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Thread: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

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    Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Hi!

    I just bought a house with a hot tub. I know nothing about hot tubs. It's a Sundance Spa 6 person. It's been a month and no maintenance has been done, but the water still looks clear. I tested with some strips and based on my color test: pH is ok, CC is high, FC is zero, CYa is slightly high.

    1. With FC being zero for this long, is it possible to save the water and make it safe? I tried adding some chlorine granules but it didn't do anything.

    2. If so, would I need to shock it? With what? Bleach? MPS?

    3. Do you guys keep the spa on 24/7 at 100deg?

    4. Is it possible to have a chlorine spa if I don't want to add chemicals daily. I thought I'd be able to do it weekly but reading the forum it seems it takes daily work.

    Thanks in advance!!!

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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    I would sanitize it, but I'm probably a worry wart.
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    I will let the Hot tub pros chime in about what to do with the water. As for the bleach once you have an idea how much you need to add each day you can use a Stenner pump (a popular and reliable brand of peristaltic pump) and a timer to dose daily still need to test regularly to ensure you are not falling behind or putting too much in but it can cut down on some of the work.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    I'd say dump the water and start over, but before dumping add a spa cleanser such as Ahh-Some to the water to remove the residues from plumbing that I'm sure are present after lack of maintenance. Then start fresh using one of the methods in this forum (bromine or chlorine). There are great instructions in the sticky threads.

    I keep my spa at about 90 or so, then if I know I'm going to use it, I bump the temp up to 100. My spa has 3 operation modes: Standard, Economy and Sleep. If I'll be using the spa frequently, I'll leave it on standard, which means it constantly maintains the set temperature. More infrequently, then I'll either set the temp lower on standard or use Economy, which only follows the dedicated daily pump run time schedule and the water temp is what it is based on heat added during a normal 4 hour daily filtering cycle. If I won't be using it for quite a while, I'll go with Sleep mode, which will only run the pump and heat enough to keep the water from freezing. Chlorine demand is less in Economy mode and significantly less when the water temperature drops in Sleep mode. In standard mode, I have to stay on top of daily testing. Economy I can usually get by testing and dosing every other day, but for sure after each soak. Sleep mode I can go several days once the temperature has dropped.
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Thanks!!! It's so sad. I just read a long thread how pools can be turned from dark green of neglect to sparkling blue and still usable. Yet hot tubs have to be drain only after a few weeks of neglect. What gives hahah.

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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    15x54 swim & play vinyl metal wall AG
    Hayward S210T sand filter 1.5 HP Pentair Superflo vs
    Rheem raypak 130,000 BTU mv ng
    Jacuzzi 345 whirlpool bath
    TF-100 test kit, HM digital com100 Wanda the Whale

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Dan,

    Welcome

    I answered this partially in your other thread, Bleach. The answers above are all great. I would urge you to please read the sticky post How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)? as it contains a great deal of valuable information about using chlorine in your spa.

    I would also urge you to read this site carefully especially the articles in Pool School that relate to water chemistry. Since you are new to hot tubs and water management, you need to be really careful as hot tubs are not small pools and they behave very differently. You also need to get yourself a good, high quality test kit. Water test strips are, to say it kindly, worthless. This thread compares test kits - Test Kits Compared. For a spa I would suggest either a Taylor K-2006 or a TF-100 test kit. Taylor also sells other variations of it's test kits but you need to be able to measure pH, TA, FC, CC, CYA. Calcium Hardness (CH) is somewhat important depending on how hard your fill water is but it's not a test you need to perform often.

    Finally, looking forward, proper hot tub maintenance is a daily event. Eventually, you will get to know your hot tub and you may not need to test the water every day. Chlorinating your spa though will be a daily event, maybe every other day or so depending on how good you get at managing your water. There are no shortcuts or tricks here, water management is what it is and if you want clean and safe water, you have to spend time on it each day even if it's just 5mins to dump some bleach in.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    I plan on draining and refilling as others have mentioned since my FC is 0 for so long. However before i do, I want to SLAM the hot tub and get it to good levels, just for practice. Good idea right? It says I'll need 22oz of bleach which sounds like a lot. But fingers crossed!!

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Gonna run Ahh-Some before dumping?
    Hot Springs Sovereign (1999?)

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Yea I will ahhsome. Also, my quick strip test revealed my CYA was extremely high, like 200+. No wonder my FC wasn't increasing even with chlorine. At this point I have no choice but to drain and refill right?

