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Are Plug and Play Hot Tubs Safe? (Explained)

If you are missing your regular spa days due to an excessive busy schedule then plug and play hot tubs can be your one-stop solution. Now, when we think of hot tubs, we imagine a large fixed structure with complicated machinery. So, when looking at the simple plug-and-play hot tubs one can wonder, are plug and play hot tubs safe?

Plug and play hot tubs are completely safe. It requires chemicals to keep it well off just like regular hot tubs. But, you can use a minimal amount of the chemical dozes to feel a natural experience.

Plug and play hot tubs are a good alternative to traditional ones. To help you understand better, this article deals with the plug and play hot tub safety issues with necessary explanations. Before jumping into your hot tub, I advise you to read the full article.

Are the Chemicals Used In Plug and Play Hot Tubs Safe?

Chemicals are the most essential elements for a safe run of the plug-and-play hot tubs. They are required to kill off the bacteria and improve the bathing experience.

Just like swimming spas, chemicals act as sanitizers and water balancers. However, the water improvement chemicals are optional and depend on personal preferences. Here are some of the chemicals that ensure plug-and-play hot tubs' safety.


Chlorine and Bromine are the two sanitizing chemicals. But you should not use them all at a time. These chemicals kill bacteria and keep the water clean and safe for use.

Sanitizing chemicals are available in both tablets and powder forms. Tablets take more time to dissolve whereas powdered sanitizers dissolve instantly. You can use powdered sanitizers to shock the hot tub water.

Water Balancing Chemicals

Water balancing chemicals are set for testing the water saturation point. It also refers to balancing out different chemical measurements of hot tub water for safety purposes.

If the water balance ratio goes below the saturation point, then it becomes corrosive. Hence, the increasing amount of alkalinity balances the pH level of the tub water.

However, if the water balance ratio goes above the saturation point, then it becomes contaminated with insoluble salts. Such as magnesium, calcium, iron, etc. which are harsh for the skin.

Water Improvement Chemicals

To prevent scale formation, water improvement chemicals are important. These chemicals are useful for various purposes. Hence, it helps to provide a safe and clean water surface for usage.

Biofilm removing chemicals prevent slimes, cloudy water from forming on the surface of hot tubs. It increases the work efficiency of the sanitizers.

Stain and scale preventing chemicals cover the insoluble minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. Through a protective layering shield, it stops the particles from staining and scaling on the surface.

How to Keep A Safe Plug and Play Hot Tub?

Plug and play hot tubs are safe. But their safety depends on your active participation in keeping them safe. Here are some things you should remember to keep your hot tub safe.

Adding Plumbing Cleaner

Slime is resistant to sanitizing chemicals. Over a period, the biofilm will be built upon the hot tubs' plumbing machine. The increasing amount of sanitizer provokes biofilm production.

To remove its production, adding a hot tub plumbing cleaner is a must. Before draining or refilling the hot tub, this plumbing cleaner should be applied.

GFCI Breaker

GFCI is a circuit breaker with 6ma or 8 ma. Its sensitivity provides human safety with no chance of short circuit. Usually fits with the attached 15-amp cord with a proper distance from the box to the tub.

For safety issues, you should not use any extension cord. With a waterproof covered outlet, you should avoid attaching any other appliances to the GFCI outlet. As this kind of circuit breaker is too sensitive, any kind of ill occurrence will bring an immediate cut-out.

Using Sanitizing Tablets

Sanitizing tablets are safer than powdered sanitizers. It dissolves slowly into the water. Sanitizing tablets will not react with other chemicals promptly. Moreover, it will not reduce the effectiveness of the chemicals.

Clean Filters

Regular cleaning of hot tub fitters will keep up the freshwater. This will result in lesser usage of sanitizers. Also, regular check-ups will reduce the necessity of deep cleaning hassle.

The more the sanitizers indulge in fighting the dirt, the less it will be available to kill bacteria. Thus, one will have to pour a handsome amount behind the sanitizers.

Only Use the Essentials

To get a natural feeling, only the essential chemicals should be in use. Here, sanitizing and water balancing chemicals are the essentials.

Other than that, antifoam and clarifiers are not essential chemicals. So, avoid using an excessive amount of chemicals.

Adding UV Filters

UV filters come under additional settings for a better sanitization system. UV filters help to reduce the number of sanitizers by deducting bacteria production.

The cost of buying and installing this feature to your hot tub might be a bit expensive. Once it is installed it will save your money for a lifespan by restraining excessive chemical usage.

Using Aromatherapy Oils

Using aromatherapy oils is essential for getting a pleasant experience. It also works as a stress reliever promoting top-class massage experiences like a spa.

It is recommended to use the rated aromatherapy oils for avoiding any unpleasant experience. Underrated aromatherapy oils can affect the pH balance negatively.

Is It Safe to Convert the Voltage of A Plug and Play Hot Tub?

