WAY OT - Hot Tub Chemistry Question

WAY OT - Hot Tub Chemistry Question

This is a discussion on WAY OT - Hot Tub Chemistry Question within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So the wife and CFO has decided that we are putting in a hot tub instead of going sailing this year. After doing a bunch ...

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Thread: WAY OT - Hot Tub Chemistry Question

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    WAY OT - Hot Tub Chemistry Question

    So the wife and CFO has decided that we are putting in a hot tub instead of going sailing this year. After doing a bunch of reading, it seems that there is basically two types of chemistry control (other than Nature2 + MPS - too expensive IMO): Chlorine and Bromine.

    Which are you using, and why?

    Thanks,

    Mike
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    Senior Member Array bps3040's Avatar
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    Mike, I have been in the pool business since 81'. We maintain, service, build, remodel pools/spas. My creds.

    Bromine: Lower PH- have to add bicarb/ph increaser to constantly adjust the PH/ alkalinity

    very corrosive- if the floating feeder or you put the Bromine in your skimmer basket (DON"T!!) it will eat up your heater fast...which can be costly

    needs to be shocked a lot to get rid of the bromamines(?sp)
    Bromamines 1) irritate throat
    2) can have a overpowering smell

    I do not recommend bromine.

    I would recommend chlorine-Sodium Dichlor

    Pros:1) neutral PH.....big plus!!!!!! for hot tubs
    2) self dissolving/ water soluble
    3) inexpensive for spas
    4) it is stabilized
    Con:1) it is a powder- which means the "chlorine feeder" is you
    you test your water a couple times a week and when it goes below 1ppm of chlorine, you add a couple of teaspoons to the spa.

    Like bromine, chlorine forms chloramines- if you smell a heavy chlorine smell- it normally means you need to "shock" the spa
    add 1/3 cup of dichlor and the next day it will back to normal

    With either product, when taking off the cover let the spa "air" out. Lol, do not sit there snorting in the chlorine/bromine smell.... or jump right in.

    Other chlorine's have either a real high ph or low ph....so they are not user friendly....

    Other items: I recommend draining your spa every 2 to 3 months...the water gets "used" up and you have to waste a lot of chlorine to control. If the spa is in the ground, you need to be careful. Do not pump it out if ground is heavily saturated with rain... or pump the water out right next to the spa....it will float out of the ground....not good!

    I go by K.I.S.S...... which is why I would recommend Sodium Dichlor

    I hope this helps....fell free to ask away.
    Mark
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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Don't pee in it!
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    Go sailing.

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    BPS,

    Thanks for the info. I have been doing some reading on poolandspaforum.com, and most people seem to recommend chlorine/dichlor for simplicity and low cost, but the spa comes with a built-in spa-frog system which uses minerals and bromine. I talked to the chemist at work (nuclear power plant) and he stated that there was really no difference between bromine and chlorine systems other than cost.

    Hopyard,

    We are going back to the BVI's to go sailing next spring instead.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Can you use anything else? Like Baquacil or salt water system?
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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    All of the feedback I've seen on Baquacil isn't very good. Works well, expensive, but if you let the pool/spa get away from you then it is very expensive to get things back in order chemically.

    Salt water systems still generate chlorine so why go to the expense when I can just use dichlor and regular chlorox bleach once the cyanuric acid is built up to proper levels.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Had a CAL spa for a decade- it was a normal enough chlorine one. It came with a basic kit to test chlorine levels and PH, it was easy enough. Over the years, the chrome plated plastic parts all corroded and the condition deteriorated. We had to change the pump impeller and some of the pump seals, but it still worked up til the end. It just didn't look so "hot" any more.

    Get a well insulated cover. It will pay for itself in energy savings.

    It was fun!
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    Senior Member Array bps3040's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Can you use anything else? Like Baquacil or salt water system?
    Salt systems raise your PH when it makes chlorine...badly....so it is not a good choice.
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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Hmmm. We used Baquacil for several years in our pool and it worked well although it certainly is expensive. My in-laws used to have a salt water pool that they were quite happy with.

    We also finally ended up using a copper ion system that worked great and was dirt cheap. Maybe that woud work for your tub?
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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    you are going to want something that is safe for the hot tub heater and pump system. Non approved chlorine and salts could cause excess corrosion and premature wear on system parts and void any part warranty you may have. I don't know much about hot tubs but I did take care of pools before. Pool heaters and filters are finniky when it comes to chemicals.
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    Member Array cz2075bd's Avatar
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    I have a hottub at a vacation rental property I am a part-investor in (bad investment by the way).

    We originally had "Baquaspa" system but it was a headache. We switched to chlorine. We still have some problems but things are much better now, it is more fool-proof for the renters to top-off the chemicals (add X tsp of this and X tsp of that every other day).

    We recently installed an ozonator which is supposed to help A LOT. We will see if it does.

    You can also sometimes put a silver-ion cartridge in the filters which helps.

    One tip is that if you ever change from one system to another you need to completely change out all water and maybe do a flush inbetween. If you mix chemicals (esp. chlorine and bromine) you get ugly results.
    Last edited by cz2075bd; March 29th, 2010 at 05:47 PM. Reason: typo
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