Troubleshooting water quality problems


Problem
Probable causes
Possible solutions
Cloudy water
  • Dirty filter
  • Excessive oils or organic matter
  • Improper sanitization
  • Suspended particles or organic matter
  • Overused or old water

  • Clean the filter
  • Shock the spa water
  • Add sanitizer
  • Adjust pH and/or alkalinity to recommended ranges
  • Drain and refill the spa
Water odor
  • Excessive organics in water
  • Improper sanitization
  • Low pH

  • Shock the spa water
  • Add sanitizer
  • Adjust pH or alkalinity to recommended ranges
Chlorine odor
  • Chloramine level too high
  • Low pH
  • Shock the spa water
  • Adjust pH or alkalinity to recommended ranges
Musty odor
  • Bacteria or algae growth
  • Shock the spa water. If problem is visible or persistent, drain, clean and refill the spa.
Organic build-up /scum ring around spa
  • Buildup of oils and dirt
  • Wipe off scum with a clean rag. If problem is severe, drain the spa, use a spa surface and tile cleaner to remove the scum and refill the spa.
Algae growth
  • High pH
  • Low sanitizer level
  • Shock the spa water
  • Adjust pH or alkalinity to recommended ranges
Eye irritation
  • Low pH
  • Low sanitizer level
  • Adjust pH
  • Shock the spa water and raise sanitizer level to normal
Skin irritation or rash
  • Unsanitary water
  • Free chlorine level above 5 ppm
  • Shock the spa water and maintain sanitizer level
  • Allow free chlorine level to drop below 5 ppm before spa use
Stains
  • Total alkalinity and/or pH too low
  • High iron or copper in source water
  • Adjust total alkalinity and/or pH
  • Use a stain and scale inhibitor
Scale
  • High calcium content in water – total alkalinity and pH too high
  • Adjust total alkalinity and pH – if scale requires removal, drain the spa, scrub off the scale, refill the spa and balance the water
  • Use a stain and scale inhibitor