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Thread: SOLVED: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Fixed with Ahh-Some!

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    Exclamation SOLVED: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Fixed with Ahh-Some!

    Okay - long story, will try bullet points to get my point across. Looking for some direction and I always re-find my way here
    I have a Jacuzzi J345 tub that is 4 years old this October.
    I use the dichlor / bleach method.
    I do a clean and fill twice a year - Spring after it warms up and Fall right before it stays below 40.
    I always use SeaKlear Spa Flush, dump the tub, refill - add dichlor to 20ppm, dump again, refill and balance.
    I always use ProTeam Gentle Spa to add 50ppm of Borates at the end and re-balance again.
    The tub, since my last clean fill in April or May has only been used 2-3 times total. We keep up on the chemicals and check the levels every three days. Over the last two months, the water has had a musty smell that "sticks" to your skin if you dip your arm in taking a water sample. It has gone to a FC of 0 for a day or two at most maybe two or three times - but with nobody using the tub at all. The lid is not hardly opened at all except to check the water.

    Here was my plan that has cause me a minor stroke:
    i emptied the tub on Monday (9/5) and did not use any SeaKlear. My intention was to just refill and re-balance and change the filter to get rid of the smell. When I started to refill the tub by the sticking the hose into left filter hole with the grid, yellow colored water came out of the port for 10-15 seconds in to the bottom of the tub after a few seconds of the water running - not solid, but murky, like a chicken soup color yellow. The bottom of the tub water was noticeably yellow colored after it filled for a bit. I stopped the fill - dropped the pump back in and pumped it out. I then decided to fill the tub all the way up, didn't see anymore yellow, and added SeaKlear Spa Flush. Brown / Black / Dark Red scum lines around the tub immediately. Kept wiping them off with a paper towel so I didn't put it back into the water and it would come back. I ran high jets with air on. When it dried slightly around the tub it was a black / dark brown sludge - reminded me of tar. I let the tub set all night and ran it a few time here and there before bed. Went to work Tuesday and let the tub set - it cycles every 6 or 8 hours and was planning on emptying it Tuesday night.

    A family emergency came up and I could not empty it that night. I had my wife check it and no scum line, but the water was cloudy blue from the SeaKlear and if you reach your hand into the tub, below the water line, the was a film on the inside of the tub on everything. Not like sandpaper, but rough. It wiped off with minimal elbow grease - but was on everything below the water line.

    So it sat until Wednesday night where I could flush and wipe it down to remove the film. I added some more SeaKlear prior to dumping it and and some bleach - no effect on the film - so i used a microfiber towel and wiped away. Started to refill the tub and after about 5 inches of water in the bottom of the tub, my water has a noticeable green tint. I pump it out - do it again - about 3 times. Finally let it fill up all way and still has a green hue to it. Added 5 oz of 8.5% bleach to it and cycled it - nothing. PH was at 7.0 so i added PH + and took it to 7.8. Still green. Added 8 oz of SeaKlear and brown / red scum started to appear in the foam. My wife commented that it looked like someone threw up in the tub and it was just floating there. So I cycled it two times, added about 100ppm of bleach and cycled it for 30 minutes and the drained it. Refilled it and you can see little specks of red and black settled on the seats an bottom of the tub - could not get a good read on if it was still tinted green. With the outside lights on and the tubs lights on - it did appear to, so I will look tonight. I also add 10ppm dichlor to the tub and cycled it and left it for the night.

