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Thread: Oily Spa

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    Chatabox's Avatar
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    Oily Spa

    Hi,

    I brought a house late last year that had a swim spa. First time owning a spa and have never owned a pool. So it's been a big learning curve. It's taken a while, but we have finally found the right mix of chemicals that works for our family. The spa stays pretty clear, and I take it to the pool shop to be tested once a fortnight. And it's remaining pretty balanced.

    My issue is that it has a lot of oil over the top of the spa. This is the second time it has done this, and it's very frustrating. Water here is incredibly expensive. So I can't dump the water every time it gets oily. But this is the timeline so far.

    House was brought with spa empty, but dirty with leaf matter ect and a little bit of dirty rain water as there were no covers on it.

    Picked up rubbish from inside spa. Water-blasted out the spa, scrubbed to remove any buildup with cleaners. Replaced disgusting filters and replaced with brand new. Water-blasted the spa again, quarter filled and emptied to drain any sudsy water.

    Filled spa, shocked and allowed to heat. Maintained for 3 months with bromine system. Water started getting really foamy. Was unaware of the oils on the top but I'm certain looking back that they were there. Put through a clarifier which made the yucky green foam that could be scooped up. But we weren't required to empty the spa. It was right for another month.

    Got foamy again (like dishwashing liquid in the pool) and run the clarifier through again. This time it didn't work so well, and the foam stayed. It's about now that we noticed the oils. The more oils there was, the foamier it got. But was unable to scoop the oils up. We lasted a few more weeks with the foam.

    Finally got sick of the foam, so ran a full degreaser through the spa and pipes and emptied. Scrubbed it out as per the instructions on the degreaser/spa cleaner. Flushed all the pipes with a hose, refilled. (Refill done with half tank water, half town water)

    Shocked spa again, heated. Spa looks clear and no oils present on the surface. It maintains it clarity for about a month before the oils start coming back. It's originally very hard to see, but it's slowly getting worse and worse. Last night we had a slightly more foamy spa then usual, with the bubbles being hard to dissipate. It was only refilled 2 months ago.

    We brought a scum bug, but it's not really working.

    We think my partner is the culprit as he works in a workshop and is very sweaty. I've mentioned that he might need to have a shower before getting in, but he forgets.

    Is there anything I can do to remove the oils and eventually the foam without emptying the spa again?










    Spa Details:

    -5900 litre swim spa
    -Heated to 37 degrees celsius year round.
    -Spa about 5 years old
    -Automatically filters for 6 hours a day (via solar panels) and also at night whenever we use it
    -Usage anywhere from 2-4 times a week
    -Ozonator
    -Nature2 mineral sanitiser
    -Aqua Health Ultra Shock (non chlorine based shock) dosed 2x weekly
    -Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage
    -Chemical balancing approx fortnightly/monthly depending on spa clarity
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa

    Welcome to the forum

    I know exactly what your talking about, mine did the same exact thing until I found this forum.. My problem was the spa was not balanced. no matter what I did the oil and then the water would start to foam and no matter what I did I could not get it back...

    Good news following these directions work, I have not had foam or oil in 3 years. You will need a great test kit.. that has been the problem unitil lately, here is a place you can order from, yes they are expensive but they have all the needed test this will allow you to take control of your spa.
    Clear Choice Labs Simple. Accurate. Fast.
    Kits Clear Choice Labs

    How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)?)

    2 years ago I switched to a SWG and love it, it works so much better (because it is always working) and you are in the land of SWG, they have been used and accepted much longer than here. You basically have a small pool going there You do need an always on circulation pump (I think your has one but not sure)

    there a many companies that would work for you and below are 2, we recommend 2 to 4 times the size so they will work much longer
    CPSC Series Self Cleaning - Compu Pool Products - Technology in harmony with nature
    Compu-Pool CPSC 08 - 10, 000 litres (3,000 Gallons)
    Compu-Pool CPSC 16 - 60, 000 litres (16,000 Gallons)

    AutoChlor Residential | Salt chlorinators - Salt water pool systems - AIS Water
    AUTOCHLOR RP7 SERIES - AIS Water

    Let us know what you would like to do and we should be able to get you going
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Chatabox's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa

    Ideally I'd like to spend as little as possible. So at this point switching to salt is probably out of the equation. But I'm spending a small fortune at the pool shop, and it has to stop! I see a lot of pool test kit recommendations, but I assume it's an American company. So I will look into your Australian link further.

    My only concern is that my partner has Asthma that flares up around too much chlorine. He also has severe burns on a good portion of his body. So too much chemicals are something we have been treading lightly with. Hence the nature2 and non-chlorine based sanitiser. (The spa came with the ozonator as standard)

    I would like to get rid of them and move to the chlorine treatments this forum recommends. But it's mostly in pools. I can't find many recommendations for spas.
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa

    I have been maintaining my hot tub for years using this process. The proper CYA level buffers the harshness of the chlorine considerably and make the hot tub great. I also add epsom salts to the tub.

    How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Oily Spa

    most people react with badly done chlorine pools, it is most likely the CC (combined chlorine) that he is having a reaction with (the bad smell at waterparks/pools)

    Bromine will work but you will still need to have a good test kit, the problem up to now is you have no idea what your water is doing. here is a link for bromine recommendations.

    How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?)

    I agree on the small fortune I was there... Just to give you an idea what I spent on my hot tub chemicals in the last 8 months with my hot tub, ready for this about 5 dollars, 1 time this winter I had a .5 CC and I took my FC level up to 10 for 48 hours using bleach and about 3 capfulls of muriatic acid to bring the PH down... no more oil, scum, slimy walls, foam, you name it I had it the last straw when I found TFP is when I got white mold going in my filter.
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Oily Spa

    Our tub develops foam over time as well. I take a pool net, and scoop it off about once a week. Run the air jets, and scoop foam for about ten minutes, and then there is isn't really anymore foam to scoop after that. Doing this produces a noticeable improvement in water clarity.

    I'll reiterate the other comments that a test kit for chlorine/bromine and PH are essential tools that every spa owner absolutely needs to have and use.

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    Chatabox's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa





    Thanks for all the advice. Going to get a pool testing kit today. Newbie question. The magnetic stirrer, does it need anything else to work? Like a magnet underneath it?
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Re: Oily Spa

    you need the stirrer that it goes with, and they are awesome you will wonder how you did anything before you had it..below is the one we get here, not sure if it is the same there.

    TFTestkits.net

    If you can not find one there you can make one

    Build Your Own Stir Plate
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Oily Spa

    Hmm. That shop doesn't provide the plate. The cheapest one I can find here is over $150! Wow. Might need to see if I can get someone in the US to buy me the linked one, or maybe see about making one.
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Re: Oily Spa

    Just thinking that as we use mostly non-chlorine based chemicals at the moment, it doesn't retain any chlorine level. So the test would only give half results at the moment. But really want to phase out and use bleach. So much cheaper!
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa

    TFTestkits.net

    I wonder how much it would be to ship.....email them and ask.

    Kim (one day I will have one of those)
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Chatabox's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa

    I can't. I'm in Australia. They don't do international shipping. I've tried.
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Oily Spa

    Thanks. I'll check it out. I may have found a local company to get my test kit from, but I'm after a stir plate. I'm just too uncoordinated to hold and stir and drop at the same time. I guarantee something will go wrong! I'm thinking of getting this kit:





    It has everything I need, and it's sooooo pretty. (Thanks CowboyCasey!)

    Had a spa last night, and the oils are getting worse. Not enough to hold foam if the jets aren't running, but it won't take long.

    Debating going into the pool shop for one of their tests to see if I can get an indication on what's happening.
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Re: Oily Spa

    That is a very nice test kit but someone else found it there and let everyone here know

    Here the pool stores are not very good at testing "at all" but some are... We usually just recommend waiting until you get you a good test kit... what they usually get close is metals, and I just noticed you have a nature 2 mineral, if you can get them to test everything along with metals it will help.. Metals will do some crazzy things when chlorine is added, the metal tests may give us a differant route to use...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Chatabox's Avatar
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    Oily Spa

    I'm wanting to get rid of it, but we just brought the stick and chemicals (not the one plumbed into the spa, just the replaceable one) and it was all so expensive. My spas never been clearer, so the method works. It's just the oil build up that's confusing me.

    But I like simple, and I like cheap! So this method is really appealing to me.
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Oily Spa

    Thank you! I didn't look under replacement parts, so I thought they didn't have it. It didn't come up in the search function either. Eek! Ordering today.
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Chatabox's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa





    Ouch! It costs more to send it, then it does to buy. I was excited for the $5 shipping for a moment!
    5900 litre or 1558 gal above ground swim spa. Approx 5 years old and heated to 37 degrees celsius year round. Cartridge filter, ozonator, Nature2 mineral sanitiser, Aqua Health non chlorine based shock, Lithium Hypochlorite dosed at each spa usage. Filled using mostly stored rainwater from tanks, and town water when the tanks are drained.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Oily Spa

    OUCH for sure! I would have to ask about that!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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