How to Raise pH in Hot Tubs [3 Easy Steps]

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 01/28/21 •  11 min read

How to raise pH in hot tubs?

There are two main ways to raise the pH level in a hot tub. The first way is to use chemicals called pH increase. Add 1 cap of the pH increaser and let the hot tub mix for a couple of hours and test the water again. Soda ash is used as a quick solution to raise pH. The second way is to add fresh water to the spa.

Stop wasting time and money with hot tub maintenance and confusing water chemistry! The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course will help keep your hot tub balanced, sanitized, and crystal clear all the time.

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

My recommended product to help you test your hot tub or pool water for accurate pH, alkalinity, bromine, and chlorine readings is the AquaCheck Trutest Digital Reader.

All you need is to maintain an accurate level of pH in the hot tub to ensure that other chemicals in the tub are working properly.

In this article, we’ll go over this important question.

Let’s get started!

3 Steps on How to Raise pH in Hot Tubs

There are mainly two ways by which you can raise the pH level in your hot tub. The first way is to use chemicals which are typically known as pH raise, pH increase, or pH plus. The most common one which is used by many is soda ash.

Another way that you can raise the pH level of your hot tub is by adding some new water. The water from the hose is generally has a slightly more alkaline than the water in your hot tub. So, when you add the new water from the hose, it will bring up the pH level of your hot tub slightly.

Follow these 3 steps to know how you can add the required chemicals in the right way into the hot tub and increase the pH level.

Step 1: Add The Soda Ash To Water

Rather than adding the entire amount of chemicals all at once, it is always better to gradually increase the alkalinity over a period of time. This can have the best effect. You can add some of the chemicals in to make some adjustments first. Then you have to test the water the next day to notice whether you have to add any more chemicals to the water or not.

The majority of the pH raisers have an active ingredient named sodium carbonate which is more commonly known as soda ash. It is related to sodium bicarbonate i.e. baking soda. The baking soda can also increase the pH level in the hot tub. But it is not as efficient as soda ash.

So, if you want to raise the level of pH in the hot tub, then make sure to pick the soda ash and not the baking soda. It will save a lot of your time as well as trouble. Once you mix the soda ash into the hot tub, wait for about 6 hours to retest the pH level of the hot tub.

On the other hand, baking soda is actually better for increasing the alkalinity, not affecting the pH level that much.

The soda ash can increase the total alkalinity of the hot tub drastically. So, if the total alkalinity of the water is normal or high in the hot tub but the pH level low, then adding soda ash can increase the alkalinity a lot. It can even go beyond the recommended level of pH.

Our recommended product to raise pH in hot tubs is Spa Essentials pH increaser Granules.

Step 2: Keep the Cover Open Of Your Spa

One of the most important things that you have to do is let the hot tub water breathe. After you add chemicals to the hot tub water, make sure to keep the cover open. This will allow the water to properly breathe and release the odors that usually emit from the chemicals into the air. It is important for protecting your cover as well as to ensure that the odor is not built up under the cover of your hot tub.

Step 3: Monitoring the Alkalinity of Water

When you are balancing the chemicals of a hot tub or increasing the pH level, it is important to monitor the alkalinity. This is essential for keeping the water clean as well as clear for a longer period of time. It can also escalate the efficiency of the hot tub spa disinfectant.

What is Alkalinity in Hot Tub?

The uneven level of alkalinity can have an opposing effect on the appearance of the water in the hot tub. This will give the water a slight green tinge. It can also result in a drying effect on your skin. A low level of alkalinity is quite serious and should be maintained properly. Low alkalinity can cause the water to appear green with rapid fluctuations in the pH level. This is because the water in the hot tub cannot respond to the effects of acid easily.

You need to check the level of alkalinity in your hot tub as low alkalinity can have a huge negative impact. If it is left unattended for too long, then it can have an adverse effect on the hot tub surface. This can lead to corrosion of the hot tub as well as the internal equipment.

If the level of alkalinity is too high, then it can also result in greenish water. It also decreases the efficiency of the disinfectant in the spa water. It can also reduce the efficiency of the spa sanitizer added into the water. This sanitizer can perform well when the water is well balanced in nature. While the high alkalinity of water can cause high pH levels, low alkalinity can result in erratic pH levels.

