Before we start, if you are considering using chlorine to lower or increase the pH level in your hot tub, please don’t use it. The work of chlorine in a hot tub is to disinfect and keep it safe from microbes. It’s not used to alter the pH of hot tubs.
However, chlorine, when used in excess, can alter the pH level of your hot tub. Chlorine can lower the pH level in hot tubs. It reacts with water to form an acidic substance, hypochlorous acid. This hypochlorous acid is the active compound that kills bacteria and germs in hot tubs.
The hypochlorous acid further reacts to form HCl. But this HCl is usually neutralized by the NaOH present in the water. So, there is always an insignificant change in the pH of the hot tub water.
But when the amount of chlorine introduced in the hot tub is too much, it can lead to the formation of excess HCl, which can lower the pH of the hot tub water.
So, does chlorine make pH go up or down? Yes, chlorine can make the pH of hot tub water go down when there is an excess amount of it in the hot tub. But it cannot be used to alter the pH of a hot tub. It is not a safe practice.
What is the relationship between chlorine and pH?
Though chlorine and pH perform different functions in pool water chemistry, they are not completely independent of one another.
The pH level of a hot tub affects the efficiency of a chlorine disinfectant. Chlorine usually reacts with water to form hypochlorous acid which is the active disinfectant in hot tubs.
But in the presence of high pH levels, chlorine mostly forms hypochlorite which is not an active disinfectant. At this level, the chlorine is rendered powerless and ineffective.
However, the chlorine used as sanitizer in a hot tub does not affect the pH of the hot tub. Even when the chlorine in the hot tub is excess, the effect is usually insignificant.
So, chlorine can’t be used to alter the level of pH in a hot tub. In as much as its effect on pH is almost insignificant, there is a certain level chlorine will get to and it will alter the water chemistry.
So, always make sure that the chlorine level is not too much.
What happens if there is too much chlorine in the hot tub?
Having too much chlorine in your hot tub is not safe for your health. It can turn the water acidic which can lead to various health conditions.
Acidic water can cause respiratory issues, eye irritation, skin burn, and rashes. It is not safe for asthma patients because it can escalate the issue.
Moreover, your hot tub components are not safe. Acidic water can damage your hot tub surfaces, pumps, filters, and other components. The metal pipings can get damaged due to corrosion.
Can high chlorine cause high pH?
Chlorine forms an acidic compound when it reacts with water. Acidic compounds can’t cause high pH levels in hot tubs.
The only thing that can raise the pH of a hot tub is an alkaline compound or substance such as baking soda.
Can you go in a hot tub if the chlorine is too high?
No, you shouldn’t get your hot tub if the chlorine level is still high. You have to wait for it to go down before you can safely use it.
There are many ways to reduce the level of chlorine in your hot tub. If you read further you will learn the 3 different easy methods.
When can I get in my hot tub after adding chlorine?
I’m not always in a rush to use my hot tub after adding chlorine because my health is far more important than the pleasure I get. So, I usually get in my hot tub after 1 hour of adding it.
However, I usually test the water before getting in. Even if you are in a haste to use it, wait for at least 30 minutes. The chlorine concentration in your hot tub should read between 2 ppm and 4 ppm before it is safe for use.
So, test your hot tub water first before getting in. This helps you to be on the safe side.
How do you test chlorine levels?
Testing the level of chlorine in your hot tub is not a difficult task. You will need a test strip to achieve that.
To test the chlorine level, follow the steps below;
- Get a clean glass cup or beaker.
- Use the cup to draw water from your hot tub.
- Open your test strip kit and bring out the test strip.
- Hold the test strip with your fingertips.
- Dip the test strip in the glass cup water for a few seconds.
- Bring it out and shake off any excess water.
- Compare the color change with the color chart in the pack.
- Record the correct level to determine if it’s high.
Does vinegar remove chlorine?
Many people use vinegar to remove chlorine from their hair and they said it works. Though I have not tried it before, I don’t advise using it in your hot tub to remove chlorine.
There are better alternatives to remove excess chlorine from your hot tub. You can do this naturally without adding extra chemicals.
To remove excess chlorine naturally, open your hot tub and expose it to sunlight for about an hour or two. You will notice that the chlorine level will drastically go down. Tina is so because high temperature catalyzes the reaction of chlorine in the water.
Another method to reduce chlorine levels naturally is by letting out some water from the hot tub and refilling it with fresh water. Allow the pump to circulate the water before retesting.
