Balancing Your Hot Tub Water – A 5 step approach

Proper balancing of all aspects of your hot tub water makes for better water maintenance. Balancing requires more than just maintaining the recommended bromine (or chlorine) level which sanitizes your water. Balancing of alkalinity, pH and hardness also increases sanitizer efficiency in addition to enhancing bather comfort and lengthening the life of your tubs equipment by YEARS … not months! 

Let’s go through the 5 simple steps to ensure your water is correctly balanced. For this example we are assuming a 1,000 litre tub, so be sure to adjust to your tub size by following the directions on the respective chemical packages.

1) Get out your test strips and with your arm up to your elbow take a sample of circulating water on the strip, shake once to remove excess water, let sit for 15 seconds, and then read immediately.

2) Compare your strip’s colours to the colour chart on the back of the bottle and adjust as follows for the three areas of water balance.

3) Check alkalinity compared to its target of between 100 – 150 parts per million.  If you need to raise it, add one blue scoop of Gib-San Alkalinity Up to raise it 10 parts per million.

4) Check your pH compared to the target range of 7.2 – 7.6. 

If it’s high, between 7.8 – 8, then add 1/2 blue scoop of Gib-San pH Down. If it’s between 8 – 8.4, add 1 full blue scoop. If it’s above 8.4, add 1 1/4 blue scoops. 

If it’s low, between 7 – 7.4, then add just enough Gib-San pH up to cover the bottom of the blue scoop. If it’s between 6.8 – 7, add 1/3 blue scoop; between 6.6 – 6.8, add ½ a blue scoop; and below 6.6, add 2/3 a blue scoop.

5) Lastly, check your calcium hardness to see if it’s between 100 – 200 on the strip. One blue scoop will raise Calcium 10 parts per million. If It’s high, use Gib-San Stain and Scale Prevent as directed on the package and consider changing your tub water soon!

I suggest you get into a water testing routine … say every Saturday morning get out your test strips and make your adjustments. Then once a month come into the Gib-San Pool & Hot Tub Centre for a more complete computerized water test to ensure your tub components stay trouble free for years! Don’t forget the dosages above are based on a 1,000 litre hot tub, so be sure to adjust for your particular tub.

Derrick Stricek
Store Manager

Do you have any questions about water balancing?  Email me at

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