The Cave family recently moved into a new house that includes a hot tub. The old owners had a few of sheets of maintenance instructions, but they neglected to leave them behind. I have done some web browsing and although there is a lot of info about buying a hot tub, I did not find much info on maintaining one. Most of the advice I saw suggested that new owners should call up a service, have them check out the equipment and teach you about the system. So I called someone and he is coming out next week. However, being impatient, I thought I would ask here and see if anyone wants to help out. Here is what I know so far as well as the questions I have. Thanks in advance…
I bought some test strips to test the water and the bromine level is very low. There is a bromine floater in the tub and it still has two and a half pellets. Am I supposed to add more pellets? Do I add bromine directly? Or do I do something else?
The tub has a few controls and I am not sure which is which. There are two external button switches which seem to connect to the heater system. Turning them on kicks out a lot of bubbles and such. Do these control the air injectors (as opposed to the water jets)? When I turn them on, the water seems to eventually warm up, but only slightly. Even after letting them run for many hours, the water temp only went up to 88 F (from exactly what I don’t remember; I would guess a little lower than room temp). The PVC pipe connecting the heater and tub certainly got warmer, but not hot. The heater thermostat is cranked and I think it was replaced recently.
There is also a pair of dials built in to the tub. Turning these on seemed to kick water out of the jets. Are these water jets or air injectors? Do these need to be on to raise the water temp?
Even with everything off, there is still something running. There is a little bit of water (or air) coming out of two of the jets. I read that some tubs have a circulating pump that runs 24/7, but the thing is, I don’t remember this running when we first moved in. How do I tell?
There is a cover on the tub and the bottom side has gotten a fair amount of mildew. Is this normal and it needs to be periodically cleaned? Or is it a side-effect of one the above questions (bromine too low, pump always running).
In case it matters, the tub is indoor and installed in the floor. There is a dehumidifier in the room, but I haven’t been running it. I assumed that I just need to run it after using (and closing) the tub.
Finally, I read that I am supposed to clean the filter every week, test the water 1-3 times a week, and shock the tub every 2-3 months. Does this sound about right? Is there anything else I need to do periodically?