    My plan, if the water is clear, was to dump it one more time, do a clean fill and balance. (it wasn't clear - still tinted green)
    My minor stroke is, what happened? Am I safe to use the tub? If the water isn't clear - what is going on? I'm an engineer and I keep records everytime I open the tub and what was added, etc. The FC to 0 a couple of times was due to business trips and burning through the bleach faster, My CYA was also about 60 a couple of months ago which will hurt my longevity of the bleach - but can I get a helping hand please?
    Any and all help is appreciated - and needed! I'm afraid I ruined my tub -

    *************
    9/8:


    So I got home tonight and water is tinted a Lima bean green color. Ph was 7.5 and TA was 240. FC was 9.8 so maybe my teaspoon measurement or left over super chlorinated water kept it up there. I have not put in clean filters yet so I am running without filters - didn't know if it would contaminate them. The other set I took out is soaking in cascade and hot water (1 cup to 5 gallons).
    I had some dark red sediment at the bottom of the tub - but not a lot.

    I decided to do the decontamination portion of lowering TA to 80 and PH to 7.2 and then shocking to 50ppm with bleach. I'll do that and then refill and chlorinate to 10 ppm and let it sit overnight.
    There is still a brown scum line not as bad but there.
    Any input would help! Thanks.
    ***Edit - had to stop. Storm moved in and I left the tub at TA 110 and PH 7.8 and FC 9.8. Will continue more tomorrow night ***
    Should I put in the filters? I didn't want to contaminate them.

    I have never had this issue. Usually I do a SeaKlear Flush, dump, refill, cholrinate, dump, and refill and balance - all with no color issues AT ALL!

    Would Ahh-Some work better on this SeaKlear? Appreciate any and all help!

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    I am not sure from your description, but I suspect you have metals in your fill water, most likely iron is involved, possibly also copper, the iron will make the water turn yellow (which can look green if the shell of the tub is blue), or copper can make the water look green. This color is caused by Chlorine oxidizing the metals that are dissolved in the water, then when the pH shifts these metals try to drop out of solution as small particles, if this is the case those red/brown dots are spots of iron rust.
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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    If I do have metals in my water, this would be the first time in four years. My tub shell color is white with silver / gray swirls in it. I definitely have / had some nasty stuff in the pipes and I got a lot of brown gunk after the SeaKlear flush. Before that when i just wanted to dump and refill the water the first time and put the hose in to refill it the water filled for about three inches and then spewed a bright yellow liquid that turned all the water in the bottom of the tub a murky yellow.

    I suspect I had or have some contamination, but this color thing is weird and it looks like there is a fine film on top of the water.

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Wellis EveRest Premium 412 gal Spa 2016. 3 x cartridge filters, 2 x 3HP 2 speed & 2 x 2HP 1 speed hydro massage pumps, 0,1kW Laing sirculation pump, 3kW heating unit, 300W + 300W hot air blower, UV-C. LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 (gen3).

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lay View Post
    Your article / blog is what got me asking the question. So I now ordered some to be over-nighted here tomorrow (Saturday). The black / brown is what I have seen on my tub walls. I will purge my tub again tonight with my last 12oz of SeaKlear and refill and try the Ahh-Some tomorrow when it arrives. My question is now, do I clean the filters in my spa water dosed with Ahh-Some or a separate bucket? The other part of the article that confused me is this:

    "I installed my clean filters into their normal positions. With my spa still dosed with Ahh-Some, and releasing no new material I fired up the jets and grabbed my camera again. Instantly, new accumulations began to form, as this photo (below) of my filter compartment shows. This material had been lurking in my filters!"

    So the CLEAN filters were installed into a tub that Ahh-Some already in the water - but not producing anymore deposits.

    As the minutes passed, the new (but small) accumulations released from the filters appeared on the vessel walls as well

    This result is strong evidence I had just removed biofilms from my filters, although I didn't prove that with a sanitizer demand test: The important thing was that Ahh-some had released new material. Good thing I had chlorine in the water! Now, my dilemma was what to do with this material? Should I drain again? I adjusted my experiment again with another working hypothesis: The amount of material released from my filters was small, compared to previous contaminant releases. To test this hypothesis, I decided to wipe up the material released from the filters with a soft, micro fiber cloth, rinsing frequently in a separate solution of Ahh-Some, instead of draining the spa. This technique worked: after several wipe-rinse-wait cycles, and approximately 30 minutes, I achieved a clean spa with filters installed, still dosed with Ahh-some.


