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Everything posted by B0Darc

  1. OMG It's time to do this again!! I had to come back here to get my own tips, like plastic thickness etc. Now my cover is now SEVEN years old. The black plastic liner looks like it did originally when first replaced, and the vinyl cover is now unfix-ably stiff but in reasonable condition/appearance ...I'm going to attempt this re-redo anyway. The Gorilla tape worked not problem, but it was likely the manner in which I wrapped the plastic itself that allowed the tape to be successful for FOUR YEARS. Wow 2010 sooo long ago. ThX! Bo
  2. Thanks guys. I think I just saved myself $300 for $8.95. I went to the Hombre Depot and bought a roll of 4 mil vapor barrier black plastic in a roll 10' X 25'. I cut it in half for two pieces 10' X 12.5' The cover is 84" X 84" and is made in the familiar two piece hinged way (two foam cores). TECHNOTE: I have been using various car vinyl protectants on the cover over the last two years. They all worked well to make it shiny and clean but the plastic was feeling extremely stiff. I knew I was going to have to manipulate the vinyl and it needed to be more flexible so as not to get damaged, so I thought back to a recommendation I got from this forum for a product called 303 Aerospace Protectant. It's just a familiar vinyl spray like all the rest, but everybody raves how wonderful it is, and that turned out to be TRUE. It's easy enough to Google yourself, so I am conspicuously leaving out a link. Also it's available everywhere. I went to the store, bought, came home and applied the day before. This stuff fully restored a high degree of flexibility to the cover ...and in the cold. If all the other claims are true, why use anything else? The only con is that it is very slippery, be careful where you spray! ...and I only used it on my vinyl cover and NOT on any of the other surfaces of my spa. I unzipped the vinyl cover halves and the foam cores came out easily. The original vapor barrier black plastic had been seamed thermally for a complete seal, but that didn't help the plastic from deteriorating where it was exposed to the water/steam/chems ...the daily friction sliding it on/off didn't help. I removed the plastic and found Styrofoam slabs with a metal reinforcing beam embedded on the thick edge. They were not waterlogged and it was somewhat impossible as they are Styrofoam. I let them air out in the shade for about 18 hours after washing them with some sanitizer and a big soft tire brush. The next day I cleared a large work area and spread out one piece of my new black plastic (tabletop) The plastic was large enough to get 3+ wraps on the core. I started by overlapping the side of the core that faces up/sky about 4 inches and wrapped the first layer on the side that faces down/water. That means I wrapped the wet side, then the top side then continued around the bottom/wet side (3 wraps) so that the wet side had two layers and the seams were all on the top. The ends extended 2+ feet and I was able to fold them also up onto the top. I used Gorilla Tape which is like a thick black duct tape (had it on-hand), but the Tyvek Vapor Barrier tape would probably be closer to perfect. Gorilla tape seems fine but we'll see how well it holds up after Summer in Texas. ;-) Before my repair, the moisture was building up and freezing inside the cover, and it seemed like I was trying to insulate my hottub with two blocks of ice. Now I know there was a thick layer of Styrofoam actually in there, I feel better. I was also worried about the foam tea that was brewing as chlorinated water was bathing the unprotected cores... and dripping back down in the tub. First thing post-repair, the wife gets in the next morning and goes to slide the cover off and it goes flying. "Is it lighter!?" Yes it is! It's working great, looks great. Don't think I have to worry too much as the way the seams face up and are close to the middle and Gorilla taped like a Gangsta Christmas present ...should be good. Plus it fits so perfectly (wrapped core) inside the vinyl that there's little to no room for the moisture to make it's way up top and cause it all to fail. The cover is in good condition and the threads are now all soaked full of 303 Protectant for reasonable exterior water/moistureproofing. It's amazing how perfect a condition it was still in (no signs of mold etc.), regardless of spa water exposure inside and the elements (heat and cold) after the failure of the moisture barrier. Other than the black plastic, the level of overall quality will surely translate into another two years ...hmm maybe I can re-wrap it one more time ;-) I'm cheap! Thanks again guys Bo
  3. Thanks. Yeah the foam is in great condition, but I have seen older going-south covers. If mine was NOT STILL rigid I would replace. Watching TV I see them using a special tape on moisture barriers (walls of houses) I'll see what they have at he Hombre Depot tape-wise. I'm pretty sure that's the secret ingredient in this fix. I previously had the cover take on a little water from water penetrating the stitching (hose pressure), Obviously the plastic can fight moisture directly, but once it gets between/under the Vinyl it can bypass the seam where it was overlapped topside. Since I'm in Texas maybe I won't have to wait 3 months for warm/dry shade ;-)
  4. My foam cover is approaching 3 years old. It was very nice quality but I understand 3 years is about it lifecycle-wise. A few months back the black plastic wrap on the foam cores started to deteriorate. The things has zippers so I imagine it can be dismantled and re-wrapped to get another year or so before replacing (some stitching also showing signs of age.) Is it a certain kind of plastic (or mil thickness?) to stand up to the chlorine/chems? Can I just walk into the local hardware and buy heavy duty drop-cloth kinda plastic? The foam has started to take on moisture. I was imagining letting it get some warm sunshine for a day, re-wrapping, and saving myself $300 (84" X 84" spa) Typically I like to save the $300 to give it to the electric company over the next couple months (sarcasm) please save me from myself ...I mean is my dreamlike scenario acceptable (drying foam cores? using over-the-counter plastic?) Also I know about different types of plastic like HDPE etc. Is there a certain chem resistant stuff I need? Lastly as advice. I just slide my cover off and on. I use it as a privacy block. The plastic failed only on the half that constantly gets slid over that back edge (makes contact/friction). Good reason to get a lift of some kind... extend the life of your cover. The stitching also is suffering (only slightly) where I grab it to slide it back on ...thinking a lift would eliminate that problem too.
