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spidey9's Achievements

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  1. It is indeed packing material. It smells like chemicals because it has been in a box full of chemicals (aka the test kit).
  2. I'm not familiar with aromatherapy "pods" but I would never put anything into my tub that was not specifically made for hot tub use. I do use the Spazazz Rx Aromatherapy crystals on a regular basis. The aroma adds to the experience, not to mention completely masking any residual chlorine smell. In addition, the crystals (mostly epsom salt and sea salt) make the water feel "softer" and silky. They have no effect on water chemistry, other than causing salt and TDS to creep up when used on a regular basis.
  3. Not sure if I qualify as a "good hot tub owner" but I own a good hot tub.I've had it about a year and a half. For the first several months I did indeed test the water every single day, at least for pH and FC. In doing this I developed a feel for the tub's chemistry, so that the test results rarely were a surprise. Now I test for pH and FC 2-3 times a week, and do a complete set of tests every Saturday. I've augmented my Taylor K-2006 kit with things like a magnetic stirrer, sample size measuring tool, etc., and it only takes a few minutes to do the testing.
  4. Why not, since you seemed to be concerned with accuracy? I purchased an inexpensive ($20 or so) digital kitchen scale online and dispense all of my chemicals by weight, thus eliminating any concerns about variations in density.I can zero the scale after I put the cup on it, which makes weighing out the chemicals a snap. It really doesn't take any longer than measuring by volume.
  5. Don't add a cup, at least not unless you have a really big tub! In my 340 gallon tub (Jacuzzi J-345) I add one ounce of 8.25% bleach per day if I don't use the tub, 2 ounces if I use it solo for one 20 minute session, and 3 ounces if my wife joins me. I used to check FC and pH daily (using a Taylor K-2006 test kit), but after doing this for a year I have found that it is pretty predictable and I can check every other day or so.
  6. I clean my filters (my tub uses two) on a monthly basis. I soak them in a TSP solution overnight, rinse them thoroughly using one of those "filter flosser" gadgets that attaches to a garden hose, and let them dry. I have a spare set of filters, so I don't have any down time while I'm doing this.
  7. The "1% other" is most likely some form of sugar. It seems that roaches don't have much of an appetite for pure boric acid.
  8. Test strips are worse than useless, as they can give you the impression that everything is okay when it is not. Based on the recommendations in this forum, I invested in a Taylor K-2006 kit before my tub had even been delivered, and next to the tub itself, it is the most important piece of gear that I own. I use it on a daily basis, and cannot imagine maintaining my tub without it. As TdiDave pointed out, it is important to get a kit using the FAS-DPD method of testing, which allows you to differentiate between free and combined chlorine. Total chlorine does not tell the whole story. I do not understand your aversion to ordering a kit online. I ordered not only the kit, but most of my chemicals and accessories online. I get exactly what I want, I do not have to deal with uninformed sales people pushing a particular product line, and I save a ton of money in the process.
  9. I find the Dichlor/bleach method to be simpler than bromine. I much prefer the smell of chlorine to bromine. Besides, the only time I notice the chlorine smell at all is when I first lift the cover, and even then it is not bad. As long as I can remember to uncover the spa 10 minutes or so before using it, odor is really a non-issue. The only chemical I am adding on a daily basis is bleach, which I can buy at my local supermarket for a few dollars per gallon. The only downside is that this method requires a small amount of maintenance on a near-daily basis. I use the tub every day, so I check FC before soaking (takes about two minutes), and add bleach after soaking (takes less than a minute).
  10. Background: Jacuzzi J-345, 340 gal, using dichlor-bleach method, used daily for one 20 min soak by 1 or 2 people, all testing done with Taylor K-2006 except as noted. My local water has a CH of about 100, and at my last fill (2 months ago) I added CaCl to bring that up to about 150. I check chlorine and pH daily, and do a full set of tests weekly. The last couple of weeks my CH has dropped off to nearly nothing, When I add the 5 drops of R-0011L the sample immediately turns mostly blue rather than red. I have repeated the test several times and checked my methodology by testing a 200 ppm sample reagent, which gave the expected results: the sample turned red with the R-0011L and turned blue at the 20th drop of R-0012. Other readings are fine: pH 7.6, FC 2.8, CC 0.2, TA 65, CYA 32. The only things that have been added to the water are dichlor, bleach, occasionally dry acid to knock ph back down, and Spazazz aromatherapy crystals, which consist primarily of magnesium sulfate. Also, salt and TDS measured 400 and 600 respectively at the fill, and have gradually increased to 1800 and 2900, as measured with a SafeDip pool tester (which may or may not be accurate). What could cause the calcium to disappear? Should I add CaCl to bring it back up, or not worry about it? The water looks and feels great.
  11. San Diego tap water is fine, except for pH being high. I use an inexpensive filter on the end of the hose when I fill, but that probably isn't really necessary. On my last fill, before doing anything, I measured pH >8, FC 0.6, CC 1.0, TA 100, and CH 100. You definitely don't need the calcium remover - I usually add calcium to increase CH to around 150. Knock the pH and TA down with dry acid, add your sanitizer of choice, and you're good to go.
  12. Jacuzzi spas are manufactured in Chino, California, which is considerably north of Tijuana, Mexico.
  13. I'm not sure if this is still true. I changed my water recently, and when I added Gentle Spa my pH spiked from 7.4 to over 8.0, and I had to add a sizeable amount of dry acid to get things back in line. Others have reported similar problems. I think that on my next water change I'll go with straight boric acid.
  14. Per the Spa System Flush directions, after my soak last night I pulled the filters, added 7 oz of Spa System Flush and ran the pumps through a couple of cycles. Afterwards I noted that the water was slightly cloudy and smelled funky, but was otherwise okay - no gunk floating around. I let it drain overnight. Today I cleaned, refilled, and balanced the water. After adding dry acid and aerating a couple of times, I got to pH 7.4 and TA 70 (initially 8.0/100 respectively). As has been reported here, when I added 9 oz Pro Team Gentle Spa, pH spiked to 8+. Using the Taylor acid demand test, I added 1.25 oz of dry acid to bring it back in line. Another 10 degrees and I'll be back in business.
  15. Thanks for the responses. The tub does not have an ozonator, but does have the ClearRay UV system - I don't know what effect that has on anything. I know that I need to test for chlorine demand, but I keep putting it off because I don't want to go 24 hours without using the tub. I've actually been adding about a teaspoon of CYA once a month. I have no way of knowing how accurate the SafeDip tester is, although it also measures pH and that is usually in line with the Taylor test. Thanks for the tip on the K-1766 kit - I may order one just to check the accuracy of the tester. All that being said, I'm leaning toward changing the water this weekend. Which brings up another question: I have ordered some SeaKlear Spa System Flush. Is it a good idea to use this every time I change the water?
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