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Posted on February 20, 2019
One of the most important things you can do for your hot tub is to test the hot tub water. Regular water testing allows you to keep your water "in balance"; extending the life of your hot tub and making for a better bathing experience. What is water balance though?
Water balance is the relationship between different chemical measurements in your hot tub water. It is based around the concept that water will dissolve and hold minerals until it becomes saturated and cannot hold any more. This is known as the water’s “saturation point”.
Water that is below the saturation point is corrosive. It will slowly dissolve everything it comes in contact with until it reaches the saturation point.
Water that is above the saturation point is scale forming. It can’t hold all of the minerals that are dissolved in it. These excess minerals group together and form scale on any surfaces within the water.
Water that is well balanced is neither corrosive nor scale forming. This is the water that you want in your hot tub!
There are 4 major benefits to testing your hot tub water on a regular basis. These are:
Cloudy water in a hot tub can be a sign of two common water balance issues. These are:
Ensuring a property water balance is one of the best ways to ensure that your hot tub water stays clean and clear.
Not only does properly balanced water look clear and beautiful, it is also much more comfortable to bathe in!
The pH of your eyes are around 7.5. As the pH of your hot tub water moves farther and farther away from 7.5 it will begin to irritate them. For this reason, high or low pH - not chlorine or bromine - is the most common cause of itchy, red eyes after using a hot tub.
Not only does unbalanced water irritate your eyes, it can also dry out your hair and make your skin itchy. Balanced water is simply much more comfortable to be in.
Hot tubs are a big investment. Regular water testing will protect that investment by ensuring that it lasts for as long as possible.
Corrosive water rusts any metal components within it, notably pumps and heaters. It also causes plastics to become brittle and degrades rubber o-rings and seals.
Scale forming water deposits calcium scale on any exposed surface. This can be especially harmful to your hot tub heater. A layer of scale as thin as a single piece of paper can reduce the efficiency of your heater by 50%! This causes them to work harder than they need to and greatly reduces their lifespan.
Well balanced water has none of these issues and can seriously prolong the lifespan of your hot tub.
Poorly balanced water can cause corrosion or scale to build up on key components of the hot tub, like the heater element; drastically reducing their life.
Regular water testing can also save you money in the long term. While it may sometimes feel like a waste of money to keep adding chemicals to your water, these costs are greatly outweighed by the costs associated with unbalanced water. These costs include:
We recommend testing your hot tub water at home at least 1-2 times per week. You should also take a sample of your hot tub water in to your local hot tub retailer to have it professionally tested once per month.
There are two types of home test kits; test strips and reagent kits.
To properly test hot tub water using a test strip, dip the test strip into the water then immediately take it out. Hold the strip sideways for 15 seconds, then match the colours on the strip with the colours displayed on the side of the bottle.
Test strips are generally the easiest and most reliable way to test your hot tub water at home.
To properly test hot tub water using reagent kits, fill both sides of the testing block to the indicated level, too much or too little water will throw off your results. Take the reagent bottles and slowly add the required amount of drops of the reagent to the water in the testing block. Make sure to hold the reagent bottles straight to get full drops. Holding the bottles on an angle can result in small drops that will throw off your results.
After testing the water, you can then begin to add in your balancing chemicals and sanitizers, making sure that the jets are on so that the chemicals dissolve evenly throughout the water.