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Beginners Guide to Hot Tub Water Chemistry

Beginners Guide to Hot Tub Water Chemistry

spa guard hot tub water chemistry chemicals

Does even the sound of hot tub water chemistry make you shudder? Even the word “chemistry” can be stressful to anyone who lived through Chem 101. Don’t worry. Our experts at Tredway Pools Plus are here to help you navigate the world of water care that is part of hot tub ownership. We will make things as easy as 1-2-3 by the end of this blog!

1. Test Your Hot Tub Water Chemistry

Using a test strip, you will want to check your water’s chemical levels before doing anything else. Simply take a test strip, dip it into the hot tub and remove it again. Test strips will come with a chart to compare against. Merely hold the used strip up to this chart and compare the colors for each box. You will notice if any section is off. These boxes will let you know if levels are too high or too low in a specific category. You want a pH of 7.4-7.6 and an alkalinity of 100-150 ppm. Too high or low in either type can cause problems such as cloudy water, use of too much sanitizer, or even corrosion of parts. 

2. Add Sanitizer 

Grab either bromine or chlorine according to your preferences and use the chemicals according to their directions. These should be printed clearly on the bag or bucket they came in. After adding the sanitizer, you will need to run your pump and filters for a bit to be sure everything circulates well and mixes. 

Once you have allowed everything to marinate for a while, you can grab those handy dandy test strips again to test the water. If you have significant issues getting everything to balance out, you can always call in to speak with one of our staff. If we feel something needs to be repaired or looked at, we can also help you with those needs. However, as long as nothing major is going on, things should balance out quickly after sanitizer.

3. Add Shock to Maintain Your Hot Tub Water Chemistry

Adding shock to your hot tub around once a week will help to keep everything in good order. It is also a good idea to add shock if you have not used your hot tub in a while or if you have used it a ton recently. It is literally a “shock” to the hot tub’s water chemistry. 

It is also a good idea to keep a supply of any necessary chemicals, ensuring you can use your hot tub any time you like. If you find things are out of whack one day and sanitizer or shock aren’t cutting it, you will be ready with a backup. We recommend keeping these spa chemicals on hand at all times:

  • pH increaser
  • pH decreaser
  • alkalinity increaser
  • alkalinity decreaser
  • sanitizer (like chlorine and a chlorine alternative)
  • shock
  • test strips


There you have it, as easy as 1-2-3!  You will be an expert at hot tub water chemistry in no time. If you still have questions or need to stock up on your water care items, Tredway Pools Plus has all that you need and more. Our experts are ready and able to answer any question you may have.



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