Before filling your spa or hot tub, you should have your source water either tested professionally or by using an at-home test kit. It’s also important to test your water regularly to avoid many problems that can occur with spa water. The three most important factors in balancing spa water are total alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness.
Total alkalinity acts as a buffer to prevent the pH level from changing as additional chemicals or other substances are added to the water. Any fluctuation above or below the recommended range of 80-120 parts per million (ppm) may cause the pH to be unstable which can lead to corrosion, cloudy water or scaling. When the total alkalinity needs adjusting, use Spa Selections® Spa Increaser or Spa Decreaser and/or a spa water alkalinity increaser.
It is critical that the pH of your spa water stay within the range of 7.2 – 7.8. Any fluctuations above or below this range can cause spa water to be corrosive or scale forming. pH is easily adjusted by using Spa Selections® Spa Increaser or Spa Decreaser and/or a spa water alkalinity increaser.
Spa water requires some calcium to be present. The recommended range for calcium is between 150-400 ppm. Calcium levels outside this range can cause scale buildup, foaming or corrosion of equipment and plumbing. To raise the calcium level, use a spa water calcium boosting product. The only way to lower the calcium level is to drain part of the water and replace it with softer water. Using a sequestering agent will prevent calcium and scale formations by chemically bonding with the calcium to keep it in solution.
Once you’ve determined the readings for pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness, you will need to adjust your water so that the levels fall within the normal ranges. Testing your spa water regularly will make you aware of any changes in water balance. If your spa water does not fall within the recommended ranges and remains unbalanced, problems such as cloudy water, scaling, equipment corrosion and skin irritation can occur. Refer to the Problem Solver page here if you are experiencing any of these or other problems.