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Thread: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Hi all! I am new here I am a hot tub addict and am not interested an anyones twelve step process, but thank you. Anywho, I recently rebuilt my hot tub (an old morgan spa) with all new jets and new plumbing, new digital control pack and heater. The only thing I kept was the filter housing and the pump. reason for rebuild was heater locked on one day, and none of the safety overides worked. I came home to a running pump with melted pvc and heater housing. Before rebuild I would use broming granules to start up my chemicals and then use tabs in a floater. Hot tub would get used at most three times a week by only two bathers. After I rebuild a did the same process, and as usual the test strips said all was OK. I know they are not super accurate, but I dump and refill once a month anyways. After rebuild I developed an extreme itch (think posion ivy) and slight rash on my groin area and my arm pits. Rash really only shows on arms pits and itch is mainly in groin. Thought about bacteria and ruled it out. Plenty of sanitizer in water and itch only takes three measly hours to develope. So I have a bromine allergy, not terrible as my skin is seneitive anyways. So I drained tub and scrubbed it clean and then converted to dichlor, got all readings into OK level and went for a dip. Same thing in like two hours after getting out. Hot tub not so fun...guys you can imagine, I was trying to scratch off things I would rather keep. I have had this issue four times now, and strips always say everything is good. I am the only one who has had any problems. I take three benadryl to knock out itch and and it goes away in about two days. The rash in arm pits takes about a week, and I always wait until I am fully healed before trying again. I just drained and filled again and did a fresh start with pristine blue, gonna do a guinea pig dip tomorrow before work. Wish me luck Any thoughts or advice would be welcome as me and my wife feel like the hot tub is a neccessity and not a luxury, its up there with and food.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Welcome to TFP!

    What happens if you get into a hot (and I mean as hot as a hot tub, so 104┬║F if that's the hot tub temp) bath? Do you get the same reaction? If so, then it's likely to be the hot temperature of the water and for whatever reason your body has become sensitive to it.

    If the problem only occurs in the tub then it may be contaminated. I'd suggest you follow the decontamination procedure in this post and you can also use Spa System Flush on the water before you drain it. Then you really need to get a proper TF-100 or equivalent test kit or else you risk getting into trouble again. If you use the Dichlor-then-bleach method, you can start out with 1-2 ppm FC just before your soak and then add a sufficient amount of chlorine right afterwards so that you have 1-2 ppm at the start of your next soak. That should minimize chemical exposure and also prevent bacterial growth and keep up with your bather load.
    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"

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Oct 2011
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    New Caney, Texas
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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Welcome to TFP Todgeist!
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
    TFTestKit-100--The Pool Calculator--Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Thanks for the reply. Will get a real test kit next time I am in town. I haven't take a good hot bath since before this started, but I can try that when I get off of work. Heat has never been as issue before hope that isn't it. I like things hot, baths, shower, and the weather here in Alabama. I dont think (or hope) the hot tub is contamiinated as it been drained and flushed with fresh water three or four (probably more) times now. I did it twice after rebuild just to make sure all fiberglass dust was gone, which is what I thought was doing it until it happened the second time. Will read those posts next to see if I can glean any further understanding of the problem.

    Edit... Just read decomtamination procedure and with out knowing it that is almost exactly what I did when I changed from broming to chlorine. Just can't see it as any bug, but maybe another chemical?! from the new plumbing?

