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Posts posted by RonB01

  1. Hello again

    I just wanted to thank the group for the information on getting the water dialed in.

    That aspect of pool ownership has been actually boring :)

    I change filters once a month, swapping in a spare set. I built a rack for the dishwasher, holding them upright instead of laying on their side. Then I soak them overnight in tsp & hot water, run them through the dishwasher again,then hang them out to dry.

    When I change the water (every 3 or 4 months), I "sneak up" on the balance, only adding enough of each chemical to bring the water halfway to where I want it to be, letting it settle overnight, then re-testing and adding more until it's close enough.

    From that point, I just add chlorine daily, and test weekly to make sure the water hasn't gotten too far out of whack.

    I have had problems with the spa, though: lights, leaks, and the control panel. The dealer has handled them, though. It does give me concern for long-term reliability once it's out of warranty, though.

  2. Does the bottle say what is in the other 1%? If it says "inert ingredients", then you're fine.

    I guess all "inert ingredients" are not created equal. This time around I used Hot Shot brand (99% orthoboric acid, 1% inert ingredients) and got a nice blue scum line around the pool. It came off easy enough, but I guess this brand used part of that 1% for dye :-(

  3. You aren't using any sort of phosphate-based pH buffer product or any metal sequestrant, are you? What is the volume of your spa?

    No, the only thing I am using for "buffer" is the boric acid. These are new filters that I just got to have a set to swap, so it isn't un-rinsed tsp either.

    The spa is 420 gallons.

    I'll pay closer attention to the size of drops, but didn't notice anything different.

    Could temperature have anything to do with it? The test kit is kept in a cool room, about 50F.

  4. I just changed the water in my tub. The initial test was TA 30, CH 30. I brought up the TA with 1 tablespoon baking soda. Also shocked with dichlor to 10 ppm, added a pound boric acid for borates, and ran the jets to bring pH up.

    Later that day, the test was TA 40, CH 30. I added another tablespoon baking soda.

    The next test, same day, was TA 50, CH 30. So, I added a tablespoon of calcium chloride to start CH up.

    The second day, I had a CH of 75. So, I added another tablespoon of calcium chloride to bring CH farther up.

    Three days later, having added another tablespoon each day, CH is still reading 75. In other words, I have added 4 TBS (2 oz) calcium chloride with no change in the reading.

    I am using the Taylor 2006 test kit, which is only a month old.

    Any ideas what is going on here?

  5. Here's what I paid for my Hot Springs Vanguard (floor model)

    Cover, Panel, etc.

    No Cover Cradle

    Everwood Steps

    Start-Up Chemicals

    Delivery and set-up

    $8200 plus tax

    I am quite pleased with the tub. The moto's are great, as is the variety of other arrangements.

    A couple of points that we changed our mind about after buying:

    The wide cool-down seat is very important, not just "might be nice".

    Also, the flat steps getting in are important.

    The soothing stream is also a nicer feature than we thought it would be. We spend a fair amount of time just soaking. The soothing stream runs off the circulation pump, and gives a nice trickle background noise. The bigger water features on other tubs usually run off the jet pumps, so are not available when you are just soaking.

    FYI I live in central NC.

  6. Well, this is a pretty boring subject. My water is still sparkling clean, and doesn't have bad odors.

    The numbers are staying quite stable. I use the tub every day when home. My wife and I went on vacation for a week, and told the daughter to put in 6oz Chlorox every day. Some days she used the tub, some days not. When I got back, the pH was at 7.0, and everything else was right where I left it. I ran the pumps for maybe an hour the first night back, and the next afternoon the pH was back at 7.6, where it has stayed ever since.

    Typical numbers:

    CH 125 (I get 110 if I use the 10ppm/drop procedure)

    TA 75

    pH 7.6

    FC between 0-1 @ 6pm; add 6-8 oz. Chlorox at end of day

    CYA 43

    CSI -0.18

    I did bump the temperature up from 100 to 102; it feels a bit better on cold days.

    I will shortly be coming up on the first month of ownership. I do have a fair amount of sudsing due to (I'm guessing) detergent and skin cream (at least I think I do; this is my first tub). I have a new set of filters to change out when I change water, so I don't have to rush through cleaning them.

    Thanks to this forum, water treatment does not look to be an issue.

  7. I would try to keep the CSI between -0.3 and -0.1. Your numbers are pretty good right now. I think that if you started to use a pH of 7.8 or 7.9, your pH would be more stable.

    Yes, my numbers are looking pretty stable now.

    CH 125

    TA 70

    pH 7.6

    FC 6

    CSI -0.24

    I am still working on zeroing in out exactly how much chlorine to use each day, and putting in the boric acid a bit at a time (I am leery of dumping a pound of anything in the tub at one time). I'll let the pH get up a bit more before trying to bring it down.

    Thanks again.

  8. IMHO, it would be good to know a company that provides this level of service. How much did they charge you for the kit?

    It was poolcenter . com.

