Hot Tub Buying Guide
How to lower alkalinity levels
When testing the water in your hot tub, you are typically testing the pH and the total alkalinity. These two go hand in hand and have direct impact on each other. When you need to lower your pH, you will find that the TA will be lowered too. It's important to remember that both readings are important. It is recommended to get your TA in range before the pH. And when adjusting these add small amounts of the needed chemicals and retest so you avoid huge swings in pH and alkalinity.
Check with your hot tub manufacturer's guidelines for instructions on your alkalinity. You want the TA in tub to be within a range of 80 to 120 ppm. If you find your TA is too high, first test your pH. If you need to lower your pH, the treatment will also lower your TA - so do that and then retest your TA. If you still need to lower your TA, go ahead. There are products sold specifically for that - Spa Down and others. If you want to use a household product you can try vinegar. Also, you can try Borax to raise your pH with little affect on the TA, so although Borax does not lower TA, it won't raise it when trying to raise pH like other products will such as Baking Soda or Soda Ash. Sodium Bisulfate will lower the pH and the TA.
Keeping the chemicals in your hot tub balanced can be a tricky balancing act. You may want to stick with store bought chemicals from the local home improvement store, the local spa dealer or the big box store. You can also use products typically found in the pantry or kitchen cabinet. It is all about consistent maintenance, a little bit of knowledge and some persistence through it all as challenges arise. But it's worth it. The stress and tension are about to melt away as you slip into the hot water coursing through those jets.