How to Lower Alkalinity in a Hot Tub: An Easy-to-Follow Guide

Dive into clear waters – your guide to balanced hot tub alkalinity!
Luxurious hot tub on a deck with sunset view, perfect for relaxation and enjoyment.
Photo: Pexels

Having a hot tub is all about relaxation and enjoyment, but maintaining the right chemical balance is crucial for its longevity and your safety. A frequently encountered problem is high alkalinity, which can cause issues like cloudiness and scale formation. But don’t worry! This article will guide you on how to lower alkalinity in a hot tub effectively and safely.

Understanding Alkalinity in Your Hot Tub

pH scale chart depicting the range of acidity and alkalinity in water.
Photo: ChemistryLearner

Alkalinity, also referred to as total alkalinity, is the measure of how much alkaline substances there are in your hot tub’s water. It acts as a buffer for the pH level, meaning it helps keep the pH level from changing rapidly. Ideal alkalinity for a hot tub should range between 80-120 parts per million (ppm).

What Causes High Alkalinity in a Hot Tub?

Various chemical products used for maintaining hot tub water quality, which can influence alkalinity.
Photo: Freepik

Several factors can contribute to high alkalinity in your tub:

  • Overuse of Alkaline Products: If you frequently add alkaline products, such as baking soda or certain types of sanitizer, this can raise the alkalinity levels.
  • High Alkalinity in the Water Source: The water you’re filling your hot tub with might already have high alkalinity. If this is the case, even with regular maintenance, the alkalinity levels might be continuously high.
  • Infrequent Water Changes: Hot tub water needs to be completely changed periodically. Over time, the water can become loaded with dissolved substances, which can increase the alkalinity.

Understanding these common causes can help you avoid the issue of high alkalinity in the first place, and it will enable you to identify and address any problems more effectively. Knowing what causes high alkalinity is a crucial step in maintaining the health of your tub.

Why Lowering Alkalinity Matters

Image of a hot tub with cloudy water, a common problem caused by high alkalinity.
Photo: Storyblocks

High alkalinity can bring a handful of problems to your experience:

  • Cloudy Water: High alkalinity can cause your hot tub water to appear cloudy.
  • Scaling: High alkalinity can lead to the formation of scale on your hot tub’s surfaces and in the plumbing.
  • Ineffective Sanitizers: When alkalinity is too high, sanitizers like chlorine or bromine can be less effective, leading to unsafe water conditions.

Methods to Lower Alkalinity in Your Hot Tub

Hot tub water testing kit used to measure alkalinity levels for optimal maintenance.
Photo: JNW

If your hot tub has high alkalinity, here are steps to bring it back to an optimal level:

Step 1: Test Your Hot Tub Water

Before starting, make sure to check your water’s total alkalinity using a water testing kit. This will help you understand how much you need to adjust.

Step 2: Turn Off the Hot Tub

Turn off your hot tub. This is important as you don’t want the water to circulate while adding chemicals.

Step 3: Add an Alkalinity Decreaser

Purchase a commercial alkalinity decreaser from a supplier and add it to your tub as per the instructions on the bottle. Typically, these chemicals are sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid.

Step 4: Allow the Water to Rest

Let the hot tub water sit without turning on the hot tub or jets. This will give the alkalinity decreaser time to work.

Step 5: Test the Water Again

After a few hours, test the water again. If the alkalinity is within the ideal range (80-120 ppm), you can start your hot tub again. If it’s still high, repeat the process.

Preventing High Alkalinity

Regular maintenance of a hot tub, including water testing and cleaning, to prevent high alkalinity.
Photo: PixaBay

Prevention is the best way to maintain a healthy alkalinity level in your hot tub:

  • Regular Testing: Regularly test your water to make sure the alkalinity levels are in the ideal range.
  • Avoid Overuse of Chemicals: Don’t add more chemicals than necessary. Overuse can throw off the balance and lead to high alkalinity.
  • Proper Water Source: If your water source has high alkalinity, consider using a water softener or a different source of water.

In conclusion, understanding how to lower alkalinity in a hot tub is an essential part of its maintenance. It’s not a complicated process, but it requires consistent effort and regular testing. By following these tips, you can maintain a balanced hot tub and enjoy a safe, relaxing soak every time.

Explore More