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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. MPS is more acidic than dichlor and can deplete the TA much faster. Not according to the SDS for SmartChlor, it's 1.3-dichloro-5, 5-Dimethylhydantoin ......... 81.1% and 1.3-dichloro-5-ethyl-5-methylhydantoin .... 16.1% https://www.kingtechnology.com/sds/@ease_SmartChlor_Cartridge_R1-10092018.pdf King Technology does have the FilterMate that can be used with either bromine or dichlor but the Frog@EASE system uses their proprietary SmartChlor, which will test high CC, similar to MPS. However if you are using a Taylor K-2006 there is an add on to that kit that will allow you to removed the interfertence from MPS to get accurate FC and CC readings. How are you testing your water\ and exactly which King system are you using (SpaFrog/FrogSERENE, FilterMate, or Frog@EASE)?
  5. King Technologies has 2 systems for hot tubs. The original SpaFrog (now called Frog Serene) is a bromine only system and not designed to work with dichlor. The second system Frog@EASE is a a chlorine based system but the chlorine source is their proprietary SmarChlor (1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin) which tests as combined chlorine. Once again this system is not compatible with dichlor. 1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin is not normally used as a chlorine source in pools and spas. Nature 2 by Zodiac is used with either MPS (as long as the spa is kept heated constantly) or with dichor. If you were using bromine a floater is fine, just not with chlorine.
  6. The problem with dichlor is that it adds CYA at a rate of 9 ppm for every 10 ppm FC added and the tub will quickly become overstabiliized. This could lead to pseudomonas infections or enteric pathogens flourishing in the water and could possibly leave you open to liability for any medical expenses. You might want to consider a silver/MPS system like Nature 2 as long as the tub is not turned off because silver and MPS are are only a sanitizer in hot water. Nature 2 can also be used with dichlor instead of MPS. The silver does provided some additional protection when used with dichlor. Dichlor is only mildly acidic so it should not cause your TA to crash and it should remain fairly stable in the 50 to 70 ppm range. Realize that if you are using chlorine it really needs to be added daily in most cases to maintain the FC level (trichlor tabs in a floater are not recommend for tubs because they are extremely acidic and reaquire constant monitoring of and I suspect that there are times that days might go by between rentals where the tub just sits there.
  7. I assume that you both have blue pools. Bottom line is that colored fiberglass fades. This is why I opted for a white fiberglass pool when I put mine in some 16 years ago. Still looks new and because of the way sunlight interacts with the water it has a blue color anyway!
  8. What is your chlorine source? Are you doing the dichlor/bleach method (recommended) or what?
  9. And how has that been working for you? 😉 TA will move with pH. Get your pH in the ballpark first then adjust the TA. 1by doing this you will get a more accurate TA reading at the desired pH and can then adjust the TA from there. IF the TA needs major adjustment upward the pH will go up but usually if you bring it down to target the TA is still in the desired range.
  10. Boric acid (ordered online from a chemical supply, Amazon, Candle and soapmaking supplier, etc.), Sodium Tetraborate Pentahydrate (found in commercial products for pools and spas), and Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate (found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store with 20 Mule Team on the box) all will add borate ions to the water to create the borate/boric acid buffer. of Any one can be used successfully, however the dosing and procedure is different for each. Give me a few days and I will write a post and pin it in the Hot Tub Water Chemistry section of the forum. The only difference between the pentadrate form and the decahydrate form is that the pentahydrate has 5 water molecules attached and the decahydrate has 10 water molecules attached so the pentahydrate form will need slightly less by weight to product the same ppm concentration of borate as the decahydrate.
  11. Question, what sanitizer are you using and are you using a non chlorine shock ? Some sanitizers can cause TA to drop quickly such as trichlor, which is NOT a good choice for a hot tub for several reasons, and non chlorine shock can also deplete TA. My advice is to get the pH to between 7.6 and 7.8 then test your TA. If pH is low aerate to raise it. DO NOT USE pH increaser. If it is high use acid (dry or muriatic) to lower it Test TA. If it is below 60 ppm then add baking soda to bring it up. 1/2 tablespoon will raise 100 gallons approx. 10 ppm. recheck pH, it should not have moved much. If it has bring it in line to 7.6 to 7.8 and recheck TA. Sometimes this needs to be 2 or 3 times but it usually is in the ballpark the first time.
