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About gman

  • Birthday 08/10/1952

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Spa Savant

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  1. GaTub, I don't want to alarm you and you've already stated that your dog is NOT ALLOWED in the tub...but I just want to warn you about something you might know of already, but...the water temperature in a hot tub is too high to be safe for dogs. Dogs cannot dissipate heat very easily. The high temperature of the water in a hot tub will raise your dog's body temperature to dangerous levels very quickly and dogs have difficulty dissipating the heat from their bodies once their temperatures are elevated. Your dog may love the water, but unlike the cooler water in a pool or lake, the hot tub is not a good swimming environment for your dog. Good luck with keeping him/her out. Good luck also with getting your water chemistry issues resolved. This forum's Water Care section is loaded with useful information and a great resource. The success I've had in maintaining trouble-free spa water is due to the generosity of knowledgeable participants and regular contributors like chem geek and waterbear, et al. I know there are many happy hot tub owners because of the research and contributions of these forum members. I can't thank them often enough. Happy tubbing, gman
  2. I like the hydrotherapy of Sundance spas. I have a Sundance Optima. Given your size and number of people, you might consider the Sundance Aspen (7-8 person capacity). You probably know already, but in case you don't, the people capacity listed by the manufacturer is a bit misleading. The Aspen is a large hot tub, but 8 adults in that tub would have everyone crammed in like sardines. 6 people at a time would be doable but you're still going to run into a little bump and grind. Be sure to wet test and thoroughly check out the dealer for customer satisfaction, service reliability and length in the business. Good luck gman
  3. I might be mistaken about this, but when using your Taylor K2006 (chlorine) drop test kit to measure bromine, I thought the conversion rate for each drop of R871 is 1.25 (not 1.125). If I'm correct, then your bromine level will be a bit higher than you indicate. If I'm wrong..."nevermind" (Roseanne Roseannadanna) gman
  4. I always recommend a wet test. I think it should be a requirement for any tub. But it is critically important for a used tub because you not only want to know how the tub's hydrotherapy feels to you, you also need to make sure the tub is fully operational prior to your purchase. I would also be sure that the warranty on the used tub covers labor and service/show-up charges and not just the parts costs. gman
  5. Gman, thanks for the great response, you mentioned a lot of things to consider. I tend to be a *buy new* kind of person precisely because of warranties, and also because if it's pre-owned, it may be new to me, but it's not new, so it's possible that I'd experience issues sooner than I would with a new one. I really appreciate your thoughts on the size issue, I was concerned about buying more than I need, but I feel a bit more comfortable about looking at larger hot tubs based on your comments. I haven't started looking at all yet, mostly doing some research, but as I said above, I've identified local dealers for all the major brands that I've seen routinely recommended in my forum reading: Marquis, Sundance, Caldera, Dimension One, Jacuzzi, Artesian. I've looked at all their web sites online and for the most part picked a small and a medium that I might be interested in. I'll probably start some initial visits to some of the dealers this week, and do some reading on the separate circulation pump. One thing I neglected to mention above is that I routinely spend my summers out of state, so I wouldn't be using my hot tub at all during those months (unless my sister convinces me to leave it filled so she can use it!) I know if I were to leave it filled and nobody is around to put chemicals in, that would be bad! Are there any considerations I might want to make regarding the type of circulation or other factors to consider because I'll be gone 4 months out of the year? Thanks again! Let me preface my comments by saying there are many great tubs out there from many excellent manufacturers. You'll find commonality among them, but each will have features relatively 'unique' to that brand. I chose the Sundance Optima because hydrotherapy was important to me and when I was shopping, Sundance had/has a reputation for good hydrotherapy. One feature that I particularly like about the Sundance Optima (2009), which is fairly unique to that tub is the foot jets. Not