What Is Hot Tub pH?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas


What is Hot Tub pH?


The pH level of your hot tub water is one of the most important aspects of water balance for your spa. pH is what measures exactly how basic or acidic your water is and if not within the proper range, there is a risk that your hot tub equipment can become damaged or that bathers may experience skin or eye irritation.

In the article below, we will review exactly what you need to know about hot tub pH.


Maintaining an Ideal pH Level


The recommended pH range for hot tubs is between 7.2 and 7.8. In order to maintain the ideal range, it is essential that you frequently check the level with test strips or a kit. We recommend that you check twice per week, especially if you use your hot tub often.


Why is the pH level so important? Proper water chemistry is what keeps your hot tub clean, running well and safe to use. The proper pH range is necessary for the other chemicals to be able to work as they are designed to. For example, if your level was just slightly higher at 8.2, the effectiveness of chlorine being used would drop to just 15%.


Low pH Level


If the pH level in your hot tub is low, this will mean that your water is acidic. This can cause the corrosion of your hot tub’s surface and components such as filters, water pumps, the heater and more. With a low pH level, your ability to properly control the total alkalinity level is also impacted. Bathers may also feel uncomfortable, experiencing skin or eye irritability as acidic water strips their skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling itchy and dry.


A common cause for a pH level that is too low can be from adding too much pH reducer if you were recently trying to lower your hot tubs pH level. Another contributing factor can be using a local water source with low pH.


Hot tub usage can also influence the pH level. When people use a hot tub, body oil, sweat, lotions or sunscreen can enter the water. Grass, dust and even insects can also be accidentally tracked into the hot tub by bathers. These contaminants can also affect the pH level and cause it to drop.

There are two ways that the pH level in your water can be increased. First, you can try adding new water. Typically, water coming from a garden hose has higher alkalinity which can boost your pH level. Secondly, you can use a pH increaser chemical. Just be sure to properly calculate the amount of water in your hot tub so that you add the correct amount.


High pH Level


A high pH level means that your water is ‘basic’ and if left unattended over time the water will scale on your jets, pipes, filters and other components. Water scale also puts additional strain on your components as it reduces the water circulation and increases pressure.


There are two common reasons as to why your water pH level may be high. Often, people accidentally add too much pH increaser when they are trying to correct a low pH level. The other reason is that your local water source may naturally have a higher than normal level.


To decrease the pH level in your hot tub, there are two chemicals that are commonly used, dry acid and muriatic acid. Although they both deliver a similar result, they need to be applied differently, so make sure you are aware of which one you are using and that you follow the specific instructions.


As a new hot tub owner, it may be a little overwhelming to understand all the different steps and processes to monitor your water and keep it clean. If you have a question, just reach out to your local hot tub dealer. They will be more than happy to help.


Now that you know what hot tub pH is, download a buyer’s guideand learn more about becoming a new hot tub owner.

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