  12. Read both these pinned posts. They explain some of the basics about pH and TA and the PROPER way to lower TA. 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/ Also realize that a TA in the range of 50 to 70 ppm works out best for most people in terms of pH stability because of the high amount of aeration in spas, which causes more outgassing of CO2 which causes the pH to rise! Also, TA will move with pH, it's the nature of the beast. Get your pH in line first (no lower than 7.6) and then adjust TA if it is not in the 50 to 70 ppm range. When pH climbs ABOVE 7.8 drop it back down to 7.6. Adding borate to 50 ppm will create a secondary borate/boric acid buffer that, in conjunction with the bicarbonate, carbonic acid buffer we call TA "locks" the pH at around 7.7 for a longer time than with out the borate. (Borate also has algaestaic properties and is a safey net if santizer levels drop. It also improves the "feel" of the water.
  13. Ok, time for a bit of knowledge. Citric, Ascorbic, and Oxalic acids (which are the three most common powder stain removers) are effective against iron stains, cobalt spotting in fiberglass pools, and manganese stain but not very effetive on copper stains (it depends on the oxidation state of the copper stain--no effect on reddish or black ones, moderate effect on blue/green ones. I prefer ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder for a few reasons, Oxalic acid is toxic (even thought it is used on one company's Pools Stain Treatment 😉 ) and citric acid seems to have more of an effect on chlorine levels in my experience. However, all three work. With that being said the proper way to do a stain treatment is to: 1. DO NOT USE THE POOL UNTIL THE TREATMENT IS COMPLETE, CHLORINE IS HOLDING, AND FILTERS HAVE BEEN CLEANED! Do it in cold weather since you will be running at low chlorine levels for a while unless you want a green pool! It's also a good idea to add a Polyquat based algaecide or to have a borate level of 50 ppm. Either one will help prevent a green pool. Personally, I prefer the borate. For sand and cartridge filters add a pulp based filter aid to help removed any metals that might precipitate out. For DE filters make sure it's fully charged. 2. Lower FC to 1 ppm or less. You can use a peroxide or thiosulfate based chlorine remover but it might make it harder to get your FC to hold later in the procedure. What I prefer is to just stop adding chlorine for a few days. (If you have a floater take it out, if you have a feeder bypass it, if you have a salt system turn it off). 3a. IF there are visible stains on the pool surface then turn off the pump and add 1 lb. of citric, ascorbic, L-ascorbic, or oxalic acid for every 10k gallons. Sprinkle the powder in the area of the worst stains. Let sit 24 hours. 3b. IF there is water discoloration add 1 lb per 10k gallons around the edge of the pool and run for 1 hour If you have a sand or DE filter put it on recirculate. After an hour turn the pump off and let sit 24 hours. 4. After sitting brush the pool walls and bottom then turn the pump on. 5. Add 16 oz (half a bottle) of a phosphonate metal seqeustrant such as Proteam Metal Magic or Jack's Magic The Blue Stuff or the The Purple Stuff for Salt Pools for every 10K gallons of water. (There are many other brands out there but you want to avoid ones that are based on EDTA. You want ones based on Phosphonic acid derivatives or phosphonates.) 6. Vacuum pool and then clean filters (backwash sand for 3-5 minues then rinse for 2-3, Backwash and recharge DE, clean cart to removed the filter aid and clean the tank out also. 7. Test and rebalance the water as needed. DO NOT TRY TO BRING THE FC ABOVE 2 ppm and DO NOT SHOCK because this could cause the metals in the water to come out of solution and restain the pool! 8. IF you have a salt system turn it off until chlorine levels are holding 9. Daily test the FC and add enough to bring it up to 2 ppm. (I prefer liquid chlorine or bleach.) Repeat until your chlorine is holding then slowly bring the chlorine up to desired level over a period of days but DON'T RAISE IT MORE THAN 2 PPM PER DAY OR YOUR STAINS COULD COME BACK! If you have a salt system you can turn it back on now. 10. DO NOT SHOCK FOR 1 TO 2 WEEKS OR YOUR STAINS COULD COME BACK. Personally I prefer 2 weeks. 11. IF you had metal stains in your pool it means that the metals are, for the most part, in your water now. You will need to add a maintenance dose of metal sequestrant weekly at a rate of 4 oz per 10 k gallons. You will have to do this indefinitely unless you completely drain and refill with water that does not have metals. Stain removed is not easy and it doesn't always work. It really depends on the metal causing the stain and it's oxidation state (chemistry nerd stuff).
