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Swim Spa Maintenance

Proper Maintenance is a must.
The Pool and Spa Informational Website

Sanitizer Choices, Considerations and Suggestions


Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Spa Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool or Spa Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool-Spa Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

ColorQ digital water analyzer. Arctic Spas Swim-Spa. MegaChlor salt chlorine generator for spas, swim spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons.
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How to promote Aquatic Fitness, in a Swim Spa?  Aquatic Fitness and Exercise programs are becoming more and more popular and a Swim Spa is a convenient, compact way to achieve those goals.  Increased physical activity can place extra demands on the sanitizing system and should be considered, when choosing a sanitizer.  Just because the total water volume is smaller than a pool, doesn't mean that less sanitizer will be required.  The choice of a sanitizer is important, as is how it is applied to the water.  There are optional fitness products, for every age and budget.  The basic choices include a group of products that allow you to swim endlessly in place, without the use of a supplemental pump, or Aquatic Jogging Systems, that allow you to perform a variety of stress-free, jogging or fitness exercises, even in a swim spa.  If problems arise, refer to the Spa Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

Salt Chlorine Generator Use In A Swim-Spa?

I recently cleaned and changed the water in my 1500 gallon SwimSpa with a Salt Chlorine Generator. I added the pool salt at the recommended dosage and the generator continued to indicate salt levels were extremely low. The chlorine test registered about 1.0 chlorine. I ran the boost cycle on the generator for about 10 hours a day for 2 days at 75% output and the generator still indicated extremely low levels. I added shock to the water yesterday and retested the water this morning. The chlorine test turned a burnt orange color and the pH level was 8.2. However, the generator is still indicating a low level of salt. Please help and advise how I need to proceed. Thanks

Ava T., 9/17/2018

There are several possibilities. You may not have added enough salt, which would reflect in low chlorine production. Not all brands require the same amount of salt and you may be using the wrong number of gallons. I suspect that you should have added at least somewhere around 30-40 pounds of salt. The salt testing monitor may not be working right or is correctly confirming that the salt level is actually low.  A dealer test can help settle that issue.

The color for the chlorine test suggests that you are using an OTO tester. That is a poor tester and you should consider an upgrade. The OTO tester only measures total chlorine. You want to measure free chlorine, which is the active germinal fo
rm. Total chlorine includes the odorous ineffective forms of chlorine and relying on total chlorine can provide a false sense of security. SmarterSpa complete unit

A salt chlorine generator is a good choice for a swim spa, provided it was designed for use in a swim spa and not just a spa. There is
little doubt, that the chlorine is too high, The salt chlorinator should be turned off, until the chlorine level drops.

Your pH is too high and you need to add some pH reducer. With a salt chlorine generator, the pH always tends to rise and needs to be monitored and adjusted, as needed.  I suggest you upgrade your water testing. A ColorQ PRO 7 is all-digital and performs all of the tests, that you require, except for salt. Two really good electronic salt testers are available. One even does other important water chemistry tests, such as pH, free chlorine, TDS and ORP (shows how well the chlorine is working).  I hope that the information provided was helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 9/17/2018

Ozone In A SwimSpa?

Iím having trouble finding a brand of VUV Ozone Generators for a 2100 Gallon Swim Spa.  It seems all I can find so far are either too small, around 500 Gallon, or swimming pool sized the smallest so far seems to be on your site at 15,000 gallons.  Do you know of a brand that would work for 2100 Swim Spa size? I can find CD versions, but from all I have read the VUV versions are better.  Cheers.

Neill, 9/15/2016

Spas are well below 2100 gallons. Gallons are not necessarily the best way to determine needs. Bather usage and wastes added are better indicators. If a swim-spa has intense usage and generates a lot of bather waste. I would use an ozonator, intended for a small pool.  I hope that the information provided was helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 9/15/2016

Endlessly Swimming In Place?

