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waterbear

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  1. test the water with a drop based test kit or get it tested at a pool store that does not test with strips to get some accurate numbers. TO raise your pH do NOT add pH up or baking soda! YOu want to aerate the water (all jets and aerators on full) and the pH will rise as CO2 gases off. Here is how you fix it! https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/
  2. If I am not mistaken Dazzle is a Canadian brand of spa chemicals based in Ontario and TH+ is a total hardness increaser . How did the store test? If it used a meter also then you need to be aware of the limitations of colorimetric testing of l hardness, because of limitation of the chemistry of a colorimetric test vs. a titration test (drop count such as used by Taylor Technologies). It is entirely possible that the harness has increased but the readings are not reflecting the actual increase but are still within the error range for the colorimetric test used. Titration tests (drop count), such as used by Taylor test kits, are much more dependable for testing CH for this reason. LaMotte hardness tests are better than strips but still don't match Taylor in giving results that correspond accurately to the actual level of the parameter being tested, IMHO. Are you sure you can't see the color changes in a Taylor K-2006 (FAS-DPD testing for chlorine) or K-2106 (FAS-DPD testing for Bromine)? These videos from Taylor Technologies show all the tests. https://www.taylortechnologies.com/wp/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd You might be surprised that you can differentiate the color changes. FAS-DPD testing is a distince color change from pink to colorless that colorblind people are able to distinguish as opposed to DPD testing which is comparing very close shades of red on a comparator block. CH is a titration (drop counting) with a distinct color change from pink to blue TA is a titration with a color change from green to red (I knew someone who was color blind, red-green color blindness, who could still see the change with this test, YMMV) CYA is a turbidity (cloudiness) test that has nothing to do with color (not applicable to bromine so not included in the K-2106 kit) pH is a color matching test ranging from orange/yellow, through red, to purple. This might be a problem but if you view the Taylor videos you might be able to distinguish the color blocks on their comparative.
  3. He is using trichlor in a floater, not a salt system.
  4. the 4 in 1 tabs usually contain copper but copper stain would deposit on the surface of the tub and would not easily dislodge. Algae usually attached to the walls and has to be brushed off or is dispersed throughout the water, giving it a a green tinge. My guess is pollen or other fine plant matter which is carried by the wind and either floats on the surface or sinks to the bottom, and depending on the circulation from the jets, will then usually collect in the same areas of the tub such as steps or ledges or it is corrosion caused by a pH crash and subsequent damage to metal pump parts. I really can't say more without a full set of test results. Saying that "the chlorine, ph and alkalinity is always spot on" does not impart any useful info. You said you use tablets and you stated you test for chlorine which means you are using trichlor, which is usually not recommended for hot tubs because of their very low pH which can damage tub parts and corrode metal pump parts if the pH crashes, which is a given for the small amount of water in tubs vs. pools. For this reason Dichlor (graunular stabilized cholorine) is normally used in tubs because it has an only slightly acid pH. HOWEVER, if you are using stabilized chlorine exclusively you need to test for Cyanuric Acid since it will accumulate in the water. (Stabilized chlorine sources are chlorine chemicallly bound to cyanuric acid). Once Cyanuric acidd levels get too high it does not allow the chlorine to sanitize or kill algae since it stays bound to the cyahuric acid instead of being released as chlorine sanitizer. Get a full test results (NOT done with test strips), post them, and we can take it from there. In the meantime I suggest reading: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/23090-dichlorbleach-method-in-a-nutshell/
  5. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/26324-whats-the-step-by-step-to-bromine-treatment/ Read the entire thread but pay attention to any posts by me or chem geek IF you have added plain sodium bromide (read the ingredients on your 'granular bromine") then you have indeed created a bromide reserve or 'bank' and adding either MPS or chlorine will activate it into bromine sanitizer (hypobromous acid). It contains other ingredients it is most likely a "one step" bromine product and, in reality, basically a bromine tablet in granular form and it will take time for enough to dissolve to create your bromide bank. Is your spa covered or uncovered and does it receive direct sunlight? Bromine, unlike chlorine, cannot be stabilized against breakdown by sunlight (UV), which is another reason, besides keeping in the heat, to keep it covered. However, the downside is the accumulation of volatile disinfection byproducts which are known to create health problem. The easy solution is to remove the cover and turn all your jets on high with full aeration for about 15-20 minutes before entering the tub to allow them to dissipate into the air. Test strips are not the best. My #1 recommended test kit for bromine (Taylor 210) is not available in the UK if I am not mistaken, but Palintest kits are (They are a UK based company) . I am not that familiar with them but they have a colorimeter kits (Pooltest 4 and Pooltest 6) that would test the parameters you need to test for a bromine spa. You want to be able to test total bromine, pH , alkalinity, and possibly calcium hardness if you are filling with very soft water or hard water. The also have less expensive tests that do not use a meter but rather a color block. The SP 616 tests for bromine, pH and alkalinity would test the basic parameter you need to test. I do recommend testing calcium hardness but it is a parameter that does not change that much so you can have your deal test it every month or water fill. Hope this helps.
