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How to Naturally Soften Hard Water in Your Hot Tub

Hard water is a common challenge that can affect both your skin and your spa’s condition, putting a damper on your overall experience. Below, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know when it comes to having too much calcium in the hot tub water and what you can do to reduce the hardness level. Get back to enjoying a stress-free and soothing spa session with this simple guide!

What Does Water Hardness Mean?

All bodies of water have naturally occurring minerals. This means that water that comes out of faucets has them too. Over time, minerals like calcium and magnesium dissolve into the water. How much of these minerals are in the water determines how hard or soft it is. Water hardness or calcium hardness refers to the calcium level, while total hardness refers to the amount of both calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water.

Having hard water in your spa can make your overall experience less than ideal. This is because a high calcium level can cause skin irritation, reduce the clarity of the water, and make hot tub products less effective. It can also have a negative impact on pH and alkalinity, throwing off the water’s overall balance. On top of that, calcium buildup can lead to scaling, which can damage your hot tub equipment over time.

Measuring Calcium Hardness in a Hot Tub

Having low calcium levels in your spa is just as bad. Soft water doesn’t have enough minerals to keep the water balanced. Without these minerals, the water can get too aggressive, potentially causing corrosion to the components. It can also cause a foamy appearance and a slimy feel to the water. This means that keeping the calcium level just right is essential for a healthy spa.

To do just that, the first step is to measure how high or low it is using a testing kit or test strips. Some kits only measure total hardness. You can still use those, as the amount of total hardness in your hot tub can give you a pretty clear picture of the calcium hardness levels. The ideal range is between 175 to 250 parts ppm (parts per million).

Natural Ways to Deal with Hard Water

If the water testing result falls below the ideal range, the water is softer than you’d want it to be. You can simply add a calcium hardness increaser to fix this. If it’s on the high side, the solution involves a couple more steps.

Partial Drain

Simply draining your spa partially is a quick way to reduce water hardness. This is a great option if the amount of calcium is just slightly above the recommended level. Adding fresh water dilutes the minerals, helping to bring back balance.

Complete Drain

If the level of calcium becomes way higher than 250 ppm and you start seeing white flakes in your hot tub, a total reset is your best option. Completely drain the hot tub to remove calcium residue. Once it’s empty, give it a good clean. Refill with fresh water and you’re ready to go.

Using a Hose Filter

If you live in an area where there’s always high amounts of calcium in the water source, it might be best to get a mineral filter or a water softener system. You can attach the filter to your hose every time you fill your hot tub, and it will trap some of the minerals as the water passes through. On the other hand, a water softener is a device that you connect to your water supply system. It filters the water in your home to reduce minerals, including calcium.

More Tips to Prevent Calcium Scale Buildup

  • Regularly test the water to monitor calcium levels and take preventive measures accordingly.
  • High pH and alkalinity levels can reduce the water’s ability to hold minerals. Make sure to stay on top of your spa’s water chemistry. Aim for a pH level between 7.4 and 7.6. Keep the alkalinity within the 80 to 120 ppm range.
  • Brush the walls and surfaces of your spa between water changes to loosen any existing scale deposits.
  • Occasionally adding a small amount of white vinegar to your spa water can help dissolve calcium deposits and prevent scale buildup.
  • Showering before using your spa can help keep your water cleaner and reduce the introduction of oils, lotions, and other contaminants.

A Little Hot Tub Water Care Can Go a Long Way

Proper water care and maintenance can make a big difference in your relaxation experience. This includes managing the hardness of the water. By making sure that it’s just at the right level, you can keep your hot tub in the best condition and be on your way to a consistently enjoyable and relaxing time in your spa.

To learn more about choosing the right hot tub for you and your family, you can also download our free buyer’s guide.

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