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Posts posted by egclassic

  1. On 9/16/2020 at 12:54 AM, RDspaguy said:

    With ch of 160, alk of 50, and ph of 7.8 you have balanced water. Can you hit those numbers?

    I think so. My TA is now around 40ish and Ph is 7.6.

    I have not been home for about 3 days and tested water today. At 1st, the Ph was a tad low (7.0-7.1) opened the air control valves and ran jets for 15 minutes, brought the Ph right up to 7.6.  I found out that one of my air control valves was not sealing off, bad gasket, and I just replaced it a couple days ago. That was probably part of the reason for the PH drift. I'll check everything again in a day or two.

  2. 10 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

    There are a few bromine routes. Are you using tablets? What shock?

    80 alk is fine. Really, anything over 50 is acceptable, if not ideal. Ph is ok 7.2 - 7.8. The lower the alk, the higher the ph for balanced water. What is your calcium hardness?

    Aeration raises ph by gassing off CO2 in the water. If your ph is already high you should avoid aeration.

    @waterbear, anything to add?

    Using Bromine tabs in floater and shock with bleach. Not sure about CH yet but our tap water is considered hard.

  3. This sounds like a problem I had years ago! I always got a really bad rash but my wife got nothing. I was getting ready to cut the hot tub in half!

    I couldn't tell you how many times and how much money I spent "cleaning", draining and refilling the hot tub, only to have it happen again. I finally changed over to bromine and have not had an issue. I still shock with bleach and not MPS. I hope you get it figured out as I know it is very frustrating!

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  4. I have decided to start up my tub again after a 2-3 year break. 

    Last time, I fought balancing the water. I'd get TA within range, but the Ph would skyrocket. Got tired of chasing TA and Ph up and down ALL the time.

    This time I have tested my tap water and it is TA=80, but Ph is 8.5+. I know I want to add borates again and I think that was part of my issue. I used Borax but this time plan on using just Boric Acid as mentioned in other posts here. I am also going the Bromine route.

    So, question is, with the parameters of my tap water in mind on a fresh refill, where do I start? Should I first add acid (dry or Muratic) to lower Ph, then add baking soda to raise TA back and aerate?

    What is the ideal TA? I know Ph should be 7.4-7.6?

    Thanks in advance!


    Sure, try that out, but you said you also had the problem using bromine. If you do find that Dichlor-only is OK, then you should try a different brand of bleach. Perhaps there is something in the brand you are using that is irritating. If you do isolate this to the bleach, let us know the brand so we can try and figure out what is in it that is causing the problem. Clorox bleach has a very small amount of sodium polyacrylate in it. Otherwise, bleaches are pretty much the same except for the amount of excess lye in them but that shouldn't matter as that just changes the pH (i.e. it's not a specific chemical to irritate).


    Yes, but even with the bromine I was still using bleach as a shock.

    I have tried 3 brands of bleach, including Clorox.

    I thought it might be the borax as well, so I eliminated it on my last refill, still broke out.

  6. I would love to help anyone else who has this issue if I can.

    I have decided, for Sh*ts and giggles, to once again torture myself and try one more thing.

    One thought occurred to me, and that was, when we had our old tub I used only granulated Di-chlor, never Clorox. Never heard of the dichlor then bleach method.

    Since I have had this tub, I have tried the di-chlor then bleach method. If you see by my other posts, it seems that the first few soaks after a refill do not bother me. But once I have gotten my CYA level up to the recommended level and switch to bleach, that seems to be where I start having some issues. The first soak or two are not so bad, I may get a very slight itch here or there. As I continue to add bleach and use the tub, the rash gets more severe. Maybe I'm wrong but humor me on this one. I will report back after I try just going back to plain Di-chlor on this refill. I know my CYA levels will continue to climb and I will probably have to do water changes more often, but it is absolutely my last Idea.

  7. Yeah, very frustrating to say the least. I enjoyed our old tub at least 2-3 times a week and never had these issues. I just wish I knew what is causing it. Whats weird is that the rash takes a day or two to form, and lasts a week or two, which would seem to be bacterial. But I've done a test a couple times where I'd get the chlorine up to 10 ppm and watched how long it would take to get down to 2-3ppm, usually several days. I would think if there was bacteria in there, it would drop quicker. Oh well!