I have a Swim Spa and I am not completely satisfied with my ability to swim endlessly.  It could be mt swimming technique, but is there something I can do to improve my performance?  Thanks for the help.

Karen H., Charlottesville, VA, 9/30/2015

Swim endlessly in place - inground with ladder mount.
By swimming into an adjustable current, you end up swimming in place.  However, your strokes and the power of the water stream have to be synchronized.  Even then, you may may not be able to duplicate the upward arching, due to the down-stroke.  The Super Aquatic Trainer is affordable and allows you to swim or walk away from the starting point, but holds you back and in place. It consists of a belt, tethered to a long flexible long. The harder you swim, the more resistance it provides. Either way you can swim endlessly, even in a swim spa.  At least one swim spa manufacturer is including this product, with their swim spas.  It is what swim professional use to train.  I hope that this will provide an endless amount of fun.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/1/2015

Sanitizing A Spa Swim?

I have a 15' swim spa.  Do I treat this like a spa or a pool? It's bigger than a spa, but far smaller than most pools. How should I approach sanitizing?  Thank you.

Jerry W., Sarasota, FL 4/12/2013

It really is closer to a pool.  The amount of wastes that are added are increased, by the higher level of activity.  In addition, the temperature is
Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. probably higher, than ambient.  This could increase the sanitizer requirement closer to that of a larger pool.  The important thing is to maintain a consistent, proper level of sanitizer.  How much is needed, will depend on the level and duration of the use of the swim spa.  A salt chlorine generator is a good way to control the amount of chlorine being added and it allows you to dial the level up or down, as needed.  Having some backup sanitizer such as a solar-powered pool purifier/mineralizer or an ultraviolet sterilizer, will help you maintain optimum conditions, while maintaining a lower level of chlorine.  Every pool, spa or swim spa is different, in terms of needs, and water testing and time will allow you to determine what works best. 

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/3/2011

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Swim Spa Water Testing?

We are about to have a swim spa installed.  We did own an inground pool, up north, about 15 years ago.  I never did like all that color-matching.  Can you recommend a tester that is simple to use and will spare me the stress of trying to match colors.  Thank you.

Marcia W., Boca Raton, FL, 6/14/2014One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers.

Things have changes, in the last 15 years.  You can do all the testers digitally and eliminate all color matching and guesswork.  That was not possible or affordable, back in the day.  A #2072 ColorQ PRO 6 or #2056 ColorQ PRO 7 Digital Water Analyzer is what I would recommend.  It will allow you to test for free and total chlorine, bromine, pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid.  In short, all the tests, that you should need, on a routine basis.  Good luck with the swim spa and I hope that this information helps you avoid the stress of color-matching.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 6/14/2014


Sanitizer Choice?

We are having a swim spa built in an enclosed space.  It will be used by two people, for about one hour daily, for aerobic and physical conditioning. How should you sanitize the water, in order to assure proper sanitizing and, yet, minimize the chemical sensations? I would rather not use chlorine. Thanks for your time and assistance.

Spencer S., Illinois, 8/11/2012

The physical exercise, from swimming in place or aquatic exercising, does place more demand on the sanitizer,
than just loungingMegaChlor salt chlorine generator for spas, swim spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons. in the water, because of the greater release of waste products. However, this can be overcome, with the right system. I would choose, one of several methods. You can use an ozone generator and a mineral sanitizer. An Ozone Generator will provide the necessary oxidation of bather wastes and organic byproducts. A Mineral Sanitizer will provide persist backup sanitation, by the slow release of sanitizing ions.  This will enable you to maintain quality water, while maintaining a chlorine or bromine level at 1/2 of the normal amount. A salt chlorine generator is another good option.  It allows you to dial the chlorine production up or down, depending on the usage and seasons.  It is still chlorine, but is the better way to do chlorine.  It works really well with an ozonator or mineral sanitizer, allowing you to get by with a much lower chlorine level. I hope that this information helps to keep you in the swim.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/11/2012

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