Aside from deciding which hot tub to purchase, all that stands between a new hot tub owner and relaxation is getting the chemicals balanced. As complicated and as scientific it sounds, we can break it down and make it very easy for you to follow. Hot tubbing shouldn’t be a science, it should be relaxing!
Below are the proper ranges to keep your hot tub balanced:
Chlorine 1-3 ppm
Bromine 3-5 ppm
pH – 7.5
Total Alkalinity 80-120 ppm
Now you are wondering what needs to be done if your levels are not in the proper ranges. Here’s a quick run thru on how to get your hot tub back in business.
If your chlorine level is showing low, you will simply need to add some more granular chlorine (dichlor). Refrain from soaking in the hot tub until the level has come back up to its proper location to prevent bacteria from building and causing cloudy water. If your chlorine level is too high, it may still be okay to use (if it is only slightly high, say less than 8 ppm). If the chlorine level is any higher than that, it is recommended to remain out of the hot tub until the level has dropped slightly. The good thing about having a high chlorine level, is you know there is not any bacteria growing! 🙂
If your bromine level is showing low, you will need to make sure that you have bromine tablets in the floater or that you add another dose of liquid bromine to increase your sanitizer level. If you have recently added bromine tabs or liquid bromine and it is still not registering, keep in mind you also have to add non-chlorine shock to get the bromine activated. Add several ounces of shock when the bromine level is registering low and after each time you use the hot tub to keep the water properly balanced.
If your pH level is showing low, you will need to simply put in a pH Up or Increase product. They come in either liquid or powder form and may have to be added once per day for several days or a week or more until it is in the correct range. If your pH is high, you will need to add pH down or Decrease. If the pH is not in the correct range, it will affect how all the other chemicals work and can cause damage to your hot tub components such as pumps and heaters.
If your alkalinity level is too high or too low and your pH is following the same pattern (weather it’s too high or too low) you can raise or lower both of them together by simply adding your pH adjusters. If your pH is good and your alkalinity is out of whack, it is not as critical to get it back into the ideal range. Alkalinity is the buffering agent for pH and it shows how easily the pH level will change in the water.
Once you get everything in line, you will be ready to enjoy your next soak!