Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by waterbear

  1. in a word, NO. However, your TA is on the high side for a spa, If you find that your pH is constantly rising and you have to add acid frequently then: DO NOT use soda ash to raise pH, Uncover and aerate the spa (jets and air injectors on full) to cause CO2 to gas off, which will cause pH to rise. IF you need to QUICKLY raise pH because of an overdose of acid and the pH in the spa is below 7.0 then use Borax (sodium tetraborate pentahydrate, 20 Mule Borax in the laundry aisle of the grocery store) at twice the dos of soda ash for the same pH rise. It will have minimal impact on your TA. Use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for raising TA if needed. Don't try to keep you pH at 7.4. Shoot for 7.6 to 7.8. Lower it when it hits 8.0. What is your CH? Here are some posts for you to read that explain the relationship between pH and TA and how to lower your TA properly: 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/
  2. Shocking in a bromine system, whether manual or with a swg converts raises the bromine level high enough to destroy any problems in the water, usually 10 ppm or higher bromine. Your generator has a 'boost mode" which is basically a shock setting, same as most chlorine based SWGs, which will raise your bromine levels. If there is a problem with the water the manual for in.clear states that the boost mode can be repeated and that if there is a continued problem to purge the spa with one of the many spa purge products to get rid of biofilm. FWIW, in a manual 2 step or 3 step bromine system chlorine is the most common oxidizer used to convert bromide into hypobromous acids with MPS being the second most common and, in fact, bromine tabs are mostly chlorine with enough bromine to maintain the bromide bank. Also, there are SWGs on the market that can be used either as chlorine or bromine systems and when they are used as bromine systems they are still used with sodium chloride and generate chlorine but the difference is that with every fill enough sodium bromine is added to create the same bromine reserve as in a manual 2 step or 3 step bromine system. This is a huge cost savings, particularly for a bromine swimming pool or swim spa because the cost of sodium bromide is much higher than the cost of sodium chloride. There are some design differences between the electrodes used in a sodium bromide based SW bromine system and a sodium chloride based SW bromine system (a chlorine system with a bromide bank so bromine sanitizer is produced instead of chlorine sanitizer). Sodium Bromide based systems often use carbon electrodes while sodium chloride based systems often use titanium/iridium electrodes although some of the low end systems also use carbon electrodes. Whether adding chlorine as an oxidizer to your system would have detrimental effects of the cell or whether it is a technique for the manufacturer to get you to buy more (expensive sodium bromine) I do not know but either is possible.
  3. Increasing your bromine output increased the aeration. Lower your alkalinity as I suggested before. This is how you lower alkalinity: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/ I had already posted this link for you last Wednesday along with another one that explains about pH rise in hot tubs and pools.
  4. depends on the pH and ORP can change throughout the day I'm not a fan of ORP in home installations. 4-6 ppm for bromine is a good range and the low bromine readings you have could allow pseudomonas to grow. Bromine is active in a wide pH range of about 7.2 to 8.0. With the extra aeration from your ozone and SWG your pH will be constantly rising. IF you keep your pH toward the upper end (7.6 to 7.8) and the alkalinity lower (50 to 70 ppm) you will minimize this and get better pH stability.
  5. This is either your ozone generator or the salt generator and it's normal for the salt generator to produce hydrogen bubbles. It might or might not be normal for the ozone generator depending on it's type (UV or Cororna Discharge) and how it's plumbed.
