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Yellow gunk in hot tub after complete flush

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I've seen this yellow gunk around the water line before, usually shows up when the jets are running then seems to disapear.  I've only had the hot tub for about 6 months, I add bromine and shock once a week.

Last night I decided to completely empty the hot tub so I added half the bottle of Sea Klear System Flush, let the jets run for about 30 minutes, emptied the hot tub and scrubbed down the shell.  Rinsed inside with the hose, emptied out what I could again using a pump.  Then I added fresh water, turned the hot tub back on, started the jets and saw all this junk again. 

Anyone know what this is?  Since I already emptied and started with fresh water, how am I supposed to get rid of this?  Thank you...

 

spa2.jpg

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It's a biofilm which is a cluster of bacteria that is hard to kill and lurking deep in the plumbing. Really gross and a bit unsafe as clusters of bad bacteria would be. You can use a product called AHH-SOME which will clean it ALL from the interior pipes. This does not happen if spa is maintained chemically with sanitizers. I would switch to Dichlor instead of Bromine and shock once every 2 weeks at least and change your filter every week. This has happened to many who think they are properly sanitizing but are not, so don't feel bad.

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I was planning on using Nitro's Decontamination procedure but I'm reading mixed things about bleach being safe to use......

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I use Nitro's Dichlor and Bleach method and it's a breeze! Just make sure you use regular plain Chlorox and not the splashless. I used that once and Foam City. I've also used AHH-SOME on and older tub and you wouldn't believe the gunk that came out. It was really super clean after.

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I contacted Sundance a couple of times this past week, one tech I spoke to told me to never under any circumstances use bleach.

I called the next day and a different tech sent me steps on how to use bleach, she sent me the following:

·         Remove filter and pillows and make sure there is no debris in the spa.

·         Fill the spa slightly higher than the highest jet in the spa – 2” to 3” inches.

·         Ensure the air controls are open.

·         Make sure the diverter valves are in combo and that the waterfall valve is in the middle position – water should be coming out at half the volume of normal open operation.

·         Add 5 gallons of chlorine bleach

·         Run everything for 20 minutes

·         Then let the spa sit for 10 minutes

·         Repeat six times

·         Drain and refill

·         Install a new filter

 

That seems like A LOT of bleach, 5 gallons???  My hot tub is 410 gallons.  As opposed to Nitro's procedure where you're adding this much:

·         Add 50 ppm FC using Regular Clorox 6% Unscented Bleach. That's approx. 1/4 gal (32 oz) per 350 gal tub.

 

Should I just follow Nitro's recommendation instead?

 

 

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If you "really" want to get rid of the bio film use "Ahh-Some".   When you use Ahh-Some, make sure you add enough chlorine to maintain a good sanitizer level (between 5 to 10 ppm).  It's also not wise to breath any vapor during the flushing procedure because it's pretty obvious your tub is seriously contaminated with bio-film.

It's simply incomprehensible that anyone would direct you to use five gallons of bleach in a 410 gallon hot tub!  

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I currently use Bromine in the tub, can I maintain the level using Bromine or do I need to use chlorine?  i will try the Ahh-Some,...

Ridiculous that the 5 gallon recommendation came from a tech at Sundance....

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I never had much luck with Bromine. Dichlor granules are much more effective for me. A couple tbls. to shock and a teaspoon or so after use. I also use a Nature2 Mineral Cartridge and an enzyme product, Spa Perfect, that reduces chlorine smell and conditions the water. Oh and a scum bug once it is clean will help keep the oils collected. Just be sure to rinse it out a couple times a week...it will last a long time and surprisingly works very well.

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I concur with the diagnosis of  biofilms, and the use of ahh-some.  

Before the likes of "ahh-some", which really purges biofilms and other oils and crud from the pipes, the only tool we had in our toolbox to combat contamination was the 'decontamination' process.  There are many variants, but all the good ones involve very high levels of chlorine, from 50ppm to 100ppm over some controlled period of time.  These are tried and tested, there is lots of documentation on their use especially for commercial pools,etc.  

The problem with  biofilms is that they are very hardy, self-colonizing self-regenerating organisms that can be chlorine resistant ,which means in some cases, no reasonable amount of chlorine exposure will kill them outright -- they have to be lifted from the pipe surfaces (scrubbed).  Many a decon procedure (including on my own spa) has failed miserably to eradicate these contaminants, which are effectively eliminated by the use of ahh-some (as directed) .  So after a number of experiments and trials I am no longer in favor of traditional decontamination when the problem statement is 'biofilms'.  note carefully I did not say decon procedures are no longer needed -- I'm saying that a full-on decon procedure isn't the right tool to rid the spa of biofilms lurking in the pipes -- thats the job of one or more purges using "ahh-some".  

for more detail on biofilms and purging, please see my blog post here.  Note that this was my own personally-funded experiment during which I learned about biofilms and ahh-some.  

Here are some other misc. comments I have on the discussion in this thread:

1.  Seaklear is not an effective purge product, according to my experimentation (see above blog post).  it works "a little" but suffice to say if you have purged with Seakler (as I did) you should now purge with ahh-some (as I did) and you will release even more material (as I did!).    in some cases ,it takes more than one ahh-some purge to get the job done. 

2.  The statement, "this [biofilms] does not happen if spa is maintained chemically with sanitizers."  is  not entirely true.   I have presented evidence in the above blog post that biofilms CAN GENERATE in the presence of chlorine.  

3.  the recommendation to switch "to dichor instead of bromine" is confusing, inaccurate,  and not necessary.  my spa is bromine and I use dichlor  granules all the time as the oxidizer.  I also use regular bleach.  I recommend some reading on what bromine is, and how dichlor is used to oxidize sodium bromide into bromine.  I also recommend some reading on the "switch to bleach" method.  Most of the "I don't have good luck with bromine" comments usually originate from the bromine method itself, and/or dispenser, the use of tablets and floaters, etc.. The bromine method I use is very simple:  (1) add sodium bromide to establish the bank , and (2) use dichlor as the oxidizer util you have built up the correct amount of CYI, after which you switch to ordinary chlorine bleach. 

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