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  1. Can't tell if that's your main panel or your spa panel pictured. If it's the main, you can get a Spa Panel complete with the GFCI already installed for about $110 off of Amazon, mount it outside and direct wire to the tub. Then just get a normal $15 double pole 50A breaker from your local big box to feed it from your main panel. Alternatively, if that's your spa panel pictured, replace it with a new panel and save yourself $60. I caught the Siemens spa panel on sale last year for $100. No clue why the GFCI alone is a much higher price, but it's been that way for at least a year. https://www.amazon.com/Square-Schneider-Electric-HOME250SPA-Homeline/dp/B000BQT1AS?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&ref_=fplfs&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1
  2. I would suggest reading up on Waterbear's 3-step bromine regimen here: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53410-how-to-use-bromine-3-step-method/ And yes, if you are in an area where you can obtain sodium bromide it is best to create your bromide bank when you fill. That post offers a great step-by-step to the entire process. Even has some different amounts for shocking with bleach based upon the strength (% sodium hypochlorite), which should answer your second question. I use pool chlorine (10% sodium hypochlorite) since it works out cheaper per ounce from my local Walmart than the off-brand bleach.
  3. Not sure about your tub, but with mine the heat icon flashes when it is performing it's periodic water temp check outside of the filter cycle hours. The heater icon goes solid if the tub starts to heat after performing temp check and sensing it needs to run the heater.
  4. Everyone's tub, water and treatment routines vary based on any number of factors. It wouldn't hurt to try a lower TA around 40 or so to see if that lets your PH settle and "lock" in under 8. When my TA gets down to 30 is when I see my PH really start dropping. Your tub might not start dropping until 20, but that's for you to find out 😅. TA buffers against PH drop, so maybe your water/chemical blend requires a lower TA buffer. Also wouldn't hurt to double check filter cycles/duration/aeration that can raise PH. Some further info you might find useful is this powerpoint from Bob Lowry that has a ton of info on PH buffers and borates. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.npconline.org/resource/resmgr/presentations/2020/Borates-Boric-Acid.pdf TFP also has a wiki page on Borates you might find useful. https://www.troublefreepool.com/wiki/index.php?title=Borates_in_pool Just about everything I've learned on maintaining my tub comes for waterbear, chemgeek, and Lowry. They are all an absolute wealth of knowledge. Sometimes things are so complicated you need to have them explained three different ways to understand them 🙃.
  5. Again, I'm not the expert, but I believe corrected TA is only applicable when using the (Langelier) saturation index, which is not really applicable to acrylic hot tubs, and is used typically for pools (tiles, grout, gunite, etc.). What is the uncorrected TA that you measured from the Taylor kit? I'm thinking you are up at 80 or 90 ppm, which might be too high of a TA for your water. TA buffers against PH drop. You most likely want to lower your TA down to the 50-70 range (uncorrected) so your PH will "lock" at a lower value. Of course there could be other factors like extra aeration (leaving air jet features on or excessive filter cycles) that would cause increased PH. I would suggest reading waterbear's post on lowering TA, as it has a ton of detailed information on this topic. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/
  6. From my understanding the borates will help "lock" the PH and make it more stable. I have personally seen much more stable PH results after I started using borates. I've never worried about corrected TA because I follow @waterbear's 3-step Bromine instructions, in which you adjust TA first, then worry about PH, then CH, then sodium bromide, then shock with liquid chlorine, and finally add borates. With the TA already set at the beginning you don't need to worry much about the correction factor. I've mostly seen the correction factor used with pools, but I could be wrong on that. I start on initial fill by adjusting to 70 ppm TA and this tends to lock me in around 7.8 PH after the rest of the water balancing. My water starts around 7.2 PH from the tap, so it normally takes a day to drift up and "lock" at 7.8. I don't use any PH up or whatever, it just drifts up. I've previously fiddled around with acid to bring the PH down to 7.4-7.6 because I was worried about being close to 8.0, but it always just drifted right back to around 7.8 the next day. After I stopped messing around with trying to have perfect PH and wasting dry acid, I realized my tub's PH basically goes in lock step with the TA. Eventually over about 6-8 weeks my PH will drift down to around 7.2-7.4, at which point I test my TA and it will have been depleted to around 30 ppm. At that point I'll top off the water, replenish TA with some baking soda to get back to 70ppm TA, and my PH will drift right back up and lock at the same 7.8. After the initial fill, not counting the floater, only things I ever add are liquid chlorine to shock, and the occasional water refill and baking soda. Only caveat is my tub is inside the house, so we minimize splash out, and I don't have to deal with any rain or other outdoor intrusions into the water. My advice would be if you are stable at about 7.9 just relax and enjoy the tub. Higher PH seems to be a usual side effect of 3 step bromine and is fine as long as you stay below 8.0.
