Even though swimming pools and spas are both used for swimming, the two are very different. Unlike pools, spas have a low volume of water kept at high temperatures, which amplifies the effect of all contaminants that enter the water. Without adequate care, your spa will not only go cloudy but pose serious health risks to bathers.
To fix cloudy spa water, we first need to understand the cause. Keep reading below to learn more.
The average residential spa holds roughly 1,500 litres of water and will usually sit at a temperature of 36°C to 38°C. This low volume of hot water can be the perfect environment for dangerous bacteria to thrive if you do not maintain proper water chemistry. However, the growth of harmful bacteria is one of several causes of cloudy spa water.
Dead leaves, grass clippings, berries and all other types of organic debris can find their way into your spa. As the debris deteriorates, you will begin to notice cloudiness in your spa water if the water lacks sufficient sanitiser. Ensure you have enough sanitiser to fight against unwanted debris and manually remove larger debris to prevent damage to your circulation system. Another common spa issue is dealing with algae. Algae bloom in water with poor chemistry and can attribute to cloudy water if not treated.
There are various ways metal can get into your spa. One of the most prevalent causes is high concentrations of metal in household water sources. Over time, using water that contains metal can alter your water chemistry, stain your spa shell and corrode spa components.
In pools and spas, sanitiser works to disinfect and purify your water to ensure safe swimming. However, sanitiser quickly runs out if there is a large volume of contaminants in the water. If you recently had a lot of guests use your spa, there's a good chance your sanitiser levels have depleted trying to combat against all the body oils, sunscreen, shampoo and other foreign chemicals.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest threats to your spa is your bathers. Humans go through each day indirectly collecting residual contaminants that cause issues for pools and spas if left untreated. These include makeup, lotions, sunscreen, hair products, sweat, body oils and many more. Be sure to check your chemistry if many people are using your spa.
A slightly more obvious potential cause of your cloudy spa is a dirty, faulty or misaligned filter. Your filtration system is responsible for tackling larger particles and debris that would take your sanitiser too long to break down. Try troubleshooting your system and call a technician if problems persist.
Similar to swimming pools, the main cause for cloudy spa water and most water-related issues is a chemical imbalance. The key things to look for include:
High pH: Your spa water is too basic if the pH is higher than 7.6. When this happens, you'll wind up with two problems that cause cloudiness: scale formation and ineffective sanitising. You may need to use a pH decreaser to get things back to normal. The ideal level is between 7.4 and 7.6.
High alkalinity: Another way to say water is basic is to call it alkaline. When your hot tub water has alkalinity higher than 150ppm, it begins to form scale. It also cannot keep pH stable, compounding all the issues that may cause cloudy water. An alkalinity decreaser may help. The ideal level is 80-120ppm.
High calcium hardness: Ideally, your spa's calcium hardness will be between 150-400ppm. If your levels are too high, you'll see scale build-up and cloudiness.
If you are having trouble with your pool or spa and would like professional assistance, try connecting with a local technician using our Dealer Locator.