How Do I Lower The Alkalinity In My Hot Tub
The easiest way to lower alkalinity in your hot tub is by adding a pH Decreaser . I know this is confusing because pH and alkalinity are not the same. But it works!
Before you add pH Decreaser to your hot tub, you need to know how much water your hot tub holds. Then, you can follow these steps:
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Using Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate
Using baking soda is also a very popular and safe way to increase the alkalinity in a hot tub. As a general guide, simply add 1 tablespoon of baking soda per 100 gallons of hot tub water.
So, what is the difference between baking soda and alkalinity increaser? Not only is baking soda usually cheaper, it is also the answer to the question of how to raise alkalinity without raising pH in a hot tub.
Having said that, if you have low pH and TA then an alkalinity increaser containing sodium carbonate may be the better option.
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Choose Between Ph/alkalinity Down And Ph/alkalinity Up To Optimise Your Hot Tubs Ph Level
To bring up alkalinity in a spa pool, use a sodium bicarbonate-based product, like FreshWater® pH/Alkalinity Up. This is the safest and most common way to increase the pH of your spa pool. To lower alkalinity levels, use a sodium bisulfate-based product, like FreshWater® pH/Alkalinity Down.
If you want to increase alkalinity and pH in your spa pool using FreshWater® pH/Alkalinity Up, you should do it carefully – you dont want to continually bounce between a number that is too high then too low. Add 20mL for every 500L your spa pool holds, then test your pH again.
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How To Bring Your Ph Back Down
Sometimes water balancing doesnt go quite as planned, and there could be times where youll end up with a high pH after raising alkalinity .
Not to worry, you can bring this back down using an acid either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. Sulfuric acid is another option, but as it significantly adds to the TDS level in the water, its rarely used.
Sodium bisulfate is a dry acid, and the safer of the two to work with, although it can be dangerous if not handled properly.
Muriatic acid is highly corrosive. You need to take great care when working with it to avoid accidents that could land you in the ER. Its also the cheaper option, which is why its the more commonly used method.
Can Low Alkalinity Damage Your Hot Tub
Lowalkalinity in the water will damage your hot tub and its components. Low alkalinity will cause staining, discoloration, etching, corrosion, and calcium in the hot tub. The heater, circulation pump, and jets will eventually get damaged.
When the alkalinity or total alkalinity of the hot tub is low, it means the buffer that keeps the pH level in check is low. This means that the pH levels can be easily altered. The water can become acidic even when you add just the recommended level of chlorine to the water.
Low alkalinity in your hot tub will cause a higher level of acidity in the hot tub water. The acidic water will eventually start to eat away at the heater, the circulation pump, jets, and other metallic parts of your hot tub.
The high acidic content in the water will also lead to staining and discoloration on the inner walls of the hot tub. You might also witness calcium scaling in extreme cases.
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Lowering Ph & Alkalinity Levels
If your PH and/or Alkalinity is high, you need to add a PH Minus to reduce these levels.
- Do this gradually. Add the correct dose of PH Reducer, then run the jets and re-test in an hour or so and see if you need to reduce further.
- PH Minus is the sole chemical used to reduce PH and Total Alkalinity in your hot tub.
How To Raise Alkalinity Using Soda Ash
Soda ash , also known as washing soda, is an alternative way to raise alkalinity. While soda ash does raise alkalinity, it is far more effective at raising pH. Only use soda ash if both the total alkalinity and pH levels are low.
Its best to wear protective gear when handling soda ash as direct contact with skin and eyes may cause harm. Sodium carbonate dust is harmful if inhaled, causing irritation to the respiratory tract and a burning sensation in the nose and throat.
What youll need:
How to raise alkalinity using soda ash:
Sodium carbonate has a pH between 11.3 and 11.7, which means that its highly alkaline. This is why it has such a dramatic effect on raising pH levels.
Just as with baking soda, the exact amount of soda ash your spa requires will differ each time you have to raise the total alkalinity levels.
The current levels of pH, TA, free chlorine, CYA, calcium hardness, TDS, and water temperature in your spa water all affect the dosage amount that is needed.
