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Greetings everyone, I've been researching on how to best take care of my new 400 gallon Cedar Hot Tub. It's just over two months old. I've been using chlorine for sanitization, trying to keep it within the recommended 1-2 ppm, and never greater than 3 ppm. Too low I have a sanitation problem - Too high I risk wood damage. It has an ionizer installed which is not being used yet until the tannins are no longer leaching into the water.**1 The tannins are now vastly reduced. The water looks clear to me now. Even the filter canister water looks clear. It used to be a very brown tea. I've done 8 drains and this is my 9th fill. We've been very cautious with the amount of chlorine. Perhaps a little too cautious? I'm using 6% bleach (though I had been using dichlor before). I got a new filter and start fresh - other than cleaning out my pipes. So here's my question: When do I know I can switch from chlorine as my main sanitizer to using the ionizer (plus MPS)? When my chlorine demand is low? Well, I figured after the tannins were no longer visible that I'd have a lower chlorine demand. But it's still at 100% over a day's time. I'm currently doing testing every half hour, and I'm getting a chlorine demand of around 0.5-0.6 ppm of free chlorine per hour (using the Taylor K-2006). I had an idea to segregate some of the hot-tub water from the wood by placing it in a clean plastic 5 gallon bucket. I'm comparing thdse two results, and I get nearly the same chlorine demand. That's whether I have a fresh fill and new filter, or now after four days and a bather or two. So, my conclusion is there's something in the water itself that the chlorine is eating up. It's not the wood itself. So are those still just the tannins, even though I really can't see them? Except the scum ball is slightly stained. Or could I have something growing in there, and do I need to worry about how to resolve that? Second question: With a 450 gallon wooden tub, I am unable to both honor the 5 fluid ounces of 6% bleach per person-hour and keep the free-chlorine level under 3 ppm for that volume. Half that, just 2.5 fl oz, gives me 3 ppm. 5 fl oz would bring me to 6 ppm from zero. Am I be risking wood damage by the temporary spike in free chlorine well above the recommended 2 ppm before (or after?) soaking? In no way am I currently able to retain a free chlorine level above 1 ppm and below 2 ppm unless I live the rest of my hours by the tub. (I asked my wife but she thinks I should keep my day job ) Final question: How long can I let the tub go to zero free chlorine, and not worry? I test and dose it up as often as I can, but if I leave it with 3 ppm at the start of the work day, it goes to zero before I can get home. I am looking forward to getting the ionizer started up. I don't mind using chlorine, but at least that system works automatically. **1 "For the first few months of the life of a tub it will leach tannins into the water, and these wreak havoc with your water chemistry. They will essentially absorb any type of sanitizer that you put in the water, whether it's chlorine ions or metal ions, and early in the life of the tub the tannins can literally overwhelm the latter."
Thanks in advance for any insight you may have. I've been doing lots of reading in the forums, but am still confused. We're going to get a new hot tub / spa for use in a mountain house in Fraser, CO. Looking at smaller tubs, 250 - 350 gal. We will typically use the tub most weekends during the summer and ski season (2 adults and 2 kids), with occasional visits lasting a week and sometimes several months with no use at all (especially spring and fall). What sanitation approach and protocol would you recommend for this situation and would you suggest something different for the stretches where we may not be there for 6-10 weeks? Is a SWCG the way to go?
I am buying a fiberglass pool and trying to decide on the best sanitizer that is pet friendly. I have a black lab who inherently swallows a fair amount of water while in the pool. I realize that the salt generators produce chlorine, but at lower levels than a traditional clorinator. But are the salt and chlorine levels safer for a dog than traditional chlorine and mineral (copper/silver) ? The mineral cartridge based systems, such as Frog, are supposed to purify the water, but still require some levels of chlorine for sanitation. At first, I was going to pursue this approach, but I have not been able to find enough information to convince me. Any advice or guidance on the best sanitation and safest for dogs ?