What Causes High pH In A Hot Tub?

As a pool owner, one of the things you must watch out for consistently is how balanced your chemicals are in the pool. These chemicals are responsible for the changes in acidity and alkalinity in your pool.

What could cause high pH in your tub could be due to the following: adding too many chemicals, bacteria, body lotions, and hard water. This is especially true if you live in a hard water area.

What happens if the pH is too high in your hot tub?

pH refers to the potential hydrogen in a solution. It is the negative logarithmic value of the hydrogen ion concentration in that solution. In short, pH denotes how acidic or alkaline an aqueous solution is. Acidic substances are known to have low pH values, while alkaline substances have higher pH values.

Therefore, if your tub’s water has a high pH, this means that your water has an increased level of alkalinity. We can only infer that the presence of bases is on the high side.

High pH can cause problems for both you and your hot tub.

The main cause of calcium and scale buildup is high pH. Water with a high pH is very good at forming scales. The result is that the water becomes murky. Your water becomes cloudy because calcium precipitates out easily. The combination of the high temperature and low calcium levels, combined with the high pH, can result in the buildup of white, chalky deposits on the hot tub‘s surface.

In addition, you may observe white, flaky substances coming from the jets of the hot tub. This has the drawback of potentially affecting circulation. When these flakes become entangled in your filter, they can obstruct the flow of water. It clogs the filters, making filtration less effective than before.

Another issue that these scales could cause is a malfunctioning heater. The heating element might become covered in these scales. When this happens, your water won’t be heated as properly as it should be. This could cause the heating element to fail.

Furthermore, high pH renders your sanitizer ineffective. Chlorine and bromine do not work properly in high-pH water. This means that algae and bacteria can grow unchecked. This is a serious problem, and your water may become discolored and unsanitary as a result.

Is it safe to use a hot tub with a high pH level?

Using a hot tub with high pH levels can cause some health issues. It causes itchy skin and burning eyes. If you already have a skin condition or allergies, bathing in such water can aggravate the situation.

Always make sure to check the pH of your water at regular intervals, especially if you have a skin allergy.

How do you fix a high pH in a hot tub?

Before you proceed to adjust the pH in your tub, you must comprehend how pH and total alkalinity are related. As was already mentioned, pH is a measurement of the amount of hydrogen ions in your water.

On the other hand, total alkalinity describes your water‘s capacity to act as a buffer against pH changes. These two go together. Your pH rises as your total alkalinity rises above average. When it is lower than normal, the pH reduces as well.

These are the procedures to follow when you suspect your tub has a high pH level and want to correct it.

  1. Test your water’s overall alkalinity because you can never be too sure. Total alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 parts per million. Anything above that ought to alert you to the possibility that your pH has been impacted.
  2. Perform pH tests: Even if you have a suspicion that the pH in your tub is high, you should still perform tests. The pH strips are available for use. The pH should fall between 7.2 and 7.8.
  3. Choose the right chemical: When you have confirmed those two values: the pH and alkalinity, you must choose the right chemicals to lower them. To lower both pH and alkalinity, you need to use acid. The most preferred choices are muriatic acid and dry sodium bisulfate.
  4. The acid functions in the following way. In water, the acid dissolves. In doing so, it raises the amount of hydrogen ions in the water, lowering pH. Additionally, the acid reacts with the water’s bicarbonates, lowering the total alkalinity of the solution.
  5. A “pH decreaser,” “alkalinity decreaser,” or another substance that performs both tasks at once, a “combination decreaser,” are additional chemicals you can use.
  6. Calculate the dosage: When calculating the dosage, keep in mind that the initial goal is to lower alkalinity. This is because alkalinity declines much more quickly than pH.
  7. To reduce total alkalinity by 10 parts per million, you typically need 725.75g of sodium bisulfate or 1.23 liters of muriatic acid for every 38,000 liters of water. The proportion can easily be changed to fit the size of your tub.
  8. Combine the chemical and water: In a different bucket, preferably one that can withstand chemicals, combine the necessary amount of chemical with a small quantity of water. Allow it to dissolve.
  9. Turn the hot tub on, making sure the pumps and filters are operational. Now slowly pour the acid-water mixture in. Pouring it in too quickly risks damaging the tub’s sides. Take your time.
  10. Allow the water to balance: Run the pump for 3 to 6 hours to give the acid and water adequate time to circulate and combine.
  11. Repeatedly check the pH and alkalinity. Carry out a test to determine the alkalinity and pH. Their values ought to have been evenly balanced if you had done it correctly. The process above should be repeated until the pH is balanced, though, if either of them is out of balance.

How do I lower the pH in my spa naturally?

As an alternative to the above chemicals, you can make use of vinegar. Vinegar is common in most households. It can double as both a cleaning agent and a pH reducer. To use it, follow these steps.

  • First of all, test the pH after the water has been circulating for a while. An ideal pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8.
  • Measure out the vinegar: Pour out 4 cups of vinegar into the hot tub directly. You could decide to use either household vinegar or white vinegar.
  • Turn on the pumps: The pumps must be running to ensure that there is proper circulation and mixing. Allow it to run for about 4 hours.
  • Test the water again: Check the pH levels to see if it’s balanced. If it hasn’t, repeat the process above.

Does chlorine affect the pH in hot tubs?

Chlorine can affect the pH of water only when it is in excess.

Under normal conditions, chlorine dissolves in water to form HCl. However, this HCl is neutralized by the NaOH present in the water. Therefore, there is usually no net change in pH. In this case, the pH stays neutral or the same.

However, when excess chlorine is added to the tub, it can lead to the formation of excess HCl. This can lower the pH of your tub.

Will shock lower the pH in a hot tub?

Shock won’t lower the pH of your pool. If you happen to use a shock such as Cal-hypo shock, it might increase it instead. In general , shock temporarily increases the pH of your tub; it breaks up chloramines and increases free chlorine. However, with time, the chlorine will get used up and it will get back to normal.

Will baking soda lower the pH in a hot tub?

No, it won’t. Baking soda is quite alkaline. It has a pH of about 8. So, on the contrary, baking soda will not lower the pH of your tub. Rather, it will be the pH and alkalinity of your tub, although slightly.

How long does it take for a pH reducer to work?

In general, after adding pH reducers to your hot tub, it should take about 2-4 hours for it to adjust the pH. Some manufacturers also recommend that you wait for your pumps to run a full turnover cycle.

Does high pH cause hot tub foam?

High pH can make your tub more susceptible to foaming. This can result from certain chemical imbalances in your water.

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