According to the EPA, more than 23 million households rely on private wells for drinking water in the United States.
If you're one of them—or you just happen to have access to a well on your property—you may be considering filling your hot tub with well water.
So, what are the pros and cons of filling your hot tub with well water? Is it a good idea, or are you better off using more conventional water sources to get that tub filled up? Let's take a look.
Before we dive into the pros and cons of using well water to fill up your hot tub, I do want to point out that there is only going to be one pro. This doesn't necessarily mean that using your well to fill up your hot tub is a bad idea. (It isn't. Plenty of people do it.)
However, be sure to read through the cons too, just to get a better idea as to whether it is the right choice for you.
Pro: well water is cheaper
If you already have the set-up to pump water from your well, then you will find that the cost is considerably cheaper than using any other water source. You aren't really paying for that water that you are taking out of the ground. Sure, water isn't necessarily expensive when you get it through more conventional sources either. However, let's be honest, a penny saved is a penny earned!
Remember, your hot tub won't really need a huge amount of water either (around 200-600 gallons is enough to fill most spas) and they only need filling every 3 months or so on average. So, if you have a small well close by and you have the ability to get water out of it, why wouldn't you use it?
Con: you will have to filter the water properly
Well water needs to be filtered. Heavily.
If you get your hot tub water from a hose connected up to the municipal water supply, all of that water filtering would already have been done.
Water coming from a well could be laced with soil, minerals, and heavy metals. All of these need to be taken out of the equation before they get into your hot tub. This means that you are going to need some decent equipment to do it.
A hose attachment can help to remove some of these unwanted metals:
If you don't have one of these, you may want to steer clear of using well water to fill up your hot tub for now.
Con: well water can be tough to balance
As you likely know, the water in your hot tub needs to be constantly balanced to ensure that the pH, TA, and calcium hardness levels are just right.
Because well water tends to be higher in minerals than your typical water supply, you may find it tougher to balance.
Those that use well water for their hot tubs will find themselves needing to work diligently and constantly check water balance (even more so than with a regular water supply). If you fail to do this, then you could end up hampering the water quality in your hot tub. You may even find that the unbalanced water causes staining or scale which could destroy some of the components if left unchecked.
Basically, you shouldn't really be using well water in your hot tub unless you are putting in the time and effort to ensure that every part of the water chemistry remains properly balanced.
Con: well water may leave residue on your hot tub
Even if you do work incredibly hard to balance your well water, it is much more likely to leave residue and staining in your hot tub. This is because you are probably never going to be able to get that water absolutely perfect.
Of course, this is a problem that can be easy to deal with. However, you will need to put in a little bit of effort if you want to keep your spa sparkling clean. This means that you need to be thoroughly and regularly cleaning the inside of the hot tub. You may even need to change the filters a bit more often in order to ensure that they stay clean.
Again, using well water in your hot tub is not going to be for those people that really want to have a hot tub that requires the minimum of maintenance. If you want that, sticking to a conventional water supply would be better.
Con: your neighbors may not be happy
While a hot tub doesn't really use a lot of water spread out over time, it does use a fair amount at once to fill it. If your well is shared with your neighbors, then they may not be huge fans of you completely draining the well in order to fill up your hot tub.
Or if you are the only one that uses the well, then you may find that you have a lower amount of water available for other things shortly after you have filled up the hot tub.
Of course, this is always going to be dependent on the flow rate into the well. However, it is rare that the flow rate into a well is enough to sustain filling a hot tub and other heavy water needs at once.
If the well is yours, this is just something to keep in mind. But if you share the well, then be sure to at least ask permission from your neighbors first.
In my opinion, there is no problem with using well water to fill a hot tub in most cases, so I suggest that you use a well if you have it available.
It does make filling up your hot tub a lot cheaper. It is much more sustainable than other water sources too.
However, just keep in mind that if you use a well to refill your hot tub, you are going to need to be putting in a little more work to keep the water balanced properly, and paying extra attention to pH and calcium hardness in particular.