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Thread: New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

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    Purrkitten's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
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    Fullerton, CA
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    New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

    We decided to add a swim spa to our small back yard this year. I am an avid swimmer and wanted an option that didn't involve going to the local pool.

    I've been "lurking" on TFP for a few days, and I see a lot of posts about pools, and a lot of posts on spas. The swim spa seems to be a hybrid.

    I have so many questions I don't know where to start. We have been using the standard spa chemicals (chlorine granules, pH down, scale defense, oxy weekly shock) in addition to filter cleaners about once a month. The water has been fine until a week ago when it got steadily cloudier until we couldn't see the bottom of the spa. Yesterday we drained the spa about 2/3 and refilled because our CYA was 129 ppm based on the pool store test. I have only been using test strips, but I have a TFT100 on the way to do my own testing.

    I use the spa about 4 times a week for 1-2 hours per use. And I exercise hard in the spa, so there is probably a fair amount of sweat and spit involved. Also, the spa stays covered when not in use. The spa is under a patio cover, so even with the cover off, it doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight. Don't ask me how we got it under the patio cover - what an ordeal!

    So here are some of my questions:
    1. Should I follow pool or spa forum suggestions? My spa is kept at about 80 degrees, so it's more pool-like in that respect.
    2. What is the best way to keep the CYA down? Because of water restrictions, I really don't want to have to refill the spa every 3 months because the CYA is high. Plus, it's just a pain in the butt to drain and refill.
    3. Should I consider a SWG? I've seen a spa version that works for up to 2000 gallons. Can this be used with a mineral cartridge?

    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions. And should I post my questions in the pool or spa forums???
    Julie
    -Just call me Julie
    Master Spas Michael Phelps Impact swim spa, 1525 gallons, AG, 3 cartridge filters including 1 Eco-Pur mineral filter, currently under drought water restrictions

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    Join Date
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    Re: New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

    Welcome to TFP!

    It's more like a small pool because of the water temperature. Because it's smaller, your chlorine usage will be somewhat tied to bather load, but not as much as with an even smaller spa. You can, however, figure out how much chlorine to add after each use to maintain its level, but that's not that different than every day or two maintenance of the FC level in a regular sized pool.
    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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    Purrkitten's Avatar
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    Re: New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

    Thanks, chem geek. Appreciate the input. I'm going to have to figure out what the amount of bleach I need to use for "every day or two maintenance" of FC once I get my test kit. The test strips are hard to read for me, and from what I've read, they aren't very precise. From what I've read, bleach is a better alternative in order to keep CYA down, right?
    -Just call me Julie
    Master Spas Michael Phelps Impact swim spa, 1525 gallons, AG, 3 cartridge filters including 1 Eco-Pur mineral filter, currently under drought water restrictions

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    Join Date
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    Re: New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

    Yes, correct on both counts. The TFTestkits TF-100 (or the Taylor K-2006; see Test Kits Compared) is far better than test strips as well as other test kits. And yes, chlorinating liquid or bleach will prevent CYA buildup.
    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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    Purrkitten's Avatar
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    Re: New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

    Thanks again, chem geek. Can't wait to get my TF-100 that I ordered today. I really want to get this under control without relying on the local pool store and their questionable advice.
    -Just call me Julie
    Master Spas Michael Phelps Impact swim spa, 1525 gallons, AG, 3 cartridge filters including 1 Eco-Pur mineral filter, currently under drought water restrictions

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: New swim spa in drought stricken So Cal

    One of our finest has already chimed in with some good advice, so I'll simply welcome you to TFP!
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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