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Thread: CYA is 0 in my spa!

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    CYA is 0 in my spa!

    I just started up the spa for the winter - new water - a bit of Chlorine - a bit of Spa Down as a few levels were high after running overnight - now things are balanced, on the high side of ok - but the CYA is 0. The tannish/orange square on the test strip. We are going to be using a mineral stick this year to try and lower the Chlorine use -but instructions for this say it needs to be balanced prior to putting it in...
    Yesterday my Chlorine was HIGHest on the stick - this morning it is landing between 3/6 - 5/10 in color. My spa is indoors to no exposure to any elements....
    please don't speak in technical terms (yadayadayada) as i do not get this whole -what one thing has to do with another - nor do i plan on having to know more than i need to - but would like to balance things....
    Why would the CYA be so low if the Chlorine was through the roof? If i need to raise just the CYA - how is that done??

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    Don't sweat the CYA. CYA's purpose is to prevent FC loss due to the sun's rays. Your tub is inside. Most tubs are covered, further protecting them.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    What are you using to chlorinate the spa? You have to use Dichlor powder/granules for around a week to build up the CYA to around 30 ppm. After that, you can switch to bleach, though if you go that route you need to so some other things (lower the TA level; probably use 50 ppm Borates from boric acid) as described in Using Chlorine in a Spa. If you were to use only bleach or lithium hypochlorite as your source of chlorine to start with, the active chlorine level will be too high and will tend to degrade your spa cover more quickly as well as be harsher on your skin and swimsuits. CYA does more than protect chlorine from breakdown in sunlight; it significantly moderates chlorine's strength which, in moderation, is a very good thing.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    What Scott/Chemgeek said.

    In addition, test strips aren't very accurate, especially when it comes to CYA. You'd need a complete kit like the K-100.

    Although you do not want the technical terms (which I see very often), learning the basic will prove invaluable to keep your spa in working order and safe from bacterias longer. And to avoid poor advices from pool stores.
    Pool: None, and All.
    ''What's really interesting is finding some way to explain some technical concepts with simple terms so that everyone might understand, to vulgarize.'' CaOCL2

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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    I have been using the dichlor-then bleach method for over a year. I also use a mineral stick which I've read you can keep the FC lower 2- 5 range (which concurs with the CYA/Chlorine chart for sanitizing effectiveness with CYA 30-40).
    I agree about the inaccuracy of he test strips especially when testing CYA. I did a side by side comparison and the strips read zero while my Taylor kit read 30-40. I also found that using the pool calculator estimates of CYA concentration is pretty dog gone accurate so I only test CYA when I have to add water due to usage and evaporation. CYA does stabilize the FC and Chem Geek's advice to keep the TA on the low side with 40-50 ppm Borates ensures consistency in all the major readings.
    Barry
    Sundance Hot Tub 365 gal, acrylic
    (2) 2.5 hp pumps
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    Northwest Ohio resident

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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    I guess i must luck out LOL I've never even had cloudy water with my spa and have only used the test strips. I did have an issue once when i was really sick last winter and no one took care of it for a week, but it got straightened around.
    I am confused about using the mineral sticks and how to tell what to do in regards to chemicals.. I use Leisure Time chemicals for spas... so have those tabs you throw in after use and throw in the "chlorine" when that gets low and other than that, i rarely do anything else and the spa stays clear with no issues. I am sure being inside must help that....
    So, I am confused... we super shock it with the Leisure Time chlorine to build up the CYA? Or as scott said, it isn't important since it is inside? Our CYA is always on the 0 thing on the test strips and our water is always great...
    and pool store people they seem to know less than i do if that is even possible... LOL even the owners!!!
    OH but edit here - in regards to the CYA and Chlorine - is the level being low why the Chlorine only lasts like a day or so and i have to add more? the CYA helps keep the chlorine working better and more effectively? remember no technical terms i have to look up

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    CYA helps buffer chlorine so there's some reserve but in an indoor spa you only want a very low level. About 20 or less. Strips are very unreliable for testing CYA (as well as most everything else) so that could be why you're not seeing a reading.

    Chlorine is a constant consummable and therefore has to be constantly replenished. It degrades fast at spa temps and the high bather load uses a lot up too. Unless you keep a good record of how much of what you put in there, it may just seem to be a lot and may not be as much as you think.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyBlue
    I just started up the spa for the winter - new water - a bit of Chlorine - a bit of Spa Down as a few levels were high after running overnight - now things are balanced, on the high side of ok - but the CYA is 0. The tannish/orange square on the test strip. We are going to be using a mineral stick this year to try and lower the Chlorine use -but instructions for this say it needs to be balanced prior to putting it in...
    Yesterday my Chlorine was HIGHest on the stick - this morning it is landing between 3/6 - 5/10 in color. My spa is indoors to no exposure to any elements....
    please don't speak in technical terms (yadayadayada) as i do not get this whole -what one thing has to do with another - nor do i plan on having to know more than i need to - but would like to balance things....
    Why would the CYA be so low if the Chlorine was through the roof? If i need to raise just the CYA - how is that done??
    Don't do anything to the spa until you've read Pool School. And especially don't use mineral stick, whatever that is. It sounds like one of those proprietary secret blends of metals and so on that will cost more than the actual active ingredients purchased separately, and leave metal stains behind. If you search here for Pool Frog or nature2 you'll probably find plenty of horror stories.

    If the spa is indoors, without a lot of sunlight on it (skylights count as sunlight) you won't need much CYA. A spa (or pool) that is tested frequently and kept in balance will not smell, will not burn eyes, will not dry skin. You will use chlorine - you're supposed to. It oxidizes (essentially burns without flame) any organic matter, like dead skin or dirt you've tracked in, and disinfects. You don't want any strange bacteria cultures in the spa giving rashes or bladder infections.

    Chlorine is cheap. I maintain an outdoor pool with 12.5% sodium hypochlorite for about a dollar a day. A spa will be much smaller and won't have so much organic debris blowing in. I imagine the expense will be extremely small.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    Look at the Lesiure Time products and tell me what the "tabs" are that you have been throwing in after use. If they are "Brom Tabs" then the spa is a bromine one and not a chlorine one so the CYA is not relevant. If they are "Renew Tabs", then that's non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate, MPS) and that is not a sanitizer. The "Spa 56 Chlorinating Granules" are the chlorine sanitizer. For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by this product, which is Dichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 9 ppm.

    For an indoor spa, we recommend that the CYA level be built up to around 30 ppm and then switch to unstabilized chlorine such as 6% bleach (or you can use lithium hypochlorite if you really want to, but it's a LOT more expensive). As was noted, read the Pool School, but in particular read Using Chlorine in a Spa.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    Just a quick note here! My spa is also indoors and I have found that I do not need much CYA either. It is normally around 20 and that seems to work for my conditions. I have really appreciated the chance to read all of the ideas on this forum though!
    IGP Anthony / Gunnite / Glass Topped ~16K w/550 gal spa. | Triton 400 | Hayward Progrid DE6020 | WhisprFlo 1 HP | Kreepy

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: CYA is 0 in my spa!

    20 is fine. I used to recommend that, but then found that 30 also worked well and would make the chlorine somewhat less harsh and also provide a little extra since the CYA level will drop by around 5 ppm per month (probably from oxidation by chlorine). Even with your 20 ppm, you could just use Dichlor for about one day every month to get the CYA back up.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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