Stan from Philadelphia asks: No matter what I do, my spa water is cloudy most of the time, even after I have added bromine to it. I’m getting depressed with my spa. What am I missing?
Cloudy water means turbid water—opaque or murky. You spa’s water should be clear and glistening.
So I’m assuming that your bromine reading is 2 to 3 ppms. If it’s below that, double the shock and bring the bromine reading up to 2-3 ppms. Inadequate disinfection is a common cloudy water cause.
However, I’d bet that you haven’t taken a peek at your cartridge filter for a while. I’m not psychic, but after near 40-years of hearing “My water’s cloudy no matter what! You need to fix my water now,” I’m betting on your filter’s health.
What does that mean? The filter strains your spa’s water. It traps organic wastes like your hair, skin, and other yucky body stuff. If it isn’t regularly cleaned the filter becomes your water’s most likely pollutant.
If your filter harbors a grey or brown tinge, soak that disgusting thing in a cartridge filter cleaner (a product you can find at your pool and spa store designed specifically to deep clean polyester filters) to remove the debris that is entrapped in the filter’s fibers.
Good filter maintenance requires at least a monthly soak in a cartridge filter cleaner. Rinsing your filter with a hose is okay, but not sufficient.
Your filter could also be worn out. Most filters last about two years with regular caretaking. So, if your filter’s fibers are the first thing you notice, it’s time for a new filter.
Now, if your filter maintenance rates an A+, then you need to check your TDS (total dissolved solids). 1500-ppms means drain the tub. High TDS will not allow your bromine to properly disinfect. Most hot tubs require frequent draining. It depends on the size of the tub and how often it is used.
If you have crossed off the funky filter and high TDS, then be sure to check the standards: total alkalinity and pH. See TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS AND YOUR UNRULY TEENAGE MOMENTS: TOTAL ALKALINITY & pH posted below.
Also be mindful of regular shocking.
If your spa is new to your household, you are probably using it more than you will next year. This means that your water is under more stress and requires above average attention.