  7. I would personally suggest sticking with waterbear's guide. It has made my maintenance a breeze once I figured out my feeder setting. After the initial balance I only have to put new tablets in the feeder and maybe up my TA with some baking soda once a month. PH stays right at 7.8 until the TA starts to drop over the course of the month. As far as purging goes, this forum is full of stories about biofilm and purging products. You will find Ahhsome highly recommended throughout the forum and @Ahhsomeguy is around for any questions you have about it. As far as effectiveness goes, dlleno did some great independent research on different purge products that can be found in his blog https://rvdoug.com/hot-tub-maintenance/ I purge at every refill myself after reading many horror stories on this forum. That along with following waterbear's 3-step bromine system has kept my tub crystal clear and everyone in my family safe. I'm not an expert by any means, but would run a purge cycle or two or three until you stop getting gunk out of the lines if I were you.
  8. Hello. I'm going to assume you are following waterbear's 3-step method from the sticky on this forum. That also assumes you adjusted TA to 50-70 ppm, adjusted PH to 7.4-7.8, and adjusted CA to at least 130 ppm before adding the sodium bromide. Assuming this is all correct, my first question would be do you have pure sodium bromide? The container it came in should state that it is at least 99% sodium bromide, otherwise waterbear's suggestion for 1/2 oz of sodium bromide per 100 gallons of water would not be applicable. If you have pure sodium bromide, and followed all the other steps, my next question would be if you used a purging product (such as Ahhsome) before draining? You could have some nasties (biofilm) in the lines creating a sanitizer demand. I would suggest purging if you haven't already done so. I use pool chlorine (10% sodium hypochlorite) to oxidize my bromide bank, so I'm not sure how much MPS should be used for the initial shock. Bleach works well for bromine oxidation, its cheaper and it gives immediate results.
  9. I have similar levels of calcium hardness from my source water. I use pure calcium chloride I sourced from Amazon. The 25 lb tub will probably last me a decade with my 300 gallon tub. https://www.amazon.com/Pool-Mate-1-2825-Increaser-Swimming/dp/B00J7L46FI/ref=sxin_16_ac_d_mf_br?ac_md=2-1-UG9vbCBNYXRl-ac_d_mf_br_br&content-id=amzn1.sym.66ee1041-127b-4baf-8390-1a597387172e%3Aamzn1.sym.66ee1041-127b-4baf-8390-1a597387172e&crid=1YFY0TW8CM63O&cv_ct_cx=calcium%2Bchloride%2Bpool&keywords=calcium%2Bchloride%2Bpool&pd_rd_i=B00J7L46FI&pd_rd_r=87f946f0-2101-44d9-a34f-e84c51d79253&pd_rd_w=ZvUZv&pd_rd_wg=kQPcj&pf_rd_p=66ee1041-127b-4baf-8390-1a597387172e&pf_rd_r=CNY22B1XE2HZ439NPZBX&qid=1663077087&sprefix=calcium%2Bchl%2Caps%2C86&sr=1-2-4c1442dc-e644-4a05-a0d0-ff1b45d55b2f&th=1 I tried the Leisure time liquid, and was very dissatisfied with it. If you read the fine print there is a range in the percentage of calcium chloride in it, thus making it impossible to accurately raise your hardness levels. I had to use twice as much as the instructions on the bottle indicated. The pure calcium chloride was far easier to work with. You should double check the MSDS to find the chemical composition of your ice melt. A lot of those are "blends" containing other chemicals you wouldn't want in your tub. Happy tubbing 🙂.
