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Thread: nature 2 outgassing ?

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    nature 2 outgassing ?

    Years ago, my wife and I had a 8ft redwood hot tub, and we used chlorine as a sanitizer. We didn't care for the smell, but we didn't have problems either. A couple years ago, we bought a 8 ft modern spa, and the maker suggested bromine. We did not like the bromine smell, but worse, it caused itchy skin on my wife, and I developed eczema. I came across a mention of the Nature2 system on the web, and did not find any negative comments, and in fact, most reviews I read praised it as the next best thing since sliced bread. Okay, I bought four cartridges, 2lb of the Cense product, some test strips and a bucket of dichlor. I drained the tub, filled it up again halfway, and drained it again to eliminate as much of the bromine as possible. When I tested for bromine after filling it back full, it showed zero, and I added a new filter. I set up the Nature2 as per the instructions. Our spa is indoors, in a spa room attached to our house. Being cold at night, I was keeping the 2ft x 8ft window shutters closed. We normally keep the spa covered. The spa has an ozonator from the factory. When the spa was ready, I tried it out. There was no bromine smell, but contrary to what Zodiac claims about their product, we were getting what I can best describe as a metallic-ozone gas that was strongest when the pumps were on full blast. This gas caused extreme coughing, where I felt like I was going to cough up a lung, and sinuses that ran like a water faucet. After recovering from this, I next tried opening up one of the 2x8 windows for ventilation, and left the cover off, and ran the pumps at full blast to try to vent off these gases for several hours before getting in. That helped some, but still the gas became overpowering. I spoke to a spa-expert, who suggested that I try disconnecting the ozonator. I had already been thinking along those lines, and did so, along with venting the uncovered spa again. Again, the gas persisted. At this point, I am convinced that the Nature2 cartridge is to blame. I noticed that Silver Nitrate is listed as the active ingredient, and after some research discovered that it is toxic to mucous tissue, as well as skin and eyes. I Googled "Nature2 Respiratory Problems", and found a Material Product Safety Sheet produced by Zodiac as required by federal law. Reading that, they list silver, copper and aluminum as the hazardous ingredients. Further reading of that same sheet, mentions the health problems associated with these chemicals, the first aid required, and the need for respirators, etc. I notice they don't mention any of this stuff in their marketing, only that you are not supposed to ingest it. Between that sheet, and the noxious gas problem we are having, I am 100% convinced that this product is nothing close to the safe alternative they make it out to be. I have removed the Nature2 cartridge, and will now go back to either dichlor or bromine. Has anyone else experienced this gas problem, or did I just get a bad batch of Nature2? Compared to this, chlorine was a dream.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    Do you have any kind of exhaust fan installed in your spa room? You really need some sort of fresh air circulation for any enclosed spa or pool. The gases and humidity that build up from an indoor pool or spa can be irritating and cause mildewing or corrosion of wood and metal surfaces. An active ventilation system such as an exhaust fan will do a better job of keeping the air clear of fumes than a passive system such as opening a window. The exhaust fan can also be used without letting a lot of cold air into the spa room in the winter.

    I do not have any personal experience with Nature 2, so I can't comment on the out-gassing, however many posts on this site document problems with nature 2 not keeping the water sanitary or causing stains. It is often marketed as a replacement for chlorine when in fact it is designed to be used in tandem with chlorine as the primary sanitizer.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    While I don't at all recommend using Nature2, it would not be the cause of any of the problems you describe. Your problems are being caused either by the ozone system, or bad water sanitation, or some combination of the two. If ozone is getting into the air it will cause exactly the problems you describe, and those problems can continue for many hours after the unit is turned off. Improper sanitation can also cause similar problems, though they are almost never as bad as what you describe. In any case, good ventilation is also very important even if everything is working correctly, as zea3 already mentioned.
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    I saw this posted on another site and responded there. Since this is a new tub, I suspect that it was not decontaminated so could have biofilms, grease, and other problems. One should always decontaminate a new spa before using it.
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    Chem Geek and I discussed this on another forum. To bring zea3 and JasonLion up to date, I'll paste my replies to Chem Geek here:

    Thanks for your reply. We've owned a hot-tub/spa for over 20 years. The spa is 2 years old, and until recently had been treated with bromine. It is kept clean, used nearly daily by two adults with good hygiene (not bragging, just giving you an idea of it's normal usage). I made sure to eliminate the bromine by draining, refilling, draining, and changing filters so that no bromine showed on test strips (yes, I know they are not the most accurate method, but that is what I have on hand.). I followed Nature2's instructions to the letter. The metallic-ozone-like gas was totally unbearable to me and anyone else who entered the area. Ventilation did not eliminate the problem, just eased it some. The water itself was not bothersome to the skin, hair or eyes. It just gave off that noxious gas into the air that caused respiratory distress. The gas problem was worst when the water was the most turbulent at high speed. Unplugging the ozonator made no difference whatsoever. Removed the Nature2 cartridge, and went to a dichlor-only state. Two days later, and much venting the room to the four winds later, and I just now got out of the spa. No bad gas, no coughing up a lung, no running sinuses, just a very nice spa experience with a tolerable chlorine smell. Nature2 was 100% the problem. Since this is the one and only cartridge of it that I have tried, I cannot honestly say whether this is the way their product normally acts, or if I just got a bad example. I do know that the problem didn't exist before the cartridge, the problem arose when the cartridge was used according to directions, and when the cartridge was removed, the problem went away completely. I plan to return the unused Nature2 cartridges to the vendor, and will never try this product again.

