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Balancing Filtration Times, Foaming and Water Temperature


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I own an Artesian Kona Elite hot tub.  It has two 5HP pumps and the following filters:

• Pleatco PAS50SV-F2M (large)
• Artesian Spas 06-0052-12 (small)
 
The situation I am contending with is balancing the filtration times, foaming and the water temperature.  With long filtration cycle times I have no foam but the hot tub water becomes excessively hot (set at 104°F but 107°F actual temperature).  With short filtration cycles I have steady temperatures...but the foam quickly returns.  Example:  Filtering essentially 24 hours/day results in no foam, but the water temperature stabilizes 3-4°F above the set point.  Filtering 3 hours AM and 3 hours PM keeps the water temperature steady as set but...voila!  Revenge of the Foam.
 
I keep the water chemistry balanced, check and rinse the filters at least weekly, and occasionally use enzyme and Bright & Clear.  Every 3-4 months I drain, clean and refill the hot tub with an inline filter to reduce minerals.  When I change the water I swap filters with an identical set cleaned with Spa Depot Power Soak filter cleaner and thoroughly rinsed.  We're experienced spa bathers, so hot tub-safe cleaners are used and suits are re-rinsed after washing.
 
We live in central Oklahoma and the hot tub is outdoors.  We live near a storm water mitigation reservoir which is typically dry and filled with tall grasses and vegetation.  Knowing that dust, pollen and other airborne contaminants are literally everywhere, we keep the cover on and secured when the tub is not in use.
 
Some questions I have been unable to get satisfactory answers for:
 
(1)  The tub has two different size filters.  The guys that delivered the spa installed the large filter nearest the control panel and pack side of the hot tub.  Since there have been numerous issues with the delivery and installation process (still being worked out 10 months later) I'm wondering whether these were installed in the correct position?  Based on the absence of any guidance on the topic, I'm assuming the positions are interchangeable but I don't like to assume facts not in evidence.
 
(2)  Is it possible to use different filters to increase the efficiency of the filtration process?  The local spa company says no, that the filter sizes are sacrosanct for the make and model of hot tub.
 
(3)  The local spa company advised to use anti-foam agent.  When I argued that should not be necessary on a regular basis they did change their tune, but as yet haven't offered up any advise on mitigating the foam without turning the hot tub into a lobster pot.  Does anyone have any advice?
 
Thank you for any advice!
 
Matt
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Foaming is the result of contaminants in the water, usually carried in by the users on skin, clothing, and hair. Filter cleaners cannot be completely removed by rinsing, because they get into the fibers of your filter. Rinsing out your clothes after washing in detergent and fabric softener does not remove the residue they leave behind, but the chemicals in your spa do. If you want to avoid foam, avoid contaminating your water with soap, fabric softener, hair conditioner, suntan lotion, makeup, and filter cleaner. Rinse filters with a hose, not a chemical. Replace them as needed. Rinse bathing suit in the sink after use, not in the washer and dryer, or just hot tub in your birthday suit. Rinse yourself in the shower before using your spa. Keep conditioned hair out of the water.

There have been foaming issues I have seen that were caused by problems in the spa itself, but those are VERY rare and always had distinctive symptoms, such as sticky yellow residue on filters. 

Maintain your water properly and avoid contamination and you should not have foam.

Filter size can be increased, not decreased, but fit is vital. Remember, filter size is measured in sqare feet of filter material in the pleats, not by length and diameter of the filter. A loose filter is the same as no filter.

Water clarifiers have no place in a fiber filter system. Bright and clear is for sand filtered pools. 

I recommend, and use in my own spa, sodium dichlor, sodium bicarbonate, muriatic acid. It's a short list and all you will ever need.

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