Hot tub first aid – how to diagnose and correct common issues

You love your hot tub. It’s relaxing. It’s rejuvenating. It can help you heal. It can help you get a better night’s sleep. All in all, it’s one of your favorite ways to spend your free time. It was an investment in you, and worth every penny.

Of course, it does require maintenance to keep it in top operating condition. Under normal conditions, it really only takes a few minutes a week to keep the water clean and clear, but there are times when, for a variety of reasons, things can get out of balance and your hot tub just isn’t feeling its best. Use these handy hints to help quickly diagnose the issue.

A Chemical Odor

If your hot tub has a chemical scent, you probably have a build up of sanitizer in your spa water. Follow the directions of your spa water care system to correct this issue.

A Musty Odor

If the scent is more of a musty odor, there isn’t enough sanitizer in the water. Follow the directions of your spa water care system to correct this issue.

Stinky Water

You can probably tell that your nose can be a pretty good guide when it comes to potential issues with your hot tub, and it won’t lead you astray here, either. If your water just smells bad, it’s likely bacteria – even if the water looks clear and clean. Test strips can help you figure out what’s up.

Green Water

Eww, right? If your water has a high pH or is low on sanitizer, algae may thrive. Adjust the pH levels of your water using your spa care system, and then add chlorine or bromine – whichever you use – and you’ll have clear water before you know it.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water often indicates an issue with your filter. Look to see if it’s loose, or if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. If the filter is OK, then the water may just have too many chemicals in it. Water clarifier from your spa care system should help “clear” things up!


Detergent residue from your swimsuit, body oils, lotion and soap residue – they can all combine to make the dreaded Hot Tub Foam. A defoamer may resolve the problem. Sanitizer can help, too. If the foam is bad, you might have to drain your hot tub, scrub it down, and refill it.

Of course, you can always bring a water sample in for testing, too. We’ll diagnose the problem, and give you the prescription you need to help your hot tub feel better again.