Doing It Yourself

If you are keen, love science, and enjoy playing with chemicals and reagents, boy do we have all the products you need to keep your spa perfect!

If you run into any issues we can help guide you if you come into the store to talk to our trained staff.

Snow Valley Spas customers can also get complimentary Lamotte Waterlink Spin Touch Photometer chemical analysis  by bringing a 30 ml sample to 13 Kutenai Road.  This analysis tests for free and combined chlorine, bromine, PH, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, copper, iron, salt, phosphate, and borate.  If we have the volume of water in your spa, it will give you a step by step directions and volumes to get your spa to the perfect levels.

Water Care

SpaBoss products allow for a hot tub to be enjoyed with pride and confidence! SpaBoss products are designed with the hot tub owner in mind. With a complete line of water treatment products to fit any need or preference, a SpaBoss water care program makes it easy to maintain clean, safe, crystal clear water. 

Snow Valley Spas has guidelines for caring for your spa water, and recommendations for when to use what products.  This is advice straight from our expert Jim!  If your eyes get blurry after point 3, Kari’s expert advice is just bring in a sample each week and let us test it for you to tell you exactly what to do.  

Start with the cleanest water you can

If there is any turbidity or sediment in your well or tap water, that can start your tub off with more work.  You can use a filter attachment on the end of your hose to filter your water before it gets into your spa.

Water Level

Once the water is over the jets, and just below the pillows, your spa is full.  Check for error codes, ensure the jets are working, and see if the lights are working.  Expect to see “ice mode” when you change the water.  Cold tap water is usually about 45 degrees.  You will see the ice mode error code until your spa heats to at least 68 degrees.  Your jets should cycle on for 15 minutes, and then heat for 15 minutes until your water reaches the set temperature.  If you want to avoid the wait for the water to heat, fill from a warm water source like a tap with a hose bib attachment, or directly from your hot water tank.   If you are filling from a straight hot source, fill the bottom third of the spa with cold water first as otherwise your spa will overheat and shut down.

pH Balance

Balance pH and Alkalinity first. PH, Alkalinity, and chlorine will affect each other, as will the chemicals you are adding to adjust them. Some chemicals you are adding have a slower or a higher reaction time, so be aware of each (read the instructions on the bottle) and allow proper time for them to work. For example Ph booster is quick, and PH reducer takes more time. If your water has low alkalinity, you will not be able to control the pH level.  Alkalinity should be between 80ppm and 120 ppm- aim for 100 ppm to start.  PH should be between 7.4 and 7.5.  This is orange to red color in the test drop kits.  If pH is excessively low (below 6.8 ppm), and adding 3 capfuls of pH booster does not bring you into the target range then the alkalinity is affecting it and should be raised to 100 ppm to continue with balancing pH.   High pH will cause scale and reduced chlorine effectiveness.  Low pH means the water is acidic and you can get spa component damage.  Low pH also has a higher chlorine smell.  The major challenge is making these measurements balance.  Keep track of what works for your water source, and keep doing it.  The same chemicals that lower the pH also lower the alkalinity, so that can cause a very annoying cycle.  If this is a weekly maintenance visit, and your chlorine is above 6 ppm, you should lower your chlorine before testing for pH.

Calcium

Calcium should be between 200 and 400 ppm in pools, and between 150 and 250 ppm in spas.  Elk Valley water typically requires Cal-Rise added to new water.  Water that is high in calcium hardness can cause “hard or gritty” feeling water, and calcium deposits (white scale that can not be rubbed off) can form.  It can get very cloudy unless the pH and alkalinity are low enough to compensate.  Water low in calcium will try to draw out calcium from sources it touches.  To prevent scaling in your spa, at each water change you can add PREVENT II.   This both prevents and treats scale build up and gritty water.  Add 100 ml per 1000L of water every 4 days for two weeks.  You will notice white dusting in the filter, and a filter clean at this time is important.  Do not try to scrub scale as you will damage the acrylic in the spa.

Potential Hazards

Please note that there are health hazards to an improperly maintained spa, therefore there is a basic level of sanitization that is required to address bacteria, parasites, microbials, and/ or water-borne pathogens in the water. If any of these are present in the spa it can cause several serious infections including skin rashes, eye and ear infections, and pneumonia. These are controlled by the level of sanitization (chlorine) in the water. The more the hot tub is used, the faster the sanitization is used up. The amount of sanitization each week required for the water to stay clean and safe is based on:     

            How many people are in the spa and for how long.