  14. If the bromine level is low and you have a bromide bank then all you need to do is oxidize. I prefer using bleach or liquid chlorine but you can use dichlor or MPS. The floater is only to maintain bromine levels but if they drop you need to reactivate the bromine into hypobromous acid (active bromine sanitizer by oxidizing it (most refer to this as 'shocking the tub')
  15. If you are testing with a K-2106 how in the world are you getting a FC reading. That test kit only tests total bromine and since you said you are using bromine tabs you will have no chlorine in the tub if you have established your bromide bank. You have created a bromide bank by adding sodium bromide when you fill the tub? If not that is part of the problem since you are just adding MPS (non chlorine shock) and it is not a sanitizer, just an oxidizer. This is why it is better to shock and to acitivate your bromine with chlorine since it is a sanitizer and if you are relying on bromine tabs to create your bank it can take weeks but the water will be santized because until the bank forms you will be running a chlorine tub. Please read this post on properly using bromine: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53410-how-to-use-bromine-3-step-method/ There is no need to use a non chlorine shock and it will cause sulfates to build up in the water. I recommend using either liquid pool chlorine or plain, unscented, unthickened liquid chlorine laundry bleach (Clorox, or a store brand). They are the same except for the strength. This post will help you with dosing: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53108-some-truths-on-bleach-dosing/ To shock test your total bromine and divide the results by 2 to get a chlorine equvalent. Then add enough bleach to raise it to above 10 ppm ( I would shoot for 12 ppm). retest the total bromine and you should be at shock level (above 10 ppm). A few notes, you cannot test pH when the total bromine is above 10 ppm and you should not enter the tub until the total bromine drops below 10 ppm. Keep the tub uncovered and run the jets until the total bromine is below 10 ppm. It won't take very long. That is the range for Calcium hardness, not TA! TA should be between 60 to 80 ppm and most people get better pH stability at the lower end. Read these posts: 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/ As far as the foaming is concerned I suspect that you have been testing incorrectly based on several of your statements. Review these videos from Taylor Technologies on the correct way to use their test kits: https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd These videos are for the K-2006 chlorine test kit. The K-2106 is almost identical. The only differences are there is no Cyanuric acid test in the K2106 (Cynauric acid cannot stabilize bromine so it is not used with bromine) and the total bromine test procedure is the same as the free chlorine tst procedure except for the multipliers. I would recommend using a 25 m sample for a .5 ppm bromine equivalent (while with the K-2006 chlorine test kit I recommend using the 10 ml sample which also gives a .5 ppm chlorine equivalent with that test kit). There is no equivalent test in the K-2106 kit for testing combined bromine since combined bromines, unlike combined chlorines, are effective sanitizers. Finally, please list ALL chemicals you are using with your hot tub. I would also like you to check that you are using plain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and NOT one of Arm & Hammer's laundry detergents. I've seen it happen before.
  16. For more detailed information read my post on lowering TA. It explains the chemistry behind this in layman's terms.
  17. The Waterlink Spindisk is a decent pool store system (i have certification from LaMotte on an older version of the Waterlink from when I worked retail) . However, it does have some limitations in it's chemistry when compared to the titrations used in the Taylor test kit. I still recommend getting the K-2006 and testing your own water. basic digitial unit. Good system.
  18. What is the total alkalinity of your fill water? IF you are going to run trichllr then your TA should be in the range of 100 to 120 PPM and, because of the aeration from the jets you will need to monitor both pH and TA closely. Once you switch over to bleach you will need to lower the TA to around 50 to 70 ppm. If your initial TA is higher than about 150 ( IMHO is still too high for a spa, IMHO, even when running trichlor) you will need to lower the TA at filling or you will find that your pH will rise too quickly and you will be constantly fighting it. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/
  19. I've had good luck at both Staples and Target and last time I was in Walmart (about a month ago) they had several gallons of 10% pool chlorine on the shelf. There is no shortage of liquid chlorine in case you've heard of the "pool chlorine shortage" because of a fire at a major manufacturing facility. That only affect trichlor tabs.
  20. The A-1 bleach is plain chlorine bleach. The other ingredients are either normal manufacturing byproducts found in all bleach or added to stabilize it. From what I have seen, it's an 8..25% concentration, but it might be avaialbe in other strengths depending on where it's shipped to from the manufacturer. You should be able to find either 5.25% regular or 6% and 8.25% ultra or concentrated bleach in just about any Walmart, Target, or big box hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot that is plain, unscented bleach. You can also find it at a janitorial store or an office supply like Staples or Office Depot (often the best choice because they will be selling germicidal bleach which will not have the polyacrylate additive to prevent dirt from redepositing on clothes in the laundry. Polyacrylate is fine in bleach for swimming pool use since polyacrylate is the main ingredient in many swimming pool/.spa water clarifiers.) Many pool stores, Ace Hardware, Walmart, and the big box stores often sell pool and spa supplies and have liquid chlorine in either 10% in gallon jugs or 12.5% if they sell it in refillable carboys.
