Jump to content

Issue with white mucous like material on my filters??


wookinpanub
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've seen this referred to as white mold, but not sure that's it? It is almost like a gelatenous material that starts to spread over the outside of the filter element - primarily on the jets filter (not as much water flow on a regular basis) while I've not found any on the circulation filter. Things I've done / tried

  • Bleaching my filters after washing them
  • Replacing the ozonator (was broken for some period of time I believe)
  • For 5 straight days I overloaded it with chlorine to the point I had to wear a filter mask and goggles to even be in the room. All filters were floating in the tub for that period

Since that time, I still see that white material just barely starting on the filters again. At this point I don't know what else to try, as I've even heard that draining the tub doesn't help as whatever it is may go 'dormant' and just come back?

Spa is a Dimension One Diplomat, 2014. 

 

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, RDspaguy said:

Use ahhsome spa purge, per package directions, repeatedly until no new gunk comes up on the foam.

Ozone is not a sanitizer, and it does not eliminate the need for one. Ozone is an oxidizer that burns off cc and excess fc. You still need chlorine after each use and once or twice a week at minimum. 

I looked that brand name up, it appears there are a number of options and types (gel, liquid, etc). Can you help me narrow it down with a specific name?

And I have been using chlorine, but potentially not as diligently as I should have. I'll keep an eye on that as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wookinpanub:  You should use the 2 ounce gel.  Use 1 Level Teaspoon of the Blue Gel for each 100 gallons of water capacity to your existing water.   Remove headrests and pillows if equipped, remove the filter(s), hose them off, place inside the hot tub itself.  Add the gel, turn on jets, watch the foam and gunk develop, run 20 minutes.  Shut pup off.  Wipe the released gunk with a wet towel before it dries and sticks to the shell.  Run the pump another 10 minutes.  If you get lots more gunk, wipe it away again with that wet towel, add one more level teaspoon of gel.  Run for additional 5 minutes. Drain, wipe, rinse shell so nothing is sticking, hose off filter(s) and let drip dry.  Fill the tub, balance water using a reliable test kit.

Always maintain adequate sanitizer, in your case Chlorine, and test 3-4 time a week.  Whitewater mold can be a real challenge to totally eliminate.  What I would do since you have now just purged the plumbing is to get the free available chlorine level up to 10-15 ppm for a few days to make sure any residual mold has been attenuated.  If you are the type of person who is busy and want a great backup quarterback just in case you let your guard down on maintenance issues you may want to speak with a Hot Tub Serum dealer or look into our new maintenance product called Aqua Clarity.  These products are constantly sweeping the plumbing for bio-gunk so it doesn’t build up in your plumbing.  They perform many more functions as well but yiu can read up on these in your spare time.  Right now yiu need to purge that hot tub.  You want to use Ahh-Some Hot Tub/Jetted Bath Plumbing & Jet Cleaner.  The 2 ounce container has 12 level teaspoons in it which is more than enough for the purge you will need to perform.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please contact us if you need additional help.  Our contact information is on the product(s).  You’ll love how the Aqua Clarity will keep your water looking great.  You will still need to use some chlorine.  Read all the info and instructions.  We are always here to assist.  
PS:  You must be a Johnny Lee fan as well with a handle like wookinpanub.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I have seen that.  The song he sings is by Johnny Lee, Looking for Love.  Happy Holidays to you and family.  Now, get that hot tub ready to begin a new water maintenance regimen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

@Ahhsomeguy

Update on the below, issue appears to still be remaining. Steps followed / scenario:

  • In mid January I followed the instructions in regards to usage of Ahh-Some Hot Tub/Jetted Bath Plumbing & Jet Cleaner for the initial sanitization. As per our phone call, there was still foaming after 4-5 cycles of running the jets / wiping down / etc
  • From that point forward I added chlorine, as well as the Aqua Clarity.
  • This maintained a good cleanliness on the tubs and filters for slightly over a month, up until about 3 weeks ago.
  • Prior to leaving I added chlorine, the Aqua Clarity, and ensure the circulation pump was running and the daily maintenance cycle was set. No one was using the tub while I was gone
  • Upon return the white mold was back (see pictures) and in heavy quantity on the filter for the jets (which run twice a day in maintenance mode) and starting on the circ pump filter.
  • I'm the only person that uses the hot tub, and maybe 2 times a week, so I'm at a bit of a loss

