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bassie123456

Same problem for months.. What is this? Stuff on water surface after jets have been on

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Hey guys, for months (if not longer) I have been having issues with my water. I switched to the dichlor/bleach method a while ago and that fixed all my issues with water maintenance and I have clear water all the time. I drain the spa once every 3-4 months. 

However, I am facing one very persistent issue and I tried a thousand things to get rid of this but I just won't succeed. 

The issue is that whenever I turn on the jets for a minute or 2 and I stop the jets, once the air is out of the water there is this residue on the water surface. It seems like a soapy residue but I can't figure out what it is. Here's what I already tried:

  • We always shower before entering the tub without shampoo or shower gel
  • I have already done 2 purges with ahhsome. The ahhsome caused excessive foaming and some brown and green/blue-ish dirt on the shell but nothing to crazy. 
  • If I throw some clarifier into the tub then I get a lot of stuff that I can scoop out. After that the ISSUE IS GONE for a couple days. Even without use of the spa the issue comes back after a few days.
  • I clean the filter every 1-2 weeks, I wipe the shell every couple weeks with a microviber cloth, we always go in the tub clean and showered, I maintain proper chemical levels 
  • There are some issues with spa manufactured a couple years back with lubricant used for the pipes that could enter the water, however I checked our dealer and the spa manufacturer and they say it's not the issue with my spa.
  • Sometimes, after I throw in the bleach and turn on the jets right after that it seems like it is far worse than usual. Can the chlorine be the cause? I use 12.5% liquid chlorine from Brenntag. Does chlorine expire? (I know it gets less strong over time). Or does the chlorine break off stuff that then shows?

What can it be? Anyone else ever had these issues? I really don't know what else I can try to fix this. 

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Bassie123456:  What you are describing seems like your hot tub may have tubing issues.  What year was your tub manufactured?  What is the make?  For starters you may want to proceed with a very simple to do protocol that may alleviate this issue.  You can add 3-4 gallons of acetic acid “ white vinegar” to the tub.  White distilled cleaning vinegar is 6% active and what Imrecommend.  It is inexpensive and widely available.  This will lower the pH of your water dramatically.  Run for a few days with intermittent “on/off” actions.  Be sure to remove the filter(s) when you are doing the flush. Fill the tub up almost to the brim as well.  If you have a few teaspoons of the Ahh-Some you can add it before you begin.  2 Teaspoons is all you need.Two full days of contact will go,a long ways in eliminating any Calcium Stearate you may have in the piping.  After a few days drain, rinse and wipe the tub.  Do NOT put your old filter(s) back in use.  If they were exposed to the “CS” it is best to start with new one(s).  However, do NOT place the new filter(s) into service until you operate the newly filled tub for a day or so to be sure the issue has been eliminated.  If you see an improvement but not total satisfaction I would do,this protocol again.  If this was your problem this will definitely get you closer to,complete eradication.  I realize that your dealer and or manufacturer told you that your tub was NOT one of those affected but please understand that although they mean well and are providing you with information they feel is correct, your tub may have slipped through the system.  I believe we have spoke previously about this issue a few months ago.  Feel free to,contact me personally and I would be happy to,provide more assistance.

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Hi Ahhsomeguy, thanks a lot for your help. Yes we spoke earlier about this :)  

I don't remember exactly when the tub was manufactured. I am guessing somewhere between 2013 - 2015. I bought it new in 2015. The manufacturere I beleive is Sunbelt Spas or maybe it was Sundance... I would have to look it up again, however it won't make much difference because I don't think they are going to do anything about it.  

The issue is really annoying because it's so persistent. If it's calcium sterate, does it make sense that 'spa clean' from leisure time solves the issue (temporary)? And since I have this issue for so long now, at some point the calcium sterate must be gone, right? I mean everytime I throw in Spa Clean and stuff clumps together I am removing a bit I guess.. ?

Is there no harm in throwing this amount of white vinegar into the tub? How low must the PH be for this protocol to succeed? My dealer warned for too low PH beacuse it could cause damage to the tub or pipes, that's why I have my reservations about this protocol.

Thanks so much (again :) 

 

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So Bassie:  I don't fully understand.  Is your spa water crystal clear all the time, even after you run the jets on high?  If not, I do recommend the vinegar protocol.  The pH will go down but will not harm your system.  You may wish to turn your heater off or set the temperature to the lowest setting.  Let this soak in for 2 days with intermittent operation turning the jets on and off.  be sure to add two level teaspoons of the Ahh-Some cleaner just prior to performing this protocol.  Drain, rinse and wipe clean after 2 days.  Refill, adjust water parameters and add an EPS Registered sanitizer.  You may also wish to add a good dose of sanitizer when you are doing this "clean out".  Since your tub was manufactured prior to the industry tubing problem, I would say that you are simply having a high calcium coating inside your plumbing that is being stubborn.  Do this!  It is safe!  Thousands of hot tub owners have performed this procedure.  Please keep me posted.

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Hi Ahhsomeguy, yes the water is crystal clear even after the jets have been on. It takes a like 10-20 seconds to clear up but thats mainly the air in the water that needs to escape. Then I am left with just this residue on the surface as shown in the picture, but underneath that the water is crystal clear. Would you still recommend the protocol?

Yesterday I threw in some Leisure Time 'Bright & Clear'. Withing minutes I got grey stuff heaping up on the shell of the spa. It was easy to wipe off and after I did this the issue is gone. But I did this before and the issue is just gone for a couple days and slowly starts coming back. It would be interesting to now what stuff this Leisure Time gets out of the tub that would probably help in finding the cause. 

"Leisure Time Bright & Clear is developed especially for hot water treatment, this clarifier utilizes unique polymer action that neutralizes and removes dirt, soap, oily films, and suspended particles to help you achieve clean, fresh water."

