Chemical free hot tubs!!!

Chemical free hot tubs!!!
7.3 Total Score

Every manufacturer has a miracle system that will make owning a hot tub easier, and healthier and safer.

In this Video, we take a quick look at the different options like chemical systems, Saltwater hot tubs, Mineral systems, UV systems, Ozonators, and Enzyme systems and weigh the pros and cons of each.

I usually delete sales pitches and discussion comments, these sales pitches/debates are for the FORUMS NOT MY BLOG SITE… and should delete this one but I’m on vacation and feeling feisty so get the gloves on Boyo you don’t have a clue…

Salt is old tech being regurgitated as some new miracle system stay far away from it…

Salt just gets you to 1-3 ppm of chlorine or bromine, and the damn anodes need service yearly. you can get 3-5 times lower chemicals with aftermarket stuff… Remember you are breathing that chlorine in… its nasty carcinogenic shit

And the freaking salt is corrosive as hell say goodbye to the concrete, decking, and everything else around the spa from the over splash…

Hot tub guys hate the fact that the aftermarket stuff like spa marvel or AquaFinesse get you to half a part per million of chlorine and are easier and way way cheaper… They like salt (and all the other bullshit expensive ad-ons for chemical reduction) because they make a pile of cash off the up sell and servicing the stupid machine… stay away!!!

RD you are either misinformed or a dupe, or work for the marketing arm of the scum bags selling this snake oil, the science is clear this is not good tech and is riddled with issues and is high chemical and prone to failure, with health and property damage issues…!!!

Manufacturers are milking this the pitch now and a good pitch can close deals but what they don’t want you to know is the easiest most chemical free systems have nothing to do with the hot tub. In fact, the lowest easiest systems can be used on almost any hot tub…

Bromine and Chlorine systems toxic

levels of 3-5ppm of toxic chemicals

These high chemical old technology but beware a lot of brands private brand the chemicals to make them sound like something else and to trick you into paying more for these base chemical systems.

Salt water hot tubs – Read More

levels of 1-3ppm of toxic chemicals.

Salt water hot tubs are not chemical free, hell they are not even close the lowest chemical systems available, They are finicky, unreliable and have big failure issues, this tech was all the rage back in 90’s and most guys abandoned it and now some companies are re-introducing it as new tech!!! It’s a gimmick, all salt systems do is make chlorine or bromine!!

New info-On November 30th, 2018 health Canada finished a re-evaluation of hot tub and pool salt generators and the additive Sodium Bromide and determined that these devices were a risk to health.

The US is expected to investigate and would likely follow suit and even if they don’t this hit to the saltwater hot tub industry might thankfully be the nail in the coffin for this outdated water treatment option.
At this time they have not performed a reevaluation on Sodium Chloride systems.
The decision removes approval for Products Containing Sodium Bromide as well as Chlorine Electrolysis Devices


Every hot tub has one and you really don’t care about them, they do help but they only work well for about a year and frankly, it’s not worth spending the money to replace them your money could be spent in better places. They are a good helper system but nowhere near good enough to stand alone.

Enzyme systems – good –

These can be used in any hot tub and are far better than any of the onboard systems, they will let you get down to the same or lower levels of chlorine or bromine than the salt systems, for far less and you will have an easier time balancing the water. These work by breaking down inorganics like greases, oils, sweat and lotions freeing chlorine to deal with only the organics. You can order the Spa Marvel Enzyme system from us, Spa Marvel (US), Spa Marvel (Canada)

7028297-natural-water-dropsMineral systems -good-

Drinking water levels of chemicals These are arguably the best way to deal with your water, they are fantastic for your skin, in fact, Aquafinesse, the number one brand out there is used in hospitals in Holland to treat eczema on newborn babies! This system is by far the lowest chemical, easiest to use and best for your skin. hot tub companies hate it because you can use it on any tub and it is around the same price as the big onboard systems over time, and there are no parts to fail! Plus you can go 2-3 times longer without changing your water.

UV Systems – very good but expensive –

Probably the best onboard systems out there, this is the exact same system used to treat drinking water in large municipal water treatment facilities and in rural areas to treat well water to make it drinkable, Expensive and requires yearly service at around $300/year but in conjunction with ozone and a mineral pack can get to near chemical free.

