A Guide To Raising Your Hot Tub’s pH Levels

Before you got a hot tub, you might have imagined that having one was all about kicking back and relaxing in the warm water. However, taking care of your hot tub and the water’s pH levels is essential to a pleasant bathing experience. So, how do you raise a hot tub’s pH levels?

You can raise the pH in a hot tub by adding soda ash (sodium carbonate). To guarantee your tub is always safe for use, test the pH level daily or before each use. If the pH in your hot tub isn’t controlled, it could get too high, causing scaling, or too low, causing acidic water.

pH levels that are too low can lead to metal corrosion, bacteria buildup, and eye burns. Let’s take a closer look at how to prevent these issues by monitoring your hot tub pH levels and adjusting them as needed.

What Happens if a Hot Tub’s pH Is Too Low?

Kit of Ph chlorine and bromide test

pH levels in your hut tub should ideally remain between 7.4 and 7.6. Anything below 7.4 could cause trouble.

The water becomes too acidic when a hot tub’s pH is too low. Acidic water can corrode the hot tub, burn your skin and eyes, and leave your hot tub full of harmful chemicals. 

What Happens if a Hot Tub’s pH Is Too High?

When a hot tub’s pH level exceeds 7.6, the water becomes too basic. Basic water is ineffective in sanitizing, which makes the water and the hot tub vulnerable to scaling. 

Scaling comes from high calcium hardness, which can slowly leave your hot tub looking cloudy and unwelcoming. 

What Is Total Alkalinity?

In addition to understanding the pH levels of your hot tub, it’s vital to be familiar with the importance of total alkalinity (TA). Your hot tub will need to attain a good balance of TA so that your water can neutralize the acid. The importance of measuring and maintaining total alkalinity differs slightly from pH levels. 

TA should be measured and adjusted before the pH level. Otherwise, the chemistry of your hot tub could become chaotic. The recommended range for TA is between 100 and 150 parts per million (ppm). A balanced TA will keep your pH level more stable. 

Adding an alkalinity increaser (on Amazon) to your hot tub will allow you to raise and balance the TA levels so that when it comes to balancing your pH levels, it’ll be much easier. In some cases, balancing your TA levels can balance your pH levels. Then, you won’t need to partake in raising or lowering your pH levels. 

However, if you still need to raise or lower your pH levels in your hot tub after adjusting the alkalinity, it’s essential to use the right products and take appropriate steps. Making a conscious effort to balance your hot tub’s pH levels will benefit the health of your tub as well as those enjoying it.

How Do You Raise the pH in Your Hot Tub?

To balance and raise the pH level of your hot tub to achieve clean and safe water, utilize these steps:

1. Test the Water

Before deciding to raise or lower the pH level, the first step is to test the water. Testing the water will indicate whether the pH level is low, balanced, or high. 

Testing the water with pH strips (on Amazon) is the most efficient method. You can also use a digital tester or liquid test kit. These test the pH, chlorine, alkalinity, and other essential factors for maintaining safe and clean water.

Once you have a reading, you’ll know whether you need to raise or lower the levels.

2. Choose Your Tool

A pH increaser contains the active ingredient sodium carbonate (also referred to as sodium carbonate and soda ash). If you’re thinking this sounds similar to an ingredient used to bake cakes, you’re right! Baking soda can raise your hot tub’s pH levels, but not as well as sodium carbonate.

Alternatively, if you wish to decrease the water, you will want to use a pH decreaser (on Amazon) to reduce the acidity. The two primary chemicals used to decrease pH levels are muriatic acid and dry acid (also called sodium bisulfate).

3. Decide How Much to Add

Once you’ve decided to use a pH increaser or pH decreaser, you need to decide how much to add before you commit to it. Adding too much at a time could send your pH levels the other way, making your life a lot more difficult than it needs to be. 

Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and add small amounts at a time. Go slow with the product to ensure a successful increase or decrease until you reach the desired balance level.

4. Turn on the Pumps

Once you’ve chosen your product and added the recommended amount, you should turn on the hot tub pumps and allow the water to circulate. The water circulation will encourage the sodium carbonate to dissolve and combine.

5. Retest the Water

After the solution has mixed and the water is clear, you should retest the water to check the pH levels. They should sit between 7.4 and 7.6 to be balanced. Again, use your water strips or testing kit to read the new pH level.

6. Add More if Needed

If the pH is too low, add more sodium carbonate and repeat the process until you reach the recommended level. Avoid adding more than you previously did to avoid raising the level too much. 

How Often Should You Check Your Hot Tub’s pH?

Swimming Pool Water Chlorine and PH Level Test

It is advised to check your hot tub’s pH before every use. If you wish to use the tub daily, it’s recommended to test it each day to ensure the levels are safe.

Luckily, checking the pH levels with strips only takes a few minutes, and knowing the pH is at a safe level will prevent you from experiencing skin burns. 

If you don’t use your tub daily, then there’s no use in testing daily. Keeping up with the testing should correlate to how much you use the hot tub. 

If you only rarely use the tub, then you can drain the hot tub and fill it with new water and chemicals. When you refill your hot tub and add the chemicals, test the pH level before climbing in.  

Can You Raise Your Hot Tub’s pH Naturally?

Using sodium carbonate (soda ash) is considered the most natural way to raise your hot tub’s pH naturally. You can also use baking soda, which is similar. However, it’s important to understand that it won’t work as effectively as a professional pH increaser. 

Should you wish to lower your hot tub’s pH naturally, it’s recommended to use natural vinegar. Adding a cup to the water before retesting could resolve your issue.

Again, natural vinegar will not work as well as professional products. Still, it’s worth trying if you lack suitable products and want to quickly balance your hot tub’s pH level. 

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