Wal-mart Chemicals - Hot Tub Water Chemistry - Pool and Spa Forum

Jump to content


(July 17, 2014) POOLSPAFORUM.COM SITE UPGRADE!


Photo

Wal-mart Chemicals


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Eddie Haskell

Eddie Haskell

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 26 November 2006 - 06:33 PM

What are your opinions on Wal-mart chemicals, I believe they are spa time?

#2 waterbear

waterbear

    Village Idiot ;)

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,281 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 November 2006 - 10:51 PM

What are your opinions on Wal-mart chemicals, I believe they are spa time?

Lets look at spa chemicals for a minute, doesn't matter the brand
Alkalinity increaser is sodium bicarbonate, sometimes called sodium hydrogen carbonate (different name for same chemical). You probably have this in your kitchen or medicine chest. It's baking soda! Most of it is manufactured by Church and Dwight and repackaged. You might know the Church and Dwight brand as Arm and Hammer!
pH increaser is sodium carbonate, also called soda ash. You might have this in your laundry room as washing soda. Also mostly manufactured by Church and Dwight and repackaged.
Dry pH decreaser is sodium bisulfate. Period! If you don't believe me look at the ingredients on just about any brand out there. Muratic acid and sulfuric acid are not commenly used in spas because the dosing is difficult unless they are sold in very diluted strengths. So if you are using a liquid pH decreaser for spas you are paying for mostly water with just a little bit of acid in it.
Calcium hardness increaser is cacium chloride. Most of it is manufactured by Dow Chemical and then repackaged. The Dow brand is DowFlake. It is sold by Dow as a De-icer and for pool and spa use!
If you are using a chlorine system then you are either using dichlor (stabilized granules), cacium hypochlorite (unstabilzed granules), lithium hypochlorite(very expensive unstabilzied granules), or sodium hypchlorite (liquid chlorine....also the same as laundry bleach, sometimes a stronger strength but not always!). Trichlor is not used in spas (or shouldn't be). It is too acidic and dissolves too slowly.
If you are using a bromine system then your chemical to create your bromine bank is sodium bromide. Your oxidizer is either a form of chlorine (usually dichlor or calcium hypochlorite in a 2 part bromine system that uses chlorine for the oxidizer) or is potassium monopersulfate (MPS), also called non chlorine shock.
Once again MPS is MPS. It's trade name is Oxone and was developed and manufactured by DuPont. They still sell it under that brand name. It is repackaged by other companies.
Bromine tabs are all basically
1-BROMO-3-CHLORO-5.5-DIMETHYLHYDANTION. This is a compount of bromine stabilzed with dimethylhyndation and it contains chlorine to acitive the bromine. There are a few bromine tabs on the market that contain MPS instead of chlorine.
For bromine to work it needs an oxidizer, usually chlorine or MPS (Ozone works also). Bromine by itself will not sanitize.
Water enhancers and conditioners are usually borax or a mixture of borax and dry acid (Technically borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate, it has ten water molecules attached and the commercial products are sodium tetraborate pentahydrate, 5 water molecules attached so on a weight basis it is a bit more concentrated but it is still borax!) These are added to a concentration of 30-50 ppm to act as an algaestat, reduce sanitizer demand, help stabilize pH, and soften the water. The acid is needed to offset the pH increase from the borax. (BTW, these products work very well when used properly!). I don't believe that Walmart sells this type of chemical.
If you are buying chemicals at Walmart you are not using a biguanide sanitation system (SoftSoak, BaquaSpa, Revacil, etc.). They don't sell one.

Now as to my opinion of Walmart chemicals. The only drawback I have seen to some of them is that they sell them with more fillers so you need to use more of them. If the price is cheaper but you need more for the same dosage of active ingredients then you really aren't saving money. What you need to look at with ANY pool or spa chemical is how much does it cost per dose. Often times the cheaper products are the most expensive to use. (but not always)

I could continue with metal removers (majority are HEDP, a few are EDTA), clarifiers (sodium polyacrylate or chitosan), defoamers (simethicone), algaecides (there are really only a few of them--copper, liner quats, polyquat, inorganic ammonia, sodium bromide, silver, or mixtures of these) but I think you get the picture.

Hope this is helpful.

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
Board Moderator

#3 paintnsunni

paintnsunni

    Hot Tub Aficionado

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 490 posts

Posted 26 November 2006 - 10:57 PM

Thanks for tthe very informative post! I was wondering about the diferent chemicals myself. Thanks!

#4 Eddie Haskell

Eddie Haskell

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:45 PM

I am new to this spa stuff and the wife has been doing all the testing and adding of chemicals, the strips say all is well but I don't like the way the water smells on my body once I get out. I guess to best describe it would be a sour chlorine smell. I was thinking the Wal-Mart chems were causing this but I guess I can't blame them.
Maybe I should just ask;
What brand of chemicals and what sanitation system is the most skin friendly?
We do not have an ozone injector and would like to stay with chlorine but like I said I can't stand the smell,. Thanks

#5 Tyler

Tyler

    Spa Savant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 199 posts

Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:03 PM

Thanks for the informative post Waterbear. My MPS is labeled "Potassium Perxoymonsulfate". Is this the same as Potassium Monopersulfate? I believe Renew and other buffered MPS brands are labeled Potassium Perxoymonsulfate. Can you explain what the differences are between the two chemicals?

#6 waterbear

waterbear

    Village Idiot ;)

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,281 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:35 AM

Thanks for the informative post Waterbear. My MPS is labeled "Potassium Perxoymonsulfate". Is this the same as Potassium Monopersulfate? I believe Renew and other buffered MPS brands are labeled Potassium Perxoymonsulfate. Can you explain what the differences are between the two chemicals?

same chemical, different name. Most chemicals have more than one name.

