Understanding Spa Alkalinity

Understanding Spa Alkalinity

What exactly is spa alkalinity?

Your priority when it comes to keeping your hot tub clean is ensuring that you maintain proper water chemistry. One of the most important parts of hot tub care is maintaining its alkalinity level and PH balance. In this article we'll dive into the importance of maintaining a proper water alkalinity balance in your spa.

What is Total Alkalinity?

Total alkalinity is the measure of the ability of water to neutralize acids. It’s an important factor in balancing pH levels and is often referred to as “buffering” because it helps water resist drastic changes in acidity.

When hot tub water has a pH level of more than 7, it is considered basic. Alkalinity refers to the amount of acidity the hot tub water can counteract. If the total alkalinity of your hot tub water is at the right level, it will be better able to handle any changes in the pH levels and resist any unwanted effects than if it were not at the right level. Alkalinity and pH are related.

Alkalinity is not the same as pH. It is measured by ppm rather than a scale like pH. Alkalinity plays an important role in maintaining pH balance. If your alkal­ity is too high, then it will be difficult for you to maintain your pH level. It is a good idea to maintain an adequate level of alkalinity prior to beginning any form of pH balancing.

You should keep your alkalinity level between 80-120 ppm.

The Importance of Spa Water Alkalinity

Alkaline levels that are unbalanced can have an adverse effect upon your hot tub water's color (giving the water a "green" tint), and in some cases can cause your skin to dry out.

If the alkalicity of your water is too low, it can cause an imbalance in the pH level of the water.

High alkalinity is the less serious of the two extremes; low alkalinity is the most serious. If low alkalinity levels are not corrected, they can cause green water and rapidly fluctuating pH levels. If these conditions are left unchecked for a prolonged period of time, they could have a negative impact on your hot tub's surface and could also lead to corrosion of your hot tub's internal equipment.

Balancing Water Alkalinity

The first and most important step is to test the Alkalinity of your hot tub water. It plays an important role in any hot tub maintenance schedule. It's easy to do using spa water testing strips and testing kits that can be purchased from many spas, hardware stores, and websites.

Ideally, the alkaline content in your hot tub water has a total alkalinity of between 80 and 120 ppm. It is important to keep the right level for best result.

Whatever method you use, you need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Even if the total acidity level is perfect, test your spa water regularly. Twice weekly should be enough. Alkalinity levels can change quite rapidly.

Remember, too, whether you're using a hot tub for a short period of time or a long term solution, the same basic rules apply.

Lowering alkalinity

You won't usually see a high total alkalinity reading when testing your hot tub water. Alkalinity levels can be caused by several factors. Too many chemicals: Adding too many chemicals will increase the TDS (or total dissolved solids). You need to drain, clean, and fill up your hot tub once every three months to prevent this from happening. Too much sweat, perfume, lotion, and similar can increase the alkalinity level. It may be you, your family or friends who are increasing the levels. Always take a shower before taking a soak in your hot bathtub. This will remove any makeup, moisturizers, sunscreens, deodorants, sweat, and similar products.

Alkaline water has a pH level above 7.0, which makes it an effective disinfectant and prevents the buildup of algae. High alkalinity can cause high pH levels, which leads to calcium buildup, which makes the water cloudier and causes scale to form. This can damage your spa's jets and filtres because they're likely to get clogged by the scale.

If you find your spa water has an alkalinity level of above 120 ppm, you should lower it. You should aim for about 100 ppm.

Raising the alkalinity

If your alkalicity is too low, use Alkalinity Increasers, following the directions outlined on the bottle. This will bring your alkalinity level up to a normal level.

If tests and treatments aren't taking care of the problem, it might be time to test your water's pH level to see if it's too acidic or too alkaline. Alkalinity is not quite the same as pH levels, but the testing process for both is similar, and the result will be the same if treated properly and with the right chemicals If you're going to use shock treatment, it might be necessary to use it at times, or it might be time to drain and refill your hot tub with fresh water, then begin adding in your chemical treatments from scratch.

Summing Up

Knowing how to balance the waters alkalinity will allow you to keep your hot tub clean and healthy. Regardless of which direction you decide to go, we're here to support you through the entire process. To stay up to date with our latest products and news, guides and updates, follow us on our facebook page.

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