Excess of anything is always bad. This tells us why too many chemicals should not be used in the hot tub, especially continuously and for a long time.
If the alkalinity of the hot tub is high, it prevents the sanitizer from being effective. Sanitizers like chlorine or bromine (depending on the generator you use) are responsible for fighting and preventing microorganisms like algae from blooming in the water.
When these sanitizers can no longer do their work, the water turns green and the pH suddenly increases. This leads to a massive buildup of calcium, cloudy water, and scale formation on the hot tub surface.
In general, your hot tub‘s equipment and components would get damaged, appear unattractive, and affect the health of anyone who uses it.
What causes high alkalinity in hot tubs?
An unbalanced alkalinity level in your hot tub would have a very large negative effect on the walls, jets, pipes, and equipment. You will not be able to enjoy your spa once it is damaged unless you spend a lot to replace or fix it.
There is no smoke without a fire. Alkalinity does not just increase without something influencing it. It could be from the water source, human waste, or chemicals used.
You must be wondering how you contributed to increasing the alkalinity of the hot tubs’ water. Read below, then.
- Entering the hot tub while covered in sweat, lotions, or makeup.
- Eating or drinking while using the hot tub
- Soap or detergent residue on swimsuits, accessories, or the body after showering.
- Not treating the water after heavy use
- Using cheap and foreign chemicals.
The alkalinity of water easily increases when the pH increases and the chlorine or bromine is no longer effective.
Does shock raise alkalinity?
When it comes to your hot tub/spa chemistry, alkalinity plays a very key role and should not be overlooked due to errors and damage that may be caused. Another consideration should be how we manage and regulate the alkalinity of our spa.
The term “shock” basically means the addition of chlorine and non-chlorine tub/pool chemicals in order to raise the free chlorine level of the water, with the major objective of destroying contaminants like bacteria, algae, and chloramine.
This process of shock tends to raise the pH of the water as these chemicals are being introduced and not lower the alkalinity of the pool.
As the name implies, it will raise the calcium hardness of your pool slightly. Make sure you thoroughly test all your water chemistry levels, especially after shock.
Will alkalinity decrease on its own?
Waiting for alkalinity to reduce on its own is like adding salt to water and expecting it to evaporate completely with the water still intact.
High alkalinity can cause scaling and damage to your hot tub. It would take a very long time for the alkalinity level of your hot tub to reduce on its own. By the time it has reduced, you should be ready to handle the different problems it would have created for you in the hot tub.
The best option is to reduce it with a pH decreaser immediately after you notice it has reduced.
What happens if alkalinity is high?
The process of trying to balance the alkalinity of a hot tub again can take more than 3 days. That is why it is often neglected. 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 balance 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.
What do I do if my hot tub is too alkaline?
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, cloudiness, and 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 kits 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 100 ppm 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. After the application of bisulphate, allow the tub to sit 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 bring the alkalinity down 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.
Note that you can also 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.
Does vinegar lower alkalinity?
In many homes, vinegar is used as a cleaning agent because of its tendency to react with strong and stubborn stains, making them easy to remove and clean.
However, the alkalinity of the hot tub will not be reduced no matter the quantity, quality, or type of vinegar used. This is because vinegar is more alkaline than acidic. It would only help to increase the pH level of the water.
Vinegar is best used for cleaning purposes in hot tub maintenance. It would help to remove calcium buildup easily by making it very soft after about 3 weeks of soaking.
Will baking soda lower alkalinity in a hot tub?
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is known for its quick way of fixing the pH and alkalinity level of hot tub water. This is because it has an alkaline nature of 8.5.
Baking soda will not reduce the level of alkalinity in your hot tub because it is not in any way acidic. It would rather raise the pH level and alkaline level.
If your pool is too acidic, use baking soda as a quick fix. But if its alkalinity level is too high, then use a pH decreaser.
Does high alkalinity cause cloudy water?
If you have a hot tub, it is totally not out of place to have to deal with cloudy water. It is one thing to know the cause and another to know how to deal with it.
One of the causes of cloudy water is an excess or insufficient amount of sanitizer in your pool.
High alkalinity affects the pH of the water, which in turn reduces the chlorine or bromine level of your hot tub ( depending on the sanitizer you use). When the sanitizer in the water has been exhausted, contaminants find their way into the pool and change the crystal clear water cloudy.