Frequently Asked Questions

Hot Tub SERUM is a water treatment formulated to make it much easier to maintain clear, safe water in your spa and ensure you enjoy owning a hot tub.

Our various Hot Tub SERUM products have different formulations, but the primary active ingredient in all our products is a chemical called Alkyldimethylbenzylammonium Chloride or ADBAC. Confirmed with our EPA Registration, ADBAC is safe when used as directed.

Our Total Cleanse also contains salts. It is the best spa purge (also called a spa flush) available. Designed to be added to your spa water just before you drain and refill, the salt scrubs out biofilm in your spa’s plumbing by ripping away the mucus layer protecting the biofilm. ADBAC then kills the bacteria in these biofilms. No other spa purge available has our One-Two Punch to completely clean your spa. To prove this, we sometimes suggest to dealers that they purge a spa with their existing spa purge and then purge again with Total Cleanse. They become converts.

Our Total Maintenance has a lower concentration of ADBAC because it is designed to be used as a maintenance product (added weekly) to continuously prevent biofilms, back-up your primary sanitizer when it is ineffective, and stabilize your spa water pH. Unlike our Total Cleanse, Total Maintenance is designed to be used continuously between your drain & refill periods and while you also enjoy your spa.

Our Swim Spa SERUM and Pool SERUM are slightly different formulations of Total Maintenance for use in these situations.

Purging (also called flushing) a spa essentially mean to thoroughly clean your spa. Importantly, this includes cleaning everything you cannot see. It’s one thing to get your spa shell looking bright and clean or to clean your filters, but lots of nasty things can be lurking in your plumping, pumps, and heater. All of this stuff is usually called biofilm, which we discuss more in this what is biofilm.

Alkyldimethylbenzylammonium Chloride (ADBAC) is classed as a Category III antiseptic active ingredient by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

ADBAC is an organic salt and a member of a group of chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds, or QUAT’s. QUAT’s have a number of uses, one being as a disinfectant. QUAT’s are also non-corrosive – They will not corrode metal in a spa or hot tub.

ADBAC, unlike many primary spa sanitizers, is unaffected by spa water pH, cyanuric acid, and temperature in its ability to kill pathogens. ADBAC will continue to kill pathogens in your spa regardless of spa water pH, cyanuric acid levels, or temperature.

The primary benefit of Hot Tub SERUM is simply that it makes maintaining your spa so much easier thereby improving your spa experience. And isn’t that the real reason you bought your spa – for the experience?

Hot Tub SERUM does this in 5 way! Yes, that’s right. SERUM is a multi-talented addition to your spa regimen!

  1. Total Cleanse ensures your spa it truly clean – Not just looks clean, but clean right down inside your spa’s plumbing.
  2. Total Maintenance
    1. Ensures your spa & its plumbing remain clean
    2. Ensures your spa water stays crystal clear and safe even when your primary sanitizer fails.
      1. – No more opening your hot tub on a Sat. evening for a relaxing soak and finding your water is cloudy & foul smelling.
    3. Stabilizes your spa water pH to:
      1. – Prevent calcium scaling
      2. – Improve the efficacy of your primary sanitizer
    4. Prevents black & white mold from forming on your spa cover and head rests.

Yes, however SERUM is not formulated to be your primary sanitizer.  The reason is that, unlike chlorine and bromine, SERUM is not an oxidizer.  Both chlorine and bromine are in a group of elements called halogens, hence they have very similar chemical characteristics.  Iodine is also a halogen and we all know its use as an antiseptic.  Halogens not only kill pathogens they will also oxidize them, hence removing them from the water.

However, SERUM does something that chlorine and bromine cannot do.  Chlorine, and to a lesser extent bromine, can lose their ability to kill bacteria and other pathogens in a spa for many reasons.  SERUM always works to kill pathogens in your spa.

So, SERUM and chlorine or bromine are highly compatible, and in combination ensure your spa water is safe, clear, and odor free!

Note: Though chlorine and bromine are oxidizers they cannot alone remove all of the biologic waste in a spa, hence the use of a non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate) is highly recommended.

Hot Tub SERUM is not an enzyme.  Spa enzymes break down dead organic materials in your spa water but do not kill any of the pathogens that might be present in your spa water, plumbing, or filter.  For more on this, please click here.

By the way, ozone and nonchlorine-based shock (potassium monopersulfate) also oxidize, or break down, dead organic materials in your spa water.

