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Biofilm, A Hidden Threat

What is Biofilm?

Bacteria and other microorganism, under the right conditions can come together and form a film that can grow on the spa surface but especially inside the pipe work. Biofilm is also more resistant to spa sanitizers.

What does it look like and how can I detect if my spa is infected?
Biofilm is slimy and can often produce a sticky residue which makes it very difficult to remove and can attach itself to just about any surface in the spa. You could find it on the surface of your spa, walls and base, steps treads, safety rails, chemical dispenser, filter tank, pumps, pump impellers, heater plumbing and more commonly throughout the pipe work.

Bacteria that passes through the filter and is circulated will not have any colour, smell or taste detectable to the user. Generally, the only time users become aware is when their water begins to smell (a little bit like a rotten egg!), or when it begins to appear on surfaces. 

If you are finding that your sanitiser level is always low then there is a chance that you have Biofilm growing in the pipes.

What damage can Biofilm do?

Health Damage
Spas jets often create sprays and mists which if inhaled, could expose your lungs to the bacteria forming in your spa. This can potentially lead to Hot Tub Folliculitis (
staphylococcus infection which can cause a boil like red rash) or more seriously, Legionnaires disease which if left untreated, can result in fatalities within days

Spa Damage
Biofilms in spas can make your spa water cloudy. Biofilms are very acidic and this will corrode metal surfaces, such as your pumps, heater, jet furnishings, ladders and filter parts.

  • Biofilms can be particularly damaging to the pipe work in your spa, causing corrosion and in some cases severe blockages.
  • Biofilm can cause your spa to foam.
  • Biofilm is more commonly found on develop on the spa filters as they feed on dead skin and other particles that gather together on your filters. Unfortunately, when this happens your filters are rendered useless. It blocks the pores in the filter reducing the water flow. If your filters are not cleaned/changed often, the reduced water flow over time damages the heaters.

How do I remove BioFilm?
If you believe you have biofilm then we recommend using a Biofilm remover. After adding this to the spa and running the jets to allowing it to run through out all of the piping you then drain the spa water and start again.

How can I prevent Biofilm?
The best way to prevent biofilm (and many other spa problems) is to ensure that your water is adequately sanitised. For more information on sanitising your water, see our guide. 
  • Brush your spas surface regularly, ideally on a weekly basis. Brushing breaks up the biofilms protective shield and lifts it off from the surface, allow your sanitiser to kill it, and your filter to remove it.
  • Clean your filter on a regular basis. If your filter is doing its job well, it will catch the Biofilm and prevent it from passing through the spa again. Always wear protective gloves when cleaning your filter, as your filter is full of bacteria. Avoid any contact with your mouth or eyes.
  • Change your water regularly. Flush your spa with a Biofilm eliminator at least once or twice a year, ideally at the end or beginning of a season.

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