But if you wish to speed up the process, you can add chemicals. The most used chemicals for this function are sodium thiosulfate and sodium sulfite.
Should I use a floating chlorine dispenser in the hot tub?
Yes, it is safe to use a floating dispenser for your chlorine. Especially chlorine that reacts very fast. The floater will help to regulate its dissipation.
With the chlorine dispenser, you can use the chlorine for a longer period. Using it is safe and does not damage the hot tub components.
However, you need to take your time to know the state at which it would be dispensing. If it is not set properly, you might end up having excess chlorine in the hot tub.
So, if you must use a floater, test it over time to determine the correct rate it should be dispensing. Another thing to do while using a chlorine dispenser is to always remove it when you are inside the hot tub.
Nevertheless, some hot tub owners allow the floater inside while they are using their hot tub. But I prefer having it removed. Once I’m done, I return it back.
Though we use bromine disinfectant for our hot tub, it is good to always be conscious of your health, whether you are using chlorine or bromine-based sanitizer.
Why is my chlorine level so high?
Different factors can make the level of chlorine in your hot tub high. While shocking your hot tub, you may end up over-chlorinating it.
Add too much chlorine tablet or liquid chlorine is the most common cause of excess chlorine in a hot tub?
If you are using a floater try to ensure you set the gauge right. If the flow rate of the disinfectant is high, you will continue to notice high amounts of chlorine in the spa.
Also, the rate at which chlorine dissipates varies, depending on season and usage. During the summer when hot tubs experience regular usage, the rate of chlorine dissipation will increase.
Moreover, the presence of sunlight will facilitate its dissipation. But in the winter, the rate will reduce. So, you have to recalculate to determine the different rates at which it is used.
How often should I put chlorine in my hot tub?
How often you put chlorine in your hot tub depends on how regularly you use it. So, it varies for different hot tub owners.
To determine how often to put chlorine, learn to test the chlorine level regularly. Regular testing helps you to maintain the recommended safe level for your hot tub, which is 2-4ppm.
If you do this regularly you will be able to know how often to put the disinfectant in your hot tub.
Is 10-20 ppm chlorine dangerous?
10 ppm or 20 ppm of chlorine level is dangerous for your health and your hot tub components.
The safe level for disinfection is 2-8ppm. But before you start using it make sure the level goes down to 2-4ppm.
Anything above this is dangerous for you. 10-20 ppm will make your hot tub water acidic. And acid water can cause corrosion to the metals on your hot tub. Even the piping and tiles can get damaged.
So, it is not advisable to use such levels for disinfection. 2-5ppm is enough to protect your hot tub against disease-causing bacteria and microbes.
Can I just use chlorine tablets in my hot tub?
Though I prefer using bromine when it comes to hot tub water chemistry, chlorine tablets can be used in a hot tub.
Nevertheless, you need to be careful with the type of tablet you use for your hot tub. Avoid using trichlor for your hot tub. It’s not recommended for hot tubs as it can damage your hot tub components. Trichlor is mainly used for swimming pools.
If you must use a chlorine tablet, always go for di-chlor. It is safe for your hot tub. However, it is a little bit pricey. But go for it instead of trichlor.
How long should chlorine last in a hot tub?
The time it takes a chlorine tablet to dissolve completely in a hot tub depends on the size of the hot tub, weather conditions, and frequency of use.
Generally, it takes a chlorine tablet of 20g 1 week to dissolve completely in a hot tub.
Though chlorine tablets are expected to stay up to a week, it is not a law because there are many variables that affect its rate of dissolution;
- Two chlorine tablets will last longer than one tablet.
- Chlorine will dissolve faster in hot temperatures than in cold temperatures.
- Chlorine will dissolve faster in a hot tub that is used regularly.
How much chlorine should I put in my hot tub a week?
For 800L hot tubs, two chlorine tablets of 20g each will be able to stay up to a week. For a hot tub of 1000L, you will need at least 3 tablets of 20g each to serve you for a week.
Will baking soda lower chlorine levels in hot tubs?
Baking soda has no direct effect on the chlorine level in a hot tub. But indirectly, it can alter chlorine levels.
Baking soda is used to raise the alkalinity of a hot tub which also increases the pH level of the hot tub. Remember that chlorine is more effective when the pH is within the range of 7.2 – 7.8.
If the pH becomes higher, the chlorine starts releasing hypochlorite instead of hypochlorous acid. This hypochlorite makes the chlorine dissipate faster in a hot tub. It literally means that baking soda that alters pH level can indirectly lower chlorine levels in a hot tub.