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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. 2nd identical spam post in this thread.Spammer removed.
  2. the smell of unsanitized water perhaps.
  3. Copper ionizer. Useless snake oil, IMHO. Just a way of getting copper ions into the water. Copper is an effective algaecide and a lousy sanitizer, not even as effective as silver.
  4. To the best of my knowledge Balboa does not make a control pack with a salt system. They do make ozone systems. They are not the only manufacturer of spa control systems and parts.
  5. You are using an aftermarket salt system and not a factory installed one. Same problem happens with swimming pool salt systems. The heater and other parts needs to be made of salt resistant materials, which cost more. Even screws used to hold light rings/skimmers/and such, light niches, ladders, etc. need to be made of salt resistant materials! Often a sacrificial a sacrificial zinc anode is installed in swimming pools to help prevent corrosion Not sure if sacrificial anodes are used in salt spas. @RDspaguy, @CanadianSpaTech care to chime in? https://aquamagazine.com/features/protect-your-pool-from-saltwater.html If you had a factory installed system then salt resistant materials would be included with the tub and you would pay more for the setup in addition to the cost of the salt system. I would see which heater is OK for a salt system and use it in your tub if you can. Once again @RDspaguy, @CanadianSpaTech your input would be appreciated. I do know that many spa manufacturers state that if you use an aftermarket salt system the warranty is voided, reason being that the components used in the spa are NOT salt rated.
  6. couple of things that I see (doesn't mean I'm right, just an educated guess): WE HAVE A WINNER! It's an add on salt system and the heater is probably not 'salt-safe" which really requires titanium coils and not incoloy. it's rust colored because stainless steel is made from iron and some stainless steel does rust, particularly when salt is present. My guess is that the screws are not salt grade stainless either. 304 stainless is the most common type but salt will cause corrosion. 316 stainless is more impervious to salt. IF the heating element is incoloy then there IS iron in the heating element! It is a nickel-iron-chromium alloy.
  7. Converting from biguinide to chlorine is often more than just a drain and fill. You will need to replace the filter (possibly more than once if there is enough residual biguinide in the plumbing) and the first addition of chlorine might cause weird water colors and a lot of goo forming. IF you run into problems I can post the procedure.
  8. Were you using MPS as an oxidizer? MPS is a known sensitizer and can cause contact dermatitis in both bromine and chlorine systems but is more commonly used in bromine in many two step and some one step bromine systems. In chlorine systems it is used as a non chlorine shock so, even if used, the amount added to the water is often less than in a bromine system using MPS as the primary oxidizer. Neither chlorine or bromine are known sensitizers but it is possible to develop an irritant contact dermatitis from either (however, this is not an allergy but more akin to a chemical burn). Some people have also been known to develop a rash from the hot water in the tub The most common rash from a hot tub is hot tub folliculitis or hot tub itch which is an infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and affects sensitive individuals. It occurs when the sanitizer levels are not properly maintained which allows the organism to grow.
  9. Are you using a K2006 or a K2005 for testing? IF you are using a K2006 are you using a 10 ml or a 25 ml sample for FC tests? If you have added a total of 33 ppm Free Chlorine cumulative. (For example, you initially shock to 15 ppm, chlorine drops to 5 ppm, you then add enough dichlor to bring the free chlorine up to 10 ppm which means you have added an additional 5 ppm for a total of 20 ppm cumulative (initial 15 ppm and additional 5 ppm). You then wait and FC has dropped to 2 ppm so you add dichlor to raise it to 6 ppm which means you have added an additional 4 ppm FC to raise the 2 ppm to 6 ppm for a cumulative total of 24 ppm. Next test your FC has dropped to 3 ppm so you add enough dichlor to bring it to 6 ppm which means you have added 3 ppm for a total of 27 ppm FC cumulative. Next test your FC is at 4 ppm so you add enough FC to bring it to 10 ppm which means you have added 6 ppm FC for a cumulative total of 33 ppm FC added. Your CYA should be right around 30 ppm at this point. The CYA scae on your comparator is logarithmic and not linear so ther is some margin of error. IF you have not made an error in your totaling of cumulaitive free chlorine added then you should be in the ballpark of 30 ppm CYA and I would not lose any sleep over it. A common mistake is to simply test the FC affer addition of dichlor and forgetting to subtract the initail FC reading to get the amount of FC added. This requires testing FC both before AND after addition of dichlor. When you do the CYA test hold the comparator at waist height and stand in open shade outdoors (best) or indoors out of direct light as you slowly add the sample to the tube. Don't stand in direct sunlight or near a bright light source indoors. You want indirect light to read a turbidity (cloudiness) test.