The EPA requires a product to have a pathogen killing efficacy of 99.7% to be advertised as a sanitizer. A number of spa chemical companies advertise their products in a manner to suggest they kill bacteria and other pathogens, but without EPA registration they can’t say this because, the truth is, they don’t.

By the way , SERUM Total Maintenance is registered with the EPA federally and in every State.

Hot Tub SERUM meets all U.S. and international standards for safety and reliability when used as directed. Our EPA registration proves this.

Depending on your spa sanitation regimen you will drain and refill your spa anywhere from 1 to 4 times a year. You might wonder if Serum is safe for your lawn. It is.

Total Maintenance is formulated to kill single cell organisms such as bacteria, algae, mold, and even viruses, though viruses are even smaller than single cell organisms. Total Maintenance is not formulated to kill plants or animals; hence it is safe to drain your spa water onto your lawn.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “You can have fast, good, or cheap. Pick two.” This kind of applies to SERUM.

We are certainly not the cheapest spa chemical. On the other hand, no other spa product does what SERUM does. In fact, there are more than a few spa chemicals that cost considerably more than SERUM yet do much less. To start, they are not EPA registered and, as you can imagine, seeking and acquiring EPA registration in all 50 States in not inexpensive. However, we think it is worth it so that you know exactly what you are getting and that it’s safe and effective.

It really comes down to this. You spent many $1,000’s on your spa because you wanted a great experience. You want massage, relaxation, time with your spouse, family and friends, therapy, and a calming sense of peace. However, you can’t enjoy any of these if your water is not perfect. Is that worth a few $’s more? We think so and think you will agree when you experience the ease of spa maintenance with our SERUM products.

Absolutely! If SERUM doesn’t work to keep your spa water clean, clear and smelling good – If your skin doesn’t feel soft and smooth without itching or flaking after using your hot tub, you can return it for a FULL REFUND.

AND – if you use SERUM Total Maintenance on a regular basis by purchasing SERUM through your local dealer’s Auto-Ship program, we give you a Lifetime Warranty on your spa jets. The reason is spa jets usually fail due to calcium scaling and Total Maintenance prevents calcium scaling.

Yes! Have you ever had that black, unsightly mold appear on the underside of your spa cover or around your spa’s head rests? Well, SERUM Total Maintenance prevents this.

The air under your spa cover is very humid due to the warm water in the spa. This is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mold spores are always in your air. If you are using SERUM Total Maintenance on a regular basis, that humid air also contains SERUM and SERUM kills all pathogens, including mold.

Almost certainly you do not have sufficient santizer in your hot tub. 99% of the time this is the reason. The solution is to add Total Maintenance at the rate of 1 oz. per 100 gallons in your spa and correct the cause of insufficient sanitizer in your spa. Here are just a few possible causes depending upon the sanitation regimen you use.

  1. Your bromine floater is empty
  2. You have forgotten added dichlor or bromine granules on time or in insuffient amounts for the bather load you are placing on your spa
  3. If you are using a metallic ion system (@ease® Smartclor®, The FROG®, Nature 2®, etc.) the cartridge(s) is empty and needs to be replaced
  4. If you have a Salt-System:
    1. – The setting is too low for your use (bather load)
    2. – Your Salt-System electrode needs to be replaced or has calcium scaling
  5. You might have also had an unusually high bather load – say invited the family over to use your spa.

Fix your sanitation issue, add Total Maintenance, and within 1 – 3 days your water will again be clear and safe for use.

Biofilm is the slimy film you find on most all surfaces left under water for any period of time. Biofilm is a bacteria colony with a mucus layer, the slimy part. This mucus layer is produced by the bacteria colony itself to protect it from attack. Those little bacteria are smarter than you thought.

Biofilms in your spa’s plumbing must be removed with a spa purge (also called a spa flush) because your primary sanitizer ONLY kills free-swimming bacteria, viruses, molds, and other pathogens. The mucus layer covering the biofilm colony prevents your spa sanitizer from getting to the bacteria in the biofilm.

Our Total Cleanse is the best spa purge available because unlike all other purges it contains both salts (to rip away the biofilm’s mucus layer) and Alkyldimethylbenzylammonium Chloride (ADBAC) to kill the bacteria and other pathogens in the biofilm. No other spa purges contain salts and the few competitors that do contain ADBAC have less than 10% what our Total Cleanse contains.

