How to Balance Hot Tub Chemicals

Your hot tub can provide hours of enjoyment and relaxation for you and your family. There is an increased risk of fungus growth in hot tubs because of the water temperature. To keep your water safe, you will need to use chemicals designed for use in hot tubs and make sure all of the chemicals are balanced.

Keep your hot tub safe by balancing chemicals.
  1. Hold a water test strip under the water and swirl it around three times. Pull it out of the water and compare the colors on the strip to the key on the test strip bottle.

  2. Look at your pH and alkalinity ratings. The strip will indicate how high or low the pH level is and the chart will tell you where the level should be.

  3. Add either pH increase or decrease to the water depending on your test results. Each brand has a slightly different concentration, so follow the directions on the bottle to make sure you adding the correct amount. Allow the chemical to dissolve for 30 minutes, then retest the water. Add more pH increase or decrease if necessary.

  4. Check the test strip against the bromine or chlorine level in the pool. Bromine and chlorine are chemicals that keep the water free from fungus growth. Each spa will use one or the other, but not both. If the level of bromine or chlorine is too low, add several tablets to the floater. If it is too high, remove the floater to drop the chemical level.

  5. Pour liquid sanitizer, oxidizer and anti-algae into the water, following the manufacturer's instructions for proper amounts. These chemicals keep the water looking clean, kill any bacteria that might be growing in it and help keep algae away.

  6. Pour shock in your spa if it hasn't been balanced in a while. The shock is usually a powder used in an amount proportional to the size of the spa. It is a heavy-duty cleaner which will destroy fungus or bacteria which have grown as a result of under-treatment. Make sure you wait for the required amount of time before entering the water after using the shock, since it can be a skin irritant.

  7. Tip

    Make sure to change the water in your hot tub every one to three months. This helps to keep the water fresh.


    Make sure all the chemicals are at the proper levels before you use the spa. If the levels are too high or low, they can harm your skin and the spa itself.