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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. The higher FC recommendation is based on having CYA in the water. Having 30 ppm CYA will allow you to maintain a slightly higher FC level with less on time of the salt cell and therefore extending the life of the cell. With no CYA a FC level of 1 to 3 ppm is adequate but the chlorine is more aggressive to swimsuits and spa parts then running 30 ppm CYA and a FC level of 3 to 6 ppm.
  2. slower pH rise https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/
  3. If you use only dichlor you will overstabilize the water because every 10 ppm of chlorine added by dichlor it also add 6 ppm of CYA. Are you using any type of spa stick or mineral cartridge? These add silver to the water and supposedly allow a lower FC level but in reality they don't since silver has very slow kill times and is ineffective against viruses. If you are going to use chlorine I strongly recommend the dichlor/bleach method to prevent overstabilization. Read these and then post any questions you might have in a new thread: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/ https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53108-some-truths-on-bleach-dosing/ https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53410-how-to-use-bromine-3-step-method/ https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/ Get a GOOD test kit (Taylor K-2006 is worth every penny! I would not get the K-1005 because it uses the DPD testing method, as does the K-2005, and it uses the small comparator. The K-2006 uses the FAS-DPD testing method which does not suffer from bleachout and has a much wider range without having to dilute the sample.)
  4. it's basically a borate product that might include a water clarifer. I was unable to find the SDS for it and my concern is that it might also contain copper sulfate but it might just be a coloring agent they put in to color the water.. It's made by Capo industries in Canada. They are also the North American distributors of the Aquafinesse line, of which I am not a fan.
  5. The Taylor test has a precision of +/- 200 ppm so the salt could bed as low as 1800 ppm or as high as 2200 ppm if you did the test correctly (stopping at a light salmon color and not going to a brick red color). IF I remember correctly the salt strips have a precision of 800 ppm and most salt meters have a precision of 100 or 200 ppm. Also, the strips and drop titration test are measuring chloride ions in the water while the meter is measuring conductivity so there are going to be differences. Your three testing methods basically gave you the same results when you take their precision into consideration. Personally, I would pick one method and stick to it and if the salt meter on your salt system is in the proper range using whatever method you pick then don't lose any more sleep over it. I tend to lean toward a chemical test for chloride and the strips are much easier and have enough precision to get you in the proper ballpark with the least effort. My second choice would be the Taylor kit but it does take a bit of practice to get it right. Most likely a scum line. Scale will feel rough like sandpaper and won't come off by scrubbing. You need to use acid to get it off and your water is not going to deposit scale with the numbers you have. I want to remind you that your spa is something to enjoy, not something to stress over and it's not a chemistry set. If your pH is fairly stable, your santizer is within range, and your water is not foaming then enjoy the water! Just remember that the salt cell is aerating your water because of the hydrogen bubbles produced in the cell so any salt system will have a higher tendency toward pH rise, which is why keeping the TA in the 50 to 70 range, keeping the pH above 7.6 and waiting until it goes above 7.8 to lower it to 7.6, and possibly adding 50 ppm borate will help combat the problem. These are just guides to find the 'sweet spot' for your water. YMMV.
  6. TA and pH have no effect on foaming. CH does. Saponaceous matter in the water (organics from bathers, creams and lotions on bathers, detergent residue in swim suits) is more likely to foam in soft water than in hard water. This is why a CH of no lower than around 130 to 150 ppm is recommended. If you have no CYA in your water a "bump" to 5 ppm is essentially shocking the system. If you have CYA in the water then you would want to shock to the proper level for your CYA level. My rule of thmb for when to shock is when you have persistent CC greater than .5 ppm. The low CH could lead to foaming but they recommend that so you don't get calcium deposits on the cell electrodes. With your CYA at 60 ppm you need to be running your FC at a minumum of 5 ppm. I would shoot for 7 to 9 ppm (and a shock level of about 20 ppm) until you can lower your CYA. Don't use it. It's for plaster surface pools and spas, not acrylic spas. Your water would be slightly 'corrosive' to plaster but with a salt system it will prevent calcium from depositing on your cell electrodes. If outdoor stand in deep shade if possible and hold the comparator to the northern sky. CYA test should also be done in deep shade. If indoors try to test under daylight or cool white led or fluorescent lighting if possible. However, even under incandescent light the pH colors are distinctive enough to be able to tell them apart so don't lose too much sleep over this. Go by the gauge. The salt titrators strips are much easier to use and uses a similar silver nitrate chemistry as the Taylor chromate/silver nitrate titration test. I put less trust in salt meters (conductivity meters) unless you keep them calibrated against a standard solution on a regular basis and maintain/replace the electrode as needed. Most inexpensive ones are useless, IMHO. My goto are the built in meters/scales in the SWCG unit and the salt titrator test strips such as the ones from AquaChek and Hach.
