After weeks of research, and comparing different models on TubHQ, my sister recently went ahead and bought herself a brand new hot tub. After a few uses, she quickly found that her water was a little off, and didn’t know how to fix it. So, she called a company to handle cleaning it for her. That’s when we found out how important it is to balance the pH levels of hot tub water.
What Is pH Level?
You may or may not remember this from science class in school, so I’ll keep the explanation brief and to the point. All the water we use in our everyday lives contains salts dissolved in it, and so it is not purely water (that would be called distilled water).
If the water contains more hydrogen ions (charged atoms) then we can say that the water solution is acidic, like if you added lemon juice to water. If there are more water atoms than hydrogen ions, then the solution is called basic, or alkaline. Perfectly pH neutral water (neither acidic nor basic) is at pH level 7.
How Is PH Level Tested?
There are devices that can accurately test the pH level of your water simply by dipping one end of the device in the water. However, such devices are an unnecessary expense in this context. The easier way is a dip test using pH sensitive strips. The strip will change color according to the pH level, which is usually illustrated on the packaging for the strips. This is the simplest and cheapest way to test the pH level of any water.
The Problem With Low (Acidic) pH Levels
If a hot tub is left with acidic water for too long, there may be corrosive damage from the acid in the water. Also, the sanitizer will not work properly, which may lead to infections and other health problems. The hot water and slightly lower pH levels can create the perfect conditions for bacteria to multiply, which is not what you want.
The Problem With High (Basic) pH Levels
Again, the sanitizer will not work at all, and this may create an opportunity for other bacterial strains to multiply in your water. Additionally, basic water is known as hard water. This means that there will be deposits of calcium and other minerals on the surface of your hot tub. If a hot tub is left in basic (alkaline) water for too long, this leads to corrosion and the water will be cloudy, significantly impairing your relaxing time in the hot tub. These calcium deposits will clog the jets and may also become a breeding ground for all kinds of pathogens, and give off a bad odor.
If you’re going to own a hot tub, then you must either learn how to take proper care of it, or hire someone to do it for you. Leaving the water with an unbalanced pH can damage your expensive hot tub, clog the jets, and create hazardous, unsanitary conditions.