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Why Does My Hot Tub Go Cloudy?

One of the most common questions asked by hot tub owners is, “Why does my hot tub go cloudy?”  There are many different answers to this very legitimate question so we’ve put together an article that looks at a variety of factors that may make your hot tub water look less clear than you’d like it to be.  Check this list and ask yourself if any of these things might be what’s causing your water to appear cloudy.

Imbalanced Water Chemistry

Your water chemistry needs to be properly balanced not only to keep the water clear, but also to make sure it’s clean, safe and healthy.  You need to perform a variety of water tests at least a few times a week – as often as daily if your hot tub gets a lot of use.  If levels such as calcium hardness or total alkalinity become too high, you’ll notice that solids begin to precipitate out of the water and cause it to become cloudy.  Keeping your pH levels in check is also very important for clear water.  Test your water regularly and add the necessary chemicals as recommended.

Dirty Water

It seems pretty logical that if your hot tub water is dirty it will be less clear than you’d like.  But what causes the water to get so dirty in the first place?  The main source of dirt is actually the human body.  Showering before you get into the hot tub can remove excess body oils and body product residues that can wreak havoc on the clarity of your water.  You’ll also want to make sure that you use your hot tub cover whenever the tub isn’t in use.  Airborne contaminants are often the second most common cause of dirty water.

Malfunctioning Water Filters

Your water filters need to be properly fitted and cleaned on a regular basis.  If they’re not correctly installed, they won’t be able to trap debris like they’re supposed to.  And if they become too dirty, they’ll allow as much debris through as they trap.  Use a garden hose to clean your water filters.  If they’re excessively dirty or coated in oils they may need to be cleaned with a specialized cleaning fluid.  You’ll also want to make sure they aren’t ripped or have holes that are allowing dirt to pass through.  Whether they look fine or not you should replace your water filters every year or two.

Malfunctioning Water Pump

A malfunctioning water pump can cause cloudy water problems in a variety of different ways.  If the fittings are loose or there are air leaks your water may appear cloudy even if it isn’t actually dirty.  You should also make sure to run your water pump at high speed for at least two hours every day.  Running it less frequently or at a lower speed may not allow enough water to pass through the filtering system to keep it clean.  You should also make sure the pump and impeller system are free of clogging hazards such as hair, pieces of plastic or tiny stones.

Low Sanitizer Levels

Sanitizer discourages the growth of organic materials which will make your water cloudy.  Some hot tub owners try to cut back on the amount of sanitizer they use because they feel it irritates their skin and gives off an unpleasant smell.  But you’ll need to make sure you’re using enough sanitizer so that it’s able to its job.  Cutting back too much will result in dirty, cloudy water.

Cloudy Local Water

If you’re filling your hot tub with cloudy water, it only stands to reason that your hot tub water will be cloudy.  Some local water sources are cloudy, to begin with.  That said, if your sanitizer levels are correct and water chemistry is balanced, the water should clear up after a day or two.  To prevent having to wait to find out you can attach a filter to your garden hose that will remove any particulates before they get into your tub.

To learn more about maintaining your hot tub and keeping the water clean, download a hot tub buyer’s guide.