Any recommendations on what to try now at this point? Should I do multiple days of over chlorinating *after* doing the Ahh-some Cleaner cycling? Should I keep performing that Jet Cleaner cycling until there is no foaming this time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again:  The questions I have are these.  How much and what type of chlorine did you use prior to your leaving the tub unattended?  How long were you away?  Was the hot tub covered while you were gone?  Typically, at what level do you keep the free chlorine residual at?  Did you dump the water after you performed the plumbing purge?  Thank you Wookinpanub.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the quick reply, to your questions:

 

  • How much and what type of chlorine did you use? Currently Clorox Pool and Spa chlorinating tablets, approximately 1/4 tablet per week, but this is because of the chlorine shortage and difficulty getting my normal Clorox XtraBlue Chlorinating granules, about 1/2 capful per week.
  • How long were you away? 2.5 weeks
  • Was the tub covered? Yes, it's inside a room in the house and also covered
  • At what level do you keep the free chlorine? I normally keep the chlorine levels just below the level where it is irritating to the nose / skin (not scientific I know), but I am pretty diligent about it. And again it is rarely used and normally just by me 2 times a week on average.
  • Did you dump the water after the purge? Yes, wiped down the sides and refilled with fresh water and Aqua Clarity added.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

White mold is usually the result of insufficient sanitizer levels.  It seems like your levels were depleted while you were away.  It also sounds like you’re keeping the chlorine levels at low levels since the tub is inside your home and you are  wanting to mitigate the chlorine aroma.  Hot tub water requires that a sanitizer be used to maintain a level whereby organic wastes are oxidized and that a residual level is sustained at adequate levels.  You will need to use an effective shock treatment to get the chlorine level much higher for a few days.  I use common chlorine bleach in my in-ground stand-alone hot tub to super chlorinate.  Sodium hypochlorite does a great job and adds no cyanuric acid.  All recreational water needs a minimum um of sanitizer at all times and extra amounts when bather loads are heavier.  Remove your filter(s), hose them off and super chlorinate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. I too was surprised to have such a quick recolonization of white mold in such a short period of time.

Thinking / researching further, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the below plan to 1) Initially purge / sanitize 2) Ongoing maintenance. The below assumes a swap to Bromine vs Chlorine as 1) It appears more forgiving in regards to sanitization at various PH levels / temps and does not need to be added as frequently for effectiveness (which aligns with my frequent traveling) 2) I'm more concerned about the lower maintenance / performance over the higher cost 3) With a 'softer' smell it will be easier to tolerate the higher levels needed with the hot tub in an enclosed space. To that end:

  • Initial Purge / Sanitization
    • Super chlorinate with bleach (filters floating in the tub)
      • How much bleach per 100 gallons?
      • How frequently to add more bleach during the purge period given it will off gas / be consumed to some degree?
      • How many days?
    • Follow with the Ahh-Some Hot Tub/Jetted Bath Plumbing & Jet Cleaner treatment as described above (filters floating in the tub)
    • Fully drain the tub, and completely wipe down
    • Refill tub with fresh water
    • Add a Bromine Booster to get initial Bromine levels needed
    • Add Aqua Clarity
    • Add a bromine floating dispenser with 1" tablets
    • Periodically test until desired bromine levels reached (tub ready for use)
  • Ongoing maintenance
    • Weekly
      • Add Aqua Clarity
      • Add a Bromine shock (to reinvigorate the Bromine)
      • Test levels
    • Every 1-2 weeks (as needed)
      • Add additional bromine tablets to the floating dispenser
    • What should I do / add if leaving for 2+ weeks in the future?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Giving more thought to your situation Here is what I would do.  Whitewater mold is a fungus and needs a sanitizer to eliminate it.  So, you have to super-chlorinate your tub for a few days and keep the water circulating.  We need the chlorine to do it’s job on the mold.  Since you are away for a few weeks at a time the best way to make sure your tub always has a sanitizer is to add a drop-in chlorine generator.  There are a few very good brands on the market.  One brand you may investigate is Controlomatic.com.  The Aqua Clarity used weekly will help maintain cleaner piping and surfaces by keeping stickies from colonizing in your hot tub.  Less stickies allows you to use slightly less sanitizer as there are less organics for the sanitizer to react on. There is no cyanuric acid in a salt water system.  You should try to maintain a cyanuric acid level of 30-40 ppm as well.  Get rid of the mold by shocking.  Maintain weekly with the Aqua Clarity.  If you are leaving for 2-3 weeks I ask that you add double the Aqua Clarity prior to leaving, keep the pH around 7.4 or so.  Check your water for chlorine using a reliable test kit and not test strips.  Be sure the chlorine generator is working and cover the hot tub.  When you return the water should still be in good condition and ready for you to soak in.  I am a chlorine fan and not so much bromine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • My hot tub is fresh water, not salt water. The Controlomatic products appear to require a saltwater tub to be able to generate the chlorine from what I'm reading.
    • I do like the idea of an automatic system that will measure the chlorine levels and add them as necessary, do you know of any for a fresh water spa?
  • What's an example of a  'reliable' test kit if strips are not?
  • To the bleach questions above for the initial purge sanitization
    • How much bleach per 100 gallons?
    • How frequently to add more bleach during the purge period given it will off gas / be consumed to some degree?
    • How many days?
  • Why don't you like Bromine instead of Chlorine?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/1/2022 at 10:27 AM, wookinpanub said:

