VOLUME 7RClean Pool, Happy Tenant
By Cameron Austin
Southern cities are no strangers to outdoor pools. In fact, in a 2021 survey from home remodeling company Fixr, Florida is one of the highest-ranking states for this amenity, with 30.6% of pools in Miami and 25.9% in Orlando. Although Texas pool rates are lower (Dallas with 13.8%, Houston with 9.1%, and Austin and San Antonio with around 7%), the Lone Star State is still in the top 30.

However, while a pool or hot tub can be an attractive rental amenity, it can also be an added burden due to maintenance and upkeep. The signed lease agreement should dictate a specific maintenance routine, including who is responsible for what.

If the tenant is responsible for maintenance of the outdoor amenity, some general knowledge about the chemistry, circulation and cleaning of this backyard water feature will keep things running smoothly and the water ready to enjoy.

Monitor the Water’s Chemistry
One of the most important ways to care for a hot tub or pool is to monitor the water chemistry to ensure it’s safe and sanitized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pool chemicals help disinfect the water for safe swimming, improve water quality, and to stop corrosion and algae growth.

By using test strips to check the chemical levels regularly, tenants should ensure hot tubs and pools are within the CDC’s recommended levels of chemicals, including:

  • Free chlorine level: At least 1 part per million (ppm) in pools and water playgrounds, and at least 3 ppm in hot tubs
  • Bromine level: At least 3 ppm in pools and water playgrounds and at least 4 ppm in hot tubs
  • pH (affects how effectively germs are killed or inactivated): 7.2–7.8

Pool manufacturer instructions and hardware stores may provide additional instructions and guidelines to read these levels.

Check Hot Tub and Pool Filter Circulation Regularly
Like the body’s circulation system, the pool or hot tub pump is designed to keep oxygen flowing, preventing water from stagnating and creating a buildup of dirt and debris. Running the pump daily—even for 15 minutes—can keep the water circulating and oxygenated. Some newer pool and hot tub models will automatically run the pump, minimizing the need for the renter to do this manually.

Spas require more manual work to maintain the filter. By maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for the filter, tenants can prevent unwanted sediment from entering the pump. Legacy Hot Tubs, a spa dealer in Sarasota, Florida, recommends rinsing the spa filter weekly and doing a more thorough chemical cleaning every month with a solution specifically for hot tubs.

Get the Right Cleaning Tools for the Job
Cleaning a pool or hot tub is often the most manual part but is also one of the most critical steps. Regular cleanings keep the pump working and water chemicals balanced. This also prevents damage to the liner of a pool or hot tub.

Sahara Construction, a custom pool builder in Katy, Texas, recommends using a skimmer to remove any debris from the water's surface, then follow up by vacuuming to clean any objects or dirt at the bottom. While a manual pool vacuum will work for hot tubs and smaller pools, for larger pools, an automatic vacuum can speed up the process and minimize the labor required.

These tools can be a large investment, so reviewing the lease agreement and confirming if the tenant or landlord is responsible for supplying the equipment and material to clean the pool is essential.

With the proper knowledge and care, tenants can keep their hot tub or pool safe, clean and enjoyable.