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Simple Hot Tub Chemistry

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Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Dosage Tables

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry: Just Add Water

Calculate Hot Tub Refill Cost

Measure hot tub chemicals

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry:
Dosage Tables

1. 'pH decreaser', 'pH down', 'pH minus', 'pH -', Etc. (Sodium Bisulfate)

Sodium Bisulfate: pH Decreaser, pH Down, pH Minus

Also know as pH Decreaser, ph Down, pH Minus


Sodium Bisulfate (pH Decreaser, pH Down, pH -) Tbsp = Tablespoons
Starting pH
200 Gallons
300 gallons
400 gallons
500 gallons
600 gallons
8.6
3.0 Tbsp
4.5 Tbsp
6.0 Tbsp
7.5 Tbsp
9.0 Tbsp
8.4
2.5 Tbsp
3.5 Tbsp
5.0 Tbsp
6.0 Tbsp
7.0 Tbsp
8.2
2.0 Tbsp
2.5 Tbsp
3.5 Tbsp
4.5 Tbsp
5.0 Tbsp
8.0
1.0 Tbsp
2.0 Tbsp
2.5 Tbsp
3.0 Tbsp
3.5 Tbsp
7.8
0.5 Tbsp
1.0 Tbsp
1.5 Tbsp
1.75 Tbsp
2.0 Tbsp

pH determines how well chlorine kills germs and oxidizes bather waste

pH determines how well chlorine sanitizes & oxidizes

Slightly lower pH makes chlorine work harder and faster which means you use less chlorine to get the job done.

If necessary, adjust pH for bather comfort BEFORE each soak

6.8 - 7.4 BEFORE each soak

If necessary, adjust pH for killing germs and oxidizing bather waste AFTER each soak

6.5 - 7.0 AFTER each soak

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more detailed discussion of pH in portable hot tubs.

Sodium Dichlor label

Also known as dichloroisocyanurate, dichloroisocyanuric acid, or dichlor


Sodium Dichlor (55% Available Chlorine) Tsp = Teaspoon, 3 TSp = 1 Tablespoon

200 gallons
300 gallons
400 gallons
500 gallons
600 gallons
1 ppm
0.25 Tsp
0.5 Tsp
0.5 Tsp
0.75 Tsp
1.0 Tsp
3 ppm
0.75 Tsp
1.0 Tsp
1.5 Tsp
1.75 Tsp
2.0 Tsp
5 ppm
1.25 Tsp
1.5 Tsp
2.5 Tsp
2.75 Tsp
3.0 Tsp
10 ppm
2.5 Tsp
4.0 Tsp
5.0 Tsp
7.5 Tsp
10.0 Tsp

Chlorine kills germs (sanitizes) and keeps the water clean and clear (oxidizes)

1 - 3 ppm BETWEEN soaks to MAINTAIN

3 - 5 ppm BEFORE each soak to SANITIZE

5 - 10 ppm AFTER each soak to OXIDIZE

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more detailed discussion of sanitation and oxidation in portable hot tubs.

A fresh, clean batch of water is usually the simplest, fastest, most cost effective and most efficient way to solve every kind of 'complex' water problem you might encounter in your covered, portable hot tub.

Drain and refill your portable tub every three or four months and you can avoid any need for 90% of the complex chemical products sold at the pool & spa supply stores.

Fresh water (Dihydrogen Monoxide)

In almost every size of portable hot tub, a whole batch of fresh, clean water is the cheapest, fastest, most effective way to solve complex water problms.

Just because you can fix a problem by adding more chemistry to the same batch of water doesn't mean you should.

A 400 gallon batch of water is cheaper than any pint or pound of any product sold at the supply store to treat the water. A fresh batch of water fixes problems faster, more efficiently and more effectively than adding more and more chemistry.

Water Rate
per HCF
Cost per Gallon
(Water)
Cost per Gallon
(Sewer)
Cost per
400 Gallons
$5.540 $0.0074 $0.004 $4.56
$7.915 $0.0105 $0.004 $5.80
$11.130 $0.0148 $0.004 $7.52

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry: Drain and refill your portable hot tub as often as needed to avoid complex problems and eliminate any need for expensive, complex chemical solutions.

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more detailed discussion of water conservation in portable hot tubs.

Water meter hot tub refill cost

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry:
Just Add Water

Portable Hot Tub Refill Cost: $2.96

Yeah...let that soak in for a minute. Sounds too simple doesn't it?

Even here in San Diego with "some of the higest water rates in the country" you can still drain and refill a 400 gallon hot tub with a fresh, clean batch of water for about $2.96!

Most portable hot tub owners are frustrated with complicated, expensive chemical systems with sometimes confusing or contradictory advice on how to use them.

Just because you can fix a water problem by adding more chemistry doesn't mean you should. You can replace the entire batch of water in a typical portable hot tub for less cost than a single pint or a single pound of any product designed to treat the water!

