Cleaning your hot tub isn’t about adding sanitizer if you don’t add the right amount of chemicals at the right time. You’re going to end up with some dirty hot tub water. However, this post will give you the secret to keeping your water balanced with basic water chemistry.

The basics of hot tub water chemistry are the alkalinity, PH and calcium hardness. Once you understand these concepts, you’ll be able to fix most hot tub water problems.


When you balance your water’s chemistry the first thing you’re going to adjust is the total alkalinity. The total alkalinity is the water’s ability to neutralize and acts as a buffer reducing acidity in your hot tub water.

You should aim for an alkalinity level between 125- 150 PPM. Moreover, the PH measures whether the solution is basic or acidic as the PH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.

The lower the PH is the more acidic the water is while the higher the number the more basic the water. Your water should have a PH level between 7.4 and 7.6 with 7.5 being ideal.

The Connections Between PH and Alkalinity

Total alkalinity buffers acidity adjusting the alkalinity and should be enough to bring your water PH in line. If you need to increase alkalinity, you can use the alkalinity increaser.

However, if you need to bring the alkalinity down, you’ll use a PH decreaser (NortemBio Pool pH- Minus). Because bringing your PH down also decreases the alkalinity level.

Again, so we address the alkalinity first if after reaching a good alkalinity level and the PH level is still off you can add PH increaser( Bluewater pH Plus) or decreaser.

Getting these two levels balanced is essential because if they’re not right your sanitizer won’t work the way it’s supposed to. Now, this is another reason to test your water at least once a week.

Also, keep a supply of test strips on hand or use a liquid test kit for more accurate results. You can always take your water sample to your local hot tub dealer and have them tested as well.

Calcium Hardness

This is the measure of how hard the water is in your hot tub. If you live somewhere with hard water, you will get calcium deposits on your faucets and showerheads.

So you want the water in your hot tub to be a bit on the harder side. If it’s too soft, it can eat away at your hot tub shell pipes and other parts slowly breaking them down over time. If your water hardness is not steady, you can add calcium hardness increaser (Spa Choice).

The ideal calcium hardness level in your hot tub should be 175 PPM- 250 PPM. The alkalinity, PH, and calcium hardness are the chemicals you’ll need to maintain your hot tub water chemistry.

Other Things To Know About Your Hot tub

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But if left too long they’ll break down leaving a gross film on top of your water and a scum ring around your spa. Enzymes aren’t necessary as long as you keep your sanitizer level balance and if you drain and clean your hot tub regularly at least every 3 to 4 months.

Water Clarifiers–While clarifier will help fix your cloudy water but it’s only a temporary solution. Water clarifier(Cleenly) treats the symptom not the cause of cloudy water. If you don’t address the actual problem, you will experience the cloudy water after the clarifier wears off.

However, if you are in a rush, you can use the tub clarifier to get the job done. Instead of spending a lot of time testing and balancing, you can pour in some clarifier and then deal with the root issue later.

Adding Chemicals To Your Tub

When adding chemicals you want the chemicals to mix into the water of the hot tub. Once you add the chemicals do not cover your hot tub because after you add chemicals they need the gas off. This means a portion of the chemicals will be released into the air and this is normal.

If your hot tub is indoors, it’s a good idea to open a window or turn on a ventilation fan or even both so, the chemicals don’t hang around the room.

Further, if your hot tub has an air valve that increased jet pressure, turn them off. You don’t want to quickly increase the pressure, since you’ll need some chemicals to remain in the water.

Now, before adding any chemicals- test the water using test strips or a liquid test. Remember to test for alkalinity and PH levels first. If these levels are out of whack the sanitizer can’t do its job.

Determine Chemical Dosage

Read your manufacturer’s instructions to figure out which chemicals you’ll need and how much to add. You don’t want to pour chemicals into the water straight from the container.

Remember the goal here is balanced water and that requires precision. Finally, measure the chemical straight into the hot tub water and walked away.

The jets will mix everything up and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Then you can cover your hot tub to prevent evaporation and before you get into the hot tub test the water again to make sure the levels are where they need to be.

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