    Read the post on Hot Tub Rash... the culprit may be shock, or specifically potassium monopersulfate..... stick to chlorine, and chlorine shock. If you can swim in a pool and use a public hot tub without getting a rash you can find out what chemicals they use, and I am sure you will find it is chlorine or bromine. Back in the day pools used chlorine to treat bacteria .... that is it. The reason there are so many "new" ways to treat hot tubs, is because chlorine is readily available and cheap. Your skin is also your largest organ... dont mess with what works, and has worked for years.

    Also if you read my post on Hot Tub Rash and click the link you will find that the allergic reaction is specific to men.... ages 40ish to 80ish.... for some reaseon it does not affect women, which is why your wife never got the reaction.


    Problem is, I do not use MPS or any variant thereof.

    I am strictly using Bleach (Clorox) with the occasional dose of Dichlor.

    Sad to report that my itching/rash has returned. Since my last post I have not used the tub all that much, maybe once a week or once every two. But I have always kept up on the chlorine levels and other parameters.

    It always appears after a day or two of using the tub, and always on my legs and any of the "soft" areas of skin, like my a$$ cheeks and undersides of my upper arms.

    Come spring, I'm cleaning the tub and selling it. It's costing me a fortune in flushes and refills, not to mention lotions and creams that offer little to no relief.

  9. So far so good. I have used the tub about 5-6 times for 1/2hr each time and no rash.

    I switched to Clorox brand bleach. I have left out the 50 ppm of borates and run my TA at about 60-70. I also keep a close eye on my pH and keep it around 7.4-7.8. I have been using dry acid vs. the muriatic acid that I used to.

    Still not sure if any of these were the issue to begin with, or if I have even succeeded yet.


    If you find that it only happens when you are using bleach, you might try a different brand of bleach. Maybe something in the particular bleach you are using is irritating. Clorox bleach has a very small amount of sodium polyacrylate but other than that it's the same as other bleaches (perhaps has less lye, but that just adjusts pH and becomes salt).


    I may just try that. So far, I have been using a store brand but I will pick up some Clorox this weekend and see what happens.



    I am very interested in your outcome.

    I have been fighting the exact same thing that you describe, and I have tried everything. I have concluded that it is not bacterial (for some reason most people assume it is bacterial). My reasons for thinking it is not bacterial is because I had a very similar reaction to sea water.

    Assuming that my reaction is chemical related, I systematically tried reducing the chemicals we put in the tub. We have a salt system and we have tried; reducing the amount of salt used, turning down the generator to the minimum setting, minimum calcium hardness, and minimum buffer. None of these changes made a difference, still got the rash. Then I focused on ph, raised it into the upper ranges but still go the rash so we lowered the ph and still got the rash.

    We have tried chlorine, bromine, Spa Marvel, and Hydrogen Peroxide as sanitizers - nothing relieved the rash except limiting my exposure to the tub.

    So, it is all very frustrating, to say the least. Unless someone has other suggestions, I am left to conclude that it is a sensitivity to warm/hot water.

    If anyone has fought through this sort of thing then I would love to hear from you.



    I am still in the process of trying to determine the cause. So far, since I have once again, flushed and refilled the hot tub, I have been in it about 3-4 times. I have not had an issue, yet.

    I have just completed my Dichlor "loading stage" and have just switched to bleach today.

    This time, upon refilling, I left out the 50ppm of borates, This is the ONE thing that I never used in our last hot tub, and have added nothing but dichlor, and small amounts of dry acid (instead of muriatic, as I have used in the past) and baking soda to balance the water.

    I too, have tried everything you mentioned such as trying different sanitizers, and adjusting pH and TA to see if they had any effect. I am completely dumbfounded as I never had issues with our previous hot tub that we had for many years.

    I am not sure if it is sensitivity to hot water. I can take very hot, long showers and do not get a rash, granted, I am not submerged in the water either.

