Hot tubs can be a great investment, hence the need for proper hot tub water care. Otherwise, you will experience unbalanced alkaline levels that cause the water to be cloudy and create environments for bacterial growth.
This article will help you understand hot tub alkalinity and how to keep your hot tub’s water balanced.
What is Total Alkalinity?
The first thing you want to do when balancing your hot tub water is balancing its total alkalinity first. Total alkalinity, often called a buffer, helps in balancing the pH levels. Hence, you should aim to balance the total alkalinity before you start looking at the pH levels or add any chemicals into the hot tub.
When the alkaline levels in your hot tub are unbalanced, it can have a cascade of effects on your tub’s appearance. You will also be prone to the skin to skin infection and damage.
A low total alkalinity can cause a rapid change in the pH and can be damaging to your hot tub. It can corrode metal parts and leave stains on the surface. When the pH level drops, the hot tub water becomes more acidic, resulting in burning eyes and itchy dry skin.
Another problem can result when the hot tub alkalinity is too high. High alkalinity level of the water will also cause the pH level in the hot tub to soar high, which can be difficult to lower. Such an environment can raise the calcium levels in the water, making it cloudy.
This can also result to formation of a hard, crusty mineral build-up (scale). Additionally, high alkaline water can result in green water. This is because it minimizes the effects of chlorine that help to keep algae under control.
How to Lower Alkalinity in Hot Tub
Wondering how to lower alkalinity in hot tub and stabilize the pH? Basically, the correct total alkalinity should range between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm). A spa volume calculator can help you calculate the right range for your hot tub.
You, therefore, do not want anything above this range; otherwise, you will experience scale formation, skin and eye irritation, cloudy water, and hard to change pH.
In order to lower high alkalinity, you need to add a pH decreaser. Some of the known pH decreaser products include sodium bisulfate (dry acid) and muriatic acid. Note it is important to turn off the jets and the pump when adding the acid in order to lower alkalinity. And when you add a dry acid, place it in the middle of the tub such that the water is not circulating.
This will bring both the total alkalinity and pH levels down. We highly recommend that you retest the water after adding the pH decreaser to check if it has returned to its normal range.
How To Raise Low Alkalinity in Hot Tub
As seen above, too low alkalinity can lead to rapid changes in pH, as well as skin and eye irritation. It also causes the water to be corrosive, which affects the metal fittings in your hot tub, and this can result in discoloration of the water.
You should, therefore, aim to keep the total alkalinity readings above 80 PPM. How to increase alkalinity in hot tub? You can either use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or alkalinity increaser. We recommend using an alkalinity increaser that contains sodium bicarbonate which helps to raise the pH. Let the hot tub sit for 6 hours before you retest.
It is crucial to maintain a balanced water in your hot tub. This will keep you from problems such as water corrosion, burning eyes, itchy skin, and other serious issues. A sure way to maintain balanced water is to do frequent testing using a water test kit and then make the necessary adjustments. You can also take the water sample to a test station for results of your hot tub alkalinity level.
This way, you will enjoy your hot tub with peace of mind.