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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.

Glossary

PPM: stands for “parts per million” and is a measuring unit used to indicate quantities of chemicals that ought to be introduced to the water.

Alkalinity: 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.

pH: 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 and 7.8.

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.

Sanitizer: 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
In 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 economical!

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 product.

Before adding any chemicals to adjust the pH, be sure to test total alkalinity levels!

Adding Sanitizers
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
Since 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.



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