  10. Please post the ingredients and the brand of your dichlor. It is 99% dichlor with with 56% available chlorine (which is what you want) or does it list something like: SODIUM DICHLORO-S-TRIAZINETRIONE 58.2% OTHER INGREDIENTS listed as 41.8% which is not what you want since it's only about half dichlor.
  11. check out the photos at the end of this Taylor tech tip. It shows what the CYA test should look like when the dot disappears. https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/171/why-monitor-cyanuric-acid
  12. IF you are male chances are you cannot but can learn to unless you have worked with color before. There is a way to dilute your samples with distlled water to test when sanitizer is high. Look on the lid of your kit for instructions. It is cumbersome and time consuming, IMHO. IF you see a flash of red that disappears when you add the reagent to your sample it is indicative of bleachout and you need to do a dilution test. It happens more often than you think it might. There are two dilutions, 1:1 and 1:5 marked on the comparator. Here are some videos from Taylor Technologies that discuss the dilutions. https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/230/k-2005-complete-kit-with-liquid-dpd Pay particular attention to the chlorine test interference video in the link below: https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/235/general-test-interferences The FAS-DPD method can directly test up to about 25 ppm FC levels (and the equivalent in total bromine) without dilutions or beachout problems. When sanitizer is beyond the limits of the test it goes off color and brownish.This is the reason I recommend this test and strongly recommend getting the K1515A as an add on to your K2005. Also, if you elect to use MPS you MUST add the Monopersulfate Interference Remover (for 2000 Series kits) K-2041 (.75 oz) or K-2042 (2 oz) and use it whenever testing sanitizer levels because MPS will test as chlorine/bromine and give a false reading unless the interference is removed. The K2041 will fit inside the case of the K2005 and the k2042 fits in the service k2005 with 2 oz reagent bottles. However the 2 oz size reagent pack is only a few dollars more (about $5 in the US) so it's a better value for the money if you are willing to give up the convenience of storing the reagent i the main test kit.
  13. not to the best of my knowledge. I would wait for the test to indicate that you are at 30 ppm. lAlso, you want your water sample to cool to room temperature before testing CYA, shake the bottle for about 20-30 seconds, let it sit about 5 minutes, shake again and then test. Give it a try and see if you get different results on the CYA test.
  14. with the aeration in a tub that might be a bit high. Bromine tabs are acidic but if you test your TA every week to month (depending on how fast it changes in YOUR spa. Start with weekly and if it is stable go to every two weeks, and if stable monthly) and adjust it as needed and you will have better pH stability in the 50 to 70 range rather than setting it at 90. IF you pH is remaining stable at 90 and not always rising and requiring acid then you are fine but you should not have to be lowering pH more often than perhaps every month or so.
  15. K2005 uses the DPD test method. K2006/K2106 uses FAS-DPD testing which is not subject to bleachout at high sanitizer levels (DPD tests will bleach out making you think that sanitizer is low or non existent when in reality is at shock levels). DPD testing uses color blocks of shades of red, and most men are unable to distinguish them (FACT!) and is not usable by those suffering from color blindness. FAS-DPD testing is a drop counting test with a distinct color change from pink to colorless DPD testing is limited to the precision of the color blocks. FAS-DPD testing has a precision of .2 ppm or .5 ppm (K2006) or .5 ppm or 1.25 ppm (K2106) depending on whether the sample is 10 ml or 25 ml. All other tests are the same in the kits with the exception of CYA test not being included in the k2106 since its not needed for bromine.. Once you try FAD-DPD testing you never go back to DPD. You can get a Taylor K1515A stand alone FAS-DPD test kit and just test for FC and then multiply the results by 2.25 to get total bromine.
