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Thread: cloudy spa water for a week now

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    cloudy spa water for a week now

    So I am on my second month with the new tub. The first month I learned about Dichlor overuse and suffered issues with high CYA. I drained and refilled the tub 3 weeks ago and everything was fine until this week. The water went cloudy on me and I cannot get it back. I have shocked it with MPS several times over the last few days but no luck. Here are my current readings:

    FC 5
    TC 5.4
    PH 7.8
    TA 60
    CYA 24
    CH 255

    I have also put in a new filter 2 days ago. I am adding bleach daily to keep FC at 3-5ppm and have been shocking with MPS weekly now every 2 days trying to get the water to clear again. I also add scale inhibitor weekly. I am totally confused as to why the water is cloudy as it smells fresh. I did notice this morning that it looked a little better when I first opened the cover but after an hour or two with the cover off it became completely cloudy again. Water in this thing has been a battle compared to the pool. How can I get 3 months between fills when I cannot seem to keep the water clear for even 3 weeks? We use the tub with 4 people about 3 times/week for about a half hour per use and I always add bleach after each use.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to note that it is set for 4 2-hour filter cycles per day currently. Water temp is between 100 and 102.

    Thanks,

    JD
    20x44 IG with vinyl liner - 34,000 Gal.
    AutoPilot SWG
    Coverpool auto cover
    Hayward 1.5HP Northstar pump
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter w/glass media
    Raypak Digital 250K BTU heater
    Arctic Tundra Ultra Spa

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Well, if I had to take a shot....and bump this thread...

    with temps that high, I would add a 2 hour cycle to your timer.

    I would lower your PH, as your CH over 200 and a higher PH could be contributing to the cloudy water.

    Try shocking overnight with bleach instead of MPS for a night and see if that does the trick? (Ignore the PH test result if you test and your FC is over 10 from shocking with bleach.)

    Hopefully if I'm offbase a more knowledgable party will chime in and offer better advice.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    In the Industry

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    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Why do you have CYA at all? Do you not keep the spa covered when not in use? (unless shocking, of course. . .)

    pH is high, yes, and the TA is low (common problem in spas). Do try to lower the pH a bit. If you're using dry acid, try switching to muriatic (diluted).

    What is in the "scale inhibitor" and why do you use it? Your water isn't terribly hard. . .

    I would second FPM's suggestion to try shocking w/bleach instead of MPS. Not sure why you've been using MPS. . .?
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Well, if I had to take a shot....and bump this thread...

    with temps that high, I would add a 2 hour cycle to your timer.

    I would lower your PH, as your CH over 200 and a higher PH could be contributing to the cloudy water.

    Try shocking overnight with bleach instead of MPS for a night and see if that does the trick? (Ignore the PH test result if you test and your FC is over 10 from shocking with bleach.)

    Hopefully if I'm offbase a more knowledgable party will chime in and offer better advice.
    Thanks for the info. I have left the PH on the high side since my TA has been very low. I will lower it a bit into the midrange with some MA. I will also shock overnight with some bleach tonite.

    Thanks again,

    JD
    20x44 IG with vinyl liner - 34,000 Gal.
    AutoPilot SWG
    Coverpool auto cover
    Hayward 1.5HP Northstar pump
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter w/glass media
    Raypak Digital 250K BTU heater
    Arctic Tundra Ultra Spa

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    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Quote Originally Posted by giulietta1
    Why do you have CYA at all? Do you not keep the spa covered when not in use? (unless shocking, of course. . .)

    pH is high, yes, and the TA is low (common problem in spas). Do try to lower the pH a bit. If you're using dry acid, try switching to muriatic (diluted).

    What is in the "scale inhibitor" and why do you use it? Your water isn't terribly hard. . .

    I would second FPM's suggestion to try shocking w/bleach instead of MPS. Not sure why you've been using MPS. . .?
    I have CYA so that I can keep some sort of chlorine residual since I am using bleach and I do keep it covered when not in use. If there is no CYA in the water how do you maintain any FC residual? I also have an ozonator which also drives the FC to zero which was another reason for the CYA.

    I will lower PH today and I have been using muriatic acid to control PH.

    The scale inhibitor came with the spa kit and is recommended by my Arctic dealer. I received Arctic spa chem's with the purchase and none of their chemicals have any labeling with regard to ingredients so I do not know what is in it. The product is called "Best Defense" and the label indicates the following: "removes metals and minerals, protects equipment, is a multi-purpose liquid concentrate which eliminates staining and scale formation. Best Defense acts as a flocculate to keep the spa/hot tub water sparkling clear."

    Not sure it is doing much at this point regarding the sparkling clear part but I have been using it because I have it. At this point I do not intend to purchase any in the future as I will most likely stick with Bleach, MA, Baking Soda and MPS for non-chlorine shocking. Again, I have been using MPS weekly as perscribed by my dealer and the weekly maintenance guide supplied by Arctic. If I should not be using MPS weekly (or when the spa is in need of shocking) I would appreciate any comments in regard to this.

    Thanks for all of the input and I will keep you posted,

    JD
    20x44 IG with vinyl liner - 34,000 Gal.
    AutoPilot SWG
    Coverpool auto cover
    Hayward 1.5HP Northstar pump
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter w/glass media
    Raypak Digital 250K BTU heater
    Arctic Tundra Ultra Spa

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Guest

    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Try shocking with chlorine weekly or as needed (when the spa looks cloudy or dull or testing indicated it needs it). I think you might find it's more effective in an outdoor spa exposed to sunlight.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    I checked the water this morning and it was a bit less cloudy. Not quite as cloudy but still not clear like I would like it to be. I added another filtration cycle yesterday and added 1 oz. of MA. My new numbers are:

    FC 3.05
    TC 3.55
    PH 7.7
    TA 60
    CH 285
    CYA 23

    Since my PH did not move I added another 2oz. of MA this morning and will check PH again tomorrow. I will take your advice and shock with Bleach when needed instead of MPS.

