How do I keep my hot tub water crystal clear? Tips from pros
If you have been using your hot tub for a while, you may notice that the water is slowly getting dirty. Or you open your cover you suddenly see that the water has changed its color. It is important to keep the water clean as dirty, murky water will make the tubes and filter clog up with bacteria and algae. This can lead to an unpleasant odor and lots of algae all over the floor of your hot tub.
How do I keep my hot tub water crystal clear:
To keep crystal clear water in the hot tub, carefully maintain water quality by adding an adequate amount of sanitizer, clarifiers, and pH-balancing chemicals. Regularly cleaning the hot tub filters and maintaining a hygienic soaking routine also helps to keep the tub water clean and clear. Replace the water regularly, and clean the hot tub during that process.
This blog post will further explain how you can keep your hot tub water clean and clear. And if it is not clear, how you can make your hot tub water crystal clear. I will also answer some other often asked questions.
- 1 How do I keep my hot tub water crystal clear
- 2 How do I make my hot tub water crystal clear?
- 3 How do I stop my hot tub water from going cloudy?
- 4 Why does my hot tub water look cloudy?
- 5 How long does it take for cloudy hot tub water to clear?
- 6 Can too much Chlorine cause cloudy water?
- 7 Does shock clear a cloudy hot tub?
- 8 Why is my hot tub cloudy after shock?
- 9 Should I shock my hot tub after refilling?
How do I keep my hot tub water crystal clear
When it comes to maintaining your hot tub water, every owner should keep a few key points in mind:
– Sanitise the hot tub water
Chlorine is the necessary sanitizing agent in hot tubs with a chlorine-based system. Others may have a bromine-based system. Your water gets a lot of organic residues when people use the hot tub. The sanitizer in the water is used up when it reacts with the organic residues. The absence of enough sanitizer levels in the water may cause cloudiness due to algal or bacterial growth.
To avoid such issues and keep the water crystal clear, regularly add a capful of sanitizer. In case of heavy bather load, make sure to add a capful of sanitizer dose per person in the tub water after the soaking session. Shock the tub at least once a week.
– Keep away all kinds of debris
An effective way to maintain adequate sanitizer levels in your hot tub water is to avoid dirt and debris getting into the hot tub water. It may be dry leaves and twigs from surrounding vegetation. It could be air-born dirt like bird droppings or pollens in the wind. I always recommend using a hot tub cover. That helps block such contaminants from falling into the hot tub water and avoids dust or other stuff that can make the hot tub water cloudy.
– Keep the skimmer handy
Keep a skimmer near the hot tub along with other hot tub accessories. It helps remove any visible foreign substance in the hot tub water. It could be floating fiber clumps from the clothes of a bather, dry leaves, or food residue in the water.
Removing them quickly from the water using a skimmer keeps the water clean and helps bring down the strain on the hot tub filters. It is also useful to remove any suds from detergent residue in the water.
– Use hot tub only swimsuits
A major reason for cloudy or foamy hot tub water is the detergent residue in bather clothing. To avoid it, ask bathers to take a quick shower before soaking. This will help wash off any soap, detergent residue, or hair shampoo.
I recommend using a swimsuit only for the hot tub. One that is not frequently washed using soap and only rinsed in clean water. It will help avoid sudsy water in the hot tub. Similarly, ensuring bathers wear shower caps avoids hair shampoo, conditioner, or oil residues mixing in the hot tub water. It also avoids fallen hair clogging your filters. It will help to keep the tub water clean and crystal clear.
– Clean and replace filters regularly
The general water quality in a hot tub depends on clean and properly functioning filters. If filters are not cleaned regularly, it will eventually lead to the hot tub water quality turning cloudy.
Take out the filter once a week or bi-weekly if you use your hot tub, not that regularly. Spray it down using a garden hose. In the case of hot tubs used daily, you need to clean filters at least once in two days. Once a week, submerge the filter in a mixture of white vinegar and water to deep clean it. After an hour or more, spray down the petals of the filter with a garden hose.
– Test and Balance water (pH & calcium hardness)
For keeping the tub water crystal clear, you need to regularly test the water to check if it is chemically balanced. Any shift in the presence of essential chemicals in the hot tub water would make it cloudy.
For instance, you should keep the pH level of the hot tub water between 7.2 and 7.6. Anything above or below that range may lead to the hot tub water turning cloudy. Hot tub water that is beyond the optimal pH range may gradually corrode tub parts or sediment the metal content in the water. These may turn the water tinted or cloudy.
Low calcium hardness in the hot tub water may cause foamy water. The water's total alkalinity should be around 100 ppm, and sanitizer levels should be adequate not to allow any algal or bacterial growth.
If you do not test and balance the levels regularly, the water will turn cloudy, foamy, or stinky. Instead of using test strips, I recommend using a Tylor Kit for testing hot tub water. Always test your water using only one kind of testing mechanism as the readings from different methods are not comparable.
– Purge and refill once in six months
Even if you religiously test and balance the hot tub water and clean the filters, there is a limit in how long you can retain the sparkling crystal clear quality of your hot tub water. This period declines the more you use your hot tub. In such cases, you would feel that the water does not anymore feel pristine despite the readings showing no issue. It indicates that you need to drain and refill the hot tub.
