Ahoy from the Pacific Northwest


New member
Dec 9, 2014
Tacoma area, WA
Hi there! Stumbled across this site after many a headache trying to balance my spa water. It's been a roller coaster of emotion and I keep screwing up and learning as I go. I'm hoping someone here can get my issues resolved... namely upwardly drifting PH.

I hail from SoCal where I joined the Army in 2003... I was assigned to a special operations unit at Ft. Lewis and ended up staying when I left active duty in 2011. I'm now a Reservist/weekend warrior and active duty law enforcement.

The site looks active and full of information. I look forward to chatting with you guys!

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
Hi, and welcome to TFP!

Ph is one of those things that is sort of like hitting a moving target. So many things can cause a Ph shift, and usually in the upward direction.

One of the most important things to consider in Ph stability, is the TA level. If its too high, the Ph will rise quickly. Other factors also play a large role in the Ph.

The best advice I can give you, is to click on the big Pool School button at the top of the page and start with the ABC's of pool chemistry. You will learn a lot from the ABC's.

Its a lot of info to absorb and no one expects you get "get it" the first time around, so feel free to ask any specific questions you have and there are lots of folks here willing to help.

To further the ABC's of pool chemistry, obvoiusly if you dont know what the chemical levels are, then its anyones guess as to what to do. To support the chemistry, its imperative that you have a reliable water testing kit. Not strips, because the margin of error in those things is huge. Not the pool store either, because their goal is to sell you stuff whether you need it or not.

TFP only recommends adding what is actually needed and our recommendations are based upon science, and not a sales gimmick.
No one here will try to sell you anything at all.

TFP recommends either a Taylor K2006 or the TF-100 test kit to test your water with. Both are excellent. Dollar for Dollar, the TF 100 is the best bang for the buck as they can perform more tests than the K2006. The TF 100 is only available online. Here is a link to get one.

hopefully this will get you started in the right direction to start....


TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
Central Minnesota
Great advice there from Dave. As Dave mentioned, higher TA is usually responsible for faster pH rise. A good, drop-based test kit is what you need to take control of the spa. For a small spa, I'd recommend the K-2006. The TF-100 is also a great option but the K-2006 is more economical from an initial price point investment. The massive amount of aeration that a spa can produce accelerates pH rise, especially when the TA is elevated. pH rise in pool water is a direct result of carbon dioxide outgassing from the water, causing a higher pH. Higher TA = more outgassing.

Spa water is only good for so long. A well-maintained spa can use the same water for 3 months or more, depending on use. After that, a water change is best. Testing your fill water for pH, CH and TA can also be helpful so you know what you're going to be dealing with even before you fill it up.

If you're looking for a great guide aimed specifically at maintaining spas rather than a pool check here: How do I use Chlorine in my spa or How do I use Bromine in my Spa Maintaining a spa is very similar to pool maintenance but when things go south with a spa it's easy to drain and start over. That's still no reason to not have great water for months at a time though!

Also, if you've never done a deep clean on the spa, I highly recommend the Ahh-some spa treatment. http://www.ahh-some.com/tubs.php

Welcome to TFP! :wave: