Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by waterbear

  1. FWIW, when chlorine is added to a bromine system it converts the bromide reserve into bromine sanitizer and there is no chlorine left, only salt. Also, if you read the ingredients on the vast majority of bromine tabs and one step bromine products you will find that they are mostly chlorine. There is one tablet that I know of that does not contain chlorine and uses a persulfate oxidizer but it is more expensive and there is no real advantage to it's use.
  2. Frog is a metal ion system. It's not straight bromine or chlorine so the chemistry involved is a bit different. There is a Frog that works with bromine and a different one that works with chlorine.
  3. what kind of help are you asking for? Your post is not clear.
  4. For plaster a negative saturation index is aggressive to the plaster surface. A positive saturation index is not. Calcium saturation index has NOTHING to do with metal corrosion in pools and spas. Low pH is the primary factor that causes problems with metal parts (and vinyl liners), Positive saturation index that is too high can lead to scale formation, which is NOT desirable, even for plaster surfaces. Calcium saturation index is only applicable to plaster. However, there is some empirical evicence that higher calcium levels in fiberglass pools and spas (NOT acrylic shells with fiberglass baking reinforcement but actual fiberglass gelcoat exposed to the water) might help prevent or slow cobalt spotting and the formation of iron staining, both of which fiberglass is prone to.
  5. bottom line, if the water is not moving it's stagnant and things can grow in pockets of stagnant water that can cause a local depletion of sanitizer in those areas. As an experiment I suggest totally stopping the MPS (shock with bleach) and NOT turning off the tub for about a 2 week period (after a shock) and see if the problem still exists. If your CYA is 30 ppm or less shock to 15 ppm FC. if it's 30 to 50 ppm shock to 20 ppm FC, You can enter the tub once the FC is below 10 ppm.
  6. Those are my feeling and it's what I do.
  7. It did. Calcium saturation index is not applicable to any surface except plaster. Unlke plaster, FIberglass, VInyl, and Acrylic are not reactive to calcium. It has nothing to do with corrosion of metal parts of pumps, pH does however. The main reason not to have very soft water in a tub is to help prevent foaming caused from saponaceous substances in the water and from much empirical evidence that seems to be around 120 ppm or higher. There is some very limited evidence that higher CH (250 to 400 ppm) might help prevent or slow cobalt spotting in the gelcoat of fiberglass pools and might also help minimize iron staining but nothing concrete has been determined one way or the other and it might just be an unsubstantiated manufacturer's claim. Spas are made from acrylic shells with a fiberglass reinforcement on the backing so this does not apply. There are a few fiberglass gelcoat spas made by some fiberglass pool manufacturers but these are not stand alone spas and are usually installed along with a fiberglass pool. There are also plaster spas that are built along with plaster pools. These can also be installed or built without a pool. However, as I stated, these are not the self contained, stand alone spas that most people have. FWIW, I fill my fiberglass pool and attached spillover acrylic spa shell with softened water because the faucet by my pool goes through my water softener since it also feeds my outside shower and then adjust my CH upward to around 250 ppm. I have found that the higher CH does help prevent iron staining in my fiberglass pool Before I started doing this I had to treat the stains yearly with ascorbic acid to keep them under control. Since I have been bumping up the CH I have not had a stain problem at all. There is nothing wrong with filling with softened water as long as you immediately adjust the CH upward if it is warranted. If you are filling a vinyl pool there is no reason. If you are filling gelcoated fiberglass pool or spa it might be a good ides if you are having a staining problem. IF you are filling a plaster pool or spa it is necessary.
  8. I assume you mean one or two drops of the FAS reagent which would mean your CC is .5 to 1 ppm with a 10 ml sample or .2 to .4 ppm with a 25 ml sample. This is acceptable for CC in a hot tub. If it is over every time you test then there might be an issue. Because of the small water to bather load ratio and the fact that tubs are kept covered so they are not exposed to sunlight (which helps destroy CC) this is entirely normal. Might be. Impossible to tell without more information or pictures. IT could also be the source of your CC. Do you shower before entering the tub? IF not try it and see if it helps. I've found them to be very effective at removing surface oils. They are made from an oil absorbing substance. Wash with dish detergent and rinse them out THOROUGHLY in the sink once every week or so and change them out every 3 to 6 months. I prefer the Scumbug brand that look like a bug because the shape maximizes the surface area as opposed to shapes like stars or balls.
  9. MPS is acidic so you are essentially adding acid when you add the MPS and a drop in pH is the expected result. Since the pH returns to your target level with a short period of aeration then you TA is high enough to do the job. I would not worry about aerating to bring the pH up. It will happen by itself as CO2 gasses off. Just monitor your Ta weekly and if it drops below 60 ppm bring it back up to 70 ppm. You can most likely avoid the pH drop by switching to bleach for shocking.