I recommend you drain and refill the hot tub once every four months. You can extend this up to 8 months if you can maintain the water quality. While draining and refilling, ensure to use a jet cleaner like Ahh-some to purge the tub. It will take out the gunk in the plumbing. After removing the gunk, maintaining the crystal clear quality of the refilled water is easy. Do not forget to clean the hot tub itself after removing the water.
How do I make my hot tub water crystal clear?
If the water in your hot tub looks cloudy, it may be due to low-level sanitizer presence in the water. Depending on the system in your hot tub, you may need to add Chlorine or Bromine to the tub water to keep adequate sanitizer levels.
You need to add a teaspoon full or capful of Chlorine granules to the hot tub water daily to keep enough sanitizer in the water. This daily dose will be adequate for weeks after a drain and refill. But as you move into the third or fourth month after the refill, you need to add more sanitizer daily to keep the water crystal clear.
Increase the daily sanitizer dose if you use the hot tub more often or with more people. You need to toss in one teaspoon scoop per adult bather after the soaking session is over.
To figure out the optimal dose, you should test the tub water as other factors may also influence the water quality in the hot tub. Regular testing also helps to detect any shift in the chemical balance of the water. Keeping the hot tub water well-balanced is the key to having and keeping it crystal clear.
How do I stop my hot tub water from going cloudy?
Keeping the hot tub clean and hygienic is an effective way to stop the water from going cloudy. Ensure you don't let any debris fall into the hot tub. Keeping the tub closed with a fitting hot tub cover is essential for this.
Adding a clarifier agent is an effective way to maintain the crystal clear quality of the hot tub water. Clarifiers clump together all organic residues that make the water cloudy. They also enable effective filtration. You may need to wait for at least 12 hours to see the effect of the clarifier in clearing the hot tub water.
You may also use an anti-foam agent along with a clarifier to clear the foam in the hot tub water. But it will only suppress the process through which foam is produced. It does not fix the reason why the foam started.
One reason for the hot tub water not to be crystal clear is the presence of metal traces in the water. It may cause a green or yellow tint to the water. Adding a sequestrant agent like Metal gon will help you segregate the metal content in the water to make it crystal clear.
Why does my hot tub water look cloudy?
The primary reason for the hot tub water turning cloudy is suboptimal levels of total alkalinity and pH in the water. The presence of detergent residue from the cloths or swimsuits of the bathers or other sudsy substances like hair shampoo or fabric softeners may also cause this.
Low Chlorine or Bromine levels in the water lead to bacterial or algal growth. It also can make the water look cloudy. If the filters are not cleaned regularly, or malfunction, water in the hot tub will turn cloudy. Excessive use of fancy spa chemicals, sanitizer, or pH balancing agents may also cause cloudy water. For instance, if you are using too much anti-foam, it may turn the water appear milky in the long run.
How long does it take for cloudy hot tub water to clear?
The time required for the hot tub water to get clear depends on the cause behind its cloudiness. In case of cloudiness due to low-sanitizer levels, hyper-chlorinating the water would take 12 to 24 hours to clear it.
In case of cloudiness due to other residues like soap, body lotion, or other beauty-care products, adding a clarifier agent will help clear the water. After adding the clarifier, it may take up to 24 hours for the water to be crystal clear. In all these cases, keeping the filters running will help to get rid of the cloudiness quicker.
Can too much Chlorine cause cloudy water?
Usually, a very low amount of Chlorine in the hot tub water is a reason for cloudiness. However, excessive amounts of Chlorine or other hot tub chemicals can also cloud the water.
If you think the cloudiness of the water is due to the high chlorine content, it is always better to test the water to confirm this. If you do not have much organic residue in the water, the Chlorine will not be used up, leaving high chlorine traces in the water. It can react with the Calcium in the water to make it cloudy.
Does shock clear a cloudy hot tub?
In cases when the cloudiness is due to algal or bacterial growth, shock will clear up the hot tub water. It also helps eradicate the components created in the tub water when sanitizer reacts with the organic residue. Shock helps to revive the sanitizer content in the water. If shock is not applied to the hot tub water at least once a week, the water may turn stinky and cloudy.
Why is my hot tub cloudy after shock?
Shock is the oxidizing agent that will reactivate the sanitizer in the water by breaking down the by-products of sanitizer reacting with organic residue. It also breaks down the foreign elements in the tub water and kills any bacterial or algal growth.
Because of these reactions, the tub water may stay cloudy after adding shock for up to 20 hours. It is roughly the time needed for the shock to deal with the contaminants and the filters to filter out the remnants. In case of chlorine-based shocks, the tub water may take up to 24 hours to get clear again.
Should I shock my hot tub after refilling?
You don't need to shock the hot tub water just after refilling the tub. The major function of shock is to reenergize the sanitizer in the water. Just after a refill, since the water is pristine, the sanitizer you add to the water will sustain for a week or so. So there is no need to shock the tub water after a refill since there is no need to reactivate the sanitizer. But after a week's use, you need to shock it.