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Hot Tub Chemistry: An Easy-to-Follow Water Care Guide

Hot Tub
Hot Tub Chemistry: An Easy-to-Follow Water Care Guide
Posted on August 09, 2016
As the proud new owner of a hot tub, we know you’re ready to take the plunge and experience a few moments of luxurious relaxation. However, if you are worried about hot tub chemistry, relaxing might not come easily.

At Bullfrog Spas OKC, we’ve put together a hot tub chemical guide that will relieve any doubts or worries you might have when it comes to taking care of your water. Just follow this simple guide and your hot tub will be ready to go!

Step 1: Check the Alkalinity

When it comes to maintaining the balance of your hot tub’s chemicals, the first thing you want to check is the water’s alkalinity. Your hot tub’s alkalinity should fall between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. To test, simply dip a testing strip into the hot tub just long enough for it to get wet. Shake off any excess water and compare it with the color on the back of your kit. If the alkalinity appears too low, follow the directions on your Total Alkalinity Increaser. If the alkalinity is too high, contact your dealer for help.

NOTE: Keep in mind that once you add a chemical, you’ll need to wait a few hours or overnight before testing again if you want an accurate reading. Also, refrain from adding more than one chemical at a time to ensure you can see how each chemical influences your hot tub’s chemistry.

Step 2: Check the pH Level

Next, you’ll want to check the pH level, which measures how acidic or basic your water is. The ideal pH level range is 7.2 to 7.8. Anything below 7.2 signifies the water is too acidic, and anything above 7.8 means the water is too basic (or alkaline). Low or high pH levels can cause efficiency and equipment issues as well as ear, eye, and skin irritations.

To test the pH level, dip a testing strip into the hot tub just long enough to get wet. Shake off any excess water and compare the strip with the color on the back of your kit. If it tests below 7.2, add a pH increaser according to directions. If it tests below 7.8, add a pH decreaser according to directions.

Step 3: Check the Sanitizers

The most widely used hot tub sanitizers are bromine and chlorine, both of which will help to keep your hot tub disinfected, clear, and clean. While bromine treatments tend to be a little more complex and initial costs tend to be a little higher, it requires a lower number of annual treatments when compared to chlorine.

To balance your sanitizer levels, use the same testing strip used to test the pH level as it will also show where the sanitizer levels fall. Add your chemical sanitizer of choice according to package directions.  

Step 4: Try a Shock Treatment

To ensure your water stays clean and pure, hot tub experts recommend shocking your hot tub at least once a week, though this can fluctuate depending on where you live and how often your hot tub is used. Shock treatments break down the organic contaminants that cause cloudy water and unwanted odors. Just follow the directions on your shock treatment package.

A New Start

If balancing your water’s chemistry becomes too difficult, it might be time for a fresh start! It’s recommended you drain your hot tub every 3 months to flush out the plumbing and “reset” the water.