We all love a good dip in a cosy bubbling hot tub. But hot tubs need a little looking after to keep them performing at their best.
You’ll be pleased to know that just a quick check a few times a week and the right balance of chemicals is all you need for worry-free bathing. We’ve compiled some of our most commonly asked questions about hot tub chemistry in this handy hot tub chemicals FAQ blog.
How do I balance hot tub water?
Hot tubs require a balance of chemicals to keep them running safely and efficiently. Firstly though, measuring the ‘Total Alkalinity’ of the water is required to give you a pH reading. Aiming between 7.2 and 7.8 on the scale is where you need to be. Anything below is too acidic meaning that the water sanitisers become less effective and cause irritation to bathers’ skin and eyes. Acidity can also cause damage to your hot tub. A reading higher than 7.8 is too alkaline which also causes the chemicals to be less effective. It may also cause scale building up producing cloudy, foamy water. Use a pH testing strip to test your water before adding any chemical balancer.
Oops – I’ve added too much chlorine
Chlorine is a great sanitiser, killing germs and bacteria to keep you safe from infection whilst bathing. 5ppm is the recommended level of chlorine for safe hot tub use. If you’ve added too much, run the jets with the cover open for at least 30 minutes and test again to see if the level has gone down or purchase some chlorine reducer which will help bring the levels down quickly. If you’ve added way too much, then the only options are to either drain and little and dilute it or drain completely and re-fill. Do not use the tub if there is too much chlorine added. Your skin will not thank you!
How long after I’ve added chemicals can I use my tub?
ALWAYS TEST THE WATER BEFORE GETTING IN TO ENSURE SAFETY AND COMFORT. Put the jets on and leave the tub uncovered for 20 minutes after you’ve added the chemical. Generally, chlorine granules will take 10-15 minutes to dilute and disperse with the jets running. If you have added a non-shock formula, then leave around 2-3 hours before re-testing and climbing in.
Why do I have foamy water?
Foamy water is generally caused by detergent residues from swimming costumes, or soaps and oils. There’s no need to wash your swimming costume each time you use your tub, simply rinse the costume in clean water and hang out to dry. You could also try showering in your costume before you jump in to rinse any residue away. If foam is a persistent problem, then adding an anti-foam solution such as Ez-Bubble Burst will prevent build up restoring your bubbles.
Why are my hot tub chemicals not dissolving?
The best way of dissolving granules is to mix in a jug prior to adding to the tub. Undissolved granules left at the bottom of the tub can cause damage to the acrylic.
How long do hot tub chemicals last?
The expiry date for chlorine or bromine is usually 2 years from the manufacture date. Always check the date on the side of your hot tub chemicals and use within the recommended timescale.
Can hot tub chemicals be stored outside?
Hot tub chemicals are sensitive to heat and moisture so storing them in a cool, dry place is recommended to preserve their effectiveness. Direct sunlight is the enemy of chemicals and prolonged exposure may render them useless. Avoid extreme hot and cold temperatures. Storing them inside in a lockable container is the best way to preserve the effectiveness of the chemicals.
What is hot tub shock?
‘Shocking’ your hot tub water means adding the recommended level of chlorine to your tub to bring the pH level back to a safe bathing range.
Do I have to use chemicals in a hot tub?
The short answer is yes. If you do not add chemicals to your tub it’s likely that it will only be useable for a day without draining it and starting again. Pretty time consuming and pointless! For those worried about chemicals such as chlorine affecting skin, if the correct dosage has been added and you’re not bathing for a prolonged period of time and showering afterwards, it’s unlikely your skin will be affected.
Bromine is another alternative to chlorine if you are concerned about the chlorine smell or you have sensitive skin. Bromine is great for hot tubs as it destroys bacteria at high temperatures very effectively. The amount of bromine needed compared to chlorine is less, which may also save you some pennies.