Spa biofilms can contain some dangerous bacteria including Legionella (the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever), E. Coli (causing stomach cramps & diarrhea) , and Pseudomonas (causing Folliculitis, or skin rash), and other pathogens.

Biofilm can also make it difficult for you to maintain the proper sanitation levels in your spa, because the sanitizer is, in effect, being overworked. This prominent blogger  started testing most all of the available spa purges, some years ago, specifically because he could not maintain the proper sanitation levels in his brand-new spa. The reason? He had biofilm in his new spa.

Spa dealers will have different opinions, but none will suggest anything less than annually. We suggest purging your spa each time you drain and fill your spa. Depending on your sanitation method, this means you will drain and fill anywhere from every 3 months to once a year.

To start with, chlorine in your hot tub is not actually chlorine. It is really hypochlorous acid or HOCL. It is a weak acid that forms when chlorine is dissolved in water. But everyone calls it chlorine for short.

Chlorine is the most common sanitizer used in both pools and spas. However, it is not perfect. The pathogen killing effectiveness (or efficacy) of chlorine is highly affected by both the pH of the water and something called cyanuric acid or CYA.

As the pH in your spa water rises, the efficacy of chlorine declines rapidly. In fact, at a pH of 7.8, which is only slightly above the recommended range of 7.2 – 7.6, the efficacy of chlorine drops by 2/3rds. At a pH of 8.0, its lost 75% of its pathogen killing efficacy. As you can see, keeping your spa water pH in line is quite important – and one primary reason for using our Total Maintenance.

The most common form of chlorine used in pools and spas is called dichlor (or Dichloro-S-Triazinetrione). However, only slightly more than ½ of dichlor is chlorine. The other ½ is cyanuric acid or CYA. CYA is there for a reason but its primarily related to pools. The problem is that CYA also reduces the killing efficacy of chlorine and the CYA level in your spa increases pretty fast if you are using dichlor because you add it to your spa 2 or 3 times a week. As the CYA level increases your spa’s chlorine loses more and more of its ability to kills bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. But the good news is our Total Maintenance kills pathogens regardless of CYA levels. Total Maintenance is not affected by CYA levels.

People talk about scaling in spas without properly identifying it sometimes. First, when calcium (Ca) scaling appears it will cover all the surfaces under water, not just at the water line. It is white and in mild forms looks a bit like dust on your spa shell. More serious Ca scaling will feel like sandpaper. It will be very rough and difficult to remove – unless you know the trick.

But first how do you prevent it? Actually, it’s quite simple – keep your spa water pH in the proper range of 7.2 – 7.6. Ca scaling will not occur until your pH rises to 8.0 and higher. This is true even in areas with very hard water, where Ca levels may be 150 ppm or higher. By the way, Ca level can also be measured in “grains” where 150 ppm would be measured as 9 grains.

Guess what? Our Total Maintenance will help you keep your pH in the proper range of 7.2 – 7.6 because it’s also what is called a pH buffer. It is important to adjust your pH to the proper range BEFORE adding our Total Maintenance!

And the trick? Vinegar will dissolve calcium. Vinegar is acetic acid, a mild acid but still an acid. Pour in a couple gallons of plain old grocery store vinegar into your spa and 24 hours (or less) later your Ca scaling will be gone. You will have to either drain & refill your spa or adjust your pH but that’s much easier than trying to scrub out the Ca scaling – which would also be in your spa’s plumbing.

Yes, Serum Total Maintenance and other Serum products are compatible with all sanitizing regimens including chlorine, bromine, biguanide. They are also compatible with the various metal ion-based systems including The Frog®, @ease Smartchlor®, and Nature 2®. Further, Serum products are unaffected by many of the issues that can cause these systems to lose effectiveness. Specifically, Serum products are not affected by pH outside the proper range of 7.2 – 7.6, cyanuric acid (CYA), or various oxidizers commonly used in spas and hot tubs.

We surely can! Many of our dealers have Auto-Ship programs so that they can deliver straight to your doorstep. Generally they will ship every 4 months as this frequency works well with our Serum Total Maintenance, Swim Spa Serum and a # of primary sanitizer regimens. Please contact us and we’ll get this set up with your local dealer.

By the way, if you have just recently purchased your hot tub, and set up Auto-Ship with your local dealer, we also provide our Lifetime Hot Tub Jet Warranty at no charge to you!

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