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I'm trying to follow the decontamination procedure. I've put 3.5 teaspoons of Ahh Some enzyme in my tub, and ran it for 30-45 minutes. I'm running it for 5 minutes every hour until I go to bed to try and knock anything left on the inside of the plumbing.

My problem is that I now have a nasty greasy scum on the waterline of my tub. The instructions listed on this site say to just wipe it off with a cloth, but that is not getting it off. I'm wondering what I can use to really clean that crap off my water line and make the tub really clean? Should I run up to Leslies pool supply store and get a water line cleaner?

I would like to save 340 gallons of water and not have to double fill my spa. I was wondering, can I super chlorinate the gunky water after the Ahh Some cleaner has done it's job, then drain and refill? Or would it be better to drain the gunky water, refill and super chlorinate, then use hydrogen peroxide to lower the chlorine level and keep that water to soak in?

Thanks for all the advice!

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Yes, you can superchlorinate the gunky water that still has Ahh-Some in it. However, I would NOT still use that water. So while you can eliminate one water change, you can't eliminate both. I'm not sure why you say it's a double-fill unless you changed the water before using the Ahh-Some.

I'm not sure what you can use to clean off the gunk on the spa waterline from the Ahh-Some. Since part of that Ahh-Some product are strong surfactants, I would think that using a small amount of it on a rag would get the gunk off the spa surface and am a bit surprised it's sticking to that surface.

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I did just that, and super chlorinated the ahh-some water after it sat for 24 hours.

My spa is 340 gallons. I say double fill because according to the original decon instructions I had to empty the spa and fill with super chlorinated water, which was only then emptied and filled a second time for actual use, hence the double fill I was trying to avoid. By super chlorinating the original ahh-some water, I only had to use 340 gallons, not 680. This is important me because I live in Southern California where we are in constant drought!

It might help others if the original instructions were edited to show that this method of saving water is ok, as it seems other people were also concerned about this.

Another thing to note in the instructions is that the water should be balanced and have proper sanitizer levels in order for the ahh-some to work. I nearly did the ahh-some with zero chlorine (I got back from vacation and my chlorine levels were at zero....long story), but read the back of the ahh-some container, and it mentioned that I needed proper sanitization levels in order for it to work.

Thanks again for all of the help!

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just an additional comment about combining the purge and the decon when Ahh-Some is used. this stuff is profoundly effective, as my own head-to-head experiments have shown. Other products release "little to nothing", such that one is tempted to combine the decon with the purge. not so with Ahh-Some!

Lagreca : here is what I do to get the gunk off the waterline: Ahh-Some itself is a great solvent for this stuff. fill a 5-gal pail with ahh-some treated water. as the stuff accumulates, wipe it up with a micro-fiber cloth and rinse in the Ahh-Some solution.

It turns out that Ahh-some is immune to the problem of combining the FC decon with the purge, as it is not an enzyme product. in fact ,as the above post indicates, the Ahh-Some instructions specify elevated FC levels during the purge, just to insure proper kill of the gunk Ahh-some releases. however, the amount of material released by Ahh-Some can be so great, you won't be very anxious to wipe down your spa and cover with the water ... The solution to this problem, my experience has shown, is to drain and purge again with Ahh-Some until you achieve little to no new released material.

The point remains, however, is that you SHOULD dose with a high FC level when treating with Ahh-some. When performing a purge/decon procedure I can say from experience that more than one Ahh-Some purge may be required, and by the time you achieve a clean spa -- where Ahh-Some releases very little or no new material -- that's the point where the combination of ahh-some dose and high FC will provide the best decon solution for the wipe-down. It does take some experience with Ahh-Some and a biofilm contaminated spa to really see this.

I've been there. I have also achieved an Ahh-Some dosed spa, with ceramic filters installed into their normal positions -- generating no new contaminant release. Arguably the cleanest spa known to man.

Another benefit of Ahh-some, which I have verified in my own experiments, is that regular purging -- and I mean every fill -- is beneficial. I routinely dose with Ahh-Some and ~10 ppm FC before draining, and every time I see visual evidence that I'm doing the right thing. Beyond the biofilm removal claims of Ahh-Some, this stuff will release material you would not imagine was in your spa -- even with proper water maintenance. this comes from build up of non-oxidized wastes/oils/what-have-you ...

I will take the liberty to re-summarize my experimental product test results here:

SeaKlear "System Flush": does a little, but not much

Silk Balance "Clean Start" worthless -- its just borax in a really expensive container

Aquafinesse "Spa Clean": worthless

Natural Chemistry "Spa Purge" . Epic amounts of nearly-worthless foam

Unique Solutions "Ahh-Some": woh baby this stuff works!

