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Thread: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

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    bbrock's Avatar
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    Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Morning TFPers!

    We have a 300 gal. above ground spa that I maintain with bromine. In 2014, having followed the thread here on using/starting up a spa with a bromide bank, shocking it weekly with chlorine and after usage, and doing my best to maintain the water chem, the water is still clear. Sure, after running the jets on high, it takes slightly longer for the water to go clear vs. from when the water was fresh, but it still clears regardless. But, I do know that with a smaller body of heated 100+ degree water that it was recommended to drain/refill every 3-4 months, if I recall correctly. Is that really necessary? Or, is that just a general guideline based on spas that see frequent usage?

    I am a conservationist, but a realist as well. I don't want to waste water, but will replace it if necessary. Just thought I would post this to get others opinions. FWIW, we don't frequently use the spa. I am pretty much the only one who uses it regularly, and at that it is about 1x (maybe 2x) per week. I know the spas usage will change when our kids are older.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    If you're using it infrequently and maintaining consistently sanitized water, you can stretch a fill for quite a long time. That's the only way I'm able to get from October to May with my spa, before refilling. I'd rather not be dumping and refilling the spa when it's 40 degrees or less outside. However, I do drain and refill in May and usually again in September/October, so I have a clean fill heading into the winter. Once a year I do an Ahh-some treatment, usually in May. Our spa use is likely the same or less than yours on average, 1x a week. The only thing I don't like about refilling is the constant acid additions for several days to bring my TA down from 120-140 in the fresh fill water.

    Enough rambling... if it's been that long, I'd change the water and give everything a deep cleaning. I don't have any hard data for you but my water tends to get a bit "dull" and feels much better after I change it spring and fall. Could be a mental thing for me, but knowing it's clean is a good feeling.

    EDIT: I do also notice a bit higher chlorine demand in the spring but at that point throughout the winter the FC has dropped to zero a couple times here and there, the filter needs a cleaning so the very infrequent lapses in chemistry management are likely the issue.
    Last edited by JVTrain; 04-28-2016 at 10:31 AM. Reason: spring chlorine demand
    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: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    I usually drain mine about once a year, whether it needs it or not, in the fall right before prime hot tub season. Can't remember if I did last fall though.
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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    JvTrain--I also have an issue with high TA/PH upon a fresh fill. Takes days to get the TA down. I feel your pain. But, the fresh water is worth it!!
    18 foot round AG vinyl 9,000 gallon pool, Hayward Perflex 1 hp pump, DE filter. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit. Pool new July, 2014.

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    I suspect you will be surprised how good fresh water feels, it is hard to put a finger on it, but recently changed spa water just feels better to me, and I change my out about 3 times per year even when there has been little use.
    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: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Just saw responses now. Not sure why I don't get notified when my selection is to receive instant notification by email. Any superusers/moderators know?

    Let me read through the above. Tx.

    Edit:
    Okay, just read through posts. Tx again.

    Freshwater does sound great, but at the cost/environment impact of doing it 3x per yr, that "good" feeling is not worth it. However, pushing this out 2 yrs may mean it is due for it, or overdue for it. Joel, and I assuming you others, it sounds like you are running chlorine though. I use bromine, so not sure if that impact the frequency of changes at all. Probably not, as it sounds like water clarity is more so affected by usage/user load.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    I live in the Northeast, so refill in May and October to avoid refilling in freezing temps. Use just bleach (and PH down when needed) most of the time.Have added borates as well. Everything I have read says to change water at least 2-3 times/year.
    18 foot round AG vinyl 9,000 gallon pool, Hayward Perflex 1 hp pump, DE filter. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit. Pool new July, 2014.

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    If you can use the water in your yard, then it is not being wasted. Just a thought.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Yes, everything I've read also noted to change two to three times a year, but then I had also learned to change if/when water is cloudy. Well, my spa water is not cloudy, so why not let it ride was my thought.

    When I had to do a partial drain/fill of my pool a couple of years ago after we purchased here, I used some of that water on the surrounding landscaping. It didn't work too well as those plants/grass areas did not thrive. But, good thought though.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    I suspect you will be surprised how good fresh water feels, it is hard to put a finger on it, but recently changed spa water just feels better to me, and I change my out about 3 times per year even when there has been little use.
    Indeed, you can see and feel the water sparkle after a refill! I think there is too much bad stuff in the water after using it for 3 - 4 months that the filter does not get rid off.

    I have a 1500 liter hottub and I use it quite a lot, all year round. I aim for 3 - 4 refills a year. I do not use bromite, you can not buy that here. I use Aquafinesse and that works for me just fine.
    Sunspa Monaco in the garden since March 2011.

