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Hot Tub Safety 101: Sanitizer, Water Chemistry, Chemicals, and Water Testing

Over the next few posts we will be running a blog mini-series, Hot Tub Safety 101. Each time we will be covering a different aspect of making sure you are not only enjoying your spa to its fullest potential but being as safe as possible while doing it.

Today we will be talking all about your water!  When it comes to your spa, the hot water is what makes it so relaxing and enjoyable, unfortunately if not cared for properly hot water can also become a breeding ground for unwanted and unwelcome bacteria. Using the proper hot tub sanitizers, maintaining correct water chemistry and regular water testing will keep your water clean, clear, and enjoyable.

Hot Tub Sanitizers

Before entering a hot tub you always want to be sure that proper sanitizer levels are being maintained. Whether your spa uses bromine, chlorine, or a biguanide sanitizing system maintaining proper sanitizer levels is extremely important.  If the appropriate hot tub sanitizer levels are not maintained it opens the door for the growth of bacteria which can cause skin irritation, rashes, and illness.

We also recommend using a spa shock treatment along with your hot tub sanitizer system to ensure that your hot tub water is as clean and as healthy as possible.

Water Chemistry

Along with your hot tub sanitizer, there are other important elements of your spa water chemistry that must be properly maintained to ensure a healthy and safe bathing environment, namely your pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

When adjusting your water chemistry we recommend always balancing your Total Alkalinity first as having this in the proper place will often keep your pH balanced.  Levels for Alkalinity and pH can be adjusted by using hot tub water balancers such as SpaPure Alkalinity Increaser, SpaPure pH up, and SpaPure pH down.

Insufficient levels of calcium hardness in your water can lead to corrosion on your equipment, especially your spa heater, as well as excessive foaming in your water. Calcium Hardness is very easy to increasing using a product like SpaPure Hardeness Increaser, however there is not really a great way to reduce high levels of Calcium Hardness.

Water Testing

The best way to ensure you are maintaining proper hot tub water chemistry is to regularly test your water by performing a spa water test.  There are many different types of testing materials available based on your personal preference for the method of water test and also the elements you are testing for.

Water Test Strips are an inexpensive and popular method of hot tub water testing.  Using water test strips is as simple as dunking and swirling the test strip in your water and then matching the color readings to a chart with the results.

Many people prefer liquid reagent testing to test strips as they feel it is more accurate. With a liquid reagent test, a water sample is obtained in a vial and then a certain number of drops of particular liquid reagents are added depending on what test you are performing. The water then changes color and is matched to a color chart.

The most accurate, but also most expensive water testing kits available are digital test kits, like the LaMotte ColorQ. Either test strips or a reagent test kit are usually sufficient for a residential spa but for commercial spas something more high end is recommended.

Tune in next time for information about properly storing your hot tub chemicals and spa supplies.

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