How easy is it to keep my hot tub clean? How to test hot tub pH

how to test hot tub water
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How simple is hot tub water maintenance?

Most people know that using a bacteria killing sanitiser such as chlorine and bromine is necessary in their hot tub. But, something that might not be mentioned so  much is pH. Before you buy a hot tub, you need to know how much time is going to be spend cleaning and maintaining a hot tub. So understanding what pH is. And how to test it is important. 

pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is. And it plays a crucial part. Not only in how inviting and comfortable your hot tub water is. But in how effective chlorine is at killing bacteria and viruses. 

In order to keep pH balanced. We need to test the pH in the hot tub water. There are a couple of simple ways to do this:

  1. Hot tub test strips
  2. Mini-pool/spa tester (3 chamber tester)
  3. AquaChek TruTest digital test kit
  4. Electronic tester
  5. Get a professional to check it

How to test hot tub water using test strips

chlorine test strips

Hot tub test strips are the most common way to check the pH in your hot tub? Why? Because it’s super simple. Plus, it’s usually what is included in your hot tub chemical starter kit.

They are not the most accurate. But they do check for chlorine and/or bromine, pH and total alkalinity. You should ideally check every time you use your hot tub. But minimum once, or twice a week. 

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Directions for use:

  1. Take the test strip and dip it into the centre of the hot tub water. 
  2. Remove immediately.
  3. Hold the test strip horizontally for 10 seconds.
  4. Compare the colour on the test strip against the tub (the tub will indicate the ideal colour).

How to test hot tub water using a digital test kit

easy hot tub testing

You want something easy. But you also fancy something with a bit more accuracy than the test strips. Something that doesn’t rely on you colour matching.  

This is where a digital test strip reader such as AquaChek TruTest might come in.

Digital test strip readers test chlorine/bromine, pH and total alkalinity.


Directions for use:

  1. Dip the test strip in the centre of the hot tub water.
  2. Remove immediately 
  3. Place the test strip onto the digital test strip reader.
  4. The reader will indicate lowok, or high for the hot tub water pH.

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How to test your hot tub water using an electronic tester

The ultimate in water testing is a professional electronic test kit. Our engineers use the Palintest Pooltest 9. And we recommend that all commercial properties invest in a good quality electronic test kit.

Not only does it reduce the risk of human error. But it will be necessary to accurately calibrate the automatic dosing panel if one is installed.

We would not usually recommend that you get one of these for a domestic hot tub.

Directions for use:

  1. These instructions vary between models. 
  2. Rinse out the test tube with hot tub water. This removes previous test residue.
  3. Fill up the test tube with water from the centre of the hot tub.
  4. Put 1 phenol red tablet into the test tube, without touching the tablet.
  5. Crush the phenol red tablet in the water using the stick provided.
  6. Place the lid on the test tub and insert into the electronic reader.
  7. Select the pH reading.
  8. The test kit will tell you the water pH.

How to get a professional to test your hot tub water

You bought a hot tub to relax. You don’t want to test the hot tub water pH. Okay. You have two options. You can get a professional to check it as part of a paid maintenance visit. 

Or you can scoop some water in a container and take it into your local hot tub for testing, if they offer this facility.

To do this you should:

  1. Take a sample of water from the centre of your hot tub. Use a container reserved specifically for hot tub water samples so you don’t contaminate the water. 
  2. Take the hot tub immediately to your local hot tub supplier for testing.

In summary

So, how easy is it to keep you hot tub water clean? 

Step 1 is testing your pH. And as you can see above. Testing pH can be really simple and can take as little as a couple of minutes. Making sure the pH is balanced, will ensure the sanitiser can do its job. Making your hot tub water clean and safe to use.

For domestic hot tubs, we recommend sticking with the test strips or a digital test strip reader. 

Want more information on how easy it is to keep you hot tub clean? Get in touch or read some more of our helpful blogs below. 

Thinking about buying a hot tub? Find out the 4 key things you NEED to know before. Download our FREE buyer’s guide

Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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