Check Total Alkalinity (TA) first, then adjust for proper pH range. Proper TA will buffer pH, that is, it will help to prevent pH fluctuations. Use fresh, high quality test strips. Excessively high bromine or chlorine levels can result in false pH and TA readings.
Total Alkalinity (TA) is the first thing you should balance in your pool water. TA refers to the amount of alkaline material in the water. And since alkaline is a pH stabilizer, the number of alkaline substances in water will affect the pH balance. The ideal Total Alkalinity range for pool water is 80 – 120 ppm.
Adding pH Increaser can also raise Total Alkalinity, compounding the problem. Make repeated adjustments of lowering Alkalinity and then raising pH until both come into proper range, testing the water each time before adding more chemicals.
After adding pH up to your hot tub, you should wait at least 2 hours before using your hot tub again. This is because you want the chemical to have time to work correctly and bring pH up for the water not to be overly acidic. The recommended pH level for your hot tub water is 7.
Add the Start-Up Chemicals
Now that your filters are clean and installed, your water is fresh, and your pump is primed, it's finally time to add your start-up chemicals. Wait until your hot tub water reaches 80ºF (30ºC) before you add anything. The heat helps the chemicals dissolve and incorporate into the water.
Ideally, your pH is between 7.2 and 7.8 and the alkalinity is between 110 and 150 ppm (parts per million). If your alkalinity level is lower, and especially if less than 80 ppm, then you need to raise the pool water alkalinity.
This means you buy more chlorine and waste more time trying to get to an adequate concentration level with the substance. Asides its effects on your pool, a low alkalinity swimming pool is unsafe for swimmers as the acidic water can cause nasal, eye, and skin irritations.
Alkalinity Balance, pH up, pH down, Calcium Balance, Water Stabilizer, and clarifier are all swim-safe chemicals. Wait about 20 minutes, and you are free to swim. We suggest adding algaecide, Super Erace, and shock at night, after everyone is out of the pool.
The first is to use chemicals, typically called a pH increaser, pH plus or pH raise, the most common of which is soda ash. The general rule of thumb when adding soda ash to your pool is, 1 pound of soda ash for every 10,000 gallons of pool water to raise the pH by 0.1.
Wait times for adding pool chemicals
The wait times between adding pool chemicals is usually around 10 minutes each, as that is also sufficient time for the chemicals to mix in the water. Users also under normal conditions can swim roughly 10 minutes after adding chemicals.
If the total alkalinity is too high, your pH level will be almost impossible to change. If total alkalinity is too low, your pH will bounce all over and will be very hard to control or maintain. Low total Alkalinity can result in the following problems: Corrosion of metal parts (hearters, steps, other equipment)
Generally speaking you adjust PH first, chlorine second, and worry about everything else more gradually. However, there are many situations where you can adjust two or more numbers at the same time if the correct combination presents it's self.
In other words, if you lower a pH of 8.3 to the recommended level using muriatic acid, the total alkalinity will also reduce but will still remain on the higher side. Likewise, if you lower alkalinity to the recommended level (e.g., from 300 ppm to 80 ppm), the pH level drops way below the recommended level.
When you shock a pool, you test and adjust the pH level for a reason. With that said, if you shock a pool outside of the 7.2 to 7.4 pH range, not only will you waste a significant amount of the chlorine used, you will also end up with cloudy water.
To bring down pH, use a made-for-pools chemical additive called pH reducer (or pH minus). The main active ingredients in pH reducers are either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate (also called dry acid).
There is a perfectly natural reason for this: evaporation and agitation of your water leads to a drop in the total alkalinity. If you consider the composition of the total alkalinity in detail, it constitutes the water's carbonate and bicarbonate content.
It's also not uncommon for pool owners to go a bit overboard when shocking their pool, and since chlorine-based pool shock is a high-alkaline substance, it will also naturally raise your pool alkalinity.
If you want to raise your pH and alkalinity together, use soda ash (sodium carbonate). If your goal is to raise alkalinity only, use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).
Low pH water will cause etching and deterioration of plaster, grout, stone, concrete and tiling. Any vinyl surfaces will also become brittle, which increases risk of cracks and tears. All of these dissolved minerals will hold in the solution of your pool water; which can result in staining and cloudy pool water.
Before covering your hot tub, make sure to turn on the jets as this will accelerate the pace of your hot tub's heating. By running the jets, you're allowing the heated water to be circulated and evenly distributed to all areas of the hot tub.
It is a good practice to shock with dichlor when you refill your spa. After that, regular maintenance can normally be accomplished with non-chlorine shock. Other times for shock treatment include before or after heavy use and when the spa has been neglected.