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Anyway to get rid of foam without draining?


Figi4
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After doing the decontamination procedure twice and the high sanitizer procedure once, once we balanced the final fill, there was no foam during running the jets.  However, as soon as we got in, the foam started.  It wasn't bad enough to make us want to get out, and the foam immediately dissolved after we turned off the jets/blower. So I'm guessing it is due to our clothing? Also we use one of those zorbo sponges, after 3 uses it's still new looking. After the first dip I started just throwing our towels and swimwear in the washer on rinse only, but so far there is no change. I also did a TSP soak of the filter for an hour, rinsed it well, followed by a muriatic acid dip and rinse too. 

My question is - is there a way to get rid of the foam without draining? I've tried Spa Selections Foam Out, which only dissolves it for a brief bit of time, under an hour.

My other question is - If it has to do with clothing, why have I never experienced foaming at hotels and apartments? That gets many uses and many types of clothing.  Just curious.

Thanks!  

20210630_110101.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

An update -

We had 2 weekends of no foam and were pretty happy.  I test the water each Monday after me and my hubby use it for a few hours each night on the weekends. I balance it and shock it. We don't let anything get into the water (drinks etc), we clean off before getting in, and our suits are only rinsed well in water with no soap. So I thought that we were doing good.

Well, today I tested the water before shocking (Bromine 0, PH 7.0, TA 40 ). I added 1.4oz baking soda (according to pool calc for my 300 gal) and it immediately started back with the foam.  I am so disappointed.  I went ahead and added the shock and will aerate it for the rest of the day.

 

A secondary question - When I shock, the FC/Bromine reading is of course high, but I can't seem to get it down to under 15ppm before the weekend. It is on a covered porch and covered most days, when I'm not testing and aerating for a few hours or longer.  So we end up getting in it anyway at about 20ppm, sometimes 15ppm.  Yet after we use it a few hours a night for those 2 days on the weekend, the reading is usually 0ppm on Monday.  I can't seem to keep it active even with a floater. Last weekend I only did half the amount of shock and still had high reading by the following Friday.

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Sorry I missed your post. Didn't mean to ignore you.😕 This is really a question for @waterbear, our chemical guru, who will hopefully be back soon. 🤞 But I'll do my best, from the beginning.

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

After doing the decontamination procedure twice and the high sanitizer procedure once,

Please explain.

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

However, as soon as we got in, the foam started.  I

Clue #1. It is clearly related to something you are bringing in. Makeup, lotion, hair conditioner, fabric softener, soap residue, etc... Perhaps even organic contaminants from you or the environment.

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

the foam immediately dissolved after we turned off the jets/blower.

Typical oily contaminants will linger for a few seconds or minutes, depending on the concentration. Foam that disperses immediately is often chemistry related.

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

I'm guessing it is due to our clothing? 

Maybe, but... (see above).

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

Also we use one of those zorbo sponges, after 3 uses it's still new looking.

What color is "new"?

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

After the first dip I started just throwing our towels and swimwear in the washer on rinse only,

Not worried about towels, but our bathing suits get rinsed in the sink and hung to dry in the shower. Plenty of leftover stuff in the washer to cause some foam.

On 6/30/2021 at 11:03 AM, Figi4 said:

If it has to do with clothing, why have I never experienced foaming at hotels and apartments? That gets many uses and many types of clothing.  Just curious.

You haven't? Even in a spa? I've seen it in many.

Public spas usually have chemical automation, bad balance, and high sanitizer byproducts, as well as a basketfull of crap I do NOT recommend for your spa. I also do not recommend using public spas, anywhere, ever. Even (especially) vacation rentals. But I digress.

7 hours ago, Figi4 said:

I thought that we were doing good.

You are.

7 hours ago, Figi4 said:

Bromine 0, PH 7.0, TA 40 

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Bromine 0 means bacterial growth. Why is it 0 before use? And ph 7.0 means acidic water, which is damaging your equipment and o-rings. And balance (ph, alk, calcium relationship) will effect foaming.

7 hours ago, Figi4 said:

added 1.4oz baking soda (according to pool calc for my 300 gal) and it immediately started back with the foam

You changed the balance and raised the ph. Now it can foam.

7 hours ago, Figi4 said:

added the shock

Shock is something you do, not something you add, and can be done with many different chemicals. What chemical and how much?

7 hours ago, Figi4 said:

will aerate it for the rest of the day.

 

Aeration raises ph, and adds in air, so is great for foam making. Keep air valves closed when not in use.

7 hours ago, Figi4 said:

When I shock, the FC/Bromine reading is of course high, but I can't seem to get it down to under 15ppm before the weekend.

So, when do you shock, with what, how much...

Please detail your use and maintenance routine. Include the chemicals you use (from fill up to draining) and method of testing.

 

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Thank you for the detailed reply.  I apologize for not understanding or being clueless.  I am really trying to learn all that I can so that I can cause the least amount of damage to this old spa.

I added a bit of water a couple of days ago and we are not going to be getting in it this weekend to try and get it balanced properly. Also it is a bit cloudy still after our last use, which is new for us.

To decontaminate, we followed Nitro's steps and did 2 rounds using Ahh-some, emptying and filling and cleaning the shell well in between. Then we added 50ppm bleach and let it set for a day and drained it.  Then followed the 3 step Bromine method using hth's Brom-Start, refilling with city tap water and tried to balanced it. We had quite a bit of foaming and issues balancing, so to be safe we drained it and refilled it one more time, again using the 3 step bromine method.  This time it worked out pretty well.