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Question for the pros. OTC bleach is now 8.25% I believe. HOw much would one use for a 400 gallon hot tub? I think the original post said 32 oz 6% bleach. I use bromine, so I don't really have an accurate way to measure chlorine. Thanks in advance.

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according to the pool calcluator, 32 oz of 8.25% bleach will get you to 53ppm FC in a 400 gal vessel. The bromine conversion is a "don't care" at this point (for a decon).

http://poolcalculator.com

make sure you purge with ahh-some during the 50ppm decon to insure that you release hidden contaminants/biofilms. wear gloves too!

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You should use PoolMath since The Pool Calculator is no longer supported.

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Just to confirm, as I've seen some "back and forth" about this scenario, and since I'm in Cali I'm concerned with water usage with the double refill method.

It looks like i should be able to:

1. Run the SeaKlean Spa Flush through the system (following its directions) for the first 24 hours.

2. Add more water (to raise water line) and the Bleach to decontaminate. for 30-60 minutes.

3. Add in 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to equalize the high chlorine levels.

4. Drain spa. and wipe down with some of the chlorinated\bleach water.

5. Refill spa, balance water, start 3 step bromine method.

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its a good plan; I would only point out that in step 4 you won't have any chlorinated/bleach water to use, because you already neutralized it with peroxide. So save a 5 gal bucket before you neutralize, and use that for the wipe ("like with a cloth or something " lol).

The other suggestion is to use ahh-some for the purge, as a few of us here have been following it's effectiveness, and I have personally tested it more than anyone, at least that I know of. So the ahh-some is highly recommended as a very effective purge product. I would only caution that if the spa i really messed up, even ahh-some won't finish the job on the first purge; I have personally experienced this and coached others through the process of multiple purges.

But, by all means if you are committed to only one purge/drain, ahh-some is still your best chance of success, and yes the peroxide neutralizer trick works great. And the next time you drain, use ahh-some again, and keep using it on every drain.

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QUOTE (JPvZ @ Aug 8 2009, 04:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be more specific, I can't run spa flush and super chlorinate in the same water... and then drain?

No. You want to add Spa Flush by itself. Spa Flush is an enzyme that may be killed off by the high chlorine level.

just bringing this topic up again since many of us are using "Ahh-some" which is not an enzyme based purge product, but rather an compound with strong surfactant properties and also some tested ability to kill biofilms. its main properties of interest for the purge is that it breaks loose, releases, or dislodges biofilm contaminants like no other I have tested, and that it is compatible with chlorine. Accordingly, the practice of separating the purge from the decon is no longer applicable for the purpose of preserving the purge. Ahh-Some recommends dosing with CL at the same time; personally, I dose to FC=10 to 20ppm during the ahh-some purge, which saves me 500 gallons of water (I don't have to fill again and then super chlorinate).

I acknowledge that (especially with ahh-some) the purge process can release a fair amount of material which makes the resulting vessel contents an unsatisfactory source of fluid for wiping surfaces -- so I would suggest starting with FC=10 just to make the ahh-some kill more effective, and then you can evaluate your next step. In my experience -- the first purge released so much material I purged again with Ahh-some. When I reached the point where the ahh-some dosed spa had little new material release -- THATS the water that is good for wiping. so you can then raise FC to 50ppm or whatever, and wipe away with the combination of ahh-some and chlorine treated water.

Especially for those of us who purge regularly to avoid biofilm buildup, the practice of dosing your OLD water with 10-20ppm FC and ahh-some at the same time is a fine plan indeed, imho, with the elevated FC insuring a kill for the biofilm material that ahh-some releases. Just keep in mind how effective your water is at moderating chlorine, and to dose accordingly. If your objective is to reach FC=50ppm unmoderated, then a fresh fill is the only way to do that. I would only point out that if the objective is to wipe surfaces, then one can prepare a suitable solution external to the spa

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Hi! A question about step 6 - I live in the country and so like to give my well a bit of a rest between fills. I'm up to step 6 and was wondering if it's possible to leave the super chlorinated water in longer than an hour?

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The extra exposure to high chlorine level will be proportionally hard on equipment, i.e. pumps, seals, filters, etc.  I'm not aware of any precise predictions of equipment life; suffice to say you should alleviate the CL load as soon as practical after the decon has done its work.  this can be done via draining or, if you can't drain right away, dose with hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the CL and then the problem disappears :D 

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How much hydrogen peroxide is needed to neutralize a 400 gallon tub , before draining??

