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Everything posted by KansasTubber

  1. I won't claim to be an expert, but it you're really burning through 9ppm of chlorine every day, there might be something icky living in your tub. Check out the "Decontamination" topic pinned to the top of this page.
  2. I've been doing too much reading on water chemistry, and having trouble getting a grip on what CYA does to the actual levels of chlorine available for sanitizing my tub. If I understand what I read in ChemGeek's (excellent) articles at TroubleFreePool correctly, I need to keep a base level of FC equal to 10% of my CYA level to ensure there is always some chlorine available for sanitation. Am I understanding that right? Background: My tub is a 2011 HotSpring Vanguard with ozone. I'm using the Dichlor then Bleach method, and changed the water 3 weeks ago. My routine is to add enough bleach each afternoon to bring my tub to 6ppm FC. (I'm in the tub for 20-25 minutes every night, my wife may join me 2-3 times/week). I usually see 1-2ppm FC when I test before adding the bleach. Given what I've read about CYA, am I actually leaving my tub with NO effective sanitation for part of the day? I just tested CYA, and it's somewhere between 30 and 40. This stuff is making my head spin just a bit. The funny thing is that my wife is a high school chemistry teacher, and wants absolutely nothing to do with this!
  3. I paid $9,700 + tax (+ electrical) for my Vanguard back in August. Steps/Lift/Delivery/Starter Chemicals included, no ACE. But obviously, the dealer's overhead is going to be a lot lower in my area than in yours.
  4. <br /><br /><br />The directions on the back of the most spa chemicals advise running the jets 15 - 30 minutes when adding chemicals. I hope you are leaving the cover off your tub when you add chemicals. The jets on my tub shut-off automatically after 20 minutes. Even though I know liquid bleach mixes almost instanteously, I usually cycle the jets twice (approximately 40 minutes) after adding chemicals, not only to mix (very) well, but to allow for out-gassing. I'll leave the cover open a bit longer after the second cycle. I routinely aim for 60 minutes. I may shorten this time, depending on the weather (and my schedule). Sometimes the cover remains open longer when I'm focused on something else and just don't get to closing it right away. gman HotSpring spas have a 10-minute "Clean" cycle. I usually start that, add the chemicals, then shut the cover after it finishes. I will definitely start letting it run longer.
  5. I'm going to run a full set of tests tomorrow, I'll report back then. Based on the amount of Dichlor I've used since refilling the tub, I'm expecting to see CYA in the 20-30 range, and will switch to bleach (or lithium hypo) this weekend. The off-gassing after the shock treatment is something I hadn't considered. How long should I leave the cover off?
  6. At the end of August, I had a 2011 HotSpring Vanguard (with ozonator) installed. We have a walkout basement, and it sits on the slab by the basement door, under a deck. (I'm working on getting a "roof" installed over the tub so dirty water from the deck doesn't drip in). I am in the tub almost every night for 15-30 minutes, my wife joins me 2-3 times/week, and one of our teenagers might get in weekly. No parties yet, but I'm sure they will happen. About a week ago, I drained and refilled, and based on what I've read here, I'm moving towards the Dichlor/bleach method from straight Dichlor (although I may use lithium hypo because the HotSpring warranty doesn't like bleach). After a month, I've come up with a few questions: 1. Test strips: I use a Taylor K2006 kit for my weekly evaluation, but I like the convenience of sticking a strip in the water each day, just to make sure the PH and TA haven't gone crazy. However, the strips I have (HotSpring house brand) seem to consistently be low for FC when compared to the Taylor kit. (My daily chlorine routine is to test, then add some Dichlor if there's less than 3ppm.) Is there a better brand of test strips out there? 2. Shock. I was given the standard HotSpring (FreshWater) startup kit, plus a 2lb container of SpaGuard Enhanced Shock (which is chlorine). My dealer isn't a fan of MPS shock, which comes in the kit, but after not really getting rid of the CC with the SpaGuard, I tried it and it seemed to work better without running the FC level up to 20. (High Chlorine = me not using tub = sadness.) But I may be doing this wrong, so I'm wondering how I should be using this stuff. I've read about breakpoint chlorination, does this mean I need to add 10ppm of chlorine to get rid of 1ppm of CC? With my current chlorine routine, should I also be adding a little MPS to get rid of the CC each day? Is there some reason I shouldn't be using MPS? And my final question on the SpaGuard chlorine shock is this: Why does this stuff appear to have a lower percentage of available chlorine than the "regular" Concentrated Chlorinating Granules I use every day? Makes no sense at all. 3. Water stabilization: My tap water starts out very high in PH (over 8), and I add enough calcium to get the CH up to 150. Eventually, PH and TA both crash, and I have to add the increaser to get them back up. (I'm guessing this is due to the acid in the Dichlor). I've read a little about borates, will this help maintain the PH and TA? Can someone direct me in the direction of a how-to article for borates? Thanks for the help! This forum has been really, really useful as I start to understand what's going on in my tub.
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