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Posts posted by waterbear

  1. I'm glad that it is available again. When the ban first went into effect it became impossible to get anything other than one step brormine (sodium bromide/dichlor) and bromine tabs. However, it seems difficult to find these days and from what I can see, is very overpriced. For example 1 pint of ProTeam Spa Brom Start liquid is on the US Amazon site. 1 lb. Spa Choice sodium bromide is $18.66 US on Amazon.

  2. 35 minutes ago, curls said:

    Hey waterbear... Just a correction - sodium bromide is NOT banned in Canada. It was, but it's back available again. I bought some just last week.

    Did you buy pure sodium bromide (usually 98%)  for establishing a bromide bank when filling the spa or for use in a 2 step bromine system with a separate oxidizer or is a mixture of sodium bromide and dichlor (one step bromine) which was not included in the ban?

  3. This is a peristaltic pump used to inject acid into the pool to lower pH when it rises and is controlled by a pH probe in the pool. If this is a NEW INSTALLATION,it sounds like it was installed improperly and  the input and output lines are reversed causing water from the pool to run into the acid container instead of the acid being injected into the pool. IF THE UNIT WAS WORKING PROPERLY AND THIS PROBLEM RECENTLY OCCURRED then the system is malfunctioning and needs servicing by a qualified professional.

  4. 1 hour ago, DYNA962007 said:

    Why do you suppose its such a mystery what's in this mineral cartridge?

    It's not. It's silver chloride in a calcium carbonate matrix. Chalk, limestone, eggshells, gastropod shells, shellfish skeletons and pearls are all calcium carbonate. Silver Chloride is used instead of the silver nitrate/calcium carbonate found in Nature 2 because it will not precipitate when used with bromine and King Technology also makes an array of products for use with bromine such as their original Spa Frog. Here are the SDS for the system:



    Their chlorine cartridge is a form of chlorine stabilized by DMH ( dimethylhydantoin), 1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin, This is the same chemical that is used to stabilize bromine in bromine tablets. 1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin tests as combined chlorine so you really can't know how much combined chlorine is in your tub vs. active chlorine. This, IMHO, is a disadvantage.(However, the same things occurs with the use of MPS and ozone, which also test as combined chlorine).

    Dantochlor (a brand name) is :

    1, 3-dichloro-5, 5-dimethylhydantoin 81.1%
    1, 3-dichloro-5-ethyl-5-methylhydantoin 16.1%
    Inert ingredients 2.8%

    Total Available Chlorine, % 68

    This does not agree with the SDS for SmartChlor

    Here is a link to all of King Technology's SDS for their various products and OEM products.




    • Like 1
  5. Why are you setting your pH so low? The natural tendency of a hot tub is for the pH to rise because of outgassing of CO2.

    get your TA in the 50 to 70 ppm range and let your rise above 7.8 before lowering it. Don't lower it below 7.6 or it will rise faster than if you set it higher.

    These threads will explain what is going on:



    IMPORTANT!!! How are you testing. If you are trying to balance the water with strips they do not have the resolution needed for adjusting TA. You need a GOOD drop based kit such as a Taylor Technologies K-2006 (chlorine) or K-2106 (bromine)


  6. First question, how are you testing? (strips, liquid with comparator, etc.)

    Second question, what form of bromine are you using? (one step product that combines sodium bromide and an oxidizer such as dichlor, 2 step bromine (sodium bromine and a separate oxidizer), or bromine tablets in a floater)

    Third question, Have you purged the spa with a product such as Ahh-some?

    Please post a full set of test results and the test method used and we can take it from there, Several things could be going on that could cause this from not having a bromide bank established (often happens with one step and bromine tabs since Canada has outlawed the use of sodium bromide making it difficult to establish the bromide reserve in the tub), testing interference from very high sanitizer levels causing bleachout of the indicator dye (DPD test reagent or strips) , or biofilms in the plumbing (common in new spas that have not been purged).

    Answer the questions, post the test results, and we can better help you once we get a better understanding of what might be going on in your tub.


    Reading these threads might be helpful:






  7. I buy mine from Duda Energy in Georgia. You can also get their products on Amazon. Their website is under DudaDiesel. They sell supplies for making biodiesel fuel and, IMHO, have very good prices on boric acid.