  6. Definitely keep me posted! Sounds like you are on the right track. Once the stains are removed I would do a full water change (or, at least, several partial changes) with water that does not contain metals if possible. Also, this link contains a link to lowering Total Alkalinity (TA) but it explains why pH rises as a function of outgassing of CO2 and spas hae a constant source of aeration as they run so pH rise is more of a problem. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/ I would recommend dropping your Total Alkalinity to 60 ppm or lower to help stabilize the pH but monitor the TA and pH to make sure TA does not drop low enough to cause pH stability problems. If it does raise it by 10 ppm at a time until you find the 'sweet spot' for your setup. Yes, I had a great time in both places and hope to return on our next trip over the pond. We had a flat in Soho for a week and then a hotel in Edinburgh fro a week. I grew up in S Florida (Miami) but now live in the Oldest City in the New World, St Augustine (North Florida).
  7. Spent two weeks in the UK last summer (1 week in London and 1 week in Scotland in Edinburgh) and have a close friend that lives in Tiptree who moved to the UK close to 30 years ago. It's a lovely country! Now to business: IF the stains are iron a few things to know: 1 Ascorbic acid applied directly to an iron stain WILL make it disappear in less than a minute, which is why the vitamin C test is important. If you "rubbed it around for a couple of minutes" and then believed "it improved the staining" still makes me think the stains are not iron. See if you can get some plain vitamin c (ascorbic acid) and repeat the test. 2. GLDA ‐Na4 is about half as effective at chelating iron as EDTA at normal pool/spa water pH range and EDTA is LESS THAN half as effective as HEDP and other phosphonates. All three are broken down by UV light and oxidizing agents (chlorine, bromine H202, ozone, etc.) so if metals are present in the water the reapplication of sequestrant on a regular basis as well as making sure pH does NOT spike is necessary since high pH conditions are favorable for staining. Likewise, often low pH (but not lower than 7.0 since it can be damaging to equipment) can often lift stains and redissolve them in the water. pH then needs to be brought up slowly by outgassing CO2 (aeration of the water) rather than by chemical means and sequestrant added to help prevent redepositing of stains.. 3. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Citric acid, and Oxalic acid are all reducing agents and capable of reducing many metal stains (but most effective on iron). They do not work in the presence of oxidizers (pool/spa sanitizers and shocks) so sanitizer levels have to be very low before application. Ascorbic acid is the least toxic of the three and oxalic acid the most but all three are used in commercial pool and spa products for stain removal. Once they have removed the stain pH needs to be kept between 7.0 and 7.4 and sanitizer added in small doses until sanitizer levels are holding. This means that the reducing agent is gone. Sequestrant also needs to be added. If the oxidizer (sanitizer or shock) is added too quickly or the pH spikes then the metals can precipitate out as stain again. 4. Iron stains are normally seen as a yellow to brownish discoloration of the entire surface of the pool or spa below the water line. They are usually not seen as round stains as your picture shows. They can cause a spot stain if a piece of metal such as a screw was sitting on the bottom of the spa and started to rust. Iron stains are essentially rust deposited on the surface of the pool or spa from dissoved iron in the water that is caused to precipitate out on the surface because of water chemistry conditions (high pH and high Oxidizer levels . IF the stains are not iron then the treatment depends on the metal (manganese, calcium, copper, silver) that caused the stain. To the best of my knowledge staining from silver is impossible to remove and you are using a silver'/H2O2 based sanitizer. Silver nitrate is the most common form of "ionic" silver used in these preparations and Silver nitrate stains most surfaces and can stain skin and hair also. Staining is also a problem in systems that use ionizers (copper, silver/copper, silver/zinc) to 'sanitize' the water. (They have been found to be ineffective because of slow kill times for many pathogens to used as a primary sanitizer without bromine or chlorine/) This ability to stain (skin and hair) is why silver nitrate is the active ingredient in some lash and brow tinting products in the cosmetology trade and was historically used as a hair dye before the advent of modern oxidation dyes (which cannot safely be used on the lashes and brows). (I know I've gone off topic but I am also very familiar with much cosmetic chemistry). Finally, you gave me a clue when you said that the water turns green for a day when you add the oxidizer (peroxide) and the clears. The ONLY thing I know of that will make pool/spa water green after adding an oxidizer is dissolved COPPER and copper can plate out in round or irregular stains. Copper stains cam be black, blue, green, tan, or metallic copper color. Copper stains are difficult to remove and sometimes impossible. Best chance at removing them without calling in a professional stain removal service (not sure if you have them in the UK but we have them on this side of the pond) is to drop the pH to between 7.0 and 7.4 and maintain it like that for at least a few weeks while adding sequestrant weekly and if the stains lift drain and refill with water that does not contain copper or other metals, it is better to keep the pH at the low end of the range and do not let it rise above 7.4. Bottom line, there is no easy way to get rid of stains, no "magic potion", no "miracle in a bottle". It's detective work and trial and error. I gave you some guidelines to follow. I hope something in here is helpful and good luck.
