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Help- Gold Colored Water


Bchnit1
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So I came home from vacation to find my tub a mess- week long party by my 22 year old. The water was very cloudy. He had drained and refilled and claims to have been adding chlorine. It is a bromine spa 450 gallons.

I drained 1/2 and refilled, Balanced the water- 7.8 pH, 50 TA, 230 CH, 30ppm borates.

Added 2 capfuls bromine starter and 6oz 10% liquid chlorine. The water immediatly turned a golden color. I tested the bromine and it was at 4ppm after 10 minutes where if the water was clear should have been approx 12.

I assume the gold color is due to an algae bloom die off??? Please help.

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Looks like too much bromine starter lowered the pH VERY low. I added starter after balancing the water and didnt check the pH again. Didn't realize my son had added also. Added soda ash to raise pH and it cleared instantly. Found the below trying to figured it out.

Clear Yellow Water

292611735_af56447603_m.jpg

Spa water that is tinted clear yellow usually indicates a high bromine residual and a low pH. This is fairly common with bromine spa systems, because the bromine can discolor the Phenol Red used to test pH. The pH reading looks higher than it actually is, which often causes the mistaken addition of more pH decreaser. The higher the bromine reading, the more tendency to discolor the pH test, so it can become a vicious cycle.

When testing pH for brominated spas, use up to 5 drops of chlorine neutralizer to ensure that you are getting a more accurate reading. When the pH and total alkalinity are properly adjusted, the yellow discoloration should go away.

Note: This information is intended for a residential spa with average use. It is not designed for public, commercial, or semi-public spas. If your hot tub is used more than three times per week, you should check and make chemical additions more often than suggested.

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Close but no cigar. Let me clear up a few errors.

Looks like too much bromine starter lowered the pH VERY low. I added starter after balancing the water and didnt check the pH again. Didn't realize my son had added also.

Sodium bromide will not lower the pH. It is a neutral salt very much like sodium chloride. Something else was added that dropped the pH very low. Low pH in a bromine spa will create elemental bromine. However, I would not describe the color a golden it is more orange. Clear yellow water is an indicator of iron that has been oxidized by the santizer.If you had posted the test results and said your pH was low it would have been very clear what the problem was.

Added soda ash to raise pH and it cleared instantly. Found the below trying to figured it out.

Clear Yellow Water

292611735_af56447603_m.jpg

Spa water that is tinted clear yellow usually indicates a high bromine residual and a low pH. This is fairly common with bromine spa systems, because the bromine can discolor the Phenol Red used to test pH. The pH reading looks higher than it actually is, which often causes the mistaken addition of more pH decreaser. The higher the bromine reading, the more tendency to discolor the pH test, so it can become a vicious cycle.

When testing pH for brominated spas, use up to 5 drops of chlorine neutralizer to ensure that you are getting a more accurate reading. When the pH and total alkalinity are properly adjusted, the yellow discoloration should go away.

Note: This information is intended for a residential spa with average use. It is not designed for public, commercial, or semi-public spas. If your hot tub is used more than three times per week, you should check and make chemical additions more often than suggested.

AS far a phenol red goes. it does not matter if you are using bromine or chlorine, high santizer levels cause interference with the pH test and give you a false high reading. Adding additional chlorine neutralizer is NOT the solution as this raises the pH of the sample so you still get a false high reading. IF you are using a test kit that requires a separate chlorine neutralize (does not use a phenol red that has it build in) then you really need a better test kit. Period. Test kits from such companies as Taylor and LaMotte will be fine in chlorine levels up to about 10 ppm or so and bromine levels of up to double that before they have a problem with false high readings.

Anyway, when you test the TA it will be very low under these conditions so that is a second line of defense (and one of the reasons that you need to test more than just pH and sanitizer levels when balancing the water, particularly after a refill.)

Finally, when quoting a source in the forum you should give a link to the website or give credit to the author because of copyright stuff and indicate that is is a quote ;)

IF I am not mistaken that quote came from :

http://www.thespasyndicate.com/hot-tub-handbook-easy-guide-to-water-chemistry/clear-yellow-water/

However, the picture they used does not indicate a problem with elemaental bromine and is actually a picture of someone showing that they finally got their spa working, as the comments show:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scrapstothefuture/292611735/

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Thanks waterbear. I must have mis-measrured the muriatic acid when I added the boric acid. The pH was off the scale yellow. Next time I know to test everything one last time after the BA addition, DUH! First thing I got was a Taylor Bromine kit after buying the spa so I'm good with test reults. Just need to use it!!

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I must have mis-measrured the muriatic acid when I added the boric acid.

Muriatic acid is not used with boric acid! Boric acid will slightly lower pH so no acid addition is needed. The slight lowering of pH is normally not a problem as the bicarbonate alkalinity will take care of it quickly by outgassing CO2.

You only need to add acid with an alkaline borate source such as household borax (soidum tetraborate decahydrate) or sodium tetraborate pentahydrate.

If you used boric acid and also added muriatic acid it would explain the low pH and the associated problem!>

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I also must ask: even though your son said he drain/refilled, why not drain ALL the water? Water is so cheap (ok, may not be where you are...) and once you have the thing draining...

I had a similar problem: the week-long party in our absence, not the yellow water - and I drained my tub twice before I would get back in the thing!!

B)

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