    So you just wiped the residue off the walls of the tub, and waited for there to be no more deposits. There is still Ahh-Some in the water and you are using the tub and didn't drain it? That means you are soaking in Ahh-Some laced water? Won't the filters get gunked up by this? I realized it may clean them with the Ahh-Some infused water, but the reside would still come back around to the filters correct?

    Just looking for some clarification. I would think that if the water was dosed was Ahh-Some and no residue came out, you would still have to purge the tub to get rid of the chemicals from the Ahh-Some, then do a refill and balance. The filters are my concern - how do you not get them gunked up?

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    It is not my article / blog. I just happened to read it not too long time ago and it had SeaKlear vs. Ahh-Some comparison.

    I had some biofilm from factory wet test and maybe even some manufacturing byproducts in my hot tub plumbing that I could not get rid off with shock threatment. I got that stuff out with Ahh-Some. No more scum line after that.

    About the filters and purge....

    I removed the filters, rinsed and placed inside the hot tub water with ahh-some.

    You have to drain it after the ahh-some (even if you get no residue) and rinse thoroughly with fresh water (allso the filters). The sticky gunk needs to be cleaned off the interior. Some people say that you get foaming if you don't rinse it properly and ahh-some residue is left in the tub.

    Detailed instructions can be found from the ahh-some website.
    Wellis EveRest Premium 412 gal Spa 2016. 3 x cartridge filters, 2 x 3HP 2 speed & 2 x 2HP 1 speed hydro massage pumps, 0,1kW Laing sirculation pump, 3kW heating unit, 300W + 300W hot air blower, UV-C. LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 (gen3).

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Hi all sorry to jump in on something as a first post, but yes the above boisediesel.com blog is mine. Orion6192 has raised some good points which I will use to update my blog post:

    1. no, I never advocate USING (sitting in) the hot tub while it is dosed with ahh-some. My blog shows that I ran my spa dosed with ahh-some but releasing no new material. that was to show that no contaminants were present in the spa before I re-installed CLEANED filters into their normal positions for an additional test. that test (re-installing the cleaned filters) showed that even after cleaning with an industry standard filter de-greaser, Ahh-some still removed a bunch of stuff from the filters.

    2. As the label directions say, remove the filters before dosing with Ahh-Some. thats because the large amount of material released by ahh-some may clog up the filters. the reason in (1) above that I installed my filters into their normal positions for the experiment was because that risk no longer existed -- the spa itself was clean and the filters cleaned with a de greaser.

    3. yes I am a fan of putting the filters into the vessel while dosed with Ahh-some, in order to "purge" the filters too. my experiment just showed that commonly-available de-greaser routine may not be, and probably isn't, effective. with the jets running and filters loose in the spa, they may interfere with normal water flow, so one suggestion is to put the filters on a section of PVC pipe so that they don't all gather in front of the skimmer weir.

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    I use the cascade dishwasher detergent (1 cup to 5 gallons) and soak for a couple of days. Is this enough of a degreaser if I plan to soak them in Ahh-Some also in the tub - assuming we get to a clean tub?

    Thanks -

    Appreciate the clarification on the blog and the replies from all!

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    I'm sure that would be fine .

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Did my first flush with Ahh-Some and got some brown gunk in the foam and along the water line. Drained, wiped refilled. A lighter shade of green this time - more of a mint green. Took a water sample to be tested and TA 200 and PH7.6 and iron .2. No other metals showed up.

    I'll be doing another flush of course - but the green hue has me and the spa stumped. They said I may still have something in my lines that could be causing it - but nothing showed up on the test.

    Thoughts?

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Did u use a metal sequestrant?

