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First Time Hot Tub Purchase - My Head Hurts


enigma869
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Good Morning...

I just accepted delivery of a brand new Marquis spa (the model is "The Show"). Very nice tub, from what I can tell. That said, I just got it wired and haven't even put water into it yet, as I'm trying to wrap my head around the correct sanitization option. I do have an inground pool and always have had one, so water chemistry issues aren't new. That said, I've always used basic Clorox Bleach, Borax, and baking soda to keep my pool water in line and have never had a single issue with my pool water. I have tried reading some of the pinned threads, and maybe I'm just not bright enough to figure them out, but it seems like I need to study for an exam (that I would have no shot of passing) to read through these threads. I do realize that a hot tub carries far less water than my 18X36 inground pool, so perhaps it just can't be as simple. Having said that, I want to enjoy my hot tub (safely, of course), but not spend countless hours on figuring out water chemistry issues. Is there a "hot tub for dummies" book out there somewhere? Help!

John

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This site is your "hot tubs for dummies" source, very knowledgeable people here that can help you with just about any issue. I am not one of them, but I have learned a lot here.

You will continue to use the chemicals you are already accustomed to, but you will need some Dichlor before using the Clorox. There is a sticky on this that is worth reading.(Dichlor then bleach in a nutshell)

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The more reading I do, the more I'm leaning toward just treating it the way I treat my pool (chemically speaking). Dopey question, but is Dichlor simply the chlorine pucks that I buy at Costco? I'm not a chemical expert, so I just want to ensure that my assumption is correct. I realize the liquid Clorox I purchase doesn't have Dichlor. Do all chlorine pucks have Dichlor? Just want to ensure I'm on the right path here and purchasing the correct stuff. Also, if I'm going to use chlorine and not bromine (which is what I'm going to do), do I still use the blue mineral cartridges that my dealer gave me? I think he said they had to be replaced every couple of weeks (please tell me that isn't accurate)? He gave me a couple of the "Spa Frog" packages that were blue. Is there a better option for this? I apologize for the elementary questions, but I really don't know where to begin and want to try to get it right the first time I fill the tub. Thank you for any and all feedback.

John

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In essence, if you are treating your pool properly then yes, you treat your spa similarly, but with a few exceptions. In a pool, you add Cyanuric Acid (aka stabilizer or conditioner) and then maintain a Free Chlorine (FC) level appropriate to that Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level so that you prevent algae growth. In a spa, you could do that as well (though the chlorine is primarily for disinfection, not algae prevention, since algae is uncommon in a covered spa), but it's usually easier to just use Dichlor initially to build up the CYA level before switching to using bleach. If you are using Trichlor pucks in your pool, then the CYA will build up over time making the chlorine less effective and algae could grow (if there are sufficient algae nutrients) so for a pool the primary source of chlorine should usually be chlorinating liquid or bleach unless you have a short season, small pool with backwashing, or other substantial water dilution.

Chlorine pucks are (usually) Trichlor, but are not appropriate for spas because they dissolve too quickly and are very acidic so if you are not careful in monitoring pH then it can crash (that's true in a pool as well, but the small water volume in a spa makes over-dosing and under-dosing more common and therefore the situation more risky).

You do not need to use the mineral cartridges, regardless of whether you are using bromine or chlorine. If you properly maintain your spa with chlorine, there is no need for the other chemicals. Just note that you will need to add chlorine every day or two to the spa. That's the main downside with using chlorine over bromine. If you use the tub frequently, then this is just dosing after each soak, but if you only use the spa on weekends then you'll still need to dose in between soaks. If you have an ozonator, then that works well if you use the tub every day or two, but if you use it infrequently, then it will increase your chlorine demand in between soaks requiring more frequent additions of chlorine.

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The more reading I do, the more I'm leaning toward just treating it the way I treat my pool (chemically speaking). Dopey question, but is Dichlor simply the chlorine pucks that I buy at Costco? I'm not a chemical expert, so I just want to ensure that my assumption is correct. I realize the liquid Clorox I purchase doesn't have Dichlor. Do all chlorine pucks have Dichlor? Just want to ensure I'm on the right path here and purchasing the correct stuff. Also, if I'm going to use chlorine and not bromine (which is what I'm going to do), do I still use the blue mineral cartridges that my dealer gave me? I think he said they had to be replaced every couple of weeks (please tell me that isn't accurate)? He gave me a couple of the "Spa Frog" packages that were blue. Is there a better option for this? I apologize for the elementary questions, but I really don't know where to begin and want to try to get it right the first time I fill the tub. Thank you for any and all feedback.John

 

I would buy yourself a container of granulated chlorine (Dichlor) from a pool/spa dealer. Those pucks are probably Trichlor and will be too strong and raise your chlorine level too quickly.

Follow the Dichlor then bleach method, you won't be disappointed. It is effective and easy to follow.

Don't let the spa dealer lead you to believe that you need all those other bottles of chemicals they sell. All you really need is granulated chlorine, Clorox, baking soda, and maybe some muriatic acid if your source water is good quality. You do not need those mineral sticks they gave you. You will need a good drop test kit, don't waste time with the strips. You should balance your water (pH, TA, and calcium) before adding dichlor upon start up.

Good luck, and enjoy your new spa.

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I would buy yourself a container of granulated chlorine (Dichlor) from a pool/spa dealer. Those pucks are probably Trichlor and will be too strong and raise your chlorine level too quickly.

Follow the Dichlor then bleach method, you won't be disappointed. It is effective and easy to follow.

Don't let the spa dealer lead you to believe that you need all those other bottles of chemicals they sell. All you really need is granulated chlorine, Clorox, baking soda, and maybe some muriatic acid if your source water is good quality. You do not need those mineral sticks they gave you. You will need a good drop test kit, don't waste time with the strips. You should balance your water (pH, TA, and calcium) before adding dichlor upon start up.

Good luck, and enjoy your new spa.

This is helpful. Thank you. I'm beginning to feel slightly less stressed and may actually fill this tub in the next week. A couple of more questions. I've read that bleach needs to be added every day using this method. Is there a formula to follow for how much bleach I should be using each day (and for the sake of this question...I'm referring to days that nobody is using the tub)? I'm just trying to figure out if I need one cup of bleach per day, assuming no use, or what the system is.

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Don't add a cup, at least not unless you have a really big tub! In my 340 gallon tub (Jacuzzi J-345) I add one ounce of 8.25% bleach per day if I don't use the tub, 2 ounces if I use it solo for one 20 minute session, and 3 ounces if my wife joins me. I used to check FC and pH daily (using a Taylor K-2006 test kit), but after doing this for a year I have found that it is pretty predictable and I can check every other day or so.

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This may be helpful for you. Just make sure you enter the correct gallons of you hot tub in the top left corner, or the amounts will be off. Down at the bottom of the page, it allows you to see the effects of adding different chemicals. Also, make sure you select "traditional spa" in the drop down box at the bottom.

http://www.poolcalculator.com/

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