Right now that’s the hot button so

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Hello, we just purchased a Master Spa with delivery imminent. We live outside of town and get our water from a well. The well water is moderately hard. From the comments you’ve posted here, it seems you discourage the use of well water. Can you explain this a little more? Is there “no way” to use well water (pre-filter, treatments, etc)? Will it ruin the tub? Our nearest water delivery service is quite a ways away and with them it appears distance = $$ so just trying to get all the info before we make a decision on how to… Read more »

Hi Meagan
Well water is not recommended because of the high levels of metals in particular. Copper and iron levels in well water are significantly higher than municipal water and they can play havoc with water chemistry. It’s not that the well water is unhealthy, just that it is harder to balance and get good sanitizer effectiveness.

The best way to overcome that is with a proper filter. There is a product made by Spa Marvel called an X-10 filter it does a great job of filtering out then metals and contaminants.

Here’s the link:
Spa Marvel


Thanks for all the great info. I bought a Master Spas Twilight 8.2. I filled it for the first time and accidently put in the bottle of filter cleaner instead of the spa marvel. Do I need to drain the hot tub and start over? Can I add the Spa Marvel and see what happens?
Thank you.

Hi Frank
Sorry for the delay in response, just logged on after the holidays. The filter cleaner shouldn’t be added to the spa in any event, but by now, if you haven’t emptied the tub, give it a shock treatment, and see how the PH etc look, and then take it from there.

Hi there! Looking at an Artesian spa (South Seas) and new to all of this info and I see on their website that optional filtration systems are Frogease, ozone, or Diamond AOP. I did a quick search about what these are but would like to know which you prefer to get the chemical level as low as possible. I was originally looking at HS with salt but am now looking at this more affordable option. Thanks for your help.

Hi Nikki
Don’t go with any of the flash upgrade systems that the various manufactures all try and sell, telling you it’s the best thing since sliced bread…
What you really need is Spa Marvel, have a read about it here.

Newbie here from Scotland. Based on reading your blogs I purchased an Artesian Santa Cruz 3 seater hot tub. Using chlorine as sanitiser and non chlorine shock weekly with filter cleaning and I check levels regularly. (All in spec, downloaded your Spa Star app) Only I have developed a rash after 6 weeks use however I am prone to eczema if skin is stressed. Looking at going down the spa marvel, O care or aqua finesse route as we do like to use it every day so would prefer a lower chemical use. I have soft water, is there a… Read more »

Hi Jeremy
I’d go with Spa Marvel, but make sure you have the PH, and total alkalinity in range before you start using the Spa Marvel.

Thanks for forwarding the water tip sheet. I have a few questions…… ref the weekly dosing with chlorine, if my tub is only 225 gall and I put 2 tablespoons in twice a week that is a lot of chlorine which would take a while to burn off considering with spa marvel I want the chlorine to be about 1ppm, I currently only put in 1 teaspoon daily and that keeps me between 3-5ppm. also the shock after each daily use states a capful…what is that in teaspoons lol? Also is this mps shock. planning to go with spamarvel and… Read more »

Hi Carrie
Play it by ear, all these things are dependent on many variable factors, temp, usage, hard or soft water etc. even washing powder used for your swim wear has an impact on water chemistry.
As for what is a capful in teaspoons, I think that’s a fine question, that again is variable. MPS Shock, MonoPeroxySulfate, is fine its non-chlorine.

I have a quick newb question. Is it ok to use an enzyme like Spa Marvel along with a mineral system like Nature2?

If so is it worthwhile to use both at the same time?


Hi Chad
Nature 2 is good it’s an ion system, we like it but the claims are wackadoodle! It will reduce chems by 30% range. use it with spa marvel and a tiny bit of chlorine and you can go damn near a year without a water change and have easy to manage water and super low chem…
Spa Marvel

Came across your video and started researching. So since you have used both Aquafinesse and Spa Marvel is one any better?? I know you don’t carry Aqua anymore but other than that? Any pro or con?? Thank you, new tub owner here and very much appreciate your videos and knowledge. Thank you again.

Hi Barclay
Both great products, we don’t carry Aquafinesse right now, but that hopefully will change in the not too distant future.

Just interested in getting a hot tub. Have three teens. What should I get?! Overwhelmed

Hi Nicole
Wow, wide open question you have there.. First off, have a look at this page. Then if that’s not doing the trick I would suggest our Private Buyers service, we can then walk you through the mine field, and help you choose the right tub for your needs.