  5. My foam cover is approaching 3 years old. It was very nice quality but I understand 3 years is about it lifecycle-wise A few months back the black plastic wrap on the foam cores started to deteriorate. The things has zippers so I imagine it can be dismantled and re-wrapped to get another year or so before replacing (some stitching also showing signs of age.) Am I wasting my time? Is it a certain kind of plastic (or mil thickness?) to stand up to the chlorine/chems? Can I just walk into the local hardware and buy heavy duty drop-cloth kinda plastic? The foam has started to take on water. I was imagining letting it get some warm sunshine for a day, re-wrapping, and saving myself $300 (84" X 84" spa) Typically I like to save the $300 to give it to the electric company over the next couple months (sarcasm) please save me from myself ...I mean is my dreamlike scenario sound (drying foam cores? using over-the-counter plastic?) Also I know about different types of plastic like HDPE etc. Is there a certain chem resistant stuff I need? Lastly as advice. I just slide my cover off and on. I use it as a privacy block. The plastic failed only on the half that constantly gets slid over that back edge (makes contact/friction). Good reason to get a lift of some kind... extend the life of your cover. The stitching also is suffering (only slightly) where I grab it to slide it back on ...thinking a lift would eliminate that problem too.
  6. They forgot to show the snow and wind blowing and the rocks your kneeling on, and dog barking and customer who won't pay. Hey Bo, long time. 3 years ain't bad outa those pumps. You may be able to get a better one but it will maybe cost more. Wait for it to stop spinning, where do you live? Thanks for the "just let it run..." I may just do that.<snip> Well I just pulled a muscle patting myself on the back. To all the cryers complaining about paying spa repairmen... those guys earn your money. I fix everything all the time, so I have wide ranging experience with most modern electro-mechanical stuff. I'm a car guy, and professionally do computer everything, and I have to say ...Spas are crazy! I let it run for a little while longer but the 24/7 circ pump was just getting too loud. Finally before Christmas I started worrying the temps might drop below freezing while I was outta town. I ordered the part. I'm not even gonna give you the link as they apparently own the Internet Spa parts world and you couldn't miss them blindfolded. Great web site with actual pictures of the part which is how I was confident enough to know I had the right part... the real challenge when doing something like this online. Actually the online spa parts place was awesome because the two piece filters I ordered were discontinued and replaced with a one piece dual filter which was cheaper and looks kick@ss (design/surface area), but it delayed my shipment because they had to OK with me to change CC charge ...remember I'm outta town. I was sweating getting my circ pump today because it's going to be the coldest day in 14 years in central Texas... tomorrow. It's not supposed to get over 32 F all day ...not good for a powered off spa. Long story short, pump on porch when I got home from work. Ate some dinner real quick and got busy. Bundled up, as it's so cold the hookers downtown are charging $20 just to blow on your hands. Wow, Spa repair should not be classified as entry or even mid-level DIY. Not impossible for me, but it called in all my skills/experience ...challenging. Add the fact I was laying on the icy concrete ..wet concrete ...which for some reason fascinates dogs. Nothing more exciting than water, (LOTS of!) electricity, and a couple grand worth of motors and circuitry ...the only DIY challenge missing was an explosive liquid and some fire. It'd be easier to install a kitchen sink under the hood of a Corvette ...with a garbage disposal. It runs so quiet! <happy sigh> it'll be warming up all night ...as opposed to freezing and cracking. I was thinking about video taping the job, but my motivation ....well. It's been weeks with no soaking! Man! I'm going to bed now so I can wake up and get in my hot tub @O'DarcThirty ...it'll be like 20 degrees with 20 mile an hour winds ...and I'll be sipping a cup o' beans with the Miz ...hhmm maybe I'll go raise the temp a degree. So ...not for the faint-of-heart, but if you're mechanically inclined, and have some common sense, and patience (GD o-Rings! heh) it's rewarding ...me? I'm just cheap!
  7. They forgot to show the snow and wind blowing and the rocks your kneeling on, and dog barking and customer who won't pay. Hey Bo, long time. 3 years ain't bad outa those pumps. You may be able to get a better one but it will maybe cost more. Wait for it to stop spinning, where do you live? Thanks for the "just let it run..." I may just do that. I'm in Central TX but it's going down to 25 degrees tonight (?!?!?) I was planning on pulling it tonight, but I think I'll put it off. I did find some seal kits online but don't know what's really under the hood... heh maybe I'll video it. Barking dogs and rocks? Thanks for the reality check ;-) One of you guys needs to come to my house so my dogs can bark at you, so *you* can freeze, and I can whine about how much you have to charge me... but first I think I'll do it all wrong ...break something else ...cut the back of my hand ...electrocute myself ...and save $100 ;-) That'll pay for my trip to the ER!~
  8. Sorry Bo, the Costco dopes just don't see it that way. But they do get a label. But it's nice to know we are appreciated. Our PM's tell us anyway. BODarc, excellent response, over time a good relationship with your local dealer is very important. All businesses need to make a fair profit to be there when you need them, of course this applies to all stores including Costco or Walmart. “Costco dopes”, wow that certainty improved your creditability This reminds me of the arguements about whether a Walmart should be allowed to move into a small town. Generally, most of the people want it, but the local small business owners always object, knowing correctly that they cannot compete on price, and it may drive them out of business. For better or worse, most (but of course not all) consumers are willing to trade less expertise for better price. I think that is in part becuase the expertise can be found, and for free, on the internet. As far as continued support from a Spa Dealer that's been around for 30 years v. Costco that's been selling Spas for 2 years...well, unfortunately, there have been a lot of spa, furniture, and other home stores that have gone out of business in the last year or 2, after a successful multi-decade run...So I feel more comfortable with Costco being there for me (at least for refund if I am dis-satisfied in 3 years), than any spa dealer being able to support me in three years. heh It shouldn't remind you... it IS the argument. Your words are true. The world changes... I remember when Netscape tried to sell their browser software for $50. "hey you can see pictures on the Internet with that stuff!" ...then next week Microsoft gives away I.E. 3.0 (?) as a download for Win95. I was more or less the victim of WallyMart, and I believe we have traded alot for "lower prices", and I mean culturally speaking, but that's another forum. One thing I know is that the majority of folks are not so bright, nor are they mechanically inclined. A spa can be a little daunting without some self-confidence about one's chemistry skills and a little mechanical ability, and some folks just have the money and don't want to even know about such trivialities. There are also still folks who cannot squeeze an email or g00gle search result from that PC their kid bought them last Christmas. This New World Retail Order requires you be a savvy self reliant person. I think the retail model of which you so wisely speak leaves out those perhaps not-so-savvy people. With the mom and pop shops gone they have no alternative. Who's left? The High end customers. Retailers for big ticket items like spas/pools/boats/Porshes have always been boom or bust, so if it feels like they're going for the maximum margin, it only makes sense.
