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Everything posted by dlleno

  1. The level of hybobromous acid generated by ozone from bromide is so low that most dont even know that it happens. Even under no load, ozone will just barely "keep up" with natural sanitizer decay in a clean spa. Mine won't go above 1ppm. If left alone, 30ppm will naturally decay asymptotically over a few days (meaning it gets close but won't get to zero). Its a great vacation plan! Yes sodium hypo is net pH positive.
  2. i have found no practical impact of ozone on the bromide bank when treating per label dirs. I treat once at first fill and voila "set and forget " -- just sayin...ozone eating bromide salts is a red herring non problem nothingburger! In fact, ozone in a bromine spa is a beautiful thing. Highly recommended! With a clean spa (no biofilms) and a modern corona discharge ozone genny, ive been able to maintain a fraction of a ppm bromine for days (no load of course) cause the ozone is able to oxidize bromide into the good stuff: sanitizing hybobromous acid
  3. I can smell the difference..im trying to think of ways you could discern what's really going on
  4. Im afraid i can't answer on the strips....i don't trust em sorry i haven't used them
  5. What is your test method? If dpd drop wise (e.g.taylor) -- in this case it probably means low sanitizer level cause the bromine test will respond to the presence of chlorine
  6. 2.2 times the recommended FC levels 🙂 the industry is finally waking up to the fact that biofilms can form in 3ppm FC, so there are folks over at TFP recommending 4-5 free CHLORINE, which would be 11 ppm total bromine. I routinely run mine at 9-10
  7. Have you done an ahh-some purge? if so, or you plan to, then 30ppm of Bromine is quite sufficient; the interesting challenge with a bromine spa is that you can't just add hydrogen peroxide to lower the chlorine level (thats pretty cool in case you've been in that situation). so if you dose to 30ppm and you have to wait for it to fall down to 10 or so before you get it. at 20% decay rate that amounts to five days. and if you find that your bromine level falls quicker than that, you might still have some bad guys chewing up your bromine! folks with floaters usually cover up this problem by over-brominating. but the manual dosing that many of us espouse here will give you very good insights into your exposure to biofilms
  8. oh, with jets on its virtually instantaneous. seconds. depends on the circulation and pump system in your spa-- I experimented and found that by the time I put the bleach jug down and took a water sample, the reading was accurate.
  9. yea you just treat it like you would a chlorine spa . you add chlorine after each use, measure frequently to dial things in. a bromine spa is exactly the same as a chlorine spa except that it has sodium bromide salts in the water. I'm astonished at how difficult the industry has made bromine spas out to be! I just edited my previous post and added a tip there on the use of regular bleach. make ABSOLUTE SURE you get regular bleach and nothing fancy
  10. just temporarily pretend you have a chlorine spa and use the pool calculator to determine the amount of free chlorine that you want to target. the conversion to total bromine will happen naturally in your spa when you add the prescribed amount of free-chlorine in the form of bleach (if you have sufficient bromide bank). for example, pool calculator might say 4 ounces of 6% bleach for 3ppm FC in a 500 gallon spa (no idea if those are correct numbers but play along with me here) -- that means 4 ounces of bleach will generate 3ppm of FC if you have a chlorine spa (no bromide present). The same amount of bleach will produce 6.6 ppm total bromine if that bleach finds enough sodium bromide to oxidize. The magic math is that the atomic mass of elemental Br is 2.25 times that of elemental Cl. So Voila you just use "free chlorine numbers" to achieve recommended "total bromine" levels. its really quite wonderful. just remember that measurement error occurs. you'll end up figuring out pretty quickly how much bleach will produce the desired amount of total bromine. People may even look at you funny when you read the label in the grocery store to see if they are selling you 6% bleach or something else. and get a Taylor 2106 -- the drop-wise DPD test kit. you will need real measurements not approximations from colored strips. oh one more thing -- do NOT, under any circumstances, get splash-free or scented bleach or anything fancy: you'll have a mess on you hands in no time. You want just pure un-adulterated "regular bleach" that contains only sodium hypo -- read the label. I have to admit I spent an unusual amount of time the other day at Costco because they were selling some enhanced bleach of some sort with "CloroMax technology". Turns out it was just 7.55% sodium hypo instead of 6%. good stuff. I always leave the cover off for a minute, but that's about it. It's true that granular chlorine will dissolve slower than you can pour in 6% bleach, but the sky doesn't fall. the spa stores are so allergic to bleach that they telegraph a fear that spills over into the rest of us. I've heard all kinds of tales, from ruining the shell, to destroying "your equipment". its just chlorine for pete's sake -- a liquid version of what the granules are. I use a 1C measuring cup and just eyeball fractions thereoff -- like 4 ounces (1/2 cup). just hold the jug and measuring cup out over the water (jets on) and pour it in. dunk both after you're finished. no I don't add liquid bleach to the filter area -- that is too confined -- I would rather measure bleach out over the water where a little spill isn't problematic.