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Tx for the reply Siska. Did not get notice of the response ever though. Something must be going on even though I have my TFP settings to instantly notify me of responses to selected threads.

    Anyhow, what are you referring to regarding "too much bad stuff?" My theory is that if I keep regularly sanitized, never let my bromine level drop below 4 (aim 4 -6, but usually ends up being about), and shock 1x/week, then I should be okay. Yes, I could tell the water is older and I after reading the posts here I most likely will perform a drain/refill soon, but for sake of discussion, there really can't be any "bad stuff" if all that bad stuff is dead d/t appropriate sanitization.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Otter86753, did I miss something? I don't understand ur post.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    You asked a couple of questions that have gone unanswered for three days and I was giving you a bump to see if someone would answer.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Tx Otter86753. That is great. Much appreciated! Tx.
    B
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Hey JVTrain, RNDebbieRose, all others. So I did a drain/refill on Sun. Amazing how clear the water is. Have not used it though. I thought I got my chemicals in line, but I am having second thoughts now. Also did AhhSome tx JVTRAIN and that is some dang strong stuff. Got out some floaty's didn't even know were in there. Lovely, (said with sarcasm!). Least I know it's clean and good to go now. Cleaned everything afterwards with bleach solution, including the cover on the inside. All nice.

    Originally my TA was at 90, and pH was away greater than 8.2 prior to adding my Na Bromide. So, the first thing I did was try to get the pH in line by adding 31.45% MA. After multiple additions and retesting got the pH down to probably 7.6–7.8. Forgot that the TA would be affected and checked that. Then it looks like my TA was 60. What seem to work previously to prevent the pH dropping too quick because bromine is acidic, was to keep a TA at 100. So, I added sodium carbonate/baking soda to bring it up. OK retest, TA at 100 or 110 if I recall. OK, then retest pH. Level >8.2 again. Decided I'm not going to get caught in the cat and mouse game and just put in my sodium bromide and start my reserves. Then I shocked it with chlorine to activate it. Threw in my bromine floater, and thought I was good to go. But, I was not/have not been able to use do to time commitments.

    So questions are, how do I deal with this TA/pH dance? Since it is an acrylic spa above ground, does pH even really matter that much or can I go in if it's greater than 7.8, even >8.2?

    Lastly, was starting my bike commute today to work, but took a spill. Serious road rash all on my right arm and right leg. While I would not go in prior to the drain and refill due to the bacteria even though it was always sanitized, is it not advisable to go into the spa (bromine) when you have some open skin abrasions? I know bromine, probably chlorine as well, is carcinogenic at extreme levels. But if it enters your bloodstream it's probably a bad thing, right? So would you avoid using if you had some road rash/abrasions? I'm just dying to use it after this work week.

    P.S. RNDebbieRose, I assume you are an RN. Nice to meet a fellow RN.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    On the pA, pH dance... I don't have a lot of experience with bromine sanitation using tablets or the 3 step method from the sticky thread. I have only done the 2-step method where bleach is used for chlorination after establishing a sufficient bromine bank. I did not have falling pH problems, I had fairly stable pH once my TA was about 60 ppm and pH rise when the TA was any higher.

    I would not be concerned about bromine or chlorine entering the bloodstream in any meaningful quantity from and open wound or abrasion. It's more likely that the chlorine or bromine would react with or oxidize an organic compound on your skin or on the scrape before even having a chance to enter your bloodstream. It would actually be good for the wound to get rinse with water and some of the bacteria on the surface killed by the water. Probably not best the most appealing condition for anyone else in the spa with you, but good for you solo!
    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: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Indeed I am an RN Always glad to meet a fellow nurse as well
    I have never used bromine, but when I refilled my tub for the first time (I've had mine less than a year, ready to drain and refill again when I get a new filter) I also had issues with very high PH and TA, and had to keep adding PH down to get them both WNL. Lower TA =less PH rise! I usually have to adjust PH once a week in my hot tub. It often climbs to 8. I also added borates. That ahhsome is good stuff, used it last time, and plan to use it again when I change the water this time.
    18 foot round AG vinyl 9,000 gallon pool, Hayward Perflex 1 hp pump, DE filter. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit. Pool new July, 2014.

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    Re: Water still good after 2 years, but should I drain/fill just based on time?

    Tx for the replies. I assume using chlorine in a spa would be the same like in my pool in that I would also see the pH naturally climb as the water becomes more alkaline. It is the opposite with using bromine, in that it becomes more acidic. But, with currently, with my fresh water from the drain/refill, I am not seeing that as much. I am assuming that is b/c it is new water and I have not activated as much of my bromide bank.

    The water feels very nice; glad I changed it. Tx for all the help everyone.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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