My husband and I only use the spa on the weekends, 2 days max, for about 2-3 hours each evening. 

On Monday I rinse off the filter, which is still white and only has a few specks of debris. I then test the water with Taylor K-2106 for Bromine Spa. I test the FC, PH and TA, occasionally the CH (currently at 130ppm). Once I have those readings, I enter them into the PoolCalculator.com and:

If the TA is not within range of 130-400ppm, I lower with muriatic acid or raise with baking soda. Once it's circulated for a few hours, I turn it off and let it sit before retesting to confirm the TA is in range and see where the PH is now at.

If PH is not in range of 7.2-7.8, I raise with aeration or lower with muriatic acid.

The FC is almost always 0 or just above it. Once the above are balanced I use Spa Selections Non-chlorine Shock Oxidizer for Spa and Hot Tub - bottle says 2.4oz for my 300gal spa.  I also have a floater with Spa Selections Bromine Tablets, but unsure if I keep it in at all times or just after the FC readings come down?.

I have TSP to soak the filter. I have only used it once, about 3 weeks ago. I didn't think it needed it but just wanted to be certain.

The zorbo sponge we've been using is still white and floating in the top 4" of water.  After reading reviews I was expecting to see it discolor.  

Any time I test the water in the days following shocking, the readings are high, around 30ppm and fall to around 15-20ppm by Friday.  I will uncover the tub a couple of times a week and circulate for a good part of the day.  I'm not sure of any other way to lower the FC readings. 

Looking at my notes I see that the TA has been steadily dropping even with adding baking soda. Jun 30th 75ppm, Jul 11th 50ppm - added .67oz baking soda, Jul 19th 40ppm - added 1.4oz baking soda, and now Jul 22 it's 10ppm.

I have yet to add borate, I'm not sure what it's for yet, but I will read up on it.

 

 

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You are talking about bromine and fc. You can't test them separately. Chlorine is used to activate the bromide bank to create bromine. Once you have bromide in the tub your chlorine immediately reacts with it to make bromine. If you don't have a sufficient bromide bank you will have an untestable mix. Mps in the water will read as bromine or total chlorine.

Bromine tablets are primarily chlorine to oxidize the bromide into bromine. They have a low ph and will drag down alk.

The rate of chemical depletion is dependent on the contaminant level. Gas-off of chlorine is fairly minimal and bromine is even less. In a covered spa it will not deplete very fast once the contaminant load has been eliminated. I expect mps is similar, but really couldn't say since I don't use it.

I am not sure what exactly is going on there, but my advice is to get rid of the bromine, follow the dichlor/bleach method, and ditch the mps. 

Maybe @Cusser, @dlleno, or @waterbear have some bromine advice.

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On 7/22/2021 at 4:55 PM, Figi4 said:

The FC is almost always 0 or just above it.

If you are testing with a K-2106 how in the world are you getting a FC reading. That test kit only tests total bromine and since you said you are using bromine tabs you will have no chlorine in the tub if you have established your bromide bank. You have created a bromide bank by adding sodium bromide when you fill the tub? If not that is part of the problem since you are just adding MPS (non chlorine shock) and it is not a sanitizer, just an oxidizer. This  is why it is better to shock and to acitivate your bromine with chlorine since it is a sanitizer and if you are relying on bromine tabs to create your bank it can take weeks but the water will be santized because until the bank forms you will be running a chlorine tub.

Please read this post on properly using bromine:

https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53410-how-to-use-bromine-3-step-method/

On 7/22/2021 at 4:55 PM, Figi4 said:

use Spa Selections Non-chlorine Shock Oxidizer for Spa and Hot Tub

There is no need to use a non chlorine shock and it will cause sulfates to build up in the water. I recommend using either liquid pool chlorine or plain, unscented, unthickened liquid chlorine laundry bleach (Clorox, or a store brand). They are the same except for the strength. This post will help you with dosing:

 https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/53108-some-truths-on-bleach-dosing/

To shock test your total bromine and divide the results by 2 to get a chlorine equvalent. Then add enough bleach to raise it to above 10 ppm ( I would shoot for 12 ppm).

retest the total bromine and you should be at shock level (above 10 ppm). A few notes, you cannot test pH when the total bromine is above 10 ppm and you should not enter the tub until the total bromine drops below 10 ppm. Keep the tub uncovered and run the jets until the total bromine is below 10 ppm. It won't take very long.

On 7/22/2021 at 4:55 PM, Figi4 said:

If the TA is not within range of 130-400ppm

That is the range for Calcium hardness, not TA! TA should be between 60 to 80 ppm and most people get better pH stability at the lower end. Read these posts:

https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/

https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/

As far as the foaming is concerned I suspect that you have been testing incorrectly based on several of your statements. Review these videos from Taylor Technologies on the correct way to use their test kits:

https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd

These videos are for the K-2006 chlorine test kit. The K-2106 is almost identical. The only differences are there is no Cyanuric acid test in the K2106 (Cynauric acid cannot stabilize bromine so it is not used with bromine) and the total bromine test procedure is the same as the free chlorine tst procedure except for the multipliers. I would recommend using a 25 m sample for a .5 ppm bromine equivalent (while with the K-2006 chlorine test kit I recommend using the 10 ml sample which also gives a .5 ppm chlorine equivalent with that test kit). There is no equivalent test in the K-2106 kit for testing combined bromine since combined bromines, unlike combined chlorines, are effective sanitizers.

Finally, please list ALL chemicals you are using with your hot tub. I would also like you to check that you are using plain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and NOT one of Arm & Hammer's laundry detergents. I've seen it happen before.

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