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Foam!


TubTime
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I don't know if it's normal, but spending 10-15 minutes skimming it off is not. Get some foam down and put it in a spray bottle. Spritz it lightly on the foam. Also, the foam doesn't hurt anything, so unless you just hate it, you don't have to get rid of it.

The foam doesnt bother me but people have told me that foam is the first sign of bacteria growing and thats what worries me.

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Hmmmmm, I've never heard that. I am far from an expert though. I have heard that it's a sign of detergents, high dissolved solids and or low calcium hardness. Do you wear bathing suits in the spa? If so, don't wash them, just rinse them out after use. Do you, or anyone else that uses the tub have residual soaps or lotions on your skin(or even shampoo in your hair if it comes in contact with the water)? Ever notice how shampoo just won't "suds" in certain areas? Low calcium hardness will cause more foaming. I'm sure chemgeek will see this and if it's a sign of bacteria, he will let you know. How long have you had your spa? How long has it been since a water change? Have you hosed off or cleaned the filters lately? They might need to be hosed off every day or every couple days for awhile, in case there is residual soaps in them. It could make sense that it's caused by a high number of TDS(total dissolved solids) since it is happening when you add dichlor. If that is the case, you'll need a water change I think. Is that the only time you run all the pumps on high? If so, it could just be the added turbulance in the water. Whatever "stuff" is causing the foaming, is clinging to all those airbubbles when the jets are on. We got some foaming at first, I use a scumball in the tub to try to soak up some of the "gunk". Do you have an ozonator? You could increase the time it runs. If not, you might want to use an enzyme product that will gobble up all the "stuff" you introduce when you soak. Don't you love all my technical terms? Does the foam go away quickly if you turn off the jets? Ours always did. If it stays there, I guess bacteria could grow on the bubbles and foam, since they are above the water and not coming in contact with the sanitizer. Good Luck.

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Do a search, I posted a similar topic a while ago. General consensus was that foam is harmless. Things to try are shocking more frequently, not using soap on suits, showering before soaking, using an enzyme product to break down soaps, rinse the filter more frequently, change the water if it is getting old and use a foam-down product.

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All good info. Nine times out of ten, foam is from bathing suits. No washing suits with detergents...or better yet...no suits :o .

Also..filter cleaner not thoroughly rinsed out can be a major foam contributor...but I'm not telling you anything new...everyone already told you.

BTW, foam isn't the first sign of bacteria...cloudy water would be though.

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All good info. Nine times out of ten, foam is from bathing suits. No washing suits with detergents...or better yet...no suits :o .

Also..filter cleaner not thoroughly rinsed out can be a major foam contributor...but I'm not telling you anything new...everyone already told you.

BTW, foam isn't the first sign of bacteria...cloudy water would be though.

Every thing checks fine except the hardness its on the low, dont know if that causes foam or not, if it dose how do you raise the hardness level?

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Every thing checks fine except the hardness its on the low, dont know if that causes foam or not, if it dose how do you raise the hardness level?

Weeel, I had read that low hardness encourages foaming and I ordered a calcium hardness increaser online to raise it. I succeeded in improving the test reading, but it didn't affect the foam very much.

When is the last time you rinsed your filter? Since I've been doing that more often, the foaming has been less pronounced.

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Every thing checks fine except the hardness its on the low, dont know if that causes foam or not, if it dose how do you raise the hardness level?

Weeel, I had read that low hardness encourages foaming and I ordered a calcium hardness increaser online to raise it. I succeeded in improving the test reading, but it didn't affect the foam very much.

When is the last time you rinsed your filter? Since I've been doing that more often, the foaming has been less pronounced.

I just rinced the filters out about a week ago, I usualy do it weekly ( weather permitting) . The water is only about a month and a half old.

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Ill check the store, also going to pick up some foam begone, how sould it be mixed to be used in a spray bottle so as not to cloud up my water too quickly? Thanks again.

I don't think the foam down products affect water quality too much.

I had to order Calcium Booster (the Leisure Time brand) online as none of the local pool supply stores seemed to carry it. I can't believe I'm the only one around here to have soft water! It made rather little difference in the foaming though.

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  • 1 month later...
I had to order Calcium Booster (the Leisure Time brand) online as none of the local pool supply stores seemed to carry it. I can't believe I'm the only one around here to have soft water!

I know how you feel... my Total Calcium Hardness was "0" when I brought my water to be tested when I first filled my hot tub. The guy seemed a bit surprised (but not alarmed, at least)... should be a good thing, right? Just means your water is just "water" :D

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yeah not bacteria.. it's residual soap from clothes, and fresh brand-new soap made from mixing your dead skin (oils) with chlorine... usually a little of both. It's easy to get overly imaginative thinking about spa water, but hottubbing should be all about relaxing... so relax. There are defoaming products but I believe it's a silicon type oil (simethecone) and too much can load up your filters. Defoamer is just breaking the surface tension and not dealing with the real problem. The Calcium hardness is important to test/measure/calibrate into acceptable limits, and if it's low it enhances the ability of your water to foam (make bubbles).

