Hot Tub Troubleshoot: Cloudy Hot Tub Water


Water quality is important for any hot tub owner. Spa water should be the perfect temperature, free of any unpleasant smell, and should most certainly be clear. If cloudy hot tub water plagues your spa and it is frequently hazy, try a few of these tips and see if the problem resolves itself.

Murky or cloudy hot tub water doesn’t always have a clear-cut culprit. You’ll have to do a bit of troubleshooting to figure out what’s causing it in your own spa, but we can definitely point out some of the usual suspects.

Fill Water

You may live in a place that has mineral rich fill water. If this is the case, add a pre-filter to your hose so that it catches all of the major contaminants that may make the water both difficult to balance and cloudy once your hot tub is filled. If you start out with cleaner water, you’ll have to fuss with it much less.

Water Chemistry

If you don’t frequently test your water or keep your hot tub water properly balanced, cloudy hot tub water could be the result. Remember, there are three aspects of water chemistry you should always keep your eye on—pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. If any of these are out of whack, simply adjust each until the levels are where they should be. If they’re adjusted and you still have a clouding problem, it’s time to check elsewhere for the issue.

Hot Tub Filter

The next thing to examine is your hot tub filter. If your filter is clogged or dirty, it may not be doing its job to filter out the particles that it would normally catch. Filters require cleaning every 4-6 weeks by removing them and hosing them off, preferably letting them soak overnight in a bucket of filter cleaner. This will remove any build-up of grease and make it so that water will freely pass through the filter and trap even small contaminants, keeping your water clear.

Clarifying Agent

If you have done both of the above steps and still find yourself getting into chalky, cloudy hot tub water, consider using a clarifying agent to remedy the problem. These work by bonding small particles together that may be too fine to be caught in the filter so they can be sorted out once in circulation.

It’s recommended that you use some kind of clarifier once a week as part of your regular hot tub maintenance and to ensure your water stays clear at all times.

To use a clarifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle. With a liquid, you’ll typically add 2 ounces per 500 gallons with the circulation running as a part of a regular cleaning routine. If you’re trying to get rid of a cloudy water problem, double the dosage. You are welcome to use your hot tub immediately after adding a clarifying agent.

Clarifiers are compatible with chlorine, bromine, and biguanide sanitation systems.


If you use a pre-filter on your hose, take care of your hot tub water chemistry, keep the filter clean, and use a clarifier regularly, you shouldn’t be faced with cloudy hot tub water. If you have done all of the above and can’t seem to improve your plight, consider making a call to your local hot tub dealer.

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