all tubs have foot jets and those that do are usually fairly limited. The design in the Optima (from 2009 on) offers very practical and functional foot jets...better than I'd seen in other tubs. It's a feature almost all of my guests have appreciated and commented about. I've mentioned Sundance's unique foot jet design before...many times on this forum. I apologize for repeating the same opinion once again. But, this feature was a factor (of many) that 'tipped' the scales in favor of Sundance over other brands. I think it's a feature that deserves attention, particularly if you're like me (interested in good hydrotherapy and likes a good foot massage). BTW, I shopped (wet-tested) HotSprings, D1, Jacuzzi, Caldera, Artesian, and others in my search for a tub. They all had pluses and minuses. Of course, my needs and preferences may not be anything akin to yours. Also, I have not been hot tub shopping for a couple of years. Designs, options, and features may have changed in the interim. My other piece of advise is this....when wet-testing each tub, please allow yourself enough time to casually soak and experiment in each seat position of each tub. Play with the controls and try to spend time sensing the hydrotherapy with different water pressure, partial jets, etc. I always liked car-shopping. Most people when they test drive a car will familiarize themselves with the controls, know where the lights, wipers, horn, emergency lights are...adjust the seat and mirrors appropriately, find the blinds spots, make sure all the lights work...then drive it on different roads (highway, city, paved, unpaved, etc.) and if possible, different weather conditions to see how it handles and responds. Try viewing wet-testing a hot tub like test-driving a car. Wet-testing a hot tub is not a direct comparison, but your approach to wet-testing should be similar. I liked hot tub shopping. Some people think its a chore. I viewed it as a thoroughly interesting learning adventure. If possible, try to wet-test several tubs on the same day so your sensory memory is fresher. You'll notice the comfort differences more readily that way. (My usual disclaimer) I'm not an agent, employee, dealer, or spa tech for any hot tub manufacturer. I have no connection, business or personal, to Sundance or any hot tub company, except as a consumer. Good luck. gman
  6. LCAinSA, Welcome to the forum. This is a great place for info. Once you decide on a hot tub, be sure to read all the "hot topics" in the Hot Tub Water Chemistry subsection (under POOL/SPA Water Care). I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions as to which hot tub manufacturers are better/best. Most people have their favorites. If you read enough posts, you'll discover there are about 6-8 brands that are routinely recommended, e.g., Sundance, HotSprings, Dimension 1 (D1), Jacuzzi, Marguis, Artesian, Caldera, etc. Here are some thoughts and general suggestions that might help narrow your search. 1. I recommend you buy a tub made by one of the recommended reputable manufacturers. They have survived in a tough business for a long time with reason. They all have different model 'levels' to accommodate different price points. Consider i) who will be the primary users, ii) how you/they intend to use the tub, and iii) pick a manufacturer's model that fits the primary users' needs, purposes, and budget. 2. New v. Used. Lots of issues here, but the main advantage of buying new tub from a reputable manufacturer is the tub's operation is a relatively known quantity and you get a warranty. The obvious disadvantage...it costs more money than a used tub. The obvious advantage of a used tub is...it's cheaper, but you have no idea how well it's been maintained or what's been done to it and there is no warranty*. The tub's warranty is limited to the original owner...it does not transfer. A used tub is an unknown quantity. If you buy I used tub, I hope you're a DIYer because you're likely to be spending a lot of time and money fixing a used tub (rather than soaking in it)...unless you're very familiar with the particular tub, its owner and its maintenance history and know first hand it's been well-maintained. If you're not a DIYer, then you will probably be better off getting a new tub. If purchased from a local dealer, they will deliver it, set it up and help you get started. *there might be a limited warranty available if the 'used' tub were purchased through a dealer. 