    At this point, I can't say it is or is not bacterial, but I have flushed this hot tub more in the 2 years I have owned it than I ever flushed our old tub. When I do flush it, I always get either a green or yellow "sludge" on the foam and water line.

    If I break out again, I am going to drain the tub and sell it. It is costing me too much money and frustration which is the opposite of what owning a hot tub should be.

    I hope you find a solution to your problems!


    Thanks Wizard. I am now thinking Waterbears 3 step Bromine system looks pretty easy. And I got a bunch of Brominating tabs with the purchase. Just ordered the Taylor K-2106 test kit. New filters. The electrician may be by this afternoon. I'm shooting from the hip. I'm glad you guys are here. The guy at the store said "don't talk to those guys on line". I'm gonna follow your instructions the best I can. Thanks, Jim


    Yeah, "don't talk to those guys online", because he wants to sell you his products, most of which you don't need.


    Because when the TA is that low, the pH is less stable so the borates are an additional pH buffer preventing the pH from swinging, especially from rising too quickly. When I originally proposed a low TA we had one user who didn't pay attention to their pH and with their aeration jets the pH still went up high and they got scaling (they had high CH as well). To help prevent that, the borates will slow down the rate of pH rise. Of course, if someone still doesn't ever test their pH they could still get into trouble, but it'll take a lot longer with the borates in the water.


    Ok, makes sense. I am in the process of determining the cause of a rash and I am adding only the necessary chemicals at this point. I had my TA down to 50ppm and pH was holding at 7.5 with no borates. I will raise it to 70 and keep an eye on it. I prefer not to add the borates this time.

    BTW, I like to get in the tub with the chlorine levels around 3-4 max, otherwise it seem a bit strong.


    Assuming there is some Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the water, say from using Dichlor, then starting a soak with a Free Chlorine (FC) that is higher is not harmful. It may, however, smell more as the chlorine will react with the ammonia in your sweat so some chloramines may outgas and smell. The main reason to start with 1-2 is to avoid such smell. You would then add chlorine right after your soak to oxidize your bather waste and still have enough left over for your next soak the next day (or your dosing the next day).

    In between soaks, the FC will vary since it will be high right after you dose after your soak, but will drop as bather waste gets oxidized. You should try and keep it at 2 ppm FC or higher in between soaks so if you have an ozonator that creates a 50% daily chlorine demand, then you'd dose to 4 ppm and have it 2 ppm the next day when you dose again. If you don't have an ozonator, then your chlorine loss may be 25% per day (or less) in which case you could go from 3 to 2 or could dose every other day from 4 to 2.2.

    If you are using the Dichlor-then-bleach method, then look at the sticky for it, but the TA should be brought down to 50 ppm and the use of 50 ppm Borates is not optional. CYA should be roughly 30-40 ppm. CH should be 120-150 ppm to prevent foaming, but can be lower if you don't have a foaming issue and have an acrylic spa.


    So if your TA=50, you HAVE to have 50 ppm borates (not optional)? Why is that?

  15. Does MPS build a residual in the water or does it completely dissipate after a certain amount of time?

    Just did another flush and refill and I want to keep track of what I put in the tub incase I get another rash. I'd rather not put anything in right now that leaves a residual just incase. It is starting to get too cold to flush and refill now.


  16. Ok, What I will try next is wait until all signs of my rash are gone. Then I will use the tub one night and then stay out for 2-3 days and see what happens. It's hard to tell timeframes when you use the tub several times a week, often on consecutive days. I really want to figure this out because I do not want to give up my tub. When our last one went out on us, we went two years without one and we both missed it.

  17. I used to use spa purge on my last hot tub, and it seemed to work good. I tried it on this hot tub at least twice and I never got any "crud" in the foam, figured it did not work. Then I tried seaklear and it got a lot of colored crud out of the pipes.

    I never got a swab or anything, the doc (and I) just assumed it was bacterial because I did not have it before I got this hot tub. I had my previous hot tub for 5-6 years and never really had an issue, except once. I did get a small rash just on my lower legs, but I contributed it to the fact that the water was near the end of it's life cycle in the tub. After a water change, the rash never returned.