  6. No, DIchlor is only mildly acidic with a pH of around 6. Read these: 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/ The second one is a bit long but it explains a lot about TA and pH and their relationship. With that being said I suspect your problem is testing error because you are using strips. I suspect that your pH is higher than you think it is. Strips are notorious for inaccurate pH readings. You want a drop based test kit with phenol red reagent for pH. Even a cheap 2 way test kit from Walmart or Home Depot is better than strips. However, if you go the 2 way liquid reagent route I would get a Taylor K-1000 because their pH reagents will work at higher sanitizer levels and the color comparative is high quality. However>>> I would recommend getting a Taylor K-2006 test kit. It is worth every penny. https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd You can order it online from Amazon and many other online retailers. It is worth every penny and will test Free Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, pH with acid and base demand tests, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Cyanuric acid (stabilizer) which is important if you are using dichlor since too much cyanuric acid will overstabilize and the chlorine will not be able to sanitize the water. Dichlor adds 9 ppm cyanuric acid for every 10 ppm free chlorine added so once you have added about 33 ppm of chlorine cumulatively your water is at 30 ppm Cyanuric acid and you really don't want it any higher. Posting a full set of test results would be helpful in determining what's going on. If there is a dealer or pool store near you that tests water and uses either Taylor or LaMotte water testing that would be best. If they use strips, een with a strip reader machine it's no better than what you have now. If you do only have access to strips then post a full set of results. Full test results are: FC, CC (or TC, depending on testing method), pH, TA, CH (or for strips total hardness since they can't test calcium hardness), and CYA. These are the basic parameters that need to be tested, btw. Once we can look them over we will have a much better idea of what's actually going on. We need actual numbers, not OK, Low, or High. I know it can seem overwhelming but it's just a learning curve like anything else and it's really not that hard.
  7. If you are a retired industrial chemist then you know that the main reason for pH rise in a pool or spa is outgassing of CO2 and that the higher the bicarbonate level in the water the faster CO2 will gas off since we purposely overcarbonate pool and spa water. When an acidic sanitizer source is used (Trichlor, MPS, and to a much lesser extent dichlor and bromine tabs) then a higher carbonation (TA) is desirable for more of a buffer effect to offset the pH drop from the acidic sanitizer. Spas have much higher aeration because of the jets than a pool so the outgassing tends to happen much faster. You must also know that at the normal pH range of pools and spas carbonate ions do not exist in the water and are converted to bicarbonate and that adding sodium carbonate will cause TA to shoot very high. If the sanitizer source is not acidic (inorganic chlorine sources and sodium bromide oxidized with such chlorine sources) then the pH will rise above desirable levels until the TA ifr broiught down. Using either borax or lye will not have this impact on TA since you are not adding additional bicarbonate ions as you are when adding either sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate, although there will be a slight increase in TA with the pH rise since both will cause a shift from dissolved carbon dioxide in the water toward bicarbonate ion formation.. Of the two borax is MUCH safer to handle and harder to overdose.
  8. Do you mean 2.2 ppm? IF so that is too low . Bromine should test between 4 and 6. My guess is that you have pseudomonas because of under sanitized water and that is causing hot tub itch. Was this level determined by your strip reader or by your ORP sensor? If it's from the ORP sensor it might not be correct. Alkalinity is a bit high for a tub with a salt generator but your pH is low. Harness is perfect. Did you just add acid? How fast does pH rise. IF you need to add acid to lower pH often try dropping the alkalinity to about 60 ppm. 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/ ORP stands for oxidation reduction potential and it is a measure of the sanitizing power of the water, Conductivity is a measure of the ionic species dissolved in the water. In your case it would be mostly sodium ions and bromide ions because of your bromine salt system. ORP is usually used in commercial installations to control sanitizer additions to compensate for different bather loads. The electrodes do need to be replaced and properly stored or the readings are useless. Personally I don't think they belong in a home system since it does take some training to understand and interpret the readings. However, at a pH of 7.2 an ORP reading of 722 roughly translates into a bromine level < 1 ppm indicating that your water is severely under sanitized. However, ORP is a constantly changing value throughout the day while a ppm value is a constant more or less so the correlation is loose at best. A chemical test for bromine level is your best bet, IMHO. Bottom line, from what you have posted it seems that your bromine levels are low and that is allowing 'nasties' to grow in your water and they are the most likely cause of your rash and itching. Best bet is to get the rash diagnosed by your doctor or dermatologist to determine if it is psuedomonas folliculitis or a chemical sensitivity.
  9. sounds like you have a lot of iron in your water.
  10. You can use bromine in the spa and chlorine in the pool. Many would recommend rinsing off before going from the spa into the pool but you can go from the pool into the spa with no problem. I prefer bromine in the spa because it is a bit easier and more forgiving. There is a pinned post on setting up and using 3 step bromine. However, many people are quite happy with a chlorine spa, even though it is a bit more work, IMHO.
  11. There is a reason for this. When a pool/spa store tries to sell the product and a customer says they use baking soda the employees are trained to say, but baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and this product is sodium hydrogen carbonate and is much better and that is why it costs so much more than baking soda! Lots of misinformation and some outright deception in the industry to sell as much product as possible.
