Spending some time in a hot water tub calms your body down and makes you forget all the day’s tensions. But, maintenance is the key to keeping your hot tub in good condition. The most important job is to keep its alkalinity in the correct balance. So, you must know how to lower alkalinity in the hot tub.
For new and experienced hot tub owners, alkalinity is often confusing. Alkaline on the pH scale looks similar to alkalinity, but they are different. Regularly bearing a high alkalinity hot tub is not good for yourself and your hot tub.
Table of Contents
- What is Alkalinity?
- Why Does Alkalinity Matter?
- Why High Alkalinity Occurs in Hot Tub?
- How to Lower Hot Tub’s Alkalinity?
- In Alkalinity or pH, What Should You Adjust First?
- Tips to Control Alkalinity of Hot Tub
- What is pH?
- What Are the Issues Related to pH?
- Lowering pH Level without Chemicals
- Alkalinity vs. pH
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
What is Alkalinity?
You test for two things when testing your water; the alkalinity and pH of the hot tub. A material’s acidic or basic character can be found by measuring it on a pH scale.
The water in your hot tub can be safe and comfortable if it’s at the right pH. The alkalinity is associated with the pH scale.
The alkalinity of its water can determine the alkaline substances in your water. However, it is not the measurement to find the alkaline character of the water.
Your water may contain different alkaline substances, such as bicarbonates, carbonates, and cyanurates. Excess of these substances will make your water more alkaline.
In some conditions, your hot tub’s alkalinity and pH will not happen simultaneously, so measuring them both is important. You must test the alkalinity of your water if its levels are not sure.
Why Does Alkalinity Matter?
The unbalanced alkaline levels can harmfully affect your hot tub’s looks. It gives your water a green tinge and can dry your skin. Low alkalinity in a hot tub is more challenging than high alkalinity.
It can make the water green and cause fast pH variations because the water can’t respond to the effects of acids easily, like natural raw materials or acid rain.
If after a long time you do not check the levels of low alkalinity, its influence is negative on the hot tub’s surface, and the internal equipment of your hot tub also gets corroded.
Too high an alkalinity level also delivers green water because it decreases the sanitizer efficiency you added to your hot tub’s water. In well-balanced water, a sanitizer works best.
Irregular pH is caused by low alkalinity, while high alkalinity delivers higher pH levels. If your hot tub water has a high pH level, it will produce a calcium buildup.
This buildup creates cloudy water, and a scale is formed. For example, sometimes, a cloudy layer is visible inside the kettle. The calcium buildup also creates yellowish scales inside your hot tub.
If you do not handle your spa’s jet performance, equipment is negatively influenced by this. Deep cleaning of your hot tub plumbing can help with issues of calcium buildup.
Why High Alkalinity Occurs in Hot Tub?
Many homeowners clean and drain their hot tubs every three to four months to lower the risk of calcium buildup, so high alkalinity does not cause any issues in hot tubs. A few things cause high alkalinity in a hot tub:
Plenty of Chemicals
Using too many chemicals in your hot tub may cause increased alkalinity in the hot tub. Every 3 – 4 months, your hot tub must be cleaned and drained.
Body Stuff like Lotion, Sweat
The pH of your hot tub is increased by sweat, lotion, hair gel, perfumes, sunblock, etc. So, it would be best to shower before soaking in the tub.
Source of your Water
If you are living in an area where your local water supplier is supplying you with high alkalinity water, a water reading should be asked by your local water district. Many areas provide this facility.
If you add baking soda to your hot tub, it will increase its alkalinity. Avoid such mistakes.
How to Lower Hot Tub’s Alkalinity?
Sodium bisulfate is a pH decreaser, so adding this to your hot tub is the easiest way to lower your hot tub’s alkalinity. However, this method works because alkalinity and pH are not the same.
You must know the water your hot tub holds before adding pH decrease. After that, follow the steps below:
The Hot Tub Water Should be Tested
Using a test strip or liquid test kit, you can test your hot tub’s alkalinity. The liquid test kit is recommended for this. You can also use these things to lower the alkalinity.
Add Sodium Bisulphate pH Decreaser
Eighty-five grams of sodium bisulfate will lower ten ppm of alkalinity for 1000 gallons of water. While the hot tub is running, sprinkle sodium bisulfate powder around its surface to mix it well.
Retest the Water
After 24 hours, test the water and adjust it if required.
In Alkalinity or pH, What Should You Adjust First?
Alkalinity increaser such as baking soda, known as sodium bicarbonate, increases the hot tub’s pH. After testing the water, if the reading of pH and alkalinity is low, first increase its alkalinity.
Now, retest the water. If alkalinity is fine and pH is low, you can resolve this issue by adding a pH increaser called soda ash or sodium carbonate.
The adjustment depends on the readings. Therefore, it’s important to test the water before pouring any chemicals. Some homeowners add vinegar to their hot tubs to lower their alkalinity. It does not lower alkalinity but lowers only pH.
Tips to Control Alkalinity of Hot Tub
Let’s have a look at a few tips to deal with pH and alkalinity:
- When you have poured chemicals into your hot tub, retest the water after circulating it for 15 minutes. For better results, retest it the next day.
