Hot Tub Technician fixing cloudy hot tub water

Cloudy hot tub water is extremely unappealing. However, it’s a common problem with spa water chemistry and is typically easy to fix. Here we’ll discuss the reasons for cloudy water and how to fix it.

Hot Tub Water Chemistry

The water in your hot tub is kept clean, safe and clear through a special balance of added chemicals. You can ensure the chemical balance is correct by measuring pH, chlorine, bromine, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness and adjusting them as needed.

The pH level measures alkalinity and acidity in the water. It is important to keep the pH levels slightly alkaline, somewhere in the 7.2 to 7.6 range (levels below 7 are acidic). The further the water gets out of this range, the more severe any issues will be.

Proper pH levels are important for:

  • Optimizing sanitizer effectiveness.
  • Maintaining water comfort for users.
  • Preventing equipment deterioration.

Cloudy water can indicate that the pH level is too high (too alkaline). Other signs may include less effective sanitizer, scale forming on the spa, and spa components and pores in the filter cartridge are clogged and obstructed.

Clear Up Cloudy Spa Water

If your hot tub’s water chemistry is imbalanced and the pH is too high, add some sodium bisulfate (pH Down, as seen below). Wait two hours and retest the water’s pH levels. The pH is affected by the bather load (how many people are using the hot tub), new water, added chemicals, and sanitizer type, so test it weekly.

pH Down

Dirty Filter

Another cause of cloudy hot tub water is a filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced. You can often clean your filter by removing it and spraying it off with a water hose with strong pressure.  You should typically be cleaning your filters at least once a month to keep them clean and let them do their job.

Hot tub filters work the same way as coffee filters. As your pump and jets push water through the filter, it catches contaminants like:

  • Dirt
  • Insects
  • Twigs and leaves

Your hot tub needs a filter to keep it clean and running smoothly. When you’re not using your spa, make sure that the cover is tightly secured on top of your hot tub to protect against any extra dirt particles or debris from getting into the spa. A dirty filter will put extra strain on your hot tub – which can lead to costly repairs in the long run. So, keep your filter clean and you can avoid cloudy hot tub water!

You can tell a filter needs to be replaced when it is not able to keep up with the debris and dissolved solids in the water. Other signs that the filter is the problem may include:

  • Reduced flow from the jets.
  • Hazy or discolored water.
  • The heater runs more frequently but the water doesn’t heat normally or evenly.

Other Causes and Solutions for Cloudy Water

If you want your hot tub to be crystal clear, there are some things that can help. For starters, make sure everyone who visits showers before entering the water so they wash off any excess oils, hair products, shampoos, soaps, and lotions. Even the detergent used to wash your swimsuits can seep into the water and cause it to be more cloudy than normal. It’s okay though, we know not everyone is going to shower before they get into the hot tub. That’s just not realistic but it is a good way to help you remember the more people you have over, the more it can affect your water chemistry and how often you check your pH balance.

If it’s not the pH level and the filter is clean, consider other reasons for cloudy hot tub water:

  • Excessive organic matter: Add shock.
  • Bacteria from the cover drips into the spa: Clean cover with an approved cleaner.
  • Improper sanitization: Add sanitizer.
  • Suspended organic matter: Clean or replace filter, add shock, run jets.
  • End of water life: Drain and refill spa and replace the filter.

If you’re following all the best practices for keeping your water clear and clean and the cloudy water is recurring, contact your local Aqua Living dealer for assistance.

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