pure Fresh Start (8 oz.) (Helpful is keeping lines and equipment clean)
  • Arctic Pure Cover & Cabinet Renew (Gives cedar wood a new appearance)
  • Natural Chemistry Clean & Perfect Spa Cleaner (Cleans spa interior with natural enzymes)
  • Allen wrench (Remove doors)
  • Hose
  • Clean towels (3-4)
  • Pre-filter (Helps remove metals from your water and prolongs life to the new filter)
  • Filter (New) – First filter lasts 2-4 weeks and 3+ months thereafter


Optional items needed:

  • Rubber gloves (For staining)
  • Old towels (For staining)
  • Olympic Maximum Cedar Naturaltone Oil Toner for natural color spas or Olympic Wood Protector Deck, Fence & Siding Stain in Pewter color for gray spas.


Draining directions:

  1. Pour 8 oz. of Fresh Start in the spa.  Turn all pumps on and run the spa for two (2) hours before you dump the spa water.  Running the spa overnight is a great option too.
  2. Open the cabinet doors to look for any noticeable problems.
  3. Turn the breaker switch off before dumping the spa water.
  4. Begin draining the water using a submersible pump or a hose connection on the spa.  Avoid dumping water on grass or shrubbery to keep from damaging landscaping.  The driveway is a safe location.
  5. While water is draining use the Cover & Cabinet Renew to wipe the cabinet and spa cover clean.
  6. Remove the old filter and replace with a new filter.
  7. Use Clean & Perfect to wipe the interior surface clean.  Don’t forget to wipe the foot well and skimmer baskets clean.


Filling Procedure:

  1. Turn the water softener off and drain any excess water in the house line before filling the spa.
  2. Pre-filter the water when filling the spa.  Fill the spa with water to the bottom of the pillows.
  4. Set filtration to the desired cycle.  The spa will automatically restart at previous settings, unless you changed the settings.
  5. Test alkalinity levels first and adjust accordingly with test strips.  The normal range for alkalinity is 80-120 ppm. Test the pH levels.  The normal range for pH is 7.2-7.8 ppm. Onzen users please keep pH of 7.6 ppm.
  6. Pick your purification system and finish by following those steps:
    • Onzen Purification
      • Set desired temperature. Let the spa heat the water to at least 85 degrees before adding chemicals. Chemical will dissolve easier.
      • Add the Chlorine or Bromine Sea Salt Blend. See the owner’s manual to determine how many pounds of seas salt blend are needed. Let circulate overnight. Check the salt level after 24 hours. Salt levels may be checked at the store or purchase a salt test kit in our store. The normal range for salt is 1200 – 2500ppm. Very important to check with the store to see your spa’s ideal level as we have many versions that require different levels. Once levels are in the ideal range there is no need to keep checking the salt until you add more water or change the water.
      • Adjust the Onzen output by going in to your low level programming found in the filter key on the top side control panel on the spa.
      • Please make sure Chlorine and Bromine levels are in the ideal range before entering the spa.
    • Peak Ozone Purification
      • Set desired temperature. Let the spa heat the water to at least 85 degrees before adding chemicals. Chemical will dissolve easier.
      • Add one (1) level capful of Arctic Pure Peak Boost and a capful of Arctic Pure Refresh per 100 gallons to the spa water. (Example: 400 gallon spa: Add one (1) capful Peak Boost and four (4) capfuls Refresh.
      • Let the water circulate on high for 15-20 minutes.
      • Repeat the procedure until the Bromine levels are ideal. The normal range for Bromine is 1-3 ppm.
      • Please make sure Bromine levels are in the ideal range before entering the spa.
      • For the first week add 1/3 capful of Peak Boost each day to main the Bromine levels.
      • The Peak Ozone should be able to do its job at this point.
      • Now you will add a capful of Peak Boost once or twice a week depending on the bather load. It is a good idea to add a capful of Refresh after each use. Use more for larger bather loads. Refresh is helpful in eliminating foam problems as well.
    • Arctic Ozone Purification
      • Set desired temperature. Let the spa heat the water to at least 85 degrees before adding chemicals. Chemical will dissolve easier.
      • Add either Chlorine or Bromine depending on which you prefer. Ideal range for Chlorine and Bromine is 3-5 ppm.
      • Please make sure Chlorine and Bromine levels are in the ideal range before entering the spa.