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Why Is The Alkalinity Low In My Hot Tub
If you do your best to keep on top of your spas water chemistry, you might wonder why its suddenly become so low. Here are the reasons why youre experiencing low alkalinity.
The causes of low alkalinity in a hot tub are contaminants introduced by bathers, overuse of alkalinity lowering products , overuse of chlorine tablets, and excessive rainwater. Alkalinity levels need to be checked on a weekly basis to ensure theyre within the correct range.
Every time you use your hot tub, some 100 million new bacteria are introduced into the water from your skin and from personal care products. This has a significant effect on the water chemistry, which is why its important to shower and rinse off before entering the tub.
Another reason could simply be user error. As you treat the water with alkalinity and pH decreaser to rid the water of contaminants, it might well be that you simply added too much, lowering the alkalinity levels.
If you use chlorine tablets , it could be the cause of low alkalinity levels. Many hot tub owners wrongly view chlorine tablets as set and forget, so they fail to test and adjust their spa water.
Because chlorine tablets are highly acidic , they reduce alkalinity and pH levels more quickly than pH neutral products like chlorine granules. Remember to balance the water more often if using chlorine tablets.
If youre looking for a system that is truly set and forget, I highly recommend that you check out Silk Balance.
How To Increase Hot Tub Alkalinity
If your alkalinity is too low, use Total Alkalinity Increaser, following the directions lined out on the bottle. This should bring your alkalinity level up to a more neutral level.
If tests and treatments dont take care of the issue, its time to try testing pH levels to find out how acidic or basic your water is. PH levels are not quite the same as alkalinity, but the testing process is similar, and the outcome will be the same when treated correctly and with the right chemicals.
Its sometimes necessary to use shock treatment, orin some casesit might be time to drain your hot tub and refill it with fresh water, then add in your chemical treatments from the beginning.
No matter which direction you end up going, treating your current water, or starting over with fresh, were here to help you figure this out.
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Allow The Water To Circulate After Adding Chemicals And Sanitizers
When you add chemicals or sanitizers to the water, turn on the hot tub and let the jets run for about 15 to 30 minutes. This allows the chemicals to be well circulated in the water.
If you dont turn on the jets, the water will remain stagnant and the chemicals will be concentrated in just one part of the water. This can cause the water chemistry to be all over the place and it can also increase the level of alkalinity in the water.
What Causes Alkalinity To Drop In A Hot Tub
A hot tub is a wonderful addition to a home but you need to learn hot tub water care to keep your hot tub clean.
If you are facing problems with your hot tubs alkalinity level you will find ways to help you with your hot tub care.
Many hot tub owners often get confused between pH and alkalinity, believing them to be the same thing. So first we will explain the difference.
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How Do I Raise The Ph In My Hot Tub Without Raising Alkalinity
To raise the pH of a hot tub with minimal impact to alkalinity, run the jets and water features to aerate the water which naturally raises pH, but also consider using magnesium oxide powder or muriatic acid. Both of those chemicals will raise the pH while impacting alkalinity minimally.
But you cant completely raise the pH in your hot tub without also raising the alkalinity at least a little bit.
So if you need to raise pH without significantly impacting alkalinity, check out the Bulk Supplements brand of Magnesium Oxide powder on Amazon Prime.
It has excellent reviews, a great price, and 1 bag will last hot tub owners quite a while. 2 lbs for about 20 bucks, and it comes with free Prime shipping.
Just click that link to see it on Amazon.
Its impossible not to raise both, but you can still raise one significantly and only raise the other by a little. Lets recap what pH is. It hasnt changed since your high school science class.
The range of pH is from zero to fourteen. The middle of this range, seven, is neutral. Anything before seven is acidic, with zero being very acidic. You never want your hot tubs pH to be any more than 7.8.
Acidic and corrosive water can damage your hot tub.
Additionally, if your pH is above 7.8, other problems can occur. Itchy and red skin can occur for anyone that soaks in a high pH level water. Your water can also become cloudy and scale may form. Equipment such as pipes can be clogged and damaged.
