How to Fix Green, Yellow, or Brown Hot Tub Water

Hot Tub Water Colors

Having a hot tub is such a rewarding experience, and it's so important to keep it clean, clear, and BLUE! This not only extends the life, but makes it a much more pleasant experience for YOU!

Did you know your water can turn green, yellow, brown, black and even PINK? Well, it can, and we're here to help educate you to why this happens and show you some troubleshooting techniques on how to get the water back to it's clean and natural state!

Hot Tub Water is Green

green-hot-tub-water

What Causes Green Hot Tub Water?

If the water is green, chances are you have algae in your water. T

How To Fix Green Hot Tub Water

Fix algae and green water with chlorine, shock, and cleaning the filter. We recommend to use SpaBoss X-lt if there are excessively high levels of chlorine or bromine. Additionally, a chemical like SpaBoss Shock will help to keep chlorine or bromine sanitizers working like they should, keeping organic matter and bacteria from building up.

If it’s green but the sides don’t feel slimy, it’s probably minerals such as copper or manganese present in the water - and adding chlorine, shock, and cleaning the filter is also a good step to take in solving the problem.

For tackling green spa water, first test the water with test strips to see where the total hardness, total chlorine or bromine, pH, alkalinity, and free chlorine levels are.

If you use a bromine system, make sure you’re testing for that, too. This is how you know what to adjust. Keeping these levels in appropriate ranges will help prevent unwanted effects like horrible smells, colors, scums, and more.

Once you’ve tested the water with test strips, you’ll know what adjustments you need to make to keep levels within the correct range by using items like Spa Boss Non-Chlorine Shock.

Hot Tub Water is Yellow

What Causes Yellow Hot Tub Water?

Yellow hot tub water is caused by yellow algae. It can appear and multiply in super small crevices in your hot tub - so it is hard to prevent sometimes. It can even show up even when your chlorine and bromine levels are normal!

If you know it's not algae, it could be from excepts pollen (especially in the spring.) If your cover has been off of your spa, this may be the case.

How To Fix Yellow Hot Tub Water

In order to fix yellow hot tub water you need to use a high concentration/level of chlorine spa shock. First, turn off your spa heater and balance your hot tub water. Circulate the water for a few hours (without the cover on.) Continue to shock the spa until it holds the proper sanitizer levels.

After it is shocked, drain and scrub your spa with bleach and water and replace the spa filter.

Please note, if you are on a well water system, the yellow water could be iron oxide - and you'll be able to tell because the spa will turn yellow after shocking it.  You can use a metal control product called Spa Metal Free to help with this!

Hot Tub Water is Brown

Hot Tub with Brown Water

What Causes Brown Hot Tub Water?

Brown hot tub water is less than ideal in your spa, and there are a few things that can cause it. First, it may occur due to high levels of minerals in your spa, like iron oxide (mentioned above as well as it can cause yellow water as well). Again, if it occurs within hours of shocking your spa or making pH adjustments, it may be the case.

Contaminated fill water can also cause your spa water to turn brown - as some municipal water supplies scrape the bottom of the barrel and a lot of matter can infiltrate the water supply.

How To Fix Brown Hot Tub Water

If your hot tub water turned brown after shocking it, your filter cartridge should remove some of it - but you can also add a type of sequestering agent such as Spa Metal Free to help.

If you think it could have been from the contaminated fill water - use a pre-filter attachment on your garden hose when initially filling up your spa. This will help remove particles from your water before even entering your spa!

Hot Tub Water is White

Hot Tub with White Water

What Causes White Hot Tub Water?

When it comes to your hot tub turning white, it will turn more so a milky color (not white like the color of bubbles that normally form). If this happens to your spa, there are quite a few reasons why it could be happening.

  1. Contaminants such as lotions cosmetics, hair products
  2. High calcium hardness or total alkalinity
  3. Filtering or pumping system that isn't working
  4. Air in the internal spa system which causes micro-bubbles.
  5. White mold (if the milky texture is in clumps and clusters this may be it).

How To Fix White Hot Tub Water

If your spa has cloudy, milky white water, there is an easy process to fix the water. It can be treated with a combination of super-chlorination, running the spa for a number of hours, clearing out the jets and then ultimately draining the water.

Replacing the spa filters and rinsing out removable items (head pillows, etc.) with bleach is a highly recommended as well.

Hot Tub Water is Pink

Hot Tub with Pink Water

What Causes Pink Hot Tub Water?

Pink hot tub water is typically caused by pink algae, which is closely related to white mold referenced above. It is a form of bacteria but it has characteristics like algae. This algae actually won't turn your spa water pink, it will exist on top of the water.

How To Fix Pink Hot Tub Water

Treating pink hot tub water is very similar to treating white mold - and it's not the easiest to get rid of. However, if you hit it hard with shock (using over 30ppm) and an enzymatic purge type product to clean the lines, it definitely can eradicate the bacteria.

After the above, be sure to soak all spa items in a bleach solution, and replace your spa filter.

Hot Tub Water is Black

What Causes Black Hot Tub Water?

If you open your hot tub cover and find the hue is anything less than crystal - let's say, BLACK, there are a few reasons that could be happening. Algae, mold, and mildew being 3 of the main components.

How To Fix Black Hot Tub Water

To maintain the best environment in a hot tub, many complex elements must be kept in balance: hardness, pH, alkalinity, temperature, etc. If any of these are out of order, your hot tub experience could be unpleasant.

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Colored hot tub water is totally a normal occurrence to happen in your spa! So don't fret, now you're equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to use to fix the situation when it happens! Keeping your water balanced and sanitized is definitely something that will keep your hot tub water clean and clear - so keep in mind that daily/weekly/yearly maintenance of your spa is of utmost importance!