  10. Chlorine levels for shock and normal sanitizing depend on the CYA level. This post has links to some relevant information on what chlorine levels should be for different levels of CYA: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53138-going-out-of-town-what-to-do/&do=findComment&comment=206016 FWIW, many state health departments and the CDC state that FC levels of 10 ppm or lower are safe to enter with NO CYA in the water.
  11. Chlorine is not a sensitizer and, in fact, "bleach baths" with a concentration of around 50 ppm chlorine are often recommended to treat eczema in children and adults so I would look for another source. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/eczema/childhood/treating/bleach-bath https://www.healthline.com/health/bleach-bath-for-eczema#How-to-do-it https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/expert-answers/eczema-bleach-bath/faq-20058413 Are you using MPS? This has been known to cause skin irritation. It could also be 'hot tub itch' which is a skin infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa which normally comes from under sanitized water (which could happen by either not testing enough or depending on strips) and once established in a tub can be difficult to eradicate since it can form biofilms that are chlorine resistant. HIgher FC levels and not lower are normally recommended and it does not always affect everyone using the tub. https://www.healthline.com/health/hot-tub-folliculitis#outlook https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pdf/317355-A_FS-HotTubRashes_508.pdf Finally, some people have or develop a sensitivity to the elevated water temperatures in a hot tub that results in a rash (Hives). https://www.webmd.com/allergies/cholinergic-urticaria-facts Would you mind posting a full set of test results and how they were obtained? (strips, liquid or tablet reagents, OTO, DPD, or FAS-DPD sanitizer test if liquid or tablet, whether a meter was used to read the results and whether it was dealer or home testing.) This way we can get a better idea of what is going on.
  12. Yes, borax is alkaline. Adding enough to achieve 50 ppm borate will drastically raise your pH. The amount of acid is what is needed to bring the pH back down. This is also why you have to break up the dosing. FWIW, borax can be used to raise pH at twice the dose of pH up (sodium carbonate) in cases where pH needs to be brought up (such as an overdose of acid) and it will have MINIMAL impact on TA, unlike sodium carbonate which will shoot TA higher than before you started. IF you are using a 5 ml sample with a .5 drop equivalent 1 drop means .5 ppm CC and 2 drops mean 1 ppm cc. IF you are using a 25 ml sample with a .2 drop equivalent 1 drop means .2 ppm CC and 2 drops .4 ppm. IF CC is .5 ppm you do not need to shock. Even 1 ppm is often handled by normal chlorination. Most people shock when CC is above .5 ppm but hot tubs often have higher CC levels because of the small water to bather load ratio and 350 gal is a pretty small spa. If you only go to 1 ppm occasionally then shock when it hits that number or goes above.
  13. How are you testing? (IF using FAS-DPD what size sample?) IF your CC is 1 ppm or less don't worry about it. It's often impossible to achieve lower CC levels in a spa. if it's .5 ppm or less you do not need to shock. Even 1 ppm or less if it does not climb any higher is OK and shocking is not really needed unless you want to. Just chlorinate as usual to maintain a FC of 4 to 6 ppm (assuming CYA of 30 ppm) IF you have persistent CC of over 1 ppm then other actions might need to be taken. Don't overthink it. It's not a chemistry set, it's a spa. Enjoy it. Soon you will know just what YOUR spa needs (each one is different) to maintain your water.
  14. no, it's good for years as ling as it stays dry. 21 oz by weight of borax (decahydrate- 20 mule team) and 10 oz of 31.45% (20 Baume) muriatic acid add 1/4 of the borax and let it dissolve with jets running, add 1/4 of the acid in the stream of a jet and let it circulate. Repeat 3 more times. 13 oz by weight of boric acid. It will cause a slight drop in pH but pH should rise on its own. Just make sure pH is 7.6 or above before adding. IF you use a commercial product like Gentle Spa (which is usually a mixture of boric acid and the pentahydrate form of borax) follow dosing directions on label, test borate level, and make adjustments as needed. Once borate is at target level retest pH and TA. Adjust pH downward to around 7.6 to 7.7 if above 7.8. If pH is low but above 7.0 do nothing. it will rise and stabilize around 7.7 to 7.8 Once pH is adjusted retest TA. It might show a slight increase which is OK. If it is above 80 ppm drop it down to between 50 to 70 ppm. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/ Sweet spot for borate is between 30 to 50 ppm with the higher end better. If you are using a bigunide sanitizer system like BaquaSpa or SoftSoak then borate should be 50 to 80 ppm. You can also use the PoolCalulator to determine dosing. As far as the filter goes hose it off weekly or as needed with a high pressure nozzle on a garden hose. Most hardware and big box stores carry then and they are only a few dollars. To soak your filter monthly or as needed get a container large enough to submerge the filter and use 1 cup of powdered automatic dishwasher detergent like Finish or Electosol for every 5 gallons of water. Soak for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight and then hose off thoroughly with the high pressure nozzle. I like to have a spare filter so I can take out the dirty one and put a clean on in immediately and then clean and soak the dirty one. This way you have no down time.
