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Thread: 6 months in

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    6 months in

    So we bought our spa new back in May of this year (2015). It's a CLS 738, made by Clarity Spas. 340 gallons, with ozone, and one of the filters does have silver chunks in it. The ozone runs for two, two hour filter cycles each day. This is the lowest setting.


    I let my wife pick out the tub cause she's the one who wanted it. It was a floor model that had extra insulation added to it because our WI winters get pretty dang cold up here. We paid six thousand, plus another five hundred or so to the Electrician we hired to hook it up.

    My wife filled it and set the water parameters at the start. She used dichlor and MPS enzymes. After about 10 days, I used the Spa while she was at work, and didn't add any sanitizer when I was done. The water promptly went cloudy. At that point, I realized that I would need to learn about, and pay attention to the water chemistry. So I read up on it on the innerwebstubes. I discovered the bleach-then-dichlor method, and adopted it using liquid pool shock /LC that i bought at the grocery store. I also ordered the test kits from TFTestkits.

    Our Spa gets used quite frequently, around four out of five weekdays it will get used at least once, and then multiple uses daily on weekends. I add a tablespoon of dry acid about every 10 days or so to knock the PH readings back down out of the dark red range because it would slowly creep back up, depending on how much folks wanted to have the air vents open on the jets. I don't much care for listening to all that noise when in the tub, but others like it.

    I never did test the CYA levels, but the Pool store test that we did just before we switched to liquid chlorine said 60ppm. I also add a tablespoon of the powdered stuff every six weeks or so.


    I also only tested Alkalinity once at the start, and then again after our drain and refill last week. It measured 60 last week, and I can't remember what it was six months ago. I figure as long as the PH stays in range, why should I care what the alk is?

    My wife added a bunch of Calcium at the start, and I tested it when I got the test kits, but I can't remember what the number was. It was high, maybe 250-300 or so? I remember testing it again a month later, and it had come down to reasonable numbers on its own, 100-200ppm. At refill last week, I chose not to add, or worry about Calcium. Our tap water comes from Lake Winnebago, and the Calcium levels are reasonable, so I'm not worried about it.

    Now, about the chlorine, I don't know what is considered a typical amount. We add (10%) bleach in quarter cup increments (5 ppm), usually one (if the reading is less than 3ppm) before we get in, and then another when we get out. Two quarter cups (10ppm) if it's the last soak of the day, or on a day the tub doesn't get used. Generally, the chlorine will read 2ppm or less, sometimes zero, at the first use of the day. A CC test will reveal a reading anywhere between 1 ppm - and 5ppm. If no chlorine is added on the second day (tub not used), FC will definitely be zero, and CC will be 1 or less. On the third day, the water will have gone cloudy. When I added up all the Chlorine we used over a 4 month period, and divided the number of days, we average about 17-18 ppm chlorine per day.

    I am a OTR truck driver, so I am gone all week usually. I try to encourage my wife to add MORE chlorine, but alas, it is a waste of my breath. Also, she is incapable of doing a test. Well, she will do the test if it's a test strip, but I refuse to buy them, so when they ran out, that was the end of that. Sigh. I will admit that it is nice to not have to correct the PH after she has messed with it using those dip sticks. They seem to work alright for chlorine, but PH? Not so much.

    One other thing that I will mention, is the foam. Once a week, we run the jets and scoop out the foam/bubbles with a net for about 5-7 minutes. We also wipe down the edge water line with a towel at the same time. This removes some visible grime in the bubbles, makes the foam go away, and noticeably improves water clarity.


    It was 5.5 months later when we did our first water change, and I wonder if this had been too long of an interval. I shocked the chlorine levels to 60ppm, and added a tablespoon of ahh-some, and ran the jets for about an hour before I drained the tub. This did produce a fair amount of bubbles, and more grime than what I am used to seeing. We wiped the whole thing out before we filled it. The clarity improvement of the water was very noticeable, definitely more so than a usual bubble skim cleaning. Also, not the slightest bit of foam when running the air jets. I had never seen that before.


    Also, I'm curious about what we should be doing with filter maintenance. We have two of them. The main one we just spray out with the garden hose, but the smaller one with the silver chunks my wife says we are not supposed to touch. This smaller one is more expensive to buy (iirc), and seems to not be as durable. Yes, **** does get caught in it, and I always frown seeing that go back into the tub after cleaning the other one.