    If there was any bromine left, it had to be a minute amount. Nature2's directions simply state to drain the tub completely and refill to remove any bromine. If it were critical to eliminate any microscopic remnants of bromine, I would think that they would have been more emphatic about it. and if so, then that too is their fault for not saying so in their directions. I went one step further, and drained twice/changed filters to play it safe, and then tested to verify. I did see that dichlor/bleach recipe, and made a copy of it already to try. One question: It says unscented bleach; does that mean bleach with no flowery scent, or bleach with no chlorine scent? My wife does the shopping, and saw regular bleach, bleach with a floral scent, and a bleach touted as being for sensitive skin, but none that claimed to not have a chlorine scent. At the moment, I have the TA and the ph balanced out to acceptable levels according to the test strips. In our area, with the water we have, TA tends to stay at good levels fairly easily, but ph tends to run low. As a result, I have a large stockpile of ph+ and a small one of ph- in my chemical collection. That was the case using bromine, and was also the case when we used to use regular chlorine (pool type) in our old tub. I thank you for your help and suggestions!
    Terry

    I will also add that the smell of the gas was more metallic than ozone-like. I have worked with metals in a workshop situation, and the smell was sort of like that of metal being cooked under a flame. If I had to make a guess, I would say that it was a combination of the silver and copper more than the aluminum. Again, it was not just me who experienced this, but anyone who came into the area. It was very overpowering and pronounced, and had no smell of chlorine or bromine. Now that the cartridge is removed, we just have a normal spa with a normal chlorine smell that is very tolerable. From everyone I have talked to, and all my reading, no one else seems to have had this issue. So, perhaps I just got a bad cartridge. From now on, I'll stick to chlorine or bromine. Thanks for your advice and help!
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    Unscented bleach means 6% bleach with no added scents. Check the strength on the sensitive skin formula. It may just be a lower % of bleach. If that is the case you will need to use more of it to achieve the same level of sanitation. When everything is in balance the water should have a light, clean smell, much like you currently describe.

    I don't know why your Nature 2 system performed the way it did, but I do know it is rare I hear anything good about it. Hopefully you will be able to get your money back on the unused cartridge, or at least get store credit for something you can use.
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    Thanks Zea3! It was weird indeed. I don't know if I am allowed to mention their name here, but the vendor was P@@! Supply World. I'd bought the items from them thru eBay. I simply emailed them, described the problem, and did not have to threaten them with any action. They were concerned, professional and sent me an RMA to return the items. I'll keep the dichlor, MPS and one jar of MPS test strips I'd opened, but send the rest back. I'll either get an exchange for something else or refund. I don't anticipate any trouble from them, and as a vendor, they have been good to deal with. The makers of Nature2, on the other hand, I won't be doing business with any more. Outside of this problem with the cartridge, I find their marketing and informational style to be seriously lacking in full honesty. I guess the old adage applies here: If it looks too good to be true, it isn't. Thanks again for your help!
    Terry
    Intex Ultra Frame 14 x 42 3500 gals
    Intex SWG combo unit (2000 gph), screen door screening around cartridge:-).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    As I said before, the ozone in the air/water will hang around for many many hours, if not days, and outgas far more when the spa is bubbling than when the spa is off. Unplugging the ozone unit would have no detectable effect for quite some time. Your description sounds like you stopped using ozone and Nature2 within a few hours of each other. If so, there would not be any way to tell which was the cause of the problem without further testing.
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    Re: nature 2 outgassing ?

    Thanks JasonLion. No, it was a day between disconnecting the ozonator and removal of the Nature2 cartridge. Meanwhile, the spa was uncovered, and the 2x8 foot windows were open (there are 6 of them) and that night the wind was blowing like crazy. In any case, the ozonator had never caused problems before this, so if it played any part, it had to have been reacting to the Nature2. Nature2's maker actually says that their product works better with an ozonator, so if they had concerns about that, I doubt they would encourage use of the two. To be honest with you, up until this issue arose, I was pretty much convinced that the ozonator did nothing whatsoever. The factory installed it when the tub was new. I have never seen any signs that it actually did anything. I'd just written it off as a useless gadget the maker installed to help boost sales. My initial concern about it regarding the Nature2 was wondering if the combination of the two might be creating a bad reaction. Unplugging it made no difference to the intensity of the gas problem, even by the next day, so I then removed the Nature2 cart. Within a few hours, I noticed the gas began abating somewhat, and by the second day was gone completely.
    Intex Ultra Frame 14 x 42 3500 gals
    Intex SWG combo unit (2000 gph), screen door screening around cartridge:-).

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