Do you still test the water with the test strips when using Spa Marvel? We just got an arctic spa and I hate soaking in the chlorine and breathing the fumes but feeling unsure of how to test to make sure my water is clean and safe.

Hi Karla
You still test the water with test strips. I’ll send you via email a water tip sheet for Spa Marvel users.

Thinking about the Spa Marvel system for a change, been using chlorine for many years. However we have a very high iron content in our well water, I do have an iron remover on my home system but it only gets rid of some of it. I’ve used one of those hose end filters also but they still don’t eliminate all the iron and my filters end up looking like coffee filters. I have a pool with a salt system and a sand filter, the sand filter seems to eliminate all the iron so I’ve been filling my hot tub… Read more »

Hi Scott

Spa Marvel works perfectly in salt water spas, so i see no reason why you cant use your pool water.


We’re getting a Coast hot tub. Do I want the ozone system? Thanks.

Hi James
Don’t waste your money on an ozone system. Instead use Spa Marvel right from the off. It will save on chemicals and get your chlorine down to near drinking water levels. Here is a link with more details.
Spa Marvel

Hi there. I’ve been reading a lot of these posts for the past couple days. Very informative! Thank you! We are looking to purchase a Cal Spa. What are your thoughts? I too am looking for a relatively low cost hot tub with limited chemicals for a less toxic environment. We live in Texas.

Hi Jill Buying a low-cost hot tub, can be a mine field, if you buy cheap, then you are in for a whole load of trouble. You can get long term lower cost, by buying a from a decent brand, but one of their lower end models. In the long run, probably cheaper than buying a cheap tub. Check out some of our brand reviews here Low Chemical usage Spa marvel system, Spa Marvel is far and away the best system to allow you to use fewer chemicals. It allows you to go to 1-2 ppm of chemicals and is… Read more »

Thank you for your advice. Due to reading the reviews, I think we have decided on an Artesian south seas spa. I hope we have made a good choice! It has a 6 inch layer of foam. Full foam is an upgrade. Not sure if I should go for it since I live in the south.

Hi Jill, Great choice… Enjoy!
If you live in the south and have mild winters, then it’s not really an upgrade that you would benefit from too much.

Hi, how does Ahh-Some spa cleaner compare to Spa Marvel Cleaner? It seems like a killer product. Lots of tests done on competitors products. Same question for Hot Tub Serum Cleaner vs Spa Marvel Cleaner and Serum Total Maintenance vs Spa Marvel Water Treatment. I am doing research while waiting for my Tub to be delivered. I want to keep my tub as clean as possible and have narrowed it down to these products.

Hi Dave, Spa Marvel & Chlorine is the best bet, lets you run lower chemicals safely and is cost effective at around $55, more or less every three months.

Hi Chris -first of al you are awesome thank you for helping the consumer navigate all of the bologna from the Hot tub industry. We have an arctic spa with a genesis sodium bromide system and obviously because of the new rules we live in Canada 🇨🇦 we need to know what to do now they have banned sodium bromide systems. Should we use aqua finesse or spa marvel and do we have to use a floater we hate those.
Thank sweetheart for your help! 😫

Hi Lesley,
Spa Marvel and Chlorine is our recommendation, I’m sending you our tip sheet so you can see how they are used and what your options are.
Aqua Finesse is also a good option, a bit more expensive and we don’t sell that anymore though.

Hello, we are in exactly the same situation – We have been running a Genesis Bromine generator for approx 11 years in our Arctic Spa’s tub. Do I just turn off the bromine generator – or should I get it removed altogether?

Also, pls send me the tip sheet as well.

Many thanks,

Hi Jaimo,
You could just turn it off, but better solution is to have it removed.
I’ve emailed you the tip sheet.

Hi, I just purchased a Master Spa 7.2 and the startup kit will include Rendezvous Natural Clear and Protect Plus. Natural Clear is an enzyme based conditioner applied once every 3 months. PPlus is applied weekly to protect against scale. How do these stack up a Spa Marvel? FYI, thanks for all the great information on this site. It’s been a great education.

Hi dave,

Natural Clear is a clarifier that will help with non-organic debris and oils and such. Spa Marvel is a more full-featured product so to speak. I personally have used a bunch of those enzyme systems and I wouldn’t use anything else

Thanks for the quick reply. Can you also send me the Spa Marvel tip sheet.

