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Milky-white water when jets are turned on

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Hey everyone -- relatively new hot tub owner here. I've been enjoying a 300 gallon Bullfrog X6L spa for the last 2 months or so. But recently, I've run into the same issue a couple of times: Milky white water when the jets are turned on


This happened to me two weeks back, and I did everything I could to balance all of the chemicals -- but ended up just changing the water out altogether and cleaning the filters. But now, just two weeks later -- I have the same problem. The water is clear (and just 2 weeks old). The chemicals are all balanced at the proper levels (and were when this first happened, too). But as soon as I turn the jets on, it turns milky white. When I turn the jets off, it *will* get back to being clear after a couple of minutes. But during those couple of minutes, you can see a "steam-like" effervescent effect. I took a video so you can see it all here.


Given that the spa is so new (just 2 months old) and the water is as well (2 weeks old) -- and that I was getting balanced reading of the chemicals -- this seems so odd to me. Any idea what the cause may be? Any potential solutions?


If it helps, the sanitizer I'm using is Watertrends SaniChlor -- along with Nature2 Sanitizer Spa Stick (inside the filter). 

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Well, there are usually air control knobs on the top edge of the spa that mix air in with the water, which turns it white coming out of the jets. It seems to hold on a little long for that, but can you close the air controls?

I am not familiar with sanichlor. Please define "balanced" water and explain your maintenance routine.

@waterbear, do you have a minute?

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@RDspaguy I'm not aware of any sort of air controls on my Bullfrog X6L spa that let me adjust the air in the jets like that. I can say that if there is something like that -- I haven't used it (admittedly, I'm a new hot tub owner). The jets *can* be turned which allows them to adjust the water pressure. Maybe that's what you mean? And I'll adjust them every so often. But they jets were all on high -- but have mostly always been on high like that (even before the issue). I'm not sure if you watched the video, but it's more than the water being "white" as in a whitewater rapid. But it's milky white and again, has an effervescence to the water. 

But even if there was, knowing I haven't adjusted anything -- I'm not quite sure if that'd be the culprit because I've used the tub often and it doesn't do that *all* of the time.  In fact, I was using it fairly regularly (just myself, maybe 45 min at a time) for two weeks before that happened again. But it's the second time that it's happened since I've owned the tub.

When I say "Balanced" -- I mean that all of my levels are in the acceptable ranges when I check using test strips (pH, alkalinity, chlorine, hardness, etc). 

My maintenance routine is checking the water using test strips every day or at least every other day -- and if they're off, I'll adjust, as needed (meaning, I'll add pH increaser if the pH is low... alkalinity increaser if the alkalinity is low, etc). I use chlorine-free spa shock once a week. I'll add in the SaniChlor I mentioned after I use the hot tub or in the morning that I know I'm going to use it. 

(BTW, I ended up just changing the water again and have been using it without issue since. Just hoping that issue doesn't rear its head again and I'm still perplexed as to why it's happened).


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9 hours ago, LakesideGuy said:

mean that all of my levels are in the acceptable ranges

I was hoping for your readings...

Test strips are notoriously unreliable, I would recommend a test kit. I use taylor.

Stop using mps (non-chlorine shock).

I still don't know what sanichlor is. One ad describes it as "stabilizing", which implies dichlor, trichlor, or cal-hypo. And describes it as pellets. Without knowing what it is, I personally would not use it.

I often see "fizzing" water in the field and have come to associate it with high sanitizer/ shock. But I am no chemical expert.

Read the sticky in the chemistry section on dichlor/bleach method.


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@RDspaguy Ive linked to the Sanichlor in my last post. It’s a brand of chlorine and what my local dealer sells.


As far as your comment, “stop using non-chlorine shock.” Can you elaborate on that, please? I’m not quite sure why you’re telling me to stop.


I’ll check out the chemistry post and look into a better test kit. Thanks.

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Eliminating possibilities mainly. Same reason I recommended the dichlor/bleach method. It is simple and uses few chemicals. If your issue stops then you can start adding things one at a time until you find the cause. But mps will throw off your other chemical tests, and you don't really need it. Less is more when it comes to water chemistry issues.

I get that it's a brand of chlorine, but I need to know the type (dichlor, trichlor, etc...). And I couldn't find that in your link or my own search. Is there an active ingredient on the bottle? If not, do not use it. Chlorine is not all the same, and you need to know what you are using to use it properly.

I still need to know what your chemical readings are when this is happening. Ph, alk, calcium, free chlorine, total chlorine, cya (stabilizer), and tds if you can get it. I would also like to know how often you test or add chems, what and how much you add when, and any other issues you have with the spa even if they seem unrelated.

Bear in mind, we are volunteers and only have so much time each day to answer questions on this forum. This is not a job. The more information you provide the faster you are likely to get an answer. We are happy to help, but you have to help us help you.

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@RDspaguyI appreciate you trying to help. I already mentioned that I'm using test strips. So I can't give you number readings right now. I know that you mentioned test strips aren't reliable, so I am looking into better testing kits that I can get so I can give you clear readings next time around if that happens again. For now, though, I've already just replaced the water so my readings right now won't really be relevant anyway. But this way, if it happens in the future, Ill be able to give you a better idea.

Thanks again.

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