            The level of contaminants on each person. Contaminants can include but are not limited to: dirt, germs, bacteria, hair products,                  skin products, laundry care products in suits, and aromatherapy salts or oils introduced in the water.     

            How long between sanitization (technician visits) which allows them to grow and reproduce without proper sanitization levels.

Chlorine

There should be a consistent level of chlorine in the spa at all times, not too high (above 5) and not too low (between 1.5 and 4 depending on other methods such as UV, Ozone, and Aquafinesse).  Sanitization can be added in the form of a teaspoon of Chlor-Aid after each average use and also Spa Tabs which will float in the chlorine dispensers which are opened based on use.  Normal use means the dispenser is open about 2 mm.  With Aquafinesse, Ozone, and UV bulbs systems, your chlorine level can be 1.5 to 2 ppm.  If you don’t have these, your chlorine level should be between 4 and 5 ppm.  Using your spa with chlorine above 5 ppm will cause itchy skin and red eyes.  Chlorine above 10 ppm is toxic.  Sundance Spas recommend chlorine sanitization over bromine as bromine can make the quartz in the UV clear ray bulb cloudy and reduce the effectiveness. 

If you test your water and there is little or no chlorine in it, you will know that bacteria and pathogens are building up.  Green water is a sure sign of bacteria.  You will need to shock to both inactivate the bacteria build up and then re-establish the proper chlorine levels.   Free chlorine is the chlorine that is open to sanitize.  When you add chlorine, you are increasing the free chlorine levels. Combined chlorine tells you how much chlorine has been used up, or has combined with microbials.  This can still provide some sanitization, however it is not as effective. Total chlorine is the two added together.  The free chlorine should be higher than the combined chlorine for your spa to be properly sanitized.

A chlorine shock is used to inactivate or destroy microbials and restock the chlorine levels in the spa. Each type of bacteria has a different level of tolerance to chlorine or other sanitization. The most common bacteria can be controlled with a small shock, which is raising the chlorine levels to 9-ppm. Leave the cover off and let it run a full jet cycle.  Test the chlorine again to ensure it is a safe level before using.  You may need to add X-it to lower the levels prior to use.

Cyanuric Acid

After a few months of using your spa water, you should start to test for Cyanuric Acid.  Cyanuric acid is a stabilizer and a sunscreen that is added to chlorine tabs and granules. Chlorine would be ineffective once exposed to sunlight if this were not added, and it also would dissolve immediately in the spa, requiring daily checks and balances. As chlorine is dissolved in your water, cyanuric and other acids/binders are also released. There are no reliable neutralizers for cyanuric acid build up outside of a water change. Higher level of acid, chlorine, and other chemicals in the spa also causes rust and damage to the spa parts.  If cyanuric acid is above 100 ppm in spas, it can make chlorine much less effective.  You should drain your water and start fresh.

Before you drain your water, you will need to neutralize it with X-it.

Care for your Spa

Spa cover care is an important component of spa care- be careful not to puncture or scratch the cover during use or steam will infiltrate the insulation barrier.  A cover lifter will help you open and close the cover without damage.  If the cover starts to get heavy (above 25 lbs per side) it is a sign on water saturation.  Water saturation makes less safe to open your spa (back strain) and reduces the insulation value, increasing your costs.  Snow Valley Spas recommends replacing the cover if one side reaches 25 pounds.  A new cover will cost between $450 and $650, and we will occasionally have used ones in stock that will fit your spa. 

Oh my goodness. If you understand all this you are a star.  If not, keep referring back as needed, you will get there, and you can always count on us!

Filters

Spa Filters are the first line of defense against unwanted particles and debris in your hot tub water. A spa filter can extend the life of your Sundance spa by working with the entire purification system to keep the water clean and clear. Easy to clean and easy to use, different types of spa filters are used for the various hot tub models.

They need to be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis, and every time the water is changed, wee recommend a water change at least every 4 months, and never when it is below -10 out! Snow Valley Spas carries a full selection of all Sundance®model filters and many other popular brands check in with us today. If we do not have it in stock we can order it for you. Contact us for information about a specific spa filter if we don’t typically carry it, we can try to order it  in for you.