  12. Sodium carbonate will raise your pH and send your TA through the roof. Unless you are using an acidic sanitizer you will have problems with your pH going too high. A better way to bring up the pH is to use sodium tetraborate decahydrate (20 mule team borax from the Laundry aisle in the green and white box) at twice the dose of sodium carbonate. This will raise pH without a major impact on TA. However, first I would like to know how you are testing the water. IF you are using strips they are very inaccurate. What sanitizer are you using and what other chemicals are you adding? Posting a full set of test results not done with strips would also be very useful to help us understand what is going on and why your pH is low (if it is actually low and not just an inaccurate reading from strips.)
  13. You will most likely need new filters because one a halogen hits the biguinide residue it will form goo. When you refill you will have to oxidize any remaining biguinide in the plumbing. I suggest chlorine. If there is biguinide present the FC won't hold. Keep adding chlorine (I suggest bleach) until you can hold a free chlorine level of 10 ppm. Then drain, purge, and refill with new filters and start your bromine.
  14. What RDspaguy said. Once we have some more information we can take it from there. From your email address it looks like you might be in the industry. I can see it because I am a moderator. Are you a service tech or a CPO by any chance?
  15. The salt you are using is sodium sodium bromide, which generates hypobromous acid (bromine sanitizer). Chlorine based salt systems use sodium chloride to generate hypochlorous acid (chlorine sanitizer). These are the same santiziers that form in the water from other sources of bromine or chlorine such as bromine tabs or dichlor granules . The In.Clear system can only be used with sodium bromide. Second, how are you testing your water? This tells us nothing, We need the actual test result numbers to get some idea what is going on. Please post a full set of test results NOT done with test strips. They are useless for balancing water. Third, Please list all products you are using in the water (shocks and their composition, water balanacers, etc. While bromine can be a sensitizer for some individuals it is not common and it usually does not appear after several months. If it does turn out to be a bromine sensitivity then switching to chlorine and not using your Salt Water Bromine generator will solve the problem since chlorine is not a known sensitizer, but you will have to dose the chlorine manually. There are other things that can cause an itchy rash and the most common is called "hot tub rash" or "hot tub Folliculitis" caused by the germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa. caused by improperly santized water. This is why we need actual test numbers. Here is more information: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi/rashes.html Another common source of a rash from hot tub water is the use of MPS (Potassium Monopersulfate) as a shock. Persulfates are known sensitizers and dermal irritants. By using bleach or dichlor as a shock after a fresh fill will solve the problem and chlorine will convert to hypobromous acid in the presence of sodium bromide. This is how both 2 step and 3 step manual bromination work. This is an enzyme product Enzymes are not santizers and will not allow you to run lower sanitzer levels. Here is a quote from their instructions from their website: "Add sanitizer as per your professional spa retailer’s guide­lines." Where enzymes might be useful is in removing biofilm during a purge procedure. However, from what I have seen posted in this forum, the most effective and popular purge product is Ahh-some. So, please post a full set of test results and a list of all products added to the water and we can take it from there. Also, I am going to split your post into its own thread so it will have a better chance of being seen.
  16. totally missed that! It could be from clarifier.
  17. Different color of blue. Do you use a copper based algaecide or have an ionizer system by any chance? Also how are you testing pH?
  18. I have a few ideas as to what might be happening but first post a full set of test results and how they were obtained (strips either read against a color chart or in a machine, drop based kit with liquid reagents, dealer/pool store testing with a meter, etc) and we can take it from there.
  19. If the sand has metal stains it is probably better to replace it This is why you want to use a fiber filter aid so it will backwash out if it stains.
  20. If you were using 2 step bromine it means you need to add oxidizer more often. IF 3 step it means the floater is not open enough. In either case it could also mean that you did not create your bromide reserve on filling. It can also mean that the spa needs a decontamination. These are the usual causes assuming the other water parameters are balanced. Basically it means that your bromine levels are either low or depleting quickly and the usual cause is improper water maintenance.