  8. Get a vitamin C tablet and hold it on a stain. Let us know if the stain disappears where you hold the tablet. I suspect it won't as I suspect the staining is silver and not iron. You are using a silver stabilized H2O2 as your primary sanitizer (There are several brands),. What country do you live in as in the US (where I am located) this is not an EPA approved sanitizer for pools and spas because the reaction time against viruses is very slow., although many products are sold that are not EPA approved since in a personal pool or hot tub you can put anything you want in the water, whether it works or not. I base my sanitizer use in what is permitted by law in a commercial pool or hot tub so that is either chorine or bromine. There are other EPA approved pool and spa sanitizers for home use (biguanide/peroxide, copper/silver with chlorine, and copper zinc with bromine) but they are either more work or have slow kill times so I tend to avoid them . Much of the info on the Huwa-san video about chlorine was false except for the fact that chlorine is the most used sanitizer world wide, but that is not unusual in marketing materials. What sequestrant did you add? (not brand name but actual ingredient.) Unfortunately, if the stains are silver I know of nothing that will remove them.
  9. I have a guess. What is your cyanuric acid level? What form of chlorine are you using? (I suspect you might be using trichlor tabs and you don't have enough Cyanuric acid buildup after a week, which is to be expected, or a SWCG and have not added enough Cyanuric acid) also, does the stain react to chlorine and disappear (pour some bleach on it and see what happens.) If so it's algae. The fact that you had not chlorine in a week old pool makes me suspect that t the FC is being burned off by the sun because your stabilizer is low. In addition, some algaecides (notiably polyquat) will also kill chlorine. Yellow stains are either organic, iron, or algae. Iron would come from your fill water and if your pH was high (if the pool is plaster this is most certainly the case for teh first year!), shocking could cause staining . Iron stains are most common in fiberglass pools but can also appear on plaster and vinyl. . You really need to tell us more about your pool and post a full set of test results so we can better help you. A few tests to try, hold a vitamin C tablet on the stain. If it disappears in about 30 seconds where the tablet sat then it's iron. Pour bleach or hold a trichlor tablet on a stain. If it disappears it's algae or organic.
  10. Yes, as I said before a Taylor k-2006 (not K-2005) LaMotte is not bad, in fact I used to use the system, but there are limitation to their Hardness test because it measures total hardness and not calcium hardness and I have seen problems with inaccuracies with the CYA test. As far as your water balance, Pentair recommends CYA at 30-50 PPM so you want it at the upper range, pH between 7.7-7.8 Alkalinity 60 ppm and Calcium Hardness at 200-400 for ballpark figures. You want to maintain a FC level of 4-6 ppm with combined chlorine .5 ppm or lower. If you need to shock use liquid chlorine or bleach (same thing, both sodium hypochlorite which is also what your salt cell produces). My guess is your powder shock introduced the copper since, unless you get PURE cal hypo (almost impossible these days) most shocks are 4 in 1 or some such nonesense, that introduce stuff you do not need or want in your pool water. They are a crutch for people that don't want to test their water. Your salt is too low. Pentair recommends between 3600 - 4500 ppm with the lower end more desirable. I would shoot for around 3800 ppm. This could be why you are not producing chlorine. Running salt too low can shorten the life of the cell faster than running it high. I can't stress enough to get the test kit and start testing your own water. I had LaMotte training and certification but many pool store employees do not and are not testing correctly. YOu can find the Taylor kit online at Amazon and other online retailers. When you consider how much you paid for your pool and equipment the price of the test kit is pennies by comparison. (No, I do not work for Taylor Technologies. Their k-2006 is just the gold standard for residential pool water testing.) If you want to test your salt level I recommend the Aquachek salt titrator strips, 1 of the 2 test strips I will use (The other being LaMotte Borate test strips for those that run borate in their pools, which I HIGHLY recommend for salt pools!)
