One of the main breakdowns in hot tub covers is damage caused by chemicals in your hot tub. In this post we will talk about what chemicals can do to hot tub covers, and what preventative measures can be done to avoid these damages. By preventing or limiting the damage hot tub chemicals can have on your hot tub cover will help the cover last longer and perform better for you over time.
The first thing we have to acknowledge is that there is nothing that causes more damage to your hot tub cover or spa cover than the chemicals that are added to your hot tub. Other than someone sitting or standing on your hot tub cover nothing will breakdown your hot tub top quicker. We have seen covers destroyed by chemicals in less than six months, and hot tub owners will be unaware that there spa cover has been damaged, because the damage takes place internally in the hot tub cover.
Hot tub covers for the most part have all the same parts, and the part or element of the hot tub cover that receives the harshest affect from poorly balanced hot tub chemicals is the poly vapor wrap around the foam core of the hot tub cover. Within months of a hot tub covers life a poorly maintained hot tub can be corrosive enough to breakdown the poly wrap vapor barrier around the foam cores of a hot tub cover.
The three hot tub chemical issues that damage hot tub covers
- unstable alkalinity
- low or high ph levels
- excessive chlorine levels
If your alkalinity and ph levels are not stable an acidic environment can result in your hot tub water. When your ph is too low the vapor that results from the hot water in your hot tub will be acidic and will form in the space between the top of the hot tub water, and the underside of the hot tub cover. With no where to release to the acidic vapor will engulf the underside of the hot tub cover. It will not take long before that acidic vapor starts to attack the poly wrap around the hot tub cover foam cores, making it brittle and in time destroying it. Once this protective layer is non existent the foam will start to absorb the moisture from the hot tub. The foam once saturated can not be unsaturated and you will be looking at replacing your hot tub cover. Because this can be a gradual occurrence some hot tub owners don’t realize that their hot tub cover has gained in weight and continue to use the hot tub cover. The hot tub cover becomes unmanageable, but worse loses it’s insulation value, adding to your energy consumption and costs of running your hot tub. The remedy for protecting your hot tub cover and all your hot tub parts from unbalanced and high ph levels is simple. Weekly maintenance that includes testing your hot tub water and maintaining proper ph and alkalinity levels. This will save your hot tub cover, and your hot tub parts from breaking down prematurely. Your alkalinity level should be between 80 to 120 PPM, and you have to balance your alkalinity before your ph level, because you will be unable to get a correct ph level till your alkalinity level is proper. You will want to keep your ph level anywhere between 7.2 and 7.8 PPM anything below 7.2 is considered acidic and not only will your hot tub cover breakdown but all your equipment will be at risk. Not to mention your hot tub sanitizer’s will not function properly with low or high ph levels. It is not the healthiest body of water for you or your family to be sitting in.
When your chlorine or bromine levels are to high your hot tub water becomes corrosive to your hot tub cover. In much the same way as the acidic levels in your hot tub an over chlorinated hot tub creates a vapor between the top of the hot tub water and the underside of your hot tub cover. This corrosive vapor again can cause the poly vapor barrier and the underside material of your cover to be destroyed over time. And although your hot tub cover on the outside still looks great the damage is done on the inside. The picture above tells the tale of an over oxidized hot tub damage to the underside of a hot tub cover. Again the damage results in a breakdown of the poly wrap inviting moisture into the foam core of the hot tub cover. Once saturated the cover becomes heavy and does not insulate the hot tub any longer. The remedy for this is first to remove the hot tub cover for at least an hour whenever you shock your hot tub water. Having a hot tub cover lifter will most likely encourage removing your hot tub cover when you shock because it is easier for one person to remove the hot tub cover and it is easier to take off and put back on after shocking your hot tub water. Second, with weekly maintenance test and keep your sanitizers at the appropriate levels, for chlorine you need to be 1.5 to 3 PPM and bromine 3 to 5 PPM.
How to protect your hot tub cover
- weekly hot tub water tests
- keep alkalinity between 80-120
- keep ph between 7.2-7.8
- keep chlorine between 1.5-3 or bromine 3-5
- remove your hot tub cover when you shock