  15. IF it can be shut off (not all can be) it's probably a good idea since it will cause the chlorine to drop faster. FWIW, quats and polyquat also don't play well with oxidizing sanitizers like chlorine. The are oxidized by the chlorine causing both the level of quats and chlorine to drop. This is why it s recommended to wait 24 hours between shocking and using a quat based algaecide. Also, if you leave the tub running be prepared for foaming if you use a linear quat. Polyquat and borate do not cause the water to foam. Also, borate does not cause chlorine levels to drop. The foaming makes sense when you realize that quats are cationic surfactants (foaming detergents, but not high foam formers like the anionic surfactant group). Fun fact: while hypochlorite is not very effective at breaking up biofilms, monochloramine is. Anyone that has been a pool tech for MANY years will remember adding anhydrous ammonia to a pool to form monochloramine to kills algae, including black algae (a biofilm that is very difficult to kill). In fact the product Green to Clean and Yellow out (SeaKlear/Natural Chemistry) are basically ammonium sufate and when added to a pool along with chlorine effectively forms monochloramine, which is more effective at killing algae.
  16. I suggested turning off the system while you are gone in a previous post: Since you are already using borate and it's at 50 ppm just shock, cover, and shut it off. When you get back turn it back on, test the water and shock or rebalance as needed. . IF sanitizer is still within range or a bit high (it might be if it's only been a week) and everything else is good just heat it up and your good.
  17. Borate is not a necessity but it does make maintenance easier, has some effect at preventing biofilms, and also improves the 'feel' of the water on your skin (hard to describe but everyone that uses borate notices it). Borax is better for raising pH than sodium carbonate since it can raise pH with minimal impact on TA while sodium carbonate tends to make the TA go very high (which is useful if you are using trichlor which tends to cause both pH and TA to crash). FWIW, needing to raise pH in a spa is very unusual. Most spas have a problem pH rise because of the aeration so you are one of the lucky ones if your pH is trending downward but fairly stable! IF what you are doing is working no need to change it. I suspect your fill water has very low TA.
  18. Bring the TA up to the 50 to 70 range with baking soda (this is what TA increaser is) then lower the pH to 7.6 to 7.8 which will not affect the TA. As for borate, you can use a commercial product like Gentle Spa by Proteam, Borax (either tetrahydrate like 20 Mule Team or pentahydrate, only difference is the amount needed to achieve 50 ppm along with enough acid to counteract the pH rise from the alkaline Borax, or boric acid which will cause a small drop in pH. If you need more detailed dosing info just ask.
  19. Short answer, you can't. I would not have raised the TA. Nitro initially based some of his levels on pools and not spas and did not take into account the much higher aeration in spas that tends to cause pH to rise.
  20. These tests are done when products are being developed. If they are used off label then we don't know so shocking to the correct level (or making sure biguanide and peroxide levels are in range) takes care of the problem. As I said, you can do whatever you want in your spa but to promote this as a safe and effective spa sanitation procedure is irresponsible, particularly for any newbies that might try to follow it. Remember that I am a moderator and I monitor not only spam but also potentially dangerous information.
  21. However, you have done no tests of the water for pathogen levels so you really don't know if it is safe, only that it doesn't look cloudy. This is a major flaw in your 'testing'. Also, your sample size of 1 is way too small to be meaningful.
  22. FWIW, your experiment is flawed. Just because the water looks clear does not mean it's sanitized. Bacterial growth started when your sanitizer dropped but it takes time for enough growth to cloud the water. This was a common marketing claim of copper based pool 'sanitizers', that the water would stay clear. However, this 'clear looking' water contained very high pathogen loads and was not safe water. This is why these types of products now say that they are to be used with chlorine or bromine since they were basically algaecides and had very slow kill times. Your water stayed clear for an extended period because you had a closed system with no additional bather load. The same effect would be seen with polyquat or borate. You are using a quat, which causes bacterial cell walls to explode so what you are seeing accumulate on the tub wall is well known to every biguinide user a since biguinide also cases bacterial cells to explode. However since there is no oxidation this goo collects on filters and in the tub. You make some assumptions based on a lack of understanding of how quats work and on the limited empirical results in one tub. Whatever you want to do in your tub is your business but it is irresponsible to recommend it as a proven method when, in fact, it can put someone at risk for a water borne illness.
