Are you struggling to maintain the right water balance in your spa? One aspect that’s often overlooked is the total hardness of the water. Total hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Maintaining the right total hardness levels in your spa can help prevent corrosion and damage to your equipment, as well as keeping your water looking clear and inviting.
If you’re wondering how to increase spa total hardness, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share six simple tips for boosting the mineral content of your spa water. From adding certain chemicals to adjusting your pH levels, these easy steps will help you achieve perfect harmony in your spa.
Read on to discover the best ways to increase spa total hardness!
Understand the Importance of Total Hardness for Your Spa
If you’re a spa owner, then maintaining the right level of total hardness is crucial to your spa’s longevity and performance. This is because total hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals in your spa water, which can affect everything from your spa’s plumbing to its equipment.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what total hardness is, why it’s important to maintain the correct level, and how you can increase your spa’s total hardness if needed.
What is total hardness in a spa?
Total hardness is the measurement of the amount of calcium and magnesium ions that are present in your spa’s water. These minerals dissolve into the water as it passes over rocks and through soil, and they give water its distinctive “hard” feeling.
In order to keep your spa running smoothly, it’s important to maintain the ideal range of total hardness, which is typically between 200-400 parts per million (ppm). If the total hardness falls below or exceeds this threshold, it could lead to problems for your spa.
Why is it important to maintain the right level of total hardness?
Maintaining the proper total hardness level is critical for the functioning of various components of your spa. When the water becomes too hard or too soft, chemicals may not be effective in treating bacterial growth and reducing other harsh water conditions.
“If the total hardness is low (soft) in water circulation systems, corrosion will occur on metal pipes, pumps, heaters and motors.” – Senior Editor, Aqua Magazine
Skin irritation and staining in the pool area is another problem with low-total-hardness spas that many owners have reported. You don’t want rough and itchy skin for you or your guests when using the spa. High total hardness levels can make Spa water cloudy-looking, making its maintenance incredibly difficult or impossible, decreasing shelf life of your spa system parts.
“High calcium hardness content makes it difficult to maintain proper pH balance, as well as increasing sanitizer demand, leading to higher chemical treatment costs.” – Senior Editor, Aqua Magazine
Regularly checking and regulating the total hardness of the water is essential in order to prolong overall equipment longevity. One way recommended to avert this problem is use of quality water from suppliers who check before giving out on purchase/pipelining. Therefore, by keeping an ideal range of total hardness in your spa’s water supply, you not only enhance performance but also save money and time in replacements, repairs, visit to professional cleaners etc.
How To Increase Spa Total Hardness?
If you find that your spa’s total hardness is too low, then there are several steps you can take to increase it. First of all, you may want to consider adding chemicals designed specifically for raising mineral levels, such as Calcium Chloride Flakes. It’s best to follow instructions during the administration of these products so as to avoid over-dosage which could make things worse than good.
- You may also add more magnesium salts where appropriate,
- Get new filters for filter systems,
- Upgrade pump hoses/Motors,
- Hire professionals to deep clean/maintain sedimentary buildups in nooks and crannies of machine parts like pipes that aren’t really visible or accessible to common means given their size/depth location wise.
The surest path lies with consulting customer service expert opinions if issues persist even after trying above methods.
Test Your Spa Water Regularly
If you want to ensure clean, clear water in your spa, testing is key. Regular spa water testing helps maintain proper pH balance and prevents harmful bacteria from thriving in the warm water environment.
While there are various methods for testing spa water, the most common include test strips or chemical drops. Once you’ve determined which method works best for you, the next step is determining how often to test your spa water.
In general, experts recommend testing your spa water at least once a week or after heavy usage. However, frequency may vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, number of users, and whether chemicals have recently been added to the water.
What are the best methods to test for total hardness?
- Test Strips: Test strips check for multiple levels all at once, including total hardness. Simply dip the strip into the water and compare the color changes to the chart provided.
- Chemical Drops: Another option for total hardness testing is using chemical drops. These require more steps than test strips, but they do provide precise measurements that can be helpful if you’re trying to reach a specific level of hardness.
- Liquid Test Kits: Similar to chemical drops, liquid test kits use reagents to detect mineral content and other important parameters like pH and alkalinity in your spa water. They typically offer more accuracy than test strips.
“Hardness measures dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water, which could lead to unsightly scaling buildup.” – Aqua Magazine
Total hardness measures the presence of calcium and magnesium in the water, two essential minerals that many people enjoy being present in their spa water. However, if hardness levels are too high, the result can be scaling buildup on your hot tub’s surfaces or cloudy water.
By testing your spa water regularly and keeping an eye on total hardness, you can ensure that your spa water is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for all users.
