SPA & Hot Water Facility Maintenance – A Special Challenge

In Tech Talk by Steve Donohoe4 Comments

Home base in Anaheim

Well, we used all the tables at our home base at Superior Pool Products-Anaheim for our CPO class this past Thursday-Friday, August 26-27.  It was a special group of guys, too:  lots of questions, participation and discussion.

One interesting and lively subject was the operation and maintenance of spas and how especially difficult they are to maintain.  Our text book (NSPF’s CERTIFIED POOL & SPA OPERATOR HANDBOOK) gives this warning:

“A casual attitude regarding maintenance and safety standards for spas, hot tubs, and hot water therapy pools can quickly produce an unhealthy and unsafe environment.”

And how true it is!  There are several things working against keeping a spa  healthy and safe.  Here are  just a few things that challenge the spa operator:

  • Spas have higher user-to-water ratios (6 people in a 1,200 gallon spa is equivalent to 75 people in a 15,000 gallon pool!).(I can’t get 75 people in my house, let alone in my pool!)
  • The jets cause extreme aeration which raises the pH level.
  • High water temperature accelerates the amount of user waste released into the water.

    Click Here for the dosage chart to lower the TA in Spas

  • High water temperature accelerates chlorine loss.
  • High water temperature promotes bacteria.
  • The immediate mist coming off the spa will be contaminated if there is no chlorine in the water and if bacteria are present.

Overdosing when treating the spa is a common mistake a lot of spa operators make.  Therefore, “Tablespoon Chemistry”  should be practiced when adding chemicals to any spa.  Total Alkalinity (TA) is just one of the water chemistry parameters that the operator needs to monitor.  Here’s a dosage chart to follow when lowering the TA in spas.

Steve and Randy Williams

As always,  we wish to thank the wonderful and hospitable folks at PoolCorp!

We are not alone when we have our classes in the “Upper Room” at Superior in Anaheim.  There are a few offices adjacent to us, and one of them is occupied by Randy WIlliams, Director of Financial Operations and Analysis (who graciously allowed us to snap his picture while a conference call awaited him).  We invade HIS space every time we have our class here, and he is very congenial about the whole thing!  Thanks, Randy, for allowing  us be there and for all your patience with our classroom noise!–we certainly appreciate it very much!!


  1. The class was excellent, challenging and engaging. Even after my 13+ years of experience in the swimming pool service field I still learned new things. Steve is a great teacher, very patient and explains every detail with painstaking care. I highly recommend this course for any pool service technician and thank Steve again for his excellent teachings and time.

  2. Steve,
    The class was all I hoped it would be and more. I am a pool owner and trying to start a pool service and wanted to get the technical side of things. This class provided that and the resources to help me out as needed. Thanks for being so patient and presenting the material in a way that was easy to understand.

  3. Steve,
    Thank you again for the great course. I learned a ton of new and useful information. I look forward to seeing you in the industry.

  4. Steve, you made the material so easy to learn. Like you tell us in class, “It’s not knowing all the answers, it’s knowing where to find them”.
    Thank you and Elise for a great experance. I would recomend this class to everyone in the industry.

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