The times, they are a-changing…and your hot tub water might be too
June 28, 2019 – For years at Olympic, we’ve been graced with a region that has, for the most part, water ideally set up for hot tub success. The newer water care systems that have been in place at Olympic for the last 10+ years work wonderfully with softer water like most of us enjoy here. So many of my friends from around the country that are fellow Hot Spring dealers are always so envious of the water in our region.
Well, as the heading on my blog mentions, we’re discovering that there are some new changes to our water tables, as well as how municipalities are treating the water in our region in various areas. This is leading to changes to source water like we’ve not experienced in the past. As hot tub owners, you should be aware of these shifts and take steps to empower yourself with some extra knowledge should you experience something different with your hot tub’s water.
One of the main things that seems to be a bigger issue these days revolves around phosphates. Phosphates in general are harmless and found in many household products. Detergents, shampoo, lotions, and makeup can all have some phosphates as part of their ingredients. Many water treatment facilities will introduce phosphates when they discover plumbing lines aging to protect them against rusting and deterioration.
In many cases, if the phosphates reach a certain level in your hot tub (especially if you’re using a tub with a salt system) you could see your water get slightly cloudy and/or green. At this range, it will be hard to retain a good chlorine level available for sanitizing, as phosphates will eat that sanitizer right up. Sometimes folks will think their salt system isn’t producing sanitizer, when in fact there’s simply a phosphate level that’s high enough to prevent a consistent sanitizer level.
There are a couple of great products that can easily keep this in bay and help keep your water crystal clear. One that we like very much at Olympic is made by Natural Chemistry. Cleanse Weekly is a product with two key ingredients: a natural clarifier that will help brighten your water and keep it clear; a phosphate remover that will keep those pesky phosphates in check and prevent that greenish tint while allowing your sanitizer to be maintained. Adding a small amount of this every week is a great proactive way to keep your water clean and clear.
If you see significant phosphates as an ongoing issue for you, a Phosphate Remover may be in order. A small amount of this will normally address the presence of higher phosphates.
If you see a brownish or yellowish tint to your water, you may be experiencing some aging plumbing in your own house and some rust making its way from your water to the tub. This type of response can also occur when you are on a well. One way to circumvent this issue altogether is to employ a pre-filter when filling your hot tub. Adding one of these to your garden hose will filter out any suspended solids, but also helps immeasurably with metals, minerals, rust and manganese. It’s a smart thing to use, as it will keep those metals and minerals from being introduced to your hot tub altogether.
If your tub has an ozone system in it (that’s working and doing its job!), it will help oxidize these metals and minerals out of your water and clear it up. You might see a ring at the waterline that can be easily cleaned off with a sponge that’s safe for use on the shell of your tub. If this is a regular issue for you, many of our customers will actually have a set of filters they use specifically for their start up. They’ll use those to get their tub up and running, then remove that set and put in a different one for ongoing soaks.
There is also a product that will help address metals in your water that can help. Stain & Scale Control is terrific to help bind those foreign products up and get them captured in your filter or pushed to the waterline too. Again, once you’ve used that product, a sponge for the waterline and a good filter cleaning will likely be needed.
It would be smart to get in the habit of testing your water right before you’re ready to drain & refill your hot tub. A lot of things can impact your water these days—from the temperature and what might end up coming off your own plumbing lines as a result, to what a municipality might do to treat your water at one point, to the water table slightly changing due to excess rain. You’ll be in a much better position to make any adjustments to your startup if you know the status of your water before you start the drain & fill!
Hopefully these few little tips will shed light on some things you might see that you’ve never encountered before with your hot tub water. If something is different, don’t despair! Your local hot tub dealer (or us if we’re your hot tub company!) will do our best to make things crystal clear.
Author: Don Riling
Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 27 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through water.