  16. @mscdman Here you go! https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53410-how-to-use-bromine-3-step-method/
  17. IF there is no use of the tub and nothing is growing in the pipes than it will should be sanitized but I would still shock it before use. Just because water looks clear and has no off odor does not mean that it's sanitized. I also do not like to leave a tub unattended for a few days or longer and running. You never know when there might be a leak, mechanical, or electrical problem that needs quick attention.
  18. (I finally found the post that I made back in 2010 on setting up 3 step bromine for a hot tub so I am reposting it here with a few edits to update the embedded links so they work and improve the clarity of the procedure. Enjoy!) When testing water do NOT use strips, get a good drop based test kit. Your best bet for Bromine if you are in the US or Canada is the Taylor k-2106 and for chlorine the K-2006 (NOT the K-2005). THE TEST KIT IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN OWN FOR EASY SPA MAINTENANCE. GET A GOOD ONE! I cannot stress this enough!!!!! If the K-2106 is not readily available in Canada you can use the K-2006 for bromine by testing for Free Chlorine and multiplying the results by 2.25 to get Total Bromine. You do not need to test for combined bromine (combined chlorine test) not cyanuric acid in a bromine system. On to bromine: 1. fill the spa and balance the water.Do not turn the heat up yet. If you have well water or know your water has metals then add a metal sequestrant at this point. You will need to continue with weekly maintenance doses of the metal sequestrant if your water has metals. A better solution is to fill from a water softener or purchase a "spa stick" filter that attaches to your hose to fill the spa to help remove the metals. A,adjust TA to 50-70 ppm (here is a detailed explanation and howto on lowering TA if it's too high),, raise TA with baking soda if it's too low,, it's the same chemical sold as TA increaser for much less money! B. Once TA is in range then adjust pH to between 7.4 and 7.8 Use dry acid (or muriatic acid) to lower pH if too high (8.0 and above). If the pH is too low (7.2 and below) either aerate the water to outgas CO2 and bring up the pH or use borax from the laundry aisle to raise it..Do NOT use pH up because it will make your TA go too high!!!!!!!! pH up is sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda and raises both pH AND TA! C. IF you calcium hardness is below 130 ppm raise it to 130-150. If it is above 400 then add an anti stain and scale or calcium reducer to the spa weekly. If it is between 130-400 you are fine. 2. If you are not in Canada Add 1/2 oz of sodium bromide per 100 gallons of water to create your bromide reserve in the water. This is the MOST important step with a bromine spa and the one most people ignore. If you omit this step you will not have a bromine spa for several weeks until enough tablets dissolve in the water to create the bromide bank and you will be running chlorine until the bromide bank forms! Sodium Bromide is available in packets and jars from several companies. You will need to re add it on each drain and fill. Make sure that you get sodium bromide in either powder or liquid form that is sold to start the bromide reserve or 'bromide bank' and not a one step bromine product that is a mixture of mostly dichlor and a little blt of sodium bromide. READ THE LABEL! It should only contain sodium bromide (and water if in liquid form). Sodium bromide has been outlawed in Canada except as part of 'one step' bromine sanitizer products that are a mixture of sodium bromide and dichlor. A workaround is to use such a product for the first few weeks to build your bromide bank. The ingredients should be sodium bromide and dichlor (sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione). 3. Shock the spa to 'activate' (oxidize) the sodium bromide into hypobromous acid (this is your 'bromine' sanitizer that you test for with your strips or test kit.) You can use MPS to shock but chlorine works just as well if not better and is much less expensive. One of the best sources of chlorine you can use with a bromine spa is sodium hypochlorite and that can also be found in the laundry aisle. It is ordinary liquid chlorine bleach. You want the regular, unscented bleach, not a thickened or scented one. It will come in either 5.25% or 6%. Read the label to see which you have. Use 3 oz (6 tablespoons) of the 5.25% or 2.5 oz (5 tablespoons) of the 6% per 100 gallons of spa water to shock. Your bromine will go very high. Uncover the spa and circulate until the bromine drops