  21. You raise CH by adding calcium chloride (calcium hardness increaser from the pool/spa supply store) . The ONLY reason you would need to raise it is if it's below about 120-150 ppm since water softer than that had a tendency to foam. If it's higher than that it's not a problem unless it's REALLY high (above about 300 to 400 ppm) and then it's just a matter of making sure the pH does not spike so you don't deposit scale (calcium carbonate) on the spa surface. You would also want to run a lower total alkalinityin this case too since that will do 2 things, make pH spikes less likely and also lower the amount of bicarbonate ions in the water so the formation of calcium carbonate is less likely. Last thing, The blue book that comes with the Taylor test kits is pretty useless except for the base and acid demand tables. You can get another book from Taylor https://taylortechnologies.com/en/product/accessories/booklet-pool-spa-water-chemistry-2014-ed-english--2004B?pageid=19 or you can get one from Amazon or other online retailers (but be sure to double check the prices. Some of them are ridiculous! I've even seen it as a PDF file for download. Just search for Taylor Technologies 2004B
  22. Do they put a strips in the meter, a disc in the meter, or individual vials in the meter for each test. I don't recognize the software printout. FWIW, colorimter testing is not really any more accurate because of limitations in the chemistry of the tests . It is possible if you have not been keeping up on your water chemistry and maintaining it properly. Also, does the pool store know you have a Pool Pilot and that your CYA should be between 60 to 80 ppm? They should have red flagged your low CYA reading (although I have seen this happen many times since many pool store employees do not realize that a salt pool has different requirements than one that is manually chlorinated). When CYA is low the cell has to be one for a longer period to maintain FC at the proper level and this can shorten cell life. Is your pool pilot a basic model or does it have the optional pH/ORP sensors and/or acid feeder to automatically adjust pH and chlorine? If so your ORP and/or pH electrodes probably needs replacement if they are more than a year old. When you order the test kit make sure you get the K-2006 (FAS-DPD chlorine test) and NOT the K-2005 (DPD chlorine test).
  23. Salt level is good but the fact that you have no chlorine in the pool makes me think that your cell might be bad. They only last for about 5 years so you might want to get it checked. If the biofilm was consuming the chlorine you would test little to none FC but the CC would be high as would the total chlorine. The other possibility is that your chlorine level is very high and the chlorine tests are bleaching out and reading low. This is a problem with DPD testing which is why I recommended the Taylor K-2006 which uses the FAS-DPD testing method which is easier and does not have the bleachout problem. However, this would not explain the fact that biofilm is growing in your water. Does your pool store test by using a disc and then reading it in a machine by any chance?
  24. How is the pool store testing? Liquid reagents read in a meter of some sort? Strips? It's very strange that the FC and Cc are the same in both tests you posted but if they are correct your system is NOT producing chlorine. What is your salt level? FWIW, I use to sell Pool Pilots and am very familiar with them. Calcium is fine for a vinyl pool, btw but your TA is a bit high for best pH stability although a pH of 7.8 is fine. Best thing to shock your pool is either liquid chlorine or plain, unscented, unthickened chlorine laundry bleach such as Clorox or a store brand (they are all sodium hypochlorite and only differ in strength and therefor how much is needed to raise the pool to a specific FC level. This is also what your Salt system is producing and adding to the water so it's the most compatible form of chlorine. However, since your CYA is so low right now you might want to consider shocking with dichlor, which will add 9 ppm CYA for every 10 ppm FC added and the bonus is that it is very fast dissolving so the CYA is available immediately as opposed to adding plain CYA which can take several days to fully dissolve. My final suggestion is to purchase a Taylor K-2006 test kit and start testing your own water. For testing your salt levels I would recommend the Hach or AquaChek salt test strips (only strips I recommend using are these and the LaMotte borate test strips if you decide to add a borate product to your pool, which is an excellent thing to do for a salt pool for several reasons that I won't go into right now since I don't have the time. ) You can find the Taylor test kit online at Amazon and many online pool supply retailers. It is probably the MOST important piece of pool equipment you can own and worth every penny. Do not get the K-2005 kit, You want the K-2006. Here is a link to the Taylor Technologies website that had videos on the use of the kit: https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd
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