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more detailed discussion of water conservation in portable hot tubs.

Worried about your water bill?

A typical single-family home in San Diego uses around 83,000 gallons per year and pays $5.540 per Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) of water. One HCF = 748 gallons.

$5.540 / 748 gallons = $0.0074 per gallon!

A typical, portable hot tub holds around 400 gallons.

400 gallons x $0.0074/gallon = $2.96 !

Even when you include sewer rates, a whole batch of water is cheaper than any pint or pound of product sold to treat the water.

Water Rate
per HCF
Cost per Gallon
(Water)
Cost per Gallon
(Sewer)
Cost per
400 Gallons
$5.540 $0.0074 $0.004 $4.56
$7.915 $0.0105 $0.004 $5.80
$11.130 $0.0148 $0.004 $7.52

Click to see San Diego water rates and calculate hot tub refill cost!

You can pour more money and more products into your tub so you can soak in more chemicals or you can drain the whole complicated chemical mess out and refill with fresh, clean water for about $2.96!

Portable hot tub 'Two Buck Chuck Rule': If it costs more than $2.00 in chemistry to fix a hot tub water problem you might be better off just chucking the whole batch down the drain and starting over with a fresh batch of water.

It only costs around $2.96 to refill a typical portable hot tub

If it costs more than two bucks to fix a hot tub water problem...chuck the water down the drain and start over.

Even your time is worth more than a whole batch of hot tub water. You can fix a hot tub water quality problem with several doses of chemistry over several days if you have time for that and don't want to soak yourself until the water is fixed.

You can also just drain and refill a typical, portable hot tub in one or two hours so the next time you soak yourself will be in a clean, fresh batch of water rather than a big bucket of expensive hot tub chemicals.

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more detailed discussion of water conservation in portable hot tubs.

Worried about water conservation?

Your covered, portable hot tub doesn't actually use water! Your tub stores, filters, sanitizes and recycles water so you can use the same batch over and over again for weeks or months.

Every other water-using appliance in your home dumps the whole batch of water down the drain after just one use. Showers, bathtubs, toilets, dish washers, clothes washers and every single sink drains every drop directly to the sewer after each and every use.

A covered portable hot tub stores & recycles water

Your hot tub doesn't use water. It stores & recycles water. Your portable hot tub is the most efficient water appliance in hour home.

You get more miles-per-gallon from your portable hot tub than any other household water use

Your covered, portable. hot tub is essentially a sealed tank that stores, recycles and maintians a single batch of water keeping it clean and sanitary for weeks or months.

Your tub is the only appliance that automatically recycles and filters the same batch of water every day so it's always clean, sanitary and invinting whenever you walk out and lift the lid to soak yourself.

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more detailed discussion of water conservation in portable hot tubs.

You can simplify hot tub chemistry, avoid spending money on unnecessary products and greatly improve your soaking satisfaction if you simply drain and refill your hot tub every three or four months.

Hot tub refill cost: $2.88

Drain and refill your hot tub on a regular basis to avoid complex water problems and expensive complicated chemistry

Total Dissolved Solids (chemical byproducts)

When you drain your hot tub, the water actually weighs more than when you filled it!

Think about it: When you get to the bottom of a 2 lb container of any solid hot tub product (powder, granular, tablet, etc) you have deliberately dissolved 2 lbs of stuff in the water.

Every pint, quart or pound of everything you add to the water leaves behind chemical byproducts that eventually build up as "total dissolved solids" added to the water.

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page to learn why you can't treat a portable hot tub like a swimming pool.

As total dissolved solids build up, water balance and water clarity are much harder to manage. The accumulation of chemical byproducts begins to cause undesireable and unstable chemical reactions especially when you turn on the jets and disturb the water to take a soak.

The only way to eliminate Total Dissolved Solids in your hot tub is to drain it out and refill it with a fresh batch of water.

Complicated hot tub chemistry can include shock stuff, waterline stuff, oxidizer stuff, sanitizer stuff, cloudy clarifier stuff, crusty scale stuff, calcium stuff, cleaner stuff, pH stuff, scum stuff, foam stuff testing stuff. That's a lot of stuff!

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry: Test strips, ph Down, Chlorine

Top shelf: $150.00 complicated hot tub chemistry
Bottom shelf: $35.00 simple hot tub chemistry

Would you rather spend $150.00 so you can spend all your time figuring out which product to pour into your hot tub and then soak in a bunch of chemical byproducts or spend $35.00 on simple hot tub chemistry?

An old batch of water in your hot tub can become saturated with chemical byproducts making it difficult or impossible for you to perform simple tasks like balancing pH or keeping the water clear.

Every pint or pound of product you pour into your hot tub increases total dissolved solids and chemical byprodcuts so complicated chemistry systems with a dozen different products can quickly turn your hot tub water into a chemical brew.