    Thanks again for the advice,

    JD
    20x44 IG with vinyl liner - 34,000 Gal.
    AutoPilot SWG
    Coverpool auto cover
    Hayward 1.5HP Northstar pump
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter w/glass media
    Raypak Digital 250K BTU heater
    Arctic Tundra Ultra Spa

  8. Back To Top    #8

    In the Industry

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    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Bleach (chlorine) is a stronger oxidizer than MPS, and it's cheaper too. You CAN use the MPS, but the bleach might do a better job at clearing up the water.

    I don't think you really need the scale inhibitor. Enzyme treatments are good in a hot tub, tho. Spa Perfect is one such; there are other brands, such as Scum Buster which I use. These help "digest" organic wastes and reduce the formation of CC's.

    Ahh. . . an ozonator. I don't really know much about those, but if using CYA keeps it from knocking out the chlorine, that sounds like the way to go!

    CYA is usually used in outdoor pools to protect the chlorine from UV radiation. If your spa is kept covered for most or all of the sunlit hours, CYA is not needed in the spa for that purpose. (But as I said, if it protects your chlorine from the ozonator, then I understand why you DO use it.)

    Borax is a nice additive to a spa or pool, and can help stabilize your pH too. Very helpful in a spa where rising pH is a constant issue!
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    Alfred Beachport's Avatar
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    How's that water level?

    Just wanted to mention, I've had a spa for a couple of months, and one of the things that took me by surprise was a "cloudiness" that happened whenever I ran the pump.

    Turned out to be air. Even with the air control cranked shut, and the blower off, if the water level gets a little low, my 1HP DuraGlas will start sucking air through the skimmer. Not quite cavitating, so I can't hear the pump straining, but if I look into the strainer pot through the clear lid, I can see little air bubbles in the flow.

    I don't necessarily think that the OP's problem is air. I suspect that spa design has progressed enough in the last 25 years that this is less likely, but it is one of the possibilities.

    It looks just like when sometimes I'd run a glass of water in my mother's Los Angeles townhouse, and it would be so cloudy you couldn't see through it. Air. Needed about 5 minutes of settling to clear up.

    So I've learned to keep a close eye on the water level. It's easy for it to lose a few gallons due to bather mass. In my olde schoole hotte tubbe with its FAS100 clone skimmer, anyway.
    Cheers, Erik
    ----
    320 gallon Beachport San Clemente octagonal fiberglass spa, RayPak Versa 155B heater, Pentair Whisperflo WFE-4 1HP pump, Sta-Rite 100TX cartridge filter, Len Gordon FF1000 controller, Mariah blower
    Pristine Blue with 30ppm borax, bleach and MPS shock

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Water is now clear

    After a week of cloudiness the water has finally cleared back up. Granted, we have not used the spa the last couple of days but it has cleared up

    Current numbers

    FC - 1.4
    TC - 1.75
    PH - 7.6
    TA - 58
    CH - 225
    CYA - 23

    I will add a touch of chlorine to bring that back into range and I should be good to go. I will also begin shocking with bleach and leave the MPS out of my routine for a couple of weeks to see how that goes.

    Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread with ideas and suggestions. You have all been very helpful.

    Best Regards,

    JD
    20x44 IG with vinyl liner - 34,000 Gal.
    AutoPilot SWG
    Coverpool auto cover
    Hayward 1.5HP Northstar pump
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter w/glass media
    Raypak Digital 250K BTU heater
    Arctic Tundra Ultra Spa

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
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    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Quote Originally Posted by giulietta1
    CYA is usually used in outdoor pools to protect the chlorine from UV radiation. If your spa is kept covered for most or all of the sunlit hours, CYA is not needed in the spa for that purpose. (But as I said, if it protects your chlorine from the ozonator, then I understand why you DO use it.)
    I know this is an older post, but didn't see a correction for this info in this thread. You should have some CYA in a spa and in an indoor pool because CYA doesn't just protect chlorine from breakdown from sunlight. It also moderates the chlorine level significantly. If you don't use any CYA, then you will be over-chlorinating which in hot tubs breaks down the hot tub cover faster and outgasses chlorine faster while in both pools and spas it will degrade swimsuits faster and be harsher on skin and hair. Of course, one doesn't want to overdo it with the CYA. 20-30 ppm in these situations is usually enough.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: cloudy spa water for a week now

    Richard,
    Thanks for adding the correction. I have not been perusing the threads for some time as I have not had any issues with the tub. I refill and use Dichlor to get the CYA to 20 and then it has been smooth sailing using MA to keep the PH in range and adding bleach to keep the chlorine in range. I do not use MPS at all. I have noticed that cleaning the filter on a regular basis has the most effect on keeping consistently good water quality. We have had the tub for a year now and really enjoy it. Just summarized the pool this week and started up the pumps - looks like winter is finally loosening its grip on Minnesota. This has been a long one!
    Take care and Thanks,
    JD
    20x44 IG with vinyl liner - 34,000 Gal.
    AutoPilot SWG
    Coverpool auto cover
    Hayward 1.5HP Northstar pump
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter w/glass media
    Raypak Digital 250K BTU heater
    Arctic Tundra Ultra Spa

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