  9. Wow, I hate this topic. Like a pet peev. I didn't even bother to read the previous 2 pages, no disrespect. On the Ford Truck forum are they spending their time talking about that damn profitable Ford Motor Company? You know who keeps them competitive? The market. It's almost 2010 people and "you get what you pay for..." was never more true. What I have read many times on here and similar forums is about folks going back for warranty claims only to find the dealer is no longer there to provide service. Wow, now that's even true of many car dealers. The guy who charges a reasonable markup is the guy who by definition will be there when you need him. The guy who charges you too much and the guy who gives you a great deal will be out of business soon enough. How do you choose? Look for the guy who's been in business already for 5+ YEARS. You can't worry about how much he's making on those add-ons.. I'll tell ya. A majority of his profit. Almost everything you buy is half price to a retailer. He pays $5 and sells it to you for $10, he makes $5 ...gross. If he nets .50 cents of that $5 after taxes and expenses he's a genius. If he can find something he can buy for $2 and sell to you for $10, he make $3.50, that's not trickery, that's sending his kid to a better college. I don't know, but I doubt Spa dealers pay $3,000 for a hot tub they then sell for $6,000. Major purchases don't follow the pricing schedule for $10 items. For example the Ford dealer doesn't pay the Ford factory $10,000 for a truck they sell for $20,000 heh it's much more insidious than that <joke!> You make your deals in Life one-by-one. If a major purchase sounded like a good deal when you made it, don't think you made a bad deal because some other lucky/fool just ran across some poor unfortunate soul in the last months of his spa business who made some ludicrously low-ball deal. That guy who will not be around next year for warranty work... or answering a simple question. So... neighbor, when you come into my retail outlet ...not C0stco ...not WallyMart, not HommesDepot, don't disrespect the notion that some of the money changing hands might go to my family or my future. Buyer beware works. Vote with your feet and your money. Support a guy you think deserves it ..a guy who seems to be fully intent on being there to sell you your NEXT hot tub in ten years. He'll only be there because you paid him to be...you made it profitable for him ...you came back and bought chemicals, and filters, and proudly referred friends ...because he deserves it. Being loyal is a very becoming trait that garners customers the same kind of treatment in return from a retailer. When did saving every possible penny override Civility? Greed works from both ends of the spectrum. Good luck finding an honest person, but realize he's the one *not* telling you everything you want to hear. Liars are simply that, and that's the best barometer. They also rarely last long at one location... that makes lasting a long time at one location a great barometer. If you're only looking at price, you're about to be taken. Because when you *do* come back next year and need a problem resolved, it will very likely be coming out of the profits from the original sale. If I just take your money and split I get to keep it ALL, so it can quickly turn out you didn't make such a genius purchase in the long term. I'm *not* a spa retailer or even close, but I did have my own business for over 10 years. I took care of the people that took care of me. I still have people overpay for my specialist services so they can know that when the sh*t hits the fan they have someone to make it go away. I don't care if C0stco was giving away hot tubs! You think Skippy the HommesDepot dude is going to be able to truly solve your water issues, or rush over to solve any issue to repay your Customer Loyalty to HD!? Hell NO! There will be a time you need an EXPERT ...and trust me, when that time comes, he better already know you. And you don't want to be remembered as the d-bag that came back and back and back, wasting valuable time to get some free add-ons and couple hundred bucks off your spa. I don't mean not to haggle or provide your retailer with true comparables you can get right now in the next town, or down the street. That's your duty to your family, and him convincing you to buy the stereo and plasma TV option is him doing his duty to his family. Dry your eyes. It's not magic, nor is it rocket science ...it's also not a crime scene when two neighbors exchange a buck... we used to call it "The Economy". Oh and I did want to add this is directed to all the folks dropping in for a peek ..."we're thinking about buying a spa", and not the folks who contribute to this forum, which is one of the truly most generous sources of Spa Truth! If you recently bought a spa or are hoping to buy one in the near future, you owe it to yourself and COME BACK for the meat of the discussion here ...which is "So I just bought a hot tub... now what?" Bo
  10. Hello old friends. Remember this nightmare? heh I found my own old post (this one!) from a g00gle search and while I was reading it I saw 2 other "guests" were also reading this same old post. The topic still must have some life to it ...some interest. I'm having another problem and while this one *above* should be considered closed maybe it would help for folks reading it to know a circ pump can be a properly installed option. Hopefully dude got his money back for an unnecessary circ pump add-on.... meanwhile back at Bo's house. To clarify I have a Balboa board controlled system. It's a 2007 DownEast Exeter SE (4 pumps). The manual states that if you have the three-pump system (non-SE) the "Jet#1" BUTTON HAS TWO POSITIONS, high and low... low comes on during heating when the spa is unoccupied at programmable intervals for improved filtering. Obviously the more it runs the more electricity it uses, so there are 3 options from Economy mode to Most filtration mode. My SE has the additional factory-added 4th motor which disables the two-speed functionality of #1 button. My 3 motor + 24/7 circ pump only has one speed when I press #1. Obviously it's configured by the factory/dealer to have that function taken over by the 24 hour circ pump and the story preceding was just a dealer gone wild. I mean if I re-read it correctly his #1 button still had two levels high/low *and* a circ pump ...whatev So I just found the drawback of a pump that runs 24/7 ... it's 3 years later and it's starting to make noise. First I'm a motor rebuilding fool, so no worries. I know it's bearings, but my question is... "Is it worth my time to try and rebuild this pump by replacing bearings, just to have some other moving part of the pump wear out in 6 months (impeller/brushes, etc?) and seals that don't re-seal [leak!]