How Does Well Water Affect My Spa?

Well water can definitely be used to fill a spa but there are a few steps to take first to ensure that it’s safe and clean

Key takeaways:

  • Roughly 43 million people in the United States use wells as their source of drinking water. 
  • Well water is naturally pure and can be used to fill spas.
  • Higher concentrations of mineral and metal deposits in well water may lead to scaling.
  • Regular water changes are key to preventing scaling.
  • Using a filter and cleaning and changing it is very important to prevent potential contaminants from unregulated well water.  

Having a perfect spa or hot tub is a great way to relax. Setting it up correctly and maintaining it regularly ensures you, your family, and your friends can all enjoy the benefits of its fun and relaxing ambiance. Part of owning a spa is understanding its components. Both its internal and external components are reliant on well-maintained water to deliver a great spa experience. Your water needs to be monitored and tested regularly.

Many hot tub and spa owners wonder if using well water is acceptable. It absolutely is. About 15% of the population in the United States uses private well water for drinking.  Following in this vein, you can use it to fill a spa and we will show you how to do this and what you need to know first.  

Is filling a hot tub or spa harmful to my well pump?

Some people that use private wells worry if filling their spa or hot tub will burn out their well’s pump. If you are worried, don’t be. In most situations, you’ll only run your hose for a few hours when filling up your spa or hot tub.

Consider other times you have used your hose for a few hours. Maybe you have power-washed your home. Or spent time washing your household’s cars or trucks. If you (or someone you know) has ever filled up a pool using a well pump, you pumped upwards of 20,000 gallons of water! Swim spas are much smaller and most hot tubs only need around 400 gallons, so the difference in water usage is staggering.

How to fill a spa with well water

You want to make sure the well water you are using is clear and filtered to avoid problems with water clarity from high metal content. To do that easily when using a garden hose that brings water directly from the well, simply use a pre-filter you can attach to the hose. The pre-filter will help remove higher levels of minerals and metals, microorganisms, and organic chemicals.  

Will well water stain my swim spa or hot tub?

Well water has been filtered naturally underground and is pure in the sense that it hasn’t been mixed with other substances. However, it can also have higher levels of minerals and metals, such as copper and lead, microorganisms, and organic chemicals. The higher levels of these contaminants may stain the soft surfaces of your spa. If neglected, the water can cause scaling, too.

“Scaling” is just what it sounds like. If your well water has higher levels of magnesium and calcium, then it’s considered “hard.” Once the water evaporates, it leaves behind these minerals. Remnants of these minerals and other deposited contaminants look like fish or reptile scales. 

The buildup from this hard water is unpleasant to look at but it’s not harmful to your health. It could cause damage to your hot tub’s components if left unchecked, however. Scaling can plug up your pumps and otherwise wreak havoc with your spa’s systems.

How do I prevent scaling in my hot tub’s fixtures?

Using a pre-filter when first filling your unit can prevent scaling by removing the higher levels of minerals that cause it. If you don’t do that, the easiest way to get rid of scaling is by cleaning your hot tub or spa. If the scaling is mild enough, you can easily scrub it off using a hot tub scale removing cleaner. One thing to be careful of? Don’t get any cleaner into your water.

Scrub scaling from the surfaces of your hot tub or spa when the jets are turned off. Scrub the shell above the water surface. As you scrub, small amounts of these deposits may fall into the water. Your unit’s filter will take care of it. Just be sure to clean your filter to keep scaling from building up again.

If you have a lot of scaling below the water surface, you may have to completely drain your unit to take care of it. Draining your spa gives you the freedom to scrub the walls thoroughly without worrying about all of the deposits going through your filter.

Change your spa or hot tub water regularly

Another way to prevent scaling is with regular water changes. A complete water change means you’re removing the minerals rather than allowing them to be left behind when water evaporates. When people fill their units to replace evaporated water, they are ignoring the minerals left behind. When the added water evaporates, more minerals get left behind. Over time, this cycle results in more and more deposit build-up.

Is it hard to balance well water in my hot tub or spa?

Sometimes, hot tubs or spas filled with well water appear cloudy. You may notice a brownish or greenish color. The best thing you can do for your unit’s health is to test the water. Find out what the pH, calcium hardness, or alkalinity levels are. Read our pH balance guide for more information.

Clean your filter

Another way to prevent scaling issues is by cleaning your spa’s filter. As your filter works to siphon out contaminants, it slowly gets clogged. Clogged filters cause pumps to work harder. Equipment failure becomes more likely and more frequent.

Check out our complete care guide to keep your swim spa or hot tub in tip-top shape. Also, be sure to consult your unit’s owner literature, too.

Proper care is the key

If you use well water to fill your spa, you don’t have to worry. With a commitment to proper filling with filtration and maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of your backyard oasis for years! 

Contact us today if you have questions. Our customer service team will be happy to help you.

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