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  1. Sorry for the late reply, yes, it's been 3 months! I kept meaning to check back but I would only remember when I was drifting off to sleep at night and then I would forget the next day. I had never heard the Saturation Index was not applicable to acrylic spas! I knew there was no plaster to worry about but I just assumed balanced water was good for other reasons! Still, I would assume you mean a negative Saturation Index is fine but that a positive Saturation Index could be problematic for metal corrosion? Is that correct?
  2. I know this is an old post, but thanks for that Chem geek! One item of clarification I would like: It seems obvious that this implies that once the level of TA that results in stable pH is found, if the water saturation index is not balanced that the calcium hardness should then be adjusted to obtain approx. zero saturation index. Is this correct?
  3. I don't understand how you keep it warm. It looks like you would need to run a perpetual fire just to keep it above 100 F. Or is there an electrical heater I can't see?
  4. Is your bubble style float blanket cut to fit snugly? Sometimes they get water on top or bunch up from jet action. I would try one of the floating foam blankets making sure to cut it accurately.
  5. Hi all. I have a Sundance Bahia that was inherited with a house purchase and I've been enjoying it for the last 5 years. It's a great spa and has been trouble free except for the replacement of the circulation pump about 3 years ago. I never owned a hot tub before this and I must say, I'm addicted! The only thing I don't like about my spa is that the temperature varies more than I like. I generally prefer the water about 104 degrees. I have found the digital display to be very accurate to the measured water temperature, cold weather and hot. But when I set it at 104F, the heater does not kick on until the display has read 103F for about 30 minutes and, by then the actual water temperature is about 102.5 degrees. Then the heater kicks on and remains on until the display has read 105F for about 10-15 minutes. By then the actual water temperature is generally about 105.5F and the heater turns off. Usually, about 5 minutes later the display will give the over-temp indication (FL2 if I recall) and all pumps shut off until the water cools down for 30 minutes or so. At this point I generally push the button to turn pump 1 on and the error code goes away and everything functions normally. This behavior has not changed in the five years of regular use and is not a big deal with the exception that 102.5-105.5 is a three degree variation which is too large. Sometimes the tub is cooler than I like (102.5-103) but I can't force the heater on because 104F is the maximum setting and heater remains off until the temp drips to 102.5. Sometimes the tub is too hot when I want to get in. If I get in the tub with the heater on I often reduce the set temperature to 103 until the heater goes off then I turn it back up to 104 so it will kick on ASAP. Mostly it's just an inconvenience and I don't mind the over-temp as much as the fact that it cools off too much and there is no way to force it on without waiting for it to cool a little more. How can I reduce the amount of temperature fluctuation? I would also be happy if I could run it at 104-105F sometimes. I don't know where any of the temp sensors are located or how many there are but I am pretty handy with this sort of thing, I just need to be pointed in the right direction as the user documentation does not get very technical or specify sensor locations, etc. Help!
  6. This answer is surprising to me. Most spa chemicals are harmful if contacted in high enough concentration. Because the ozonator that came with my spa is approved for and was wired from the factory to be on 24/7, I assumed there would be no harm in it running while I was using the spa?
  7. After adding an on/off switch to my ozonator I turn it on when I get in (not after). Would that not be more ideal, especially if I'll be soaking for 1/2 - 1 hour?
  8. Most of my guests are 45-60 and just assume soaking in a spa is done without suits. For some reason it's the 21-30 crowd that gets all self-conscious about not having clothes on. The best thing I have done for the spa experience is install a hot outdoor shower on the deck right around the corner from the spa. Suit or no suit, I don't require showering before soaking but most people seem to get it once I mention its available and the water is much easier to maintain because of it. I'm not sure why but the younger crowd thinks of a rinse as something one does after a soak while the older generation rinses before they get in. I always feel cleanest after a soak and never need to rinse off. I can't say the same about some public spas I've used. Rinsing afterwards was mandatory if the water had not been properly maintained. I highly recommend outdoor showers if there is a suitable location. It's even better than I imagined and I use it right down to 32 degrees. I would use it at lower temps except I haven't figured out a practical way to stop the overspray from forming ice. It's not chilly when you are being sprayed by 120 degree water. Tip: Make sure the showerhead is of the non-aeration type. Adding cold air into the shower cools the water too much. I use a 1.5 gpm head from HighSierra - perfect for the application and it rinses better than many 2.5 gpm heads.
  9. I acquired my first spa around 4 years ago via the purchase of a vacation cabin with a spa. I visited two or three of the local spa stores in an attempt to buy a Taylor 2006 test kit as recommended here. I was struck with how large and empty the local spa stores were. Who was supporting the operation of these stores? None of them had the Taylor test kits and they wrinkled their noses at me when I did not want to accept their "equivalents". So I ordered my test kit and related supplies from the Internet. To make a long story short, for the last 4 years the water quality of my spa has been extremely easy to maintain using di-Chlor/bleach method with borates. Clorox and 20 Mule Team Borax from the supermarket and muriatic acid from the hardware store. My guests often comment on the sparkling water, gentleness on the skin and lack of typical spa odors even though I only change the water once or twice a year and it gets a fair amount of regular use. Of course the spa stores are not going to recommend this method - I have not set foot in a spa store since my initial (unsatisfactory) visits. I avoid proprietary chemicals. Why would I want to add something to my water when the manufacturer is not even going to tell me what I'm adding? I'm sure I'm saving a lot of money too.
