What Does Battery Acid Have to do With My Hot Tub?

Published : December 9, 2019

pH chart

A Look into why pH Matters When it Comes to Spa Water Care

If you’ve ever complained about skin irritation after using a hot tub, you may have mistakenly blamed the sanitizer like chlorine or bromine for your initial discomfort … but in reality, the most common cause of irritated skin for spa users is incorrect pH. A pH level that is too high or too low can cause this irritation. The normal values for pH are 7.2 to 7.6. Reference the chart to the left and you will see that the lower your pH drops, the closer you get to battery acid, while the higher your pH rises, the closer you get to common household bleach.



The pH in your spa will change when bathers use the water. The more people who use the water, the greater the pH change will occur. So if you exceed what is considered “normal use” (two people in the spa 2-3 times a week, you can expect sharper pH spikes.) On top of your pH jumping out of balance, your spa water also will require even more sanitizer additions, such as chlorine, and this too will lower the pH.

The pH in your spa should be 7.2 to 7.6

SilkBalance is designed to stabilize your pH (and alkalinity – which we discussed in this blog). Once your water is chemically balanced, SilkBalance will stabilize the system and assist in keeping the water clear and silky soft. In addition to pH that falls between 7.2 and 7.6, balanced spa water values are: Alkalinity 80 to 120, Hardness 100 to 250 and Free Chlorine 3 to 5. These are standards for good, clean water.

Effects of LOW pH Levels in Your Hot Tub:

  • Poor sanitizer efficiency
  • Corroded metals/equipment/components
  • Skin and eye irritations
  • Etched or stained plaster
  • Destruction of total alkalinity

Effects of HIGH pH Levels in Your Hot Tub :

  • Poor sanitizer efficiency
  • Cloudy water
  • Scale formation
  • Shorter filtration runs
  • Skin and eye irritations

Each time bathers use the water, the pH and chlorine levels can change. So it is a good thing to check these values frequently, with particular attention to chlorine, since it’s the most variable and should be checked and adjusted after each use.

SilkBalance is a water treatment additive that buffers pH and conditions the water. It is not a sanitizer. SilkBalance will help to buffer the pH and avoid sudden changes. It will also reduce the smell and negative effect of chlorine on the skin.

Happy Hot Tubbing

By Eric Vician
Director of Promotions & Key Accounts

Eric Vician of SilkBalance Hot Tub Water Care




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