  7. Running higher CYA necessitates the need for running higher FC levels. Period, end of story. It will not allow you to dose with chlorine less often. The CYA/Chlorine relationships is complex to say the least and the relationship is not linear. A simplified chart developed by Ben Powell of Pool Forum states that 30 to 50 ppm CYA requires a FC level of 3 to 6 ppm and a shock level of 15 PPM and a FC level of 60 to 90 PPM requires a FC level of 5 to 10 ppm and a shock level of 20 ppm. This was later refined theoretically by Richard Falk aka Chemgeek, Chem Geek, chemgeek and a few other permutation (depending on which forum you find him on) where he broke it down by 10 ppm increments of CYA and can be found on the Troublefreepool forum. He theoretically determined that the desired (target) FC level is 11.5% of the CYA level (along with the percentages for minimum FC, shock, and shock levels for mustard algae). He gives Ben Powell credit for originally developing the chart. Personally, I think Richard's chart is a bit of overkill in practical use and I tend to follow Ben's. FWIW, I was one of the original Moderators on the Troublefreepool forum when it first started and was/am a senior contributor on Pool Forum so am very familiar with Ben's chart and its revisions by chemgeek. Much of the information about lower FC levels needed for a specific CYA level in salt pools came from me and observations that I had made in my own and other pools (before I retired from the pool/spa industry). The reason 20 to 30 ppm was initially picked for the dichlor/bleach method (developed by Nitro and Chemgeek) is becuse chlorine is aggressive when there is no CYA present and in the presence of a small amount of CYA it is essentially 'tamed" so it does not attach swimsuits and tub parts as readily. As far as cal hypo goes, it is an unstabilized chlorine source so it can be used BUT for every 10 ppm of FC added by cal hypo you are adding 7 ppm calcium and this can lead to scale formation. I only really recommend the use of cal hypo in plaster pools or spas for this reason, along with maintaining a proper range on the calcium saturation index to help maintain the plaster surface. If you do not want to use bleach or liquid pool chlorine (both sodium hypochlorite) then the other good alternative is lithium hypochlorite, which is a fast dissolving powder). The main disadvantage is that lithium hypochlorite is the most expen$ive form of unstabilized chlorine. In a nutshell, you want to maintain the proper FC for the level of CYA you currently have. You can successfully run a pool or spa with high CYA and a matching FC level but you still have to test and dose to make sure the FC level stays in proper range. If you want to run a tub that requires less maintenance then I suggest 3 step bromine. The floater, once properly adjusted, will maintain the bromine level in range with less user intervention.
  8. I am a moderator so I have other duties besides answering questions. l I also have a full time job and have my own pool and spa to maintain, in addition to other responsibilities and I do not get compensated for being a mod. It's a volunteer thing. My time is limited and I have no problem answering questions and even hand holding when someone is dealing with a difficult problem to help them solve it but when someone posts incomplete information about what they are doing or leaves out important information (such as the chlorine tub you first described was actually a bromine tub) then it comes a waste of what little time I have to devote to helping people in the forum. If I had known from the start that you had a bromine tub I would have told you to keep your pH around 7.8 to 8.0 since bromine is effective over a much wider range than chlorine and your problem would have been solved since pH rises faster the lower you put it so you would have had a wider window before you would need to lower your pH if you didn't lower it below about 7.7 or 7.8. Give it a try.
  9. I was trying to clarify how you were sanitizing since you first described the dichlor/bleach method and then mentioned creating a bromide reserve. Apples and Oranges. IT was obvious that you did not have a good understanding of bromine and were confusing it with chlorine. The chemistries are different and that needs to be understood. It's important to know which sanitizer you are using because effective pH ranges and TA levels are different. Also MPS oxidizer will also have an effect on TA. It's not a one size fits all situation so if you post incorrect information or leave out information then the answers you get might not work. In computer programming terms it's called GIGO (garbage in garbage out).
  10. Read this post on lowering TA. It explains the chemistry in layman's terms. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/ In a nutshell, what we call Total Alkalinity (TA) is a carbonic acid/bicarbonate buffer system. It's main purpose is to keep the pH from crashing, which is important when acidic sanitizers /oxidizers (dichlor, trichlor, MPS) are used. The lower the pH the lower the bicarbonate ions since more of them convert to carbonic acid. Carbonic acid will gas off and the net effect is pH rise since the amount of acid in the water becomes less as the CO2 gases off. The lower you put the pH the higher the level of carbonic acid. This means faster outgassing of CO2 and a faster pH rise as that occurs. The boric acid/borate buffer system has a complementary effect that effectively 'locks' the pH around 7.7 for a longer time than without it. If you do add borate maintain the pH in a window of no lower than 7.6 and don't lower it until it hits 8.0. (I would recommend adding borate with boric acid since it will have minimal impact on pH by lowering it slightly and it will rise on it's own, and it does not require adding muriatic acid to offset the high pH created by adding borax. the only disadvantage is the slightly higher cost when compared to borax and muriatic acid. It's still much cheaper than the commercial borate products for pools that are pH neutral (since they are just a mix of boric acid and borax).
