How to Keep Your Water Balanced? I’m just going to dump in some, whoa wait, hold on!
The clean hot tub isn’t just about adding sanitizer.
If you don’t add in the right amount of chemicals in the right order at the right time, you’re gonna end up with some funky hot tub water, but don’t worry.
The secret to keeping your water balanced is knowing a little basic hot tub water chemistry, check it out.
We’re gonna cover three basics of hot tub water chemistry, alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness.
I know, I know who thought you would ever need to know all of this chemistry to enjoy your hot tub.
But once you understand these concepts you’ll be able to troubleshoot most hot tub water problems.
First up, pH and alkalinity.
These two go hand in hand.
When you start balancing your water’s chemistry the first thing you’re gonna adjust is the alkalinity, specifically the total alkalinity.
Total alkalinity is the water’s ability to neutralize acids.
It acts as a buffer, reducing acidity in your hot tub water.
No one wants to soak in acidic water, right?
You wanna aim for an alkalinity level between 125 and 150 parts per million.
Then there’s pH, as you may remember from high school chemistry, pH measures whether a solution is basic or acidic.
The pH scale goes from zero to 14, with seven right in the middle being neutral.
The lower the pH the more acidic the water is.
The higher the number the more basic it is.
You may wanna aim for a pH level between 7.4 and 7.6 with 7.5 being ideal.
Now here’s why they work together because total alkalinity buffers acidity, adjusting the alkalinity first may be enough to bring the pH in line.
If you need to increase the alkalinity you can use an alkalinity increaser however, if you need to bring the alkalinity down you’ll actually use a pH decreaser that’s because bringing pH down also brings alkalinity down.
Again, this is why we adjust the alkalinity first.
Finally, if after reaching a good alkalinity level the pH is still out of whack, you can add pH increaser or decreaser.
Getting these two levels balanced is essential.
If they’re not right, your sanitizer won’t work the way it’s supposed to.
Now, this is another reason to test your hot tub water at least once a week, keep a supply of test strips on hand or you could use a liquid test kit for more accurate results.
You can also always take your water sample to your local hot tub dealer and have them test it too.
Next up is the calcium hardness.
This is the measure of how hard the water in your hot tub is.
If you live somewhere with hard water you know how you can get calcium deposits on faucets and showerheads, right?
Well, you actually got the water in your hot tub to be a little bit on the harder side.
If it’s too soft, it can eat away your hot tub shell, pipes, and other parts slowly breaking them down over time.
Now to keep the water hardness steady you can add calcium hardness increaser.
The ideal calcium hardness level in your hot tub is 175 parts per million to 250 parts per million.
This is the ultimate manual for every type of hot tub.
The best part is, we always keep it up-to-date so once you buy it .you have access to the latest and greatest version for life.
So alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness are the chemicals that you absolutely need to maintain your hot tub water chemistry, but there are a couple more you can keep on hand for special circumstances.
The first is hot tub enzymes.
They help break down organic contaminants like skin cells, body oils, leaves, twigs, insects, and all other kinds of nasties that can end up in your hot tub.
But if left too long, they’ll break down and leave a gross film on top of your water and scum ring around your spa.
Enzymes aren’t absolutely necessary as long as you keep your sanitizer level balanced.
And if you drain and clean your hot tub on a regular basis, at least every three to four months.
Next, there’s a water clarifier.
Now, while the clarifier will help you clean up your cloudy water, it’s only a temporary solution.
Water clarifier treats the symptoms not the cause of cloudy water.
So it will clear things up for a little while, but not forever.
But if you don’t address the actual problem it’ll go right back to the way it was once the clarifier wears off.
If you’re in a rush, because let’s say you’re having people over to use your hot tub, a clarifier gets the job done.
Instead of spending a lot of time testing and balancing you can just pour in some clarifier and then deal with the root issue later.
But just remember, it’s always better to keep your water clean and balanced.
Water clarifier is just a last and temporary resort.
Okay, now that you know what chemicals to add, let’s go over how to add them.
First, keep the hot tub running when you add chemicals.
You want the chemicals to mix into the water and the hot tub jets we’ll do this for you.
Once you add the chemicals do not cover your hot tub.
You might’ve heard this is a good idea to keep the chemicals from evaporating but right after you add chemicals, they need to gas off.
Which means a portion of the chemicals will be released into the air.
Off-gassing is normal and you want those chemical gases to dissipate.
So don’t trap them under your hot tub cover.
If your hot tub is indoors, it’s a good idea to open a window or turn on a ventilation fan or even both just so that these gases don’t hang around the room
where you’ll have to breathe them in.
If your hot tub has air valves that increased jet pressure, turn them off.
You don’t want to off-gas to happen too quickly.
You need some of the chemicals to remain in the water to do their jobs.
Too much air in the water and too much of the chemicals will off-gas.
Now, before you add any chemicals test the water using test strips or a liquid test kit.
Remember, focus on alkalinity and pH first, if your alkalinity and your pH are out of whack, the sanitizer can’t do its job.
Next, determine how much of each chemical you’ll need.
Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out which chemicals you need and how much to add.
Then measure them out.
You don’t wanna just pour chemicals into the water straight from the container.
Remember, the goal here is balanced water and that requires precision.
Finally, pour the measured chemicals straight into the hot tub water and walk away.
The jets will mix everything up and leave it for at least 15 minutes, and then you can cover your hot tub to prevent evaporation.
Before you get into the hot tub, test the water again to make sure that the levels are where they need to be.
And if they’re not repeat the process until they are.
And there you have it, you just passed hot tub chemistry 101.
If you missed anything or have any questions please leave a comment to let us know.
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