Swimming pool owners are all too familiar with algae growth, but did you know hot tub algae exists? While much rarer thanks to the use of hot tub covers, algae can still pose a problem.
What Is Algae?
Defined as “a simple nonflowering plant of a large group that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms. Algae contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue”, hot tub algae is typically seen in three forms.
Green algae is the most common and fastest growing. It can turn your crystal clear water into murky green soup overnight, and can be stubborn to eradicate. Mustard algae is virtually chlorine-resistant, and is challenging to rid. Black algae appears as tar-lie deposits in a hot tub, and proves to be the most difficult variety to control and eliminate. Regardless of the algae growth, each is capable to raising PH levels in a hot tub, and will cause the floor, seats and walls to become exceptionally slippery.
How did algae enter your hot tub water?
The most common entry point is via wind or rain. Other causes include leaving a hot tub uncovered, poor filtration, and improper sanitization balances. In fact, even swimwear can harbor algae.
Eliminating Hot Tub Algae
Algae grows rapidly, and your best line of defense is maintaining the proper hot tub chemical balances. By the time you can visually see algae, it has likely been flourishing for some time and requires immediate treatment. For most hot tub owners, the fastest way to combat algae growth is to drain the hot tub, scrub the interior shell surfaces, complete a full plumbing flush, replace the filter, and refill with fresh water.
Avoiding Algae Outbreaks
The best investment you can make to curb hot tub algae is a hot tub cover. Insulated hard top covers are built to stop light from hitting the water. Given algae need sunlight to grow, you are effectively stopping their propagation.
Going hand-in-hand with a hot tub cover is ensuring continual water balance checks and sanitization. The following levels are industry expert recommended.
Alkalinity: 100 to 150ppm
pH: Range from 7.4 to 7.6
Chlorine Sanitizer: 3 to 5ppm –or- Bromine Sanitizer: 2-4ppm
Finally, most pool and spa depots carry algaestats (prevents growth) and algaecides (kills algae). These products can be used in conjunction with regular sanitization, to help fight again hot tub algae.