    My own personal feeling is that the silver and ozone are rather gimmicky, so I'd rather bypass these filter devices. There are warranty concerns however. I CAN tell you however that I won't be paying out money to have someone fix that stupid ozone generator. Can I just clip and wire nut off the wires that go to it?

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: 6 months in

    Ozonators can help oxidize CC as it forms but if they are run too long, they can actually consume more FC than desirable. The ozonator on my tub has long been disconnected. The small filter with metals is likely unnecessary as well as it will only add metals to your water over time and provide minimal antibacterial benefits. Either don't bother replacing or even empty the filter of metal media and reinstall if necessary.

    Another lurking problem could be biofilms. Even new spas can come packing biofilms which are essentially pockets of bacteria that are formed as films in the nooks and crannies of spa plumbing that are protected from FC oxidation by films formed around the mass. New spas have them simply because they are pressure tested with water and the water may sit in the plumbing, allowing a fertile ground for these films to form even before installation. You can remove these biofilms with surfactant (powerful detergent) products designed to remove them. The best reviewed product that I've used myself to do this is Ahh-some. It works great and will get those biofilms out of your plumbing, likely reducing chlorine demand. See my thread here from when I used it: Ahh-some treatment as well as product information here: Ahh-Some Water Cleanser, for pool, hut tub, jet bath, and washing machines The product can be found in some pool/spa stores or easily online through amazon.com

    You should regularly spray out the normal filter and if you do the ahh-some treatment, remove the filter and let it soak in the tub while you do the treatment. It will help the filter too. Also, periodically soaking filters overnight in hot water and dishwasher detergent can help get them clean again as well.

    EDIT:
    Looks like because my thread is old the images have been removed, but it was a bit startling how much yuck came out in the bubbles during the ahh-some treatment and made me very glad I did it.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: 6 months in

    The silver chunks are actually attached to the fabric like nature of the filter, so can't be removed. I will look into replacement filters. Perhaps something else is available.


    I did do the ahh-some treatment just before the water change. The amount of yuck wasn't all that bad IMO. I will update later to report if my chlorine demand has dropped post ahh-some treatment.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: 6 months in

    Review this clip on the Ahh-some page and see if you performed the decontamination process as they recommend?

    Ahh-Some Water Cleanser, for pool, hut tub, jet bath, and washing machines

    When concerned about water quality (from neglect both benign and deliberate) I have been using the Ahh-some then draining, refill and bring up to 50ppm FC and run all the pumps for an hour. Drain again and refill and enjoy!

    I think that a spa that is used as often as yours seems to be needs to be drained and refilled more like every 3 months rather than 6 months.


    addendum: cheapest source I've found for Ahh-some is via NewEgg.com
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: 6 months in

    yes, I did the treatment like in the video. Although, I added bleach (4 cups/60ppm) at the same time as adding the ahh-some product. I yielded I'd estimate 15-20% of what was shown in the video.


    I think that a spa that is used as often as yours seems to be needs to be drained and refilled more like every 3 months rather than 6 months.
    This may be true. However, it's going to be too cold for water changes here pretty soon. Probably will not be able to change again until sometime in March.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: 6 months in

    Quote Originally Posted by ant 83 View Post
    This may be true. However, it's going to be too cold for water changes here pretty soon. Probably will not be able to change again until sometime in March.
    This is the same situation I'm in. Right now it's either drain and refill or just drain until March/April.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: 6 months in

    or just drain until March/April.
    We have some friends who always drained and then added some type of antifreeze to theirs over the winter. It still froze, and leaked in the spring. This happened two years in a row. It's costly to have a plummer come out and fix these things.

    I don't know what they plan to do this year. We will be using ours this winter .

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: 6 months in

    I drained mine last fall with the intention of not filling until spring. Drained, blew out the lines with a shop vac and vacuumed water out of fittings. Ended up filling it up in late December in time for New Year's when we got a "heat wave" with no issues with leaks and cracks. Taking some time to drain and blow the lines out as much as possible should prevent cracking and leaks for those who chose to not keep it open all winter in our climate.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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