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Thread: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

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    New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    Hey guys.. new spa owner but been a member for a long time as I have had pools. I filled up a new spa the other day and added a bromine tabs\floater last night. I checked the FC this AM and it was 0 so I added some granular chlorine. The spa water immediately turned brown.. yikes! Just curious why this happened and best way to fix. I read it was ok to use the two together. Thanks!
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    Do you use well water to fill the spa?
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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    Nope.. city

    It was clear because I added to chlorine
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    If you added a very large amount of chlorine, then you could have produced so much bromine to make the water yellow/brown at least locally where you added it. Did it then fade somewhat as the chlorine got dispersed?

    How much chlorine did you add, what kind (i.e. was it Dichlor), and what is the size of your spa?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    Sorry for the delay. I added a large cap full of oxidizer which appears to be MPS. Specifically, potassium peroxymonosulfate by Natures Choice. Spa is 400g. Maybe I am adding too much which is temp causing brown water. But bottle says 2oz per 500g and from what I have read that's about a capful.

    Also, I had been running a bromine tab floater for a month not getting any reading on my test kit. I then realized I needed to establish the reserve. Which I have done using the 2oz Walmart sodium bromide. Heck I have added 6oz total and I am still only reading about 1.5ppm bromine. At a loss. Do I still need to use something I addition to the floater and MPS? Liquid Chlorine?

    Thx!


    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    I'm not sure about the capful size, but 2 ounces weight of MPS per 500 gallons would be equivalent to 6 ppm FC or 13.5 ppm bromine. It may be that locally where that gets added it creates a sufficiently high level of bromine that it temporarily colors the water yellow/brown. So long as it dissipates and isn't permanent it's not a problem -- if it stayed brown then I'd suspect metals like iron in the wtaer.

    Normally a bromine floater is not enough to handle bather load. It's designed to maintain the bromine level in between soaks but not to handle oxidizing bather waste. You need to add enough oxidizer after each soak to handle your bather waste. If you do not have an ozonator, then the rough rule-of-thumb is that every person-hour of soaking in a hot (104F) spa requires around 3-1/2 teaspoons of Dichlor or 3-1/2 fluid ounces of 8.25% bleach or 7 teaspoons of MPS. You may occasionally need to shock with chlorine, preferably with bleach, on occasion to keep the water clear.

    It's true that if you did not establish a bromide bank then if you didn't use bromine tabs for very long (because their spent bromine will add to the bromide bank) then using MPS wouldn't produce enough bromine and MPS alone doesn't oxidize enough of the bather waste.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    Thanks.. I don't believe the tub has an ozonater. The water clears after about an hour or two so I guess I will not worry about the temp color change. I would assume I should have a good reserve at this point though given the 6oz of bromide I have added.. yet I am still reading only 1.5ppm even with the floater. I am using a kit that has the DPD tablets.. believe it is a Taylor. So moving forward, in addition to the floater, daily oxidizer (spa is used daily) I should use bleach once a week?
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    If your water gets dull or cloudy, then use the chlorine; otherwise what you are doing sounds OK. If you want a higher bromine level you can see about opening up the floater more or adding more tabs to it. If you have a time between soaks (so at least a day or more when you don't soak) then you can test adding chlorine or MPS to see if it makes the expected amount of bromine (though you can't easily distinguish between chlorine and bromine). I suspect that you are just expecting adding oxidizer after your soak to register higher bromine levels by the next day, but it may just be that you aren't adding enough oxidizer after your soak. You can try adding some more and see if it results in a higher bromine level for your next soak. You don't need/want the bromine above around 4 ppm for the start of your next soak anyway -- targeting 2-4 ppm bromine is reasonable.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: New Spa Owner - Water went brown!

    Perfect, thanks much! I think once the MPS is gone I will switch to bleach as an oxidizer every couple days while still using the bromine floater. I just wasn't sure if it was ok to use bromine and oxidizer together since the water turned brown which sounds like isn't an issue.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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