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How to Raise Hot Tub pH?

Maintaining fresh and clean water in your hot tub requires dealing with some chemical substances. But don’t worry, there’s no need for a degree in chemistry to run a hot tub! But keeping your water chemistry balanced will ensure that soaking in your hot tub is safe, healthy and relaxing. One of the more important ways of keeping your hot tub water in balance is knowing how to raise hot tub pH. To help you understand the main concepts of pH as it relates to a hot tub, we’ve come up with an article to make things more clear.

What Is pH?

pH is simply a measurement of how acidic or basic a solution is. The pH scale runs from a completely acidic measure of 1 to a completely basic measure of 14 with 7 being neutral. The water in a hot tub should measure between 7.4 and 7.6 on the pH scale meaning that the water is slightly basic. 

What Happens If My pH Is Too Low?

Acidic water in a hot tub can be the cause of a wide range of problems. The sanitizers that you add to the water to keep it clean have a hard time remaining stable and have a tendency to break down in acidic water. This leads to the need to add more sanitizer or risk ending up with water infested with harmful bacteria and other pathogens. Acidic water can also irritate the skin and cause a burning sensation in the eyes or nose. Acidic water will also cause the metal components of your hot tub to begin to rust and corrode.

How Does Total Alkalinity Affect pH?

Total alkalinity is a measure of how readily a solution neutralizes the acid. For this reason, it’s important to get your total alkalinity level in check before adjusting your pH level. If your total alkalinity is off, you’ll have a very tough time balancing your pH. The ideal measurement of total alkalinity is between 125 and 150 ppm.

Testing for Total Alkalinity and pH

You can easily test for total alkalinity and pH by dunking water test strips into a sample of water, using a water test kit that has you adding reagents to a water sample or bringing a water sample to a hot tub or swimming pool supplier for testing. To retrieve a water sample, you should make sure your hot tub has been running for at least 10 minutes to allow a good mix of the water. Place your thumb over the opening of your water sample container, turn it upside down and submerge it into the deepest part of the hot tub to a depth of about 30 centimetres. Remove your thumb from the opening, turn the container over and allow it to fill up with water before removing it from the tub. From here you can use your test strips, add reagents to the water sample or bring it to your hot tub dealer.

Adjusting Total Alkalinity

If your total alkalinity measurement doesn’t land between 120 and 150 ppm, you’ll need to add total alkalinity increaser or decreaser as required. Once you add it to the water, allow the hot tub to run for an hour before measuring again and making any further adjustments if necessary.

Raising pH

Once your total alkalinity is in the proper range, you can raise the pH if your measurements show that it’s less than 7.4. The way to raise pH is by adding soda ash to the water. The amount of soda ash you add will depend on how low the pH of the water is. Turn off the water pump before adding the soda ash to the centre of the hot tub and then turn the pump back on and let it run for an hour before testing the pH again.

To learn more about hot tub water chemistry, download a free hot tub buyer’s guide today.