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Care of Swim Spas

Swim Spa Care -  is it a swimming pool or a big hot tub?

A Swim Spa is both a swimming pool and a spa or hot tub. And it's neither! What?

Let's look at what makes them unique to care for & treat.


Pool similarities:

  • "cooler" water - typically 85° - 95° F
  • "larger" bodies of water
  • "larger" surface areas & equipment


Spa / Hot tub similarities:

  • "larger" & more plumbing area
  • "smaller" body of water - compared to even a small aboveground pool - usually between 1500 and 3000 gallons
  • "larger" bather loads - number of people per gallon using the swim spa
  • "warmer" water - compared to the average swimming pool at about 80° F
  • "aerated" water - lots of bubbles & infused air into the water system (leads to more gassing or aerosolizing of care chemicals)
  • water is typically heated MOST of the time (especially indoor swim spas)
  • need to be purged, drained & refilled on a regular basis
  • Build ups of bio-films leading to White Water Mold & Pink Slime are more of problem in swim spas as opposed to algae.  Cloudy water issues are due to the accumulation of bio-films and bather waste (higher bather loads).


Not only those differences but you also need to take into consideration if the swim spa is used indoors and year round or outdoors and seasonal.

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swim spa care particulars

Swim Spa care details...

A Swim Spa is both a swimming pool and a spa or hot tub. And it's neither!


We just looked at the differences & some of the water treatment basics. Let's put it all together.


First what do we want to accomplish? We want crystal clear water that is well balanced, bacteria & algae free, that will be friendly to the equipment, easy on our bodies, simple to maintain, and cost effective. And all of that is possible with minimal effort!


Second, what combination of chemicals (a care system) works best? Over the past 2 years we've been helping customers with swim spas determine the best care program for their individual needs and addressing their individual concerns. For all swim spas, be sure to maintain a chlorine level of about 1.0 - 2.0 ppm or if using bromine, 2.0 - 4.0 ppm.


Simplest & most economical - Chlorine plus. BioGuard® Super Soluble® or Silkguard Tabs® (1") plus Optimizer Plus® (maintained at about 50 ppm to inhibit algae growth). Shock monthly with Oxysheen MPS shock. Add 2 oz. of ActivNzyme to digest "un-filterable" swimmer waste, added weekly (per 2,000 gallons). AquaFinesse® Swim Spa tablets (1 tab per 2,500 gallons every 2 weeks) further prevent bio-film build up in the extensive plumbing lines & jets of the swim spa leading to decreased chlorine use, cleaner filters, better "feel" & increased swimmer comfort. This is the #1 choice.


Simple & a little more - Ionizers plus. Nature2® or Pool Frog® cartridges are installed & replaced about every 4 months according to manufacturer's instructions. Again, Optimizer Plus® (maintained at about 50 ppm to inhibit algae growth). Shock monthly with Oxysheen MPS shock.  2 oz. of ActivNzyme ® to digest "un-filterable" swimmer waste, added weekly (per 2,000 gallons). AquaFinesse® Swim Spa tablets (1 tablet per 2,500 gallons weekly) further prevent bio-film build up in the extensive plumbing lines & jets of the swim spa leading to decreased chlorine use, cleaner filters, better "feel" & increased swimmer comfort.


A more natural solution - AquaFinesse® plus Pristine Blue®.  AquaFinesse® is a proven product & the results are outstanding! AquaFinesse Swim Spa tablets aid in controlling bio-films which typically consume bacteria & add to unwanted odors, not to mention unsightly waterline build up. The water stays more "naturally" balanced, softer feeling and better smelling. 


A cleaning note - remember to chemically clean the swim spa filter(s) every 6 to 8 weeks.  Why so often? As noted, swim spas' higher water temperatures and higher bather loads put more stress on the cartridge filters with excess swimmer waste. Although natural enzymes help considerably, regular cleaning gives them a much longer life (do you rinse your dirty clothes or launder them?). Our favorite chemical filter cleaner is Natural Chemistry® Filter Perfect (uses enzymes plus natural acids that are easy on lawns & most plantings). Very effective & easy to use.


Purging & Draining - Like spas, you have a "higher" bather load. You will have good success if you purge, drain & refill your swim spa about every 2 - 3 years depending on swim spa size & use (check with your local dealer before draining). Four people using a 2000 gallon swim spa would be like having 75 or so people using an average swimming pool; plus the higher water temperature. Purging & draining is like "rebooting" the spa & starting fresh.  Over time, "unfilterables" build up & just become an obstacle to water care.


The only way to thoroughly remove the obstacle is to start fresh. AquaFinesse Spa Clean tablets added about 24 prior to draining will aid in purging the plumbing lines & hidden areas of bio-films so you can have a good, clean start.

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