One of the most important--and, at first glance, most intimidating--elements of hot tub maintenance is pH control. Luckily, with a bit of background information and a few simple tips, you can be a pH master and make hot tub maintenance a breeze!
Basics of Hot Tub pH
To feel comfortable managing the pH in your hot tub, there are a few helpful things to know:
pH: Potential Hydrogen, or pH, is a measure of how acidic or alkaline/basic your hot tub water is.
Ideal pH: Everything falls somewhere on the pH scale. Your hot tub should be between 7.4 and 7.6 in order to be safe, comfortable, and clean.
pH changes: The chemistry of your hot tub water changes depending on how many people use it, what type of pollutants it comes into contact with, the chemicals you clean it with, and even the source of the water itself.
Potential problems: The most likely issue you'll run into is low pH, which can cause a variety of problems, including:
- chlorine inefficiency, which means your hot tub won't get clean
- damage, harming your hot tub and its inner mechanisms
- skin irritation, often causing itchiness
- algae growth, which makes your hot tub a whole lot less relaxing
Now that you know the basics, it's time to brush up on managing the pH!
To raise the pH of your hot tub water, you have two basic choices: soda ash or baking soda. While baking soda isn't as effective and must be used in much larger amounts to reach the desired result, it's also something you probably have on hand, while soda ash is less common. Both approaches require test strips, kits, or meters throughout the process to make sure you don't overcorrect.
When raising pH, you also raise total alkalinity, or TA. TA should be kept between 80 and 120 ppm--but if your pH management happens to upset this balance, you have a couple options. Muriatic acid is cheaper, but sodium bisulfate is easier and safer to handle--so be sure to do your research before jumping in.
In conclusion, although pH management can be one of the most intimidating parts of hot tub maintenance, it's a whole lot easier when you have the right background info and, of course, the right tools. Just remember to test your water chemistry frequently and use chemicals safely!
Looking for more hot tub maintenance tips? Need help maintaining your hot tub's pH? Contact us today!