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SpaDuck Softub Help Page 1

The Chemistry of Softub, SplashTub &
Hot Tub Water Care

Balanced spa water that is maintained to be clean, healthy, & sparkling clear provides the most enjoyment for your spa experience and greatly increases the life of your Softub. You will find information on Softub chemicals, Softub and Hot Tub maintenance, & water care on this page. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us by email.

The Basics:

SANITIZE: A disinfectant level of 3-5 parts per million (PPM) Bromine or Chlorine is necessary to continuously kill bacteria. Bromine, unlike Chlorine, is effective even after disinfecting. It has a less offensive odor and causes less irritation than Chlorine. Bromine is also more pH stable, it is easier to maintain the proper level by using tablets in a convenient floating dispenser. However, being more stable than Chlorine it can also be more difficult to remove the odor from your skin.

SHOCK: Shock treatment is best accomplished by the addition of an oxidizer to the water to break down organic contaminants. These contaminants include: dirt, soap films, oils, & perspiration. Filters do not always trap these and other very small particles. If they are allowed to remain in the water they can provide a food source for bacteria and algae. Regular shock treatments will eliminate these contaminants. It is best to use a Non-Chlorine Oxidizing Agent such as our Shock Oxidizer.

pH:  When the mineral components of spa water are in correct proportion to one another, the result is "balanced" water. When balanced, the water is neither too alkaline (pH above 7.8) which causes destructive scale buildup on equipment, or too acidic (pH below 7.2) which will corrode metals and cause costly damage to spa pumps, seals, & heaters. Balanced water has a more pleasant feel to the skin and allows your sanitizer to work more effectively. To keep pH in balance, you can use our pH & Alkalinity Increase and pH & Alkalinity Decrease.

TOTAL ALKALINITY: Total alkalinity (TA) is also important. It is the measure of all the alkaline material in the water. It is really an indicator of the ability of the water to resist changes in pH. This is known as the water's buffering capacity. The ideal range for TA is 80-100 PPM. The pH & Alkalinity Increase and pH & Alkalinity Decrease can also help keep the total alkalinity in balance.

CALCIUM HARDNESS: Depending on where you live, you may have what is commonly referred to as "hard water" (water with high levels of dissolved calcium) or "soft water" (water with relatively low levels of dissolved calcium). There is some latitude in acceptable ranges for dissolved calcium. Generally, a range of 150 to 300 PPM (or even somewhat higher) is acceptable. Hard water can be helped with the addition of our Metal & Stain Control while soft water can be helped with the addition of our Calcium Hardness Increaser.


Adjusting your Softub water for proper pH, Total Alkalinity, & Calcium Hardness is very important, but really not that difficult! Remember what works for your Softub may not work for other Softubs. If you find a process that works stick with it and do not change it!


Balancing Your Water: If you are new to this subject, please refer below to the "The Definitions of Water Terms" first, for a basic understanding.

For testing and adjusting your Hot Tub spa water, you should have these basic supplies on hand:

  • 3-way test strips (Bromine or Chlorine) or Select test strips
  • pH & Alkalinity Increase
  • pH & Alkalinity Decrease
  • Calcium Hardness Increaser
  • pH Lock (this is optional)


Always test for total alkalinity (TA) first, using test strips or a kit. The acceptable range is 60-180 PPM. If total alkalinity is below 60 PPM, add Amerse pH & Alkalinity Increase until a reading of about 100-120 PPM is reached. If above 180, add Amerse pH & Alkalinity Decrease until a reading of about 120-140 PPM is attained.

STEP 2 - pH

Now check for proper pH level. The acceptable range is 7.2 to 7.8 . If below 7.2, add Amerse pH & Alkalinity Increase until a reading of about 7.4 is reached. Keep in mind that Increase will also raise the total alkalinity, so if the TA is already high, you might want to use Soda Ash. If the pH is above 7.8, add Amerse pH & Alkalinity Decrease until a reading of about 7.6 is reached.

Once pH adjustments have been made, you can lock pH into balance by adding Amerse pH Lock and there will be no need for further adjustments for at least 3 months! Note: pH holding products are not recommended in areas with high water hardness (above 500 PPM).


The ideal calcium hardness level for Softub spas is 200-400 PPM. If your level is below about 150 PPM, some erosion of equipment parts can occur. Low hardness can be corrected with Calcium Hardness Increaser .

Note: Use of Calcium Hardness Increaser is not recommended if you are using pH Lock or other pH holding products.


Weekly Reminders

In addition to regular water testing and necessary adjustments to pH, alkalinity & sanitizer, the following three products should be used in a weekly regimen to encourage the clearest, freshest water possible:

1. Shock Oxidizer (2 ounces a week)
When sanitizer combines with bacteria it becomes ineffective, can cause cloudy water, & can create an unpleasant chemical odor. Shock Oxidizer uses sanitizer and eliminates the potential for these problems. Always remove the Softub cover for at least 15 minutes after adding Shock Oxidizer to allow proper oxidation.

During periods of heavy use, you may need to shock your water more often if you experience cloudy water or a chemical odor.

2. Crystal Clear Clarifier (1 ounce a week)
Microscopic particles can create cloudy water because they are so tiny that they pass right through the filter. Refresh helps combine these particles into larger, filterable particles that can then be eliminated in the filtration process.

3. Enzyme (1 capful per week)
A natural enzyme that biodegrades oils and body lotions that can create scum lines at the water line and clog your spa filter. Used regularly, Enzyme breaks down oils and lotions before they create a mess in the Softub.

Monthly Reminders

The following maintenance procedures should be done monthly (or as needed) to aid in water quality and protect the beauty of the Softub.

1. Remove all debris from the suction intake cover.

2. Clean all exterior surfaces of the Softub. Cover Care Cleaner will keep the vinyl clean and looking like new.

3. Remove and grit or other debris that may have been tracking into the spa.

4. Clean your Softub filter with Filter Revive. Filter Revive removes body oils and lotions in addition to minerals and scale that build-up on the spa filter. The use of Filter Revive each month will ensure cleaner water and prolong the life of the filter. Replace your Softub filter at least once a year or as needed.


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