Clorox Pool and Spa chlorinating tablets, approximately 1/4 tablet per week, but this is because of the chlorine shortage and difficulty getting my normal Clorox XtraBlue Chlorinating granules, about 1/2 capful per week.

Both products are trichlor, a stabilized form of chlorine. My guess is that your stabilizer is too high which "deactivates" the chlorine and allowes "nasties" to grow. (White water mold is bacterial, btw.) What is the CYA level in the water and where do you maintain your FC?  Posting a full set of test results would tell us a lost more!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, wookinpanub said:

My hot tub is fresh water, not salt water. The Controlomatic products appear to require a saltwater tub to be able to generate the chlorine from what I'm reading.

Salt water chlorine generators require adding salt to the water to a certain PPM level (determined by the manufacturer) and some also require the addition of stabilizer too. It's done at fill up and after every water change. However, this does not mean that you do not have to test your water. You still need to monitor chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and possibly cyanuric acid (stabilizer).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/3/2022 at 11:27 AM, waterbear said:

Posting a full set of test results would tell us a lost more!

@waterbearSorry for the delay, I was completing the sanitization and had ordered different products / test kits. I don't have all the information you're looking for, but here's what I have:

  • My setup
    • D1 Diplomat Spa: 330 gallons (fresh water, not salt)
    • My water supply is rain harvested and stored in concrete cisterns (rural not city)
    • Taylor 3 Way test kit (PH and Chlorine)
  • Sanitization process
    • 3 days over chlorination
    • Aaahsome spa purge (3 runs: 30 min, 10 min, 10 min)
    • Drain / Spray down / Vacuum out the lines / Wipe down
  • Initialization : Day 1
    • Refill with fresh water (no additions)
      • Testing
        • PH: >8.2 (max my test kit shows)
        • Chlorine: 0
    • Additions
      • Add SpaGuard (Oxidizer Enhanced Shock) per instructions
      • Add AquaClarity per instructions
      • Testing
        • PH: >8.2
        • Chlorine: >5 (max my test kit shows)
    • Adjusting PH to proper levels
      • Add Leisure Time (Spa Down)   NOTE: Single cycle recommendation is 1 tsp for my tub. Ultimately required 5 tsp to reduce to acceptable range levels
        • Testing
          • PH: 7.5
          • Chlorine: >5
    • Day 2
      • Testing
        • PH: 7.5
        • Chlorine: 5 (slight drop with no remediations)
    • Day 3
      • Testing
        • PH: 7.5
        • Chlorine: 1 (drop with no remediations)
      • Addition Clorox XtraBlu Granules: 1 - 1.5 tsp
        • Testing
          • PH: 7.5
          • Chlorine: 5
    • Day 4
      • Testing
        • PH: 7.5
        • Chlorine: 3

NOTE: Previously I never adjusted the PH, I assumed being rain water it would be around 7 vs >8.2, so that was good to discover as I believe that decreases the effectiveness of the chlorine in general.

Any thoughts on the above, and if I need to put in less 'shock' initially next time. I'm assuming target levels of Chlorine to be between 2-4ppm in maintenance mode.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are using stabilized chlorine which adds cyanuric acid (stabilizer). the FC level you need to maintain is determined by the CYA level. If the CYA is too high the chlorine is essentially deactivated which allows things to grow in the tub. The test kit you need is a Taylor K-2006, which uses FAD-DPD titration for testing chlorine (NOT the K-2005 which uses DPD colorimetric test for chlorine). It will be worth every penny, Also, you cannot maintain a stable pH without knowing the total alkalinity. Testing for pH and total chlorine (OTO test for chlorine) which is what your test kit does) is ok for a quick daily test but you need a full test kit to determine what's going on in your spa. The information you provided is essentially useless without a full set of test results (Free Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Cynauric Acid which are commonly abbreviated as FC, CC, pH, TA, CH and CYA) I would recommend reading the "sticky" posts at the top of the hot tub water chemistry section of the forum and pay particular attention to the Dichlor/Bleach post and the ones that I wrote.