Use Calcium Chloride to Raise Total Hardness
If low total hardness is causing issues with your spa water, adding calcium chloride can help raise it to the proper level. The ideal range for total hardness in a spa is between 150-250 ppm (parts per million). It’s easy to test the levels of total hardness using water testing strips or a kit.
The main purpose of calcium chloride is to add more calcium ions to the water, which raises the overall hardness reading. This can help prevent corrosion and protect the equipment inside the spa from damage over time.
Adding too much calcium chloride can lead to oversaturation, which can cause cloudy water or scaling on surfaces. Therefore, it’s important to follow guidelines carefully when adding this chemical to your spa water.
How much calcium chloride should you add to your spa?
The amount of calcium chloride needed to raise total hardness will depend on the initial total hardness reading and size of the spa. As a general rule, one pound of calcium chloride can raise total hardness by approximately 50 ppm per 10,000 gallons of water in the spa.
To determine the exact amount needed, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the container or consult with a professional. Always start with smaller amounts and gradually increase as needed until the desired level is reached.
Remember to never exceed recommended dosages, as excessive use of calcium chloride can lead to negative side effects like cloudiness or scaling.
What precautions should you take when using calcium chloride?
It’s important to take certain precautions when handling calcium chloride, as it can be dangerous if not handled properly. These include:
- Wearing protective gloves and eyewear to avoid contact with skin and eyes
- Keeping calcium chloride out of reach of children and pets
- Avoiding mixing calcium chloride with other chemicals, as this can cause dangerous reactions
- Storing calcium chloride in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture contamination
“When adding calcium chloride, it is critical that you take the appropriate safety precautions to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals. Follow guidelines carefully and never exceed recommended dosages.”
In summary, if your spa has low total hardness levels, using calcium chloride can be a simple and effective solution. Be sure to follow dosage guidelines carefully, wear protective gear, and store calcium chloride safely to ensure optimal results.
Consider Using Hardness Increaser Products
If you own a spa, maintaining the total hardness of its water is essential. However, sometimes getting it to the optimal level can be more challenging than expected. You may have already tried adjusting pH and alkalinity levels only to no avail. In such cases, it’s worthwhile considering using hardness increaser products.
A hardness increaser product is an additive that helps raise the calcium and magnesium levels in your spa water. These minerals are what constitutes “total hardness.” By adding these crucial components back into your spa water, it will help prevent corrosion and other damaging effects on your spa components while keeping your skin, hair, and eye from irritation.
If you’ve determined that your spa has low total hardness levels, then a hardness increaser powder or granular form may be just what you need to solve the issue.
What are hardness increaser products?
Hardness increaser products consist of active chemicals that boost calcium and magnesium levels in spa water. They’re usually sold as dry powders or granules. Calcium chloride, which is also used for de-icing sidewalks and roads during winter, is commonly found as a hardness increaser product. Other additives include sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, and Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate).
Always make sure to read the label before buying any chemical. Without proper knowledge about the particular compound and how to use it safely, there can be negative consequences. Some hardiness increasers cause rapid changes in pH, rendering them too high or low, whereas others contain dangerous toxins that harm human health.
It’s necessary to follow the instructions outlined by the manufacturer of the product because each composition is different for various brands.
How do hardness increaser products work?
The first step when it comes to putting the hardiness increaser product into your spa is testing its present calcium and magnesium levels. This information will help determine the appropriate amount of chemical being used and ensure that no harm is done.
Hardness increasers work quickly, often breaking down in about 24 hours from the application. Once the granules or powder are dissolved into your spa’s water, Calcium ions (Ca2+) and Magnesium ions (Mg2+) can start bonding with other scale-forming substances such as silica which helps prevent stains and erosions from occurring on surfaces.
“It’s essential to understand how hardiness increaser products function since they require careful calculation to avoid negative outcomes. The effectiveness of a hardness increaser depends on the quantity, lake size, pH level, initial concentration of calcium carbonate, and quality of the salt.” – AquaCycles & Spas
This solution makes it possible for you to use more conventional methods to sanitize and balance your spa chemistry. By keeping the total hardness charged correctly, this decreases maintenance time without affecting the water’s natural health properties.
In conclusion, if your low-total-hardness woes persist despite other interventions, trying a hardness increaser could be just what you need. They come in different types, but all serve the same purpose of increasing the concentration of mineral content. Make sure to choose carefully by reading product guidelines closely so that you do not cause any extreme effects due to an unbalanced pool system.
Reduce Water Flow into Your Spa
How does water flow affect total hardness?
The amount of water flow in your spa can influence the total hardness levels. If there is too much water flow, it can lead to reduced calcium hardness levels as more minerals are being diluted in the larger volume of water.
In addition, rapid water movement and turbulence within the spa can cause certain chemicals, such as chlorine or bromine, to evaporate at a faster rate than normal. This decrease in chemical concentration may provide ideal conditions for certain types of algae or bacteria to thrive.