- The alkalinity of water should be around 80 – 120 ppm. However, 100 – 150 ppm is recommended to provide alkalinity with more room to come down before readjusting.
- To get a more precise water test, pour some hot tub water into a cup and test it after cooling it down to room temperature. Test strips are not recommended because they are less accurate than liquid test kits.
- Do not add different chemicals at a time. Mix one at a time and leave 15 minutes gap between the next chemical.
- The spa water must be changed after every three to four months. If you use your hot tub a lot, you must change the spa water most often.
What is pH?
pH means the power of Hydrogen. pH level tells us that water contains how much hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ion concentration in the water directs if the water is neutral, basic, or acidic.
In simple words, pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of your water.
What Are the Issues Related to pH?
When the pH level is seven, this means your water is neutral. When it is between 0 and 7, this shows that water has higher acidity level.
And, when the pH level is in the range of 7 – 14, water is basic. The ideal pH level for water is 7.5, while the range of 7.2 – 7.8 is good.
Suppose the pH level differs from the ideal range, unlike balanced alkalinity. In that case, it can ruin the inside parts, like temperature sensors and heaters, and all the metal parts get corroded.
Once your total alkalinity becomes perfect, you can test the pH level using a test strip. Using a pH increaser or decreaser, you can increase or decrease the pH level according to the results.
Add the pH increaser or decreaser to the water and wait for 15 minutes before retesting. If the alkalinity or pH is high, repeat the steps. The pH level will fall more rapidly if you lower alkalinity. So, use the chemicals slowly to get good results.
10ppm alkalinity can be lowered in 10,000 gallons of water using 1.23 liters of muriatic acid. You can also reduce it by 1.6 lbs of sodium bisulfate. Sometimes, the pH level decreases when you try to lower alkalinity.
By using the aeration process, you can increase water’s pH without any increase in total alkalinity. In the process of aeration, you pump more and more water by turning on all the air features and jets.
So, this is a good way to decrease the alkalinity and maintain the pH level by adding acid and aerating. Sometimes, your desired results are not achieved by moving the levels up and down.
Therefore, you have only one option: drain and clean the hot tub and do the process again.
Lowering pH Level without Chemicals
You can lower your hot tub’s pH level by pouring 4 cups of vinegar into the hot tub. Remember that you must first circulate the hot tub’s water and then add vinegar.
You can use apple cider vinegar or any other type of vinegar. Put off the jets and test the water after a couple of hours. Until you have got the suitable level, keep repeating these steps.
Alkalinity vs. pH
No need to go deep into the science to learn about maintaining your hot tub. But to eliminate some confusion, you must know about alkalinity and pH.
Some people have understood wrongly that alkalinity and pH are the same. They are different. After testing your hot tub’s water, its pH level is more than 7, which is considered basic. However, alkalinity is not the same.
The alkalinity of water means it can be neutralized by how much acid. When an alkali is mixed in water, it neutralizes its acidity. And the measure of alkaline substances dissolved in water is known as total alkalinity.
Part per million (ppm) is the unit of total alkalinity. The ideal range of tub water is 80 – 120ppm. If your tub’s water has accurate alkalinity, it can neutralize the changes in its pH value.
Hence, your tub’s water must have the correct alkalinity. pH and alkalinity are not the same, but they are closely associated.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How Can Alkalinity Be Lowered in a Hot Tub Naturally?
Using a pH reducer, you can decrease the alkalinity of your water. It will be lowered down to 1 square on the test strip by using one capful of pH reducer. Add it gradually so that the chemicals are not added too much.
What Will Happen if Alkalinity is Extra High in the Hot Tub?
If you have added bromine or chlorine sanitizer, too high alkalinity will render them useless. It will create green water in your hot tub, so the hot tub will not be safe for you to soak in because of bacteria growth.
What is the Procedure to Decrease the Alkalinity in a Hot Tub?
Sulfuric acid reduces the hot tub’s alkalinity. Sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid are also used for this purpose. If the water of your hot tub is too cloudy due to calcium buildup, this shows that your water tub is suffering from high alkalinity.
Which Material Can Be Added to a Hot Tub for High Alkalinity?
To increase the alkalinity in your hot tub, two ways are used;
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Any Alkalinity increaser
If you have selected a store-bought product to increase your hot tub’s alkalinity, make sure sodium bicarbonate is present in it. It is the main ingredient that is used to increase pH value.
How to Decrease Alkalinity without Decreasing pH?
The following ways can do it:
- Testing the water of the hot tub.
- To lower pH and alkalinity, add muriatic acid.
- The chemical should be given time to circulate in the hot tub.
- To increase the pH, aerate the water.
This article taught you how to lower alkalinity in the hot tub. If you are a hot tub owner, you should check your water regularly, and it is recommended to test it two times a week.
In this way, you will come to know about any imbalance of chemicals and take important steps accordingly.
You can extend the lifespan of your hot tub by maintaining it properly. Enjoy your time and relax your body by soaking it in the hot tub.