When balancing your hot tub water, you always want to balance total alkalinity first. Total alkalinity is the measure of alkalines in the water. And as well as having to be in balance themselves, the alkalines, keeping your total alkalinity in the proper range will also help the pH in the water stay in the proper range. So that’s why you want to balance your alkalinity first.
The ideal range for a hot tub is 80 parts per million to 150 parts per million. Ideally, you want to be right in the middle somewhere. With tablet sanitizers, like chlorine or bromine tablets, they tend to lower the alkalinity over time. So, if you’re using that as your sanitizer, you want to keep your alkalinity in the mid-range at least to start off. So a low alkalinity will cause the pH to wander, or pH to bounce between and drift. It will also cause the disinfectants to be ineffective. So chlorine or bromine will act slowly and they just won’t be doing their job as well.
The low alkalinity also will cause the water to be corrosive, and that could be problem for any metal fittings in the hot tub, like your heater or jets. So it’ll start stripping those metal fittings away as well as damaging that equipment and also putting metals into the water, which can then lead to staining and discoloration of the water.
So, in most cases, you’re going to need to raise the alkalinity to get it in balance. Most source of water has a lower alkalinity than the range that you want it to be for a hot tub, which is 80 to 150 parts per million. So the product, Perfect Balance, is what you want to use to raise the alkalinity. And on the label there is a dosage chart, which will let you know how much you need. Obviously, you want to test the water to find out what the alkalinity level is at, and then add Perfect Balance accordingly.
In the case where you need to lower the alkalinity, say the rare case where the source water is really high, above 150, or say you overdose with Perfect Balance by mistake, you want to use an acid. And then the product in the Arctic Pure line is Adjust Down. It’s dry acid, so it’s a powder, it’s a granular, which makes it safer to use. So to lower the alkalinity, the dosage you want to use with Adjust Down is 20 grams per 1,000 liters. It will lower the alkalinity by 10 parts per million.
And when you add this product, in the case to lower alkalinity, you want to turn off all the jets. Turn off the pump. You want to add it in one spot in the water, away from any metal fittings. Most likely, right in the middle of the foot bay would be the best. And it causes this column, this acid bath, this column of water. And that’s the action that actually will lower the alkalinity. So you don’t want the water circulating. You want to create that acid bath right in the middle of the water.
So, to recap, the total alkalinity is the first thing you want to get in line when you’re balancing your water. It’ll help when you have to balance your pH, so it’s the first thing you want to get in line, and it’s very important to the overall water balance.