?" After 24,000 hours of operation should I just go ahead and buy a whole new circ pump ($250-ish)? I suppose it could be also be sealed/non-serviceable. Is there an upgraded quieter, more modern/efficient/greener/lasts-longer-for-less$ motor I could pop inline? I'm old so I've already learned the hard way that trying to save money is usually very expensive. Thanks for any advice Should I start a new thread ;-) heh maybe I'll video it... oh wait I'm sure that's already been done on youtube... lemme go check ...doh! hey is this one of you guys? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEi9gL-pAyw
  11. Well I caught a "warm" day for Spa Purge (overnight) and a drain/fill the next day. Remember I ran Spa Purge 3 months ago with dramatic visual results. This time I got nothing... it tinted my water a little and I had foam (TSP related no doubt). So anecdotally speaking (IMHO) it's likely not necessary to "Purge" every drain... although I bet it keeps it maximally clean. Personally I won't be repeating next drain (near Springtime) ...maybe twice a year as next test. Since I have switched to Clorox only, this last 3 month cycle I have used zero MPS, zero clarifier, about 5 lbs DiChlor and 2 1/2 lbs dry acid, and (scratching head) maybe 6 gallons of clorox ...a couple tablespoons baking soda. I have excellent source water (for a spa) very high in Calcium. The first time I filled my spa I forgot to "bypass" the water softener, what a mess numbers-wise. This time I am also going to add Borates. Thanks for all the latest posts! One mentioned how maybe a little residual Flush might be causing foaming... very possible. After my spa was drained I shot the hose in the water at the bottom (10 gallons?) ...foam. The instructions on the bottle say to just run your jets for 5 minutes minimum as foaming can be a problem. A product material sheet for a competing product mentioned "TriSodiumPhospate" (TSP) which is the detergent-like chemical removed from laundry detergents... remember "contains no phosphates"? Makes algea grow in lakes and streams. TSP is a main ingredient in that blue stuff you rinse commercial coffee pots with... makes everything easily dissolve like burnt on coffee or crusted-on spa johnkz ...also makes lotsa suds. The fix? make sure more (that remaining 10 gallons or more) gets drained. I added some more water to the bottom with the drain still open, and last time I just used a clear hose to syphon it out ...easier to just shoot water at the problem, Man Law. Thanks for helping me dodge that bullet, that's what makes forums great. What do you mean by "major damage" and what time frame are you talking? Do you mean when I add the Borax I will walk outside the next morning and my spa will be a mound of smoking Goo .......or after years of doing this as a "bio-film removal method" before a refill, I may develop a leak or something. I know that this will not disinfect the tub, just removing the bio-film like the O/P stated. Thanks What he meant is that if you were adding the 20 Mule Team Borax to your spa you would also have to add a matched amount of (damnit don't make me do this from memory ;-) (washing Soda?) to balance the pH or it would be way off the neutral mark! Highly alkaline or highly acidic water can damage your heater and metal parts or spa shell. It's best to listen to folks who have done it for years and have been called to the houses of DIYers like you and myself ;-) to fix all the stuff we have blown up. Soooo be SURE to read the posts about adding borates via "20 Mule team Borax" instead of the pH neutral spa-centric OTC chemicals from the pool supply to see exactly what ratios of chemicals you would need to add wihte the Borax to be successful and non-destructive. [chuckle] It wouldn't have to be a pile of smoldering goo to have it's "Mean Time Before Failure" shortened. Bo
  12. Anti-Spam Bumpitization! For new peeps, this is what you need. Press print, cut/paste, whatever works. This is the info your pool chemical supply would be happier if you didn't know. You really can cut your spa maintainence chemical costs in half, and cut the time spent guessing why your water is smelly/cloudy by 100%, and increase the time you proudly share your crystal clear sanitary hottub with friends and family by 100%. DO NOT be daunted by what may first appear to be a chemistry lesson ...not so much. Remember, knowing how to sanitize a spa is very sexy! ...you know, as opposed to what can happen when you don't know. SO READ and stop weeping, and give the Old Gang Crew at poolspaforum some props. Shouts out to all moderators and "chem geek" [Richard] and "water bear" and the author of this post "Nitro" who have helped so many "get their soak on"! Bo
  13. Welcome new dude, Interesting post, but when you try and re-invent the wheel you have to first consider how long the "wheel" has been around. Salt? still a viable topic, especially here. Do a search for "SWG" or Salt Water Generator. Remember salt is sodium and chlorine and there are pool/spa systems the ionize the salt water to free the chlorine for sanitation. Also Boron salts (borates) are used to buffer the water and stabilize chlorine and change the water quality in positive tactile ways (Calgon take me away), so be sure to read any Borate or Borax topics. Spa water, simply put, is just carefully buffered salt water. The Devil is in the "careful" details, and as it has struck you, there is more than one way to skin that cat. Listen to these guys and read backwards down the list. Most any question you might ask has already been answered... it's that whole "illusion of re-invention" thing. This forum does not support "stickys" and it's just as well ...as it would ALL be stickys, so you may have to travel way down the list to find the best stuff. There is actually some truly revolutionary reading to be had... pool/spa-water-wise.
