I often hear my clients speaking about hues and colour apparent in the hot tub water, which can relate to the water quality in the hot tub. This blog post will discuss some of the more common occurrences, potential causes of coloured water, and how to rectify the situation.
Green water is normally caused by two things and is likely to be a result of: 1) Not enough sanitizer or 2) too much sanitizer. At first signs the water may appear to have a slightly green hue but still be relatively clear. This is a precursor to a more prevalent green water situation that is surely right around the corner unless you make corrections to the water. If you notice that your water is beginning to look green, and you can not determine with your test strips what the problem may be; bring your water into a water lab for testing right away before the problem gets worse. Green water, whether from too much or too little sanitizer is a pretty clear indication that you should not use the hot tub. Too much sanitizer can result in dry and itchy skin, red eyes and possible coughing. Green water from a lack on sanitizer in the water is much more serious and can have some very serious health ramifications ranging from follicular dermatitis to legionnaires disease in the most extreme of cases. Use your test strips to check the sanitizer levels in your hot tub to see if you have too much or too little sanitizer. It’s important to pay close attention to these tests, but note that if you have too much sanitizer in the hot tub water – it can actually bleach your test strips giving the appearance that you need to add more sanitizer. When in doubt have your water professionally tested!
Not exactly a colour, but cloudy water is extremely common in hot tubs. This is often a precursor to green water and a check of your sanitizer levels should point out any potential problems. Cloudy water can also be a result of plugged or dirty filters, as well as pH being too far outside of the ideal range. As with any water condition, even once you have fixed the balance in the water it may take 1-3 days for the water to clear up completely. Be sure to maintain the water within the ideal range during these periods.
Yellow water is uncommon. If you have just filled your tub and the water is yellow, the water supply that you are using is not pure and you should use a pre-filter the future when filling your hot tub from this supply. If the water in your spa is not new, but a yellow water condition suddenly occurs, this is likely due to the water being very acidic (low pH). This could be a result of adjusting the pH down when the alkalinity in the spa is at zero. With the alkalinity out of the ideal range then you can have large and wild variations in your pH as well as unpredictable results when adjusting the water. Always be sure to adjust the alkalinity first when balancing your hot tub water.
Orange / Red Water:
Orange or red water is a result of copper or iron in the water supply. If you have this problem after filling your hot tub, use a charcoal pre-filter in the future when filling as this will remove most of these contaminants from the water. If you have orange or red water in the hot tub, the only product that can get rid of it is a stain and scale remover which is specifically designed to remove metal content from the water. This product will also help to remove red or orange scum lines that can form in the hot tub as a result of the metal content in the water.
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