  11. just search google for TFP pool calculator. Taylor 2106 measures total bromine. the concept of free vs total isn't really valid in a bromine spa -- total bromine is the sanitizer
  12. well not really because the 85/15 doesn't (when the water is new) provide enough bromide for the MPS make bromine, and MPS isn't as good of an oxidizer as chlorine. Personally I build the bromide bank once at startup, and then use bleach to make bromine. it makes heads explode in the spa stores but I gotta say it works. yea I start with some dichlor just to make me feel better (have more than zero CYA), but as a practical matter just use bleach and weekly MPS to make the bromine.
  13. you can go to the pool calculator. there's an browser-based app there that will tell you. it depends on the sodium hypo concentration you find on the store shelves. yes, periodic use of MPS instead of chlorine will also make bromine, and the MPS (because it works slower) ends up killing some bad guys on its own before going to work on the sodium bromide. you just can't use MPS as a "non chlorine shock" in a bromine spa or you will end up with some very high bromine levels! The bromine conversion is not a lossless perpetual motion machine, for sure, so its possible that the bromide bank would need to be replenished. its just that the bromine tablets (and bromine granules) over time will probably end up adding way more bromide than necessary. I just use the smell test 🙂 if it smells like bromine I'm good .
  14. The problem with CYA is that it buffers or moderates the effectiveness of chlorine, whether that chlorine is used directly to oxidize bad guys, or that chlorine is used to oxidize sodium bromide into hypobromous acid. We should challenge that, however. The advantage of the bromine spa is that CYA can climb, yes, but it will take increasing amounts of chlorine to overcome the CYA and produce the bromine levels you want (thats what we need to validate). As you can see, the natural remedy is just to add more dichlor because as long as you have enough hybobroumous acid (" bromine" as measured by a drop-wise test like Taylor 2106) then you have met your sanitization objective and CYA is by itself a don't care. I have used the 15-85 concentration of "bromine granules" myself. there really is no problem unless you care about: 1. A mix of chlorine and bromine during the first few applications (not enough bromide reserve) 2. an over-abundance of sodium bromide near the end of the drain interval (more than enough bromide reserve) 3. the use of ever-increasing doses of dichlor to acheive the same ppm level of bromine ,owing to the accumulating CYA (what we need to challenge) 4. the resultant TDS rise from dumping unnecessary stuff into your water, which could reduce the drain interval in short -- I don't see a problem other than shortened drain intervals. I'm about to do an experiment my self re: the rising CYA levels, but if you're using the 15/85 granules that would be a good experiment too. record the volume (like teaspoons) of the mixture that is required to achieve x PPM bromine and record that over time. I'm interested to know of (3) above is a nothing burger or significant. If the "CYA moderates chlorine" theory is true, then you'll have to dump more and more dichlor to acheive the same bromine level. In short, the theory tells us that (1) CYA is a problem for Chorine because the measured levels of chlorine are not commensurate with the oxidizing power and (2) CYA is not a problem for bromine spas because the measured bromine levels are in fact commensurate with the oxidizing power. Even if it takes more dichlor to achieve said bromine level. or you could just switch to bleach!
  15. Long story but heres how i discovered biofilms had been delivered in mine https://boisediesel.com/blog/2016/7/spa-purge
  16. Bingo. Folks (and mfgs) tend to look the other way and just over sanitize to cover up the problem. Search for "boise diesel spa purge" and you will find my work on biofilm and purge solutions. In addition i am now a believer in 'hot tub serum' a maintenance product from the makers of ahh- some with a lower concentration of the primary active ingredient and without all the surfactants.
