Water smells

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Expert Advice: How To Remove Obnoxious Hot Tub Smells

Do you have a smelly hot tub? Don't worry; you're not alone. A lot of people face this problem every year. But don't fret; we're here to help get your hot tub clean.

We want to help you get your hot tub smelling fresh and clean again and do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. That's why we've put together this guide to help you remove the foul odor from your hot tub. Read our guide now and start enjoying your hot tub again!

What Causes Hot Tub Water Smells?

When it comes down to it, the warm environment of hot tubs is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause bad smells. Luckily, with regular maintenance, we can ensure your spa water and filtration system can prevent a pungent smell.

Hot tubs with smelly water often result from low sanitizer levels, inadequate pH management, or a dirty spa filter. Additionally, suppose your hot tub water smells bad like chemicals. In that case, the water chemistry may have too much sanitizer, such as chlorine.

What could cause your hot tub water to smell bad? Here are the most common causes:

  • Your water chemistry is off: either the pH level is too high or too low.
  • Sanitizer or hot tub chemicals are not right
  • There is biofilm in your hot tub water
  • Sediment or bacteria built up in your hot tub cover, filter, or pipes.

Let's discuss each of these in more detail.

1. The Hot Tub Water Chemistry isn't right.

You need to understand your proper water chemistry. Many people don't realize that the pH levels of their hot tub water can affect how the water smells. If the pH level is too high, there will be too much chlorine in the water, and it will smell like chemicals. If the pH level becomes too low, there won't be enough chlorine in the water, and it will smell dirty.

If the water is smelling, then in most cases, you are smelling contamination due to low chlorine.

Fix Sanitizer Levels to Rebalance Water Chemistry

The non-chlorine shock will break down oils but will not kill bacteria/contamination; it helps the chlorine to work better, so it works great in conjunction with chlorine.If we assume that you are using a sanitizer (chlorine or bromine), it is not working. It would be advisable to use chlorine shock (calcium hypochlorite) in case you are not using chlorine at all. This type of chlorine surely works fast, but it can be gone quickly, too, if you have not used that specific sanitizer. 

You should have to add some and then measure....most of the time, we notice that people will have to use more on it, and after that, if the chlorine present there now dissipates within some minutes or an hour or even quicker.

Don't be worried about using some more because it will kill off contamination in the hot tub; that is perfect, but otherwise, it would be on the opposite left, and you could measure it. You need to check and measure some free chlorine after some hours to be sure you are getting there.

How to Fix the Water Chemistry

Check the pH and sanitizer levels if the water in your spa or hot tub smells musty or stale. Most of the time, we notice that you'll find that at least one of these is not correct. Use a pH test kit or chlorine test strips to check the levels and adjust as needed.

  • When the pH level is off, most sanitizers won't work correctly. 
  • Set it between 7.2 and 7.6 and then correct the sanitizer value.
  • Run the pumps and wait a little while. The problem will most likely be solved.
  • At the proper Ph levels, don't be afraid to use a bit more sanitizer than usual because there is probably a small amount of contamination that needs to be dealt with.
  • Sometimes it can also be the filter that caused the clean smell and replaced it regularly.

2. Sanitizer or hot tub chemicals are not right.

Sanitizers and hot tub chemicals are critical to cleanse and disinfect surfaces. If the sanitizer or hot tub chemicals are incorrect, it can also cause your hot tub water to smell bad, such as strong chlorine smells. For example, if there is too much chlorine in the water, it will smell like chemicals.

If the water smells, then in most cases, you are smelling contamination due to low chlorine. The non-chlorine shock will break down oils but will not kill contamination; it helps the chlorine to work better, so it works great in conjunction with chlorine.

How to re-balance chemical levels

If we assume that you are using a sanitizer (chlorine or bromine), it is not working. It would be advisable for some specialists to use chlorine shock (calcium hypochlorite) first in case you are not using chlorine at all.

This kind of chlorine will work fast, but it can be gone quickly, in case you have not been adding that particular sanitizer. You should use some and to measure and.most likely, you will have to add more if the chlorine dissipates in an hour or can dissipate even quicker.

Don't be afraid to add some more because it will kill off contamination in the hot tub (otherwise, it would be left, and you could measure it).

3. There is biofilm in your hot tub water.

If you've noticed that your hot tub water isn't as crystal clear as it used to be, you likely have biofilm in your water. Biofilm is a narrow & thin layer of bacteria and other organisms that forms on the surface of objects in the water.

While biofilm is not harmful, it can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and other contaminants. Fortunately, you can take a few & very easy steps to get rid of biofilm in your hot tub. For more information, be sure to read our guide on how to fix biofilm or other contamination. This will help you achieve successful decontamination.