In a nutshell, get a Taylor K-2006, watch the videos on the Taylor Technologies website to properly learn how to use it, test your water, and post the results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

2 Month Update:

I did not purchase anything, or try anything additional to my above post from April 1 (outside of use chlorine vs bromine) - see specifics below summarized below. I was simply very diligent in regards to maintaining proper chlorine and PH levels with my Taylor 3 way test kit. Tub usage remained the same.

End result is the filters have continued to remain clean and free from any white mucous residue.

So the early results are encouraging, however I am intending to see and repost in the 4-6 month timeframe which will be an accurate long term test.

I was a bit intimidated by the additional equipment materials that were being recommended, and that I might need to get a degree in chemistry to sanitize and balance my hot tub   🙃   I am certainly interested in things that require minimal inputs and low maintenance in general, and hopefully the below approach is just that and works well going forward.

Ongoing maintenance

  • Every 3-4 days
    • Test levels
    • [Optional] Add PH adjustment (for me, that is PH Up I find) as needed
    • [Optional] Add chlorine shock as needed
  • Once a week
    • Add Aqua Clarity
  • Every ~2 weeks
    • Rinse and replace hot tub filters
    • Add additional chlorine tablets to the floating dispenser (set at the lowest dispersal setting, which for my hot tub maintains the chlorine levels in the proper range) 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are using chlorine then you need to test for free chlorine (good chlorine that sanitizes), combined chlorine (bad chlorine that causes eye irritation, possible respiratory problems, and does not sanitize effectively), pH, Total Alkalinity (which is the buffer system that helps stabilize pH. If too high or two low you will have pH stability problems and this is a reading that DOES change so it should be monitored weekly). Calcium hardness (too low and you will have a foaming problem, too high and scale will deposit on tub surfaces and in plumbing. This should be monitored monthly once balanced. IF your fill water is high in calcium then you will need to add a descaler to the water weekly). CYA (cyanuric acid, chlorine stabilizer) which should be around 30 ppm. IF it is high then your chlorine is not available to sanitize since it's chemically bound to the CYA. IF too low your chlorine is more aggressive to swimsuits and people and people. IF you are using a stabilized chlorine source (dichlor or trichor) then CYA will continue to rise since dichlor add 9 ppm CYA for every 10 ppm of free chlorine added and trichlor add 6 ppm CYA for every 10 ppm added. Trichlor is not recommended for tubs because of it's very low pH, which can cause Total Alkalinity and therefore pH to 'crash' to dangerously low levels, in part due to the small water volume in a tub. IF you are using either trichlor or dichlor then you should test this weekly. IF you are using liquid bleach or pool chlorine and have established a proper CYA level then test monthly.

Having a test kit that will test all the necessary parameters for a chlorine tub will  make your tub maintenance MUCH easier. NO need to worry

48 minutes ago, wookinpanub said:

that I might need to get a degree in chemistry to sanitize and balance my hot tub

but there is a small learning curve which most people master in a very short time. It's your tub and you can do anything you want, even not put sanitizer in the water or fill the tub with jello (NOT recommended!) but remember, the reason to sanitize and balance the water is to minimize any health risks. Waterborne illnesses are no joke. Here is a link to videos on how to use the K-2006 test kit from Taylor Technologies. It's really very easy.

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

AquaClarity is a weekly maintenance spa purge product that has nothing to do with proper water balance. In fact, here is a direct quote from the Ahh-some website: " Once the hot tub has been purged, refilled and your water balance chemistry is stabilized, your tub is now ready to begin using the Aqua Clarity as a Weekly Maintenance program." (emphasis mine).

 

Bottom line, balancing and maintaining your water will prevent problems before they happen (such as your previous white water mold problem. FWIW, this problem is usually seen in tubs that use an biguinde/peroxide sanitizer system like SoftSoak or BaquaSpa and are not normally seen with either bromine or chlorine when the tub is properly balanced and maintained (which cannot be done with a a two way test kit that only tests sanitizer and pH).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...