Standing on the steps of your swim spa, your brain starts going through the options. You could quickly close the cover and pretend that you didn’t notice the cloudy swim spa water. Or, you could turn on the jets and set the LED lighting to turquoise and pretend that the water looks perfect. Another option is to add capful after capful of chlorine and hope for the best.
But, deep down, you know the only way to tackle your cloudy swim spa water is to break out the test strips and get to work.
Cloudy spa water can be frustrating and seem daunting to remedy. However, with a deep breath, patience, and the right products, you can get back to swimming through the crystal, clear water of your swim spa.
Swim Spa Filtration
Master Spas swim spas feature a mineral filtration system that takes advantage of natural elements to keep your water clean. The EcoPur system takes advantage of minerals, including copper and zinc, to rid your water of contaminants while using fewer chemicals.
During the filtration cycles, the water will move through the filter elements. Clean water will return to the spa while bacteria, dirt, and other elements will get caught in the pleats of the filter fabric.
Master Spas swim spas have multiple filter elements, with the number depending on the size of your swim spa.
The EcoPur Charge element, which will be at the core of one filter, creates an electro-chemical reaction to eliminate microorganisms and remove heavy metals.
Cloudy Spa Water Causes
Cloudy swim spa water might be one problem but there is not one underlying cause. High alkalinity, low sanitizer, poor filtration and old spa water can be to blame if your water looks more murky than inviting.
Keeping an eye on your total alkalinity is important when keeping spa chemicals balanced. When measuring between 100 and 150 ppm, the alkalinity will help keep your pH balanced. But when the total alkalinity is high, your sanitizer is not as effective as it should be. The result is cloudy swim spa water.
What causes the total alkalinity to spike? It could be your source error or adding too many chemicals. However, many people will find that it’s the things you don’t realize you’re adding to the water — sweat, sunscreen, body and hair care products, etc.
Rinsing and cleaning your filters should be a part of your swim spa water care routine. If there is dirt and contaminants caught in your filters, they cannot keep the water clean. If your filters are clean, you might also consider insufficient filtration. Check the settings on your swim spa to see how long your filter cycles are running. You can increase the duration of the filter cycles if you are struggling with cloudy swim spa water.
Too Much Clarifier
A pool and spa clarifier can be used as a quick fix for cloudy, hazy, or dull swim spa water. The clarifier will help small particles bind together so that they can be caught in the filter. However, if you use a clarifier too frequently, it can make the water cloudy. Be judicious when using it.
Solutions for Cloudy Swim Spa Water
Clearing up swim spa water does not have to be daunting. Once you can identify the culprit, you can take appropriate action.
Balance the Chemicals
Check your total alkalinity and pH levels using a test strip. Remember: If your total alkalinity is out of range, the pH level will be more volatile and the sanitizer will not be as effective. Cloudy swim spa water typically means that your total alkalinity is high and you will need to add a pH decreaser. Be sure to add the spa chemicals with the jets on, air valves off, and the cover off.
Check the Filters
Master Spas recommends rinsing your filters once a week and doing a “deeper” clean once a month, soaking the filter elements overnight. Cleaning the filters can help get rid of any gunk that builds up in the folds of the fabric, making it harder to maintain clean, clear water. You can also use a cleaning tool, which resembles a plastic rake and attaches to a garden hose, to get between the pleats of the filter.
Shock the Water
A proper sanitizer level will help destroy the particles that are causing the cloudy water. After balancing your spa chemicals, add a non-chlorine shock to the water. You should shock your water at least once a week or with increased use.
Drain and Refill Swim Spa
Does it feel like you have tried and tried and tried again to fix your cloudy water? And it still looks cloudy? It’s time to drain your swim spa and refill it with clean water, which will give you a fresh start. Evaporation can cause the build-up of suspended solids in your water, and it will make it harder to keep the water crystal clear. Master Spas recommends that you drain your swim spa water every six months. However, this is only a guideline. Factors like frequent use and bather load (how many people use the spa) can affect the water quality.
Follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual for draining and refilling your swim spa. Be sure, too, to use a pre-filter and sequestering agent when filling your swim spa. It will help you get started on the right foot.
Prevent Cloudy Water
The best way to fix cloudy spa water is to avoid it all together. Some days, this might seem easier said than done. However, there are some things you can do to make enjoying your swim spa even easier.
Rinse off before getting into the swim spa. Anything on your skin can affect the quality of your water. And the 30 seconds you spend in the shower is worth the time it takes to remedy spa water issues.
Wear a rash guard. It’s important to protect your skin on the brightest of days. However, sunscreen can take your water from clear to murky in one session. A rash guard will protect your skin from harmful rays while maintaining balanced water.
Swimsuit care. It’s easy to toss swimsuits in the wash with the rest of the laundry but residual soap in the fabric can cloud your water. Rinse your swimsuits and hang them to dry. And, maybe most importantly, only wear appropriate swim attire in the spa. No street clothes or workout wear!
Follow a regular water care routine. Create a maintenance schedule and stick to it. The best way to prevent cloudy water, and other water issues, is to stay on top of the care of your swim spa. Check the chemical levels, balancing as necessary; rinse the filters; and use a spa vacuum.