I emailed the girl in our local office and asked her to send it to the email address on this post

Looking to buy a one year old Master hot tub from some folks we know (thanks for the advice – almost pulled the trigger on a Hot Springs salt water tub).

Our main goal is health improvement so we want to keep chemicals as low as possible. Is there a reason you personally choose Spa Marvel over Aquafinesse for your tub?

Hi Curtis,

I’ve used both Spa Marvel and AF and I far prefer SM for a couple of reasons. First it’s cheaper – $55 every 3 months. Second it’s easier – once every three months as opposed to once a week. Finally, and most importantly, it does a better job of keeping the alkalinity and pH in balance so I have to screw with the chemicals a hell of a lot less

Hello there, we ordered a South Seas spa with “Ozone + UV” and plan to use the Spa Marvel…what PPM of chlorine would we need in that situation? This blog implies that we could be nearly chemical free at that point, but not sure how to manage/measure that. Thanks for all your great work!

Hi Kate,

With Spa Marvel and UV you want your chlorine levels to be between 0.5 and 1 ppm. At that point you’re near drinking water levels of chlorine

Hi Chris! So, I am confused. We are considering a Coast Hot tub, and we asked about using mineral or enzymes for it, wanting to make sure that this would not chnage anything in terms of warranty, or anything else. But our local dealer of Coast Hot Tubs tells me that she has never heard that Bromine was being phased out in Canada. When I asked her about alternatived to using Bromine or Chlorine for the tub we are considering buying, she said that those two are the only approved sanitizers in Canada. What am I missing?

Hi Vanessa,

See my last reply – you will still use chlorine but at far lower levels. Health Canada has been slow in reacting to the new studies on bromine but chlorine is still the way to go. The difference is you will use enough to get your water to drinking water levels which is about 1 part per million vs the typical 5-6 ppm of standard systems

Excellent web site and advice, Chris! In your comments you reference using chlorinated granules and non-chlorine shock. Any specific brands to recommend that seem to work well with Spa Marvel? I’m in Canada and have a Hydropool tub which we bought before reading your advice. 🙁 Not sure whether I can use SpaFrog or Nature2 as they wouldn’t fit in my in-filter dispenser column. Welcome your thoughts. Thanks!

Hello Chris, appreciate the info you have provided and I am sold on going with your spa marvel product. (Will be ordering the kit soon) I still need a tub, My father-in-law has a brand new master spa twilight which is very nice but my wife and I don’t like the high levels of chemicals and we don’t like the jets on very often. Though we noticed it doesn’t heat when the jets are not running. Is there a tub that doesn’t have any bells or whistles as fair as jets but still built with quality? I am a project… Read more »

I placed an order today for the “Getaway Bar Harbor LE” comes with “Ecopur” and am about to purchase years supply of spa Marvel from you. 1) what’s your recommendation for chlorine input? A dispenser that floats on top or should I just use the granulates? 2) Also the dealer you suggested above is flexible on the starter chemicals they give me because I told them I was going to use spa Marvel. Should I just request chlorine if so what brand/style pucks or granulates or? 3) They also said they would include test strips for testing water is it… Read more »

Hi Ben, For chlorine if you’re using Spa Marvel, start with about 2-3 tablespoons of chlorine granules a week and check with the test strips to keep the level to about 0.5-1 ppm. Depending on use you may increase or decrease that a bit. After each use give it about 3-4 teaspoons of shock and you’ll be good. I like granules because it is Dichlor as opposed to Trichlor which is easier on your surfaces (less bleaching). For testing download the app we had written for managing your tub. Just search for SpaStar in the App Store or Play store.… Read more »

Hi Ben, Your father-in-laws Twilight has the Eco-Pure cartridge in the filter and that, combined with Spa Marvel would get him to drinking water levels of chlorine so there should be no smell or fumes. As for jets and heating there are two ways of handling heating and filtration in tubs – first is a circulation pump that runs constantly to filter and heat the water. The second method is to run the main pumps for a couple hours a day for filtration and occasionally for heating but the pump will run at a low speed so it’s not noisy.… Read more »

I recently purchased an artesian forsythia hot tub and am awaiting it to be delivered. I ordered a CD ozone water care system but I’m thinking of canceling that. I have very dry skin and my son has psoriasis so water that’s gentle on our skin is important. Should I use the spa marvel and the aqua finesse or do I just need one of these systems along with the chlorine? My spa also comes with an ease ball which I think has the chlorine in it. Also, do recommend cover lifters?