  11. Yes, you are not giving us truthful information about your spa sanitation method.
  12. Why? We cannot give you accurate help if you are not truthful about how you are treating the water. It becomes a waste of time and mine is limited. Once again, why? It seems that you do not have an understanding of the chemistry of either bromine or chlorine and are trying to combine the methods . Apples and oranges. You are "shocking "after every use. Adding chlorine (or any other oxidizer) to a bromine tub is shocking it. By adding an oxidizer you are causing the bromine level to rise. In a bromine system, whether 2 step or 3 step, shocking (ideally, raising the bromine to above 10 ppm and then letting it drop below 10 before entering the tub) helps burn off organics in the water and should be done on a regular basis, depending on tub usage. For a tub used daily once a week is good. For a tube used once or twice a week every 3 to 3 weeks is good as long as the bromine level is maintained in the 4 to 6 ppm with your floater. set it to maintain your bromine at 4-6 ppm and you won't need to shock after every use (add bleach). In fact, you might only need to shock ever 1 to 2 weeks and you won't deplete your bromide reserve. Bromide salt is added at startup and is not needed again in a 3 part system. In a two part system it is needed when bromide levels are not holding after oxidizing. (test before going in, add oxidizer after use). In a one part (only tabs in a floater or a one part powder product) bromide is added with each use along with mostly chlorine. If you have a bromide bank in the water then it doesn't matter if the chlorine is stabilized or not. You have a floater so you have a bromine spa. End of story. You are overthinking. Your floater is the easiest way to keep up the bromide reserve. Adjust it to maintain your bromine level without adding chlorine after every use. Test the bromine level before going in each time. The level will drop during use but should be in range before next use. Please post ALL information about your spa or I will not be answering any further posts from you.
  13. Nothing new about this. It's a biguinide based product not unlike BaquaSpa or SoftSoak (the two most well know brands, there are many) and has been in use for years around the world. It has it's own set of problems, such as pink slime, white water mold, and clogging of filters because it works by causing bacteria to 'explode' creating a goo that clogs filters, clouds the water, and makes scum lines. The APVMA cancelled the use of such products in 2021 and then reinstated them shortly after. (page 41): https://apvma.gov.au/sites/default/files/gazette_28072020.pdf https://apvma.gov.au/node/80301 In 2011 the European Chemical Agency classified Polyhexanide as a category 2 carcinogen (suspected human carcinogen). Personally I am not a fan of biguinide sanitizer systems.
  15. Sounds about right. Because of the freeze protection the pump is running more and that means more aeration of the water which means more outgassing of CO2 which means faster pH rise. SInce your fill water has a high TA that adds to how fast the pH will rise. SInce you can't really control the TA or pump run time/aeration in the winter your only factor that is under your control is where you put the pH. The lower the pH the faster it will rise so I would suggest going no lower than 7.6 and don't worry about lowering it until it hits 8.0. I would also recommend adding 50 ppm borate which will introduce a secondary boric acid/borate buffer that helps keep the pH in the 7.7 to 7.9 range for a longer time than without the borate Don't do that. It's a big part of your problem. No lower than 7.6!
  16. CYA does nothing in a bromine system. You need an oxidizer to oxidize the bromide to hypobromous acid. Suitable oxidizers are chlorine, either stabilized or unstabilized, MPS, and ozone. Ozone can over oxidize the bromide into bromate faster than the other oxidizers, which is neither renewable nor desirable. If you have a bromide bank in the water the chlorine will not be there long so it doesn't matter if you use stabilized or unstabilized chlorine. If you want a "stabilized" bromine system add tabs in a floater. The dimethylhydantion in the tabs does stabilize bromine somewhat from degradation by UV and ,IMHO, makes water maintenance easier. In any case you need to drain and refill every 4 months because of the buildup of bromate and organics in the water.
  17. You are confusing 2 step bromine with dichlor/bleach (chlorine). IF you seeded with bromine you have a bromine spa. CYA has no effect. You are NOT running a chlorine spa. Please read my pinned post on 3 step bromine in the hot tub water chemistry section and ignore any posts about dichlor/bleach.
  18. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/
  19. not enough information to answer your question. No idea what the "offbrand mineral sticks" contain or what sanitizer they are designed for. Most minerals sticks are designed for chlorine. Frog does make some that are for bromine also.
  20. If you added bromine you are not using the dichlor/bleach method. You are using bromine. Period. CYA has no impact on a bromine tub since it does not stabilize bromine.
  21. I only see it posted once in this topic. Is it also posted in another topic?
  22. The main cause of pH rise is outgassing of CO2. TA is basically a measure of bicarbonate in the water. Bicarbonate is a buffer system (actually a bicarbonate/carbonic acid buffer. For our purposes think of carbonic acid as CO2 dissolved in water.). The higher the TA the more bicarbonate in the water. The more bicarbonate the more CO2 in the water. The more CO2 the more it will outgas and the faster the pH will rise. Outgassing will occur whether the water is agitated by aeration or not. However the more the water is agitated (by water movement from the jets or people in the tub or by air injectors or salt water generators or ozone generators the faster the outgassing will occur. Read both of these for a better understanding of the chemistry involved: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/ https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/
  23. Many people in the industry really don't understand the actual chemistry that occurs in the water and are just repeating the same misinformation that they learned in a 'training' over and over again. Acceptable pH range for a bromine tub is 7.0 to 8.0. read this post for a better understanding of the actual chemistry in layman's terms: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/
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