3. Research the hot tub dealerships in your area. Your dealer is important. You're going to have your tub for many, many years. No matter which tub you buy, you'll need customer assistance and service some time during the life of the tub. You want a dealer that is reputable, knowledgeable, reliable and (hopefully) nearby. Distance adds time and costs for service calls and parts pickup/delivery. Not all the generally recommended hot tub manufacturers may have dealerships in your area. It probably isn't wise to fall in love with a tub that has no local techy. If possible, try to fall in love with a brand from a local dealership with a good customer service reputation. 4. Whatever tub you buy, new or used, you need to wet-test the tub. This is so important it should be a requirement. This is doubly true for a lounger. Loungers do not fit everyone comfortably. The lounger takes up a lot of space so you want to make sure it's worth the sacrifice. If a dealer/seller is unable or unwilling to allow you to wet-test the tub you want to purchase, don't buy it from that dealer or, at the very least, get a 30-day period (better yet 60-day) return option in writing that guarantees your right to return the tub, at dealer's costs and expense, and which guarantees a full refund of your purchase price and all related expenses from the date of delivery and setup. 5. The number of people a tub can hold, as listed by the manufacturer, is the maximum that the tub is designed for. That number does not necessarily mean full-sized adults. The number of people who comfortably fit into a tub will be less than the capacity listed by the manufacturer. You mentioned having four people in the tub. I don't know how often you would be entertaining with your tub, but four people in a mid-sized tub, particularly one with a lounger will get cozy very fast. For example, I own a Sundance Optima (which I highly recommend for its hydrotherapy). It's a "6-7 person" capacity tub. Four (4) adults can sit in that tub very comfortably (one adult in each of the corner seats). However, once you get more than 4 adults in the tub, you're going to bump butts, shoulders, elbows and feet...that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is another reason wet-testing is so important. Wet-testing can give you a sense of occupancy possibilities as well as realities. First timers who are not sure how much they'll really use their hot tub, will often start with a smaller tub (because smaller is also less money). When it's time to finally replace that first tub, most people purchase a bigger tub without hesitation. If you're torn between two tubs but think one is too big, go with the bigger tub (providing your physical space where your setting the tub will accommodate it). 6. There are differing opinions regarding the benefits of a separate circulation pump. I think it's the way to go, if you have the option. The circulation pump on my tub was 'standard' equipment. I operate it 24/7. The nice feature about a separate circulation pump, particularly if your tub is equipped with an ozonator, is that circulation IS possible and desirable 24/7. Circulation is quieter than via the jet pumps and at lower cost, relatively speaking. Without a separate circulation pump, the jets pump(s) provide the needed circulation to maintain good water chemistry. But because the jet pumps are considerably noisier and more costly to operate, those pumps are not run 24/7, but at intervals. 7. I know cost is always a factor. But keep in mind that you will have your tub for 10+ years. It will be a sizeable investment (no matter what price range is right for you). If you're conflicted between two tubs...one you really want but which is more money than you intended to spend; the other you can 'live' with but is more affordable, my recommendation is...get the more expensive tub that you really want. Over the life of the tub, that initial added expense will end up being a very small average yearly increase over the "more affordable" tub you could just 'live with'. 8. Read the Hot Tub Water Chemistry subsection materials and learn for yourself what constitutes good hot tub water chemistry and how to maintain it. Most new hot tub owners assume their dealer knows about proper sanitized water and they rely on their dealers for information and advice. However, from the many recurring problems, questions, and complaints brought to this forum from hot tub owners following the advice of their dealers, it is clear many dealers are misinformed, uneducated and untrained in proper hot tub water chemistry and maintenance. Contrary to your natural inclinations, you can't assume your dealer, just because he/she is a dealer, is properly educated in this vital area of hot tub ownership. Once you own a hot tub, you owe it to yourself, your health and safety, to learn the basics. The stuff is not difficult to learn, it's quite interesting, and you don't have to rely on other peoples results...you have control. Just my thoughts and opinions. They're not even worth $0.02...they're free (which means they're worth exactly what you paid for them). Good luck with your search. I hope you find the perfect tub for you. gman