 

Starman,

 

Tub volume is not the deciding factor in hydrogen peroxide needed, it is quantity of the halogen sanitizer.

When I started using peroxide to neutralize the superchlorinated water, Clorox was 6%.

3% Hydrogen Peroxide appears to neutralize 6% bleach at a ratio of 1:1.

So if I added 48 oz of bleach, I merely need to add 48 oz of peroxide and everything is neutralized.

What I learned (and is listed in a previous post) if the above is followed, some residual peroxide may remain in the plumbing and inhibit the activation of the Sodium Bromide when it comes time to establish Bromine as the day-to-day sanitizer.

I started adding "a little less" than 1:1...usually 4-6 oz less peroxide than the bleach I put in.

I then check the free chlorine w/ a drop kit or test strip.  The test strip should be OK in this instance, because I'm looking for presence or absence of the chlorine, not its exact concentration.  I add more peroxide until I am at or below 0.5 ppm and then I feel comfortable draining the water.  By not ending up with more peroxide than is needed to neutralize, I have not had a "stalled" Bromine activation when it comes time to put the tub back in service.

These days, Chlorox comes in 8.25% at the grocery store.  I am back to 1:1 for peroxide neutralization on the first run, then adding about 4 oz of peroxide to get down to the <= 0.5%.

 

 

-Onsen

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No, the 1:1 is for 3% hydrogen peroxide neutralizing the same volume of 6% bleach.  1 fluid ounce of 6% bleach in 350 gallons is 1.4 ppm FC and would take 0.12 ounces weight (about 3/4ths of a teaspoon) to produce that amount of chlorine.  Normally you don't care about the Dichlor weight.  You instead measure your FC, then use a tool like PoolMath to calculate how much 6% bleach is needed for that FC in that volume and then use that amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide (using a somewhat lower amount if you don't want to overdose).

If one does overdose with hydrogen peroxide it's not a big deal.  Just use additional chlorine to get rid of it.  Even for needing to activate bromide to bromine it just means adding more chlorine until that starts to happen and you start measuring chlorine/bromine.

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You can use the pool calculator to determine amounts. Down at the bottom of the page is a section "Effects of adding chemicals" which may be helpful.

You use dichlor until you have the amount of cyanuric acid (CYA) you want, usually about 30 ppm, and then switch to bleach or liquid chlorine.

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Thanks for replying, MPurcell. I wound up following the instructions from Nitro's post. I have the water balanced and added 6% Old Dutch brand bleach. Ill let it go for an hour, with air controls switched on and off every 10 mins.

When I get to the end of the hour and drain the tub, should I put my garden hose on each jet and blow backwards, and then shop vac the entire spa to try to get all extra water ... before refilling and running with bromine?

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Sorry to be flooding this thread with posts. I completed the steps in this guide ... tomorrow evening, I will be checking to see if my FC is high enough.

I have ran AhhSome through the system. Ran a SpaPurge by SpaSolution for 5 days. Drained. AhhSome again with Chlorine. Drained. Then followed the method in this guide, switching to Bromine in Step #11. I noticed when I had the tub drained after the bleach portion, when putting the garden hose over some of the jets, I would get larger pieces of the 'tissue paper' coming into the tub. I tried to reverse blow them with the hose, and then put an industrial shop vac on them. Upon filling, I still notice small pieces of white settling on the seats (after approx 5 hours).

If my Bromine levels, and FC levels are still high enough, and I am still getting white tissue paper like particulate coming from the jets, is it safe to say that I have decontaminated my tub, and this is the dead WWM that would be coming out?

Thanks again to all of you that take the time to read this and have posted previously on this thread!

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Unfortunately the only way to clear this out is with a purge product. I recommend continuing with Ahh-Some . Chlorine, even at high levels can not kill more than the surface of the bio film which is chlorine resistant. You need something that will break it down (Ahh-Some). You may need to do several more purges to clean the system. It sounds like there is a very heavy build up.

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Hi arobbert - thanks for replying. I have been able to maintain my Bromine and FC levels for the 24 hour period. The second run of AhhSome in the tub produced far less of the brown slime.

Do you still think this could be white mold, or would it be the Calcium Stearate that Jerry from AhhSome spoke of in another post?

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I doubt it's calcium stearate since you said the tub was 10 years old in your other post. That problem affected tubs manufactured more recently. The tissue paper like flakes sound like WM. There is a test. Gather some water with large white flakes in a small container like a shot glass. Add about 1/8th tsp of bleach if it dissolves it's WM.

You may be dealing with multiple types of build up. Considering the age of the tub it wouldn't be unusual to have to run 3 or more Ahh-Some purges to clean it all out.

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