Hi Shannon,

Cancel the ozone and forget the ease ball or any other dispensers. Pour a bottle of Spa Marvel in every three months and give it 3-4 tablespoons of chlorine granules once or twice a week depending on usage. Spa Marvel is amazing for anyone with skin conditions so drop anything else and use just it. Your chlorine levels should be around 1 part per million so adjust the chlorine granules you add to keep it there

Hello, new to the hot tub world. Only had ours for a month and looking to reduce chemicals, daughter has sensitive skin and has already had a rash. Currently using the Frog @ ease cartridge system that has a mineral and chlorine cartridge. If I switch to Spa Marvel, do I still need to clean the hot tub if only having it for a short time? Do I still need to use a mineral cartridge along with the chlorine cartridge at the lowest setting?


Hi Brandy,

For people with skin issues, Spa Marvel is an absolute wonder and you are best to clean the tub first. If you have a master spa with the eco-pure system just use it and the Spa Marvel. If you don’t then look for a Nature 2 cartridge and dump the mineral and chlorine and use Spa Marvel. 2-3 tablespoons of chlorine granules twice a week and you’re good to go and your daughter’s skin will thank you

Hi! I just need some honest responses to getting a hot tub. I want the healthiest option available. Any chance of sending me direct links to sites that are highly recommended? Thank you so much!!!

Hi Michelle,
Most tubs are fairly similar on this, the onboard systems are pretty standard, if you are trying to reduce chemical use aftermarket options like Spa Marvel and Aquafinesse are the best options and they can be used on any tub.

We sell Spa Marvel bundles and if you aren’t satisfied will happily refund you, it’s a product we stand behind.

If you give me a zip code for where you live I can give you some brand/dealer recommendations.

Hello, We are wanting to purchase a Coast Element L Curve Classic 50 Jet hot tub. Our quote included their O31 Advanced Ozone and the Crystal Clear Purification Chamber. This will be our first hot tub. Should we actually decline this option? I hear Ozone systems can ruin your cover and can potentially be bad for your lungs, but not sure if this is only in extreme circumstances and maybe they do more good than harm. We are highly considering using Spa Marvel, but wonder if we should keep these systems as well or ask for them to not be… Read more »

Hi Sarah,

The truth with Ozone systems these days is that most of them are dinky little units that do little to nothing to help your water. The truth is an ozone system that will contribute in any significant way to purify your water would cost the manufacturer about 2 grand. The reality is any of those systems can’t touch the benefits and ease of use of Spa Marvel so my advice would be to stick with what comes standard in the tub and use Spa Marvel

Love the idea of Spa Marvel but in our soon to be installed 2100 gallon swim spa, we’d be looking at a bottle or more a month? Aquafinesse looks to be about the same for a swim spa. Does the economic advantage disappear when it’s a bigger tub like this?

Thanks for all, I’ve learned 90% of what I know about this stuff from you.

I am looking at available options in hot tubs, information is confusing,probably by design?We have well water with ; water softener,uv light,filter etc. . Not a big fan of the super reactive chemicals ,chlorine etc. Can we run a hot tub without these chemicals in a safe and healthy way ? We have our well checked twice yearly by province and shock it yearly.
It seems that saline run tubs are high maintenance .
Any thoughts or suggestions?

Hi Chris -I am about to drain and clean my tub – when I refill should I use the city water or my well water (had a well installed for irrigation system)? When I have had my water tested at local dealer in past I always have to add calcium and used the regular water to fill in past not well water -so wondering if it makes a difference or even if the pre filter for garden hose is worth the $60?

Hi Chris, just wondering what you think of the Nature2 Spa Mineral For Cartridge Filters and if its compatible with spa marvel? My hubby’s excema is still reacting to the hot tub even though we switched to Spa Marvel. Would you recommend Aquafinesse with a silver insert instead? We only shock once a week now as the shock seems to be the biggest aggrevating factor and he still cant go in every day or he gets a rash. We cleaned the hot tub and tested it so fairly certain it isnt folliculitis. Any advice would be great as he uses… Read more »

Sure, do you sell it individually or just in a set of 4? Also it says 1 bottle a month but I thought one is supposed to add a bottle every 3-4 months.

