Hot Tub Care

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Keeping a clean, well balanced hot tub is much like maintenance on a pool, just a bit faster rate. Hot tubs go through faster chemical changes due to heat and aeration so they require additional care and upkeep. Below we have outlined some simple steps to ensure your hot tub stays clean and safe.

When taking care of your hot tub there are two major methods of sanitation, chlorine and bromine. Chlorine tends to be the cheaper option out of the two choices, but requires more maintenance.Due to the heat in hot tubs, chlorine becomes ineffective at a quicker rate, where as bromine lasts much longer, requiring less application and maintenance. Whether convenience or price rules out the use of chlorine or bromine, maintenance and upkeep is key for healthy water. Below we have put together some easy to follow steps to keep your hot tub clean and clear.
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Upon filling or re-filling your hot tub, shock (the process of adding an excess of chlorine to raise FC levels to destroy bacteria and algae)  your water with a dichlor shock, such as Leslie’s Chlor Brite. Test your water and add Chlor Brite until you reach about 10 ppm of free chlorine or FC.
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After the initial shock, you will want to keep your FC levels around 3-6 ppm on a regular basis, adding Chlor Brite accordingly.
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For first time hot tub owners, you’ll want to test your FC levels before and after hot tub use on a daily basis. Veteran hot tub owners will want to test weekly. Remember 3-6 ppm of FC is what your looking for. Once you have established the amount of dichlor needed to stay within this range, you can adjust dosage as needed.
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Make to account for any heavy usage of your hot tub. For instance, if you have multiple people in the hot tub for an extended period of time, it’s always a good idea to then shock your hot tub to bring FC levels up.
Note: If FC levels drop below 0, it creates a breading ground for bacteria and can cause problems, so it’s important to test your water to maintain a trouble free hot tub.
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Start by creating a Bromide reserve. This can be quickly achieved by adding sodium bromide to your hot tub. To be an effective sanitizer bromine needs this reserve of Sodium Bromide plus an oxidizer such as shock.
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After successfully adding a bromide reserve, shock your hot tub. You will want to test and  shock your hot tub until your reach about 10ppm of bromine. Wait until this level drops below 10ppm before entering the hot tub.
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Upon reaching proper bromine levels, you have the option add bromine Tabs with a bromine dispenser or continue to apply bromine and and oxidizer such as chlorine or Leslies Fresh ‘N Clear (sometimes referred to as non-chlorinated shock or MPS) to maintain proper bromine levels. Either way, you will want to keep bromine levels around 4-6 ppm.
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Using bromine does not eliminate the need to shock your hot tub. You will still have to shock weekly to burn off any organic contaminants that accumulate in the hot tub. After each shock wait until bromine levels drop below 10ppm before entering.
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Obtain a good test kit and test the bromine and pH before entering in your hot tub each time. Test for bromine, pH TA and CH weekly. CYA does not affect a bromine system and does not have to be tested.
Note: Whether or not you decide to sanitize your hot tub using chlorine or bromine, you will always want to drain and fill your hot tub every 3-4 months to keep it well sanitized.
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The most important step in maintaining a healthy, clean hot tub is balancing your water. Keeping well balanced water will ensure the chemicals added to your hot tub do their job and leave spa goers with clean water. Start out by acquiring a good test kit or taking your water in to one of the 800 national Leslie’s Stores to get your water tested for free. follow the steps below to test and balance your water.
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Test for CH or Calcium Hardness levels. You want your levels to be at about 150 ppm. If your CH levels are below 100 ppm you’ll want to add a calcium increaser such as Leslie’s Hardness Plus. Low CH levels can lead to corrosive conditions that can damage your hot tub and high levels will cause scale build-up.
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Test your TA or Total Alkalinity in your hot tub. Levels should be at about 50ppm. If levels are low use Leslie’s Soda Ash to quickly raise the TA levels in your hot tub. If your levels measure low add Leslie’s Dry Acid to increase levels. It’s important to note that the aeration of hot tub jets will also lower TA levels. If you will be running the hot tub jets, take this into account.
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Test pH levels. Your levels should be in the 7.2 to 7.8 range. To increase levels add Soda Ash or add Dry Acid to lower levels. If you have continuous level changes that are hard to maintain, consider using a product like pH Lock when refilling your spa with water. This stabilizes the pH and controls water balance, making maintenance easier. Don’t forget, aeration will increase pH levels and lower TA levels. A good idea is to test pH before and after hot tub usage, then account for the chemical changes when using the hot tub.

