What Is Self Cleaning Hot Tub & Is It Worth Buying?

Self-cleaning hot tub, it cleans itself, it adds its own chemicals, it drains itself down, it fills itself backup, that sounds amazing! Who wouldn’t want one of them? As you might have guessed, self-cleaning hot tubs, real self-cleaning hot tubs are pretty amazing. But they are also sadly non-existent. So in this article, we’re going to talk about whether you should buy a self-cleaning hot tub. We’re going to cover what a self-cleaning hot tub is not, what a self-cleaning hot tub is, and finally, how you can reduce your maintenance, or keep your hot tub low maintenance.

What A Self-Cleaning Hot Tub Is Not?

A self-cleaning hot tub does not test itself for chemicals, it doesn’t add its own chemicals, it doesn’t drain itself down, clean itself, or fill itself back up, sadly. Some people don’t like the term self-cleaning. If you haven’t guessed already, because at best, it’s misleading. And at worst it’s just a bit of a lie, sold to convince people that their hot tub is going to be completely maintenance-free, when in reality that is just not true. 

There is no single hot tub in this world that does not need maintenance. Hot tub maintenance is either going to cost you time or money, and it’s up to you which one. At best, self-cleaning hot tubs are low-maintenance hot tubs. So if you’re looking for a completely self-cleaning, no maintenance hot tub, then a hot tub is probably not going to be for you.

What Is A Self-Cleaning Hot tub Exactly?

There are two main features that are referred to when people are talking about self-cleaning hot tubs, or selling self-cleaning hot tubs. The first one is good filtration, and the second one is an inline or automatic dosing system.

Let’s look at good filtration first of all. So what this really means is fast and efficient filtration. The filter should be held out with the water in a completely separate canister, and 100% of the water should pass through the filter. This is also known as pressurized filtration. We would suggest that you only ever get a hot tub with pressurized filtration, as it is by far cleaner than the traditional skim filtration. Technically the hot tub is passing its own water through a filtration system, which does clean it. But you do still need to test the water, add chemicals, empty it, and fill it every three or four months or so, depending on usage.

The other feature that’s quite often referred to as an inline or automatic dosing system. Now what these systems do is they either sit within the pipework or in the filter of the hot tub. And they automatically release either chlorine or bromine which is great because that means that you always have a stream of chlorine or bromine. So you should technically always be killing off bacteria. But there is one other really important factor in hot tub water maintenance. 

You also need to check that the pH is balanced. These automatic and inline dosing systems do not test or account for pH at all. So although they are constantly releasing a stream of chlorine or bromine, they’re never testing the pH. PH is essential to ensure that chlorine or bromine is efficient. So while you can have a continuous stream of chlorine or bromine going into your water, if the pH isn’t balanced, then it might not be actually doing its job and it’s pointless. If you have an inline dosing system, you always still want to be checking the chlorine or bromine levels and the pH levels. You want to make sure that they’re safe.

An inline dosing system, or an automatic dosing system, on your hot tub is a backup, is a failsafe. It’s something that’s essential if you’re running a business property. But if you’re in a domestic setting, this is a good backup system. It means that you’re always going to have some form of sanitizer in your hot tub water. But it’s definitely not the be-all and end-all in your hot tub. You will always still have to test the pH and sanitizer, and it’s very likely that you will have to adjust these.

Even if you have a hot tub with really great pressurized filtration and an inline dosing system, you will still have to test the pH and chlorine. You will still have to probably adjust the chemical level. You’ll still have to drain it down. You still have to fill it back up. You still have to make sure the filter is clean. So basically self-cleaning is misleading at best, and a lie at worst. There is still maintenance that you will have to do. Yes, it may make it lower maintenance in some instances. But it will still need some sort of maintenance.

How To Reduce Hot Tub Maintenance?

1. Good pressurized filtration that’s the number one way that you can make sure that your hot tub is low maintenance. No amount of chemicals is going to substitute for a good filtration system. So good filtration is the easiest way to have a low-maintenance hot tub.

2. The second way is to shower beforehand. But your hot tub is not a bath. You want to make sure that you have any dead skin, oils, fake tan, or anything off of your body before you get into the hot tub. This will mean that your hot tub filter doesn’t get clogged up as quickly. And that good filtration that you spent all that money on will work better.

3. Third thing is ozone or UV. Now you’ll hear a lot of people selling these as a primary sanitization system, which means that you don’t need chlorine or bromine. Lie, do not listen to them. Ozone’s and Uvs are great secondary sanitization systems, which means you still need to use chlorine or bromine to kill the bacteria. But these work alongside it, to reduce the amount of chlorine or bromine that you need, which is great. The way that this works is that they are in the pipework, and they kill off bacteria basically. There’s a lot of science behind it. They either use UV light or O3 ozone gas to kill the bacteria.

Should You Get A Self-Cleaning Hot Tub?

Hopefully, now you understand that self-cleaning hot tubs aren’t really self-cleaning hot tubs. And what people are selling you, when they say their hot tubs are self-cleaning, is just something that’s actually low maintenance. The self-cleaning hot tub is just completely misleading to tell people that they’re not going to need to do any maintenance. And that is really what a lot of people think when they buy a self-cleaning hot tub that they’re not going to need to do anything to the water. They’re just going to need to empty it down every so often, and it will be fine, and that’s entirely untrue.

So do you need to buy a self-cleaning hot tub? Should you buy a self-cleaning hot tub? If someone’s trying to sell you it’s a self-cleaning hot tub, we’d suggest maybe not. Not because the hot tub won’t be low maintenance, but because do not trust anyone that told you that they were selling you a self-cleaning hot tub.