Hot Tub Water Testing
Much like a car or a perfectly landscaped yard, owning a hot tub
requires a certain amount of upkeep to ensure longevity and usability.
Maintaining your spa’s cleanliness and equipment will ensure years of
use and enjoyment and keep overall cleaning time to a minimum as
problems will not be able to build.
The most crucial element of spa care
is the chemical balance of its water which, when well maintained, will
reduce the negative effects of regular usage. When people use the spa,
residual soap, perfume, cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, perspiration,
and other natural body oils may be released which can contaminate the
water and mix with the spa’s chemical balance.
It is important to
be aware of the frequency of spa usage in your home so you can create a
cleaning schedule accordingly, and to use products specifically
formulate for hot tubs exclusively. However, how do you know what to do
once the water is no longer crystal clear? You delve into your owner’s
manual only to be bombarded with a slew of terms you have never before
heard – calcium hardness? Alkalinity?
Don’t panic! Water testing is easy and quick and will ensure a longer life for your spa and its equipment.
stands for “parts per million” and is a measuring unit used to indicate
quantities of chemicals that ought to be introduced to the water.
total alkalinity must be correctly balanced prior to measuring pH
otherwise the pH readings will be incorrect. Total alkalinity needs to
range from 80 to 120 PPM to be considered acceptable. Remember that pH-lowering chemicals will also affect the total alkalinity of the hot tub.
remember bases and acids in high school chemistry? pH is a measure of
how acidic the water is which can impact the state of your equipment.
This is one of the most important factors in water balance because
extreme acidity can cause serious problems including corrosion on your spa parts
and skin irritation for users. On the other hand, a high pH reading
(meaning the water is basic) can cause cloudy water and scale formation.
The right balance of the two would result in a pH reading between 7.2
Calcium Hardness: a measurement of
minerals (calcium, magnesium) in your spa water, this is sometimes
referred to as “overall hardness.” A certain amount of calcium hardness
is good as without it, the water will draw from other minerals (copper,
iron, aluminum) which can cause corrosion on your hot tub equipment. Calcium readings ought to measure between 100-250 PPMs from acryclic tubs and 250-450 PPMs for plaster.
Like any other item we use, hot tubs too can get dirty! Sanitizers keep
bacteria and viruses from growing and spreading as they are want to do
in hot water. These products keep the water clean and fresh. The two
most popular sanitizers are bromine and chlorine – which one you use
depends on your spa so be sure to check your owners guide.
Testing Kits: Liquid vs. Strips
the past, liquid test kits have been considered more accurate in
determining hot tub water quality. However, these tests can be
complicated and cumbersome and with advancements in hot tub testing kits,
modern strips are just as capable of accurately and precisely
calibrating water quality. Plus, they are easier to use and more
Adjusting the pH
If you tested your pH and the result was too acidic (reading below 7.2), correct is by adding the SpaPure
pH Up liquid. Alternately, a pH reading above 7.8 indicates that the
water is too base and needs to be decreased by using the pH Down
Before adding any chemicals to adjust the pH, be sure to test total alkalinity levels!
Chlorine readings need to register between 1.5 and 3.0 PPMs while for bromine the levels ought to be 3.0-5.0 PPMs.
Adjusting Calcium Hardness
there is no way to chemically lower the calcium level in your hot tub,
the best way to avoid it is to prevent it from happening. However, low
calcium hardness can be adjusted with the SpaPure Calcium Hardness Increase product.