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What Is Hot Tub pH?

pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.  When it comes to the water in your hot tub, pH levels are one of the most important measurements you will need to keep an eye on.  If the pH levels of your hot tub’s water aren’t optimized properly the components of the hot tub can be damaged and the users may feel discomfort during or after use.  As a hot tub owner, these are the last things you want to be dealing with.  Hot tubs are supposed to be relaxing – they shouldn’t be a source of irritation.  That said, although you will need to do some regular maintenance, keeping the pH levels of your hot tub optimized is not that hard.  This article will go over the details of exactly how to keep your pH levels in check.

The Ideal pH Level

The pH measurement scale runs from 1 to 14.  A measurement of 7 is a neutral pH with 1 being the most acidic measurement possible and 14 being the most basic.  Hot tub water pH levels should be kept in the range of 7.2 to 7.8, or slightly basic.  To keep your hot tub water within this range you will need to do a simple water test.  DIY pH testing kits can come in the form of paper testing strips that you dip in a sample of water and check the resulting colour against a standardized scale.  More accurate DIY kits are titration tests in which you drop chemical reagents into a water sample to determine the pH.  Both are quite simple to perform at home.  However, if you feel uncomfortable running such tests yourself, you can also bring water samples to your hot tub dealer for testing.  You should check your pH level at least once a week and increase it to twice a week if you use your hot tub frequently.

Acidic Water

If your pH levels are lower than 7, your water is considered acidic.  Acidic water can cause various metal components on your hot tub, such as the heater, water pump, and filters, to rust.  Acidic water can cause bathers to experience skin and eye irritation.  Low pH levels will also affect your ability to control the total alkalinity of your water which is another measurement you’ll need to keep your eye on.

Balancing Acidic Water

To get acidic water back to the recommended 7.2 to 7.8 pH level you can try adding fresh water.  Tap water is typically basic, so its addition can cause the hot tub water’s pH levels to rise.  If you still need to raise the pH after adding fresh water, you’ll need to add pH increaser until you reach the optimal pH level.

Basic Water

If your pH level is above 7, your water is basic.  And although you want your hot tub water to be slightly basic, if the measurement goes above 7.8 you may experience scaling on your hot tub’s piping, filters, jets, and other components.  Scale deposits can cause your hot tub components to fail if left unchecked.

Balancing Basic Water

The only way to reduce the pH level of basic water is to add acid.  One of two types of acid, muriatic or dry, can be added to the water to reduce the pH levels.  And although they both work to lower pH, their application is different, so make sure you’re following the directions of the type of acid you’re using.

Now that you know what hot tub pH levels are, learn more about how to keep you hot tub water clean by downloading a buyer’s guide.