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Shock Routine with Freshwater Salt System


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I took delivery of my Hot Springs Vanguard with the freshwater salt system about 2 months ago.  The system has pretty much worked perfectly out of the box...was maintaining a residual chlorine level of ~5 or 6 PPM after the first day and other than minor adjustments and the occasional boost or manual chlorination for heavy use, it's taken almost zero maintenance.  I started at the recommended salt output level of 6, went down to 4 after a week or so since it seemed to be making chlorine faster than I used it, then bumped back to 6 after a few weeks to keep up with our usage.  I have shocked with dichlor maybe twice and MPS (on separate occasions) maybe twice.

 

My question is whether I need to regularly shock the tub (either using chlorine or MPS) with the freshwater salt system.  The owner's manual and filter compartment lid both reference shocking on a regular basis, but I think both of those assume the freshwater salt system is not used.  In the salt system manual, it doesn't reference shocking at all as part of ongoing maintenance once the system is started.  I'm wondering if there is a need and, if so, the reason why shocking is if the freshwater salt system is maintaining 3-5ppm of chlorine all the time and my combined chlorine (I have a Taylor 2006 test kit) is basically nonexistent.  I don't want to be missing something, but everything is humming along nicely, I'd rather not add more chemicals than necessary. 

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3 hours ago, HotTubNewb said:

My question is whether I need to regularly shock the tub (either using chlorine or MPS) with the freshwater salt system

Pretty sure shouldn't really need to - because the system is constantly generating free chlorine (assuming the water is within proper ranges).  The only time you should need to shock is if the water becomes turbid/cloudy or things have drifted out of range and chlorine sat at 0ppm for a prolonged period of time you feel the water needs an extra dose of chlorine or MPS.

The caveat to this is that your tub is new - new tubs are *filthy* internally from factory assembly/testing. Lots of nasty stuff festers in the plumbing before delivery day.  You will find your water chemistry is a mess on the first fill and it's tough to maintain chlorine levels - this is totally normal for a first fill.  With most spas, it's suggested to perform a purge, drain, refill after the first two months or so - water chemistry is always easier after that first refill.

 

3 hours ago, HotTubNewb said:

  The owner's manual and filter compartment lid both reference shocking on a regular basis, but I think both of those assume the freshwater salt system is not used. 

That is a correct assumption

 

3 hours ago, HotTubNewb said:

  I don't want to be missing something, but everything is humming along nicely, I'd rather not add more chemicals than necessary. 

If the water is staying clean/clear for you with no foul odors, you're on the right track.  Still if you're on the first fill of water, it's probably a good idea to plan a drain/refill in the near future.   Think of it like airing out a new car to eliminate that terrible new-car-smell.

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