When the pH level is high, it can result in calcium buildup. This can change the appearance of the water and make it look a lot more cloudy and it can also result in the formation of scale. You might have seen that already in the kettle. You can notice some yellowish flakes due to the calcium buildup in the hot tub. This can have an adverse effect on the performance of the jets of your spa.

In case you have some issues with the excessive buildup of calcium in the hot tub, then you can call for professional help to deep cleanse the plumbing of your hot tub. This will be quite beneficial for you.

The levels of alkalinity actually play a major role in the effectiveness of the other chemicals in the spa water. These include chlorine too. When the pH level is high, chlorine becomes a lot less effective. When the pH level is at 8.2, the effectiveness of the chlorine in the water is only 15%. You can use bromine instead of chlorine as it is not that dependent on the pH level like chlorine.

Check out our article on chlorine tablets about why and how to use them.

The right level of pH that you must maintain for the hot tub is between 7.2 and 7.8.

To raise total alkalinity I recommend Spa Essentials Total Alkalinity Increaser.

Low pH Level in Hot Tub

A low level of pH means that the water in the hot tub is quite acidic in nature. This can only cause a lot of corrosion on the surface of the hot tub as well as on the equipment. This can also make it really uncomfortable for your family as well as the guests to enjoy the hot tub water. The acidic water can irritate your eyes as well as it can remove natural oil from your skin. So, it will be left itchy and dry.

Things that can lower the level of pH in the spa are:

High Level of pH in Hot Tub

When the pH level of your hot tub is high, it means that it can leave scale on your plugs, filters, jets, pipes, etc. Water scale can also decrease the flow and circulation of the water too which can result in increasing the pressure of water in the system which is responsible for proper circulation. This can put a lot of strain on the equipment of your hot tub.

Here are some of the major reasons why the pH level of the hot tub can increase:

How to Decrease the pH Level in Hot Tubs

Using the pH decreaser such as sodium bisulfate can lower the pH level in your hot tub. Another way that you can use for reducing the pH level is by using Muriatic acid. You should use protective gear such as gloves for resisting chemicals and safety glasses while using this chemical as it is very caustic in nature.

To be safer, it is better for you to use some alternative product other than muriatic acid which is not caustic in nature. But it is still better to wear all the safety gear.

What if You Cannot Balance the pH Level in the Hot Tub?

If you are chasing around the low level of pH and high level of pH all the time, the best way is to drain out the water completely and then start over.

Before you start draining, you have to add some of the line flushes and clean the plumbing and then remove anything that can affect the pH level. Once you drain out the water, you have to clean the surface of the tub thoroughly and get started. When you start over, make sure to know the water source properly and use the right chemicals to keep the pH level within 7.2 to 7.8.

Consider Using a Water Care Monitor

Monitoring the health of your hot tub can often be challenging if you are not testing the water on a regular basis. This can also be a problem if you go on holiday or you are unable to take care of your hot tub due to mobility issues.

The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for pools, hot tubs, and inflatable spas continuously tests the water and alerts you when to add chemicals with the integrated mobile app.

The mobile app will inform you when to add chemicals such as chlorine, and how much chemical is recommended. This is done by entering your hot tub or pool’s unique dimensions.

Simply scan the bar code of any chemical brand and the pHin app will calculate how much chemical is to be added to the water. Most products and brands are recognized by the application.

The pHin device will sample water more than 1000 times per week to give you an accurate reading compared to using test strips.

The pHin device works with different water types including chlorine, bromine, and saltwater hot tubs, swim spas, inflatable hot tubs, and pools.

This unique device comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure your water remains clear and ready for you to use at all times.

How to Raise pH in Hot Tubs: Conclusion

how to raise ph in hot tubs

Raising the pH in your hot tub shouldn’t be complicated but paying attention to minor details and knowing what to look for if your spa water starts turning on you is very important. Remember to always follow the instructions given by the hot tub manufacturer to be sure of the health and safety of everyone using the hot tub.

I hope you found this article on how to raise pH in hot tubs informative.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank