Foam in a hot tub can be caused by a number of factors and although most children enjoy it most adults do not. Foam usually occurs as a result of “sudsing agents” from soaps, shampoos, body lotions, hair gel or even laundry detergent from bathing suits. Lack of sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) in the water is a large factor as sanitizers usually deal with theses substances and breaks them down. It can also be caused by a build up of waste that was not broken down in the tub.
Water chemistry is key. A proper balanced tub will make all the difference. One factor is the water hardness or “calcium hardness” of the water. Softened water, which is typically city treated water, will allow sudsing to occur more easily. That is one reason why hot tub manufacturers suggest using harder water. Water can be made “harder” by adding a calcium increaser usually in granular or liquid format. Those on wells typically don’t need to add any hardness to the water.
The problem can be temporarily addressed using SpaGuard Anti-Foam – just a capful as it’s very concentrated. This will immediately dissipate the foam within seconds – however this is simply a temporary fix that masks the problem. The root problem needs to be taken care of soon to ensure sanitary use of the tub and the problem does not keep reoccurring.
What to do?
1st: Ensure the water is tested and balanced accordingly – Total Alkalinity, pH, and Water hardness.
2nd: Ensure there is a proper sanitizer reading using a test strip or bring your water in to us for a proper analysis. Add any required sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) preferably in a powdered concentrate that is fast-acting, although topping up slow-dissolve tablets will work too, just takes longer.
3rd: Shock your tub using an oxidizer to burn off any accumulated waste. We recommend SpaGuard’s SpaLite which is a pre-measured envelope of a blended oxidizer, sanitizer along with clarifiers. This will remove accumulated waste and leave the spa looking sparkly clear.
4th: Add SpaGuard Refresh on a weekly basis – this enzyme based product helps break down oils and greases that accumulate through use and prevents build up in a scum line around the tubs water line.
5th: Clean out your filters – filters capture a great deal of oils and greases. The filters can be rinsed under a sink faucet or garden hose (don’t use a pressure washer, they may tear the fibers and ruin the filter). They should also be chemically soaked in a SpaGuard FilterBrite solution at least every 3 months.
Any further issues? Drop by with a water sample and we’ll get to the bottom of it for you.
~ By Phil Tanguay – Water Technologist and Manager, Sani-Sol Pool & Spa