After I have a heavy load of guests there is always foaming. Sometimes during... which can be embarrassing, but lets not get all honest with the guests as to the exact contents of spa foam. A half truth will be fine which is "It's residual soap from your suits..." ...and if they say "I'm not wearing any suit..." then you say, "would you like another Martini?" Foam? whadda we talking about foam? I just sweep it over the side. You really can get rid of most of it quickly without removing much water. It is however an indicator it's time for a nice shock treatment and filter cleaning.

Another problem with adding defoamer is that it only seems to kill the fluffy shiney happy bubbles but the chunkier-funkier bubbles persist. To avoid this embarrassment be sure to get your spa extra clean before guests, or better yet just allow the fluffier soapy bubbles to hid those unsightly unmentionable ones by skipping the defoamer and just nonchalantly swoosh them over the edge. Hey we can talk right, we're friends? This also seems to happen when folks who rarely soak enjoy their first time. You know what your skin is like now and what it was like *then*, and you are now very likely *very* exfoliated.

When you get in now alot less skin comes off per soak, am I right? For the overly visually imaginative don't focus on the greater quantities of exfoliation that occur when your uninitiated guests come over for their first soak... otherwise you won't make any new friends. Please feel free to internally verbalize "Damn Him!" as you sit in your new bosses "bubbles" when he finally accepts your invitation for dinner "Oh you have a hottub!?" Hey you gotta do what you gotta do... this is why God made alcohol (apologies in advance to the temperant). If you've had a few drinks and you still cannot deal with sharing bathwater with these people, just ask them to politely shower beforehand... "to remove any lotions or soap residues" <ahem> but then you'll have no excuse when their dead skin and residual chlorine start a' bubblin'! ...I'm just trying to help B)

Bo "looking toward France and whispering the word 'Vermouth'..." Darc

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Ummmmmmmmm Bo, what are you on and are there any countries where it is legal?

Tiny *asking the real important questions* bubbles. ;)

hhahaha You were thinkin' it... I just type it. The guy (Shakespeare?) who said "Honesty is the best policy" never owned a hot tub. I mean it's not a new concept to share a bath... culturally speaking, but those are usually moving water (spring or stream/river) powered. Sharing 400 gallons of 3 month old bath water is truly a miracle of modern chemistry... who needs flying cars, time machines, or robots doing our laundry... it's 2008, baby!! WooOT, we're in the future! ...some of us more than others :huh:

Bo "Adult ADD is kinda like... oh look a bird!" Darc

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yeah not bacteria.. it's residual soap from clothes, and fresh brand-new soap made from mixing your dead skin (oils) with chlorine... usually a little of both. It's easy to get overly imaginative thinking about spa water, but hottubbing should be all about relaxing... so relax. There are defoaming products but I believe it's a silicon type oil (simethecone) and too much can load up your filters. Defoamer is just breaking the surface tension and not dealing with the real problem. The Calcium hardness is important to test/measure/calibrate into acceptable limits, and if it's low it enhances the ability of your water to foam (make bubbles).

After I have a heavy load of guests there is always foaming. Sometimes during... which can be embarrassing, but lets not get all honest with the guests as to the exact contents of spa foam. A half truth will be fine which is "It's residual soap from your suits..." ...and if they say "I'm not wearing any suit..." then you say, "would you like another Martini?" Foam? whadda we talking about foam? I just sweep it over the side. You really can get rid of most of it quickly without removing much water. It is however an indicator it's time for a nice shock treatment and filter cleaning.

Another problem with adding defoamer is that it only seems to kill the fluffy shiney happy bubbles but the chunkier-funkier bubbles persist. To avoid this embarrassment be sure to get your spa extra clean before guests, or better yet just allow the fluffier soapy bubbles to hid those unsightly unmentionable ones by skipping the defoamer and just nonchalantly swoosh them over the edge. Hey we can talk right, we're friends? This also seems to happen when folks who rarely soak enjoy their first time. You know what your skin is like now and what it was like *then*, and you are now very likely *very* exfoliated.

When you get in now alot less skin comes off per soak, am I right? For the overly visually imaginative don't focus on the greater quantities of exfoliation that occur when your uninitiated guests come over for their first soak... otherwise you won't make any new friends. Please feel free to internally verbalize "Damn Him!" as you sit in your new bosses "bubbles" when he finally accepts your invitation for dinner "Oh you have a hottub!?" Hey you gotta do what you gotta do... this is why God made alcohol (apologies in advance to the temperant). If you've had a few drinks and you still cannot deal with sharing bathwater with these people, just ask them to politely shower beforehand... "to remove any lotions or soap residues" <ahem> but then you'll have no excuse when their dead skin and residual chlorine start a' bubblin'! ...I'm just trying to help B)

Bo "looking toward France and whispering the word 'Vermouth'..." Darc

That response RULED. Bravo!

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  • 14 years later...
On 11/29/2022 at 9:11 PM, Johnny07 said:

For those still with foam troubles I found this really helpful for our issues. Crazy to think laundry detergent and other chemicals from just being in the hot tub can cause excess foam.  My wife bought some Anti-Foaming agent which worked like a charm.

 

 

Seriously though, this is a 14 year dead thread. How did you even find it? Had you read it you would have found defoamer mentioned several times. Just wanting some advertising for your pool supply site Hakim... I mean Johnny?

Edited by webmaster
Link removed from quoted text. Quoting a spammer just perpetuates the links they're peddling.
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