Starting with the foundational principles of floatation tank water care, Epsom salt plays a crucial role. When a tank is primed with the right amount of Epsom salt, it often aids in naturally stabilizing and balancing the pH level. This equilibrium is especially noticeable when the tank solely utilizes a Hydrogen peroxide sterilizer.
However, disruptions to this pH balance can arise when external agents enter the mix. Often, the culprits are other cleaning agents or chemicals, such as chlorine, which significantly alter the water’s chemistry. These additives can skew the pH to extremes, presenting potential challenges to both the maintenance and the overall experience within the tank.
It’s vital to understand these dynamics to ensure the best possible environment in a floatation tank. The consistent pH level, maintained by the Epsom salt and undisturbed by extraneous chemicals, paves the way for a safe, soothing, and sanitized floating experience for users.
pH Management in Float Tanks with Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization
Maintaining the pH in a float tank is beneficial for various reasons:
User Comfort: A stable pH ensures a more pleasant experience as it minimizes the chance of irritations to the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes
However, the exact pH range at which irritation would occur can depend on individual sensitivities and the duration of exposure. Typically, a pH below 4 or above 9 can cause noticeable discomfort to the eyes and skin.
Given that users naturally steer clear of getting the salty Epsom salt solution in their eyes because of its intrinsic irritative quality, the worry about eye irritation due to pH levels in a float tank is minimized. Nevertheless, ensuring a consistent pH offers an extra layer of protection against potential increases in discomfort. Irritation caused by pH levels typically arises when it dips below 4 or climbs above 9. Maintaining a balanced pH elevates the overall user experience by decreasing potential irritations to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. It’s worth noting that “mucous membranes” implies ingestion of the solution, like drinking it – an unlikely occurrence in a float tank setting given the off-putting taste of the Epsom salt solution.
Disinfection Performance: In the Exo float tank, we advocate for the use of Hydrogen peroxide as the primary disinfectant. Its efficiency, like other disinfectants, can be influenced by the pH level of the solution. Generally, hydrogen peroxide operates optimally within a slightly acidic to neutral pH range.
Low pH (Acidic Conditions): Under highly acidic conditions, hydrogen peroxide can break down more quickly. However, a mildly acidic environment (around pH 5-6) can often amplify its antimicrobial efficacy.
High pH (Alkaline Conditions): In more alkaline scenarios, especially when pH levels surpass 9, hydrogen peroxide’s stability decreases, and it degrades more rapidly. Its disinfecting prowess may also decline in these conditions.
In instances where the use of chlorine becomes inevitable, i.e for intensive decontaminations, it’s imperative to discard the chlorinated solution afterwards. Typically, during such events, the salt solution would already have been removed, guaranteeing that users don’t come into contact with water treated with chlorine. It’s crucial to understand that while disinfectants like chlorine have specific ideal pH ranges, hydrogen peroxide’s efficiency varies within its own set of pH parameters and is sometimes why you see other float centres more concerned over pH levels than others, if they are using a different disinfectant.
Microbial Growth Control: In a flotation tank, the predominant deterrent against microbial growth is the high salt concentration, which creates an exceptionally hostile environment for bacteria. Combined with the robust disinfecting power of the appropriate H2O2 dosing and UVC disinfection, these factors largely govern the tank’s cleanliness. While maintaining a balanced pH has its benefits, its role in disinfection and cleanliness is relatively minor in the face of these primary defence mechanisms.
In many water-based environments like swimming pools and hot tubs, emphasis on maintaining pH levels is often driven by the need to preserve materials vulnerable to corrosion. However, in a flotation tank, given the inherently corrosive nature of the Epsom salt solution, such concerns are reduced. This is because the materials used in the tank’s design are not only less susceptible to corrosion but are also specifically chosen for their suitability for this application.
Magnesium sulphate, known as Epsom salt, doesn’t significantly affect pH since it dissolves without causing dramatic shifts. The naturally high salt concentration in float tanks adds a level of pH stability. However, several external factors could introduce minor changes:
Water Source: The pH of tap water can vary based on the source and treatment processes, but in most developed regions, tap water typically falls within a pH range of 6.5 to 8.5. While this is a general guideline, it’s always a good idea to check with local water supply agencies for specific pH levels, as they can differ by region.
User Factors: Factors such as sweat (with a pH level between 4.5 to 7), oils, and leftover cosmetics can cause slight fluctuations in pH. However, these changes are typically minimal, especially since floaters are often advised to shower before a session. Using pH-balanced shower gels and shampoos further mitigates any potential shifts in the water’s pH.
Sanitization Choices: While it’s not advised, there have been instances where customers have used alternative disinfectants and cleaning products in the float tank. Depending on their composition, these products can influence the pH in various ways.
Owing to the stabilising effects of the Epsom salt concentration, significant pH shifts are infrequent. Whilst it’s important to recognise that monitoring pH isn’t wholly unnecessary, years of monitoring floatation tanks, when following correct procedures, have shown that pH alterations are generally subtle and stay within a safe bracket. Nonetheless, routine checks guarantee a consistent user experience and optimum cleanliness.