It is not safe to convert the voltage of a plug and play hot tub. It is because you'll need to sacrifice the GFCI breaker to do that which is not safe at all.

The conversion will open up the path to install a much more powerful heater. But, the plug and play hot tub comes with a 15' hot tub cord which is set with a GFCI Breaker.

To convert, an experienced electrician needs to cut off the GFCI breaker while wiring up a disconnect box with a 40-amp circuit. As the GFCI breaker provides no chance of a short circuit, it is safe to not convert it.

Safety Precautions Before Using Plug and Play Hot Tubs

According to the hot tub owners, these are some of the precautions that should be taken in advance before using one. Let's check out!

Shock Hot Tubs Regularly

Through the shocking process, the dead bacteria and leftover sanitizers will be evacuated. A regular shock supports lesser usage of sanitizers.

The shocking treatment allows a more efficient job for the upcoming intact sanitizing chemicals. Regular hot tub shocks are good for keeping bacteria-free clean water.

Maintaining the pH Balance

Maintaining the pH balance of the hot tub's water is necessary for a safe bath. If it is below 7.2 then the alkalinity should be decreased whereas if it is above 7.8 then the alkalinity should be increased.

An ideal range should be between 7.2 and 7.8 concerning the bathers. Because the sanitizers do not work efficiently in acidic water. This may result in contamination and skin rashes.

Frequency of Chemical Usage

Sanitizing chemicals are often recommended to use frequently. After ensuring an acceptable range of sanitizer testing, the usage should be determined.

While maintaining an acceptable range of sanitizer in the tub water, it is crucial to shock the hot tub water. At least once per week for its peak efficiency.

Replacing Filters Timely

To maximize the efficiency of sanitizing chemicals, a filter maintenance schedule should be on the checklist. After every 3-4 months, the filter will have to be soaked in a cleaning solution.

However, after every 13-14 months, the filter should be replaced for safety. If the filters are not replaced timely then it may lag the function of the plug and play hot tub.

Watch Out For the Temperature

Although the maximum temperature is 104°F, the optimum temperature is usually set under 100-104°. It is safe to not exceed the max temperature.

It takes time to raise the temperature. As with 110V, it becomes challenging to run the jets, plumbing, and heating at the same time.

Avoid Enzyme Based Chemicals

Some chemicals are enzyme-based. These chemicals work like reactants. Hence, for safety purposes, it should be avoided.

Enzyme-based chemicals are negatively affected by high amounts of sanitizers. Hence, it should be used later, after the shocking treatment of the hot tub.

How to Add Chemicals to Plug and Play Hot Tubs Safely?

According to experienced hot tub users, the chemical adding procedure plays a crucial role to determine if they are working effectively or not. Let's dive in!

Step 1: Turning the Jets on

In the case of adding chemicals to the hot tubs, it is better to turn on all the jets. This way it will help to dissolve the chemicals easily with the water flow.

This ensures that the chemicals are spread among the water proportionately. Thus, it will work at peak efficiency without causing any property damage.

Step 2: Time for Chemical Mixing

In case of adding more than one chemical, there should be at least a 15 minutes break. It will allow each chemical to spread and incorporate among the water evenly.

Chemical reactionary reduces the effectiveness of the chemicals and water balance. Thus, this break is essential to prevent chemical reactions.

Step 3: The Hood Remains Open

The hood needs to remain open of the plug and play hot tub to let go of the by-products of toxic gases like nitrogen. Or else it will damage the contacted surface of the cover.

After the shocking process or chemical mixing, the hood should remain open for at least 30 minutes. Also, if the hood remains covered then the toxic gas will reduce the effectiveness of the shock process.

Step 4: Pack-up

After a certain period, the plug and play hot tub should be covered for cleanliness and safety. If no chemical mixing is left then you should pack up your tub hood.

If the hood remains open for an extended period, it will cause dirt and bacteria formation. To avoid such occurrences, the hood should be covered after a certain time.

So, are plug and play hot tubs safe? Yes, they are. And after reading this article, I'm sure you can now understand that it becomes safer when plug and play hot tubs are used correctly, keeping up good maintenance as well as safety precautions. Thanks for reading till the end.

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Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol is a pool and hot tub owner who has been working in this industry for over 5 years. He has learned all the ins and outs of maintaining pools and hot tubs, as well as how to privately own one. Ferdi Vol is also passionate about blogging, researching topics that he shares with his readers online via this blog.
About Ferdi Vol
About Pool Uncle
Pool Uncle is a blog that focuses on helping pool and hot tub owners get the right tools, maintain their pools and hot tubs, and learn about how to care for them. It provides readers with all of the information they need to keep their pools clean, safe, and looking great. The website also publishes original articles about pool maintenance topics such as filtration systems or algae prevention techniques.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has been in the swimming pool and hot tub as an owner for over 5 years. His experience ranges from owning a pools and hot tubs and maintaining them. He’s learned about pumps, filters, chemicals, cleaning products, treatment systems… you name it!
About Ferdi Vol
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