  10. Is anyone aware of a pool calculator that doesn't require an active Internet connection to work? I'll be running it on a Surface Pro Tablet so a touchscreen app would be great but it will run any PC software with the caveat that I may need to use a mouse or pen to access small menus reliably. My spa is located in an area without Internet. How backwoods is that? LOL!
  11. I've used hydrogen peroxide successfully a number of times to lower chlorine levels following a super-shock w/ chlorine bleach. I'm wondering if there is anyone that is knowledgeable about possible byproducts remaining after this procedure. 1) I use hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy isles at Costco and unscented Clorox. Are there any reasons (besides the cost of chemicals) to recommend limiting this procedure? In other words, will undesirable by-products build up in the water from excessive use of hydrogen peroxide to oxidize bleach regularly? 2) Are there other oxidizing compounds that are less expensive or that are more pure (less trace chemicals involved in the production). I am not familiar with the manufacture of hp or what the inactive ingredients may be. 3) Shelf life. I like to buy in bulk because it reduces cost but especially because it makes it easier to maintain adequate supply without running out at inopportune times. Does the potency of hydrogen peroxide diminish with time? How do the alternates compare? Storage is cool and dry. One other related subject. I am very interested in learning more details about the chemistry of super-shocking to reduce combined chlorine levels. Occasionally, after careful testing (using the Taylor 2006 kit), and super-shocking to 12-15 times the measured CC level, the CC levels rise. Obviously I didn't use enough chlorine on those occasions. Is there any detailed reading available on this subject that is understandable by someone with only a basic understanding of chemistry? I would like to know more about the actual chemistry as well as practical tips to increase effectiveness while not shocking to unnecessarily high levels. I really enjoyed the recent article that was recently linked here about how the misconceptions the pool industry had regarding the validity of slugging vs. spreading acid depending upon the effect desired. It surprised even me that such an established industry could hold onto invalid ideas for so long. Thanks for any insights anyone can contribute on these subjects.
  12. I think a new breaker could solve your problem. But first make sure your spa is wired properly (to code) to begin with. Breakers are not designed to handle constant overload trips and there are a lot of very cheap and poorly made breakers available. They all may meet electrical code when new but the good ones are made to perform well even after years of environmental exposure. I avoid spa shops, much easier and cheaper to buy your chemicals from the grocery or hardware store and order the test kit and test chemicals online from a reputable dealer. Oh, and I get my advice right here where there are a number of generous and very knowledgeable contributors. Spa shops have a conflict of interest in providing advice because they want to sell you there over-priced "designer" chemicals (many of which it's hard to tell exactly what is in there).
  13. This is why I installed an on/off switch on my ozonator. My tub is at a ski cabin that averages three or four days/ week usage. I use Borax, di-chlor and muriatic acid with a fresh fill and then liquid bleach and muriatic acid to maintain, thanks to advice from experts here. But my ozonator was consuming too much chlorine during my absence so now I turn it off a few hours after the last soak. Works great! The bather load is about 5 30 minute soaks/week and my water has just passed the one year mark and is better than ever. I keep the pH in perfect range by adjusting the air valve slightly more or less with acid rarely required. About once per week I add 12 Oz. Of Clorox 6% bleach to the 385 gal. tub when I leave and about 2-4 Oz. every day it's used. Water smells good and remains crystal clear, my skin does not prune. Once every two or three weeks I rub the sides of the tub with my hands as I soak (at the waterline) to prevent a ring from forming. I never dreamed a tub would be this easy to maintain! I think one reason for this is guests are instructed to bathe with soap and hot water before entering and I do not use lotions or body oils. Anyway, thanks to all the useful advice I've received here.
  14. OK, I've added 800ppm epsom salt and I do notice an improvement in muscle rehabilatation although it does not seem to be quite as effective as when I first took possession of the property. Maybe I need some regular NaCl too (or maybe I just need to wiat for salts to build up from regular addition of bleach). I wonder if I can add 700ppm sea salt? Are the effects of different salts (epsom, sea salt, etc) additive in terms of corrosive potential? I imagine so but, not being a chemist, I don't know. The other change I notice is it appears the chlorine demand has gone up since I added the epsom salt, particularly when I leave the spa for a few days. Previously I could shock with bleach to 12 ppm and all would be fine when I returned 4 days later. But the last time I returned to a cloudy mess that required a super-shock to clear up. I have a corona discharge ozonator that I recently replaced but it does not have a dry air supply. Will this damage the ozonator? The spa is a Sundance Bahia from 2005. It came with an ozonator and I replaced it with the same but I do not believe it came with a dry air supply. Can I add an aftermarker air drier? I've also considered adding a switch to the ozonator so I could turn it off when I leave the property for a few days. I understand ozonators consume the free chlorine.
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