Love your website. After an exhaustive search and based on recommendations from your website, we have decided to purchase a Master Spa TS 8.25. Our unit has the Mast3rPur water purification system am I am thinking about using Aquafinesse. Do you see any issues? Thank you.

Thank you for your response. The Mast3rPur system was a free upgrade 😀. Wondering if supplementing the Mast3rPur system with AF or Soa Marvel would be overkill.

Love the website, lots of information. I have told my dealer and many friends about Hot Tub University and how helpful it has been. We purchased a PDC tub based on your recommendations. We found a dealer within 5 miles of our home. Installation next week.
We are going to use Spa Marvel, my question is, would using a mineral system with the Enzyme be a good idea as we are trying to reduce chemicals as much as possible. Mostly 2 users, birthday suits, daily use. Not sure if its overkill or would they interfere with each other.
Thanks again.

Is one type mineral system better that the other? I see sticks that go in the filter and floating styles.
Again, thanks for the Wonderfull videos.

Just heading off to see Portland, OR hot tub expo. Looking for a 2-3 person tub, hubby is 6’3″ so crawling in is a must. Have been reading your info and am totally lost now on what brand to get. We want low maintenance. Only 2 of us using, no parties. We are not regular users, mostly will only use after yard work or strenuous days. So more like on the weekend for under 1hour. Again low maintenance and minimal chemicals with a hard plastic type cover that is easy for 1 person to open. Semi quiet would be nice… Read more »

Thanks for the info, Yacolt is like 8 mi away, so good to know about the service people nearby. So we bought the twilight series 6.2. I will look at your links tonight. I appreciate all your help and the same day response. I was not expecting to find the best ones so easy, figured I would find a couple but mostly the ones on your not so good list. Was surprised they were all the good ones. So we sat and my hubby stretched out and we found the one that met all our needs and your recomendations so… Read more »

Hello, have been following this thread and love the info presented. Thank you for what you do. We just purchased a neighbor’s Cal Spa and moved it over this past weekend. Getting electrical hooked up this week and want to get up and running as soon as possible. Have some questions regarding this process that I wanted to run by you. Number one, the spa hasn’t been run in probably six months. The previous owner did his best to winterize it and drain all the water. Even still, we’re seeing temps in Indiana this time of year ranging from the… Read more »

Awesome. Really appreciate the feedback, will give that a shot. Thanks!

Hello, so just a follow up to this discussion. Got electrical hooked up today. Filled spa and turned on breaker as manual said to do. Control panel went through its paces and then displayed Pr for prime. I then pushed “Jet 1” button as instructed and…….nothing. Waited the 10 seconds and pushed it again and still nothing. Pushed “Jets 2 & 3” button and they fired right up. Pushed “Jet 1” button a few more times, but just get a clicking sound each time. So only half of the jets in the tub are working. Waterfall doesn’t work either. “Light”… Read more »

Hi there, We bought a house this past March that happened to have a hot tub in the back yard. It is a Marquis/Celebrity brand Napa model. (i know this is not the optimal brand, but it is what is here) At first I used it a few times but then got distracted by various life issues, and so it has been sitting barely used for months with the heat up at around 90 and nothing being put into the water. It currently has a sprinkling of some brownish(slightly greenish tinge) residue on the surfaces and fittings under the water.… Read more »

hi there, so do you think it is worth also getting the hose filter for when i refill the tub? also i looked at the filter and it does look pretty terrible, so also should i run the spa marvel cleaner with or without it in there??? i looked up marquis site online and found the filter number, and apparently maybe i can order it from a dealer in Klamath Falls.

Ok, so I ran the cleaner through, drained the hot tub, cleaned it rather thoroughly, got all the supplies including the spa marvel. Now i am filling with fresh water. Wondering how to get started with adding in whatever to have good balance to start with. and i already have chlorine granules that the previous owners left, not tabs.
thanks much

also i am confused about balancing alkalinity vs. balancing ph …?

