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Chemical Solutions
Hot Tub 101
Hot Tub Maintenance

How to Test your Hot Tub Water

Testing your hot tub water seems like a pretty easy thing to do especially with the awesome hot tub water test strips that are available today. You don’t have to be a chemist anymore with drops of this and drops of that. You simply place the strip in the water and look at the colors to determine the ppm (parts per million) that you are testing. It’s that easy.

What are we looking for once we have those numbers and what do we do about it? These are the questions!

One very important point about hot tub water chemistry is that once the water is too far gone, just drain it and fill it up again, it is not worth the fight. All you hot tub people know what I mean! Even if you have to unfreeze the hose it is still a better option than creating a cesspool of chemicals.

There are four main items we need to check to keep your water balanced: Alkalinity, PH, Sanitizer, and Stabilizer.

Alkalinity Level
The first key is Alkalinity, which should be 80 – 120 ppm. Alkalinity is the most important test of the week. If your Alkalinity is off, nothing is stable, your oxidizer won’t fire and your PH levels will swing like the best teenage mood.

This is the base, the foundation of all your chemicals. Don’t try and get your PH right or your oxidizer right before your Alkalinity. Nothing will work until your Alkalinity is in that 80 – 120 ppm range. You can use The Cover Guy Alkalinity Booster to raise your alkalinity.

PH Level
Once we have our Alkalinity under control we want to make sure our PH level is set between 7.2 to 7.8 ppm. This is simply adjusted with The Cover Guy PH Up or The Cover Guy PH Down.

The PH levels are important for the operation of your oxidizers as well.

  • A low PH level will wreck havoc on your skin and your hot tub parts because it becomes so acidic.
  • The PH being too high, on the other hand, is no treat either making your oxidizer ineffective, your water cloudy, and irritating to skin as well.

Sanitizing Agents
Let’s look at our oxidizer: you can use either The Cover Guy Chlorine Kit or The Cover Guy Bromine Kit.

Which is better is debatable, but if you don’t have sensitive skin, I would recommend sticking to the chlorine, but that is just my opinion.

You need to stay on top of this and make sure you have 1 – 3 ppm of any sanitizer you are using.

The role of this chemical is to kill and knock out bacteria growth in your hot tub. The outcome of not having a proper sanitizer level is not a nice thing for our skin and eyes. I like using the ongoing supply of tablets in my floater with a shock weekly or as needed.

Check out all of our chemical kits, including phosphate free options!

Stabilizer Level
The last thing you want to watch is your stabilizer levels. Once these are too high you have to change your water.

They should not get too high within your three month water cycle but if they do you have to drain your hot tub.

Too much stabilizer will lock up your sanitizing agent and it won’t work anymore, even if your agent is showing a high level which it will because it is not being fired into an oxidizer.

Keeping your hot tub water healthy and safe to use is a fundamental necessity to being a hot tub owner. It doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you maintain a regular checklist and are aware of when the water doesn’t look or smell quite right.

Below are our three tips to live by:

  • Don’t fight with your water. Change it if it’s too far gone, but remember to change your water at least every three months.
  • Start with the Alkalinity; that is your foundation.
  • If your stabilizer is too high, you have to change your water.

Enjoy your hot tub!