Pool Test Kits

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will teach you how to properly use a test kit at home.

  • Test kits measure pH, total alkalinity, and sanitizer
  • We recommend the DPD Deluxe Test Kit from Taylor
  • The test kit has enough supplies to last for 1 year
  • Store your test materials in a cool, dry place, and pay attention to the expiration date

Video transcription:

Regularly testing your water is the best way to keep your pool and spa clean, safe and ready to enjoy. During swim season we recommend testing your water two times per week.

Now the two most common ways to test your water are by using test kits or test strips. This video looks at test kits which use chemicals called reagents to react with the sample of your pool water and give you an accurate reading on your pools pH, total alkalinity and sanitizer like chlorine or bromine.

We recommend the DPD deluxe test kit from Taylor. It’s the perfect test kit for people who want to test their water at home. It has enough supplies to last a year and includes a simple waterproof instruction card. When you’re not using the test kit, store in a cool dry place. That helps keep the equipment and reagents in tip top shape.

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In addition to testing your water at home, you should bring in a sample of your water into one of our stores every two weeks for a free test and analysis. Our trained team members will conduct a nine-point of your water sample and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix any problems or maintain your pool’s water chemistry.

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Thanks for watching. Our goal at Leslie’s is to make pool care easy.

If you have any other questions about water testing, visit Water Testing, or go to lesliespool.com

General Water Testing Tips

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Testing your pool water is easily one of the most important things you can do for your pool. By obtaining an accurate reading of your water chemistry, you can understand exactly how much product to put in your pool. This not only saves you money by preventing the possibility of over-treating your water, but also keeps your pool healthy all year long.

While testing your water can be completed at a local Leslie’s store, there are also home options available for you to use such as test kitstest strips, and electronic testing equipment.

While testing your water at home is simple, there are a few things you should know to ensure proper readings.

  • When taking water samples, the ideal sample will be from about 12”-18” below the water surface after the system has been on for around an hour.
  • High chlorine levels can skew other readings such as pH and total alkalinity. If high levels of chlorine are present, make sure to use a chlorine neutralizer per the instructions on your kit.

Note: There is no chlorine neutralizer for test strips. Therefore, a test kit using reagents may be a better option if you experience high chlorine levels regularly.

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  • If you are having chlorine issues in your pool, the best time to get a water sample is in the morning. Even with proper amounts of chlorine stabilizer in the pool, chlorine will be burned off during the day. By testing it in the morning, your pool water has had a chance to circulate all night and your levels are only minimally influenced by the sun.
  • When using test strips, there is usually a 10-20 second wait period for the pool water to change the colors on the strips. Once the stated time period has passed, compare the test strip as soon as possible. Waiting too long may allow the colors to continue changing, in turn giving you an inaccurate reading. This applies when using reagents as well.
  • When using a test kit, slowly add the reagents to the water. Sometimes, reactions in the water take a moment to occur. Adding reagents too quickly may skew your readings.
  • Store all test materials in a cool, dark area.
  • Check your testing materials for accuracy on a yearly basis. Like most things, these materials can expire. When that happens, readings are typically incorrect.
  • Even if you test your water at home on a consistent basis, taking a sample into a local Leslie’s store to get complete test results ensures all aspects of your water are in their proper ranges.
  • Water tests should be completed before adding any chemicals. On that same note, pool chemicals can take up to a day (sometimes longer depending on the product) to have their full effect seen in a water test. Therefore, it is a good rule of thumb to wait at least 24 hours after adding chemicals to test your water again.
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  • If you have any other questions about water testing, please call us at 1-800-LESLIES or visit your local Leslie’s store.
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Water Testing Methods

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There are three different methods available to test your pool water.