    I need to ask the friend that sold me this tub if he ever really flushed it and did not just do a drain and refill. I think he had the tub for about 3 years before selling it to me. That's why I am beginning to wonder if the pipes just have so much biofilm build up that the flushing agent is spent before completely cleaning the plumbing. I just ordered some more flush and plan to do it this week again.

    I try to keep the chemicals I use to a minimum to rule out any allergic reactions.

  18. Last year about this time, I bought a used but almost new hot tub from a friend.

    I filled it and balanced the water and started to use it. I developed very, very bad rash. Notice I forgot to "flush and decon" the tub before using it. So I flushed it with "spa purge" and followed the decon process found on this site. Filled again, and started to use it. Again, got the rash. I tried switching to bromine and that did not help. I stopped using MPS entirely, but still got a rash.

    Finally I bought some SeaKlear spa flush and noticed it got way more gunk out of the pipes. Filled it again and all seemed well.

    Since then (over the summer) I kept the tub filled and maintained with sanitizer at 80*. About a month ago, I flushed it again (with seaklear) and filled it. I used the tub several times without an issue, until this past week. Now I have this rash again.

    I am not sure if my friend ever actually flushed the tub when he had it or merely drained and refilled it. Maybe the pipes are so ladened with biofilm that I cant get it all out. I am going to try one more time, then I'm calling it quits. BTW, my wife has never gotten this rash. The only chemicals I have used in the tub are Dichlor, bleach, Borax, Muriatic acid and baking soda(when needed).


    The more reading I do, the more I'm leaning toward just treating it the way I treat my pool (chemically speaking). Dopey question, but is Dichlor simply the chlorine pucks that I buy at Costco? I'm not a chemical expert, so I just want to ensure that my assumption is correct. I realize the liquid Clorox I purchase doesn't have Dichlor. Do all chlorine pucks have Dichlor? Just want to ensure I'm on the right path here and purchasing the correct stuff. Also, if I'm going to use chlorine and not bromine (which is what I'm going to do), do I still use the blue mineral cartridges that my dealer gave me? I think he said they had to be replaced every couple of weeks (please tell me that isn't accurate)? He gave me a couple of the "Spa Frog" packages that were blue. Is there a better option for this? I apologize for the elementary questions, but I really don't know where to begin and want to try to get it right the first time I fill the tub. Thank you for any and all feedback.John


    I would buy yourself a container of granulated chlorine (Dichlor) from a pool/spa dealer. Those pucks are probably Trichlor and will be too strong and raise your chlorine level too quickly.

    Follow the Dichlor then bleach method, you won't be disappointed. It is effective and easy to follow.

    Don't let the spa dealer lead you to believe that you need all those other bottles of chemicals they sell. All you really need is granulated chlorine, Clorox, baking soda, and maybe some muriatic acid if your source water is good quality. You do not need those mineral sticks they gave you. You will need a good drop test kit, don't waste time with the strips. You should balance your water (pH, TA, and calcium) before adding dichlor upon start up.

    Good luck, and enjoy your new spa.

  20. This site is your "hot tubs for dummies" source, very knowledgeable people here that can help you with just about any issue. I am not one of them, but I have learned a lot here.

    You will continue to use the chemicals you are already accustomed to, but you will need some Dichlor before using the Clorox. There is a sticky on this that is worth reading.(Dichlor then bleach in a nutshell)

  21. I have been throwing around the idea of purchasing the Saltron Mini Salt system for my 300 gal. tub.

    I just cannot find enough information on the internet as far as how well/if they work. I am not looking for a "set it and forget it" approach to maintenance by any means, but more of a "got my back incase I forget for a day or two". Has anyone here had any experiences or insight with this system? I don't want to waste my money if it does not work well.

  22. I, too, am thinking about switching back to chlorine. I still get some irritation after using the tub. A hot tub should be relaxing, I am tired of wondering if I will get a rash after using it everytime. Problem is, my rashes actually started when I was using chlorine, so I switched to bromine in the hopes it would help. Yes I decontaminated the tub twice. As stated before, my rashes seem less severe, but still uncomfortable. One the weather warms, I am going to decomtaminate again and re-try chlorine.

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