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Free Chlorine Troubles


Cmires63
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Ok all you hot tub heros, I'm a first time hot tub owner and we've had our 2013 Hot Springs Vanguard since sept. 18, 2014. When they came out and set it up, hooked up the Ace system, balanced our water, and we have been fighting our free chlorine ever since. Several weeks into it they recommended that we have the ozonator disconnected, which we did. They just disconnected (not plugged off) the line and we are still having trouble with the free chlorine. We are using the tub twice a day 7 days a week for 20 mins in the evening and 15 mins in the morning. All other chems are within range, ozonator is disconnected, water hardness is good, ect.... Could my problem possibly be the Ace system itself just simply not producing chlorine? I have the output level set at 7 right now, but to no avail. I have to put 2 teaspoons of shock in it every morning, and this is raising my CYA levels too much, Is this normal?

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You say "we" so I'll assume two people soaking 20 minutes in the evening and 15 minutes in the morning. That's 70 person-minutes per day and with no ozonator would require around 4 teaspoons of Dichlor or 4 fluid ounces of 8.25% bleach or 8 teaspoons of non-chlorine shock (43% MPS) to oxidize the bather waste. For a more heavily used spa such as yours (i.e. used every day) the ozonator would actually be better. Ozone does react with chlorine, but ozone also oxidizes bather waste. So for spas used every day, an ozonator works well with chlorine while with spas not used frequently (i.e. just on weekends) then an ozonator isn't great with chlorine.

Anyway, your Vanguard spa with 400 gallons would require about 7 ppm FC per day. The ACE manual indicates that your 4.1 hours per week with 2 people would be "high bather load" and need the "5" setting so your "7" setting should be enough.

If you need to add chlorine and already have enough CYA, then just add unscented regular (concentrated) bleach (NOT splash-less, easy-pour, or outdoor).

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Thanks chem geek! I'll give it a try and see how it works. The dealer is coming out in the next few days to check the Ace System to see if it is bad. Yesterday I did a test with the Ace to see if it was producing, and it was not. I simply put the Ace cell into a bottle of spa water, bumped the output setting up to 10 for 30 sec. and when I tested the water there was no measurable chlorine in the bottle, so I think that the Ace cell is bad. That, BTW is more info than I have gotten from our dealer. Thanks again!

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You would need to use the OTO chlorine test (the one that turns yellow with chlorine) since that is the only test that does not bleach out from high chlorine levels. High chlorine levels would be orange to red to very dark red instead of being yellow. If you used a DPD chlorine test (the one that turns pink/red with chlorine) then that bleaches out above 10 ppm FC.

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