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kincade

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Everything posted by kincade

  1. DrSpa - I may have miscalculated - it's around $100 more for Sunbrella. May be worth it in my case, but probably not for many others (very high UV exposure here). RHT is RH Tubs?
  2. Thank you for your reply Dr. Spa. It sounds like staying away from the reflective inner liner is a good decision, and upgrading to a thicker cover is a good decision. Regarding the sunbrella - it appears that Spa Depot's cover allows one to use that at very little surcharge. My area has a very high sun explosure, and the top of the cover is literally breaking down in the sun and cracking even with regular 303 maintenance. Do you think Sunbrella gives a longer life with high UV exposure?
  3. Chemgeek, I sincerely appreciate your input. A few updates: I've figured out I'm no longer under warranty - so voiding the warranty with a SWCG isn't much of a concern. I don't want to ruin any components in the hot tub, but it sounds like if I keep the CYA 30-40 and salt at a decent level I will likely be fine. Your math breakdown for the salt level is much appreciated. I can typically go 90-120 days between water changes as long as I stay on top of it. It's a 440 gallon spa, so if I math is correct we are getting up in the 1200-1400ppm level of salt already. Your point about the average is well noted. Is there anything specific I should ask Bullfrog about - composition of the heater element, etc, prior to making the leap into SWCG? Last question, and likely the dumbest. Is there a recommended brand of SWCG, and how does one wire these in? Can they wire in the control panel, or does one need a GFCI 110V edison outlet by the tub? The Technichlor seems to have good reviews, but I've looked all over their website and they have no contact email or phone - which gives me pause should I need some sort of support. It also seems to be out of stock from Amazon and everywhere else - leading me to believe they have gone out of business or are in a refresh cycle.
  4. Chemgeek, thank you for the reply! For some reason I never got a notification you replied - sorry about the long response time. In the case of Bromine, is it possible to get a very low level of active oxidizer in the water as is done with the Nitro method and CYA? As I mentioned we have some concerns about keeping the oxidizer load as low as possible in the tub when soaking. Using the non-halogen of Nature2 is appealing in that manner. Interesting point about the Ozonator. So the ozone will not use up MPS as it does with Chlorine? It's tough to keep chlorine in our tub at all times due to the rapid depletion by Ozone. Bullfrog has vacillated on the use of a SWCG, but they remain steadfast in that it will void the warranty, but not necessarily cause damage depending on the salt level in the water. I'll ask them a bit more about the materials used in the tub to verify the safety. Is 2000ppm considered a high level of salt? I'm curious what our level would be after a few months of using bleach and if we are already at that level.
  5. Thanks for the comments Dr. Spa. Congrats on the retirement! Do you think looking to another manufacturer for the reflective shield would be good? Or is it worthwhile at all? Same issues with other reflective shields? Great information on the link you provided. In my climate what would be your recommendation? Do you have any comment on Sunbrella as an alternative to vinyl?
  6. I'm in need of a replacement cover, and saw Dr. Spa here is the owner of RH Covers. I'm wondering if he and others could advise on some hot tub cover questions? I've narrowed it down to RH Tubs, Spadepot, and HotTubWorks covers. There are different options with each, but I've read good about all of them. I"m in a climate where winters can be severe, 1-2' snow, and very hot summers above 100*. This cover is 5 years old, and the top started to crack from sun (even with regular applications of 303), which led to soaking of the interior. RH Tubs doesn't seem to offer the reflective shield inside any longer. Was it not worthwhile, did it cause issues? Is it a good upgrade on others? RH offers their 6" to 4" in a 1 or 2 lb density, spadepot in a 5-3 in a 1.5 or 2#, and hot tub works in a 5-3 or 6-4 in 1.5 or 2lb density. Is the choice with thickness and density solely with strength of the cover and insulation value? Not sure what weight vinyl is offered in the hottubworks. RH Tubs is 30oz vinyl. Spadepot is 30oz vinyl or sunbrella, which I'm not familiar with. What grade of vinyl is ideal for the longest lasting? I don't see skirt length listed on any but the hottubworks, which say 1.5" minimum. What are the others? Regardless I want a double wrapped foam core and the best continuous seal in the center possible. Thanks for helping me choose between these, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  7. For the past few years I've been using the Nitro / Chemgeek sani method for my hot tub with good success. It works well if followed, and although a bit labor intensive at times it results in excellent quality of water. However the past few months I've been traveling a lot for work, and my water quality has suffered as a result. I'm simply not around all the time to continually monitor and treat the water - and being gone 7 days at a time with this method is tougher. I'm considering changing to a different method - and curious if anyone could give me some input? Our goal is to use as little chemicals as possible - my wife has asthma and some chemical sensitivites, and we have 2 small children who sometimes 'drink' the water even though we tell them not to. Hot tub has a working ozonator, and is a bullfrog 420 gallon unit. I've read waterbear's bromine 3 step process and that looks intriguing. However, every time we've sat in a bromine hot tub we have noticed strong chemical odors and a lingering odor on our skin. Is this typical of a bromine method, or were those people doing it wrong? We have very little odor at all with the nitro method. Alternatively we've considered the nature 2 method - combining it with the nitro we currently use, hoping it might extend the service intervals. Friends who have tried it have seen the water get cloudy very quickly, although I don't know how strict they were with their sanitation. Does it offer any improvements over the method we are currently using? Lastly we have considered a SWCG, likely the techniclor, but Bullfrog tells us they will not warranty the tub if we use one of these. I'm assuming that is because of corrosion? Thanks for any input you can give!