below 10 ppm before you use the spa. Now heat the spa up to temperature. If you are in Canada you want to use your one step product to shock to about 15-18 ppm Total Bromine or you can shock with bleach and just let the bromide bank build up in time, 4. Put in the floater with your bromine tabs (which usually contain BOTH bromine and chlorine to activate the bromine, btw) and adjust the floater to maintain your bromine at about 4-6 ppm. this can take a bit of trial and error. Check your pH and bromine before you go in each time and if bromine is low add a few tablespoons of bleach and retest until it is above 4 but below 10 ppm. It really only takes seconds for the chlorine to oxidize your bromide reserve into bromine sanitizer. If pH is not between 7.2 and 8.0 then you should adjust it before entering the spa and wait about 30 minutes then retest it to make sure it is in the proper range. If both are off then adjust pH first then the bromine. YOU CANNOT ADJUST THE Ph WHEN THE SANITIZER LEVELS ARE HIGH BECAUSE OF AN INTERACTION BETWEEN HIGH SANITIZER LEVELS AND THE PHENOL RED INDICATOR USED TO TEST PH! It does not matter if the test is done by liquid reagents or strips. Most test kits and strips will not give accurate pH measurements if the sanitizer is above 3-5 ppm . Taylor kits are good up to 10 ppm. If it's higher than that you need to wait for sanitizer to drop before testing and adjusting pH. The only work around is a properly calibrated pH meter. If your bromine is always low open the floater a bit more. If high then close it down a bit. If it is above 10 then take out the floater and open the spa until the bromine level drops below 10 before entering the water and close the floater down a bit. Once you get the floater adjusted the bromine level will stay pretty constant and it becomes much easier! Remember to keep tablets in the floater at all times! You are done! Weekly test pH, Keep pH between 7.2 -8.0 and then when you have finished adjusting shock the spa with bleach just like when you added the sodium bromide but you do not need more sodium bromide. Add anti scale or calcium reducer if your calcium tested above 400 ppm. Every 2 to 4 weeks check and adjust TA and calcium before you adjust pH and shock. For the first few months do it every two weeks until you learn YOUR tub. If it stays fairly stable then you can drop back the testing to monthly. Every 3-4 months drain, refill, balance the water, add the sodium bromide, shock, and put the bromine tablets back in. Actually pretty easy! If you follow these steps you will not need to waste money on defoamers, clarifier, enzymes, etc.! The ONLY additive you might want to consider is a borate product. Borate has several benefits when added to a 30-50 ppm range. You can add borate with a commercial borate product such as Gentle Spa or Optimizer Plus or by using boric acid or borax. Most of the commercial borate products are a mixture of boric acid and borax to product a pH neutral product and might also contain a scent. Boric acid will slightly lower the pH but since the trend in a spa is a rising pH this should not be a major issue. If the pH is too low then add borax (at twice the dosing rate for pH up/sodium carbonate) to bring your pH into the 7.6 to 7.8 range, which is where your pH will want to 'sit' once the borate is added. Borax (both the decahydrate and pentahydate forms) will raise pH significantly and require the addition of either dry acid or muriatic acid to maintain the pH in the proper range. My recommendation is either boric acid or a commercial pH neutral product, Some commercial products are just the pentahydrate form of borax and will say in the dosing instructions that acid must also be added. . To test borate I highly recommend the LaMotte borate test strips. They are much easier to read than the strips from Taylor, Hach, and AquaCheck. The Lamotte strips have color blocks that go from rose pink to tan while the others have color blocks that are (very close) shades of tan and very difficult to discern between them. Initially adjust borate to 50 ppm and test as often as you test your TA and calcium. If and when it drops to 30 ppm bring it back up to 50 ppm. Hope this helps. Chlorine is a bit cheaper than bromine but it really does require daily attention. Bromine (and what I described above is known as 3 step bromine and is the most forgiving) is not as fussy (acceptable pH range is wider and water balance is easier than chlorine or 2 step bromine) and really only needs attention once or twice a week after you get it set up, besides checking sanitizer level and pH before you enter the spa each time. Happy bromine tubbing!