  14. Yes listen to Nitro ...he's the bomb. His best advice is "less is better". I had the most problems as a new owner applying "fixes" when in reality I probably should have been using more shock or more sanitizer or balancing my pH. Simply put, proper water management is killing germs/algae and eliminating organic matter so you can bathe in the same water for a two/three months. Most of the "fixes" can seem to help, but cause their own problems in slight overdoses or if used as substitutes for core water treatment practices like shocking, getting filters really clean, and stable free chlorine levels. Sheeesh kids in my hottub, no comment *cough*. You may never know what happened, but you can count on weird unexplainable similar events happening anytime you have "carefree" bathers. Someone already said it but it actually could have been milk or some other ...well anything. Maybe you can solve your cloudy spa problem with the proper sign. Welcome to our S_A... Notice there is no P in it, Let's keep it that way!
  15. Yes, listen to Nitro, he's the expert. Me? I'm the shade tree neighbor over the fence, so don't listen to me. However if we were sipping cervezas in your spa I might recommend trying the Clorox-for-chlorine test. Nitro is right and your CYA levels are likely high. Many folks don't want to fully change out their water in the cold of winter and you are half way to max water change out (2-3 months) schedule. Here's my over-the-fence advice. #1 Either just go ahead and drain with the knowledge you are heading into the coldest months ..or #2 drain 1/2 of your spa and refill, then switch to Clorox for sanitizer. It will provide the chlorine without adding CYA. Likely many of your other water elements are balanced, so you may have quick results/luck bringing your 1/2 refill back up to spec in a couple test/treat cycles. It sounds like you have learned a lot already on this forum, but be sure to look at some of the advice on using Clorox as your sanitizer. Maybe this makes sense to you, and remember this is casual advice. In place of your 2 tablespoons of Dichlor try 3-4 oz of Clorox for a 350-400 gallon spa. Of course testing is always important to get the right *repeatable* results. 3 oz might be enough the first weeks after refill, but that amount will increase as your water quality decreases. Luckily Clorox is cheap! The winter months are different of course depending on if you are in Michigan or Florida, and technically we're still in Autumn. Folk in frigid zones face 2-3 cold weather spa water changes if they follow the 2-3 month successful water treatment schedule. So look out ahead and think how that rotation might affect your predictable future drain/fills. I mean if it's 5 degrees below zero it might not be the genius time to drain your spa. Foaming means soap. Remember from high school chemistry that alkali and oil makes soap. It could be residual soap from laundry (soak neked!) or residual YOU and the sanitization factor. Nitro already gave you specific good advice, but basically make sure that you reduce any extra oily substances going in, especially yesterdays lotion/cosmetics. <Translation> blame it on her! Maybe she can take a quick shower and wash of those heavily lotioned areas... for my missss, that's her whole body (lotion addicts!) If you perhaps lack privacy and must get in with your swim attire, simply try washing your suits without soap. Defoamer is best used in tiny amounts as it can load up your filter and cause cloudiness if used to excess. It's best to burn off the foam with MPS shock and then chlorine ...and as someone else said, just scoop it off to speed the process. I had a party recently of lotion addicted females and found my self blowing the foam off the next day with the leaf blower ...disgusting but functional. But trust me no amount of lotion can stand up to a jug of Clorox and aeration... and a leaf blower ;-) If you have been using defoamer and having problems with oily females, be sure to chemically degrease your filters... losta good products for that at the pool supply. I just use a 5 gallon bucket with *plain old* Cascade dishwasher powder (don't use the ones with all the additives/packets) and *hot* water. Let them soak and agitate every once in awhile ...this is when it's good to have two sets of filters. Be sure to rinse rinse rinse! You don't want any Cascade residue in your filters. I have had great success with the commercial filter cleaners, they just get expensive. When you look into the "Clorox" regime the first thing you learn is that you *need* a certain level of CYA *before* switching to just Clorox. So even while I use solely Clorox I start off with a canister of DiChlor upon refill to build CYA. If your CYA is high now and you drain off half your water and top off with fresh, you will likely be in a safe CYA ballpark. Testing for CYA *before* draining might help you know how far down to drain. Finally, I CANNOT recommend you just half-drain regularly or even back-to-back as it is important to totally flush/drain/wipe down your spa between refills. Be sure to read some of the posts on "Spa Flush" I think there are about 3 different threads going right now. I would recommend performing a "flush" next time, if you chose to do a half-drain this go-round ...as you are cheating, and "payback is a ...rash!" ...and remember I'm just a dude on the Internet ...a cheap, lazy bastage that blows the foam off his spa with a leaf blower for Christsakes, so listen to the pros on here when it comes to strict chemistry guidelines and specific spa care.