  17. In actual practice, I haven't been able to achieve 1-3ppm sanitizer with ozone alone, as this requires a very powerful ozone generator / small spa. Using my 2013 Grandee (500 gal), with corona discharge ozone generator, I have achieved just below 1ppm of bromine sanitizer under no load conditions. This of course requires a very clean spa (recently purged with ahh-some) and that no dust, critters, leaves or any contaminants are able to enter the spa . This last requirement is actually hard to achieve for outdoor portable spas, but under these conditions I found that sanitizer level in my spa will approach zero asymptotically (never get to zero but will stabilize at some fraction of a ppm). the other consequence of bromine is that there is no such thing as a truly "non-bromine shock" because oxidizers (like chlorine or MPS) will convert sodium bromide to hypobromous acid. This is not to contradict the recommendation to shock -- only to point out that doing so will raise the bromine sanitizer level! For example, there is still some merit in using MPS from time to time, because the conversion to bromine is not instantaneous, and during this time the MPS will behave like MPS and oxidize contaminants directly. Unlike a chlorine spa, where one can use Hydrogen Peroxide to neutralize high levels of chlorine, no such neutralizing trick exists for the bromine spa one of the key differences between the byproducts of oxidation for chlorine vs bromine is that, unlike chloramines, bromamines are effective sanitizers and therefore not as problematic as are chloramines.
  18. Is this a new spa delivered this summer? I don't know much about the freshwater system itself but Im curious about the first time startup routine and if the high chlorine demand might be real. I'm also assuming (since you said all your numbers are good) that this includes CA. My understanding is that nearly soft water is required (50 ppm CA). you could rule out contaminants unrelated to the Freshwater system itself by purging with ahh-some. I only say this because my Hot Spring Grandee was delivered to me contaminated with biofilms, and I didn't clear this up until I purged with ahh-some
  19. one other quick comment, and with my apologies for the inconsistent attendance here on the forum 🙂 JustinTub I think you have achieved what many spa owners have not: an ahh-some dosed spa with filters in the vessel ,releasing no new material! its truly an elite distinction! one other tip, which probably makes no difference in your case but I'll state it anyway: for the last step, put your filters into their normal positions -- note that you can NOT do this when you are expecting a release -- that will clog the filters and starve the pumps, and is why ahh-some directions state to leave them in the vessel. but for that extra bit of satisfaction it is really quite an achievement. It really sound to me like you are in the "I'm sensitive to x or y" experiments. like others including RD on this forum I'm very much a minimalist -- no floaters, no automation, just simple-as-possible. I * use an anti-scale product just to cover a few sins when pH rises (to avoid scaling) * use Hot Tub Serum per label directions, which is a great safety net that covers a multitude of low-sanitizer sins and complements chlorine and/or bromine nicely * use di-chlor until I have achieved 40ppm or maybe 50ppm of CYA, approximately, and then I switch to bleach. for me thats only 6-8 tablespoons of dichlor, including the startup-shock. * do not chase a specific TA number. I let TA drop as I add acid to control pH drift. sometimes, particularly if I switch to bleach "early" (at 40ppm) my TA drops to as low as 40-50ppm. thats pretty low and you gotta watch things carefully, but with agitation and heat working against you, the upward pH drift problem is a real thing so you do what you gotta do
  20. Greetings all, I have completed another round of tests comparing Ahh-some with two other spa cleaning products: 1. SpaGuard System Flush 2. EcoOne PIPE cleanser The details of my experiment are here. The bottom line is that neither of these products are effective at releasing biofilms. The first (System Flush) consists primarily of a cheap filler used in laundry detergents (sodium sulfate -- this is the only ingredient listed on the label), and the other (PIPE cleanser) contains a few more ingredients, notably surfactants and softeners, but still the product released no biofilms in my test. Neither of these two products mention the use of chlorine to assist with any biofilm kill, so that is evidence enough that they are not expected to release any.
  21. In a nutshell, the "switch to bleach" program is great. Good science and it works. But you do have to realize that CYA is your friend. If you don't have 30 ish ppm CYA in your water then its not time to "switch" Before you switched to a non stabilized source of chlorine how did you determine your CYA level?
  22. There's going to be some quat bandwagon effect as different mfgs suddenly wake up and try to ride someone elses shirt tails. It takes more than a few fear quotes and references to things we already know about to convince me that they truly understand the nuances of hot tubs and portable spas and how to control biofilms in them. Quats are used all the time in restaurants for surface cleaning, for example, so there's realky nothing new here. For me to test this i would need (1) epa registration which verifies that the product is safe and effective and that the label tells the truth and (2) demostrated primary knowledge of biofilms in the applications we care about, not just repeating what others have said. Those of us who have really studied these things have a rather high standard . Just personally i don't have interest in it, but if the two conditions are met then ill take them seriously. Are they epa registered for residential spas and hot tubs?
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