JOIN OUR CLUB FOR A 10% DISCOUNT ON NEARLY EVERYTHING

We are currently despatching and delivering orders normally, but some deliveries are taking longer than normal and some stock lines are taking a little longer than normal to replenish. For the latest information click here.

Troubleshooting Hot Tub Water Problems

This table will help you identify and correct most hot tub common water problems.

If you can't resolve your particular problem using this guide then of course you can always contact us for advice.


Problem

Possible Cause

Solution

Cloudy Water

Old or dirty filters. This is the most common cause of cloudy water!

Thoroughly clean your filters using a powdered filter cleaner. A powdered filter cleaner will effectively remove scale, unlike liquid filter cleaners which are really just de-greasers. Powder filter cleaners can be used in a dishwasher to make life easier.

If the filters are over a year old consider that they might need replacing.  It is always best to keep two sets of filters and rotate them so that you can allow each set to dry out thoroughly between cleanings. This allows the micro-fibre pores to shrink back to their original size enabling the filter to perform better and last longer.

Contaminants introduced by bathers (make-up, perspiration, urine, body oil); from swimwear (soap or fabric conditioner); food; drink etc.

You should use a shock treatment to remove non-filterable wastes. Powdered, chlorine-based shock treatments are very effective and most also contains water clarifiers. A chlorine-based shock may leave a very low chlorine residual in your spa water for a few hours after treatment, so if you would like a completely chlorine free option try a non-chlorine shock, although it might be slightly less effective. Shock treatments work best on organic contaminants.  Al lot of make-up or fake tan might require a water change.

Use a Zorbie Hot Tub Water Bobble to absord contaminants and help to keep the water clear.

Excessively low level of sanitiser.

Santiser can be used up much more quickly than expected if unseen contaminants are introduced into the tub, such as from urine, or if there is an excessive build-up of boifilm in the pipework. Check and adjust the santiser level, use a shock product and monitor regularly until the problem subsides.

Build-up of unfilterable small particles, possibly caused by scale formation.

Use a water clarifier to coagulate the particles so that they can be removed by the filter. Ensure that the filter(s) are cleaned thoroughly and regularly with a powdered filter cleaner.

If the problem persists test the water and check for very high Total Alkalinity, high pH or Total Hardness and adjust the water balance as necessary.

Excessive Foaming

Build-up of body oils, cosmetics and detergents from bathers or the use if inappropriate cleaning products

Use a shock to remove the organic contaminants (preferably a chlorine-based, powdered shock). 

If absolutely necessary, use a good quality anti-foam to reduce the foaming. But it is important to use as little anti-foam as possible because it will always dull the water and increase the need for frequent water changes. 

Avoid the problem by ensuring that no-one uses the hot tub whilst wearing makeup or body oils and lotions. Only ever use specialist hot tub cleaning products, never use household cleaners.

Use a Zorbie Hot Tub Water Bobble to absord contaminants and reduce foaming.

Large amounts of dissolved solids (contaminants) in the water.

The longer the water has been in your hot tub, the more dissolved solids will build up until the problem gets too bad and you just have to change the water.  Usually plan on changing your water at least every 3 months.

Total Hardness is too low

If you are sure that nothing has been introduced into the water to cause foaming, then and the water is fresh, then test the Total Hardness level and use a hardness increaser to increase the level to at least 250ppm.

Chalky, White Scale Deposits

High Total Alkalinity, pH or Total Hardness.

Possibly all three! Test the water and adjust the water balance as necessary

Inadequate filter cleaning and / or plumbing cleaning

If you live in a hard water area scale will build up in your filters and also on the heater, pumps and in the pipework - just as it does on your kettle. If you don't remove it properly, particularly from the filters, eventually it will find it's way back into the water.

Thoroughly clean your filters using a powdered filter cleaner. A powdered filter cleaner will effectively remove scale, unlike liquid filter cleaners and sprays which are really just de-greasers. Powder filter cleaners can be used in a dishwasher to make life easier.

Use a good quality plumbing cleaner at every water change.

High mineral content in source water

Consider using a pre-filter on the hose when you fill the tub to reduce the mineral content of the water as much as possible. If the problem stll persists then use a 'Scale Away' product on a regular basis.  It won't get rid of the scale but it will stop the scale precipitating out of the water and depositing itself into the tub or filters.

Cloudy Green Water

Algae

This really shouldn't happen!  You haven't been using enough sanitiser.

Try using a chlorine-based shock product to kill the algae. Then check, adjust and maintain a sufficiently high santizer level. If the problem is severe the only sensible option will be to drain the tub and start again.

Clear Green Water

Aquafinesse

The Aquafinesse product can often cause a green tinge to the water which is particularly obvious if you have a light coloured tub. This is a 'feature' of the product.

Dissolved copper in the source water

This would would be an unusual occurrence in the UK, but if necessary a 'Scale Away' product may be used to sequester the minerals from the water.

Brown Water

High iron or manganese content in the source water

Again, this in uncommon in the UK but can sometimes occur in some areas. Consider using a pre-filter to reduce the mineral content as much as possible before it enters your tub. If the problem still persists then use a 'Scale Away' product to sequester the minerals from the water.

Odour

Excessive organic contaminants introduced by bathers (perspiration, urine, body oil); from swimwear (soap or fabric conditioner); food; drink etc.

Use a shock treatment  to remove the non-filterable wastes (see above for more advice)

Thoroughly clean your filters.

Check, adjust and maintain sanitiser level.

Insufficient sanitiser

If the water smells musty you almost definitely haven't been using enough sanitiser. Don't get into the water.

Use a shock treatment to remove the contaminants that will have developed in the water. Then check and maintain the correct sanitiser level.

Do not get back into the water until it is clear and it smells fresh. If you can't recover the situation then you will have to drain the tub and start again.

Chloramines - the chlorine smell!

Chloramines are a bi-product of chlorine reacting with bacteria.  The only way to remove them from the water is to drain and re-fill the tub.  Consider changing to a low chlorine or chlorine-free sanitizer such as eco3spa.

Eye / Skin Irritation

Total Alkalinity or pH out of balance.

Test the water and adjust the water balance as necessary.

Excessive organic contaminants introduced by bathers (make-up, perspiration, urine, body oil); from swimwear (soap or fabric conditioner); food; drink etc.

Use a shock product to remove the non-filterable wastes.

Chloramines from chlorine-based sanitiser.

Chloramines are a bi-product of chlorine reacting with bacteria.  The only way to remove them from the water is to drain and re-fill.

Consider changing to a low chlorine or chlorine-free sanitiser such as eco3spa.

Scum Deposit at Waterline

Oils, lotions and detergents from bathers and costumes or the use of incompatible cleaning products.

Clean the waterline using a specialist hot tub surface cleaner, not a household product which will cause foaming. Use a shock product to remove as much of the contaminant as possible. 

Use a Zorbie Hot Tub Water Bobble to absord contaminants and reduce scum formation.

Inability to reduce the pH

The Total Alkalinity is too high.

Reduce the Total Alkalinity before you try to adjust the pH. Adjust the Total Alkalinity to within the recommended range for your sanitiser using a pH Reducer, then use a pH Increaser, if necessary, to bring the pH back to the desired level.

Wide pH Fluctuations

Total Alkalinity is too low

Increase the Total Alkalinity to within the recommended range for your sanitiser using a TA Increaser.

© 2014/20 Surespa Ltd