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Thread: White Water Mold and Decontamination

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
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    White Water Mold and Decontamination

    Hello! This is my first post here, so first off thank you to everyone who has contributed and made this forum a great place to learn from unbiased (not the salesperson at Leslie's) about my new hot tub.

    I'm having a water chemistry and decontamination problem that I'm hoping for help with.
    My tub:
    Divine DL 1040 from Costco
    440 gallons
    Usine 3-step bromine as detailed on this site.

    The backstory:
    I forgot to maintain my water balance and sanitizer levels for about a month back in May/June, so of course it was nasty when I finally opened it up. I superchlorinated overnight, drained and rinsed the tub and shop-vacced as much water as possible out of the lines (there are 120-something jets and 4 pumps in the tub so I didn't get it all, of course). I chose not to refill it at that time since I live in CA and we have the drought and all so I left it covered for the entire summer with periodic openings of the cover to let in fresh air.

    The problem:
    I refilled the tub last weekend and shocked it up to 20 ppm FC, but it was down to 0 ppm after 2 days and I noticed what I later determined to be white water mold after running the jets. Here's how I've tried to treat it:

    1. superchlorinated to probably 100 ppm FC, ran the jets for an hour, let it sit for 3 days.
    2. neutralized down to 10 or so ppm FC
    3. treated with Ahh-some and let sit overnight with the filters floating around in the ahh-some water as prescribed by the manufacturer
    4. drained the tub and scrubbed the gunk off with lysol wipes and bleach cleaner then rinsed with a hose
    5. refilled the tub, balanced the water, but the sanitizer demand was high and the white water mold came back.
    6. superchlorinated to probably 75-100 ppm FC again, ran the jets for an hour, let sit overnight
    7. treated with Ahh-some again and got way more gunk and a ton of foam that didn't come out the first time (note: I didn't neutralize the sanitizer this time)
    8. soaked the filters in filter cleaner overnight separate from the ahh-some treated tub this time
    9. ran the jets all day with the tub putting out mountains of foam and dripping gunk on the sides of the tub and the surrounding plants and lawn
    10. drained, scrubbed the heck out of it with ahh-some water, rinsed and refilled.
    11. rinsed and replaced the filters and balanced the water, I can see no evidence of the WWM so far but...
    12. now the same amount of concentrated bleach that had been elevating the FC by 2.5 ppm is only raising it by about .4 ppm and as soon as I added the bleach and turned on the jets I got a mountain of soap foam (much different in appearance than the foam from the ahh-some superchlorination treatment, these new bubbles are large and have a soapy appearance and feel to them)

    Does anyone have ideas about what is going on with my tub or what I should do now?

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    Welcome, Cajun. In my humble opinion you need to continue on with the Ahh-Some treatments. Some folks have had to do it many, many times until there is no more gunk coming out of the pipes whatsoever. There is still some evil lurking about that is eating up your chlorine. I am sure an expert will come along shortly with additional input. Best of luck and let us know how you make out.
    2015 Bullfrog 131 180 gal Spa Indoor, TFP bromine fed, Taylor K-2106
    2012 2500 gal. Round vinyl AG Pool, Hayward Easy Clear Filter System, chlorine
    1994 Rubbermaid 175 gal horse tub, still looking for advice on algae problem.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    When you say soapy bubbles and concentrated bleach, it's not the spashless kind is it?
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    Quote Originally Posted by Defgufman View Post
    When you say soapy bubbles and concentrated bleach, it's not the spashless kind is it?
    yes now that you mention it, it is the splashless bleach. I had been using this same bleach without getting the soap bubbles previously in the decontamination procedure I listed above.

    Also, I put in some foam reducer so I could get a look at the water surface today and I noticed quite a bit of the white mold in very small bits after running the jets so either my 2x decontamination didn't get rid of it or all that is dead stuff coming out of the lines (I'm hoping for the latter obviously).

    I've read in another forum about how ahh-some is the best line cleaner, but might there be a better choice for fighting white mold?

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    You posted the same question in this forum and in this forum. As for white water mold, that is best killed off by super-chlorination though the Ahh-Some will help dislodge it from piping so the combination is best for that.
    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"

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    You posted the same question in this forum and in this forum.
    I appreciate your advice. Sorry for breaking the rules about only posting to one pool/hot tub forum...

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    I would not use the splashless variety...use 8.25% unscented regular bleach.
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

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    TFP Guide

    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    The reason it wasn't foaming before is that the spa was so dirty, it couldn't. Now that it's much cleaner the foaming action is becoming noticeable. Kinda like the difference between hard and soft water...
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    Okay so I've solved the splashless bleach foaming problem, but the white mold remains...

    After reading what everyone had to say above I bought some regular bleach, superchlorinated (1/2 gallon of bleach) again, used the last of my ahh-some (probably about half of the recommended amount for the size of my tub) and got more gunk out, then let the tub sit for a week with the superchlorinated ahh-some water. The jets stopped making any foam a few days ago and today I checked the sanitizer levels and found none. I ran the jets and saw the tell-tale tiny flakes of mold. Ug.

    I just dumped the other 1/2 gallon of bleach in to re-re-superchlorinated the water. Should I buy more ahh-some and soldier on or might the mold never go away?

    Thanks.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: White Water Mold and Decontamination

    I'd keep up with Ahh-Some and superchlorination. There may have just been a lot of it. Be sure to run the water through all piping so that you expose mold wherever it is to both the Ahh-Some and superchlorination.
    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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