What Are the White Flakes in My Hot Tub Water?

white flakes hot tub

on February 13, 2015 in Care & Maintenance

Regularly cleaning and sanitizing your hot tub helps to keep strange things from happening, like seeing white flakes in your hot tub water. White flakes are usually caused by calcium scale deposits. But they may also be a sign that your hot tub contains white water mold, which is an overgrowth of biofilm. Either way, you’ll want to get rid of them. As long as you consistently maintain your hot tub with a simple and quick cleaning routine, you shouldn’t run into these problems. But if you do, we’re here to help.

How to Find Out if the White Flakes Are Caused By Calcium or Biofilm

To determine whether the flakes are a result of calcium scale deposits or biofilm, you need to find out if they are organic or inorganic. All you have to do to figure this out is fill up 8 ounces of spa water with the flakes inside. Then, pour 20 drops of bleach or liquid chlorine in the water you collected. Gently stir the water and sanitizer, and wait for 30 minutes.

If the flakes remain in the water after 30 minutes, they are most likely caused by calcium scale deposits. If they aren’t there anymore, they are probably a result of biofilm.

How To Get Rid of White Flakes Caused by Calcium Scale Deposits

Good news! Getting rid of calcium scale deposits is easy. Just follow the two simple steps below.

  • First, make sure to keep your pH alkalinity properly balanced. Scale begins to form when your pH is too high.

  • Then, use a scale preventer, like ThermoSpas Spa Stain & Scale Preventer, every week. If you have a high mineral content, add 4 ounces per 100 gallons on initial fill and 2 ounces per 100 gallons weekly. For water with a low mineral content, add 2 ounces per 100 gallons on initial fill and 1 ounce per 100 gallons weekly.

The scale preventer will work to break down the existing particles, peeling the scale away from your spa. Both balancing your spa’s chemicals and using a scale inhibitor should also keep this problem from happening again.

How to Prevent & Get Rid of White Flakes Cause by White Water Mold & Biofilm

When compared to calcium scale deposits, biofilm is a tougher and more serious issue. As long as you take proper care of your hot tub, you shouldn’t run into a biofilm problem. Biofilm usually forms as a result of a spa that hasn’t been used for a while or improper cleaning techniques when the spa is being used. If you do get biofilm, take the steps that are detailed in this blog post and make sure to start following a simple and regular cleaning schedule.

As long as you take care of your hot tub, you shouldn’t have to deal with white flakes of any kind in your water. Maintaining your spa is easy to do and takes very little time out of your day. If you have any more questions about white flakes in your ThermoSpas® hot tub, feel free to contact our customer service representatives today by calling 1-800-876-0158. We would love to help you make your spa water clear again.


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