How To Lower pH Level In Hot Tub – A Step By Step Guide

PH Level In Hot Tub

Okay. Now that you have just relieved yourself from a stressful and hectic schedule, you are now wanting to relax yourself in the hot tub. It’s a great idea! But, have you ever thought about the improper pH levels in your tub?

First of all, do you know that high pH levels in your tub can harm your skin and irritate your eyes? Secondly, it can reduce the effect of chlorine you use to keep the algae under control. Thirdly, remember that you are planning to relax in the hot tub and hence, the appearance of water is also important for you. If the pH levels are too high, the color of the waters will turn green and cloudy.

High pH levels will build up hard and crusty mineral scales on the floor of your tub. This will in turn reduce the life expectancy of your hot tub. If you neglect this important hot tub maintenance, be prepared to face costly issues down the road.

After getting to know so much about the adverse effects of high pH levels, you must have now understood the importance of lowering pH levels. So, don’t panic and just think about the best solution you can implement. We will tell you how to lower pH in hot tub.


What more should you know?

If you think that pH balancing is really important then, total alkalinity is even more important. Total alkalinity is the buffer of pH and if you don’t concentrate of balancing total alkalinity then, pH reading will never cooperate with you.

Total alkalinity is the capacity to buffer water and resist changes to pH levels of water whereas pH is an expression of the intensity of basic or acid levels of water. If you can bring back total alkalinity levels to range between 80 ppm to 120 ppm, then you can reduce pH levels to acceptable levels which is between 7.2 and 7.8.

What can you do now?

Now that you have just detected that your hot tub is suffering from high alkaline levels, you have to take up measures to reduce it.

So, your target is to bring back the alkalinity to the acceptable levels. If you have come here to know how to reduce alkalinity in your hot tub, then we assure you that by the end of this reading, you have a clear idea about how to approach the problem.

Step by step procedure

Now that you are aware that total alkalinity and pH levels are closely connected, let’s start correcting both of them at the same time.

1. Test the Total Alkalinity reading

You can make use of alkalinity testing strips or test kits, whichever is available for you. Let’s talk about how to use testing strips:

  1. Take the alkalinity testing strip from the bottle and close it immediately.
  2. Be careful to not to touch the strip or drop it on the ground to avoid inaccurate readings.
  3. Hold the strip on one end and dip it into the water for about 1 or 2 seconds.
  4. Now, after you take it out of water, hold it horizontally for about 15 to 20 seconds.
  5. Compare the total alkalinity color determination pad with the test strip color that has now changed.
  6. If you the reading confirms that you are over the ideal range (100 ppm), then you need to lower the total alkalinity of your pool.

2. Test the pH level reading

  1. Make use of pH testing strips or kits to know the exact pH level reading.
  2. If the reading is too high than the ideal levels (7.2 to 7.8) then, it is confirmed that the water is too basic or alkaline.

3. Choose the correct chemical

Since high alkalinity is the condition of the water being too basic, you need to add acid to lower the pH range. Usually, liquid muriatic acid and dry sodium bisulfate are the most preferred options to deal with this problem.

4. What happens when you add acid?

  1. When you add acids, they increase the concentration of hydrogen ions, thus working to reduce pH levels.
  2. They will also react with bicarbonates in the water, thus working to reduce total alkalinity levels.
  3. Apart from the choice of acids mentioned above, you may also use ‘pH decreaser’ or ‘alkaline decreaser’ or ‘combination decreaser’ chemical. You can find them in any pool supply store.

5. Calculate chemical measurements

  1. You need to add right measure of chemical to your water or else, you might end up into more hassle.
  2. pH level will drop faster than the alkalinity levels. So, first target to reduce alkalinity levels.
  3. The general and safe calculation result is that, if you add 1.6 lbs of sodium bisulfate or 1.3 qt of muriatic acid to every 1000 gallons of water, the total alkalinity level will reduce by 10 ppm.

6. Dilute the chemical

  1. Take a bucket of 8 gallons size and fill it up to three quarters level with your hot tub water.
  2. Now, add the measured chemical to the water in your bucket.
  3. Wait until the chemicals dissolve.

7. Switch on your hot tub

  1. Ensure that no one is using the hot tub when you are treating it.
  2. Turn on your hot tub to let the filters run.
  3. Wait until the water heats to the required temperature.

8. Add the dissolved chemical

  1. While the tub is hot and running, slowly pour the dissolved chemical into the hot tub.
  2. Have patience or else hurry buffy activity can damage your tub.
  3. Allow the water to set for at least 3 to 6 hours so that the required chemical reaction will take place in the water.
  4. While the chemicals are working, ensure that your tub is running and that the pumps are circulating to mix water and acid thoroughly.

9. Test Total alkalinity and pH levels once again

  1. Before you start using the hot tub, you need to test the total alkalinity and pH levels once again to confirm that your tub is in safe zone.
  2. If you have added the measurements correctly, you must be enjoying the ideal results.
  3. If you find that the alkalinity and pH levels are still high, don’t be disappointed. You are learning to understand them even better.
  4. Be positive and repeat the whole process once again.

10. Do not forget regular maintenance

  1. To improve the life expectancy of your hot tub, you must regularly check and maintain the alkalinity and pH levels.
  2. Once in 6 months, ensure that you completely drain your tub and refill it with new water.
  3. Before you use the refilled water, make sure that you will not use them until you have added the required amount of chemicals to balance the total alkalinity and pH levels.

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Why wait? Go and start implementing!

Hot tubs can greatly relax your body and mind to give you better health and sleep. If you love using your hot tub, ensure that you use it only after you are confident enough that the water is safe for you. Keep a regular check on the alkaline levels of the water. After every drain, ensure that you refill and add appropriate chemicals to your tub to balance the alkalinity.

Now that you know how to lower pH in hot tub, do not wait anymore and start working with a positive motive!!

Bryan Mallory

My name is Bryan Mallory and I have over 25 years of experience in swimming pool, spa maintenance and repairs. With my experience and knowledge I can return your pool back to its best and keep it in peak condition.