My husband and I are new spa owners - 1 year now. The first nine months went silky smooth. But right after changing the water for the first time (8-02-10) we've had problems with cloudy water, twice green water, and often times an odor. Sometimes it smells of mildew and sometimes it smells of chemicals. Also, a few weeks after we refilled, we have had an increasing problem with coughing while the jets are in use. Over several weeks of researching online and calling customer support at Master Spas and visiting with our local spa experts we have made some adjustments and finally have our clear water again. However, we still have odor and cough when using the jets. Upon the advice of Master Spas we had our water tested. The only thing the test found wrong with our water was that the hardness was too low (70). Over this weekend I added a calcium increaser to increase the hardness by 100 ppm. I had the water tested again yesterday and it only increased the hardness to 130--(Our manual says our hardness should between 180 and 250.) The following were all results:
free chlorine: 0
I should also mention that we sanitize with Dichlor once a week and shock after each use (this per our users manual). We were told that due to our Eco Pure filters it is not uncommon to have a reading of 0 free chlorine--that supposedly means the Eco Pure filters are doing their job. (I'm still confused about this--how am I supposed to make sanitary adjustments if I can't read what the levels are??)
Average use is two people twice a week. I considered that to be low usage so we waited 9 months to change the water the first time instead of the recommended 6 months--maybe we were wrong. We also change and clean the filters every 5-6 weeks.
At this point it is the coughing that is the real problem. I've read enough to know now that there could be gunk lurking in our plumbing that could be causing this, yes?? Is that something that would not necessarily show up on a water analysis? I'm ready to drain and start over. I have read about using a Spa Purge.
Does anyone have any knowledge about what we have been experiencing? Any help would be greatly appreciated. We didn't realize we would have to become proficient in chemistry but we're willing because WE LOVE OUR SPA!