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    No... I don't have access to any unless Lowes or Walmart may have something. I did another Ahh-Some purge and got more brown gunk, but not like last time. Did a refill an hour ago right after and still mint green water. I'll do one more purge to see if I get anymore brown stuff. I bought a hose attached filter to use that is supposed to filter out metals and other stuff. That'll be my next step - getting frustrated. The green just won't go away. .2 isn't high for iron. Nothing else showed up.

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    This morning I have a scum ring around the tub again after sitting with a clean fill and half a cup of bleach. The water is green / brown. Completely clear - but almost a light tea color but more on the green side. Another purge being that I am still getting stuff.


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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    It does sound like metals (in addition to biofilm/scum from the pipes). They can color the water without making it cloudy.

    Iron can make the water brown, amber or even green hue.
    Wellis EveRest Premium 412 gal Spa 2016. 3 x cartridge filters, 2 x 3HP 2 speed & 2 x 2HP 1 speed hydro massage pumps, 0,1kW Laing sirculation pump, 3kW heating unit, 300W + 300W hot air blower, UV-C. LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 (gen3).

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Just did another purge and got more brown stuff - but far less. The interesting part is once I skim the crud off the top of the water it's crystal clear and has the blue tint to it - no green. I also did a control bucket and filled it with my source water and some Ahhh-Some and absolutely nothing but clear white foam so the brown is definitely from the tub. Ugh!


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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lay View Post
    It does sound like metals (in addition to biofilm/scum from the pipes). They can color the water without making it cloudy.

    Iron can make the water brown, amber or even green hue.
    If it were metals - would they color the water green instantly? I cannot reproduce it in a 5 gallon bucket or a large 30quart cooler - both of which have white shells. Idk.

    on to purge number 5

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by orion6192 View Post
    If it were metals - would they color the water green instantly? I cannot reproduce it in a 5 gallon bucket or a large 30quart cooler - both of which have white shells. Idk.

    on to purge number 5
    I believe it is the chlorine that reacts with metals and it is not instant reaction.

    I'm shure that other TFP users know more about how metals react in pool water and can explain it better.

    Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains
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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    What catches me off about this is that the water is tinted green in the tub before any chlorine is added. Maybe it left over in the pipes as it fills but really? Onto purge #6. I got a little more brown out this again and stuck to side of the tub. Not just a scum line but some black flecks and residue. Nothing like when I started. I guess I'll keep at it.

    Anyone recommend a metal remover / neutralizer?


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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    I think you gotta keep purging (with ahhsome and bleech)until you no longer get a result and as long as the green tint keeps improving. The evidence appears strong that the source of this problem is inside your equipment

    on edit: do you get the green tint without any circulation -- just filling the tub? if that's the case, and subsequent purges do not improve the tint, then maybe the shell itself is introducing the tint.

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    Re: Hot Tub Green Water Color Issue After Clean Fill - Help!

    I hate to see a thread go dark with no conclusion because it doesn't help anyone looking for similar answers to their problems. So I will update where I am in this journey - who would have thought it would have been this difficult!
    I'm going to jump to 9/13 because all the above info leads into this.
    So at this point, I have been working on this tub since 9/5 - Labor Day - 9 days. SeaKlear flush until clean and then the green yellow water started.

    So 9/13 - I had been using Ahh-Some purge after purge and on this day I was at purge #6. Add it to the tub, run with all jets and air, 5ppm of bleach added, wipe off scum line after foam settles, and skim off the floating scum, drop in my pump and drain and rinse / wipe the tub. This time I only got a little brown deposit in the foam that showed up as a tan swirl. I felt I was good to go and refilled the tub and it filled up what appeared to clear water finally - no tint. Set the temp to 101F added dichlor 10ppm and let it sit over night and wanted to check it in the AM to make sure it was going to stay clear - no color. 9/14 - Next morning, clear water finally! Reach in the tub and my walls were like sandpaper - and it didn't want to wipe off very easily with a microfiber. Never had this issue. My CH is high 320 and my TA is 220. I have never use a scale or stain inhibitor - never had this issue. So I let the tub while I was at work and it had gotten more build up - not visible, but tactile. So I balanced my tub and thought if it sat over night it would loosen or dissolve the build-up. Oh the ignorance. I also remembered that I had a brown swirl during the last Ahh-Some purge so I made the choice to take my crystal clear balanced water and do one more Ahh-Some purge and then dump it. While I was dumping it I did a 50/50 of white vinegar and water and washed the walls - worked amazing - no scale on the tub walls anymore. In the pipes, heater, etc. - probably. So that made purge #7 - and I got some more gunk out and wiped, rinsed and refilled - to yellow green water! I added some dry acid at this point to drop the TA a little and left them temp at 65 and went to bed. Next morning green yellow water still so I added another dose of Ahh-Some and let it run and then soak all day while I was at work and drove an hour to get some Scale and Stain inhibitor.


