Your spa is something you look to use to escape the day to day and relax and unwind. If you find yours with water that looks less than desirable, it can make the experience stressful and put you face to face with something you are trying to avoid. Does your spa water look murky and is not as clear as you would like it to be? What does cloudy hot tub water mean? Below we dip into the reasons this may be occurring and what you can do to try and resolve it.
Is Hazy Hot Tub Water Bad?
Typically, your spa’s water is clear enough that you are able to see the bottom, if you can’t, it’s a sign that there is a problem. If you are looking down at cloudy hot tub water, don’t panic, this is a common issue for hot tub owners and can usually be easily resolved. The key to murky spa water is addressing it prior to getting inside and potentially exposing yourself and others to the bacteria that may be lurking.
Warm and moist environments are a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and other various organisms. The average home spa holds around 320 to 475 gallons of water. With the hot tub temperature usually between 100°F and 102°F, this low volume of hot water can be the perfect breeding ground for dangerous bacteria.
Unsanitary hot tubs can lead to skin irritations, rashes, and bacterial infections among other health risks. Between 2000 and 2014, outbreaks from pools and hot tubs were linked to more than 27,000 infections and eight deaths in the United States. If your spa’s water is not as clear as it should be, it is usually an indication that something is not right.
What Does Cloudy Hot Tub Water Mean?
Now that we know why you don’t want to just hop into a spa with water that is not as clear as it should be, we are going to review what cloudy hot tub water can mean and what could be causing it.
- Imbalanced Water Chemistry: A hot tub, much like a pool, needs to have the water’s components right for it to be considered balanced. Alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness all are important to your spa’s water chemistry and having them within the right levels, can mean the difference between clear or cloudy hot tub water. A spa is recommended to have an alkalinity level between 80 and 120 ppm, it is recommended that a properly balanced hot tub has a pH level between 7.2 and 7.6, and current industry standards call for maintaining calcium hardness in the ideal range of 150 – 250 ppm in spas. Test your water. If it is outside of the ideal ranges in one or more of the components, that is likely the cause of your cloudy hot tub water and should be resolved before you go for a soak.
- Low Sanitizer: To keep bacteria from growing and to kill other things that you don’t want in your spa water, chlorine or bromine are added to your water. When these sanitizer levels are too low, water can get cloudy. If you have recently had an increase of usage of people in your hot tub, more sanitizer may need to be added to allow it to work against the additional foreign matter (shampoo, lotions, body oils, laundry detergent, etc.) that has found its way into your spa.
- Personal Hygiene Products: As mentioned above, the more people and use your spa sees, the more likely it is going to have things in the water that could create a haze. When you and other people get into your hot tub, everything that has been put on the body can affect the water. Products such as body lotion, conditioner, sunscreen, makeup, sweat, and oils can cause a number of issues, including neutralizing the sanitizer to create cloudy and foamy water. To avoid this as much as possible, it is recommended to have people shower before hopping into your hot tub; however, even if every person who uses your hot tub takes a shower before getting in, you’ll still wind up with some human-introduced contaminants.
- Filter Issues: Cloudy hot tub water can mean that there are problems with your spa’s filter. Filters are an important component of your hot tub. The filter helps to eliminate particles, such as dirt, debris, algae, etc. from circulating in your hot tub water. If your filter is blocked or not positioned and installed properly, it will not function correctly and can contribute to cloudy water. Having a clogged or dirty filter, or one that is not in as it should be, can keep unwanted particles from being “filtered” out of the water, making it murky.
What does cloudy hot tub water mean? Ultimately, it indicates, that you should not get into your spa until it is resolved. While the cause of the less than clear water can vary, it is usually a sign that the water is actually not as sanitary as it should be, and could lead to health risks for you and your guests.
Litehouse Pools & Spas can help get your hot tub ready for your relaxing days and nights ahead. At Litehouse Pools & Spas we offer a variety of hot tub services. We offer comprehensive maintenance packages, including openings, closings, drain and cleaning services, regular maintenance, and relocation.