4 Cloudy Hot Tub Water Problems and How to Easily Fix Them
We all know this scenario, right? You open your hot tub cover expecting clear, beautiful water, only to find it cloudy, maybe a bit smelly, and potentially creating a gross foam that bubbles at the top of the water when the jets are turned on.
It shouldn’t be time to drain yet. There must be some other way to fix this problem.
We’re here to help! There are a number of potential causes for these issues, all of which may require a different solution, so first, let’s determine the cause of your water issue.
Problem #1: Your alkalinity and/or PH balance is off.
Alkalinity is the measure of hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates. When your alkalinity is at the correct level, your water will be clear because the alkaline helps prevent bacteria growth.
In addition, your hot tub will need to maintain a neutral PH balance for the same purpose. You can test both levels by using test strips that will tell you which is off, which will help you decide on corrective measures to clarify your water.
The solution: Use a chemical balancer to lower pH levels, calcium, and alkalinity levels.
This will also help prevent scaling on the shell of your spa. If your pH is the issue, you’ll need a pH down the chemical, or if it’s the alkalinity, you’d use an alkaline increaser.
You should always test these two levels before deciding to treat with a higher chemical shock.
Problem #2: Low sanitizer levels (Chlorine or Bromine)
Depending on your chosen filtration system and your sanitizer options, the proper levels of chlorine or bromine will vary. However, your water chemistry is extremely important.
When chemical levels drop below a certain threshold, it allows foreign particles, bacteria, and organic contaminants to grow faster than they can be destroyed.
The solution: Bring up your sanitizer level
If adding appropriate amounts of chlorine or bromine is not enough, it might be time to shock your spa in order to bring up your sanitizer to a level that is able to kill those germs.
Just remember to follow the instructions on your shock packet carefully, and allow the correct amount of time for the shock to work before you enjoy the use of your spa again.
Problem #3: Filtration problems
When is the last time you cleaned your filters? When filters get clogged, they can no longer function to prevent contaminants from entering your water—which is the entire purpose of the filter. That’s its actual job.
The solution: Clean filters with a garden hose or strong faucet spray.
If you have been diligent about cleaning your filters at least monthly (or more) and you notice an abnormal amount of build-up, it might be time for a replacement.
Spa filters generally last around a year with normal use and maintenance, so if it’s been longer than that, the filters could be your cause.
Problem #4: Soaps, lotions, detergents, cosmetic products
This is actually a common challenge when it comes to pool and hot tub chemistry. Unless every person who is entering your spa showers prior to entry, every oil, detergent, shampoo, soap, lotion, and cosmetic product ends up in the spa.
Some of these things even exist on our skin without being intentionally put there. Even the detergents used to wash your swimsuits can play a part in clouding your spa water.
The solution: Spa enzymes
Spa enzymes help to reduce the phosphates, oils, and detergents that often cause your sanitizer to work extra hard. The enzymes essentially float around eating the gunk that is present in your water.
If adding enzymes doesn’t do the trick, it might be time to shock the water.
Water chemistry can sometimes be a challenge for new hot tub owners, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. With minimal time and effort, you can keep your hot tub water clean, clear, and perfect.