    9/15 - Got home from work, a significant amount of brown stuff - but not out of control or unsuspecting. Frustrated beyond all recognition at his point - not because the tub had more brown gunk, but it seemed like I wasn't gaining either. The SeaKlear didn't produce any more brown after the first two flushes. I had been communicating with Doug over email (dlleno) and he kept me directed toward the repeated purging - which without his pushing me I'm not sure I would have kept it up this long, so thanks! But having and engineering background I called Unique Solutions (makers of Ahh-Some) and nobody answered... but guess what - caller ID and Jerry called me back without leaving a message. Ahh-Some is his product. I spoke with him for over 20 minutes and explained everything to him from soup to nuts about what I had been doing and he told me to stop.

    Stop? My water is clear, but tinted green. Jerry said I have probably gotten near the end of the what I could clean with over 4 years of build-up and using SeaKlear, which he acknowledged was a good product. He believes his product cleans deeper. My issues are that he says I am wasting product by doing flush after flush at this point. He said to leave the tub filled with the clear green tinted water. Take 2oz of Ahh-Some and dilute it in 128oz (1 gallon) of water and make sure its fully dissolved. Balance the tub, add dicholor if that is what i am using, I also added scale and stain inhibitor as I filled the tub - first time ever, and he said in the morning your tub will be clear with no color and it is considered a "maintenance dose". He wanted me to do this "maintenance dose" every seven days for the next 4-6 weeks before my winter dump and rinse and get ready. So I installed my filter, balanced my water as close as I could get last night (about 95% - still need to add the borates and readjust) and went to bed.

    Gerry - who I found out is chemist, said this maintenance dose will slowly release biofilm trapped in the lines and the dicholor and Ahh-Some will kill and collect it. I may see a few brown particles and maybe a scum line, just wipe it off and keep using the tub. This will allow for anything that is deeply rooted in the tub to get some use and get flushed out, but still allow us to use the tub as well.

    9/16 - This morning - crystal clear water - nice normal light blue tint - nothing on the walls of the tub - no scum line - filter were even still white. I will re-test the numbers tonight and see where it goes.
    The only place I found to buy Ahh-Some was Amazon and it's a little pricey (29.99 2oz or 49.99 6oz) but I concur with dlleno blog / trial that it does work better than the SeaKlear. Gerry is a great guy to talk to and was very knowledgeable about the product. After digging out of this initial hole I had gotten myself into, I shouldn't have to do as many purges as I did this time.

    Amazon 2oz: Amazon.com : Ahh-Some Hot Tub/Jetted Bath Plumbing Jet Cleaner (2 oz) : Bathroom Cleaners : Office Products
    Amazon 4oz: Amazon.com: Ahh-Some Hot Tub/Jetted Bath Plumbing Kitchen
    Unique Solutions: Ahh-Some Water Cleanser for Your Pool, Hut Tub, Jet Bath, Swim Spa and Washing Machine -

    So I will be using the dichlor / bleach method as usual and will dump the tub at the end of October and re-fill before winter.

    Appreciate what help I had gotten!

    Thanks -

    Scott - Wayland, NY

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