  16. That makes perfect sense. Thanks Nitro. Also thanks to Hillbilly again for the MSDS sheet link to a competing product <translation> What's in this spa-drain stuff (Swirl Away)? Looks like they might meet the qualifier to use the word "enzyme" with this list of ingredients (dunno if they do use the word enzyme?) SURFACTANT BLEND TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE IMINODISUCCINIC ACID TETRASODIUM SALT SODIUM BICARBONATE Surfactant Blend - Likely being the secret ingredient (non-specific) detergent-like compound to break surface tension and increase solubility of oils (all that foam!) TriSodiumPhosphate - good ol' TSP - whooda guessed?! IMINODISUCCINIC ACID TETRASODIUM SALT - Enzyme/Amino Acid~! Iminodisuccinic acid is a real G00glefest Sodium Bicarb - engh, likely to neutralize pH The other manufacturers shouldn't be secretive. This looks like a good blend that really could NOT be easily made by a DIYer! I mean try going to your professional pool supply and buy a gallon of Iminodisuccinic acid ;-) It also looks like it does the job intended. My limited scientific evaluation might imply this is is simply a degreaser/decalcifier, but the topic stays the same as I contemplate whether oily (food!) calcium crust might be just the porous armored food source/building material a nice hearty bacteria would look to make it's castle. Thanks I feel better ...and Nitro, the degree of funkiness may be just how hard your source water is, but you're absolutely right if it was fake we'd all get the same fake result. That cat food dissolving demo from your supply rep? Helloo? YouTube? LoL Looks like Jeffrey Dahmer would have made a good pool supply distributor "Uh yeeaah, I'll take a 55 gallon drum of that Muriatic Acid and a 55 gallon drum of that 12% Hydrochlorous acid, and a 55 gallon drum of that Iminodisuccinic acid... I have some *cleaning* to do!" Ooops I think I just freaked myself out <AcK!> <Note to self> ~Never P.O. the pool guy!
  17. Ok super quick, since now I am replying to my own replies on my own thread *cough* Looking a the SUBJECT line for my thread I understand it is MISLEADING. Hillbilly is right! While the spa flushes my *imply* they attack/eat/blah blah a spa's biolayer ...IT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THEY DO NOT DEFEAT Pseudomonas slime layer defense. If you find this thread and are suffering from hot tub rash you need to look at threads targeting treatment of spas that are "contaminated". The reason Pseudomonas bacteria are a *persistent* problem is their ability to resist regular levels of sanitizer and enzyme spa purges are not a solution... just a parallel topic. My point was only maybe using a pre-drain treatment was a way to keep one's spa cleaner to prevent buildup that might allow Pseudomonas to gain a foothold on one's spa and NOT TO PROPOSE IT WAS ALL THAT WAS NECESSARY TO TREAT A SPA WITH Pseudomonas And yes ...the stuff I saw post-Spa-Purge was not gelatinous goo it was more mineral looking like calcium crust. It just struck me that removing all that might make it more difficult for Pseudomonas to colonize, and that the visual drama of all that coming from somewhere within my hottub was well ... you know.
  18. Wow with all the SPAM you dropped down pretty quick! I'm not the person you should take professional spa advice from, but lets look at some logical things you might find easy agreement with. You said you don't want to drain, that's smart, and I don't even want to touch that descriptive which has ingredients like special antifreeze. Let's just focus on the obvious. I mean you know you wouldn't want to get in a tub that has been without sanitizer for 3 weeks... but that's a critical point. First, I was able to leave my spa for a week with no problems, but when I got back the chlorine was barely measurable. Before my week began, I had triple dosed it with my choice of sanitizer and latched the cover clips to seal as tight as possible against the wind. I wouldn't recommend going *way* over on sanitizer as damage to your spa and cover may occur ...like dumping in an entire bottle of Clorox is a NO-NO, and really shouldn't be necessary. Remember no one will be getting into your spa while you are gone, so just try deep cleaning your filters (whatever chemical cleaning procedures you regularly perform besides just hosing them off) and give the dry shell a good wipe down ...increase your sanitizer a reasonable amount, and perhaps even lower the temp to the high 90s. Mostly remember you won't be getting home and jumping right in the spa ...so it doesn't really matter what condition the water is in exactly until you DO want to get in. That's when you want it to be fully sanitized. It really doesn't have to be *perfectly* sanitized while you're away, but of course you don't want it to look like soup either upon your return. I really don't think that can happen to a water balanced sanitized spa with super clean filters that no one is getting into for a couple weeks with no Sun (cover on) and initially highly sanitized. So when you get home ...pop the top, test the water, shock it and run the jets for several cycles with the cover off. Make any changes to balance your water including a little extra sanitizer and wait til morning (Ooops forgot to raise the temp!). Test the water that next morning and run the jets (aerate) for a couple cycles before getting in. I have a lot of friends with vacation houses and they leave spas for unforgivable lengths of time. If they are super clean they should last awhile covered, especially if you have ozone and mineral assistance (N2) I still would not get in there no matter how clear it looks without heavy shock treatment and sanitizer of choice, and test test test. Think about it, without sunlight, sweat or dead skin to live on how bad can it go? Well bad enough that you wouldn't want to jump out of the car and into the spa!