Total Dissolved Solids (people byproducts)

When you soak yourself, the hydromassage action of your hot tub jets rub off body oil and dead skin and the hot water makes you sweat up to 3 pints per hour so you leave behind organic byproducts every time you sit and soak.

When you get up in the morning, every bit of lotion, cologne, perfume, deodorant and other 'personal products' you put on your body ends up in the hot tub at night unless you take a shower before every soak.

The longer you simmer, sweat & soak yourself in the same pot of hot water the more it resembles people-flavored-stew.

Friends don't let friends soak in people-flavored stew

Don't waste your time pouring more and more chemistry into your tub trying to fix people flavored stew! When in doubt, drain it all out and start over with a fresh, clean batch of water!

When in doubt: Drain it out!

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry starts with the idea that a clean, fresh batch of water is usually the most effective and efficient way you can solve a complicated water quality problems in a portable hot tub.

You can run to the supply store and buy yet another bottle of something designed to fix a particular water quality problem or you can dump all the problems down the drain at the same time and start over with a fresh, clean batch of water.

You still need to test and possibly adjust pH and sanitizer levels before each soak but you dump the whole $2.96 batch of water down the drain and start over as soon as the water becomes even a little bit 'complicated'.

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry: When in doubt, drain it out!

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San Diego County Water Authority

Calculate Hot Tub Refill Cost:
When in doubt, drain it out!

San Diego County Water Authority

Unless you own a well, you get your water from one of the 24 agencies that make up the San Diego County Water Authority.

Water rates are divided into tiers based on the amount of water you use. If you use a lot of water you pay a little more. If you conserve water you pay a little less.

Water rates vary between districts but the highest standard water rate you can pay in the City of San Diego is $11.13 per "unit" of water (February 2019).

A "unit" is 100 Cubic Feet (HCF) or 748 gallons

City of San Diego Water Rates (February 2019):

https://www.sandiego.gov/public-utilities/customer-service/water-and-sewer-rates/water

A typical single-family home in the City of San Diego uses 83,000 gallons per year or 9.5 HCF per month so most people pay $5.540 for 748 gallons of water.

San Diego average household water use: 39,905 per year

https://www.watersmartsd.org/water-calculator

$5.540/HCF ÷ 748 gallons = $0.0074 per gallon!

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry starts with the idea that the fresh water coming out the end of your garden hose only costs $0.0074 or 7/10 of one penny per gallon.

That means you can replace 400 gallons of water for less money than driving to the store and buying a single quart or even a single pint of any specialty product sold to treat 'complex' water problems.

Portable hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes from 200 gallon plug-in models you can push onto your patio to 2,000 gallon swim-spas that can only be delivered with a crew and a crane but a good average for a typical hot tub is around 400 gallons.

400 gallons × $0.0074 per gallon = $2.96

$2.96 to refill a 400 gallon hot tub!

Even when you add in sewer rates you can still refill the average 400 gallon hot tub for less than the cost of a single pint of any product designed to treat the water!

Water Rate
per HCF
Cost per Gallon
(Water)
Cost per Gallon
(Sewer)
Cost per
400 Gallons
$5.540 $0.0074 $0.004 $4.56
$7.915 $0.0105 $0.004 $5.80
$11.130 $0.0148 $0.004 $7.52

https://www.sandiego.gov/public-utilities/customer-service/water-and-sewer-rates/sewer

Portable hot tub owners pour pounds of chemistry and buckes of money into a a batch of water because the instructions on the bottle tell them to. Don't get burned soaking in a caustic, chemical brew!

Just because you can fix a problem by adding more chemistry doesn't mean you should. Would you rather spend $50.00 at the supply store so you can soak in more chemical byproducts or spend $2.96 at the end of your garden hose so you can soak in a clean, fresh batch of water?

But what about wasting water?

Your portable hot tub doesn't actually use water. Your covered, insulated tub is essentially a sealed tank that stores and recycles water. In fact, (unless you own a fish tank) your hot tub is the most water-efficient appliance in your home!

Every other water-using appliance in your home uses water because it dumps every drop of water down the drain after just one use. High-efficiency clothes washers dump 15 to 30 gallons per load. Older washers dump 29 to 40 gallons per load!

A covered hot tub is essentially a sealed tank

Your portable hot tub is the only appliance that stores 400 gallons then automatically filters and recycles every gallon every day so you can soak in the same batch of water for weeks or months!

You get more miles-per-gallon from your portable hot tub than any other applliance in your home so you should never feel guilty about draining your hot tub and refilling it with a fresh, clean batch of water.

Visit the Simple Hot Tub Chemistry Explained page for a more tips on water conservation for hot tub owners.

Simple Hot Tub Chemistry: Just Add Water!