  7. GaTub, I, too, was assuming the Sundance website would be up-to-date as to the respective tub specifications (even if the tub 'photos' are somewhat dated). I could be wrong. I haven't looked at the 2012 brochure, so I don't know whether the website specs coincide with the 2012 brochure. You may want to give Sundance Customer Service a call and check to see if the website 'specs' are good for the 2012 tubs. Get one of the salesman or (better still) one of the techies, to explain the specific differences of the 2012 and 2011 tubs. It seems to me that the changes from year to year are more mechanical than structural, so I wouldn't be surprised if the physical specs don't change too much. I think you're right about blazing new territory for the Clear Ray system. Should you get that system, you can report your findings on the forum. I won't touch your set up for a "drowning wife" joke, even if the door is open wide enough for a truck to drive through. Your 'set-up' did hit on one of the many reasons it's important to wet-test. In our tub (the Optima), we've nicknamed the two corner seats with the most jets the "captain's" and "co-captain's" chairs. The "captain's" seat is the deepest of the seats. It is too deep for my wife to use comfortably. She must 'prop' herself up or her mouth is at the water level. Fortunately, the "co-captain's" seat is not as deep and she uses that without 'adjustment'. I know what it's like not having spa dealerships in the immediate vicinity. I typically traveled 50 miles one way to inspect and wet-test various tubs. When I did my spa shopping, I checked out at least 6 different manufacturers and even more tubs. I think the farthest dealership was about a 2 hour drive (one-way). I know a lot of people wouldn't bother making such an excursion, but for that test, my wife and I just made a day of it. We had a great time and learned a lot in the process. Besides, what's better after a two-hour drive than to sit in a hot tub and take a soak? As you know, hot tubs are a luxury item and they're not cheap. Consequently, most people keep their tub for years (10+ or more). Because this is a long term investment, it is important to get the tub that is right for you...even if the 'right' tub may be a little more expensive than initially envisioned. Consider the price over the long haul. This is particularly important when the tub you REALLY want is a bit more expensive than the one you can "live" with. What may appear as a significant difference in price now may not be too significant when considered over the life of your tub ownership. That being said, your wife trumps everything, so...get whatever she wants. Good luck and happy tubbing! gman
  8. Hello GaTub, Welcome to the forum. Although I own a Sundance Optima, I cannot tell you anything about the hydrotherapy of the Hartford. I have never wet-tested a Hartford. The natural assumption would be that the hydrotherapy of the two would be similar since the basic layout of the two tubs appear to be the same. Note however there are no foot jets in the Hartford (there are in the Optima), the depth of the tubs are slightly different, and the standard jets in the Hartford are different than the standard jets in the Optima. You should insist on wet-testing the specific tub you are interested in or if wet-testing is truly impossible, get in writing a 60 day "no-cost-to-you" (including disconnecting, shipping and handling) full refund/return option should you not like the tub. There is no such thing as 'dry-testing', since sitting in an empty tub does not 'testing' anything. The seating will feel totally different when the tub is filled with water. The only way you will be able to get any sense of the ergonomics and hydrotherapy of the tub is by wet-testing. The circulation pump is "standard" in the Optima. It is optional in the Hartford. I would recommend you get it. The low horse power circulation pump will allow 24/7 circulation at a very low cost and will be much quieter than the intermittent circulation that comes from the higher horse power main jet pumps. Should elect to forego the circulation pump option, then the circulation necessary for water maintenance must come from the main jet pumps. These will be noisier and cost more to run than the circulation pump. I am not familiar with the Clear Ray UV system. I understand it is "new" for Sundance. I have no idea whether the system delivers as it's marketing suggest. There may be research and testing results out there that support the marketing claims, but I have