    I normally buy the granular form instead of the powdered since it's easier to work with, IMHO.

  8. 18 hours ago, Testinglife said:

    I was hoping there was an easy thing that would just let me drop it in, let it run for a few hours and then pull out and pack up until next time I need it. 

    You could put a small submergable pump in the tub with a pvc pipe attached so the water shoots up and then falls back into the tub like a fountain

  9. Usually just turning on the air intake all the way and running the tub uncovered on high speed (and turning on bubblers if you have them) will aerate. You want to turn the jets upward so you break the water surface. You could put a small submergable pump in the tub with a pvc pipe attached so the water shoots up and then falls back into the tub like a fountain but I've never really seen a tub that needed that much additional aeration. It's usually pools that might need additional help.

  10. 9 hours ago, ItchyandFrustrated said:

    t's a shame the salespeople are so dishonest

    I've worked in the retail end of the pool/spa industry and the bottom line is that they stay in business by selling you products, many of which are not normally necessary. As long as your tub is having problems you keep going back for the next "Magic In A Bottle" that will cure all your ills. I agree that many (most?) are very unknowledgeable about water chemistry and just spout out "things that everyone knows (that aren't true)" such as walking acid to lower pH and slugging acid to lower TA (it doesn't work!) or "Our TA increaser is sodium hydrogen carbonate and not sodium bicarbonate or baking soda which is why it costs $5/lb." (sodium hydrogen carbonate is just another name for sodium bicarbonate or baking soda that you can buy at the grocery store for about 50 cents a pound and it's probably purer!) but they are usually just salespeople that have only had training from the manufacturers of the products they sell, if even that.

  11. 18 hours ago, ItchyandFrustrated said:

    FC 11

    CC 8

    CH 110

    CYA is 100+ (the lines only go to 100 and mine as slightly below that when the dot disappears

    your tub is overstabilzed which means the chlorine is not working since it's bound chemically to the CYA and that means your tub is undersanitized. 8 ppm CC indicates that something is probably growing in the tub. CC should never be higher than .5 to 1 ppm and ideally 0 ppm.

    If you are doing dichlor/bleach properly your CYA would not be that high so you are doing something wrong

    My guess is that the rash is from pseudomonas which can grow readily in undersanitized hot water, which is what you have.

    You need to drain and refill and STOP using dichlor and switch to bleach when the cya hits 30 ppm.

    You need to get your water balanced and learn how to maintain it.

  12. If you are getting rashes it's either a water balance issue or possibly "hot tub itch" (pseudomonas infection from understanitzed water).

    First step is to post a full set of test results (FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, and CYA) to give us some idea of your water quality.

    Adding borax won't really help if the water is not in balance or properly sanitized.

    Gentle spa is a mixture of borax and boric acid to create a pH neutral product. You can use plain boric acid and save some money. It will create a very slight pH drop but since the pH in  spas is always climbing because of the constant outgassing of CO2 it's nothing to worry about.

  13. Just remember, it's a hot tub, not a chemistry experiment! Go for a soak and enjoy! (Checking your sanitizer is MUCH more important than the pH or TA. An undersanitized tub can lead to all kinds of problems and possible illness.)


    There, now you have something else to stress over! ;)


  14. On 1/31/2023 at 3:55 PM, jaredthomas27 said:

    pH is still hovering around 7.9-8.0  I have bumped my TA up to 88 with baking soda to give myself room to add more acid but I just added .5oz of acid and my pH remained unmoved.  Could that be because of the borates? 

    1) do NOT correct the TA as outlined in the Taylor booklet. NOT necessary! @JWM6687  is correct, you only need to correct TA when calculaiting the Saturation Index and that is NOT applicable to acrylic tubs. If you have a plaster or tiled tub then you would need to worry about calcium and the saturation index.

    2) if your pH remains stable and is not rising fast then your TA is fine. If it's rising fast then lower it. In most tubs this is between 50 and 70 ppm but it could even be lower in some situations. If your pH keeps crashing then your TA is too low, raise it 10 ppm and see how it goes.