Chris, regarding the amount of chlorine the SpaMarvel folks suggest to add above. Does this amount get you down to the 1ppm level? Will the amount vary depending on the size of the tub or the type of chlorine granules used (dichlor or trichlor)? I’m trying to calculate how much to use initially and ongoing to get to the .5ppm level for our 250gal tub. The comment that test strips will no longer be accurate for chlorine levels makes me wonder how I can calculate how much chlorine to add to hit a target ppm. The formula I’m using to… Read more »

Are you using Trichlor or Dichlor granules. Do you think it matters? I came across some long discussion that the cyanuric acid CYA) in these products initially protects the chlorine from UV breakdown but eventually it builds up and makes the chlorine less effective. They discussed avoiding the buildup of CYA by switching to liquid bleach after a week or two of using one of the granules. But you are certainly running your water a long time and don’t seem to be having any issues with it so I think that says a lot… Being new to the scene I… Read more »

I purchased a home with a Marquis Hot Tub. How do I determine which model it is, as I need a new readable Control Panel, since the original C/P is mostly unreadable. Any thoughts for getting and installing a new C/P are appreciated, as well as the best chemicals to use. Thanks!!

Hey Chris,

We’ll be buying a Master Spas tub this weekend, any chance you could email us the tip sheet on how to maintain low levels of chemicals? Thanks for everything you’re doing!

Matt & Masha

I too would love the tip sheet. I am getting conflicting messages from different dealers. I bought the hot tub Twilight Series 7.2 and was told I would not need any chemicals. Then I was told no you decide if you want bromine or chloride. I picked bromine as I am told it is easiest on the skin. I am sold Bromine pucks and floater. Then I am told the EcoPure Charge is for Chlorine only and the insides of the filter pulled out and sold more producsts….I need help!!! Where do I go from here?

Thanks for all the great info Chris! I’ve recommended your site to a few friends and coworkers who are looking for new hot tubs. We just bought a Master Spa (Precision 7) this past weekend. Any chance I could get a tip sheet as well?

If I have a frog in line system, can I use spa marvel along with it? What would the chemical schedule look like?

Hi Chris, We have bought and installed a second hand Arctic Spa Ocean swim spa in good working condition. I am feeling overwhelmed by the choices in maintenance. From your site, and others, I gather that Aqua Finesse is recommended for low chemical water quality, which is my wish. I see that they have a special swim spa kit. I would like to get this right from the start, so I would appreciate your detailed advice of what to do. I am about to fill the spa with water, which is from our well, and likely quite mineralized. Can you… Read more »

Hey Chris,

We’ve been enjoying our Twilight 8.2 for nearly a year now – thanks for sharing all your knowledge and recommendations!! We’re considering taking the Spa Marvel plunge. Can you please email me your cheat sheet and tips? Also, do you have any recommendations for good/affordable shock and chlorine tablets? Thanks for all your help!

Thanks, Chris! Can you please email me your Spa Marvel cheat sheet?

Chris, one last question! Your instructions refer to a ‘capful of shock’…. are you using a chlorinated shock or a non-chlorine shock (MPS oxidizer)? Thanks, Chris!!

Hey Chris,

Great you tube videos. Looking at the dimension one brand hot tub. Meridian series. Have you herd anything about them. Was looking at the vector 21 and you talked me out of that one. Thanks


I am looking and buying a 5-6 person hot tub, hot in the summer and cold in the winter can go into the teens for alot of the winter what brand would you recommend

Hi Chris! Thank you for all the information on your website. We are looking at a Passion Hot Tub. I have not found any information on Passion on your site so was curious what you think of it as a brand of hot tubs? The specific one we are looking at is The Malta. The insulation it comes with is High Density Urethan Insulation. Is this a good insulation to have that will be energy sufficient? Also, I loved your video on Chemical Free Hot Tubs. This really helped me understand we are not missing out on the “natural” salt… Read more »

Chris, I was going to get a hot tub last year, and balked. This year, I am flirting with the idea. I am being contacted by a company called Hot Springs. Of course, they think they’re the best. I look at reviews on Consumer Affairs, which were mixed at best. What are your thoughts on that manufacturer? They are having a “truckload sale” and offer a salt water free system, 7 seater, for $9K. Normal price $16k. When something sounds too good to be true……..

