One major tasking part of hot tub maintenance is balancing the chemical composition of the hot tub. It is not just about cleaning, brushing, or replacing equipment. Always testing and maintaining a proper neutral pH level is also important for other chemicals to be effective.
When the pH of the water is very low, it becomes acidic and can cause the equipment and surfaces of the hot tub to start corroding. It can also affect the alkalinity level of the water by making it increase. Since the water is acidic, it can affect your guests or family each time they use the hot tub by causing redness in the eyes. Moreover, it can remove essential oils from the skin and make it very dry and itchy.
This high pH level of the hot tub automatically makes the water basic and can lead to scaling on the jets, filter and other plumbing components of the hot tub with time. This scaling can lead to poor circulation of water.
Why is pH level important in a hot tub?
Like in every other water environment, the acidity or alkalinity of that water is very important to take note of as they go a long way in affecting our hot tub either positively or negatively.
A low pH level indicates high acidity of the water, which can cause your hot tub to corrode, reducing your ability to control total alkalinity of the water and causing discomfort to hot tub users by stinging the eyes and causing oil skin removal. On the other hand, an excessively basic hot tub could stain the hot tub or leave it vulnerable to mineral scaling.
Testing and balancing of your spa’s pH is very important and should be considered as a priority because if the pH is imbalanced, the water may affect your hot tub negatively.
Why does my hot tub’s pH keep dropping?
As a hot tub owner, one of the most important chemicals to always test for is the pH of the water. Once it drops or gets too high, your relaxation in the pool will no longer be fun because of the effect it will have on your tub and health.
Low pH can be caused by two major factors:
The water source: Sources like wells and boreholes always have imbalanced chemical compositions, and even after refilling the hot tub through any of these sources and treating it, some metals and minerals that were left unattended to can still decompose, react, and later affect the pH of your hot tub.
Chemicals applied in the hot tub: This is the most common reason for regular pH reduction in many hot tubs. Some chemicals used in the pool serve dual purposes. You might actually be trying to solve one problem while creating another one, especially when you do not seek advice from a professional to know the recommended types of chemicals that work best for your hot tub.
In summary, if you have tried to increase the pH of your hot tub and it still drops, the best thing to do is start afresh by draining the water from the hot tubs and all the pipelines, refilling, balancing the chemistry, and studying the hot tub again.
Can you go in a hot tub with low pH?
On a regular pH scale, which ranges from 0.0 to 14.0, the neutral pH reading for hot tubs ranges from 7.2 to 7.6 parts per million, with 7.4 being the sweet spot. Once your pool’s pH falls lower or higher, then there is a very big problem.
Low pH causes dissipation of sanitizers like chlorine, salt, and bromine that keep the hot tub in check against pathogens, bacteria, and other living organisms. Once this sanitizer runs out in the tub, it leaves you vulnerable to infections in your ears, skin, nose, and eyes. The low pH of your hot tub makes your swimwear and accessories wear out.
In cases of low pH, you would have to use more chlorine or sanitizer in the hot tub, making your water too concentrated and leaving your hot tub with stains caused by metals like the heater parts that have undergone corrosion. This also causes scaling and calcium buildup in your hot tub.
How do I increase the pH level in my hot tub?
A hot tub with a pH level lower than 7.4 parts per million is very alarming because it indicates that your hot tub is very acidic, making it difficult for your sanitizers to work perfectly, putting bathers at a high risk of having different bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
When your pH is low, you can add alkaline chemicals like a pH increaser to reduce its acidity, thereby increasing pH. Most of these pH increasers contain a very active chemical called sodium carbonate, popularly known as soda ash.
Do not get confused; it is different from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Although closely related, it works faster and more efficiently than baking soda.
Make sure you test the pH of the pool to determine how much you need to raise it. Study the right method to use for your hot tub first to avoid clogging and wasting your time.
Does low pH in a hot tub cause foam?
Foam is an indication that there is a chemical imbalance in your spa water. Foam in hot tubs is usually caused when the pH balance of your tub is off. Having foam in your spa is a sign that your spa is overloaded with high total dissolved solids (TDS) or there is a chemical imbalance in the spa water.
A low pH of less than 7.2 may result in high acidity in your tub and sanitary interference in your spa. The primary cause of foam in your hot tub is a failure to take proper sanitary measures after heavy use of your hot tub.
Lotions, make-up, laundry detergent, etc. leave our swimsuits when put in water, causing the soap water to be overloaded with TDS. If the pH of the hot tub is low or off, foam will definitely appear, as this is caused by the use of inferior or cheap chemicals or inappropriate mixing. Whereas water with too much pH or low calcium may experience cloudiness.
Does baking soda increase pH in hot tub?
When it comes to hot tub and spa water pH, baking soda tends to play an important role as it helps spa owners regulate the pH of their spa.
Generally, baking soda raises both the pH and alkalinity level of the hot tub, but its major effect is the alkalinity level of the hot tub.
Note that the proper pH level for your hot tub should be between 7.2 and 7.8, and a pH level higher may cause damage to your hot tub system and equipment like your heater or pipes.
Hence, baking soda is incredibly helpful to hot tub and spa owners. Hence, too much baking soda is not recommended for your hot tub as it causes the damage aforementioned. It is only recommended in your home if the pH is low.
Does shock raise the pH level in spa?
The pH level of a spa is often affected by chemicals added to the water. That is why it is very important to check the components of any chemical you choose to add to the water and go for the supplement if possible to avoid affecting the chemistry.
If you have tested the pH and it reads below 7.2 parts per million, adding shock will not increase the pH level of that hot tub.
Shock can serve as a sanitizer for the hot tub. When you add it to the pool, it makes the pH lower because it works best with a low pH. So it will not help to increase, but rather lower the pH level. That is why it is very important to test the pH of the water before shocking it.
How long does pH-Up take to work in a hot tub?
Using chemicals requires a lot of time and patience. Some may even require you to re-use them before you finally see your result.
The major determinant of how long you wait for pH to work is the quantity used and the level you want to raise it to. The least time it takes to raise pH by 1 part per million is 2 hours. But after 20 to 30 minutes, you can test to see if it is actually increasing.
How soon can you use a hot tub after adding pH Plus?
After using chemicals in the hot tub, you just want to jump right in immediately because of the joy of overcoming a problem. That impatience is totally understandable.
However, as a general rule, when adding chemicals to a hot tub, no matter the quantity or quality, always wait at least 2 hours before using the hot tub. For the pH Plus, wait for about 3 hours before testing again and swimming.
To reduce your time and make the circulation of chemicals faster, you can put on the hot tub jet. Some producers actually recommend waiting for a complete turnover before using the hot tub. Well, this should not be rocket science. As long as you know the quantity of chemicals you added, it would determine the time to retest the water.