4. Sediment or Bacteria Build up in Hot Tub Covers, Filter, or Pipes.

Most hot tub owners have at some point experienced unpleasant smells that come along with the hot tub water experience. They can be downright obnoxious. But there are ways to take care of the problem and remove those smells for good.

Over time, your spa cover will accumulate dirt, bacteria, and other particles. To keep it clean and prevent the spread of germs, it's important to rinse it off regularly. Cool water and a garden hose is the best way to do this. For more challenging cleaners, you can use a non-foaming, pH-neutral cleaner. Simply spray it on the surface and wipe it away with a non-abrasive sponge. Let's Discuss them in detail.

Hot Tub Cover

It's important to keep your hot tub covers clean to prevent sediment or bacteria buildup. Here's how: rinse your spa cover with cool water using a garden hose. Spray with a gentle, non-foaming, ph neutral cleaner (we recommend Simple Green) and wipe clean. For stubborn dirt, use a non-abrasive sponge.

Hot Tub Filter

If you want to keep your SPA or hot tub water clean and clear, it's necessary to clean your filter regularly. A buildup of sediment or bacteria can quickly contaminate the water, so it's important to take good care of your filter. Here are some tips for how to clean your spa filter:

  • Spray the filter with a hot tub filter cleaner once a week. Be sure to rinse it afterward.
  • Soak the filter in chemical cleaner every time you drain and refill your hot tub. This will help extend the filter's life and loosen any stubborn particles. Again, be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterward.
  • If you see that your filter is starting to deteriorate, replace it immediately. A worn-out or damaged filter can't do its job properly, leading to dirty hot tub water.

Hot Tub Pipes

If your hot tub isn't draining properly, it could be because of a buildup of sediment or bacteria in your pipes. To clean your pipes and extend the life of your filter, soak the filter in chemical cleaner every time you drain and refill your hot tub. Rinse the filter thoroughly afterward. You can also spray Filter to Clean on your hot tub filters, rinse your filter with water, and then your filters will going look brand new in less than 20 minutes!

Proper maintenance is the key to defeating the bad smell

Regular maintenance is the key to making sure your water stays clean. That means checking the chlorine levels in your water regularly and adding sanitizers as appropriate. Every few weeks, fresh water should be added.

Here are additional resources to ensure you're always up to and keep the water nice and clean.

  1. Download the O-Care app for weekly maintenance and step-by-step problem-solving.
    1. Use our online water assistant to diagnose your water quality issues.
    2. This article covers more situations if the app didn't help solve your problem.
  2. I need to solve an underlying contamination issue in my hot tub; maybe it's biofilm?
  3. How to avoid future problems and keep your hot tub clean?
  4. What kind of sanitizers can I choose from?
  5. What is the best way to maintain my hot tub water?
  6. How to test the water in my hot tub?

FAQs about Hot Tub Water Smells

How do I stop my hot tub water from smelling?

There are a few easy steps and simple working methods that you can use to get rid of a musty smell or biofilm in your hot tub listed above. For more information, be sure to read our guide on how to fix biofilm or other contamination.

Why does my hot tub water stink?

Your hot tub water stinks because of the biofilm built over time on the surface of objects in the water. Fortunately, you can take a few easy steps to get rid of the hot tub water stink.

Should my hot tub smell?

It shouldn't, but yes, it can be that your hot tub water smells bad. Many hot tub owners complain when you open the cover after it has been used because of the biofilm built over time on the surface of objects in the water.

Why does my hot tub have a weird smell?

There are a few reasons your hot tub has a weird smell. It might be coming from the water; this is a sign that your hot tub hasn't enough sanitizer in the water, the pH levels are off, or biofilm is building.

Why does my hot tub smell so strong?

Hot tub smells can be caused by various factors, including bacteria, algae, and dirt buildup. If your hot tub water smells bad such as too many chemicals.

How do I get the chemical smell out of my hot tub?

There are a few ways to get the chemical smell out of your hot tub. You can soak the filter in chemical cleaner every time you drain and refill your hot tub, or you can spray water from your garden hose on your hot tub filters.

Should you be able to smell chlorine in a hot tub?

No, a strong chlorine smell indicates too much chlorine in your spa water.

Why does my spa or hot tub smell like ammonia?

Ammonia is a typical odor in hot tubs because of the high levels of bacteria present.

Wrapping Up Our Expert Advice on Hot Tub Water Smells

Odor-causing bacteria can be defeated with the right tools and a little elbow grease. If your hot tub water smells, don’t despair! The source of the smell is likely something that you can fix yourself if you have the right information. We hope this article has given you the knowledge necessary to identify and correct the problem.

And remember, if all of this sounds like too much work or you just want someone else to take care of it for you, we’ve got your back. Buy O-Care today from your local dealership and let us take care of your smelly hot tub so that you can relax and enjoy it again without worrying about the funk.