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cmmyer

Confused on water chemistry

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I have been reading some of these posts and I am really confused on what my water chemistry should be. I bought a 375 gallon Kona Artesian spa with the frog in-line mineral/smart-Chlor and an ozonator back in April and I’ve been frustrated ever since.

The set-up guy told us how many capfuls of what leisure time chemicals to use each week and which test strips to use. I ended up with the hot tub rash after about a month 😢 Did the leisure time jet cleaner purge thing, drained it, filled it with filtered water and started all over. A couple weeks laterI got the rash again!

Started reading here and we did an ahh-some purge 2x and I am using hot tub serum once a week. There was a bit of funk the 1st purge, second was ok. Now the total chlorine has been higher (10ppm) but I also use MPS and dichlor after each use. Maybe that and the ozonator making that a false high? (I know after CYA gets too high I should switch to a regular non-scented bleach)

Trying to figure out where the free chlorine level should be with all the other stuff going on in this tub. After the hot tub rash, I have been trying to keep it close to 5ppm, but maybe that’s too high with the smart chlor/mineral/ozonator?

I’m trying to follow how all the other things relate but have not quite grasped it yet. Any thoughts? All other readings are in the ideal range. I’m now using a Taylor K2005 year kit.

thanks for any help!!

 

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Unfortunately "hot-tub rash" covers any skin irritation resulting from hot-tub use and could be anything. There is a long thread on the issues one person had in determining the cause. As I recall it is still unresolved. 

Mps will give a false chlorine reading, ozone will not as it does not establish a residual in the water. I have read a thread about smartchlor and it seems to have some testing issues. I am not sure why, but the person ended up stopping smartchlor and using dichlor/bleach.

My advice is to eliminate all unnecessary chemicals and use a simple chlorine system such as dichlor bleach, or even just bleach as the cya in dichlor could be an irritant. Keep water balanced and see if the rash stops. Then start adding this or that to determine the cause.

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Thanks for the reply! I read through the thread you linked and I am having similar issues. We got in the hot tub last night and I woke up with hives this morning. Just on my arms and legs. I started using the smart chlor and minerals again after our last fill so something in one of those might be irritating me too. I had a larger intex pool with a SWG for years and never had skin issues with regular chlorine shock. We will purge/drain the tub, I will get rash free, then just use bleach since I know I have no skin issues with that. 

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A salt system is chlorine. The cell uses an electric current to break apart sodium chloride (salt) into sodium and chlorine. The salt does nothing except provide a chlorine source, it is much too low of a concentration (1/10th of sea water) to interfere with anything by itself. I do not recommend salt systems in spas.

 

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Hi, just giving an update. I have not been in the hot tub since August cause I still have the rash! The dermatologist has had me on antibiotic creams for the last three weeks. It’s clearing up, but I’m not risking the tub yet. Going to purge it this weekend and hopefully get in next weekend. I know I’ll be ok the first couple weeks of a fresh fill. We have been testing and pouring bleach in as necessary. I hope I can use it this fall/winter!!

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They didn’t run any tests just a visual inspection and said it was the pseudomonas. Since I’m the only one suffering, the doc thinks I could just be more sensitive to them. I’ve done some reading and it seems that these just kind hang out on our skin anyway? Maybe I can take an antibacterial shower before (as well after) hot tubbing and that could help control it? Who knows. I’ll give it a try though cause I hate to waste the money on this thing. 

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Yeah, good old fall guy pseudomonas. Common name is "hot-tub rash". So if you get a rash in a hot-tub they blame pseudomonas. They have no way to know without a culture, of course, but that never stops them. 

Keep us posted.

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