  19. First, what is the surface of your pool? If it is plaster then maintaining the proper calcium saturation index is important to protect the pool surface. If it is vinyl or fiberglass then it's not an issue however, there is some empirical evidence that maintaining a CH of 200 to 400 ppm in a fiberglass pool can lessen both cobalt spotting and iron staining of the gelcoat. Calcium, once adjusted, stays constant for a long period of time. It is only lost by water loss from splashout or filter backwashing if you have a sand or DE filter and replacing the missing water with softened water. I suspect the 25 lbs needed is a one time adjustment. You should not need that much every 2 weeks. It's more likely you need that much to get the water balanced and it will then last you through the swim season with perhaps a small bump up every month or so to maintain the level. 25lbs of calcium chloride anhydrous will raise your Calcium hardness by about 270 ppm while the dihydrate form will raise it to about 200 ppm Second, how are you determining that you need to add these chemicals every two week? Is this based on pool store testing and a printout? Please post a set of actual test numbers and how they were obtained (dealer or home testing, liquid reagents, strips, or disc, Machine read of not) so we get a better idea of what is going on in your pool. I am going to make an educated guess based on the limited information you provided that you are using trichlor tabs in either a feeder or floater and if you are then RDspaguy's advice is excellent! My advice is to invest in a Taylor K-2006 (NOT the Taylor K-2005) test kit and do your own testing. In the long run it will save you a lot of money, especially if you are depending on pool store software that is programmed to sell you as many chemicals as it can. This is how pool stores make money. Strips are basically useless and meter based kits use inexpensive meters and testing reagents that have limitations because the tests are all colormetric. The Taylor kit uses titrations (counting drops of reagent) Not sure if you are aware that alkalinity increaser is nothing more than plain baking soda, which can be purchased at a MUCH lower price at the grocery store. The pool specific brand ingredients will say either sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate, both of which are chemical names for baking soda. Fun fact, the second largest manufacturer of sodium bicarbonate is Church and Dwight (Belgium based Solvoy is the largest worldwide) and all these pool spa companies repackage it and sell it at a high price. You might recognize one of Church and Dwight's main brands, Arm & Hammer. In fact, they sell baking soda packaged for the pool/spa market under the name Arm & Hammer Alkalinity First. However, Baking soda is baking soda so just check the price in the baking aisle of the local grocery. Once again, please post a full set of test results and we can take it from there.
  20. The reality is that drinking while in a hot tub is dangerous and not just because you might get drunk. The heat actually intensifies the effects of alcohol. Both cause blood vessels to expand and therefore cause a rise body temperature. This can lead to dehydration which can cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms include confusion, fatigue, headache, nausea, and extreme sweating. Most Hot Tub Manufacturers and Dealers caution against drinking and tubbing. https://thermospas.com/blog/is-it-safe-to-drink-alcohol-in-a-hot-tub/ https://olympichottub.com/blog/2013/06/hot-tubs-alcohol-the-dangers-of-soaking-under-the-influence/ https://oregonhottub.com/hot-tub-lc/cautions-drinking-soaking/ https://www.seawaypoolsntubs.com/blog/hot-tub-drinking-alcohol/ https://hottubinsider.com/hot-tubs-alcohol-not-good-mix/ Sorry to be a buzzkill. My advice is to do your drinking the night before an then use the tub to help combat that hangover the next day. There is evidence that soaking for 20 to 25 minutes and relaxing in the water will help improve the circulation in your body and help it remove the toxic alcohol metabolites that are causing your symptoms. Just remember to stay hydrated because the heat of the tub can cause dehydration! This means water, NOT the "hair of the dog"! 😉
