One of the easiest ways to protect your swim spa and keep it in good condition is to cover it when you are not using it. This will keep debris out and help keep the water clean. It also helps your swim spa run more efficiently by maintaining the correct water temperature, which helps keep things in working condition.
You should regularly check the water level in your swim spa to ensure optimal performance. 
You should regularly test the water in your swim spa to check the quality of sanitization. You can use test strips to do this weekly at home, but we also recommend bringing us a water sample for a complete water test analysis. 

When you hop in your swim spa for a swim or just to relax, you want the water to be clean and clear. Check the pH and chlorine levels, adding product as needed. Your pH should be be 7.4 – 7.6 pH and and chlorine should be  2 – 4 ppm. You should not use your swim spa if the water is cloudy or when total chlorine levels are above 5ppm. 

Test water and treat accordingly to maintain proper pH and free chlorine levels for continued sanitary conditions after use. The amount of people using the spa (and duration of use) will deplete chlorine levels. If your family spends the day in the swim spa, the free chlorine might test below total chlorine, resulting in a more frequent need to use an oxidizer/non-chlorine shock treatment. 

Check if your water is balanced using chemical test strips or water care kit. Adjust alkalinity, pH, and chlorine as needed. 

Clean your filters monthly to ensure proper sanitization and routine maintenance.

Pressure Filters

Turn off or unplug your spa. On top of the filter, there is a thumbscrew. Turn the thumbscrew counterclockwise to release pressure in the filter. Remove the large ring around the filter top by lifting the button and turning counterclockwise. Pull up on life and remove the filter cartridge from the inside of the filter canister. Rinse the cartridge and soak it in filter cleaner. Place the cartridge back in the filter chamber. Replace the lid, replace the large ring, and turn the thumbscrew clockwise to tighten. Turn the spa back on and enjoy!

Skim Filters

Turn off or unplug the spa. Remove the grate on top of the filter cartridge. Remove the cartridge from the inside of the filter canister. Rinse the cartridge and soak it in filter cleaner. After cleaning place the cartridge back into the canister. Replace grate. Turn the spa on and enjoy!


What may result from a dirty filter? A dirty filter means a low flow rate, and this means trouble. Without proper flow, your heater will not heat properly and sometimes not at all. This could cause permanent damage to your filter and automatically VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

Depending on usage, you will want to drain, clean, and refill your swim spa every six months. 

Cleaning Your Swim Spa

Soak in your spa's sparkling clean water by following these simple cleaning tips.

  1. For the whole spa: Use a mild non-abrasive, non sudsing cleaner and a soft rag or nylon scrubber to remove dirt build-up.
  3. For minor surface cleaning: Use common baking soda to clean small surface areas.
  5. For a shiny look: Apply FreshWater Spa Shine to your clean and dry spa shell.
  7. For spa pillows: Follow the instructions in your Owner's Manual to remove and clean your spa pillows.
  9. For vinyl cover: First remove the cover and spray it lightly with a garden hose to loosen any dirt or debris that might have built up. Then, using a mild soap solution (1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid with 2 gallons water) or baking soda, scrub the vinyl in a circular motion with a large sponge and rinse with a garden hose. Rinse the bottom of the cover without using soap, and wipe it clean with a dry rag. To condition the cover after cleaning, apply a thin film of Hot Spring Cover Shield product.

Water is the essence of your spa, so it should be fresh, clean and ready to enjoy. Hot Springs offers two accessories to keep your water clean and your care routine easy.

Spa Vac: Spa Vac cleans dirt, gravel, leaves and other debris without draining your spa. This self-contained, simple-to-use water vacuum requires no pumping, batteries or water hook-ups, while the telescopic aluminum pole makes it easy to remove debris from hard-to-reach areas. You can also it on your swimming pool steps and in fountains.

Helpful Hint: To keep detergent and soap residue out of your spa water, shower without soap before soaking in your spa, and instead of washing your bathing suit use the rinse cycle.

Clean Your Swim Spa Filter Cartridges

Because mineral particles or calcification from hard water can clog any water filtration system, we recommend following these light cleaning tips each month to keep your spa's water flowing properly.

  1. Spray cartridges: Spray each cartridge with a garden hose, rotating while spraying to thoroughly remove any debris between filter pleats.
  3. Use filter cleaner: Use filter cleaner to keep your filters clean and in good operating condition.
  5. Replace filters: While cleaning your filters will help keep water running smoothly, you should replace your filters every three years with genuine Watkins replacement filters.

Replacing Your Spa Water

While following spa water cleaning tips will keep your water fresh longer, soaps and detergents can build over time in your spa to cause residue. Know how to replace your water with these steps:

  1. Drain and refill tub: Following the instructions in your Owner's Manual, drain and refill the water in your spa to clear detergent and soap residue that may have accumulated over time.