What is the cost to refill
a portable hot tub?
Most homeowners are surprised to learn a 400 gallon batch of fresh
water is usually cheaper than even one bottle of the chemistry sold
to treat it.
You can solve just about any hot tub water quality problem with
another $20.00 bottle of this or that or you can dump the whole
mess out and start over for about $4.00 worth of water.
Water conservation is important but a portable hot tub doesn't
actually use water. It only borrows a 1-day supply
of water and then filters and recycles it for weeks or months.
Your hot tub squeezes more mileage out of every gallon than any
other applicance in your house so you shouldn't hesitate to drain
it as needed.
See Hot Tub Water Conservation
for information about owning a hot tub during the drought and tips
on reusing dirty hot tub water.
City of San Diego Water Rates
The typical single-family domestic customer has a 3/4-inch meter
(some larger homes may have a 1-inch meter). The total bill is
a combination of the monthly meter base fee (which is based on
the size of the meter) and the amount of water used.
For billing purposes, the Public Utilities Department measures
water used in hundred cubic feet or HCF. Each
HCF equals 748.05 gallons.
The bimonthly charges for a typical single-family domestic customer
|0 - 8
||0 - 5984
|9 - 24
|25 - 36
||17,953 - 26,928
According to the California
Single-Family Water Use Efficiency Study most single-family
homes use 9 - 24 HCF.
You pay about $4.00 for
748 gallons of water.
The average hot tub holds 400 to 500 gallons.
If you also pay for wastewater (sewer) the cost to drain and refill
your tub nearly doubles but we're still talking about less than
$5.00 to refill a hot tub with fresh, clean water.
Even if you add $10 to $15 in electricity to reheat the fresh batch
of water, you can't buy any hot tub chemical that is cheaper, faster
and more effective at solving water quality problems than dumping
the whole mess down the drain and starting over.
You can solve almost any water quality problem if you can find
the right product on the 'wall-of-chemistry' but each product only
solves a single problem. Nothing on the shelf at any store will
solve all the problems at once cheaper or faster than a fresh batch
There is a point of diminishing
returns when it comes to
buying hot tub chemistry and it starts around $3.00.
Pouring more chemistry (and more money) into a $4.00 batch of water
may solve a single problem temporarily but everything you add to
the water also leaves behind byproducts that eventually cause unintended
When byproducts reach a certain level, managing water quality
becomes more and more difficult. The more stuff you pour in; the
sooner you'll have to drain it all out..
It might help to think of hot tub chemistry like taking vitamins.
You can take massive amounts of Vitamine B but your body can only
absorb so much. The rest is expelled from your body in the form
of neon yellow urine that even smells like vitamins.
Pouring lots of Vitamin B into your body only results in expensive
pee that just goes down the drain. Pouring lots of chemistry into
your hot tub only results in expensive hot tub water.
If you add $100.00 worth of chemistry to a $4.00 batch of water...that's
$104.00 down the drain when you eventually have no choice but to
dump it all out and start over.
Total Dissolved Solids
Diego County Water Authority Annual Report (2013) shows Total
Dissolved Solids average around 500 parts per million as the water
comes out of your faucet.. Dissolved solids refer to any minerals,
metals, etc present in the water. When you first fill your hot tub,
the dissilved solids will be around 500 ppm.
When you get to the bottom of a 5 lb container of
granular Chlorine, Bromine tablets or any other hot tub chemical,
you have added about 5 lbs of dissolved solids to the water. Everything
you add to the water, including organics from your body, adds to
total dissolved solids.
Certified Pool Operators who maintain public facilities
often use digital meters to monitor TDS. Most health departments
have standards that include maximum TDS levels. Health departments
can close a public pool or hot tub if TDS exceeds standards.
If you consider how much stuff you can dump into
a tub in six months or a year, it's easy to see how dissolved solids
(a.k.a. chemical byproducts) can build up quickly.
As more chemical byproducts accumulate, maintaining
good water quality becomes harder and harder. The more stuff you
dump in the water the more complicated the whole mess gets.
As TDS builds up, you spend even more time, effort
and money...on a $3.00 batch of water.
Just drain the tub and start