For example alkalinity increaser might be labeled sodium biccarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate....both a just names for baking soda.
Another example is Dihydrogen monoxide. This is a very useful and commen chemical that is necessary for life but if it gets into your lungs it can kill you! Any idea what it is? It's water! (When you drown you get water in your lungs.)
Think of it like this, if your name is Robert you might also be called Bob or Robbie but you are still the same person.

I am new to this spa stuff and the wife has been doing all the testing and adding of chemicals, the strips say all is well but I don't like the way the water smells on my body once I get out. I guess to best describe it would be a sour chlorine smell. I was thinking the Wal-Mart chems were causing this but I guess I can't blame them.
Maybe I should just ask;
What brand of chemicals and what sanitation system is the most skin friendly?
We do not have an ozone injector and would like to stay with chlorine but like I said I can't stand the smell,. Thanks

IMHO, chlorine is the easiest and best sanitizer to use in a spa. What you are smelling might be chloramines (chlorine reacting with the organics on your skin.) In a properly maintained spa there should be little or no chloramine smell. If you could post a full set of test results for free chlorine, total chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid (stablizer) then perhaps I could give you more information as to what is happening. The testing needs to be done with a liquid drop based test kit and NOT test strips. Strips do not have the precision needed to balance the water!

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
Board Moderator

#7 Tyler

Tyler

    Spa Savant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 199 posts

Posted 29 November 2006 - 07:25 PM

waterbear, can you describe what chemical routine you follow for your personal spa? I think we could all benefit from your real life experiences.

Thanks in advance.

#8 waterbear

waterbear

    Village Idiot ;)

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,281 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:19 PM

waterbear, can you describe what chemical routine you follow for your personal spa? I think we could all benefit from your real life experiences.

Thanks in advance.

Currently I have an inground pool/spa combo that is chlorinated with a salt water generator. I keep my pool at about 4 ppm free chlorine and the spa at about 6 ppm but that is not applicable to most people with portable hot tubs. Before I had my pool built I did own portable hot tubs, the first a modest 300 gal.and the other a big 500 gal. I kept them on both bromine and chlorine systems I never had ozonators, ionizers, etc. Just the basics and they did great with minimum effort.
Chlorine is pretty easy. I used dichlor for chlorination. 1 teaspoon raises the free chlorine about 2 ppm for 250 gallon. I tested the water daily (using a GOOD test kit, not one of the cheapie ones) until I really knew my spa so I could maintain a FC of about 6 ppm without having to test daily . With my last spa I needed to put in the diclor about every 3 days if the spa didn't get any use and if I used it I had to put some in after each use every time I used it. I would shock it when the combined chlorine was higher than the free chlorine. I shocked with liquid chlorine ( actually laundry bleach...same thing just more dilute) since it would not add any stabilizer. Dichlor is stablized chlorine so it is not the best thing to shock with. I needed to shock maybe once a week. (3/4 cup of ultra bleach, 6% or just under 1 cup of regular 5.25% bleach per 500 gal is about right I had to lower my pH with dry acid every so often but my fill water had fairly high alkalinity and perfect hardness so I didn't have to mess with baking soda and calcium that often. I drained it about every 4 months and refilled. I never used any metal removers (no metals in the fill water)

The most important thing is to not ignore it, even if you are not using it. Test the water often (daily at first) and learn how much of each chem you need on a regular basis. It really becomes a no brainer after a short while. 5 minutes a day can prevent major headaches in getting the spa back in balance after being ignored!

Bromine was a bit trickier to use but was a bit more maintenance free in terms of daily care. It took me a little while to learn a method that worked well for me.
What worked best was:
on filling I would add sodium bromide to create a bromine bank in the water and then shock with liquid bleach to activate it (convert the sodium bromide to hypobromous acid, the active sanitizer). I then put a floater with bromine tabs in the spa and ajusted it until my bromine levels were maintained at about 6 ppm. This was the tricky part! I would shock it with bleach after each use or once a week if I didn't use it. If my bromine was low and I wanted to use the spa I would shock with MPS (non chlorine shock) to reactive the bromine CAREFULLY (or the bromine levels would get too high and I would have to wait for them to drop to use the spa)
I did have more water balancing problems with bromine....had to adjust the total alkalinity and raise the pH fairly often, especially when I used the MPS. I drained and refilled about evey 4 months and added the sodium bromide and shocked to start the whole process again.
Once again, daily testing until I really knew how the spa reacted under normal use was the key!

I never messed with biguainde systems only because I knew how expensive they are and I saw first hand some of the problems that eventually occured with my customers that used them in their pools or spas. ( I am not a spa dealer, btw, I work in a pool and spa supply store)
Hope this is helpful.

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
Board Moderator

#9 Eddie Haskell

Eddie Haskell

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 30 November 2006 - 03:57 AM

And what would you recommend as a "good" test kit?

#10 waterbear

waterbear

    Village Idiot ;)

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,281 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 November 2006 - 10:46 PM

And what would you recommend as a "good" test kit?

for chlorine I like the Taylor Tehcnolgies K-2006, for bromine the K-2106. They use the FAS-DPD test for chlorine or bromine, which is the easiest and most accurate one and it does not bleach out when sanitzier levels are high! The Taylor pH reagent will give accurte readings when sanitizer levels are high (most will not) and their TA and calcium tests have distinct endpoints and are very easy to read. (No, I don't work for them! I do, however, own several different test kits including 5 from Taylor). LaMotte also makes some decent test kits but I like the Taylor liquid reagents better than the LaMotte tablets. I find them much easier to use.

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
Board Moderator




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

website security