What Spa Products Are A Waste Of Money

by Tony Turbo.

As you research hot tubs and related products you see tons of articles telling you what you need – and frankly so do we because Serum products do what we say. However, in this month’s Blog I thought I would take the opposite approach – what Thoreau called “the road less travelled”. I will discuss products you do not need – or at least need much less than claimed by many.

Spa Products You Don’t Need (Much)

  1. Clarifiers
    1. Most of the time (by which I mean 99%) cloudy water is caused by insufficient or ineffective sanitizer. One of several purposes for Total Maintenance is to prevent this problem.
    2. A clarifier will clear the water, but it has not solved the underlying sanitizer issue.
  1. Foam Down
    1. oAs with clarifiers, these mask the real problem – and they do not last long either. You will be adding a squirt every 20 minutes.
    2. oIf your water is foaming, you have water chemistry problems. Solve them. Do not mask them.
  1. Water Softeners
    1. I am not referring to softened water here. I am referring to chemicals that make the water feel soft.
    2. Some people like the feel of water with these chemicals (which are usually simply borates) but there are some really expensive products that basically just make the water feel soft. And there are some quite inexpensive ones. You can guess which ones get hyped a lot.
  1. Sequestering Agents
    1. These generally isolate metals in your water. If you actually have a significant level of metals in your water, then you needs these. However, to just generally assume these are needed is a mistake. A lot of the water in the US does not have high metal content.
  1. Stain & Scale Products
    1. Most hot tubs have acrylic shells. It is pretty close to impossible to stain acrylic. For one thing, it is non-porous.
    2. Scale usually refers to calcium scaling. Keep your pH in the proper range of 7.2 – 7.6 and you will not have calcium scaling in your hot tub. Even very hard water (meaning high calcium content) will not cause scaling in your hot tub if you keep your pH in the proper range.
  1. Filter Cleaners
    1. These are need unless you are using Serum Total Maintenance as instructed. Total Maintenance prevents biofilm throughout your spa and that includes your filters. It also prevent oils from adhering to the filter membranes. You still want to rinse your filters every couple of weeks with water, and replace them every 18 months or so, but a filter cleaner is not needed if you are also using Serum Total Maintenance

Spa Products You Do Need

OK, now that I have covered what you don’t need, what do you really need. Actually, it is much simpler than the vast world of spa chemicals might make you think. It really comes down to 5 products.

  1. Primary Sanitizer: There are essentially three
    1. Chlorine – Either dichlor or created from sodium chloride in salt system spas
    2. Bromine – As granular, in tabs, or created from sodium bromine in salt system spas
    3. Biguanide – For those who are sensitive to chlorine and bromine
  1. Serum Total Cleanse & Total Maintenance
    1. Total Cleanse to purge (deep clean & remove biofilm) your spa at least annually
    2. Total Maintenance as a backup for your primary sanitizer to ensure your spa water remains clear, pristine, and safe
  1. pH Up & pH Down and pH Testers
    1. To test the acidity of your spa water and adjust as needed
    2. Very important with chlorine spas and all spas to prevent calcium scaling
  1. Non-Chlorine Based Shock
    1. This is potassium monopersulfate
    2. Shock oxidizes (removes) biologic waste (dead bacteria, skin cells, etc.) from your spa water

Thanks for reading,
Turbo Tony

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