Is the pH level of your hot tub getting too high? If yes, you don’t have to bother yourself about that. Hopefully, you are here to know the right actions to take to restore the pH to the required level.
Well, this post is for you. If your spa pH is too high, the first thing to do is to stop using it. Don’t enter your hot tub if the pH is high so you don’t experience itchy skin and burning eyes. Check this post to learn more.
The next action is to reduce the pH to its normal level. But before you do that you need to measure the pH and alkalinity levels with your test strips or kits. If you could notice, the alkalinity of the hot tub is off as well.
So, you need to work on the pH and alkalinity as well. This takes us to the next task…
How do I bring the pH down in my hot tub?
You can lower the pH level of your hot tub water by adding acidic chemicals and pH reducers. The best chemicals for this are liquid muriatic acid, dry sodium bisulfate, and pH minus which you can easily get from any pool store in your neighborhood.
The following steps describe how you can easily lower the pH of your spa.
- Test for the pH and alkalinity levels: It’s obvious that the pH in your hot tub is getting high but you still need to test to validate your observation.
You need a test strip or kits to perform this. To test the pH level, get a test strip and dip it into your hot tub for a few seconds. Compare the color change with the one on the color chart on the pack.
Also, test for the alkalinity of the hot tub. This will help you to know how to go about the process. The alkalinity is probably high and needs adjustment.
Now that you know how high the pH and alkalinity are, the next thing is to add the right quantity of chemicals to bring the level down.
- Turn on the hot tub: Before you add the acid ensure that the hot tub is running. This will help the circulation process and also prevent the acid from accumulating in one particular spot. If the acid accumulates in a particular spot it may damage the hot tub surface or components.
So, ensure it is turned on and the jets and filters are running as usual.
Another thing to note is that you should not dump the chemical in one spot. Try to add it gradually across different areas of the spa. This facilitates adequate circulation.
- Add Acidic Chemicals: The most popular chemicals used for this function are muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate. There are also many pH minus out there that works perfectly well.
Get the one you can and make sure you follow the instructions on the product packaging. For the muriatic acid solution, you need 1.3 qt for every 10,000 gallons of water to reduce the alkalinity by 10ppm. If you are using sodium bisulfate, you need 1.6 lbs for every 10,000 gallons of water to lower the pH by 10ppm.
These values will help you to determine the amount of acid you need to add to your hot tub. Add the required amount of acid and wait for about 3-6 hours to test again.
What should be adjusted first alkalinity or pH? You may be wondering why we are discussing alkalinity when you are here because of the pH issue. Well, we understand, and considering alkalinity will help the process to be a little bit faster and achievable.
Alkalinity and pH are closely related. In fact, alkalinity shows the strength of your spa water to resist change in pH. If the alkalinity level is okay, the pH of your spa will not easily change.
This is why alkalinity is vital when dealing with pH. If you get the alkalinity right, then adjusting the pH won’t be an issue. But if the alkalinity level is off the range, you will find it difficult to adjust the pH because it will be highly unstable.
Moreover, the pH can naturally readjust to the normal level once the alkalinity is within the range. If not so, you can easily adjust it by adding little amount of chemicals.
- Retest for pH level: After 3-6 hours of waiting, you can retest the hot tub water to ascertain the pH level. If it is still high, you can repeat the process until your vet the desired pH range which is 7.2-7.8. For the alkalinity, you need a range between 80 and 120.
Can you lower pH without lowering alkalinity?
This is almost impossible. There is no way you can lower pH without affecting the alkalinity. However, some chemicals can help you to lower the pH level with very little change in the alkalinity.
Moreover, adding muriatic acid to your spa often to adjust the pH will help to keep the alkalinity with the accepted range. You may not even need to work on the alkalinity for years as long as you keep adjusting the pH frequently.
Another method to adopt if the pH level is the only issue you are having is to lower the pH with muriatic acid and then adjust the alkalinity with baking soda. The baking soda will have little effect on the pH.
Can I use my hot tub if the pH is high?
You should not use your spa when the pH becomes high. High pH in your hot tub can cause itchy skin and burning eyes.
Though it may not be too dangerous for your health, prolong exposure to such spa water can lead to serious health issues.
You don’t want to joke with your health, so do the right thing by adjusting the pH level before using the spa again.
If you are finding it difficult to adjust the pH level, the best alternative is the empty the hot tub and refill it with fresh water. Then adjust the chemical balance accordingly.
More so, you need to change your spa water every three to six months. If you find it difficult to adjust the pH after following the steps above, it means that the water needs changing.
What happens if pH is high in Spa?
Like we discussed above, having high pH in your hot tub can cause itchy skin and burning eyes. Moreover, it can affect the lifespan of the spa.
Having a high pH level in your hot tub can lead to scale buildups. When scales start to develop in the pipes and other areas of the spa, it usually affects the components of the spa. Sometimes, it leads to permanent damage to the equipment.
So, it is not good to have a high pH level in your hot tub for a prolonged period.
Can you use vinegar to lower pH in a hot tub?
Does vinegar raise or lower pH? Well, vinegar is an acidic compound that can lower the pH of water. Though it is mostly known as a household cleaning agent, some people use it nowadays to regulate the pH level of their hot tubs.
I know a lot of spa owners that use vinegar to lower pH level in their hot tub. Though this is a natural means of adjusting the pH level in your hot tub, it is not the industry standard.
However, one can use it once in a while but it shouldn’t be regular. Having vinegar in your spa all the time may affect the components of the spa.
So, only use it when you don’t have access to the regular chemicals and pH adjusters. Learn more about vinegar and hot tub pH here.
Can I use lemon juice to lower pH?
Lemon is another natural means of reducing pH levels in a hot tub without using chemicals. Just like vinegar, it is also effective and many hot tub owners have turned to it as a good alternative.
As an acidic compound, it has the potential to lower the pH level of your hot tub water. Though it is not as active as the regular chemicals, it can be used when those are not easily accessible.
Just like vinegar, it’s not what anyone should rely on all the time. Unlike other chemicals, for it to function properly, you need a greater amount of it in your spa. And this may affect the hot tub components.
Will Shocking hot tub lower pH?
Having many dissolved substances in your spa can make the pH rise. Like we discuss the things that cause high pH in a hot tub in this article – Will Baking Soda Lower pH In Hot Tub? organic compounds are mostly responsible for the increase in the pH level of hot tubs.
If that is the case, it means that pH can be reduced by shocking the pool. This may not be the best method, but it will surely alter the pH level if organic matter is the cause of the rise in pH level.
So, shocking your spa can lower the pH level when it is high.