How easy is it to keep your hot tub water clean? The importance of pH

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

Are you worried that if you buy a hot tub, it will be just another thing to clean and maintain? Nobody wants to add another thing to their to do list. 

So, what do you actually have to do to keep your hot tub clean?

It doesn’t have to be difficult. But there are a few things you need to know about.

One of them is hot tub pH. You’ll have heard you need to use sanitisers like Chlorine or Bromine to kill the bacteria lurking in your hot tub. But you might not have heard much about pH.

Your hot tub pH is massively important when it comes to keeping your hot tub clean. Not only can an out of balance pH make the water uninviting and uncomfortable. But it can impact the overall effectiveness of hot tub sanitisers. Making it easier for bacteria and viruses to thrive.

In this post we look at what hot tub pH is. How an out of balance pH can affect your hot tub water. And finally how to easily test your hot tub pH.

What is hot tub pH?

pH stands for Power of Hydrogen (sometimes Potential Hydrogen). And if you listened in science class in school you’ll probably remember it’s just a fancy way of expressing how alkaline or acidic a substance is.

The pH scale runs from 0 – 14. At seven you have neutral. Commonly where spring water sits. At zero you have an extremely acidic substance, such as sulphuric acid. And at the other end of the scale at 14, you have highly alkaline substances. Both ends of the scale are corrosive.

When we’re talking about hot tubs were likely not looking at these extremes. But the pH may fluctuate between around 6 to 8. 

How does pH affect you and your hot tub?

Your hot tub pH should ideally sit between 7.2 and 7.6. Out with that range. pH can have negative effect on the hot tub.

Often, people think they are allergic or sensitive to Chlorine. But an improperly balanced pH can irritate your skin and eyes. And so it’s worth double checking pH is correct before considering swapping off Chlorine.


Problems if the pH is wrong

Problems if the pH is wrong

pH below 7.2pH above 7.6
Corrosive waterScale formation
Staining of surfacesFilter calcification
Skin & Eye irritationSkin & eye irritation
Damage to spa equipmentDrying to the skin
Reduced effectiveness of Chlorine

How does pH affect the cleanliness of your hot tub?

A high pH (over 7.6) can affect the effectiveness of the sanitiser. This is especially relevant if you are using Chlorine.

A rise in pH to around 8, can decrease the Chlorine effectiveness by up to 80%. This means you will have to add more Chlorine to do the same job. The increase in chemicals can irritate your skin. Plus, it will also make keeping your hot tub clean much more of an effort. And more expensive.

Bromine is slightly more effective in an unstable pH. Which is often why people opt for Bromine over Chlorine. 

Related content:


How to check your hot tub pH

It might all sound really complicated. But it’s actually really easy to check. 

For most people, standard hot tub test strips will do the job. But if you want you can invest in an electronic test kit.

  1. Follow our step-by-step video guide to test your hot tub pH. Or if you would rather follow these instructions:
  2. Take one test strip out of the tube
  3. Dip the test strip in the water and hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Remove the test strip from the water and compare the colour of the pH (middle) against the bottle. 
  5. If the colour does not match the recommended levels then add pH plus, or pH minus as required. Following the instructions on the side of the tub.

In Summary

Hopefully that has helped you understand what pH is. And why it’s an important part of keeping your hot tub clean.

Keeping your hot tub clean doesn’t have to be complicated. But understanding what is required before you buy, will help prepare you for life with a hot tub.

Want to find out the 4 things you NEED to know before you buy a hot tub?

Download our FREE buyer’s guide now.

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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