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You are here: Home > Spa and Leisure 101 > How to balance your hot tub's pH and Alkalinity

How to balance your hot tub's pH and Alkalinity




The first step is to test your water. The PH should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If itʼs not in that range, you need to add either a pH increaser or decreaser. Make sure to add exactly the amount instructed on the bottle.



PH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. Zero to seven is acidic, seven is neutral, and eight to fourteen is considered basic. In Hot Tubs 7.5 is Ideal.




PH is not a normal scale like inches on a ruler. Rulers are divided into single inches whereas on the PH scale of 0-14, a value of 8 is 10 times greater than a value of 7! So itʼs a BIG deal if your PH is off even just a little bit.



The amount of PH increaser or decreaser required can be very deceptive. For example raising PH from a 7.3 to a 7.5 requires a half ounce per 100 gallons using Brilliance for Spas PH increaser. Whereas going from a 7.1 or lower will require 1.5 ounces per 100 gallons.



Allow 20 minutes for it to circulate in the water and retest. Additional treatments may be required to reach the ideal range.


Alkalinity goes hand-in-hand with PH as it determines how much the PH will rise or fall. Again, why do you care? You want your spa to be as squeaky clean and beautiful as possible right? Ok, so hereʼs the thing, total alkalinity is the amount of ʺbufferʺ present in water. These buffers prevent drastic changes in PH, called ʺPH bounce.ʺ


The proper total alkalinity range for spa water is 80-120 ppm (parts per million). The Alkalinity needs to be increased with a specific alkalinity increaser, where as it can be lowered by using PH decreaser.



Common issues from imbalanced pH and alkalinity

A proper PH balance is the key to controlling the clarity of your hot tubs water. pH is extremely important! If imbalanced, it can cause chlorine and bromine to be less effective. Which could lead to many sanitation issues.



pH imbalance can lead to cloudy water(High pH is the most common cause of cloudy hot tub water), corrosion, staining, and even serious damage to the hot tub itself.



If you cant keep the hot tub water pH in balance it could be one of two issues:
1)The alkalinity in the spa is out of range causing pH Bounce or
2)The water in the hot tub needs to be changed. This can be caused by many different things ranging from high bather loads to natural mineral buildups over time. It usually a good practice to change out the water ever 4-6 months.



Recommended pH and Alkalinity Chemicals


pH Increaser: Raises pH levels in the hot tub water
pH Decreaser: Lowers spa water pH levels. Lowers Alkalinity Levels.
Alkalinity Increaser: Raises spa water total alkalinity levels.