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Arctic Spas Manuals

A01 – Owners Manual

20. Water Maintenance

Water Maintenance

It’s important to have clean water. Water maintenance is one of the least understood, but very important areas of spa ownership. Your dealer can guide you through the process of achieving and maintaining perfect water in your spa, given your local conditions. Your program will depend on your water’s mineral content, how often you use your spa, and how many people use it. Here is our suggested step-by-step program:

General Information

There are three fundamental areas of water maintenance. They are (1) Chemical Balance/pH Control, (2) Water Sanitation, and (3) Water Filtration.

Although your spa’s filter system is working several hours a day to remove particles from your water, it does not remove bacteria or viruses. Water sanitation is the responsibility of the spa owner. It can be achieved through the regular and periodic (daily, if necessary) addition of an approved sanitizer. The sanitizer will chemically control the bacteria and viruses present in the spa water. Bacteria and viruses can grow quickly in under sanitized spa water. The water’s chemical balance and pH control are also the responsibility of the spa owner. You will have to add chemicals to maintain proper levels of Total Alkalinity (TA), Calcium Hardness (CH) and pH. Proper water balance and pH control will minimize scale buildup and corrosion of metals, extend the life of the spa, and allow the sanitizer to work at maximum efficiency.

For Onzen™ System: Please refer to your Onzen User Guide for direction in water maintenance. (Pg.96)

For Spa Boy® System: Please refer to your Spa Boy Owners manual for directions in water maintenance. (Pg.70)

Methods For Testing The Spa Water

Accurate water testing and analysis are an important part of effectively maintaining your spa water. To follow the Arctic Spas® recommended program, you must have the ability to test for:

  • Total Alkalinity (TA)
  • Calcium Hardness (CH)
  • pH
  • Sanitizer

Although reagent liquid test kits provide the highest level of accuracy, Test Strips are the most convenient testing method used by many spa owners. Keep in mind that test strips are susceptible to heat and moisture contamination, and have limited lifespans which can result in inaccurate readings.Very high sanitizer levels will also render test strips unreliable.

IMPORTANT: Always read and carefully follow the directions included with the Test Kit or Test Strips to ensure the accuracy of the test results.

Hints For Successful Water Testing

When using the reagent test kit:

  • Always take water samples 30-45 cm (12” – 18”) below the water surface.
  • Rinse the test cells before and after each use.
  • Do not dispose of test samples into the spa water.
  • When adding drops of chemicals from the kit (the reagents) into the test block, hold the bottle vertically and add the drops slowly to be sure the correct quantity is used.
  • The reagents should be replaced on a yearly basis to maintain the accuracy of the test results.

Basic Chemical Safety

When using chemicals, read the labels carefully and follow directions precisely. Though chemicals protect you and your spa when used correctly, they can be hazardous in concentrated form. Always observe the following guidelines:

  • Accurately measure the quantities specified. Do not overdose your spa. Amount required will vary depending on water condition, quantities to be used are only guidelines.
  • Store chemicals in a cool, dry, well ventilated place.
  • Always keep chemical containers closed when not in use.
  • Don’t inhale fumes or allow chemicals to come in contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands immediately after use.
  • Follow the emergency advice on the product label in case of accidental contact.
  • Never smoke around chemicals. Some fumes can be flammable.
  • Don’t store any chemicals in the spa equipment compartment.

Adding Chemicals to the Spa

Most chemicals (does not include any slow dissolving chemicals) can be added directly to the spa while the pump(s) is running on high speed, for a minimum of 10 minutes.


NOTE: After administering a super chlorination treatment or non-chlorine shock to your spa, leave the cover open for a minimum of 20 minutes to allow the oxidizer gas to vent. A high concentration of trapped oxidizer gas which may exist as a result of the shock treatment (not daily sanitation) may eventually cause discoloration or vinyl degradation to the bottom of the cover. This type of damage is considered chemical abuse and is not covered under warranty.

The Arctic Pure® Water Maintenance Program

Following the Arctic Pure® water maintenance program will save you time and frustration and ensure clear, clean spa water.

Remove Excess Minerals

Most tap water has minerals such as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese and Sodium in it, and the circulation of water can cause the erosion of metals from spa equipment which can present possible scaling and staining problems in your spa. Cases of source water with high minerals (such as some well water):

  1. We recommend you add 3 1/2 tablespoons (48 grams) of Arctic Pure® Best Defense per 1000 litres (265 gallons) of water while filling your spa.

