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Thread: Skin breaking out

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    328

    Skin breaking out

    Hello,
    Haven't dropped by in awhile but I did run into something weird this weekend. It's been cold here, and I admittedly have not kept up with my chemistry in my spa for several (maybe 3?) weeks now, but the water is very clear. I topped it off last Saturday and added less than 1 tsp chlorine, then we got in it Sunday for maybe an hour.
    My wife broke out pretty badly around her neck/chest by the next morning. I did not, but she is generally more allergic to soaps, etc. than I am. Benadryl helped it out but it did come back somewhat over the course of a couple of days, it seems to be gone now.
    Any ideas what that could be? She says she noticed some 'gold flakes' on her suit after she got out of the spa Sunday. I use chlorine in the spa and ozone/ion and as I said, the water was very clear and appeared very clean. I'm usually pretty faithful with my water testing but of course when I got lazy this happened.
    I'm probably going to just refill it this weekend but was curious what could have caused the skin breakout.
    thanks
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Posts
    5,061

    Re: Skin breaking out

    You probably know the answer here, but I'll go ahead and say it. If you have not kept up with your chemistry as well as you needed to, then there really is no way of knowing whether your tub is clean or not. I suspect dirty water first and everything else second.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Skin breaking out

    An ozonator will not have any effect on water not circulated through it nor on any pathogens stuck to spa surfaces. If the ionizer uses copper ions (what does yours use?), then it is useless against all fecal bacteria and blood-borne pathogens and even against some phenotypes of the bacteria that causes hot tub itch, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. If you don't keep a fast-acting sanitizer level in your spa at all times, then you're just asking for trouble.

    If you've got your heart set on using an ionizer, then make sure it's a copper/silver combo. Also, test the metal ion concentration (you can only test for copper) to make sure it's not too low, but also not too high (or the pH gets too high) or else you can get staining. However, maintaining a consistent sanitizer level is better.

    As for whether your wife's rash is a bacterial infection or a chemical sensitivity, look at this post. Given how quickly it occurred, it sounds like it might be chemical. Maybe the pH was way off -- did you check that before going in? Or maybe there was excessive ozone buildup in the spa, though that doesn't last very long after the ozonator shuts off, though could persist for 10 minutes or so (depends on chlorine level since they interact).
    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"

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    328

    Re: Skin breaking out

    Thanks, chem geek! I appreciate it. I have a Freshwater silver ion cartridge, I do believe it is all just silver...it's proprietary to Hot Springs, I believe, so I'm not sure if they have a silver/copper combo but I can check.
    The ozonator is proprietary, also, I believe. It's a FreshWater III Corona Discharge Ozonator so it's supposed to be superior to ultraviolet, or so they claim.
    I do use chlorine, and a 'non-chlorine shock.' I had not used the shock recently, only chlorine the night before. And as for pH, I need to test that after I change the water out in the next couple of days; my pH does tend to creep up in the spa (I guess that's probably true for all spas).
    Anyway, thanks again! I have printed your answer so I can take action.
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

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