Positive Hydrogen. Maintaining a pH level between 7.4 and 7.8 is critical, because a proper pH balance is what allows your spa's sanitizers to work properly.
- If your spa's pH is too low, it can corrode your spa's surfaces and equipment, eat away at plaster and concrete, use too much sanitizer, and irritate your skin and eyes.
- If your spa's pH is too high, it can make your spa's water cloudy, leave scaly deposits on surfaces and equipment, reduce the effectiveness of your sanitizer, and irritate your eyes.
- Daily testing of your spa's pH level is accomplished with Test Strips or Liquid Test Kits...although Test Strips are generally easier to deal with.
Refers to the minerals in your spa which act as buffering agents, helping to stabilize your spa's pH level.
- If your spa's Total Alkalinity is too low, the pH level will drift erratically, plus surfaces and equipment may corrode.
- If Total Alkalinity is too high, pH level will be difficult to adjust as it will remain fixed, your spa's water may be cloudy, scaling may occur, and the effectiveness of your sanitizer will be reduced.
- It's best to test for Total Alkalinity on a weekly basis. Paper Test Strips and Liquid Test Kits are available.
Refers to the amount of dissolved calcium in your spa's water. Ideally, this test should be performed weekly. Paper Test Strips and Liquid Test Kits are available...but most spa owners are content to periodically let their spa's service provider or local pool & spa dealer test for Calcium Hardness.
- If Calcium Hardness is too low, it may lead to equipment corrosion, plus plaster and concrete surfaces may be eaten away.
- If Calcium Hardness is too high, cloudy water may result, as well as scaling of surfaces, piping, and equipment.
- If the level of Calcium Hardness in your spa is below 200 ppm, Calcium Chloride can be added to raise it...keep in mind that very seldom should any such adjustment need to be made. If the level is above 400 ppm, however, it's best to drain your spa and start again with fresh water!
If yours is an acrylic spa, your Calcium Hardness shouldn't be over 200-250 ppm...as higher levels can leave scaly deposits on acrylic and plastic surfaces: Gunite and concrete-surfaced spas need a higher calcium concentration.
A product that combines chemicals to bring your spa's pH number up: What you would use if your pH is below 7.4. Chemicals such as Sodium Carbonate are used, but usually you won't find Sodium Carbonate for sale at your pool or spa dealer...just look for Spa Up!
What you would use if your pH number is above 7.8. Muriatic Acid or Sodium Bisulfate are used to bring the pH number down...again, just look for Spa Down.
Parts Per Million.