    I got the 2oz kit (K-2006C) instead of the 3/4oz kit (K-2006) figuring I won't run out during the first year. If I don't use that much chemical, I can just get 3/4oz refills when I need them. They charged $96 for the kit (about $30 more than the 3/4oz kit), and $6 for shipping to a business.

  9. Every few days, I need to bring the pH down a few points. Maybe next time I fill I will try for CH 100, FC 80 and see if that is more stable.

    I think that you mean CH 100 and TA 80?

    That is exactly what I meant.

    So, next fill I will target CH 100, TA 50, and see how that works.

    Plugging those numbers into thepoolcalculator, I get a CSI of -0.37. Is that close enough to zero to not worry about?

    Thanks for all the help.

  10. Well, I think I may be getting it dialed in.

    CH 120

    TA 60

    pH 7.6

    FC 5.0

    CYA 42

    Borates 16

    CSI -0.27

    I am adding ~6 oz Chlorox each night so that my FC is above zero when I get home from work, so it can continue to drop until I soak at night, then add some more after to keep it well above zero until the next day. This is with ~2 bather/hours per day on average.

    Every few days, I need to bring the pH down a few points. Maybe next time I fill I will try for CH 100, FC 80 and see if that is more stable.

  11. Well, the 1 tsp dichlor wasn't enough. When I got home from work, FC was at zero. Not too surprising with the bather load last night (4 person/hour). I guess I will need to check more often until it stabilizes.

    This evening's test results:

    CH 50 ppm

    TA 70

    pH 7.8

    FC 0.0


    2 TBS dichlor to bring FC to 10

    3 fl oz calcium chloride to try and bring CH to 120

    This should bring my CYA to ~20 so far

    Will also try to keep an eye on pH

  12. Ok, this is the first fill of a new (floor model) tub. Capacity of ~400 gallons. City water. Used pre-filter on end of brand new hose. No filter or softener in the house.

    Before adding anything, the test strips (yes, I know the drop kits are better, but I had to order it, so I used what I had) showed TA of 20 ppm, pH of 7.2, and FC of 0.5.

    Without being able to test better, I just added 2 TBS Dichlor to bring FC up to 10 ppm.

    Second day, test kit showed up (Taylor K-2006):

    CH 20 ppm

    TA 20

    I guess my city water is pretty clean and soft as it comes.


    4 TBS calcium chloride to increase CH, ran pump 30 min.

    8 TBS baking soda to increase TA, ran pump 10 min.

    Tested again:

    CH 30

    TA 60

    pH 7.6

    FC 6

    After soaking that evening, I added 1 tsp Dichlor to make sure FC didn't drop too much overnight.

    On the bottle of calcium chloride, it mentioned waiting a long time before testing again to allow time for it to be absorbed; possibly that will come up further before I test again tonight.

    My question: How far should I be trying to bring CH and TA up to? 110 each give a CSI of -0.04 on pool calculator; does that seem like a good target?

    Edit: re-reading Nitro's approach, I see he recommends CH 130-150 and TA 80; I'll shoot for that.

    Also, what should I be looking at to decide when/how much MPS to add?

  13. ... all of my samples are shades of orange. At first I thought that the PH was just a bit low so I added PH increase. It just seems to change the shade of orange in my test sample.

    Do you also have the R-0006 base demand test? If so, you can use that to find out how much pH increase needs to be added. Count the number of drops added to your tested sample to bring the pH up to where you want it. Then, look up the table in the Taylor test booklet to find out how much pH increase needs to be added for your pool/tub size.

    Alternatively, you can take your measured pH and go to pool calculator .com, input your data, and use it's results to find out how much to add.

  14. Well, the dealer sent a handful of chemicals but no test anything, not even test strips. How do they expect someone to be happy with a hot tub without being able to properly take care of the water? Maybe they figure ignorance is bliss, and bad water maintenance will allow them to deny warranty claims :-(

    The local pool store had a couple types of test strips and one really lame looking drop kit: it only tested two things! So, let's try something else...

    Anyway, I let my fingers do the walking to try and get a test kit quickly.

    Taylor Industries wanted to charge an extra $25 for an "expedited order", which meant it would ship the next day and take 2 days from their location (MD) to mine (NC). Overnight shipping is not available due to the test kits being "hazardous materials"; I should have realized that and planned ahead, but didn't.

    The list of suppliers on Taylor's web site was not helpful, either. They either were commercial-only suppliers and didn't even want to talk to me, or didn't stock the test kit.

    Google Shopping listed several online pool supply companies that claimed to have them in stock, but they were all 2 or more shipping days away from me. I finally found one in Springfield, VA that had it, so I gave them a call to see what they could do. By now it is 4:30 in the afternoon. The helpful young man who took my order first checked with shipping to see if they could get it out that day. He came back and said that they could if the order was taken quickly. He took my information, ran the credit card, and verified that it went through and they would get it out that day.

    This morning, we have a "snow event", so I didn't know if it would get here or not. But, about quarter past ten, UPS showed up and dropped the package off! Color me impressed with their level of service.

    I got my test kit from pool center dot com.

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