not read them. My tub has an ozonator. The cost/benefit analysis of ozone and water maintenance has been discussed on this forum on many threads. Although the overall benefits of ozone may be debatable, the existing supporting research evidence suggests that the benefits of ozone use in a hot tub are best realized with a bromine water maintenance system and 24/7 circulation. My tub has 24/7 circulation via a separate circulation pump and I use the 3-step bromine system for water maintenance (See Bromine for Beginners "Hot Topic" in the Hot Tub Water Chemistry subsection of the Pool/Spa Water Care Section of this forum). As to "anything else I should be thinking about"....Check out the Sundance website and compare models and features. Also check out all the "Hot Topics" in the Hot Tub Water Chemistry section. This will help you decide what chemicals to buy and what you don't need to buy. This knowledge will be helpful when negotiating over the price of the hot tub with the spa dealer. Certain things are routinely included in the spa package to 'sweeten' the deal. Spa chemicals, among other things (like cover, cover lifter, stairs, lights, delivery, (crane, not typical but may be necessary), setup, etc.,) are commonly 'thrown in'. After you've read the "hot topics" you may discover you won't need or want many of the water balancing chemicals the dealer wants to get you 'hooked on' when you initially purchase your tub. Also, when you negotiate for tub options, be very specific as to what you want and get everything you agree upon included in detail on the invoice in writing. For example, many dealers will throw in 'steps'. However, the high-end steps you see next to the hot tub in the store and expect to get in your 'deal' may not be the 'steps' the dealer has in mind when he throws 'steps' into your negotiated deal. One other thing, I think all tubs should be decontaminated prior to their first use. The "Decontamination" protocol in the 'Hot Topics' recommends decontamination for used tubs, but new tubs also contain residual oils and chemicals from manufacturing and residual water from the manufacturer's water testing. Decontamination will remove these residuals and any developing bio-films. I hope this helps. Good luck in your search. gman
  9. islanders, Since you asked for suggestions of other spas from Sundance or Bullfrog, I thought I'd chime in. I'm not familiar with Bullfrog spas, but I do own a Sundance Optima (2009) and I'm familiar with this hot tub. I suggest you consider the Sundance Optima if your looking for a 5-6 person hot tub. Below are my thoughts (influenced, of course, by my personal preferences). Your personal preferences may be different and the Optima might not be right for you. You may have already considered the issues I raise below. If not, perhaps I'll provide you with food for thought. In any event, good luck with your hot tub search and acquisition. BTW, for purposes of full disclosure...I'm not a spa dealer, spa repairman or service tech. I'm not affiliated with any hot tub manufacturer. I'm just a happy consumer. The Optima alternative: 1. The Optima is similar in size to the Cameo, but the Optima does not have a lounger. If a lounger is a key feature for you, the Optima will not be for you. 2. If the lounger is not essential in your tub design, but a large tub (5-6 person) is, then consider that: a) Tub manufacturers give you the 'maximum' recommended person capacity. Although the Sundance Optima is advertised as a 6-7 person tub, as a practical matter, the Optima will only hold 4 adults comfortably (i.e., without playing bumper tag). Once you get more than 4 adults in the tub, then you'll be playing footsies and rubbing butts and shoulders together with other tubbers (which may (or may not) be what you want...a double-edged sword). A lounger takes up a lot of space. If you intend to entertain a lot with your hot tub, you'll lose one seating space with a lounger. The Cameo is advertised as a 5-6 person tub. With the 'lounger' your 'comfortable' capacity will be three. c) The Optima has 'central' foot jets. I love the Optima foot jets and their unique practical design. It was one of the 'deciding' factors in my tub choice. Many tubs do not have 'central' foot jets. Those that do (and don't hold me to this)... if tubs have foot jets, they're typically at one position only. 