 

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Hi Bessie:  Yes, I would advise you to do the clean out we have discussed.  It seems that you are close to getting all the detritus stuff out of the lines and jets.  Do this and I think you will be a very happy hot tubber.

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:15 AM, bassie123456 said:

But I did this before and the issue is just gone for a couple days and slowly starts coming back.

Imagine if you were describing that you occasionally had to clean off a shelf with a duster, because a film appeared on things sitting there, and no matter what you used to clean it, the film returned. Well yeah, it could have something to do with the fact that there is ALWAYS dirt in the air, and it gets around. To me this is like wondering why spraying air freshener doesn't prevent dust from settling. Has there ever been anything you can spray in the air to solve that problem? I don't see why you'd think it could be done in water either... it can't. I know that either the variety of spa fresheners or all this talk of "shock and awe" might give you that impression, but think about it...

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On 8/22/2018 at 7:43 AM, wondertub said:

Imagine if you were describing that you occasionally had to clean off a shelf with a duster, because a film appeared on things sitting there, and no matter what you used to clean it, the film returned. Well yeah, it could have something to do with the fact that there is ALWAYS dirt in the air, and it gets around. To me this is like wondering why spraying air freshener doesn't prevent dust from settling. Has there ever been anything you can spray in the air to solve that problem? I don't see why you'd think it could be done in water either... it can't. I know that either the variety of spa fresheners or all this talk of "shock and awe" might give you that impression, but think about it...

Got your point and I agree :)

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On 8/15/2018 at 9:25 PM, Ahhsomeguy said:

So Bassie:  I don't fully understand.  Is your spa water crystal clear all the time, even after you run the jets on high?  If not, I do recommend the vinegar protocol.  The pH will go down but will not harm your system.  You may wish to turn your heater off or set the temperature to the lowest setting.  Let this soak in for 2 days with intermittent operation turning the jets on and off.  be sure to add two level teaspoons of the Ahh-Some cleaner just prior to performing this protocol.  Drain, rinse and wipe clean after 2 days.  Refill, adjust water parameters and add an EPS Registered sanitizer.  You may also wish to add a good dose of sanitizer when you are doing this "clean out".  Since your tub was manufactured prior to the industry tubing problem, I would say that you are simply having a high calcium coating inside your plumbing that is being stubborn.  Do this!  It is safe!  Thousands of hot tub owners have performed this procedure.  Please keep me posted.

Hi Ahhsomeguy,

So I finally found the courage to get started with this protocol. I need to change my water anyway since it's over 3 months old now and winter is coming so I am ready to get rid of my problems once and for all :)

I have a few questions though:

  • You said it's best to have the heater turn off, however Ahhsome states that it is best to add the product to warm water?
  • The white vinegar, this is the same vinegar people buy at a grocery store and use for their food? Just making sure I have the right stuff :) Can I measure if I have tossed in enough vinegar? I beleive earlier you said the PH needs to be around 4?
  • If it's not a manufacturer issue but just calcium buildup, how can I prevent this in the future? For the last year or so I do use a prefiller which I beleive takes the CH down quite a bit. Is that the way to prevent this? What CH level would you recommend ( I have taylor testkit to measure)

And my final question, do I have the proces right like this:

  1. Remove the filter and turn of the heater
  2. Make sure sanitizer levels are appropriate (I will use chlorine)
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of Ahhsome
  4. Lower the PH to +/- 4 with preferably white distilled cleaning vinegar
  5. Let it sit for 2 days while periodically turning on/off the jets and blower
  6. In these 2 days keep sanitizer levels up
  7. Drain the tub, rinse, fill up and enjoy :)

Is there some way to recognize if the protocol is working? For example does the water clarity change during the proces or can I see stuff coming from the pipes?  

Thanks so much for your help and sorry if I asked the same things multiple times. I really hope it's going to work..! 

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Hi,

I started the vinegar protocol this morning. I don't know how strong my vinegar is (can't find it) but I have thrown in 9 bottles (equal to a little above 2,5 gallon). My PH is now 4 so I guess this is enough. Will check the PH every now and then. What I'm noticing is:

  • Small black partciles are showing up in the foam and on the shell of the spa (just above waterline). Could this be black algea? It's almost like plastic particles, very small and easy to remove. I scooped out foam with these particles for over an hour but I'm not sure what to do with this.
  • The water is now really milky after the jets have been on. It clears up after a little while. I also notice the foam pretty loud hissing (not sure if this is the right word for it in English) after I turn off the jets. 

So something is happening for sure. Now I'll let it sit for a day at least and see if my problems have been resolved after refilling the tub. Thanks for your help guys especially @Ahhsomeguy! Will update this post once the protocol is finished.

 

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Hey guys,

Another update. So I executed the vinegar protocol. During the protocol the water was milky and a little bit of grease sticked to the walls, but not much. And some black particles where released into the water.

It has now been almost a week since the refill. I refilled with a calcium prefiller (we have hard water) and my CH is now 130. I only added dichlor and trichlor so far and kept chlorine at pretty high leven at all times. There are still small black particles being released into the water and they stick to the spa shell just above waterline. They are pretty easy to remove and I think they are a little bit smudgy. Anyone ideas what this could be? Only thing I can find is black algea but it doesn't make sense that it's only sticking above waterline. Also, the concentration is very low. Maybe 10-30 really tiny dots a day. Any ideas? Is it safe to go into the tub?

So far my initial problems are gone, but before this took at least 1-2 weeks after a drain & fill before it started showing up, so I hold my breath. For now I have not gone into the tub because I'm not sure about this black stuff. Also it's a good test to see if this soapy residue comes back in a clean and unused tub with proper chlorine levels. 

Thanks again for your help.

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