  19. I wouldn't recommend leaving in the "Spa Purge" while you soak (not that you did either) but folks are recommending leaving in the 20 Mule Team Borax and bathing in it... quite a popular topic. If you're new look around at more of the Water Chemistry posts ...maybe search on "Borax". The tip to use Borax as a "flush" is likely based on it's increased solvency. I can only guess what is in the "Spa Flush" product, as it somewhat implies biological activity ...enzymes? I mean the last product I saw advertising "enzymes" was Rid-X for your septic tank and the video showing munching singled cell organisms chomping poo in your septic tank... So #1 do NOT use RidX in your spa, and #2 do NOT let your imagination run wild when you hear the word "Enzyme" as it's never been scientifically used to name any single celled organism ...all TV ads aside. I know what an enzyme is, but I also know how much the term has been abused by Marketeers ...for example Borax is NOT an enzyme, and if I were to discover that Spa Purge is actually just Boric Acid ...well that would be ...Boronic. Oh and new guy I supply mostly humor and a little technical advice ...oh! and Welcome to one of the Internet's hippest discussions about a most obscure interest ...they wanted to call it the Interestnet, but 90% of the people tested sounded like they had a speech impediment when they said the word, so they just shortened it to Internet ...ok ok I just made that up. Poolspaforum ...no "S" ...no "and" DOTcom ...Look a bird! Bo
  20. It has "CH Balance" so that's probably just calcium chloride. It has "Softener" which is probably just a borates salt (boric acid). It has "pH Balance" which could be an acid or a base depending on which way they think spas go in pH -- it's probably sodium bisulfate dry acid. It has "Alkalinity Balance" which is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It has "Scale Inhibitor" which could be a phosphonate. It has "Clarifier" which could be any number of charged polymers. The "Powerful Oxidizer" is the only mystery since they imply that it isn't MPS. It is very hard to believe that one would know how much CH was splashed out, how much the pH changed based on aeration and other chemical addition, how much the TA changed, and especially how much oxidizer is needed. Also note that there is NO sanitizer. You could readily make your own equivalent product from the individual chemicals, but generally speaking you do NOT need to increase CH after you've got it set where you want it. Richard Yeah this is the kind of oversimplified approach that caused my initial water problems and confusion when I was new. I think Nitro said recently that "the less you add the better off you are" (paraphrase?) Not less overall by-the-pound, but "less" ummm "fixes". If you set your water up correctly and maintain it regularly...which is simply making sure there is a nominal amount of sanitizer at all times, you will find you are not trying to "resolve issues" (cloudy water/green water?) I don't want to oversimplify because there's a wide range of real and complex possibilities (source water metals/close friends or relatives that you discover are addicted to skin lotion...), but for the majority, once you have it down it should be relatively simple ...test water, add singular modifiers. Chem geek makes the critical point which is not adding stuff that you are not-sure-what-it-is in advance so you may not have to add it later ...it's almost as confusing as my post ;-) The Marketing involved here addresses the core issue, which is "I dun wanna know ...I just wanna soak" That's likely most folk's opinion before their spa goes green or they get a sore on their left boob... then they end up here, which is a good thing. It's only complex until you are motivated to learn. I think Spa dealers are just faced with the new owner and their Human Nature "I dun wanna know ...I just wanna soak" and oversimplification and these attempts at best-case-scenario-sanitation are targeted to deliver the easiest-to-swallow answer. This was a great product to throw at the gurus here [not me!] and I would only point out to Richard [chem geek] that they said the price was comparable to Oxone, they didn't really say it didn't contain any ;-) OooOo magic oxygen source HAH! I bet Richard bought some just to run through the spectrometer [chuckle] Looks like Borates are the new things ...isn't that stuff from Kazakstan? "Thees es my seester, she is in Internet Marketing"
  21. Lotsa chatter on "biolayer" lately and draining your tub to solve biohazard problems (Pseudomonas). The first time I drained my tub, I just drained it, but after a few months of heavy usage (the second go round), and problems maintaining clear water (and after reading some on here) I decided to add an enzyme product (Spa Purge) before draining. OMG! Brown foam is never something you want to see in your spa, but since it was slated to be yard food... no worries. It did prove to me that stuff can hide in the vast network of tubing underneath, and that's it's not only possible to remove, but likely a good idea. I'm from the "School of Clorox" [thanks Richard] and I shock with Clorox weekly (drive it to 10+ ppm and aerate for 45 mins) and keep it balanced where chlorine is low when I get in daily (1-3) and add Clorox when I get out to bump to 5+ and aerate for 15 mins before I close the cover. After reading on here I also clean the dry part of the shell above the waterline on filter maintenance day with a dry microfiber ...works great. Note: microfiber cloths don't do well with high chlorine concentrations and the grippiness of the dry cloth works great to take off the scale and scudge. If you were actually sure you had Pseudomonas you might use a regular cloth with diluted bleach Lots of bacteria above the waterline people, and from what I have read on here likely the main area to get infected form (rashes under arms etc)! I use a Clorox Surface cleaner spray which is just very weak dilution of Clorox for the difficult/crusty/calcium areas. I have had no skin problems and I have sensitive skin, even to just laundry detergents etc. I think people are somewhat afraid of Chlorine bleach because of what they see it do in concentrated form to say... their jeans. But what they really should be afraid of is Pseudomonas or other transmittable diseases. I can't even lay on the grass or the carpet without getting a rash but I have never gotten a rash from Clorox at low levels in my spa ...'nuff said. For all the discussion we do about maintaining our water I thought I'd give the gurus a chance to talk about drain-day... let's leave out the refilling scenarios, maybe make that a next thread? After all the "what can I do to make sure all the biohazards are gone before I refill?" recent topics I thought this might be appropriate. I mean I have excellent success keeping my water crystal clear, but after adding Spa Purge ...sheeesh I dunno is it's just the product or all the funky stuff that's getting enzymatically removed from the plumbing that makes all that nasty foam (you add the product and then run the jets for an hour , leave in for 24 hours). It certainly seems like a step I wouldn't skip in the future after witnessing the results. My question ...as I am about to change water, is the Spa Purge enzyme really removing that hidden biolayer to any significant/scientific degree? Or is it all "funk-in-a-bottle" just to make me think it's doing a job? haha is there a cheaper "enzyme" or better pre-drain flush? I know there are competitors to this line. I mean, if seeing is believing and if what I saw is actually being cleaned from my plumbing after one cycle of water, then this is not a step to skip!
