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Thread: What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

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    What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

    Howdy all!
    I'm relatively new to the world of spas. We got a small inflatable hot tub and loved it. SO much so that when a local pool & spa company advertised an end of summer sale we stepped up to a Viking spas Legend II. We are now at a crossroads. We are considering switching to using bromine due to three people in my house having chlorine/dry skin issues. I'm not really sure if our test strips will be the most effective way of maintaining proper chemistry not only through the winter but all year around. Does anyone know the prducts/methodologies that do the best and are most consistent in maintaining proper spa chemistry?
    Viking spas Legend II, 320 gallon capacity

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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

    I would certainly consider trying the above link and ditching guess strips for a good drop based test kit before switching to bromine. Much of the time when people think they are having a chlorine issue, they are really having a poorly balanced chemistry issue.
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

    people in my house having chlorine/dry skin issues
    Whenever I see statements like this, I wonder what exactly is going on.

    If the issue is simply dry skin, lotion is the answer, not less chlorine.

    After doing a google search on chlorine allergies, I can see a lot of skin bacterial infections (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) in the pictures. Folks are blaming chlorine -after getting what is clearly hot tub itch- for their skin issues.

    Slime builds up in the plumbing of all spas, and protects the bacteria from being completely killed by the chlorine. So as soon as chlorine levels drop (cya/dry spa chlorine causes chlorine to be less effective as levels build up over time) the bacteria are free to multiply, and populate the water. The result is irritated skin.

    The reality is that chlorine must be added to the spa every day. CYA levels need to be tested for and maintained at an appropriate level. A bio-film cleaning product needs to be used every time the water is changed.

    Paper testing strips are not recommended for a variety of reasons, but my biggest objection is cost. Why pay more to do a test?
    340 gallon stand alone spa.

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    Re: What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

    MarathonMan, my family has dry skin / eczema and my husband blamed our hot tub as well. What I realized was that, because my chemistry was off (like way off), I was having to add too much chlorine, then shock, then chlorine, then shock, to feel like I was adequately sanitizing the water. When I recently bought the Taylor 2005 test kit, and read the above article on using Chlorine in the hot tub, I felt like I was ready to really get all my stuff balanced. I emptied and refilled, and I really feel like I have a handle on things now. I have been adding dichlor each day until I have the recommended amount of cyanuric acid in the hot tub and will then switch to the bleach method. I really hope that this will alleviate some of the issues we have been having and also have properly balanced and crystal clear water.

    Also - any kind of water will contribute to dry skin, which is why it is recommended you only bathe / shower every other day if you have eczema... so I always make sure to lather my kids up with a homemade skin cream after they are in the water.

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    RyanMcC's Avatar
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    Re: What's the best product, price vs. attributes, for testing spa chemistry?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarathonMan View Post
    Does anyone know the prducts/methodologies that do the best and are most consistent in maintaining proper spa chemistry?
    The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.

    Lose the strips and get one of the good test kits (TFTestkits or Taylor) and use it regularly. If you keep on top of the chemistry it won't really matter if you use bromine or chlorine. Conversely, if you don't keep up it won't really matter either because you're not letting the chemicals do their job.

    Skin issues are separate, but good water is good water.
    "...chemistry is not an exact science" -Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 Olympics spokesman
    21' x 52" Radiant Metric Round ~10K gal AGP with Hayward S180t pump/sand filter.
    Caldera (Watkins) Martinique 340 gallon installed in basement, Bromine and ozone.
    Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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