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Hot Tub Water Testing
There are 4 primary components that affect spa water quality.
1. Sanitizer (Bromine, Chlorine, Pristine Blue, Spa Frog, Biguanide)Maintain sanitizer within the recommended levels:
Bromine residual = 2 - 6 ppm
Brominating Concentrate = 3-6 ppm
Brominating Tablets = 2-4 ppm
Chlorine residual = 3 - 5 ppm
(If your spa is equipped with an ozone generator or you use Spa Frog products, you may choose to maintain the chlorine or bromine at the lower end of their ranges.)
2. AlkalinityTotal Alkalinity is a measure of the amount of buffering capacity in the water. It acts as a shock absorber for the pH. If Total Alkalinity is too low, the water is acidic and can corrode equipment and hot tub surfaces. It also causes pH bounce. The pH will drift down and any adjustments made to it will bounce and be difficult to control. If Total Alkalinity is too high, the water is alkaline and scale buildup and cloudy water can result. The pH will tend to drift up and will be very difficult to adjust.
Total Alkalinity, like pH, is affected by environmental factors. Rain, acidic sanitizers, addition of fill water and other product applications can all change the alkalinity over time. Total Alkalinity should be tested once every three to four weeks.
Proper Total Alkalinity levels vary with the water temperature and the sanitizer used. Ideal range for Total Alkalinity is from 125 - 150 ppm. For chlorine or bromine spas, levels of Total Alkalinity up to 200 ppm are acceptable, and the high cutoff is 170 for Biguanide spas. The cutoff is slightly lower for Biguanide spas due to the foaming tendency of the product and the tendency for pH to drift upward.
High Total AlkalinityAdd pH Down over a period of several days to lower the total alkalinity to the proper level. Discontinue pH Down additions if the pH drops below 7.2. Resume the applications where you left off when pH returns to 7.4 - 7.6. pH adjustment should not be necessary, as the alkalinity will tend to pull the pH up.
If the total alkalinity is high and continues to increase, and the pH is low and does not respond to additions of Balance pH Increaser, the problem could be bicarbonate scale. This occurs when spas are not allowed to gas off properly. Trapped gases or poor ventilation in indoor spas are reabsorbed into the water and drive the pH down and the TOTAL ALKALINITY up. It can also cause the water to cloud. To balance successfully, remove any covers and/or ventilate as well as possible and begin making adjustments again. Keep the area well ventilated or the cover removed until the hot tub water balance is returned to normal. To prevent this problem, remove covers or ventilate indoor spas for several hours a day to allow gasses to escape.
3. pHMaintain the pH between 7.4 - 7.6. In this range bathers are comfortable, the spa surface and equipment are protected, and the sanitizers perform efficiently.
pH is one of the most important aspects right behind of spa water quality. However, maintaining the proper pH can be a challenge in a spa. The heated, aerated water, combined with heavy bather loads can cause the pH to change quickly, unless a means for buffering these changes is present.
Test sanitizer and pH level several times a week with the test strips. These strips provide quick, easy and accurate readings. The test process is easy. Follow the label instructions. Simply dip and read.
4. Calcium HardnessCalcium Hardness: Total Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. This naturally occurring mineral helps prevent surface etching, jet and equipment corrosion. If the residual gets too high, the water may not be able to hold all the minerals, and calcium can fall out of solution, causing scale buildup and cloudy water.
Low Total Hardness:If the hardness is low, add Balance SpaPure Hardness Increaser according to label instructions to prevent etching or other surface damage and corrosion.
High Total Hardness:If the fill water has a lower hardness residual, the spa can be drained partially and diluted to lower total hardness. If the fill water has a high total hardness, add SpaPure Stain and Scale Preventer.
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