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Thread: Aqua Finesse vs Chlorine

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    Aqua Finesse vs Chlorine

    I purchased a new spa last week and have followed the Aqua Finesse directions to the tee and the water has an odd odor as well as being cloudy..... I want to switch it out to clorine... Any suggestions and recommendations would be helpful...

    440 gallon Catalina Coronado Spa
    cartridge filtration

    Thanks,
    Dean
    18' round AG
    48" deep
    Pentair Opti-Flow 1 HP
    75 sq. ft. cartridge


    Stage 3 of the Conversion!!!

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

    Re: Aqua Finesse vs Chlorine

    A brand new spa usually needs to be decontaminated because they are usually wet tested and the water in the pipes isn't always blown out thoroughly (or at all) so biofilms can form. Did you start by using the AquaFinesse™ Spa Clean Treatment? Even if you switch to chlorine, you'll need to decontaminate the tub unless you've done that already.

    You can read about Using Chlorine in a Spa (there's a summary near the bottom of the post). The method uses Dichlor initially to build up the CYA level and then bleach after that as the main chlorine source. One key is to initially lower the TA level sufficiently so that the pH won't rise and one adds 50 ppm Borates (from boric acid, such as in ProTeam® Gentle 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
    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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    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Posts
    49

    Re: Aqua Finesse vs Chlorine

    I agree. I've got my tub for 5 months now and I'm using Aquafinesse. The tub had been in store for 4 or 5 months and I never quessed that the pipes were dirty. First 2 months the water was bad after a month. Green and kind of thick, if you know what I mean. I bought the Aquafinesse spa clean treatment and cleaned my tub. When I send water through the hole where the filter is, I saw cloudy water coming into my tub. So I cleaned it there with a bucket of hot water as well.
    After that it was a walk in the park. I discovered (mainly because of this forum) that I used the tub too much for just 1 treatment a week. So I moved up to adding Aquafinesse every 5 days and cleaning the filter after 1-2 weeks, switching it with another one. Every day I check the chloride tablet and if it is nearly finished I add the next one.
    Last month I bought a new parasol, the type you slide under the spa. I felt bad that I had to empty and refill to get it in place, because the water was still sparkling. But I'm confindent if you have a clean tub and maintain correctly, you can use the water way longer than a month.
    Good luck!
    Sunspa Monaco in the garden since March 2011.

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

    Re: Aqua Finesse vs Chlorine

    So if you want to stick with AquaFinesse™, then get their Spa Clean Treatment and use it on the spa. If you want to go to chlorine, then if you don't already have Spa Clean Treatment, you can get Spa System Flush instead (superchlorinating is another option), but you'll need to change the water after the treatment. If you let us know what you decide to do, we can walk you through the procedure if you have any questions. Once you are set up with either system, it will be easy for you to maintain.

    This PDF file gives a decent procedure for initially using or converting to AquaFinesse™. Note that their system still uses chlorine either in "sanitising tablets" which are Trichlor or with "chlorine granules" which is Dichlor. Their system is not enzymes so does not help or directly oxidize bather waste. Chlorine is still used for that (or ozone for those spas with ozonators) and it is chlorine that is still primarily responsible for disinfection. So the AquaFinesse™ part of the system is extra and not necessary once you remove initial biofilms. It is basically "insurance" if you don't sanitize properly since it will inhibit biofilm formation. The Dichlor-then-bleach method will be MUCH less expensive and will have your water last even longer since you won't have CYA buildup. Basically, AquaFinesse™ works better in spas that have ozonators to handle the bather waste -- otherwise, they aren't much different than Dichlor-only with the extra added expense of using AquaFinesse™ biofilm-prevention chemicals that aren't necessary once biofilms are initially removed from the spa (assuming one maintains proper chlorine levels).

    Roughly speaking, with Dichlor-only which is the most commonly used spa system, without an ozonator the water usually has to be changed within (1/3)x(Spa Volume in Gallons)/(Person-Hours of Soaking per day). So for a 350 gallon spa where 2 people soak for 30 minutes every day, that's a little under 4 months. When using Dichlor-then-bleach, one can usually go twice as long between water changes and the water quality remains better so that you hardly notice a difference when you do change the water (as opposed to Dichlor-only where a very noticeable improvement is seen after changing the water).
    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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