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Well, not a heat allergy. Went ahead and jumped in hot tub last night. My dippy strips read almost no chlorine, and temp wass 99F. No itching today anywhere, so I guess I just have to stay away from chlorine and bromine. Too bad as they are such good sanitizers. Maybe allergy will go away. Thanks for the advice.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Todgeist, was your "hot tub" experiment actually the bath tub? Do you have municipal water or a well? If municipal, and the "hot tub" was the bath tub, then it likely has 1-3 ppm of FC in it. Strips are a horrible way to measure chlorine and for that matter any measurements. They might be part of your problem...should strongly consider a proper test kit (see my sig), I like the tf100.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Nope it was the actual hot tub. Grabbed a beer a decided to be my own personal experiment! Ditto on strips I will get a good test kit soon. My municipal water had some fc in it, will test it when I get a fancy test kit (looked at the tf-100) probably get that one. Just I didn't get woke up at the 3am this morning trying to scratch off the important bits

  8. Back To Top    #8
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    I would still do that bath tub experiment, but I would wait until you have the test kit. If you do not react there, then we have a clue that it might not be just the chlorine in the tub.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    True, gonna have to wait until payday though. Spent to much this week already :P

  10. Back To Top    #10
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    I just noticed your experiment was using pristine blue . You should check out chem geeks comments in this post: http://www.troublefreepool.com/new-t...bs-t29145.html

    You will still need a sanitizer (Chlorine, Bromine)!
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    I read all about the need for a sanitizer (chlorine, bromine)and agree, but the bather load is just me and my wife, and until I can get everything worked out and can reintroduce (hopefully) chlorine or bromine, I will have to go with what I can get that keeps the marbles from itching The allergy could be just temporary it happens...or it could be some stupid random reaction to a weird combination of stuff that will require twelve doctors visits and a chemist to figure out...hope not.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    You should be able to start your hot tub soak with a low 1-2 ppm FC level which shouldn't be irritating, especially after you build up the CYA level somewhat by using Dichlor initially. There are many different things that could have gone wrong to cause you to have problems before, but getting yourself a proper test kit will help you figure this all out.
    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"

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todgeist
    Hi all! I am new here I am a hot tub addict and am not interested an anyones twelve step process, but thank you. Anywho, I recently rebuilt my hot tub (an old morgan spa) with all new jets and new plumbing, new digital control pack and heater. The only thing I kept was the filter housing and the pump. reason for rebuild was heater locked on one day, and none of the safety overides worked. I came home to a running pump with melted pvc and heater housing. Before rebuild I would use broming granules to start up my chemicals and then use tabs in a floater. Hot tub would get used at most three times a week by only two bathers. After I rebuild a did the same process, and as usual the test strips said all was OK. I know they are not super accurate, but I dump and refill once a month anyways. After rebuild I developed an extreme itch (think posion ivy) and slight rash on my groin area and my arm pits. Rash really only shows on arms pits and itch is mainly in groin. Thought about bacteria and ruled it out. Plenty of sanitizer in water and itch only takes three measly hours to develope. So I have a bromine allergy, not terrible as my skin is seneitive anyways. So I drained tub and scrubbed it clean and then converted to dichlor, got all readings into OK level and went for a dip. Same thing in like two hours after getting out. Hot tub not so fun...guys you can imagine, I was trying to scratch off things I would rather keep. I have had this issue four times now, and strips always say everything is good. I am the only one who has had any problems. I take three benadryl to knock out itch and and it goes away in about two days. The rash in arm pits takes about a week, and I always wait until I am fully healed before trying again. I just drained and filled again and did a fresh start with pristine blue, gonna do a guinea pig dip tomorrow before work. Wish me luck Any thoughts or advice would be welcome as me and my wife feel like the hot tub is a neccessity and not a luxury, its up there with and food.
    Welcome to the board Todgeist. I'm relatively new here myself and yes I know your post is two months old but I had to focus on my pool first. Now that it is squared away I am looking to the hot tub. Anyways, I wanted to tell you I sometimes experience the exact same issues. For me I think its the combination of hot, HARD water, an the bromine. I first noticed it on a cruise ship where I spent the better part of 9 days drinking beer and sitting in a brominated hot tub. I hope you are able to get it to a manageable level because like you, I won't ever give up hot soak time for anything.
    15,000 (Estimated) gallon in ground pool with hot tub. Plaster.
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 Cartridge filter.
    Unused chlorinating stack.
    Austin TX area.
    Pics and heater info to follow.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    wilmington De
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    7

