As it is always said, too much of everything is bad. This explains why the chemicals in your hot tub should always be balanced. Assuming the alkalinity range of the water is high, it reduces the hot tub’s appearance, making it have a green color. Not just that, it is also very harmful to your health.
When the alkalinity of the spa is high, it terminates the effect of sanitizers like bromine, depending on the generator you use, which are responsible for the prevention of algae bloom that makes the water green.
It also increases the pH of your water, leading to an increase in calcium buildup, making the water cloudy and forming scales on the surface of the tub, which in turn damages your hot tub jets and filters.
Let us not even get started with how low alkalinity can lead to irrational changes in the pH level and lead to corrosion of equipment in the pool. Just imagine how bad it would get when the alkalinity increased more than its neutral state.
What causes alkalinity to rise in a hot tub?
An unbalanced alkalinity level in your spa has a negative effect as it tends to diminish your tub‘s appearance, making it poor looking. This effect goes beyond just the tub as it also affects the users of the spa.
The rise in alkalinity of the spa does not just happen as it is influenced by the activities of the spa users or owners.
Rises in alkalinity of the hot tub are sometimes caused by the chemicals introduced into the tub in quality or quantity. Bacteria, lotions, or bodily oils such as sweat are also major causes of rises in the alkalinity of the spa.
High alkalinity tends to render major sanitizers in your spa useless, which may lead to major green coloration in your hot tub and introduce the presence of bacteria, making the hot tub unsafe for use.
What level of alkalinity is dangerous?
The alkalinity of your hot tub is a very important factor to consider when treating your hot tub, as a slight mistake in your pH can cause serious problems both for the hot tub and also the user, as well as the owners.
The pH scale ranges from 0–14, as:
- 0–7 are acidic.
- 7 is neutral.
- 8–14 is considered alkaline.
In reference to your hot tub, your ideal pH should be 7.5. The pH is not on a normal scale like inches on the ruler. On a pH scale, a value of 8 is about 10 times greater than a value of 7, unlike the rulers subdivided into inches. So it is a very big deal if your pH is even slightly off.
If high alkalinity is bad for your tub, why not keep it as low as possible? Unfortunately, low alkalinity is not desirable because it has very corrosive effects on both the hot tub and the skin of the users. Having a low alkalinity reading in your water will tend to react and attack metal surfaces, causing damage to the spa.
That is why it is very important to carefully monitor your hot tub to ensure it has the required pH. Make sure it’s balanced.
What happens if alkalinity is high?
The process of trying to re-balance the alkalinity of a hot tub can take more than 3 days. That is why it is often neglected, because many commercial hot tub or pool owners do not have much time to wait. That is why it gets so high.
When alkalinity gets too high, it makes it very hard to change the pH level of the pool, making your water cloudy and forming scale buildup in the hot tub. It also damages the wall and metals and poses a great threat to the health of swimmers.
Monitoring the total dissolved solids, total alkalinity, and pH of your hot tub or pool is very important because your pool’s health goes a long way to either affect your health, time, and money positively or negatively. Your water chemistry is affected by any new property that enters your hot tub.
Is it safe to go in hot tub with high alkalinity?
In a hot tub with very high alkalinity, one of its major effects is rendering your sanitizers useless, which in turn introduces bacteria and can lead to coloration of your hot tub.
High alkalinity results in increased calcium buildup, leading to cloudiness in the tub and deposits of scales on the surface of the tub. This can strip off essential and natural oils from your skin, causing dryness and itching.
No matter how tempting the urge is to swim in a hot tub that is clear but alkalinity is high, make sure you resist and treat the water first so that you do not suffer the empty wallet syndrome trying to treat yourself and your damaged hot tub.
What do I do if the alkalinity in my hot tub is too high?
Critical analysis of hot tubs Alkalinity should be highly considered, along with the dangers and effects it has on both the tub and the user. Just like extremely low alkalinity, excessively high alkalinity is very dangerous to the tub as it causes an imbalance in the pH value of the water.
This can result in the presence of a high level of calcium in the water, which in turn leads to scaling and cloudiness of clogged filters in the tub. High alkalinity in the tub also tends to reduce the level of effectiveness of sanitizers in the tub, leading to itchiness in the users of the tub, so we need to adjust the alkalinity of our tub.
The first step in adjusting high alkalinity is testing with a test strip or kit, which can be gotten from stores, spas, or online. Most of these skits always come with instructions which you should follow to achieve the results.
The required alkalinity of your hot tub should be between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. Any hot tub with an alkalinity level above 120ppm needs lowering, aiming at about 100ppm below.
One of the easiest ways to balance or reduce alkalinity is to add sodium bisulphate to the water. This is achieved by calculating how much of the bisulphate is required according to the quantity of water in your spa and the current level of alkalinity present.
For a hot tub containing 2000 gallons of water, you will need 7 ounces of sodium bisulphate to increase the alkalinity by 10.0 parts per million.
Once you’ve finished measuring the bisulphate, fill your tub with it and let it circulate for about 15-20 minutes before turning it off. Once the water is rested, allow the tub to rest for about an hour, then test it again. If you need to lower it, repeat the process till you get the desired result.
How do you lower the alkalinity level in a hot tub?
The pH decreaser, also known as sodium bisulphate, is the simplest way to reduce the alkalinity level in your spa. It may sound very confusing because pH and alkalinity are both different properties, but it actually works.
However, before you add the pH decreaser, know the quantity of water your hot tub holds, and then follow these simple steps:
- Use a test strip to know the current reading of the alkalinity in your tub and if it actually needs reduction.
- For every one thousand gallons of water, add about 3 pounds of pH decreaser to reduce alkalinity by 10 parts per million. You can use the broadcast method, but make sure it is not windy.
- Make sure your hot tub jet is on to help circulate the chemicals faster.
- Wait for 24 hours and retest the water, then adjust if necessary.
After all the process has been accomplished, make sure the alkalinity level is kept between 100 and 120 parts per million, but you can leave it at 100 to 150 parts per million to allow the alkalinity room to reduce before having to adjust again.
Also, make sure you follow preventive measures like changing hot tub water every 3 months, especially when used often, and never combining two or more chemicals at once in the pool.
Will baking soda lower alkalinity in a hot tub?
Baking soda has proven to be very useful in hot tub maintenance as it helps to neutralize the pH level of the water to the ideal point between 7.2 and 7.8 ppm.
Sodium bicarbonate ( baking soda) will only help to increase the pH and alkalinity levels of the pool because of its alkaline nature of 8.5. It can not lower the alkalinity level in a hot tub.
If your pool is too acidic, use baking soda; if its alkalinity level is too high, use a pH decreaser.
Can you lower alkalinity in a hot tub with vinegar?
Vinegar is used in most homes and by hot tub owners for cleaning purposes. It will effectively remove calcium buildup in the pool when soaked because of its bleaching ability.
However, adding any of the types of vinegar to the hot tub will not lower the alkalinity level of the water; it will only lower the pH of the hot tub.