  11. Salt pool has slightly different water balance requirements so your water is out of balance. What is the make and model of your SWCG? Chances are you CYA is too low since most makes want either around 80 ppm or 100 ppm. Have you tried shocking with bleach (non scented chlorine bleach) or pool liquid chlorine? Have you added a stain remover based on citric, ascorbic, or oxalic acid to the pool (it would most likely be a powder or in a stain bag)? This could explain your extreme chlorine demand. It is possible to check if the salt cell is producing chlorine by colleciting water directly from the return while the cell is running and testing for free and combined chlorine and adding them together to get your total chlorine reading. Have you acquired the test kit I suggested yet? Your numbers look like pool store numbers from a LaMotte testing station. IF they are using the vials with powder inside that is read in a machine it's not a bad system but has some limitations. If they are using strips with a reader the readings are not to be trusted since strips are not accurate (repeatable). I have to run now but will check back later.
  12. You said that the stains were brown and ring shaped. It could be cobalt spotting, which is only a problem in fiberglass pools and very difficult to remove. It could also be manganese, which often stains fiberglass a brownish black and is also difficult to remove. Cobalt spotting is caused by water chemistry that is out of whack, manganese is usually from water used to fill the pool (most often well water). Most metal stains occur when pH is very high, as yours ism which causes the metal to precipitate out and deposit as stain. First step is get your water balanced and keep it balanced! This will help keep any further staining at bay. Second is make sure your chlorine sources do not contain copper! (Read the ingredients) Third, get a good test kit (Taylor K2006, not the Taylor k2005) and start testing your own water. Should be done a minimum of weekly if not more often if there is a problem. Metal stains do not really occur in properly balanced water. Iron staining in a fiberglass pool usually looks like a brown discoloration that covers the entire pool that is underwater and the fiberglass above the water line does not show the discoloration. Running a pool heater will not cause metal staining unless your heater has a copper heat exchanger and your pH is running very low. Copper stains are usually black in a fiberglass pool but can be bluish green or metallic copper colored on occasion. Calcium (which is also a metal) can deposit as scale, a white to tan stain that can feel rough to the touch, when water is not kept in balance. Sequestrant will not remove stains but will keep metals in water from depositing as stain but you still need to keep your water chemistry in line or the won't work. Only way to get rid of metals in the water is to get them to deposit out as stain. There is a way to get them to depsoit on the filter medium and therefore be removed by changing the filter (sand, DE, or cart) but it requires really understanding pool water chemistry and knowing exactly what you are doing so I won't even go into it. Good news is that some staining will resolve to a certain extent if you get your water balanced and keep it balanced with no further action. Once that is done you can revisit the stains after a few months of proper water chemistry. As far as the pool heater it's immaterial as long as your pH has not dropped dangerously low. I keep my pool at 88 degrees year round and pool is open year round (North Florida) Heater doesn't run for a short period during summer when temps are in the 90s and I also have a fiberglass pool. Hope I gave you a starting point, which is to get your water balanced and start testing your own water with a good test kit (Taylor k2006, worth every penny!) https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd Think of testing your pool water like checking the gauges on your car. You don't take your car to the garage for them to check if your gas tank is empty or if the oil is low. You look at the dashboard and then take appropriate action. Some things you can do yourself, like add fuel or oil (think chlorine), some things require professional attention (high CYA, which requires multiple partial drain and refill cycles and switching to an unstabilized chlorine source to prevent further cyanuric acid increase). Testing your pool water yourself regularly will allow you to keep your FC and pH in line and deal with TA, CH, and CYA when they are out of line.
  13. No, not really. You CAN add CYA and bleach but the CYA takes quite a while to dissolve. Dichlor dissolves almost instantly and will raise CYA 9 ppm for every 10 ppm of Free Chlorine so it's a very fast way to get CYA into the water.
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