The Nitty-Gritty on White Water Mold in Your Hot Tub
Kicking back in your hot tub should be a relaxing experience for both your body and mind. But if you notice white flakes in the hot tub water floating around you, it can diminish the calming effect of bathing. Not to mention, if you start to see those white flakes that look like dead skin in the water, it could be a bigger problem than a mere distraction or nuisance. It might be an indication of white mold in your plumbing. So you’ll want to resolve it as soon as possible.
What is white water mold and how to identify it
White water mold in a hot tub often looks like white flakes or white tissue paper in the water. This type of contaminant grows in your spa’s plumbing. So by the time you see it in your hot tub, it’s already in your plumbing. White mold in a hot tub is an airborne spore. It thrives in damp areas such as dehumidifiers, sump holes, pool toys, kid’s bathtub toys, swimming pools, hot tubs, and hot tub filters left outdoors that are reinstalled while still damp. If you’re not sure whether what you see is just dead skin in the water or white mold, take a look at our pictures of white water mold in a hot tub below.
You may also suspect what you see is calcium flakes in the hot tub water. However, this is very rare. So the chances of it being calcium flakes in the hot tub water are unlikely.
After examining pictures of white water mold in a hot tub, if you’re still uncertain if that’s what you’re seeing, you can photograph the white flakes in your hot tub. Then send the photos to the specialists at Spa Marvel. As experts in helping people understand and eradicate white mold, Spa Marvel has identified pictures of white water mold in the hot tub for many satisfied customers.
Treatment for white water mold
Once you have white mold in hot your tub, it can be challenging to treat. But it is possible by taking the necessary steps. Before you address the problem, you might want to take some pictures of the white water mold in your hot tub. That way, you can quickly identify the problem in the future.
To kill white water mold in the hot tub, you need to decontaminate the spa. This can be accomplished by super-chlorinating the water with granular chlorine, granular bromine, or lithium. For best results, maintain 20ppm or more of chlorine for 72 hours. Then follow these steps to eradicate the white water mold.
- Add at least 2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75 grams) of chlorine for every 100 gallons (400 liters) of spa water or part thereof. It cannot hurt to add even more if you like.
- Distribute the chlorinated water throughout the entire plumbing system. To do so, ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and subjected to the chlorine. Also, at the start of this procedure, bleed some chlorinated water through the drain. You can facilitate this if your spa has a drain next to the pump or the cabinet base to which you can attach a hose. This is essential because any built-in drains are a dead-end in the plumbing. Therefore, the chlorine will not naturally make its way down to the built-in drains even though the contaminant will.
- Wait 24 hours and check the chlorine reading, then check again at 48 and 72 hours. If your test strips indicate less than the maximum level of chlorine at any of these intervals, treat the tub with chlorine again. Then repeat the 24, 48, and 72-hour chlorine readings. Don’t use your spa during this decontamination process. Note that although the process will kill the white water mold in the hot tub, it doesn’t eliminate the flakes.
- So you’ll need to take a few more steps. After 72 hours of successful chlorination:
a. Remove and clean your filter.
b. Clean your plumbing with a cleaner, such as Spa Marvel Cleanser.
c. Drain the hot tub.d. Install the clean filter and refill your spa. Because several gallons of water in the plumbing remains when you drain the hot tub, leftover flakes of white mold may remain. So when refilling the spa, turn on all of the jets. If you see many flakes come out of the plumbing, drain the hot tub and fill it again. If only a few flakes are present, your filter will collect them, or you can remove them manually.
- Finally, test the water and be sure to keep it balanced.
Causes of white water mold and white flakes in hot tub water
It’s essential to understand the causes of white water mold to prevent it from developing again. White mold in the hot tub can be introduced to spa plumbing from wet testing during manufacturing. It can also occur between when it is drained at the showroom and arrives at your house. Other risk factors for white flakes in hot tub water caused by white mold include:
- Draining your tub and then waiting a few days to refill it
- Filling your spa from a garden hose that has developed white mold while lying out in the sun
- Leaving the lid open allowing white mold to drift into your spa water
Conventional sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine can keep white mold in the hot tub at bay for months and even years. However, suppose you go for an extended period without properly maintaining sanitizer levels. In that case, it becomes a breeding ground for white water mold to proliferate. Unfortunately, it can take 6 to 8 weeks before you notice the tell-tale sign that resembles dead skin floating in the water. At this point, it has become a problem. If not addressed quickly, it can overwhelm your hot tub and jam the pumps.
Prevent white mold in your hot tub
Now, armed with understanding the cause of white water mold in the hot tub, the best way to keep it from developing is to actively take steps to prevent its growth. Proper maintenance is the number one key to prevent white mold in your hot tub. This includes testing the water often, cleaning and replacing the filters regularly to remove build-up, and using the right chemicals to keep contaminant from growing.
Your routine maintenance program should include cleaning all the surfaces regularly to prevent those tell-tale white flakes in your hot tub water. Also, clean all items before they go in the hot tub, such as toys, cleaning tools, and your swimsuit. Rinse your hair and body off before entering the spa, especially if you are sweaty, dirty, or have products on your skin or hair.
Finally, make sure the hot tub runs enough to keep water moving around, so it gets filtered and stays clean. This is especially vital when the hot tub isn’t used regularly. So set a schedule with reminders to run it, test the water, and treat it with chemicals to prevent the mold from growing.