This ultimately creates an environment that is less conducive to maintaining proper total hardness levels, leading to problems with corrosion or scaling on spa surfaces.
What can you do to reduce water flow into your spa?
There are several ways to help minimize water flow and maintain adequate total hardness levels:
- Adjust jets: Most spas have adjustable jet nozzles that allow you to direct the flow of water. By directing the waterflow away from one spot, you can create areas where the water will move slower, reducing overall turbulent flow and its associated risk of hard sanitizer loss.
- Cover your spa when not in use: Covering your spa whenever it’s not in use can be extremely beneficial. It limits evaporation rates and reduces water displacement due to people entering and exiting the spa.
- Avoid over-filling the spa: Overfilling pools or spas with too much water pressure will increase the potential for higher turnover rates and decreased filter efficiency. Lowering the flow from the pool supply while filling is often recommended to prevent this issue from occurring.
“Keeping up with proper water balancing, correct sanitation levels and minimizing agitation in your spa will maximize the quality of your hot tub experience.”
By using these methods to control water flow and increase total hardness levels, you can improve the general health of your spa or hot tub. You may also need to consult a professional pool maintenance company for further guidance on maintaining optimal water balance.
Drain and Refill Your Spa Water
When should you drain and refill your spa water?
It is recommended to drain and refill your spa water every three to four months. However, if you have a busy spa or frequently use it, then you may need to do so sooner. You know it’s time to change your spa water when the water starts to smell strange or appears cloudy.
If you don’t maintain your spa water’s hardness levels properly or test them regularly, you could also risk harming your spa equipment. Chemical imbalances can cause scaling in your hot tub element or damage other components that help keep your spa operating safely.
By draining and refilling your spa water, you’ll be eliminating any buildup of debris, minerals, chemicals, or bacteria from the water. This helps ensure that your spa stays sanitary, running smoothly, and safe for everyone who uses it.
What are the benefits of draining and refilling your spa water?
The primary benefit of draining and refilling your spa water is maintaining excellent water quality. The amount of dissolved solids (such as salts and minerals) in a small body of water will eventually reach a point where they can no longer dissolve and settle at the bottom, affecting the spa shell, pump, and heating elements. Therefore, regular water changes prevent such build-up and preserve the long-term health of the spa.
In addition to preserving the overall health of your spa, draining and refilling your spa water periodically has its own set of additional benefits:
- Better relaxation: Nothing feels better than soaking up in crystal clear hot water. Drain and refilling ensures that you experience cleaner, clearer water, enhancing the overall sensation of relaxation.
- Reduced maintenance requirements: Regular water changes decrease the dependence on chemicals, cleanings and frequent filter replacements.
- Savings: As noted earlier, a better-maintained spa component will work more efficiently and last longer, ultimately allowing you to save on replacement costs. Regular spa care can also reduce your energy bills as minor tune-ups help avoid costly repairs.
“The importance of changing the water in a hot tub is often underestimated,” says Will Hoskins who works at Cascade Spa & Stove Center.”Over time, even with the best quality filters and chemicals, spas accumulate organic residue that leads to a deterioration of water quality. Ultimately, this can make it harder for the sanitizers to do their job.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is spa total hardness and why is it important?
Spa total hardness measures the amount of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, in the water. It is important because low hardness can cause corrosion of the spa’s metal components, while high hardness can lead to mineral buildup, cloudy water, and reduced effectiveness of sanitizers and other chemicals.
What are some common causes of low spa total hardness and how can they be addressed?
The most common cause of low spa total hardness is using soft water to fill the spa. This can be addressed by adding a calcium hardness increaser product, which will raise the calcium level. Another cause is using low calcium sanitizer products, which can be addressed by switching to a higher calcium product.
What products are available to increase spa total hardness and how do they work?
There are several products available to increase spa total hardness, including calcium chloride, calcium carbonate, and lithium-based products. These products work by adding the desired mineral to the water, increasing the total hardness level.
What is the ideal range for spa total hardness and how can it be maintained?
The ideal range for spa total hardness is between 150-400 ppm (parts per million). To maintain this level, regular testing of the water is necessary, and calcium hardness increaser products can be added as needed. It is also important to balance the water’s pH and alkalinity levels, as these can affect the total hardness level.
What are the consequences of having spa total hardness that is too high or too low?
If the spa total hardness is too low, it can cause corrosion of the metal components, damage to the spa’s surfaces, and reduced effectiveness of sanitizers and other chemicals. If the total hardness is too high, it can lead to mineral buildup, cloudy water, and reduced effectiveness of sanitizers and other chemicals. It can also cause scaling on the spa’s surfaces, reducing its lifespan.