'Lounge' tubs typically have foot jets, but usually only at the lounge seat. With tubs that have 'central' foot jets, the typical configuration is a half-moon 'dome' in the center of the tub's foot-well. The dome has 4 jets aimed at the corner seats (the 'premium' seats). I found tubs with this type of central foot jet configuration difficult to walk in because the dome takes up most of the foot-well and you can't step on the dome because of its shape. The Optima has a unique design that includes 8 small jets. Although these jets are available to all positions, they essentially provide two jets for each of the corner 'premium' seat positions (which is great because I have two feet). The jets are set in a large flat-topped configuration that is slightly raised. The flat top is large enough that an adult can stand on it easily. And because it is only slightly raised, should you step on the edge, you're not thrown so severely off balance as with the 'dome'. If foot jets are a consideration, the Optima provides more central foot jets in a design that is better and safer than the half-moon 'dome' style (IMHO). BTW, the half-moon dome style was used by Sundance in the Optima up to 2009. An added benefit...I can stretch out (float) across the Optima and the foot jets will massage the backs of my legs. So, essentially, I have a 'lounger' without sacrificing the seat space. 3. If a lounger is essential to your tub, keep in mind that each tub's lounger is designed differently, even within the same manufacturer. The lounger will not fit everyone the same. Wet testing is 'required' for ANY tub (IMHO), but this is particularly true with a 'lounger'. Given the lounger does eat up valuable space, you want to make sure the primary users will fit its configuration. Good luck with your search. I hope this helps a little. Happy tubbing. gman
  10. Just out of curiosity, if everything works on the 50 amp configuration, what's the advantage of installing the 60 amp configuration? There's definitely a price difference. gman
  11. oldparr, Glad to hear your water is perfect. Next time you're ready to add Gentle Spa again (presumably on your next drain/refill, get all your other numbers correct and stable and make sure you take readings immediately before adding Gentle Spa. Then add your Gentle Spa. You'll know for sure if the source of your TA/pH spike was the Gentle Spa or something else. Good luck and enjoy. gman
  12. Gman, Unfortunately, I do not have the numbers prior to the addition of the gentle spa. I measured my PH 3 days ago and it was 7.6 (it was in the range 7.5-7.7 for a couple of months). Also, my TA was 60 2 or 3 months ago. Since then, I didn't measure it until now. After the gentle spa, it was 80. Now, I'm lowering it with dry acid. I use the CYA then bleach method (I add stabilizer right after the refill). I added 16oz of gentle spa using a postage scale and a plastic bag. Regards, oldparr Oldparr, This may not be so strange as it may first appear. Here are some thoughts... You said you did not test your water immediately prior to adding Gentle Spa. Your last test results were 2 or 3 months ago. At that time, your TA was 60 ppm. You tested after the addition of Gentle Spa and now your TA is 80 ppm. If we assume Gentle Spa is pH neutral, which has been my experience, then something else increased your TA. In the past 2 - 3 months, have you "topped off" your tub to compensate for any water loss from evaporation and/or use? I have a 540 gal Sundance Optima. I used the Dichlor/Bleach method for almost two years. (I only switched to Bromine recently because I am away from the tub for longer periods.) Every time I needed to top off my tub, I always checked the TA because I knew my TA level would increase and my pH would rise with the addition of replacement water. Of course, the more water I added, the greater the increase. Also (and this might be immaterial since water can be drastically different depending on locale), I found that my pH remained most stable when my TA was around 50 ppm. The higher my TA, the more fluctuation I saw in my pH. If you added water to your tub within the last couple of months and did not check your TA, it's possible that your pH and TA levels were changed by added water and not Gentle Spa. BTW, although I find Gentle Spa a good product, it's not my intention to relieve Pro Team Gentle Spa as the culprit if this is what did, indeed, raise you pH and TA . I'm just thinking of possibilities to solve your problem. Gentle Spa is not cheap and if it is not the culprit or the pH and TA rise is attributable to other factors, you may have more confidence in using the rest of your purchase. FWIW, I have no affiliation with Pro Team or any other spa manufacturer, supplier, producer or chemical company except as a consumer. Good luck, gman