  22. Tony, I think many manufacturers frown on the use of bleach because using ONLY bleach without initially using Dichlor or otherwise adding CYA to the water will result in OVER chlorinating the spa by at least a factor of 4 or more (at 104F). Without any CYA in the water, bleach alone would be too harsh on the spa, especially on the spa cover. Because the industry doesn't talk about the chlorine/CYA relationship, you get these all-or-nothing recommendations. Richard It's good to make note that the manufacturer is looking for the safest and simplest recommendation to not make it all sound so overly complicated. Never discourage the prospective customer or give them options they can screw up... because they will (!) or worse decide a spa is too much like work and not buy today. There's more than one way to sanitize your spa water and it can be very simple, but deciding on a "best" option is missing the point. Different folks soak differently ..like daily or twice weekly? These are critical factors in your choice for sanitizing strategy. I'm from the chem geek school of Clorox, but I'm a daily bather and I like the chlorine level low when I get in. When it's time to change the water I dump in an enzyme treatment *before* draining to dissolve the bio-layer build up and pick up a canister of Dichlor and pH Down... then I just buy a gallon of Clorox at the grocery store as needed. I don't even use MPS, I just double up on the Clorox once a week before maintenance day (filters) This has worked for me because it's just me and she and 15-30 minutes 6 days a week ...and I am doing the water chemistry. If she was doing it we may be using bromine frog or baqua because it's just easier. As long as the germs are dead, your skin is happy, and the water is clear, it's "mission accomplished", but the real question is what level routine fits how you soak and who is performing the maintenance. I can say one thing ...Clorox is CHEAP, and for me the routine is easy, once I came to the understanding of what is really going on over the 120 days from new water to lawn food. Oh and I'm of Scottish descent ;-) ...did I mention Clorox is CHEAP?
  23. Sounds like you're doing your deck reinforcement right. It's alot of weight to consider when it's full of water. When I looked at spa installation options I didn't see brick patio as an option...and i am in NO way an expert. I do however understand why you are supposed to have the options I was offered. I mean it's not like the spa is going to crash through the brick and fall to China, but the surface where your spa weight is distributed needs to be uhhhm "monolithic". By that I mean not prone to subtle random shifting, which it strikes me is exactly what a brick patio would be capable of doing. Not to be a buzzkill as I am very likely mistaken., but small localized (single brick) shifting underneath could allow single weight bearing members/struts/corner posts of the spa to settle out of structural alignment. Again I'm not the guy to provide those answers... but there are guys on here that have experience putting spas on brick patios. Nice work BTW looks nice. Personally from my research i underwstood you needed a reinforced deck, 4" thick concrete slab, or those pad dealies... which are obviously not as heavy duty as brick, but have the benefit of being larger flatter surfaces which resist pressure points by distributing the load... something I don't think the brick would be especially great at. My Spa Salesman said i could make a bed of pea gravel but I didn't find that advice anywhere online,and it strikes me now that pea gravel also might work but could allow your spas frame to shift and an out of alignment frame could equal a cracked shell... maybe it's just me, and this definitely something that would happen over the long haul... or maybe with just a heavy rain.
  24. Kathy here's a bump back up the list, wow one post and no reply? There's a reason you got ignored... well lets not say "ignored" All of the main players on this forum have proved time and again that they are knowledgeable and generous in helping folks. You sound like you have a grip on the basics, but I think this is a case that requires some hands-on healing. The age of the tub and the fact you moved it can put too many variables into the remote troubleshooting equation... but lets look at some obvious logic and I hear that you can likely narrow some of the logic on your own. It's heating, so the heater itself is not bad. It always shuts off at the same temperature so the hi-limit is probably working. The temperature sensing piece of the thermostat may have lost contact with the surface it usually measures... and I have no way of knowing if that's integrated in your heater unit in a 16 year old tub... and i'm not a spa tech ...which it sounds like you sorely need. You need someone with the experience and resources to come up with a part that is likely out of stock... someone that can get their hands on one or make one work that's close enough with a little engineering. Age (tub!) is your enemy here and it could just be corrosion on blade/spade connectors <whatever> changing voltages and something that got jostled by the move This is exactly the kind of experimental repair that you could part swap and fix on first guess ....or end out replacing everything until you di$cover it's your circuit board. That's where a seasoned professional can actually save you some dough... and days of lost soak-itization. Good luck! Bo "providin' the bumpage" Darc
  25. Wow i found this very lonely ignored post and I'll tell you why. It would require a team of lawyers to officially answer this question... like if the answer came from a respected dealer. Since I get no respect I'l help you decide on your own. It would be very interesting to go into all the carbon footprinting behind filling and emptying your spa "greenly" Chlorine and bromine are gases and dissipate quickly, the worst offender might be the built up salts in your water, or if you added an enzyme "Purge" type product before you drained. You might worry about that stuff, but unless told otherwise by a product label, realize you have been authorized by everyone to sit and bathe in this water and it's very likely safe for your lawn. When I drain I am amazed how LITTLE 400 gallons is when dumped on a thirsty lawn. Remember whenever thinking about doing something "Green" always look at all the energy being input into the process... i mean you could pump it all into a 10,000 gallon rain barrel hooked up to your drip irrigation, so as to not waste a drop, but how much oil/coal/nucular (<-see that's funny right thar) powered electricity are you using to save the water? I was attaching a clear large diameter plastic hose to my drain so i could spread the water around but discovered it took twice as long to drain. Now I use that as an additional siphon while I drain normally and it's very quick and I use the siphon like a vacuum cleaner to suck up anything visible and clean the filter compartment. Money is GREEN and TIME is MONEY sooo saving money is GREEN, see how easy that was? The fastest way is the greenest way! That's what I told the trooper as he was writing me a speeding ticket... Bo "Greenification Across the Nation" Darc
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