Balance the Total Alkalinity (TA)

  1. The recommended Total Alkalinity (TA) for your spa water is 80-120 ppm.
  2. Total Alkalinity is a measure of the total levels of carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, and other alkaline substances in the water. TA is referred to as the water’s “pH buffer”. In other words, it’s a measure of the ability of the water to resist changes in pH level.
  3. If the TA is too low, the pH level will fluctuate widely from high to low. Fluctuations in pH can cause corrosion or scaling of the spa components. Low TA can be corrected by adding Arctic PureTM Perfect Balance.
  4. If the Total Alkalinity is too high, the pH level will tend to be high and may be difficult to bring down. The pH can be lowered by using Arctic Pure® Adjust Down.
  5. Once the TA is balanced, it normally remains stable, although some sanitizers, and the addition of more water with a high or low alkalinity will raise or lower the TA reading of the water.
  6. When the Total Alkalinity is within the recommended range, proceed to the next step.

Balancing the pH

  1. We recommended a pH range for your spa water of; 7.2-7.6.
  2. The pH level is the measure of acidity and alkalinity. Values above 7 are alkaline; those below 7 are acidic. Maintaining the proper pH level is extremely important for:
    • Optimizing the effectiveness of the sanitizer.
    • Maintaining water that is comfortable for the user.
    • Preventing equipment deterioration.
    • Preventing cloudy or odorous water.
  3. If the spa water’s pH level is too low, the following may result:
    • The sanitizer will dissipate rapidly.
    • The water may become irritating to spa users.
    • The spa’s equipment may corrode.

If the pH is too low, it can be increased by adding Arctic Pure® Adjust Up to the spa water.

  1. If the pH level is too high, the following may result:
    • The sanitizer is less effective.
    • Scale will form on the spa shell surface and the equipment.
    • The water may become cloudy.

If the pH is too high, it can be decreased by adding Arctic Pure® Adjust Down to the spa water.

  1. It is important to check the pH on a regular basis. The pH will be affected by the bather load, the addition of new water, the addition of various chemicals, and the type of sanitizer used.
  2. When the pH is within the recommended range, proceed to the final step.

Calcium Hardness (CH)

Most spa manufacturers recommend a Calcium Hardness (CH) level for your spa of 150-200 ppm. However, we do not recommend adding calcium to your spa if your spa water is above 100 ppm, or if your incoming water has a very low level of calcium hardness.

Warning: When calcium falls out of suspension it can collect on the heater and pump, and shorten their life.

Sanitize the Spa

Sanitizer is extremely important for killing algae, bacteria and viruses, and preventing unwanted organisms from growing in the spa. At the same time, you don’t want too high a sanitizer level, or it can irritate your skin, lungs and eyes.

  1. Always maintain the sanitizer level in your spa at the recommended level for each type of sanitizer.
  2. We recommend the following sanitizers:
    • Chlorine System:
      • Arctic Pure® Chlorine Tablets
      • Arctic Pure® Refresh
      • Arctic Pure® Boost

Important: Sanitizers are acidic and will decrease the Total Alkalinity. Regular testing and balancing of TA is extremely important with these products.

Important: Always remove the floating dispenser while the spa is in use. Remove dispensers with a plastic bucket (keeping submerged) and store out of reach of children until spa use has ended.

Using Chlorine System

CAUTION: The use of personal protective equipment (rubber/latex/vinyl gloves, eye protection) is recommended while handling the dispenser or the pucks.


  1. Add pucks to floating dispenser and open to setting 4.
  2. Add 7 tablespoons (100 grams) of Arctic Pure® Refresh per 1500 litres (396 gallons) of water.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of Arctic Pure® Spa Boost per 1000 litres (265 gallons) of water.
  4. Test the Chlorine level. Once the chlorine reads within the ideal range (1-3 ppm) turn tablet dispenser down to 1 – 2 (more or less according to bather load).


  1. Add pucks to floating dispenser and reset the setting if necessary.
  2. Add 7 tablespoons (100 grams) of Arctic Pure® Refresh per 1500 litres (396 gallons) of water.

Important: Arctic Pure® Refresh significantly reduces pH and TA. One hour after adding Arctic Pure® Refresh test and adjust TA and pH as needed.