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How To Balance Your Hot Tub Water


How to Balance Hot Tub Water


Balancing your hot tub water is the most important thing to do if you want to maximize the life and appearance of your hot tub. Each time you go in and enjoy time in the tub, you are making changes to the water which can lead to the growth of bacteria or affect the overall comfort.

If the water in your hot tub is out of balance, such as when alkaline levels get too high, this can cause the walls to erode and permanently damage equipment and other parts of your hot tub. To avoid this, follow these four steps to balance your hot tub water.


Step 1: Check pH Levels


Hot tub pH is often considered to be the most critical component of balanced water. By measuring the pH, you can take the appropriate action to rebalance your water and prevent your hot tub from being damaged.


Heating elements, pump seals, and the internal workings of gas fired heaters are sensitive to both extremes of high or low pH. Take a look at some of the effects this can have to your hot tub:




High pH


●      Promotes growth of bacteria

●      Creates cloudy water

●      Decreases effectiveness of filters

●      Irritates eyes and skin


Low pH


●      Promotes growth of bacteria

●      Corrodes metals and equipment

●      Irritates eyes and skin

●      Stains or etches plaster




To ensure the water in your hot tub remains at a safe and healthy pH level, you can use a simple and affordable pH test kitto determine the acidity or alkalinity of the hot tub. You should test the pH level in your hot tub at least twice per week using test strips or a digital water tester. 


The ideal pH level for hot tubs range from 7.2 to 7.8. If the pH is too high, you can usethisto bring it down. If the pH is too low, you can use thisto bring it up. However, to ensure levels maintain a steady rate without requiring you to add chemicals too frequently, you have to manage alkalinity.

Step 2: Manage Alkalinity


The total alkalinity is critical for maintaining a balanced pH level. There is a difference between total alkalinity and pH.

When you are measuring pH, this is like measuring temperature with a thermometer. Similar to a thermometer, you are able to measure whether the water is too cold or too hot. With regard to alkalinity and this thermometer concept, alkalinity is your ability to control the temperature.


If the alkalinity is too low, it can cause drastic fluctuations in pH readings and make your hot tub unable to stabilize the water should there be acid rain. This is also the cause of hot tubs eroding and promoting the growth of algae. .


Alternatively, if the alkalinity is too high, it can result in unhealthy water because it impacts the ability of chlorineto combat algae and bacteria. This can also affect the calcium levels and create a hard, crusty layer to form.

To avoid these problems, manage alkalinity at levels between 80 to 120 ppm. You can use Aqua Trolweekly to maintain a proper level. 

Step 3: Maintaining Water Hardness


Water hardness is often associated with the amount of calcium in your hot tub. If the calcium in your hot tub is too high, it can lead to cloudy water. If too low, you may

see foam on the water’s surface or the metals eroding.


You do want to have some calcium in your water to maintain some hardness. Without calcium, the metals in your heating unit, pump seals, and other parts will be drawn into the water (i.e. copper, aluminum, and iron). This is the process of erosion.


To maintain your water’s hardness, you can use Soak Calto increase the calcium in your water. Ideally, you want calcium levels between 100 to 250 ppm if your hot tub has an acrylic finish or 250 to 450 ppm if it has a plaster finish.

Step 4: Add Sanitizing Solutions

Finally, to maintain balanced hot tub water you’ll want to have the right amount of sanitizers to prevent bacteria and viruses. Bromineis a popular choice added to hot tubs to maintain healthy waters. If you choose to use bromine, the ideal levels are between 3 to 5 ppm and 1.5 to 3 for chlorine. You can use a 5-in-1 test kitto measure not only the total chlorine, free chlorine, and total bromine levels but also the pH and alkalinity. 


For those with frequent hot tub bathers, shock treatment can eliminate unwanted odors and reduce irritating contaminants. This can also help to remove built-up waste and maintain clear, balanced water.

Want more cleaning supplies for your hot tub? Browse all available hot tub cleaners, including scrub pads, floating filters, skimmers, and more.