Despite their shared purpose for swimming, swimming pools and spas are quite different in every way. Unlike traditional pools, spas feature a smaller water volume kept at high temperatures, intensifying the impact of contaminants entering the water. Without adequate care, your spa will not only go cloudy but pose serious health risks to bathers.
It's crucial to understand the root causes to tackle the problem of cloudy spa water. This quick guide will help you identify the reasons behind murky spa water and give tips on restoring its quality.
The average residential spa has a water capacity of approximately 1,500 litres and maintains a temperature of 36°C to 38°C. Due to the low volume of hot water, it is crucial to maintain proper water chemistry to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria. However, cloudy spa water can be caused by several factors, including the growth of harmful bacteria.
Your spa is a magnet for all kinds of organic debris - dead leaves and grass clippings that sneak their way in. As these elements break down, your spa water can turn cloudy, especially if the water chemistry isn't on point. The key here is to ensure you have enough sanitiser to combat unwanted debris and, of course, to manually remove larger pieces to keep your circulation system in top shape. Algae can be another sneaky culprit as they thrive in poorly balanced water, so it's essential to treat and prevent algae growth.
Metals can also be part of the cloudy water equation. Sometimes, high concentrations of metals in your household water source can seep into your spa over time. This not only messes with your water chemistry but can also leave stains on your spa shell and corrode vital components.
Sanitisers are the first line of defence in maintaining safe water for swimming in pools and spas. However, when the water becomes contaminated with foreign substances like body oils, sunscreen, shampoo, and other chemicals, the sanitiser may be unable to cope with the influx of contaminants. If your spa has been frequently used lately, it's highly likely that the sanitiser levels are running low and need to be replenished.
Sometimes, the cause of cloudy spa water is right under your nose, or should we say, in your spa's filtration system. Murky water in your spa can be caused by a dirty, faulty, or misaligned filtration system, which can prevent your filter from effectively removing larger particles and debris. If your attempts to fix the issue on your own do not work, it's best to call in a technician to ensure your filtration system is functioning properly.
A chemical imbalance, similar to swimming pools, usually causes cloudy spa water. Look for these indicators:
Think of your spa water as a party where the pH level is like an uninvited guest. The pH level above 7.6 can cause issues like scale formation and weak sanitising efforts. To bring everything back into balance, consider using a pH decreaser to reach the ideal pH level between 7.4 and 7.6.
Alkalinity refers to whether your spa water is leaning towards the basic side. If your alkalinity reading is above 150 ppm, your spa water will likely form scales and become cloudy, making it challenging to maintain the pH balance. To restore balance, you can use an alkalinity decreaser to bring the alkalinity level to a range of 80-120 ppm, which is ideal for your spa water.
Calcium hardness plays a crucial role in achieving clear spa water. The ideal range for calcium hardness is between 150-400 ppm. When calcium hardness levels go beyond this range, it can cause problems such as scale buildup and cloudy water. Therefore, it's crucial to maintain the perfect balance of calcium hardness in your spa water to ensure a crystal-clear experience.
Clearing up cloudy spa water requires an understanding of the underlying causes. In this guide, we have identified the culprits responsible for the cloudiness and provided tips for restoring your spa's water quality. Whether it's unwelcome guests like algae and debris or a clogged filtration system, now you know how to fix the water in your spa or speak to your nearest pool professional.