  10. That's a CIT relay. Here is a link to the data sheet for it. https://www.citrelay.com/Catalog Pages/RelayCatalog/J114AF.pdf I don't see any suppliers that currently have any stock for the .72W version. Digi-Key has the .53W version in stock. You can try contacting Digi-Key or CIT directly to find availability for the .72W version. https://www.digikey.bg/en/products/detail/cit-relay-and-switch/J114AF1AHS12VDC-53/14002297 Good luck.
  11. Waterbear's stickied post on lowering TA is one of the best reads on the entire forum. Also, if your chlorine levels are high that will tend to interfere with a lot of PH tests and "bleachout" the results giving false high readings for PH. Not sure how this would affect your digital tester. The phenol red in the Taylor kit is good to 10 ppm FC I believe, but other PH testing methods "bleachout" at lower levels. This link on the Taylor website has some of the most common test interferences you will run into with their kit. https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/235/general-test-interferences Your plumbing on the new tub will also take a while to PH neutralize (tubing, glue, plastic fittings), so that will affect the PH for the first couple of months also. Just don't get disheartened, as we all had our own learning curves to overcome and it takes time to learn how your tub/water balances. Good luck and enjoy your new tub!
  12. 90C rated wire DOES NOT have the same ampacity rating as 105C wire and DOES NOT dissipate heat nearly as efficiently. See the below chart. 105C wire is rated to handle 45% more ampacity and you could have a major fire hazard if your circuit is running near or above 40 amps. 105C wire is often used in circuits under 600V to enable a smaller gauge wire be used (i.e. 10 AWG in place of 8 AWG). If those wires are carrying a significant load (near or above 40 amps) you could end up with a bonfire real quick. I would either look online for a vendor carrying 105C rated wire, or see if you have the space and terminal sizing to handle 8 AWG 90C wire (much more readily available). 8AWG 90C will get you significantly closer to the ampacity rating of the 10 AWG 105C wire (only 5.4% difference in ampacity). It's a moot point if the wire isn't carrying that type of current draw, but it's generally never a good idea to downsize wire ampacity ratings within a circuit.
  13. Completely agree with this. Back to the Op's question and to elaborate on Dirrby's solution, I found this Emporia Vue system while trying to figure out if my main 200 amp service panel would have any load issues before installing my tub back in March. https://www.amazon.com/Emporia-Monitor-Circuit-Electricity-Metering/dp/B08CJGPHL9/ref=sr_1_2?crid=37LMKQAPRCOC5&keywords=emporia%2Bvue&qid=1660580567&sprefix=emporia%2Bvue%2Caps%2C106&sr=8-2&th=1 This allowed me to track 16 different circuits plus the two mains, and realize just how much of an energy hog my on demand water heater is (up to 102 amps peak draw in the winter yikes!). Eventually I'm going to swap this out for a more efficient heat pump model water heater, but I've found my tub only consumes about $17 per month in electric during the summer and around $25 during the colder months, albeit in a climate controlled room (60degF Winter/72degF summer). The app that comes with the Vue is easy to use and makes tracking energy quite easy. It also comes with push alerts for things like the oven getting left on by an idiot teenager. Here was my initial install (only took about an hour), but I have since learned better and placed the Vue module outside the panel while adding my spa panel. Far less crowded that way IMO.
  14. In a word, no. Please read the information in this post thoroughly. https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/
  15. I had the same issue with my Wellis (Bueno Spa) when I purchased it in March. It was impossible to open it just using with the cap they have on the end of the drain. I connected a 4" long pressure reducer I had laying around from my lawn irrigation equipment, which gave me enough leverage to pop it open. You can probably just connect a normal garden hose to give you the proper leverage to pop it loose. Here's the actual pressure reducer I used to get it open the first time. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Mister-Landscaper-Polypropylene-Hose-Thread-Drip-Irrigation-Pressure-Regulator/1103273
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