It goes without saying that the life of an adult can be a little hectic. With deadlines at work, your kid’s afterschool activities, and household chores, it’s really no surprise that people spend their hard-earned money on installing their own private oasis in their backyard. If you’ve recently installed a spa, or you’re thinking about doing so in the near future, then it’s important for you to understand how to properly maintain your spa to make sure that it lasts for as long as possible. If you’re new to the world of spas and could use a little bit of advice, then keep reading to learn a few maintenance tips, as well as how to clean your spa when the clarity of the water becomes less than desirable.
Regular Maintenance Schedule
Like anything else in this world, your spa needs continuous maintenance in order for it to run safely and efficiently. Whether it’s a daily, weekly or monthly routine, it’s important for you to follow this maintenance schedule to keep your spa working as well as possible.
How to Maintain a Spa on a Daily Basis
- You should add a registered sanitizer after you use the spa. This will allow you to maintain the sanitizer levels of the spa, which is especially important after the tub has been used.
- Check and maintain the sanitizer levels even if your spa isn’t being used.
- Check the temperature of the water to make sure that the system isn’t having any problems.
How to Maintain a Spa on a Weekly Basis
- Test the alkalinity, sanitizer, and pH levels
- Shock the water
- Add scale and stain control
- If necessary, adjust the water pH and alkalinity as required.
- In order to reduce contaminants, wipe debris off of the water any time you see it.
- If needed, rinse and clean the filters.
- Wipe down both sides of the cover to prevent mildew and mold from developing.
How to Maintain a Spa on a Monthly Basis
- Clean the filters properly
- Make sure that all of the jets are working properly
How to Maintain a Spa on a Quarterly Basis
- Clean the pipes
- Empty and clean the spa
- Remove and install a new or clean filter
- Refill the water
- Add chemicals and test the levels
- Clean the exterior walls of the spa
Obviously, there are going to be times when you have to pay a little more attention to the water in your spa, especially if you’ve had guests over or you’ve been neglecting your maintenance schedule. If you notice that your water looks a bit cloudy, then you may have a little problem on your hands.
Why is My Spa Water Cloudy?
First off, it’s a pretty common occurrence for the water in a spa to become cloudy. While it’s not the end of the world, it is something that needs to be corrected sooner rather than later. Despite what some people think, there are a number of factors that can come into play if you’re dealing with cloudy water in your spa. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “fix-all” solution, but depending on what’s causing the cloudy appearance to present itself, there are some helpful tips that you can use to clean the water.
High Calcium Hardness, Total Alkalinity or pH
If the water in your spa is cloudy, then the chemical balance in the water may be what’s causing the problem. Before you do anything else, test your water for calcium hardness, pH levels, and alkalinity. If you live in an area where hard water is common, then calcium may just be the culprit and should be fixed accordingly.
If your calcium hardness levels are higher than 300 ppm, then you should use a chemical balancer to lower the chemical levels in your spa. If your test shows that the total alkalinity levels are higher than 150 ppm, then there may be extra carbonates in your spa. High TA levels will also cause your spa water to look cloudy because it messes with the pH level of the water. If the levels in your water are too high, then use a pH decreaser to lower the TA to around 100 ppm.
Low Sanitizer Levels
Because some people are extremely sensitive to chlorine or bromine, they tend to operate their spa with as little chemicals as possibles. While this is fine if you have other sanitizers working and your water is well-balanced, but you might have a problem on your hands if your water is still cloudy in spite of those things.
The water in spas should always have a bromine level of 2-3 ppm, and a chlorine level of 3-5ppm. If your sanitizer levels drop and you’re not using the proper chemicals, then foreign particles can wreak havoc in your water, causing organic contaminants to grow at a faster rate than they’re capable of being destroyed. Needless to say, this is something that you want to fix immediately. Using the proper amount of sanitizer should be able to eliminate the cloudy appearance of your water, but f you’re still struggling with higher or lower sanitizer levels, then you should shock your spa once a week. Also, always make sure to shock the spa after a number of people have used it or if the sanitizer levels have dropped.
There’s Air in the System
It may come as a surprise, but small particles of air or tiny bubbles can contribute to the cloudy appearance of your water. If there are bubbles coming into the returns, but your air blower and ozonator are turned off, then there might just be an air leak on the suction side of the pump, which includes anything before the circulation pump. All it takes is a loose union fitting before the pump or a loose drain plug to cause air to be pulled into the system. This can also be caused by low water levels, which can make the water look cloudy or hazy. Taking a few minutes to inspect the pipes and equipment can show if there’s an air leak and where it’s located. If there is indeed a leak before the pump, then you’ll need to fix it using a lubricant or sealant, which can be done by a novice DIYer.
Problems with Biofilm
As disgusting as it sounds, biofilm is a slimy bacteria that can grow inside of the pipes and fittings in a spa. In worse case scenarios, biofilm can cause your water to look cloudy, and there may be slimy flakes floating in the water, as well. You could even deal with the water foaming if you have a problem with biofilm. Biofilm typically forms in spas that have sat empty or unused for quite some time, but if you think that you may have this slimy substance clouding your spa, then you can try to lower the pH to 7.2. You’ll also want to use shock to raise the chlorine level above 10 ppm. Once you’ve balanced the pH of your water, then follow up the treatment by using Jet Clean to remove the deposits of biofilm. If this is something that you constantly deal with, then you can try adding an enzyme product to your weekly maintenance schedule.
Issues with Salt
More and more homeowners are choosing to use a salt system in their spa, and while it’s a nice change, salt systems tend to make people lazy when it comes to checking the levels of the water. Even though it’s saltwater, you still need to check your chlorine level on a regular basis. Spa salt cells also need to be cleaned occasionally in order to maintain the chlorine output. Also, salt can make your water look cloudy after putting it in, but it should go away once the salt has been fully dissolved. To quicken this process, run the jets on high to stir up the water more efficiently.
Avoid Body Products
While this problem is unbelievably common, it’s also entirely preventable. Everything that you put on to your body can end up in your water, which is why you’re supposed to shower before getting into the spa. The oils, detergents, and phosphates included in your body washes, lotions, and shampoos can consume the sanitizer, clog your filters, and add a bunch of nasty chemicals to your water. If you constantly have several different people in your spa, or you use it as a bathtub, which you really shouldn’t be doing anyway, then you can most definitely expect to see a change in the clarity of the water. You can add spa enzymes that help control grease and reduce sanitizer demand, but your best bet is to make sure that everyone showers before getting into your spa.
There’s no denying that at-home spas can be unbelievably relaxing, but when you have slimy, cloudy water it’s pretty hard to quiet your mind. If you’ve been struggling with cloudy water in your spa, then try to diagnose and correct the problem with one of these helpful tips. If all else fails, you can go to a pool store to ask one of the sales representatives for advice. After all, who can relax when you’re in a spa filled with biofilm?