Affordable Hot Tub Repair

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Hot Tub Refill Cost


Hot Tub Repair

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry

  1. Hot Tub Chemistry Fundamentals

  2. Why you can't treat a portable hot tub like a Swimming Pool

  3. Total Alkalinity & pH

  4. Sanitize & Oxidize

  5. Step-by-Step Hot Tub Chemistry Checklist with dosage tables

  6. Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Selector

  7. Hot Tub Chemical Damage

Hot Tub Water Conservation

Hot Tub Electrical Safety

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 are:

HCF Gallons Cost/HCF Cost/Gallon
0 - 8 0 - 5984 $3.64 $0.0048
9 - 24 5985 - 17,952 $4.08 $0.0054
25 - 36 17,953 - 26,928 $5.82 $0.0077
37+ 26,929 + $8.19 $0.0109

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 of water.

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 chemical reactions.

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

The San 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 over.

©Affordable Hot Tub Repair, 2014