swim spa vacation

Vacation water care for swim spa owners

Your well-deserved vacation is nearly here. It’s a time to unwind, let loose, and just enjoy the company of friends and family. Before you leave, though, you have to get through your to-do list. You have to pack, tie up loose ends at work, clean out the fridge, and water your favorite houseplants. 

And then there’s your swim spa. You typically balance the chemicals several times a week to ensure that the water is clean and clear. But your vacation is for a week. Will your water revolt without regular maintenance while you are away?

While a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa requires routine water care, you can go on vacation without worry. Just a few simple steps before you jet off can ensure that you return home to your backyard oasis, and it’s ready for you to extend those vacation vibes.

swim spa vacation
A Michael Phelps swim spa allows you to enjoy the best of your vacation year-round. But if you are going on a trip, a few steps can make sure that your water stays clean and clear.

Swim spa vacation prep

Sometimes it feels like you need a vacation just to get ready for your vacation. There’s a flurry of activity and anticipation. At times, it can even feel a bit overwhelming and stressful as you try to get everything in order.

However, prepping your swim spa for a vacation should be the last thing that causes you stress.

Whether you’re going on a quick getaway or spending a week at the beach, these tips will help you avoid potential issues with water quality.

Balance chemical levels

One of the best things that you can do for your swim spa before vacation is balance the chemicals. Use a test strip to check levels for total alkalinity, pH, free chlorine, and total chlorine. 

When your water is too alkaline or acidic, the sanitizer can’t do its job. And you need the sanitizer to work while you’re away so you don’t come home to cloudy swim spa water. 

Just as a reminder: Always balance alkalinity first and then pH. Total alkalinity should be between 80 and 150 ppm. The proper pH range is 7.2 to 7.6.

swim spa water maintenance
The most important part of swim spa water maintenance is to get off to a good start. Once you have your water balanced, it’s easy to keep it there … with the right routine.

Chlorine shock

Are your alkalinity and pH in range? It’s time to start thinking about sanitizer. Making sure your chlorine levels are in range, or slightly, higher can keep your water clean while you are away.

A couple days before you leave on your trip, add chlorine to your swim spa water. Turn on the jets and allow the product to circulate for at least 20 to 30 minutes before closing the cover.

The next day, you can add a non-chlorine oxidizer. Or, as some call it, shock. Shocking the water raises the total chlorine levels above the recommended level for daily use to break down contaminants. The chlorine level will fall to safe levels while you are away.

Lower water temperature

Do you want to just chill out on vacation? A “chillier” swim spa temperature can help. The lower the water temperature, the less demand there is for chemicals. In addition, the water temperature also makes it harder for organisms to grow. 

Bonus: Even lowering the temperature by 10 degrees can help you reduce your energy costs while you are away.

clean swim spa water
You do need to use chemicals to keep your swim spa water clean. Owners should have products like a pH increaser, foam down and chlorine granules on hand so they can resolve issues quickly.

Filter maintenance

Michael Phelps might be the superstar of the swimming world. But filters might be the MVP of swim spa care. 

Swim spa filters trap and remove impurities from the water. Bacteria, microorganisms, dirt, debris, and leaves are all captured by the filters and taken out of circulation. Plus, swim spa filters help maintain proper water chemistry by capturing organic matter, oils, and lotions. These impurities can cause imbalances in pH levels and sanitizer effectiveness. 

One of the best things you can do before vacation is rinse and clean your swim spa filters. If your EcoPur core is more than six months old, it might also be an opportune time to replace it. The EcoPur core has minerals such as copper and zinc that work side-by-by side with your sanitizer to purify the water.

Secure the cover

You want to feel secure leaving on vacation. And that goes beyond making sure doors are locked and the alarm is on. Your cover is a key safety feature of the swim spa. It not only keeps out the elements but keeps out unwanted guests. Before you leave for your vacation, be sure that the cover is in place. It should be snug across the shell of the spa and Velcroed in the middle.  Most importantly, secure and lock the straps of your swim spa cover. Keep the key on the counter where it can be accessed by a friend or service tech if necessary. 

Recruit a friend

Do you have a friend coming over to collect mail and check on the house? Consider asking him to monitor the swim spa water. 

And just between us, it usually doesn’t take a lot of convincing.   

Your friend can take advantage of the swim spa — whether he wants to swim, exercise, or just relax. When he hops out, he can add some sanitizer and secure the cover 15 minutes late. As for you, you can relax knowing someone is testing the water and balancing the chemical levels as needed.


A little water care can go a long way. Many swim spa owners are pleasantly surprised when they come home from vacation to find their water as clear as when they left. More often than not being gone for a week or even 10 days will not negatively affect your swim spa water.

buy a swim spa

How to buy a Michael Phelps swim spa

Do you want to be able to swim, exercise, and relax at home? Having a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa allows you to swim on your schedule while adding a fun factor to your backyard. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and relaxing in a hot tub. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.