  8. First of all, thanks for all the help you have all given me so far. I have been using the dichlor/bleach/nitro method for a few months now and it seems to be working perfectly, albeit slightly more time consuming than I would like. I have learned that during the dichlor phase, I will want a TA of around 80. When I switch to bleach, I will want a TA closer to 60 ppm. This worked to keep my PH between 7.6 and 7.8 without any corrections. I'm wondering what the TA should be for those that use the Nature 2/MPS method? I'd like to try it for a bit and see how it compares to the dichlor bleach method. Secondly, I'm wondering what MPS, bleach, and Dichlor do to the PH? Do they all raise the ph slightly? Thanks for any help you can give!
  9. Thanks a million for the information! You guys are great, and this site is an invaluable source of information for those of us who would normally rely on the hot tub store (who told me today, chlorine is not good to use in hot tubs because of the heat; bromine was invented for hot tubs for this reason). Sheesh. No wonder there is so much confusion out there! I think I'll go with the Dichlor then bleach method, then use the MPS to shock weekly and use it prior to use . Does MPS bring down the CC level like shocking with chlorine does? What is the shock level of MPS?
  10. Thanks for the response Quantum! I added Gentle Spa to get the 50ppm (16 oz IIRC) needed, and it immediately pushed the Ph to around 8.0. This was approximately a week ago. I didn't know that the TA should be a different level during the Dichlor phase; I'll add some baking soda tonight and see if I can get the PH to come back up. If it doesn't come on it's own, am I safe to add PH up? My CH is around 150, and according to the pool calculator I'm currently sitting around -.5. If I bump the CH to 200 it would help with that, but I hesitate to do that until i get the PH under control. Also, do you think my after soak usage seems very low? I'm adding less than 1/2 recommended, and the FC the next day is still too high! Is my ozonator working THAT well?
  11. Thanks for your quick reply! So with a CYA of 30, is it safe to soak with a FC of 1? Or does it need to be bumped up to 10% of the CYA level? And what is 'shock level' with a CYA of 30? Does 10ppm FC still apply?
  12. Some of you have been very helpful in answering some of my questions about getting my water balanced and I thank you for the assistance! I have a few dumb questions that don't fit into the other 2 threads I've started, and I'm hoping someone can kick me a few answers to them. I've searched but I can't seem to find the answers. Bear with me please, I'll get the hang of this sooner or later! Ok, here goes... I'm trying a 'modified' Nitro's approach with Nature2 for my 'out of town' periods and am going to try and supplement the chlorine with MPS. The tub is a brand new bullfrog with a CD ozonator. -When shocking weekly with chlorine or MPS, how long should I leave the cover off to avoid damaging the cover/pillows/etc from outgassing? Does an MPS shock eliminate CC like a chlorine shock? And do I need to leave the cover off for a while after adding chlorine every night like I do with shocking? -For those of you who add MPS before a big hot tub party to avoid raising the FC too high, how much do you add? I can't find any information on how much to add before soaking (and I understand that too much can cause irritation for some people). -I think I'm getting the CYA thing down... If I understand correctly, the CYA keeps most of the chlorine in 'reserve' and keeps it from working too aggressively. And that with a CYA of 30, keeping FC at 3 outgasses less and is less aggressive on the swimsuits/pillows/cover than keeping a FC of 1 with CYA of 0. Is that correct? If it's kept in reserve does that mean that if I let my FC drop to 0 that the CYA will start releasing chlorine and drop on it's own? Any other recommendations on keeping the chlorine and chemicals as low as possible would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
  13. Thank you for all the help! I think for now I will go with the Dichlor then bleach method and shock with MPS weekly if necessary. I have a full bottle of MPS that the store gave me with the purchase of the hot tub. Is there any downside to shocking with MPS? What TA do you recommend for weekly shocks with MPS?