  21. Both are halogens but Bromine is NOT a derivative of Chlorine any more than Iodine or Fluorine are derivatives of chlorine . Bromine cannot be stabilized against degradation by UV, chlorine can. Certain UVC wavelengths can help reduce persistent chloramines in INDOOR pools and spas. (not a problem with outdoor ones that are exposed to sunlight). UV is NOT a residual sanitizer, however, so it will not really allow for lower sanitizer levels. Also, unlike chloramines, bromamines ARE effective sanitizers, which is why only Total bromine is measured when using bromine (unlike chlorine where testing is done for free chlorine and combined chlorine and when combined chlorine is above .5 ppm or 1 ppm for spas and some indoor installations of pools it indicates that shocking is required). UVC has a real place in a chlorine pool or spa, particularly an indoor one but it's merits for bromine are, to me, questionable. re: chlorine shortage--bad news, just about all bromine tabs and one step bromine granules are mostly chlorine. Good news, They don't use the type of chlorine (trichor) in short supply. Two step bromine normally uses chlorine to oxidize the sodium bromide (bromide bank) into hypobromous acid (although MPS can be used but it has it's own set of problems). The chlorine shortage is trichlor. Other forms of chlorine such as sodium hypochorite (pool chlorine and laundry bleach) are not affected. The shortage is because of a fire at a Biolab plant , the major manufacturing facility of trichlor tablets, one of the two stabilized chlorine sources (the other is dichlor). Unstabilized chlorine sources are still being manufactured and are a better choice for swim spas to avoid overstabilization. News to me! Where did you read this? Are you sure you don't mean 3-5 ppm? .5 ppm bromine is NOT enough to sanitize the water. UV is NOT a residual sanitizer and only sanitizes the small amount of water in contact with the bulb. There needs to be a FAST acting residual sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, or biguanide/peroxide) to handle the bather load. Fun facts: EVERY person that enters the water involuntarily urinates about 5─10 mL in the water and involuntarily releases about 10─25 mg of fecal matter (Courtesy of Taylor Technologies). They also sweat and sweat and urine are almost chemically identical. The water to bather ratio in a tub (most are under 500 gallons) or even a swim spa (normally in the range of 1500, to 2500 gallons) is extremely small when compared to a pool (average size of most residential pool is 15,000 to 20,000 gallons) so a fact acting residual sanitizer is a must! The most important thing you need to consider for an indoor installation, whether you go with chlorine or bromine, is a GOOD AIR HANDLER to remove any volatile oxidation byproducts from the air in the room. IMHO, your money is better spent on that than on UV. Also, since this installation will not be exposed to sunlight (and if you don't install the UV) then bromine is probably a better choice of sanitizer than chlorine. If you do go with the UV then bromine is not the best choice since you will be destroying the bromine sanitizer in your water and possibly creating high levels of bromate, particularly when using a non chlorine oxidizer like MPS or ozone, which is often created by some UV units. Bromate formation is not a good thing.
  22. It's either from the peroxide shock used with biguinide santizers like BaquaSpa (and is a fairly common complaint with these products as people breath in the aresolized peroxide as the jets run) OR it's the ozone which is toxic and in relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation) or a combination of the two. Both peroxide and ozone are potent oxidizers and when inhaled can 'burn' the lungs. There should be no residual ozone in the water but often times there is in spas. Irritation is very infrequent with chlorine and is not normally associated with outdoor pools or spas but happens with INDOOR pools and spas with inefficient air handlers that allow volatile oxidation byproducts to collect, particularly with there is a problem with persistent combined chlorine. The oxidation byproducts collect in the air and there is no UV from sunlight to help destroy them
  23. The chlorine that is destroyed by ozone is part of the chlorine demand and will be a fairly constant one. Personally, I don't thing chlorine demand is that meaningful since it will change with such things as bather load, frequency of use, frequency of chlorination,contaminants introduced into the water (such as your favorite Aunt going into the spa without showering off her body lotion), etc. Better to test and adjust accordingly. After a while you will get an idea of how much chlorine is needed to maintain your water under different conditions. Nitro's posts were based on information from Chemgeek and some others from a different forum and here. While much of the information is solid I feel he was overthinking some things and some of his information, while it worked for him, is not universally applicable. FWIW, I was active on this forum and the other one when Nitro originally posted this information.
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