  21. MPS does not precipitate (scientific term) out of solution, calcium can, particularly if the TA is also high and pH rises, not uncommon in hot tubs. However, cloudy water ususally means bacterial bloom because of understanitized water which is not uncommon with 'mineral' systems, ionizers, or overstabilized (high CYA) water from exclusive use of dichlor as a chlorine source. Remember, the water to bather ratio in a tub is small so there is not a lot of 'forgiveness' when bather load is high and every person entering the tub adds feces, urine, and sweat (which is chemically similar to urine) to the tub no matter how clean they THINK they are!
  22. You can continue to use your Taylor test kit with the Frog@ ease, just test FC and not CC. Also, if you are shocking with MPS, you need to add the Taylor MPS interference remover kit to get accurate chlorine readings. Not sure if it will work properly when using SmartChlor but you you can contact Taylor directly and ask. https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/141/eliminating-interference-from-potassium Better yet, stop the MPS. FWIW, I could find nothing on King Technology's website or in any of their manuals for Frog@ease that recommends shocking. That is the point of their proprietary chlorine source and, to the best of my knowledge, they are the only ones using dimethlyhydantion stabilized chlorine as a primary sanitizer.
  23. You are correct that the Jump Start is diclor, along with citric acid and 'inert ingredients' (my guess is baking soda so it effervesces when the citric acid and the baking soda dissolve). However, the point you are missing is that it is added BEFORE the Frog@ease with the SmartChlor is put into the tub to create the initial FC level. Once dissolved in the water you have hypochlorite ions and a very small amount CYA. SmartChlor is a stabilized chlorine that uses dimethyhydantion to stabilize the chlorine instead of CYA and it works differently since it tests as mostly combined chlorine and releases the FC slowly and at a very reduced rate to maintain a .5 to 1 ppm FC level in the ater. A stabilized chlorine source like dichlor is not added continuously after the initial fill as normal maintenance or shocking along with the SmartChlor and whether there are any adverse affects on water sanitation with the continued addition of CYA is an unknown since King does not publish that data but their website and instructions for Frog@ease does say that Jump Start is only used on fresh fills before the system is put into the water. In fact, King recommends turning up the dial to release more SmartChor if the water is cloudy and not shocking with dichlor.
  24. Yes, the aeration from the jets will cause pH to rise. Lower TA helps counteract that. If you are using MPS, which is acidic monitor the TA and it drops below 50 ppm bump it back up toe 60 or 70 ppm. I would test TA weekly until you have an idea of how quickly it drops but don't go longer than monthly for testing it.
  25. According to King Technology and their instructions for this system you should not need to add additional chlorine once it is adjusted properly. If you are using the SmartChlor cartridge then you do not want to test CC since it will read high because of the dimethylhydantoin carrier for the chlorine. However, your problem with FC reading 0 ppm is illustrative of why I do not like metal or 'mineral systems that advocate using very low FC levels that leave nothing in reserve and are quickly depleted. (Call them minerals if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy but the truth is that you are adding metal ions to the water, which have very slow kill times, and are ineffective against viruses) You stated the problem in the quote below. FWIW, the Nature 2 system WHEN USED WITH CHLORINE AND NOT MPS does come close to using normal chlorine levels and not the .5 to 1. ppm that King Technology promotes (and the Nature 2 used to promote) Both companies promote these low levels with their swimming pool products but they also add copper into the mix.making these systems just another copper/silver ion system. Copper is left out of the spa systems because copper and hot water is a recipe for green hair! (easily removed with photographer's hypo aka sodium thiosulfate and citric acid if you know what you are doing (a secret known to advanced hair colorists, btw). I am also a licensed barber and cosmetologist (over 40 years now and still licensed) and worked as a colorist for many years when I was younger. I once worked in an exclusive day spa in Miami that had a hot tub. The service company kept dosing it with a copper based algaecide and we had several clients who came out with bright green hair at various times. The owners freaked the first time it happened until I told them I could remove the green with 2 simple ingredients and saved them from a lawsuit. I also told them that they needed to fire the service company taking care of the hot tub but they didn't so the problems occurred more times than I care to think about.) A fun fact, Citric acid is one of the chemicals used to remove metal staining from pool and spa surfaces along with ascorbic and oxalic (which is toxic so it's not my first choice, even though at least one pool product company sell it for this purpose) after dropping the FC levels to less than 1 ppm with sodium thiosulfate.
  • Create New...