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Quote Originally Posted by Danhottub View Post
    Yea I will ahhsome. Also, my quick strip test revealed my CYA was extremely high, like 200+. No wonder my FC wasn't increasing even with chlorine. At this point I have no choice but to drain and refill right?
    Not quite.

    Even with sky high CYA, a proper FC test would still register FC. The Taylor test reagents measure both the free chlorine (hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid) as well as chlorine bound to CYA (chlorinated cyanurates).

    What is likely happening with your vanishing FC is a common problem with test strips - they can't measure FC much above 5-10ppm before they bleach out. Also, with high FC, most of the other Tests (pH, TA, etc) are wrong as well because the high FC affects them as well.

    High CYA means lowers active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) levels which allows bacteria and algae to grow. This creates a huge FC demand and all of the FC you add gets used up by high pathogen levels. Since the active chlorine levels are so low, the disinfection kill rates are much lower than the bacterial and algal reproduction rates yielding a constantly depleted FC level.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    I would suggest you do not add any chemicals to the tub. It's merely a waste of time and money. Wait for your AhhSome to arrive as well as your test kit and then you can properly clean and balance your tub. Anything you add now is simply a waste.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    There's 2 types of ahh some. Plumbing and Jett cleaner for $29.95 for 2oz or pool clarifier and bio cleaner for $21 for 6oz. Which one is it?

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    You want Ahh Some for Hot tubs and Jetted baths, there are actually at least 5 Ahh Some products
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    This one is what you want and is at a ood price at Newegg.
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Thanks guys!! I'll orde from neweegg tonight. Too bad I'm in CA so I get charged tax by newegg. Lol

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Ok guys. I finally got my test kit, ahhsome, a sump pump to drain. I'm ready to decontaminate and drain.

    1. Per the decontamination directions, take chlorine to 100ppm then drain. I plan on draining into my sewer clean out. Will that be an issue?

    2. When do I put the ahhsome in. Same time I bleach to 100ppm with jets running?

    3. If I drain contaminated water with sump pump and hose, can I still use the pump and Jose for future drains or will it be too contaminated.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Not sure what the point is in wasting that chlorine in the beginning.

    I would simply follow the Ahh-some dosing instructions (1 level tsp per 100gal) and run the tub with a new water fill. No chlorine during the Ahh-some treatment. Be prepared with a shop vac to vacuum off scum-filled foam (makes clean up easier). Make sure when you drain that you take care of the Ahh-some induced scum ring ASAP. Wipe the tub out with some Clorox cleaning spray (bleach & water basically).

    Depending on how much goop the first Ahh-some treatment produces, you may opt for a second but it is typically not necessary. I would do a second fill and drain with fresh water just to clear the pipes of any residual Ahh-some.

    Once you get to your 3rd fill, follow the instruction on how to use chlorine in a hot tub. You DO NOT NEED TO CHLORINATE TO 100ppm! That's ridiculously high and can damage your tub. Just follow instruction for starting up a tub using the dichlor-then-bleach method. A 10ppm FC Shock should be more than sufficient to kill anything but how long that takes depend on your FC loss rate. A good clean hot tub with no bather load and operating at ~90F should only see a 25% FC loss per 24hrs.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Oh, so I don't have to decontaminate it first? I wonder why other threads say to decontaminate first.

    Is there any way to avoid buying a shop vac? I'm poor

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Hot Tub unmaintained for month

    Yeah, the ShopVac is just a "nice to have" option. The Ahh-some is going to create a fair bit of foam in the tub (please DO NOT USE more than the recommended amount, it is very powerful stuff), so sucking away the foam while the scum from the pipes is still floating in it helps. Otherwise, you run the jets for the prescribed treatment time and then you let the water sit and wait for the foam to subside so you can properly clean it all out.

    The Ahh-some is going to strip away most of the mess. The second step of starting up the tub with chlorine will do all the decontamination you need. Adding chlorine first is a waste because, if biofilms are present, they are only very slowly attacked by chlorine and can resist chlorine sanitation. This is why bacteria form biofilms - they are like the piggies in the brick house and chlorine is the big bad wolf. The biofilm is very impervious to chlorine, so it doesn't really do much if you use it first. Once the Ahh-some strips away the biofilms, then any remaining bacteria will be completely killed by the chlorine start-up process.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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