What’s Causing the Unpleasant Smell in Your Hot Tub?

Hot Tub Water Odor

If you’ve noticed an unpleasant odor coming from your hot tub, you are not alone. Hot tub water odor may be the result of various factors, and thankfully it’s pretty easy to determine the cause of yours through a process of elimination. Here are 5 things that may be making your hot tub water stink.

1. Improper Sanitation

When your water isn’t properly sanitized, a whole slew of bacteria, viruses, and other germs will attempt to take up residence in the warm, inviting environment of your hot tub. Check your hot tub’s sanitizer regularly to ensure they remain at the correct level to keep your spa water is safe. If an unpleasant odor is present in your spa and your sanitizer levels are off, adjust them accordingly and consider shocking your spa water to help reestablish a proper level.


2. pH Level Imbalance

The pH levels in your spa water should be checked regularly and should stay between 7.4 to 7.6. When levels are low, it’s likely you’ll notice a pungent odor in the water, while high levels often result in a musty smell. If a pH imbalance is the problem, a simple adjustment of your spa chemicals should correct it.


3. The Cover

While your spa cover is supposed to help protect your hot tub, it may be the cause of the stale or musty odor you’re smelling. Spa covers are built to repel water; however, over time, damage or wear and tear can cause it to slowly absorb water, the presence of which can easily result in a bacterial growth. Fix any damage to your hot tub cover and make sure it’s sealed properly to prevent mold and mildew growth.     


4. Plumbing Pipes

If your hot tub has sat empty or only partially filled for any period of time, you may have a buildup of bacteria or biofilm plaguing your plumbing pipes and causing that stink you smell. Try shocking your water or raising chlorine levels to see if that gets rid of the problem. In extreme cases, you’ll likely need to clean out the pipes and empty your spa completely, then start over new with fresh, clean water to eliminate the problem.


5. The Filter

You should regularly check and clean out the filter in your hot tub, as this is where dirt, debris, and anything else in your water will naturally build up. At the first signs of unpleasant water odor, you should check your filter to see if something’s become caught in it that smells bad. Clean your filters regularly to prevent this problem and consider replacing them every year or two to make sure they’re working efficiently.


Clear Up That Stink

The best way to prevent an unpleasant odor in your hot tub water is with regular upkeep and proper maintenance of spa chemicals. When spa chemicals are in check, your water will be safer, cleaner, and smell better longer.
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