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    I had the same type problem with my spa - major dryness and itching. I switched to a product called silk balance that my local dealer started to try and now all has been great for a year or more it maintains the chemistry and stable ph.
    22,000 gl. gunite, SWG, De filter, Coverstar cover, sunshelf, intelitouch controls, tf-100

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Mar 2007
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    12,082

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    SilkBalanceÖ appears to be mostly a phosphate buffer and surfactants. The phosphates are a pH buffer and precipitate calcium which is why on first use of this product the filters need to be cleaned as they get clogged with calcium phosphate. The surfactants help to prevent biofilm formation to some degree. However, there are no oxidizers nor sanitizers/disinfectants in the product so the system works best in spas that have an ozonator that can oxidize bather waste and you still need to add a disinfectant such as chlorine. Some variants of the system use Nature2 with MPS to minimize the amount of chlorine that is needed, dosing with chlorine about once a week and using MPS after soaks (the Nature2 provides silver ions).

    So think of the product as an add-on to an existing regimen of either chlorine or Nature2/MPS. It will not change the amount of oxidizer/disinfectant you need. If you use the system without a disinfectant, then you are taking a risk. One person on another forum using a similar system (for biofilm reduction) called AquaFinesse got hot tub lung because no disinfectant was being used.

    Also, as noted in this post the removal of calcium into the filter can sometimes be a pain.
    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"

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Summerville, SC
    Posts
    39

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    I had to reply to this because I am allergic to bromine. I itch and get a rash as well so I just avoid it. There are other alternative sanitation methods now other than bromine. We converted our pool to salt and love it, very easy on the skin. Might be worth looking into for the spa.
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Salt is not just salt. It is a saltwater chlorine generator system that produces chlorine so what you really have is a chlorine pool. There are some similar units for spas, but it is still chlorine, though in my opinion if the chlorine is done properly then the issues are minimized. If, for example, one starts a soak with 1-2 ppm FC and has some CYA (say, 30-40 ppm) in the water, then this should be less drying. Additional chlorine would be added only after the soak to have a small residual by the next time one soaks.
    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"

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Thanks for all the replies. Since my last post, I had another allergic reaction with no chlorine or bromine just the pristine blue, and had to rethink everything. My best figuring was that when I replaced the air lines with 1/2 " liquid tite conduit I may have saved $30 over flex pvc, but it is leaching a chemical into water. I realized that after every water change it was longer before I had a reaction. i.e. the chemical was leaching and had to build up in the hot tub to a certain level. I am in the process of going back to bromine/ chlorine and will just make water changes until stops. Thats what I get for being cheap

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    Hi Todgeist,
    For my 2 cents worth......When I used Bromine, I got what you are getting. At that time I was not measuring Calcium Hardness and other vitals with any sort of accuracy.
    I discovered this site and the first thing I invested in was a Taylor kit....I switched back to Chlorine using the dichlor then bleach method. Even then I was fighting High Combined Chlorine 2 weeks after a fresh fill. Some dryness but less itching. What I failed to do before a fresh fill was to super-chlorinate AND Spa Flush to clean tubing.(Didn't feel it necessary since tub was only a month old).
    After following the above PLUS adding Borates - 40 ppm (Gentle Spa), keeping FC btw 3-5 ppm, no problems with myself or wife (who is more skin sensitive than I am). CC never gets above .4, never really have to shock the tub - unless 21 yr old has a major spa party, no foaming or scum lines even after 3-4 months.
    Super flushing I believe along with a good test kit + using the BBB method + TFP's calculator did it for me.
    Barry
    Sundance Hot Tub 365 gal, acrylic
    (2) 2.5 hp pumps
    ozonator
    Northwest Ohio resident

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Hello and help with chemical allergies.

    I have the same problem and had to reduce the chemical warfare to minimum.
    Instead of a full out level of bromine and chlorine, I'd dump 1/2 a cap of trichlor once every week or three and one bromine tablet as needed.

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