Test Strips

Water test strips are probably the easiest way possible to check your water chemistry. With a quick dip in the pool, colored blocks on the test strip will indicate where your chemical levels are at. Products such as AquaChek test strips will measure total chlorine, total bromine, free chlorine, cyanuric acid, pH, total hardness, and total alkalinity.

In a matter of seconds, you can see where your readings compare to the ideal ranges. The ease-of-use of this option make test strips one of the most popular ways of testing water, especially since their accuracy is comparable to test kits using liquid reagents.

Use this if…
You want to quickly test your water and see the results instantly.

Test Kit

Test kits use liquid reagents to measure your water chemistry. Drops of the reagents are combined with a sample of pool water and the resulting color is then compared to a chart to determine your chemical levels.

When you are using reagents, make sure to follow the given directions exactly. An extra drop added in a water test can change your readings and result in an incorrect level being reported.

Test kits are advantageous for a number of reasons. First of all, test kits are extremely accurate and the method of choice for many pool professionals. Many users also find color changes more distinct than strips when testing.

Use this if…
You want the most accurate results, but don’t want to spend the extra money for an electronic tester.

Electronic Testing

Combining the convenience of test strips and the accuracy of reagents, electronic testing equipment is available to take the guess-work out of water testing. Multiple types of equipment are available, although all will be more expensive than test strips or test kits.

A product like ColorQ PRO 7 Photometer Kit uses liquid reagents just like test kits do, except an electronic photometer reads the color for you. A vial of water is inserted into the device and after a simple press of the button, your reading (pH level, for example) is digitally displayed.

On the other hand, other products simply need to be dipped into the water briefly to display a pH, chlorine, or salt reading.

Regardless of the type of equipment you own, all electronic testers need to be properly calibrated on a regular basis. Over time, readings may become skewed if this step is neglected.

Use this if…
You want the most accurate reading possible and cost is not an issue.

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pH Made Easy

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will teach you all about pH, and how to make sure it stays within the proper range.

  • Test your water using a test kit or test strips.
  • Adjust your pH until it reaches 7.4 – 7.6. To raise low pH levels use Leslie’s Soda Ash and to lower pH levels apply Leslie’s Dry Acid.
  • Having a low pH can damage your pool.
  • A high pH can cause cloudy water or scale formation.
  • Test your pH by using test strips, test kits, or bring a sample into your local Leslie’s store and have it tested for free.
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If you have any other questions about water testing, visit lesliespool.com or reach out to one of our knowledgeable staff members at one of our 800 stores.

Video transcription:

In order to keep your pool water clean, safe and ready to enjoy you have to make sure that the water is properly balanced. Water chemistry is an important part of taking care of your pool. A proper water balance make sure that everybody’s comfortable when swimming. That’s especially important for pH. You may remember from science class that ph tells how acidic or alkaline a solution is.

Human tears have a pH of about 7.5, lemon juice which is very acidic has a pH between 2 and 2.5. That’s why your eyes sting whenever you get lemon juice in. The Ideal range for pH for your pool water is between 7.4 and 7.6.

Now when your ph is out of balance it can cause a lot of discomfort for the people swimming in your pool. Itchy skin and red irritated eyes are the most common complaint but it can also damage your pool. Low pH can cause vital liners to stretch and stains and etching on the plaster. High pH can cause cloudy water or scale formation.

You’ll also notice that when your ph is out of balance your chlorine is not as effective. So you wind up using more chemicals. You can test your pH by using test strips or test kits that you can find in any Leslies store or you can bring in a sample of your water to one of our stores and have it tested for free.

If your pH is low, you can add Leslies Soda Ash to help raise it. If your ph is high, you can add Leslie’s Dry Acid or Muriatic Acid which is a liquid to help lower the pH.

Always read and follow label instructions when adding any chemicals to your pool. They contain important safety information as well as proper dosage and application instructions.

Thanks for watching. Our goal at Leslie’s is to make pool care easy. For more information visit

any of our stores or our website lesliespool.com

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Test Kits

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will show you how to use water testing kits, specifically the DPD Deluxe Test Kit from Taylor.