  23. Perhaps the first order of business is an understanding of exactly what an EPA registration number means and what a biocide is. According to the EPA a biocide is pesticide that kills microorganisms. It does not specify which microoganism it kills and is a very broad umbrella. For example, all sanitizers are biocides but not all biocides are santizers. All algaecides are biocides but not all biocides are algaecides. All fungicides are biocides but not all biocides are fungicides. Quats are registered as biocides in pools and spa. Most are sold as algaecides. Copper based products are also registered as biocides in pools and spas, Most are sold as algaecides. Borax is also registered as a biocide in pools and spas as an algaecide. The EPA considered biocides to be under the umbrella of pestacides and all pesticides need to be registered with the EPA. They also consider recreational water treatment products to be pesticides, including chlorine, bromine, and biguanide, and other products that are used as algaecides, or make claims that they kill pathogens. These are very broad umbrellas for a lot of products with very different actions. A historical fact, there used to exist many products that has "blue" in the name that were copper based (basically a solution or powder that contained copper sulfate) that claimed that you could use these instead of using chlorine, bromine, or biguinide. They all proudly displayed an EPA registration number. However, the registration number was for copper sulfate and not for the actual product. Copper sulfate is an EPA registered pesticide for use as an algaecide. It will effectively keep the water from turning green but it does not sanitize the water. Many of these products still exist but now they say they must be used with chlorine or bromine to keep the water sanitized since copper is not a residual primary sanitizer. However it is an EPA registered biocide. Yes, quats are a biocide in residential hot tubs BUT they are less effective against Gram-negative bacteria than against Gram-positive bacteria (both can form biofilms as can algae). They also have limited activity against bacterial spores and very little activity against viruses. This means that you still a redisufal fast acting sanitizers (another category under EPA regisitrations.) https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/types-pesticide-ingredients Many products have EPA registration numbers and fall under the umbrella of pesticides or biocides. It does not mean that they are effective sanitizers, a specific category of pesticides. Being classified as a biocide means that it can kill microorganisms. Quats kill algae, Copper kills algae. Borate kills algae. Algae can be a component of biofilms. Interestingly enough, borate also shows antimicrobial activity against many strains of Pseudomonas, enteric bacteria, and staphylococci. the antifungal properties of borate is well known. Also interestingly enough, both fungi and yeasts can and do form biofilms. Getting back to the topic of this thread which is extended absences: Bottom line is that your sanitizer will most likely drop low or to 0 ppm (unless you are using biguinide but you will most likely need to oxidize when you get back). If you have a secondary biocide such as borate, polyquat, or a plain quat it might help prevent algae growth or possibly inhibit some biofilm formation. IF you are using chlorine then tabs in a floater is one possibility but it will cause CYA to increase and could cause pH to crash. IF you go this route bump up your TA to aroudn 100 ppm or a bit higher. IF you are using bromine then use bromine tabs in a floater if you aren't already. Shock when you get back and then make any water balanace adjustments that are needed such as pH or TA. What I have successfully many times to both a pool exposed to the sun and to a hot tub when I go away for an extended period (the longest a month) is to make sure my borate is at 50 ppm and then shock according to my CYA level. I also shut everything down after shocking. The pool is not covered, btw. When I returned after a month both were crystal clear (no algae in the pool!). My pool and spa had no chlorine left so I shocked again and then tested all my other water parameters, which needed no adjustment. You can probably achieve similar results with polyquat (which tends to be longer lasting than a linear quat) but be aware that quats, both poly and linear, WILL cause a drop in FC levels,much like ozone does. This is one of the main reasons I prefer borate. To summarize: before you go add either borate or a quat (can be one sold as an algaecide, polyquats are longer lasting than linear quats. Look for poly [oxyethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride]. Anything else is NOT polyqaat. IF possible get 60% and not the 30%. Price is usually very close so why pay for expensive water used to dilute the 60% to half strength?) I know Proteam has a 60% polyquat as does GLB), shock, turn off everything, and cover when you return test the water, turn on system, shock again, and (when sanitizer drops to normal level ) rebalance water if needed.
  24. No, I wrote it several years back. It was posted here and also on TFP from when I was mod there (from when TPF was still owned by the person who started it. )Not sure if it is still on TFP or not. I don't frequent that board anymore. This board changed ownership several years back and many of the pinned posts were removed. I will rewrite it and repost it as soon as I get a chance within the next weeks.
  25. I will write one up and pin it once I have the time. RIght now I have company from out of town so my time is limited. The board changed ownership several years back and many of the pinned posts were removed. I did have a post on bromine for beginners if that is what you are looking for.
  • Create New...