Having a cloudy spa is a common frustration for spa owners, and it would be nice if there was a single straightforward solution. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and there are many different causes of cloudy spa water.
Being a self-sufficient spa owner means you may have to become a bit of a chemist, as healthy spa water is made up of a variety of chemical balances. On average, a regular four-person spa could hold up to 100 litres of water. However, this could vary greatly depending on the make and model.
The water temperature will generally be kept between 36-40°C. Keeping low volumes of water at these temperatures creates a perfect environment for many things to occur, all of which can result in cloudy or murky spa water. Some may even present serious health risks to you and the spas occupants.
Below we will discuss some of the major causes of cloudy spa water, and the best steps to take in rectifying the problem.
Check pH levels
The pH levels in your spa water can play a major role in its health and cleanliness. The pH scale determines the acidity or alkalinity of your water, zero being very acidic, seven being neutral to fourteen being very alkaline.
Spa and pool water should be kept slightly alkaline between a pH level of 7.2-7.8. Ensuring this pH level is not guaranteed to solve your cloudy water problem, but it is one thing you can then rule out.
It is essential to keep your spa sanitised. If you are a spa owner, you will sanitise your pool regularly. Most spas rely on a chlorine, bromine or salt system to keep the water safe to soak in.
If your sanitation chemicals get low, the warm and wet conditions create the perfect environment for bacteria and algae to flourish. A good indication that this is a problem is if your cloudy water has a green tinge.
If your spa has been used a lot in recent times, there are also many other contaminants and foreign materials that sanitation chemicals are trying to keep in check. These can include:
- Body oils
- Skincare, hair products and makeup
- Soap residue from skin and swimwear
Even traces of fecal matter and urine need to be treated by ensuring your spa or hot tub have the correct chemical levels for optimal sanitation.
If you are unsure about how to treat your spa water properly the team here at Ezy Spa can offer expert advice and supply all products for effective spa sanitation.
How long has it been since you last checked your spa’s filter? It is easy to lose track of time, and it is vital that your filter is free of debris and cleaned regularly.
When your filter gets dirty, it loses its ability to collect foreign objects and organic materials. Once the filter is clogged, the contaminants start to recirculate around the spa, resulting in cloudy water. So how often should you check and clean your filter?
The more you use your spa or hot tub, the more often you should clean your filter, but as a rule of thumb, you should endeavour to check and clean your spa’s filter at least once every two weeks.
Eventually, you will need to replace your spa filter altogether. The frequency of this depends on the recommended time frame specified by the filter’s manufacturer. On average, however, this tends to be between 12-24 months.
If your spa gets a decent workout, then it is important to use a spa shock treatment weekly. Spa shock is essentially a large dose of sanitisation chemicals that treat and kill organic matter that could be making your spa cloudy.
These organic contaminants can be a variety of things, including:
- Skin cells
- Human waste
- Body oils
- Animal and human hair
If a strong chemical odour also accompanies your cloudy water, it can also be caused by chloramines and bromamines.
These are the bi-products left behind from the dead bacteria and organisms that the chlorine and bromine have killed. Spa shock once a week can quite often treat most occurrences of cloudy spa water.
Other potential issues
There are some other less common reasons for cloudy water. However, they should not be ruled out if the other possibilities have all been addressed. Other reasons for cloudy spa water may include:
- Excess hard water metals
- Pump contamination or malfunction
- Filter hardware issues
- Dirt and dust
It is even worth checking your spa cover for possible contaminants and performing a regular scrub and clean.
Drain and refill
If you have tried everything else, it may just be necessary to drain the spa entirely and start again. This also allows you to flush the filter, pump and hoses to remove any potential contaminants from the whole system.
On average you should be replacing the water in your spa and hot tub at least every three months. Failure to do this not only risks the chance of cloudy water but also presents a risk of being exposed to more harmful bacteria like E. coli and legionella, the cause of legionnaires disease.
If you need advice on treating your spas cloudy or murky water, the friendly award-winning team here at Ezy Spa are happy to offer expert advice. We specialise in presale spa inspections, professional spa delivery and removal services, as well as supply a wide range of quality products to help keep your spa top condition.