  • Test kits give you readings on your pool’s pH, total alkalinity, and sanitizer
  • Before collecting a water sample, let your pump run for at least one hour
  • Take your water sample from 12” to 18” below the surface
  • When adding reagents to your water sample, hold the reagent bottle vertical, and add drops slowly
  • Your pool’s pH should be between 7.4 – 7.6
  • Your pool’s chlorine reading should range between 1 – 3 ppm
  • Your pool’s alkalinity level should be between 80 – 120 ppm
  • Store your test kit in a cool, dry place, and pay attention to the expiration date.

If you have any other questions about testing your water, visit Water Testing, or go to lesliespool.com

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Video transcription:

Hi I’m Peter with Leslie’s swimming pool supplies and this video will teach you how to use a water testing kit. During the swim season, we suggest you test your water at least 2 times per week. Test Kits use reagents to react with the sample of your pool water to give you a reading of your pool’s pH, total alkalinity and sanitizer like chlorine and bromine.

We recommend the DPD Deluxe Test Kit from Taylor. It’s the perfect test kit for people who want to test their water at home. Before you collect your water samples let your pool pump run for at least 1 hour then rinse the water sample bottle and testing vial with pool water. Try to take your sample from 12 to 18 inches below the surface of the water for a more precise measurement.

When adding reagents to your water sample hold the reagent bottle vertical to the test vial to ensure uniform drop-size and get the most accurate test readings. To measure your pool waters pH, fill the larger side of the test vial to the top line then add five drops of reagent r4. Place the cap on the test vial and gently invert to mix the sample. Compare the color of the test sample to the color guide on the test vial. Your pool’s pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6.

Next you want to measure the chlorine in the water, fill the smaller side of the test vial to the top line and add five drops of reagent r1 and five drops of reagent r2 to the test sample. Place the cap on the test vial and gently invert to mix the sample. Again compare the color of the test sample to the color guide on the test vial. Your chlorine reading should be between 1 and 3 parts per million.

Finally, you should test your pool’s total alkalinity. Rinse the large test vial with pool water and then fill the vial to the middle line, 25 millilitres. Add two drops of reagent r7 and then five drops of reagent r8. Swirl the sample to mix. The test solution should turn green. Now slowly add reagent r9 one drop at a time swirling the mixture, keeping count as you go. Stop adding drops when the test solution changes from green to red. The ideal range for most pools on total alkalinity is between 80 to 120 parts-per-million.

Be sure to always follow label instructions on the test kit and add the reagents to the water slowly. Water test should be completed before you add any chemicals to your pool. Also pool chemicals can take up to a day to have their full effect. When you’re not using the test kit, store it in a cool dry place to help keep the equipment and reagents in good condition and pay close attention to the product’s expiration date. In addition to testing your water at home, you should bring a sample to one of our stores every two weeks for a free test and analysis.

If you have any other questions about water testing kits, call or visit your local Leslies store. For more

videos & pool care tips visit our website.

20 New Stores Opening This Week!

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It’s finally starting to heat up, and we can’t wait to relax by the pool! We’re happy to announce that another 20 Leslie’s stores are opening this week! With our announcement earlier this month, these 20 stores, and more to come very soon, we have over 850 retail stores. That’s 3,700 friendly pool experts ready to help you take full advantage of pool season!

From chlorine to robotic cleaners, pool toys to patio furniture – Leslie’s has you covered!

We offer free water testing at any of our retail locations!

The April 25th Grand Opening stores are in the following cities:

  • Madison, AL
  • Bolingbrook, IL
  • Portage, IN
  • Alexandria, LA
  • Arnold, MD
  • Blue Springs and Independence, MO
  • Olive Branch, MS
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Middletown, NY
  • Columbus, OH
  • Bartlesville and New Castle, OK
  • Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Murfreesboro, TN
  • Cleburne, Forney and Longview, TX
  • Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, VA

Check out our new store locator!

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We also recently launched our Leslie’s Rewards program. Members earn points for every purchase, and receive exclusive savings throughout the year.

Sign up for a Leslie’s Rewards Account here.