Seeing colours in your hot tub water?

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:

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!

Cloudy Water:

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:

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.

Need to book a Service Appointment?  Or email us with any questions you may have.

posted by admin in General Hot Tub Info and have Comments (3)

Clear Up that Cloudy Water!

One of the most commonly encountered hot tub water chemistry problems that spa owners have is cloudy water. Cloudy water in a  hot tub can happen for many different reasons but these are some of the most common causes:

Bromine in Hot Tubs

Hot tubs that use bromine instead of chlorine tend to be not quite as clear even when proper water balance levels exist.  This is a result of the bromine itself.  Most people use bromine over chlorine in spas because it’s more user friendly than chlorine.  When pH and alkalinity levels are out of range, chlorine can become inactive even if there is enough chlorine in the water.  Bromine will remain active when the pH and alkalinity are out of range which makes it the easier choice for hot tub owners; even if the water isn’t as clear looking as chlorine hot tubs.

Low Sanitizer Levels

If the sanitizer level in the water drops to zero then bacteria begins to develop right away.  The hot, damp and dark conditions in a hot tub provide the perfect conditions for bacteria to flourish.  The sanitizer, chlorine or bromine, in the hot tub prevents bacteria levels from building.  If you have cloudy water in your hot tub the first thing you should check for is proper sanitizer levels.  If there is zero, or less than 1ppm of sanitizer in the spa this will likely be the cause for the cloudy water.

Plugged or Dirty Filters

There are two kinds of hot tub filters – pleated reusable filters and also disposable style filters.  The pleated style filter medium is generally 30 microns in size, where the disposable style is generally one micron.  Pleated filters require regular cleaning, which includes hosing off the filter every two weeks or so.  They also need to be soaked overnight in a filter cleaning solution every two months.  Disposable filters usually last about 3-5 months before a replacement is needed.  The cleaning and replacement of your hot tub filters is based on a general guideline.  If you use your hot tub often, the filter will require more attention.

Salt & Chemical Levels

Salt from salt water systems can make water cloudy for a few days after it’s added to the water.  This is also true for sodium based hot tub chemicals like aqua finesse or scale prevention chemicals.  High pH, high alkalinity or high sanitizer levels can also cause cloudy water.

If you have cloudy water in your hot tub it is a good idea to have your water tested with a digital testing lab. It’s more precise than test strips. Always remember to clean or replace your filter to clear or prevent cloudy water.

How often do you get cloudy water in your hot tub?

Leave a Comment!

posted by admin in Hot Tub Chemicals and have Comments (7)