Stillness in the Storm May 28, 2019
How To Bring Your Ph Back Up
After youve dropped your TA level, you may notice the pH level is now lower as well. There are a few ways you can bring the pH back to a neutral level.
You have 3 options: soda ash, baking soda, or aeration.
Soda ash and baking soda are usually the go-to methods, but they have an unwanted side effect of also raising the TA . If you dont want to be balancing your water for hours, you might want to try aeration.
There are aeration devices you can buy that attach to your tubs return jets to help introduce oxygen into the water. However, due to a hot tubs design, the jets are already bubbling water at the surface. You can aerate the water by simply running the jets for an extended period of time.
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Find Out How Much Water The Hot Tub Holds
The first thing to do is to know how much water is in the hot tub. This step is vital because the ph decreaser needs to be added in the right amount. The wrong dose will alter the water chemistry and can even the problem worse.
You can know how much water is in the hot tub by knowing how much water the hot tub can hold. You must have already filled the hot tub to its maximum capacity, so all you need to know is how much water your hot tub can hold when filled. Below is a rough estimate based on the different sizes of hot tubs that exist.
- 2-3 person hot tub Between 250 gallons and 300 gallons of water
- 4-6 person hot tub Between 320 gallons and 500 gallons of water
- 7-8 person hot tub Between 550 and 700 gallons of water.
How Do You Test Total Alkalinity And Ph Levels In Your Hot Tub
We suggest using dip test strips to test the pH level, total alkalinity and sanitiser levels. Theyre easy to use and provide quick and accurate readings, so you can make the proper chemical adjustments if required.
Top tip: We recommend testing your spa water at least once a week, depending how frequently you use your hot tub, to keep it fresh and clean.
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Is It Okay To Use A Hot Tub With High Alkalinity
Using a hot tub that has high alkalinity can cause irritation to the skin and eyes and therefore is not recommended. Also, the sanitiser will not be as effective, which can lead to dangerous bacteria and viruses being in the water.
Whilst working as a call-out engineer, I was lucky enough to work with most hot top brands available in the UK. From high-end luxury models for the rich and famous, to your everyday inflatable hot tub found in your average back garden. Whilst only being able to offer phone support to clients during the COVID-19 crisis, I decided to share my hot tub knowledge with the world with a website.
What Are Ph Levels
PH levels measure acidity and alkalinity in water on a pH scale. A pH scale is numbered from 0-14 a measurement of 7 is considered neutral or balanced.
A Ph level between 7.2 and 7.8 should be maintained in your hot tub.
7.2 or below indicates that your water is too acidic, which can cause itchiness and eye burn, and your sanitiser to be less effective. High acidity can result in costly damage to your hot tub parts too.
7.8 or above, like high alkalinity, can contribute to scale build-up, foam and cloudy water.
Keeping your pH levels in check creates a more comfortable environment for your bathers, avoids scale and calcium build-up, and will keep your tub free from corrosion.
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Is There A Specific Order To Adjust Ph And Alkalinity
Yes, there very much is. It all depends on the alkalinity levels. Remember that the alkalinity if set correctly locks the pH in place and gives you the ability to control it. Preventing the pH from going up and down randomly.
If alkalinity is too high it will be very difficult to lower the pH for example. If Alkalinity is too low it will be very hard to keep the pH at a stable level.
You should always adjust the alkalinity first to the 80-100 ppm range then adjust the pH to the 7.2 to 7.8 ideal range.
How Total Alkalinity Affects Your Hot Tubs Ph Levels
Your hot tubs Total Alkalinity and pH levels are both closely linked. Each time you change one, the other is affected as well.
pH is measured on a scale from zero to fourteen , with seven being neutral. Your hot tubs water needs to be between 7.2 and 7.6 pH at all times.
If your spas TA is too high, its pH levels will be sky high and just about impossible to keep below 7.6. If its too low, the water will be far too acidic and difficult to bring up to 7.2.
When youre adjusting your hot tubs chemicals, you should always get the TA dialed in first, then adjust the pH. If the TA isnt within the right bounds theres no chance the pH will stay stable.
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