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Cloudy Hot Tub Water: What Causes It & How To Fix It

Cloudy Hot Tub Water: What Causes It & How To Fix It

  • by Don Carson

Owning a hot tub can provide endless relaxation and comfort whenever you want but most hot tub owners know the challenge of maintaining their tub’s pristine appearance. The last thing you want is to remove the hot tub cover and see cloudy water, especially when you invite guests over for a night of unwinding. 

Everyone should be able to enjoy the hot tub without worrying about the safety of the water. Hot tub water should be crystal clear. If you can’t easily see the bottom of the hot tub, then something is wrong. 

If you have cloudy hot tub water, you’ll need to take care of it as soon as possible. Understanding how to keep your water clean can help reduce the risk of dirty spa water and ensure you can soak in your tub without worry. 

What Causes Cloudy Hot Tub Water?

The main culprits behind cloudy hot tub water include high pH levels/alkalinity, low sanitizer, dirty filters, and body care products. Understanding the common causes of cloudy and foamy water can help you get to the root of the problem.

High pH & Alkalinity of the Fill Water

Your hot tub water should have a stable pH level to prevent unhealthy conditions from arising, such as cloudy water. If you have a high pH level, it can cause calcium build-up and scaling, which leads to cloudy water. A high pH can also cause eye and skin irritation and decrease chlorine efficiency. The proper pool chemistry of your hot tub water should have a pH level of 7.4 to 7.6

The hot tub’s alkalinity measures the water’s substances, such as hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates. These elements keep the water from getting cloudy or growing bacteria. However, when the alkalinity is off, you can expect a cloudy or foamy appearance. When testing your hot tub water, the total alkalinity should measure anywhere from 100 to 150 parts per million. 

Low Sanitizer Level

Many hot tub owners will add either chlorine or bromine to the water to prevent bacterial growth—because who wants to sit back and relax with a bunch of bacteriaam I right? While bromine works just as well, it can be slightly more complicated to administer. Chlorine is less expensive and easier to apply to your hot tub. 

Skincare Products 

This may slip the minds of hot tub enthusiasts, but anything you have on your body can affect the water the minute you hop in. Skincare products such as body lotion or oils can cause many issues as the sanitizer works extra hard to keep the water clean. That’s when the cloudiness can appear, and it can be even worse if you have more than one person in the hot tub; that’s a lot of lotion, sunblock, conditioner, and oils. 

The best course of action is to rinse off or take a shower before hopping into the hot tub. Yes, it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but it’ll save you the trouble of keeping the water clean. In addition to body care products, dead skin cells can also be a problem that can lead to foam.

Oxidizing Minerals in the Water 

If your hot tub has a sudden yellow-green colour, it may be a chemical reaction in the water. This chemical reaction happens when minerals, such as iron or copper, begin to dissolve in the water due to chlorine or bromine. As these minerals dissolve, the water oxidizes and results in a cloudy appearance with some discoloured green or yellow. 

Poor Functioning Filtration System or Spa Filter Problems

Hot tub filters are an integral component of your spa system. The filter helps eliminate particles swimming around in your hot tub, such as algae, dirt, and debris. 

If the filter is blocked or dirty, it won’t be able to keep particles from entering the hot tub and will contribute to the cloudy appearance. Filters are supposed to catch any floating debris in the water and remove it. If dirty filters aren’t cleaned, this can lead to a less-than-desirable hot tub experience. 

Defoamer Overuse

If you notice foam forming on the surface of your water, you can use an anti-foaming agent to decrease its volume. However, using too much of the product can worsen the situation because it can lead to cloudy hot tub water. 

How To Fix Cloudy Water in the Hot Tub?

If you think fixing your cloudy hot tub water situation is a huge headache, then we have good news. Clearing up cloudy hot tub water is an easy fix as long as you take the proper steps to ensure your water is balanced. 

Check Water pH & Alkalinity Levels 

Use test strips tips to see your water’s pH and alkalinity levels. Remember the core levels you should aim for include:

  • pH levels: 7.4-7.6
  • Total alkalinity: 100-150 ppm
  • Sanitizer levels: Chlorine 3-5 ppm/Bromine 4-6 ppm.

Check Your Spa Filter

It’s recommended that you change your hot tub filter every 1 to 2 years, depending on how often you use or clean it. The filter should be rinsed regularly every three weeks and given a chemical soak every 3 months. Cleaning your dirty filters will ensure they provide your hot tub with clean and filtered water. 

The Removal of Accumulated Buildup in the Plumbing

You can remove accumulated buildup in your hot tub by flushing the plumbing system. Start by using a flush product and adding it to the cloudy hot tub water. Turn the jets on high and allow the water to circulate for 15 to 30 minutes. The system flush should break up much of the grime in your pipes. 

Once the water has circulated, turn the hot tub off, throw the cover on, and let it sit for at least 5 hours or overnight. 

Do a Shock Water Treatment 

A proper sanitizer level will be enough to destroy particles that have caused the cloudy hot tub water. Once the sanitizer levels are balanced, add a chlorine-free shock treatment to the water. It will help make your hot tub crystal clear by oxidizing any organic matter before it can feed bacteria. Try shock water treatment weekly to ensure you have consistently clean water. 

Use a Cleanser or Descaler

A hot tub cleanser or descaler can clear out the accumulation of calcium, lime, and minerals from the plumbing system. However, it’s paramount to immediately drain the tub to flush out the build-up and begin anew with fresh water. 

If Nothing Else Helps, Drain & Refill the Hot Tub

If all else fails, you can empty your hot tub or spa, clean it, and refill it with fresh water. This is typically a last resort for hot tub owners who can’t get rid of the cloudy water. 

Are You Ready To Relax?

Don’t fret. Cloudy water is the most common problem that people face with hot tubs. Don’t give up or let it get you down. Hot tubs are supposed to promote relaxation and calm. Our swim spas use a patented purification system called “Ecopure” with a special filter that reduces 75% of normal chemical usage. Avoid the stress, and visit Krevco Lifestyles today and peruse our products and equipment for hot tubs and swimming pools.

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