You’re ready for a relaxing, soothing or social night in your spa pool, but when you take off the cover you’re met not with the soft, fresh and perfectly clear water you expect, but a cloudy patch of H2O. Cloudy spa water is an inconvenient but not uncommon occurrence, and happily it’s one that usually has a (relatively) easy fix.
The method of fixing cloudy spa pool water will depend on what exactly made it cloudy in the first place. Perhaps you need to add chlorine, check your filters or ‘shock’ your water. Perhaps it’s time to change your water. Cloudiness can also be avoided by carefully choosing the spa pool you buy.
In this article we’ll take a deep dive into cloudy water – though that is not something we’d recommend in a literal sense! – to see why your spa might not look as clear and inviting as it could.
Why is my spa water cloudy?
Cloudy spa pool water isn’t a symptom of a single problem. There are multiple reasons why your spa water might be cloudy, which means there are also multiple fixes.
Your spa pool water might look cloudy because:
1.The water isn’t properly sanitised
Perhaps you haven’t added enough chlorine. Perhaps you haven’t added chlorine recently. Perhaps you’ve used low quality chlorine that’s more filler than chemical. You may even have regularly added the perfect amount of high-quality chlorine, then simply left the spa pool cover off and exposed the water to excess sunlight, which can quickly lower chlorine levels. (Automated water care technology like Hot Spring’s FreshWater™ Salt System can help you to avoid all of the above.)
2. Your filters need cleaning or changing
A clogged filter is nowhere near as effective as a clean filter and will allow many contaminants to flow through. The same can be said for old filters which often have holes in their meshes and screens. Cloudy water could mean that your filters need a clean, or if they are damaged or near their use by date, a change (a process made simple with Hot Spring’s Tri-X filters).
3. Organic contaminants are present
There are some particularly small or soluble invaders that even the best filters can struggle to deal with. Some, like sweat, body oils, moisturiser and sunscreen, can accumulate with use. Others, like algae, fungus and bacteria, can float in on the breeze. Rinsing off before a spa and keeping the cover tightly fixed when not in use can help to reduce these forms of contamination.
4.Your spa shell and cover isn’t clean
Contaminants that cloud your water can hide away within your spa on the shell or the cover. With nothing more than a regular wipe you can remove most of the algae, fungus and bacteria that may lay dormant in your spa and eventually invade and affect your water.
5.The pH or alkalinity isn’t balanced
The ideal spa pool pH is slightly alkaline, sitting between 7.2 and 7.6. If your water sits outside of that range it could be prone to clouding. A similar measure is ‘total alkalinity’, which measures the concentration of bases and dissolved solids in the water in parts per million (ppm). The ideal total alkalinity will depend on your spa pool and water care system, but it is generally regarded as somewhere within the 90-150ppm range.
6.Your water needs to be changed
Spa pool water doesn’t last forever. Every now and again it needs to be changed. How often you should drain and refill your spa will depend on how big it is, how often you use it, and the water care technologies that are found inside. While you’ll need to change the water of most spa pools every couple of months, a Hot Spring spa pool fitted with a FreshWater™ Salt System will only need to be drained and refilled as little as once a year!
How do I clear up cloudy hot tub water?
Now that we know why your spa pool water might be cloudy, our next challenge is how to fix it. The solution will depend on the specific problem, but if you aren’t sure exactly what the issue is, there are a few standard steps you can take to find out and ultimately clear up your water.
1. Regularly test, balance and sanitise your water
Your first step is to identify what the potential issue is by checking the chlorine, pH and alkalinity levels of your water. If one of these numbers is sitting outside the ideal range that’s a fair sign that you’ve found your problem. Always use high quality chemicals, whether chlorine (or an equivalent like bromine), pH balancer or alkalinity additive.
2. Check your filters
Regularly checking your filters, ideally once a week, is simply good spa pool ownership, as it ensures you enjoy the highest quality soak and that your water and spa pool last longer. If your filters are clogged, clean them. If your filters are old or damaged, replace them.
3. Shock your water
Maybe your spa pool has seen a lot of use lately – through daily soaks or a big spa pool party – and the water has higher levels of organic compounds like sweat, body oil, sunscreen and laundry detergent than usual. Maybe you haven’t touched your spa pool in a while, and when you take off the cover you’re met with cloudy or discoloured water. These situations are difficult for your filters and chlorine to deal with alone. Spa shock is the process of using chemicals to ‘shock’ the water, ridding it of a build-up of organic compounds. In 15-45 minutes your water should be clear again.
4. Change your water
You need to change your spa pool water semi-regularly. Depending on your machine this might be every couple of months or once a year (if your spa is fitted with the FreshWater™ Salt System). If your water is cloudy, it may simply be time to change it. When you drain your spa, be sure to give it a good clean before you refill it.
5. Choose a spa with the right tech
Prevention is better than cure. If you choose your spa pool wisely and maintain it as you should, you may never experience clouding at all. Which is why you should choose a Hot Spring.
The Hot Spring difference
At Hot Spring we’re New Zealand’s most trusted spa pool brand, having served local customers for over 40 years. We’re also backed by the largest spa pool manufacturer in the world, Watkins Wellness, who are global leaders in spa pool innovation.
This can be seen in our worry-free water care technologies, designed to take the work out of spa pool ownership while keeping your water clearer, cleaner, fresher and softer. The SilentFlo 5000 circulation system keeps your water moving 24/7. No-bypass filtration ensures 100% of your water is filtered 100% of the time. And the FreshWater™ Salt System represents the pinnacle of spa pool water care.
As a spa pool owner you want your water to be as inviting as possible, ready for a soak whenever you are. If you choose your spa wisely, you get exactly that.