    3) the secondary borate buffer in the water will  move the pH to around 7.9 and keep it there for an extended period. You don't need to lower it until it rises above 8.0

    4) you are making this much harder than it is. Stop overthinking and if it's not broke don't try to fix it. Get your TA in range and don't try to lower pH until it rises above 8.0. When you lower pH don't go below 7.6! If you are using the acid demand test to determine how much acid to add then trust the test and add the full amount, no need to try to ":creep up" to your desired pH by adding only half the amount. You are only prolonging your pain! ;)

    5) read this, then reread it:


  15. 20 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

    I think he's talking about the "smartchlor" toilet bowl cleaner stuff.

    Smartchlor is King Technologies name for 1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin, a form of chlorine stabilized with DMHD, not unlike bromine tabs. I can't find much on the chemistry behind this but I suspect it can lead to overstabilization in a way similar to CYA since chlorine oxidized to chloride cannot be regenerate the way bromine oxidized to bromine can be. I also suspect that it will test as combined chlorine and not free chlorine but, once again, cannot find anything conclusive on this.AFAIK, King Technologies is the only company using this form of chlorine for pools and spa but it is used in sewage and waste water treatment and is found in some household cleaning products such as toilet bowl cleaners..

    • Like 1
  16. On 1/9/2023 at 12:07 PM, jaredthomas27 said:

    it will maintain 0.5-1.0 ppm of free chlorine and then the free chlorine will increase as needed when this is paired with the mineral float

    Nope, not true. It's a low chlorine system that uses silver ions. Silver has slow kill times and is ineffective against viruses and not real good at killing mold and mildew, as you have seen. The small amount of chlorine in your tub is being depleted quickly by the mold present effectively only leaving the silver, which is NOT an  EPA approved sanitizer on it's own.

  17. Frog system is a metal ion, low chlorine system that uses a propitiatory form of chlorine. Not a fan. If mold or mildew is growing in the tub it means that your chlorine is too low to kill it. Bottom line, ditch the frog and switch to the dichlor/bleach method (check the pinned posts in this section of the forum)  It's less expensive in the long run, easy once you understand it, and should not have any problems like this. I would purge with Ahhsome before starting the dichlor/bleach to ciean out any gunk in the plumbing (and I suspect that there is a lot since the tub is growing mold/mildew). The main expense you will have will be investing in a Taylor K-2006 (not the K-2005) test kit. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT USING STRIPS! Check Amazon or one of the online pool/spa supply retailers for the kit.

  18. What is your alkalinity? Drop it if your pH is rising too fast. Try putting it around 50 to 20 ppm (can't use strips since they do not have the resolution required, you need a drop based kit that has a resolution of 10 ppm.)

    Heaters don't aerate, water circulation and jets do.

    Also, please post a full set of test results and when talking about a parameter give us the numbers, not:

    On 11/11/2022 at 6:52 PM, Naetnom said:

    I can get the pH down to good range


    On 11/11/2022 at 6:52 PM, Naetnom said:

    My Alkalinity is good but the acid is also bringing those levels down

    This tells us nothing.

  19. The color is from iron in the water. Filter staining is a dead giveaway. IF there is any staining left on the filter it is better to replace it since the iron can redissolve if and when pH drops. MetalFree is not the most effective sequestrant since it is based on EDTA. You want one that is based on Phosphonic Acid such as Jack's Magic or Proteam Metal Magic.

    Shocking will not clear the water but can cause the iron to precipitate out and cause staining.

    Calcium will not have any effect on the iron.

    When asking for help with water chemistry you really need to post a full set of test results so we know what's going on instead of just trying to guess.

    FWIW, you can test bromine with a Taylor K-2006 test kit by testing FC and multiplying the results by 2.25 to get total bromine. Are you currently using Dichlor/Bleach method?

    I would suggest you read the pinned posts in the Hot Tub Water Chemistry section of the forum.

  20. On 11/21/2022 at 12:17 PM, ddrueckh said:

    takes 24-48 hours to come back down below 10

    not unusual. Are you leaving the tub uncovered and circulating after shocking? You want to bring the total bromine to above 10 ppm (around 15 ppm is good), and then wait until it's below 10 ppm to enter the tub. It will take a while. usually about a day.

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