Is the water in your hot tub cloudy? If so, you’re not the only one. Cloudy water is the most common issue plaguing spa and hot tub owners. While the proper chemicals will aid in resolving the root cause, assessing and troubleshooting hot tub water issues, typically come first. If the water in your spa or hot tub is murky, hazy, milky, or turbid, one of the following scenarios, or a combination, is probably the cause of your issue.
PH, total alkalinity, or high calcium hardness
The chemical balance of your spa water can be the issue. Measure your calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and pH levels accurately. Calcium can quickly come out of the solution and contaminate spa water in locations with hard water. If calcium hardness levels exceed 300 ppm, use a sequestering agent to prevent scaling and a chemical balancer to control your spa’s pH and total alkalinity levels. This will help avoid scaling and cloudy, hot tub water.
TDS, or total dissolved solids, is typically not an issue in spas and hot tubs. However, the water can dissolve solids if you haven’t drained your spa in a while. Frequent episodes of cloudy water are common when water hits its saturation point, at which time it can no longer take in any more solids. It’s time to drain and replenish the tub if your TDS level rises above 1500 ppm.
Cloudy fill water
Perhaps your hot tub water care is not the issue but the fill water. Adequately filtered, well-balanced, and sterilized spa water should self-correct this issue, and you’ll have clear water in a day or two. It is typically preferable to use a spa pre-filter to eliminate particles that cloud spa water. Connect it to your garden hose to add water or refill your spa or hot tub.
The system has air
The hot tub water may appear hazy due to minute air bubbles or particulates. If your tub’s air blower and Ozonator are off, but bubbles are still entering the returns, you might have an air leak on the pump’s suction side. Anything that comes before the spa circulation pump is on the suction side. A loose pump drain plug or a loose union fitting before the pump might let air into the system.
Low water levels in the spa might also let air in, giving the impression that the water is foggy or hazy. Prior to using the spa pump, it is advisable to have the pipes and other equipment inspected to identify the cause of the air leak and fix it.
Issues with tub filters
Water can bypass a hot tub or spa filtration cartridge due to improper cartridge positioning. Ensure the cartridge is correctly placed on both ends to force the water to pass through the pleated spa filter material. Spa filter cartridges don’t last indefinitely, and each cleaning makes them less effective. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in the purity of the water as soon as you replace the spa filter after roughly 15 cleanings.
Hot tub water care is essential.
Ultimately, hot tub water care is essential to ensure water clarity and safety.