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Water Chemistry - How does this look?

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Finally got my hot tub up and running, now I need to get the water safe to actually use it. Here is what the test strips I have are showing... 



I am on well water here, so far I have added a bottle of "Metal Gone" as well, about a table spoon of chlorine and just now dropped in 4 bromine tabs in a floater. At a quick glance, it looks like I could use some pH down since I am closer to the 8 range, assuming that would also bring the Alkalinity down. Cyanuric acid appears low on the scale, total chlorine looks to be fairly high, while Free Chlorine (Bromine) looks low. Finally, total hardness appears to not even register.

Given the above, is it likely I will just need the pH down? I checked again this morning and the total chlorine appears to have gone down. Anything particularly to worry about at the moment? With the jets on full, there is some white foam generated, water smells and looks clean though.



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Hi there, 

Your photo did not show up in your post (for me at least).  I think most folks here would recommend investing in a test kit like the Taylor K-2006 for Bromine spas.  I followed that advice a few months back and it has made a world of difference when measuring and balancing the water.  Strips are ok for a quick check but aren't accurate enough when trying to balance.

I would get the hardness in spec first, using a calcium hardness increaser.  It may be low due to the metal gone, but I'm not 100% sure about that.    Typically you are going to lower the Alkalinity, which in turn will lower the PH. There's a really good guide in a sticky in this forum on how to lower total alkalinity.  As for the low bromine level - you do need to build up a bromine reserve in the water. Again, there are a few really good stickies on this.   Keep in mind if you find you are adding bromine and not seeing it register, you may have a bio-buildup in the spa plumbing that is 'eating' the sanitizer. The 'Decontamination' sticky covers how to handle that situation.   

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