How to Lower your Total Alkalinity

Today, let’s discuss how to lower your Total Alkalinity in your Hot Tub or Swim Spa. Sometimes, especially as a new Hot Tub or Swim Spa owner, balancing your water can seem to be a challenging endeavor. I hope the following information will help you.

What is Total Alkalinity? Simply put, it is a measurement of the waters ability to neutralize acidity. Many people also refer to Alkalinity as a “buffer”. Alkalinity is the ability of the water to keep the elements less acidic by maintaining the right pH level.

Why do we need to care if our water has high alkalinity? High alkalinity causes green water, as it will reduce the effect of sanitizers such as chlorine or bromine. High alkalinity also causes high pH levels. High pH results in an increase of calcium, which will make your water cloudy and cause scale to form on the surfaces of the tub. Over time, this can harm the jets and filters in your hot tub or swim spa.

What should be balanced first is a common question? pH or alkalinity? My suggestion is to always balance your alkalinity first as it tends to be the easiest to manage. Before doing anything with your water, you first need to determine what your TA (Total Alkalinity) is in your water. You can either use a test strip, a titration kit or bring in a water sample to your hot tub or pool store. Titration kits are the most effective for at home testing. If you use city water, many cities, and municipalities often publish the quality of your water online which will include your alkalinity. So, if you are filling directly from your garden spigot this is another way. Essentially, before you do anything with your water, you need to know where it is at to begin with.

For our purposes today, we are going to assume that your TA is high. We now know, we need to lower it. You have two options. You can use a liquid acid such as Muriatic Acid or you can use a Sodium Bisulfate. Either will work. Once you determine which product to use, now you need to do a little math. Find out how many gallons are in your tub or swim spa. You will already know your TA based on testing. If your TA is at 170 and you want to bring that down to 110 you will need to lower your TA by 60 PPM. Most of the instructions you will find will show you the measurements to lower your TA by 10 PPM at a time. Here is where some of that math comes in. You want to lower your TA by 60 PPM so simply multiply the amount needed to lower your TA by 10 PPM by six. Once you have added the required amount of acid, run your jets for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, simply let the tub sit for an hour without the cover on to let to breathe. Test again and determine where you are at with your TA. If you are in normal range, my suggestion is to then cover the tub and let it sit for 24 hours. Then test again. If you are still in the proper range, we can move on to the next step in balancing your water.

One thing to always remember when balancing your water. Take your time and have patience. Balancing should take a day or two to get it right. By doing the proper steps at the beginning, you will save yourself time and effort weeks later.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Ahh-some Watercare. We are here to help you with all of your water needs.

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