Don’t worry, it’s simpler than you think.
The four most important things to know about water balance is sanitizer, alkalinity, PH levels, and calcium hardness. For the most part, you’ll not have to bother with anything else. Those four things can be measured with a single test strip, so it’s pretty simple actually, and it becomes intuitive after a while.
There are all kinds of theories out there suggesting a million different ways to balance your hot tub water, and over the years, many salespeople have excitedly approached me with an alternative product for water treatment that will “revolutionize the hot tub industry”. I always suggest that they let me try it in my home hot tub for a couple months for free, then if I like it and feel confident enough to sell it to clients, I’ll stock it in my store. Not once has this worked out.
What about all those confusing options for hot tub sanitation systems, like ozonators, salt generators, UV lighting, in-line chemical dispensers, and such? That’s a big topic, beyond the scope of this webpage, so I’ll just say this: There’s a lot of choices out there, and laws and regulations keep changing. By default, I recommend you stick with what’s standard, tried and true. I’d be glad to discuss things with you further in person, if you like. Sorry that’s all I got for this one.