  14. Thank you for all of the helpful information! As of 2 days ago I thought that I was starting to wrap my head around this. But my chlorine usage seems to be abnormally low from soaking. All of my after soak adds have been much lower than the required amount. My water was staying pretty steady at ph 7.5, TA 60, CH 150, CYA of around 20 (taylor test totally full and cloudy but can see dot through the solution still). Borates have been added at 50 ppm. THEN we had a hot tub party on Saturday night. FC before was 1.0, and we had 5 person hours of soaking. Afterwards, I added 7tsp of Dichlor (less than 1/2 the suggested amount). Next day at 130pm FC was 6.5, and even at 930 it was 5. PH was 7.3 I soaked for 30 minutes last night without adding anything. And this morning, Ph is 6.8! Any idea what I've done? I'm on my way to the spa store to buy some Ph up as I didn't think I'd need to worry about the PH dropping!
  15. Chem, Thanks for the information and clarification. If you don't mind I'd love to ask a few more questions. I'm still unclear on aeration... Will aeration ALWAYS cause a PH rise, even when the water is properly balanced? Or the water is balanced will PH be controlled and limited at 7.6? Secondly, is the whole goal to reach a CSI of 0? Specifically at my current setup (7.4 ph, 70 TA, 150ch) my CSI is -.25. I can get it close to 0 by bumping the CH with calcium chloride or raising the PH to 7.6 (which doesn't seem smart, considering I couldn't get it to stay down previously). Lastly, I've been reading up on Borates, specifically the ones in Gentle Spa. I'm a bit shocked to read about borate toxicity, especially dermal? Some of the side effects listed are liver cancer, skin irritation, etc. And it appears it can also be used as a herbicide/insecticide. On the other hand, one benefit is listed as its anti microbial properties. Am I to assume that in our concentration (50ppm) that the benefits outweigh the risks, or is the risk I've read about at all true? Thanks again!
  16. Thank you for all of the information. I am using the nature 2, but I'm trying to get my head around all of the different approaches listed here. After a few weeks of reading up here, I think I'm more confused than ever! Original plan was the 'nitro' dichlor then bleach method w/ Nature2 as a 'backup' (also have an ozonator) and weekly shocking with MPS. But I'm wondering if it might be a better approach (from a lower chemical sensitivity and byproduct standpoint) to go to MPS daily and shock weekly with dichlor/clorox. I sincerely appreciate your help. I've ordered the kit from Taylor, at least it will let me know what is going on in the tub.
  17. This is the kit that I have read I needed: http://www.taylortechnologies.com/products...&KitID=2265
  18. Chemgeek; I had not added the borates yet (just added them last night). However, doesn't one aerate the spa every time they turn on the jets, thus raising the PH? This was my problem, that I added acid repeatedly while aerating (enough to bring it down to 7.0) and every time it raised to 8.0 while the TA dropped down below 50ppm. The way I read the procedure, when the TA reached around 50 the PH would naturally rise to 7.6 and then stop. Am I reading this wrong? Thanks for all of the answers! My spa does have an ozonator. It runs every 30 minutes for perhaps 1 minute, and then every 12 hours for 2 hours.
  19. I'm currently using the K-2006 Taylor kit to measure my water and I'm considering using MPS as an alternative shock/oxidizer for after soaking. But I read in the manual that a different test kit is needed from Taylor to eliminate the MPS from the sample. What do those of you do that use chlorine and MPS? Thanks for any help you can give!
  20. I've been reading here for a while and the information is amazing! I'm hoping to solicit some of your help with a few questions I have. Please bear with me as I'm still a newbie at this! I'm currently trying Nitro's approach to water here and I am on the 3rd day of the attempt. If I am understanding his writeup correctly he describes the way to lower TA as to aerate until the PH reaches 8.0, then pitch dry acid and lower to 7.0. Then to repeat the process until the PH stabilizes on it's own at 7.6 and the TA shouldn't go lower than 50ppm. However, in trying this I got to 40ppm TA yesterday and the PH still rises to 8.0. Should I keep trying it until the TA reaches 0 (I was under the impression that anything below 50 is bad)? And will aerating ALWAYS bring the PH up, requiring correction after each soak, even after 'balancing' the water? I was worried that the TA was too low, so I pitched some baking soda to raise it back up to what I think is a 'safe' level. My water currently reads as such )with the Taylor k-2006): TA-90 CH-150 Ph-7.3 2ppm fc Nature2 stick 0 CC CYA < 30 50ppm borates via gentle spa (17 oz in a 420 gallon tub). Ideally I was trying to get the CSI to 0, but I can't seem to get the TA low enough to get the PH to not rise during aeration. Lastly, Nitro doesn't mention anything about stain and scale control, anti foam, or scum balls. But my dealer is really pushing that I should use all 3. Do any of you have any clarification on whether they should be needed?
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