3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Adding Hot Tub Chemicals

Managing the pH level of your hot tub is like an ongoing science experiment. It can be difficult to keep up with your water’s chemical levels as they’re ever-changing. It’s  critical to keeping your hot tub safe for your family and friends, as unbalanced water can have health implications for those who come in contact with it.

To keep your hot tub balanced, avoid making these three mistakes:

#1: Not Testing the Hot Tub Water

When it comes to hot tub water, pH and alkalinity are cousins, and you can’t adjust the pH and alkalinity of your hot tub accurately if you don’t know the levels in real-time. Most people check manually with test strips and charts to balance their pH and alkalinity levels. The process can be tedious and sometimes might feel like you need a chemistry degree to figure out the right balance — but it doesn’t really have to be that hard.

Hot tubs can be fickle. When a pH is too high in a hot tub, the water becomes scale forming. High pH can cause premature equipment failure and increase your sanitizer consumption. Highly acidic water makes it more difficult for your sanitizer to work effectively, leaving bathers in your hot tub exposed to potentially harmful contaminants. Alkalines serves as buffers for the pH. When any metal part comes into contact with water that has low total alkalinity, it can corrode, putting heating elements, pipes, and heaters at risk. Calcium scaling can also occur, making it more difficult to keep surfaces clean and plumbing free of scale buildup.

You can use a smart water monitor like pHin, which tests your water balance over 1,000 times per week and sends you an alert if anything needs to be adjusted. The proven technology makes the process much easier, more convenient, and more accurate.

Recommended pH Level: 7.4 – 7.6

Recommended Alkalinity Level: 125 – 150ppm

#2: Not Keeping the Cover Off Long Enough While Adding Chemicals

It takes time for the chemicals you add to your hot tub to become fully functional, as they emit gases while absorbing into the water. When adding chemicals to a hot tub, it’s important to leave your hot tub cover open for at least 15 minutes so they can breathe and work effectively. When chemicals don’t properly dissipate, the water feels acidic. Bathers may also feel uncomfortable, experiencing skin or eye irritability as acidic water strips their skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling itchy and dry.

Sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine will better defend against bacteria, viruses, algae, and other contaminants from forming in your water if you keep the cover open for an adequate amount of time. Without oxygen, the chemicals are less effective. Chemicals like shock also require oxygen to circulate, oxidize, and clean the hot tub.

#3: Not Checking and Adjusting Chemicals Often Enough

There are a lot of reasons as to why your water level are off. Often, people accidentally add too much pH increaser when they are trying to correct a low pH level, they measure incorrectly or they spill. For some of us, the local water source may naturally have a higher than normal level. You may have to check and adjust your chemicals more frequently depending on how much you use your hot tub. If you use it daily or recently had a party with a large group of people, you might need to add more chemicals than usual. It’s a best practice to check and adjust the chemicals and shock your hot tub at least once a week, However if you have a large group or if there’s a possibility that leaves and other organic materials may have gotten into your hot tub, you may need to check it more often.

Smart water monitors check the chemical balance of your hot tub multiple times a day and will alert you if you need to add any chemicals. The beauty of an automated system is that you always know your hot tub is perfectly balanced the second you are ready to hop in.

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