Hi Rick, The fact that they still want to sell at that price difference is telling, Hot Springs is one of those brands that sinks more money into branding and marketing than into building a good hot tub. They have lists of features and everything on it will sound good but there are corners being cut on the shell and beneath the skirting. Closed cell foam that turns to rock and makes service a nightmare, a thin cradle supported shell that is hard to repair and easily damaged, plumbing with no clamps etc… They also get you trapped with Proprietary… Read more »

Can you email me your cheat sheet for how you maintain your water with the low Chlorine reading as well? I bought a twilight series 6.2 after finding your website and I am so grateful for your wisdom. I will have the eco pure system but I didn’t add any upgrades. Thank you

Hi, Chris. My husband and I just bought a used Master Spas Twilight 8.2. Am ordering Spa Marvel thru you, but could you tell me what chlorine system you use in addition, with the little floating gizmo I see in your video? Also would love to get a few names of independent technicians in my area, as well as the tip sheet for doing maintenance (chemicals, cleaning, etc ). We’re near Boone, NC (northwest part of the state).


Chris. I am just doing my research before I embark on purchasing my hot tub and I stumbled on your excellent website. As I am in the UK I am limited on the choice of hot tub, although I was looking at Vita Spas, you have changed my mind and I am currently looking to get an Artesian Spa (Island Spa). So the question is because these use a continuous filtering pump do you recommend using AF, Spa marvel or can both be used?

We are operating a new Hydropool swim spa (1700 gal) and a new Sundance Hot Tub (425 gal) – they are both currently bromine systems. We are researching your sites and would like to know where to go to to learn about converting to a healthier water/tub maintenance system. Having listened to and read a bunch of your videos and replies my first question is are you recommending AquaFinesse or Spa Marvel ? Again, can you direct us to your site that will provide us with details of starting up a new tub (our Sundance hot tub is being replaced… Read more »

Hi Chris, I will be getting my first hot tub delivered this week, and I am so confused as to what I should be using to keep the water clean and sanitized. I have been watching many of your videos and they are very informative so I am hoping you can clear things up a bit for me. What I am planning to do is use aquafinesse and blue something (I for get the name but it is copper ion based). Will this suffice or will I still need chlorine? At what levels should I keep everything? I really want… Read more »

It is a used 2010 hot springs sovereign. I purchased from a dealer and the tub is coming with a warranty.

Thank you

One other question. With spa marvel what should I set my alc, ph, cal, and chlorine levels at?


Great fricken website and information. My bride and I are getting ready to buy a two person hot tub and would like to know if you have a favorite brand that I can add (if need be) an AquaFinesse system. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help. Gracias por total mon.

Chris this is Terry Britner I just wanted to let you know that your suggestion to lower my chemical level of Chlorine switching to Aqua Finesse was a great suggestion. I had trouble With the chlorine level of 3 to 5 ppm and change to Aqua Finesse which allowed me to take the chlorine level down .5 ppm. Because I have asthma are used to have to wear a respirator to filter out the warm chlorine gas of the hot tub. Now using Aqua Finesse and carrying a .5 ppm chlorine level I don’t have to any longer. The side… Read more »

Hi Chris
We just ordered a new hot tub and want to go with a more natural approach to keeping it clean. I have been watching your videos on YouTube about Aquafinesse and wonder if there is any difference in the Aquafinesse vs the ClearChoice is one more reliable than the other. I couldn’t find many videos on YouTube in regards to the ClearChoice and not many reviews so not sure if this would be a good company to work with. Would you recommend one over the other? Thank you for all your help.

Can you use the spa marvel enzyme combined with a frog products mineral filter?

Hi Chris. Getting our tub delivered this week and want to set up right from the start. Will do a full clean and drain before filling again for use. I’m leaning toward using the aqua finesse, however only 1 place in our city seems to sell it, so not sure if they carry the full product line or not. Does it matter what product you use for the cleaning, if they don’t carry the AF cleaner? As well, our tub has the uv system; any tips or anything we need to be mindful of with using the AF? Thanks!

Thanks Chris! Can AF be used with bromine, or strictly with chlorine? Is there a benefit to using chlorine over bromine in general?

Awesome, thanks for clarifying. And funny you say that, as it is a dealer that does both hot tubs and swimming pools! haha I look forward to seeing your review on Coast Spas. After doing a bunch of research and leaning heavily on your expertise (you had barely any mention of them on the site when we started shopping beginning of last year), Coast is ultimately the brand we went with. So will be interesting to see if I actually asked the right questions, and understood your advice. We looked at every hot tub brand available in our city (about… Read more »

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