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How to get rid of biofilm in your hot tub

How to get rid of biofilm in your hot tub - Click to enlarge
How to get rid of biofilm in your hot tub - Click to enlarge

Does your water looks or smell weird? Maybe the water's cloudy, maybe there's a gross layer of... something covering the surface of the water and/or near the jets and skimmer. Well that "something" is most likely biofilm. It's a bunch of bacteria protected by organic material. Yeah gross, I know. You have to get rid of it before you let anyone else get in the spa or it can be a serious health hazard. This page is here to explain why you have biofilm in your spa, how to get rid of it, and how to make sure it doesn't come back. Because no one like biofilm.

Spas offer ideal conditions for bacteria to grow because of the combination of high temperatures and organic materials brought into the water by bathers. Over time, bacteria gathers in your hot tub, on your filters and on the inside walls of your pipes in a thin film. This film can be whitish, green or black and is made of organic substances (mostly dead cells and bacteria). Once it settles in your water, it becomes much harder to maintain clear water.

Its appearance... and how to prevent it

The water disinfection of your spa is absolutely essential. No matter if you've chosen a chlorine, a bromine or an active oxygen treatment, it needs to be regular.

If biofilm has appeared in your spa, it is most likely because your water treatment isn't regular or rigorous enough, or you made a treatment error. However, biofilm has also appeared in new hot tubs after a factory leak test. When drained, several litres of water may remain in the pipes, which will stagnate until the buyer uses them, allowing the biofilm to form over time.

Follow your treatment !

Test your spa water as regularly as possible: whatever chemical treatment you choose, you must test your water to check the level of disinfectant present, and act as quickly as possible if you find that the level is not good.

We advise new spa owners to perform quick daily tests to avoid the risk of having a major biofilm problem on their hands in the future. The biofilm can spread in 8 hours.

The best way to avoid the appearance of biofilm is simply a regular and scrupulous follow-up of your treatment, a serious maintenance of your spa and of course to always take a shower before you slip into the water.

How to get rid of it

Unfortunately, increasing the doses of your normal disinfection treatment, whether it's with chlorine, bromine, or active oxygen, is not the solution. Biofilm protects bacteria from these chemicals.

The best solution is to use products specifically designed to clean biofilm: Ahh-Some, AquaFinesse Spa Clean or Super SpaClean. The biofilm cleaner disintegrates the biofilm and brings it to the surface, but most importantly it cleans your pipes.

Don't forget to rinse your filters too, or even change them if they are very dirty (see photo 2).

You must then drain your hot tub and rinse the tank while the water level drops. All you have to do is fill the spa with new water, balance the pH and, above all, immediately resume your disinfection treatment, because the biofilm cleaner does not kill bacteria.

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