  13. Oldparr, Pro Team's Gentle Spa is supposed to be pH neutral. I have been using Gentle Spa for 2 years without a problem with rising pH. Therefore, my first thoughts after reading your post was that the cause of your pH rise is from another source or condition. Of course, it's possible that your batch of Gentle Spa is flawed in some way. Given you did not post any of your other water chemistry numbers, such as TA, CH (or Br), FC, CYA, CC, etc., (unfortunately), either before or after the addition of Gentle Spa, nor did you tell us what you may have added to your water in addition to Gentle Spa, if anything, we have no idea what was/is in your water. If you post some numbers, and provide more information of what's in your water, we may be able to help explain your sudden rise in pH. BTW, how did you determine your concentration (level) of Borates (not that I think the Gentle Spa is the cause of your high pH)? Kindest regards, gman
  14. WuhWuzzat, You are correct. It is a filter devise that connects to your hose. It is not mechanical per se, unless you think the hose connection fitting on the end makes this mechanical. The pre-filter stick is a micro filter and will collect some of the metal contaminants in your water as you fill your tub. There are basically two 'styles'. One style has the filter 'open' (no casing), while the other style has the filter encased in a plastic tube. EcoOne and Pure fill are examples of the second style. The encased filters are a bit more expensive than the open style. I've only used the open style, which typically goes for about $20-$25 from your local dealer. The encased variety runs about $30 - $35. You can find these online from most pool/spa supply distributors for less money, usually between $10 - $25, but then you have shipping charges. Each distributor will have its own price, but I usually find the open pre-filter stick online for about $10.00. I can't say for sure because I've never checked who manufactures these sticks, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of the pre-filter 'open' sticks advertised and sold by the various distributors are all made by the same company. So I don't think you'll get much different quality of product if you pay $10 or $30. Since many of the distributors (like SpaDepot, PoolGeek, Hot Tub Warehouse, et al) will provide free shipping when ordering over X-dollars of products, I usually buy my stick online when I'm purchasing other spa supplies and get the free shipping and save a little money. The pre-filter stick is not required, but I highly recommend it. I hope this helps. gman
  15. I'm in agreement with chem geek. Although the "Hot Topics" Decontamination procedure recommends decontamination for 'used' tubs, I think it should be used whenever you have a hot tub where the cleanliness status is unknown, whether the tub is new or used. Although it's natural to assume that a new tub will be spotless, here are a few reasons for decontaminating a 'new' tub... 1. No matter how clean the surface of a new tub appears, there will be residual manufacturing solvents, oils, etc., in the pipes and pumps from the manufacturing and installation of the tub's components. These will typically appear on your first fill as a 'scum line' at the top of your water. The specific amount of these residual solvents found in any new tub is an unknown, but there will be some. 2. The manufacturer water test their tubs for quality control purposes. Although the manufacturer will drain the tubs before packaging and shipping, unless the pipes and pumps are blown out thoroughly, there is still likely to be residual water remaining inside. This water is a source for bacteria and bio-film formation. There will be bacteria in the tub. How severe is also unknown. 3. Many of the major hot tub manufacturers are located on the west coast, yet the tubs are shipped all over the world. Between the manufacturing plant/storage facility to the eventual staging place (home), a tub may pass through a variety of environments and temperature changes while in transit. Even when the manufacturer does a good thorough job of cleaning and drying the tub, condensation from these temperature changes can form within the tub, which will also be a source of bacteria/bio-film growth. I think it's well worth the extra time and effort to perform the decontamination protocol on a new tub. As chem geek mentioned, you're more likely to have water problems if you don't decontaminate and it's a one-time process if you keep your water well balanced and maintained. If you do decontaminate, you're more likely to get the water results you expect and you'll enjoy greater peace of mind knowing your first soak is with not just clear water, but balanced and sanitized water. BTW, I also recommend you use a pre-filter stick on your hose when your filling your tub for your first soak. No need to use the pre-filter stick for the decontamination protocol. Good luck. gman
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