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Spasome

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Posts posted by Spasome

  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. 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!

  3. You aren't supposed to have the ozonator on during your soak because ozone gas is hazardous in larger quantities (it's an EPA regulated air pollutant). It is best to use the ozone after your soak so that it can handle your bather waste without outgassing ozone during your soak.

    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?

  4. 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.

  5. dichlor then switch to bleach manages the CYA and FC levels better, and at a lower cost but at the expense of some loss in pH control which can be moderated with the low TA+ Borates method? Boy that is not story you will hear in a spa store, to be sure!

    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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. Now I'm running into another problem that is preventing me from continuing with the process. My GFCI keeps tripping, causing the spa to cut off. I can't see to find a pattern. It happens at random. When this first happend, I figured it was a clogged filter, causing the pump to draw too much current and trip the GFCI. During the enzyme run, I actually took out the clogged filter and let the water run freely through the system, but it keeps cutting off. i'm going to contact the spa shop on Monday to see if they can provide me a different GFCI breaker to try out. I have a feeling this one could be the problem.

    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).

  9. 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.

    If there is regular bather load, say every day or two, then ozone will oxidize some of it so that chlorine doesn't have to in which case the chlorine demand will be lower. However, ozone and chlorine react with each other so if there is no bather load then one sees this effect as an increase in chlorine demand (i.e. loss rate in between soaks). This is why an ozonator is helpful if you soak every day or two, but is not very helpful if you only soak once or twice a week, say on weekends. The ozone will still oxidize some of the bather waste when you soak, but the longer periods of time in between soaks will use up chlorine faster increasing the risk of it getting too low or requiring you to add chlorine more frequently or targeting a higher level.

  10. I bet you are onto something with the salt. I'm not sure of the mechanism, maybe water moves into the hypertonic muscle tissue or maybe some of the ions move in or out. It might depend on what type of salt you use and what else is dissolved in the water. For example, here is an article about athletes using epsom salt for muscle soaks where it talks about the specific actions of magnesium and sulfate. If you decide to add salt I'd be interested to see what you think about the differences.

    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.

  11. how about FC levels? were they the same or did you compensate for the higher CYA and run higher FC levels.

    The FC levels vary of course (both before and after the water change). But the thing that remains consistent is the old water seemed to rehabilitate well used muscles while the new water appears to stress well used muscles.

    After reading on another thread that the use of bleach causes salts to accumulate in the spa I'm thinking the higher salt level of the old water may have been the beneficial difference. I imagine minerals can migrate through body tissue due to osmosis from an area of higher concentration to lower concentration. Perhaps the new water does not have enough salt in it and so body salts are being leached from my body.

    I'm thinking I need to add a little salt to the water but I have no idea how much or whether it will affect the saturation index.

  12. a FULL set of test results would have been helpful, both before and after refill. FWIW, the alkalinity increaser is just baking soda--sodium hydrogen carbonate is another name for sodium bicarbonate is another name for baking soda.

    How did you test a CYA level of 15 when the K-2006 won't test CYA below 30 ppm accurately?

    However, I really do not think that water balance would have that much of an effect with perhaps the addition of the borates, which are used in some bath salts.

    Both before and after the fill the results are similar:

    Temp: 103

    pH: 7.5-7.6

    Alk: 60-70 ppm

    Ca hardness: 170-180 ppm

    except for the CYA:

    about 15 ppm before (estimated because black dot almost disappears when tube is full).

    70-80 ppm after.

    The borates have never been tested but I added enough for 50 ppm before the fill (assuming 0 borates to begin with) and I added 50 ppm after the fresh fill.

  13. As an avid skier this is a topic I find fascinating. Anyone who uses a spa to soothe sore muscles should be interested.

    I recently bought a ski cabin with hot tub and used it regularly after skiing to soothe sore muscles. It worked great and sore muscles were aided by soaks of 1/2-1 hour. I tested the water regularly with the Taylor 2006 kit and kept the water balanced and the FC between 2 and 5 ppm using bleach, bumping it up to 10 ppm when I would be away for a few days. Because the water looked and felt so good I did not bother to change it out for the first three months. Even though I did not know whether the previous owner had added borates I added enough to bring the level to 50ppm (but did not test the actual level). Everything was good.

    Then I decided to replace the water. The water needed very little to bring it back to the previous test values. I added borates again to 50 ppm and my pH was stable around 7.5 (after the addition of muriatic acid and a touch of baking soda). I need to add 1/3 oz. of muriatic acid about once a week to maintain the pH at 7.5. I continued to use dichlor/bleach for sanitation and the saturation index is generally 0-minus 0.1. The only difference in the water that I know of is I accidently got the CYA up to around 70-80 ppm before switching to bleach. Previously, the CYA read very low (around 15 ppm) and did not seem to go up much when I added di-chlor but I did not worry about the low CYA readings figuring maybe there was something in the water that was affecting the CYA test results. However, now the water does not seem to soothe sore muscles as well. It feels as if the water is either drawing something out of my blood/muscles or adding something in which causes them to feel tight or astringent (for lack of a better word). I have not spoken to the previous owner but the leftover chemicals included bromine tabs, di-chlor, pH up (sodium carbonate), pH down (sodium bisulphate), calcium hardness increaser, water clarifier and Alkalinity Increaser (sodium hydrogen carbonate). Granted, the muscles are sore from skiing anyway but, before I changed the water, the spa was excellent for soothing, now, after the water change, not so much.

    Any ideas on why this might be?

    Any discussion on water balance designed for muscle benefit?

  14. Do I need to be concerned that the addition of acid to compensate for the Borax will further lower the alkalinity or does the addition of Borax cause the acid to work differently? I guess I could try it and find out.

    OK, I added 10 oz. of Borax and 5 oz. muriatic acid and the alkalinity only decreased about 5 ppm so, based on this one result, I would say the acid acts on the Borax because, according to the tables, I should have lost around 50 ppm.
  15. I'm assuming you added acid as well as Borax, correct? Borax will significantly raise the pH and cause severe scaling if you do not alternate with adding acid (i.e. split up the dosing and alternate between acid and Borax). If you use Boric Acid instead of 20 Mule Team Borax then you don't need any acid as boric acid is only slightly acidic.

    Yes, I did add acid and thank-you for your timely reply. I suspected the Borax was not pure borate and I am not a chemist so was lost. Looks like I need to add a bunch more.

    Do I need to be concerned that the addition of acid to compensate for the Borax will further lower the alkalinity or does the addition of Borax cause the acid to work differently? I guess I could try it and find out.

    Thanks for the assistance!

  16. Also, does the addition of Borax change the Alk or CH of the water?

    The water is currently at Ph 7.7, CH 150, Alk 60 after a bunch of cycles of muratic acid/aeration. The Ph appears to have almost stabilized but previous experience tells me it will creep up a bit more which will require more acid and lower the Alk further.

    I wonder if I need more borates or more calcium.

    Thanks!

  17. Thanks to the experts on this forum, I've been maintaining my 365 gal. spa for the last 4 months without too much trouble. Yesterday I did my first drain/refill and added 2.5 oz. of 20 Mule Team Borax. I calculated this amount based upon 100% purity to reach 50 ppm but I have no way to measure borates and the box does not specify the purity. I suspect I may need more but do not know how much.

    Any help appreciated.

    I am on a slow dial-up connection so I can't surf around too much but would like to get my water balanced and ready to use ASAP.

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