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Mineral Ions: What’s in that blue cartridge anyway?




Silver ionizers release small amounts of silver into the hot tub water. The silver ions act as a bacteriastat, killing bacteria in the water. Ionizers require chlorine or bromine sanitizer for daily sanitation and a supplemental Shock oxidizer to “burn” up the organic waste.



The ionizer is usually installed into the hot tub’s shell with a frog system. This frog system is on most HotSpring and Caldera brand hot tubs.

The silver ions kill bacteria more slowly than is needed for complete sanitation and should not be used as a standalone device for sanitation. But used along with a low level of chlorine or bromine, this system can provide adequate sanitation.

Organic waste enters the pool or spa continuously from the environment or bathers. A large amount of the load on a chlorinated system is from organic waste. Since ionizers do not remove this organic material, it is necessary to shock the pool or spa regularly to “burn” the dead bacteria and other organics.

Your blue mineral cartridge will last about 4 months and then should be replaced.

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Water Care: Hardness and Softness

flowing waterHardness and softness have been used to describe water for generations. Up until the last 100 years, well water was the only source around and what you got was what you had to live with. Then water softeners were introduced in the early 1900s. Hard water doesn’t form suds. It leaves bathtub rings. If it contains a lot of iron, it can even stain your clothes.

Hardness is caused by minerals in the water, including calcium, magnesium, iron, aluminum, manganese, strontium, or zinc. Because calcium accounts for 75% of the hardness in water, scientists have set a scale called Calcium Hardness so they can give it a number and provide a recipe to balance it.

Soft water feels better on your skin. However, Continue reading Water Care: Hardness and Softness

I’m Short! What can I do to enjoy my hot tub more?

littlegirlBeing vertically challenged can present a problem for hot tub owners. It seems like most hot tubs are made for people over 5’6”. Fortunately, if you are 5′ tall or less, there are some things you can do to make sure you get to enjoy your hot tub as much as your lanky spouse or kids. Here are a few:

Test soak your hot tub before you buy it, if possible.

Even if you can’t test the exact same model, ask your dealer for a hot tub with a similar layout. That will give you an idea Continue reading I’m Short! What can I do to enjoy my hot tub more?

Hot Tub Terms: Your Glossary of Spa Jargon

Acrylic: a product used to make hot tub interiors

Air Leak: what happens when a pump has a crack on the suction side so it draws air into the water. This can damage the pump and the filter. If your water has a lot of foam and anti-foam isn’t working, this could be the reason.

Algae: microscopic plant life that grows in unbalanced hot tub water where the cover is off a lot

Alkalinity: (see Total Alkalinity) a measure of how much buffering agent is in your water

Anti-foam: a chemical which reduces or eliminates foaming.

Biguanides: (pronounced By-GUAN-eyed) sanitizer that is part of a non-chlorine and non-bromine water treatment system.

Continue reading Hot Tub Terms: Your Glossary of Spa Jargon

Water Care Conference Call Q&A

Our local water care expert, Natasha McCausland from BioLabs, will be with us the first Wednesday of each month at noon to answer your questions and concerns. All you need to do is call into our conference line, and you’ll get your watercare questions answered.

Can’t call in on Wednesday? No problem. Email us your question to Lana at and she’ll ask Natasha for you. We’ll send you a link to the recording so you can hear her response.

This is a free event to Clearwater Spas customers. Register below and we’ll send you an email that morning with your phone number and conference code. That way you can touch the number on your smart phone and dial in instantly. If you register, you’ll get a link to the recording as well.


Another great service from Clearwater Spas because we care.


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Hot Tub Watercare Class at Clearwater Spas

Our local water care expert, Natasha McCausland from BioLabs, will be with us for an evening of training on how your water care works and to answer your questions and concerns. Now’s the time to get clear on your watercare.

Wed, October 22 at 6 p.m. in our showroom at 226 Churchmans Road, New Castle, DE 19720

This is a free event to Clearwater Spas customers. All you need to do is register below. Our classroom has limited room so we only have 25 seats available.


Getting into Hot Water: Healthy and Healing


While it’s a good time getting into a warm tub filled with bubbling water, the health benefits are great. Relaxation of tense muscles and quieting of the mind are only the beginning. Those beautiful bubbles combine with swirling motion to produce pain relief and increase flexibility for arthritis sufferers as well as others who have physical challenges. Continue reading Getting into Hot Water: Healthy and Healing