The total alkalinity level is a determinant towards the stability of your hot tub’s pH level. Many factors can contribute to the drop in the alkalinity or pH level of your pool. But the major culprits among these factors are;
- Humans: humans contribute a greater percentage to the drop in pH level of pool water. The hair products we use, the things we apply to our skin and sweat all contribute to lowering the bathtub’s pH level.
- Rainfall: Rainfall is a natural means by which your bathtub’s pH level goes down. This is so because rainfall is acidic. An enormous amount of rainfall can also dilute the chemicals in the bathtub, hence taking down the pH level of the bathtub. If your tub does not have a tub cover, it can greatly suffer from rainfall.
- Chlorine: Chlorine can affect your pool’s pH level. Chlorine tablets can reduce the alkalinity and pH level of your pool.
We’ll be addressing a lot of low pH levels in the pool as we move on. Stay with us.
Is low alkalinity levels bad in a hot tub?
A hot tub is a pleasure spot for a lot of bathtub owners. It helps them relax and feel cool, but then it comes with a lot of responsibilities. To be able to enjoy your bathtub, you have to be able to take proper care of it by treating and maintaining it.
Let’s look at what total alkalinity level means; alkalinity level refers to how well your hot tub water can neutralize acid.
Now, the total alkalinity level measures the concentration of carbonates, hydroxides, and bicarbonates. These are all alkaloids in the hot tub water. The alkalinity in the hot tub is measured in parts per million(ppm).
Most of the time, new hot tub owners wonder what the ideal level of alkalinity should be, so we’ll quickly be looking at that.
The ideal alkalinity rate in your bathtub should be between 80 and 120 ppm. It is very important that the normal alkalinity level is maintained to enjoy your pool the best way possible.
A hot tub with a low alkalinity level can suffer the following problems:
- Algae growth: Low water alkalinity can give way to the development and growth of algae, which turns your pool green and makes it uncomfortable to swim in.
- Corrosion: It doesn’t matter if your tub is fiberglass, corrosion can still affect it as the alkalinity level of your pool is low. However, it can be more detrimental when using a metal-surfaced hot tub. Also, corrosion issues affect the pump and filter of your hot tub too.
- Imbalanced pH levels: When your alkalinity level is low, your hot tub’s pH level will fluctuate up and down with no actual balance.
- Skin Problems: The hot tub becomes acidic when the alkalinity drops. Anyone who enters the hot tub is likely to get skin irritations, nasal irritations, and eye burns. If care is not taken, it can lead to respiratory problems.
- Your tub is likely to get damaged by a low alkalinity level. These damaging effects include cracking, etching, staining, and declamation.
Now let’s look at some of the ways you can increase your spa’s alkalinity.
- Applying baking soda, which is also known as sodium bicarbonate, can help because it is used to raise the alkalinity levels in the hot tub.
- There are various types of products you can use to increase the alkalinity level in your pool, such as: Alkalinity Up, Alkalinity Increaser.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can follow before you apply alkaline in your bath tub.
Step 1. Test your hot tub water. You can use a digital test, a test strip, or a testing kit.
Step 2. Measure the amount of baking soda or alkaline increaser that will be needed to be added to your hot tub to raise the alkalinity level.
Step 3. Ensure you’re wearing gloves and goggles to avoid the baking soda touching any delicate parts of your body.
Step 4. Put the baking soda or alkaline increaser into a bucket of water and dilute it. Stir it up till it’s dissolved.
Step 5. Pour the baking soda or alkaline increaser into the hot tub and give it six hours for it to be fully circulated.
Step 6. Test the water again after some time, and follow the procedures again if the level is still low.
Why does my alkalinity keep going down?
It’s normal for you to think you’re doing all the right things and end up not seeing results in your bathtub, especially when it comes to the pH level. It’s an important part of water treatment that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
We’ll be looking at some reasons that might likely contribute to why your alkalinity level keeps dropping down that we’ll be looking at immediately.
- Chlorine: You might be adding more chlorine than necessary, which throws off the pH balance of your bathtub or makes it lower than it should be.
- Rainfall: If your pool is without cover, a rainstorm can cause your bathtub’s pH level to drop drastically since rain possesses acidic content.
- People: if so many people use the pool in a short period of time, it is likely to also throw off the balance of your pool.
Every spa owner knows how frustrating it can be to battle with pool maintenance, especially during the times when you want to use it the most, so as we continue to proceed, you will get to know what you need to do when your pH level gets too low.
Does pH down lower the alkalinity level in a hot tub?
pH and alkalinity levels are interrelated. What raises the pH level will likely raise the alkalinity level, and what raises the alkalinity level will also raise the pH level. Whatever reduces them, reduces them both too.
pH is the concentration of acid protons [H+], while the alkalinity of a solution is its ability to neutralize acids. Alkalinity mainly consists of ions that incorporate acid protons into their molecules so that they do not become free acids that are able to lower pH levels.
Does pH Down lower alkalinity in the tub?
It is quite confusing to know which is which and the differences between them. New hot tub owners who have just started to be familiar with the entire concept will most of the time be bemused because the two kinds of work together.
Let’s look at the differences between pH and alkalinity; water alkalinity and pH are not the same. Water pH focuses on measuring the amount of water hydrogen (acid ions) in the water, while water alkalinity focuses on the measurement of carbonate and bicarbonate levels in the water.
Having seen the differences between the two, we shall head to look at ways they can both be balanced in your hot tub and if low pH level affects alkalinity.
A low pH level is equal to a low alkalinity level. They both balance each other. What raises the pH level also raises the alkalinity level and vice versa.
You can balance your pH and alkalinity levels by doing this; kindly administer baking soda for increasing alkalinity and soda ash for increasing pH.
Even though baking soda can increase both, soda ash increases the pH level better.
Does temperature affect total alkalinity?
During the winter season, every pool or tub owner whose spa is located outside has to wave good bye to it for a while. This is because the water temperature drops a lot, and it not only gets too cold, it affects the water balance too.
Tub or pool water temperatures can drop 40° to 50° F. When your tub’s water temperature drops like this, it could cause damage to the metal components in your pool if not addressed quickly.
Does chlorine raise or lower alkalinity?
Chlorine is one of the sanitizing chemicals that most pool and tub owners use to treat their pools and maintain hygiene. However, if not administered properly the way it’s meant to be, it can bring some problems along with it.
When you add more than enough chlorine to your pool, you run the risk of lowering your pool’s alkalinity level, because when alkalinity falls, it becomes a problem for your pH to stay stable.
A lower pH and alkalinity pose danger to the swimmers, such as itchy skin and stinging eyes.
If you want to raise the pH level of your hot tub, then baking soda or an alkalinity increaser is the best option for you. It is advised that you test your water first before adding the baking soda to your hot tub‘s water. This is to know the actual amount of baking soda to be added to the pool so its pH level can be increased.