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Everything posted by dlleno

  1. Hi. is there a pointer to an article holistically describing the pH balance process throughout the water lifecycle, when borates are used as a buffer? for chlorine and Bromine spas at least. I see the recommended numbers but what I"m interested in is a more detailed write-up covering prep, where to buy, when to heat, when and what to add, and how to maintain pH from startup to drain . forgive me if this is already covered; I haven't been here very long and just trying to soak up all the infinite wisdom I see here.
  2. awesome info thanks chem geek. so: 1. With a suitable bromine bank, there is no reason to avoid Clorox. Question: Without having used di-chlor first, is there a risk using bleach if the bank gets depleted? 2. Bromine tabs don't contribute to the bromine bank then, like regular use of the dichlor-salt mixture? 3. check my math here: At 2.75 times the oxidizing strength of MPS, dichlor (~ $7/lb for 5 lbs) is not that far away from the cost of MPS (at $3/lb for 12 lbs), but I do see your point. In fact, for a bromine spa, one wouldn't really need MPS at all, unless you wanted to shock before building up the salt bank. The last hurdle I have to get over is the handling of the bleach and risks to shells pillows filters, covers etc. seems like you would want to add the bleach to the center of the tub with jets running, but the risk to these elements of the spa is still not zero in the event of a mistake.
  3. Great thread and impressive info getting shared here. Three points of interest for me: 1. bring me up to speed pls on using Clorox as the source of chlorine sanitizer. The spa store party line is don't ever do this. what are the essential points they are missing? 2. Ozone and Bromine spas on vacation: what is the decay rate and recommendation for 6+ days leave? 3. Buffers. I've used a phosphate buffer in my spa filled with cat ion exchange softened water. worked great, and foaming wasn't an issue for me, but its expensive, I did have to use anti-foam, and I found that the lock lasted for only 2 months or so. I'm starting to consider the borate method instead. Chem Geek you mentioned this is not as "strong" of a lock -- does that mean the pH fluctuations are wider and you still can't do anything about it, or that some amount of maintenance is still appropriate? BTW I went to the proteam site and reviewed the Gentle Spa MSDS, as many others have done. the only ingredient they reveal is Sodium tetraborate pentahydrate (the rest is proprietary). The site does mention "pH neutral" and that "Fresh fragrance and moisturizers added" Hence if one is using an enzyme treatment such as the SpaGuard product, or a water freshener product which also contains these extra things, then the Gentle Spa doesn't seem like the best idea. In addition, with all the (older) threads discussing pH bounce with Gentle Spa I see Chem Geek's wisdom in recommending alternate sources for the Borates. thanks for that Chem Geek.
  4. Hi. new member here, but I've been lurking/reading for a long time. I'm an old-school bromine portable spa guy since the early 1990s. First I'd like to thank the authors of the stickies here, and for the opportunity to join the discussions and for the chance to learn: There's some great info (and members) here. In particular, I'd like to call out a couple of important learnings for myself, and ask some related questions: 1. Use sodium hypochlorite as the oxidizer of sodium bromide. who'da thought! I'm historically (or hysterically perhaps) entrained in the world where di-chlor is the only permissible form of chlorine that a portable spa will tolerate. Thats essential advise for spa stores, to be sure, but its good to know that one can use cheaper alternatives at least when the objective is to form HBrO, not HOCL. Nice "ah-ah" moment for me, thank-you. Anyway, the sticky also expects this to be a one-time motion, though, and assumes the daily use of a floater and tablets -- which are just sodium bromide + <some form of chlorine> Don't hold this against me but I've been content with the convenience of one-step "brominating" granules (mixture of sodium bromide and Di-chlor) because I get that at start up you have a chlorine spa until you build up enough salt reserve. For me that is a don't care, and frankly I don't get why the one-step approach gets such a bad rap. My only issue with using "brominating granules" is that towards the end of the drain interval you have a larger-than-necessary bromide reserve, although for all I know the tablets do the same thing. Anyway, I've proven the "reserve" thing by using straight dichlor for the oxidizer which still produces a good HBrO conversion. So: problem solved by using straight dichlor instead of the mixture. I have both in my arsenal. I'm just not a floater kind of guy. I don't like the risk of high localized bromine concentrations wherever the floater may end up, risking my shell, cover, pillows, etc. and I dont' like things floating around in my tub unless its my grandkids playing with their toys. But it could be that I'm just a control freak lol -- I just don't mind adding the salts and oxidizer myself, vs. letting some compressed form of the same thing dissolve at its own rate. Actually, Im toying with the idea of a different approach: 1. Adding initial bromide reserve (pure sodium bromide) 2. Shocking with something initially (MPS, Dichlor, Clorox...) 3. using straight on a daily basis, adding more reserve salts only when needed. I guess I don't see the need to add salts every day -- or am I out in the weeds here? I can use my nose to determine when it is time to add more salts. In such an approach, however, the choice of (daily) oxidizer is interesting: MPS leaves no sanitizer behind (if the reserve is depleted), but Dichlor will. Also, MPS is about $3 a pound and Dichlor is about $7 a pound, but I'm not a chemist: Are these two oxidizers pound for pound equivalent in terms of producing the same amount of HBrO from the same reserve bank? Liquid Clorox may be cheap, but the risks are way too high (for me) using it as a daily oxidizer. First, there is the chance of spilling on the cover, filters, pillows, or shell. Second, if the bromide reserve is depleted, then you have introduced an unsafe form of chlorine to the spa. MPS and dichlor are much safer choices it seems to me, in this situation. 2. use borax to raise pH instead of Spa up. This is a great tip! It also begs the question: Spa chemical companies re-package baking soda and call it "TA increaser", so why hasn't someone put 20 mule team borax in a 2 lb bottle, tripled the price, and called it "the safer spa up"? Actually, I've used the soda ash by carefully considering the effect on TA as well, but this tip is a great ah-ah moment for me, and I'll probably be adding borax to my arsenal now :-) Thanks again for the opportunity to join the forum
  5. HI, I'm new here too, but have been using bromine spa for years. without knowing the specifics of your particular system, the general answer is "yes": sodium bromide as the salt reserve, combined with an oxidizer to form the HBrO sanitizer itself, is compatible with ozone. I'd encourage you to read the stickies here on bromine spas for the basics. some well written stuff there.
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