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Thread: Bacteria problem

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    Bacteria problem

    I beleive there is a bacteria living in the plumbing of my hot tub that clorine shock will not kill. I don't know what it is. How can I find out? And what can I use to clean it out?
    25k gal concrete pool.
    Hayward 6080 DE filter.
    Hayward 1.5hp super pump.
    Taylor k-2006 test kit.

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    In the Industry


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    Re: Bacteria problem

    Two questions:
    1) What makes you think you have bacteria in the plumbing?
    2) How do you currently sanitize your hot tub?

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Bacteria problem

    one other thing...chlorine will kill the bacteria regardless of what kind it is. You simply must use an adequate amount.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bacteria problem

    Thanks for the reply. I am sure it is in the plumbing. I have owned the tub for 11 months now and if i don't shock the tub with clorine every 4-5 days the water turns cloudy then green with an odor. I also have skin irritations since the second week of owning the tub. At first I thought it was due to the clorine. But in the past 11 months I have ruled it out. Right now I am using a combonation of sanitizers. Clorine is the main sanitizer used.
    25k gal concrete pool.
    Hayward 6080 DE filter.
    Hayward 1.5hp super pump.
    Taylor k-2006 test kit.

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    jay87's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Gloucester, UK
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    Re: Bacteria problem

    Welcome to TFP!

    Can you post a set of water results?

    Are you using granular dichlor or liquid chlorine to sanitize? If the former you may have sky high CYA levels limiting the chlorines effectiveness

    How long since you changed the water?
    Softub T300 resort 1135l hot tub with ozonator using dichlor then bleach method.

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    Re: Bacteria problem

    Since the tub is new, it was likely wet-tested and the water not completely removed from the piping so biofilms may have formed. If you did not do a decontamination procedure when you initially got the tub, then that might be part of the problem. It is important to decontaminate a hot tub when you first get it. This is through a combination of using Spa System Flush (which helps remove biofilms and grease) and then high levels of chlorine (100 ppm).

    However, if you are using the tub daily and are not adding chlorine after each soak, then the problem could also be simply that you are not dosing with enough chlorine properly. If you do not have an ozonator (we need to know if you do), then every person-hour of soaking in a hot (104F) tub requires around 3-1/2 teaspoons of Dichlor or 5 teaspoons of 6% bleach or 7 teaspoons of non-chlorine shock (43% MPS) to oxidize bather waste. If you aren't measuring a residual of at least 1-2 ppm FC at the start of your next soak, then it is the zero FC from using too little chlorine that is the cause of the problem.

    Note that once you have decontaminated the tub, then if you properly maintain chlorine levels and dose properly after each soak, then you should not need to shock.
    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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    Re: Bacteria problem

    Ok duraleigh if that is true then my problem is, that when i have shocked the tub in the past with large amounts of chlorine, the bateria was never found. I have an idea of where it can be hiding. I am going to experiment with the next shock treatment and will post my result. This is going to take about 5-7 days. I'm going to used 4tbl. of 99% Dichlor in my 1200/L tub. Do you think that level should be efficent to kill any bacteria?
    25k gal concrete pool.
    Hayward 6080 DE filter.
    Hayward 1.5hp super pump.
    Taylor k-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Bacteria problem

    According to The Pool Calculator and using a capacity of 317 gallons (1200 liters), adding 66 oz. of 6% bleach will get your tub to chem geek's suggested level of 100 ppm FC. Do that and then check for chlorine loss. You may have to keep the FC up for some time.

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    Re: Bacteria problem

    Well lets see, first I don't believe that the 4tbl. spoons of 99% chlorine was an adaquate amount to kill what ever bacteria is in my tub. So I tried a hot tub cleaning product ( Bio Breakaway) following the directions I think it may have worked. So far after eight days, no more skin rashes. The key was in how I cleaned the tub. Like all other tub cleaning products the directions tell you to remove the filters and circulate the water for 3 or 4 cycles and let it sit overnight. Circulate the water once more in the morning and drain the tub. Refill the tub circulate 2 or 3 times and drain the tub again. the important thing in my case is that after removing the filters, the suction ports in the foot well for pump one won't suck because they are desined only to have flow when the filters are dirty or plugged. That is for the safety of pump one. So after removing the filters and started the jets I plugged the two filter openings for a couple of cycle and again during the rinse. So I now know why the bacteria had a place to hide and grow and not being able to clean it out. I Finally think that I have a clean tub after 11 months of frusation and skin rashes when using the tub. So far it seams that the tub is bateria free. I hope that this info is of some use.
    25k gal concrete pool.
    Hayward 6080 DE filter.
    Hayward 1.5hp super pump.
    Taylor k-2006 test kit.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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

    Re: Bacteria problem

    Yes, the use of a biofilm removing product would help and that's why I had suggested Spa System Flush. So now we have another product that appears to do something similar (Bio Breakaway) so thank you for testing that. A super-chlorination can sometimes work as well, but for new spas we usually recommend Spa System Flush since it's really designed for the grease and biofilms that are more common with new spas. Once you get rid of these problems, then properly maintaining the spa with chlorine should not need this extraordinary procedure to be done again.

    Also thank you for the tip on forcing circulation of the decontamination product through normally unused piping. This is analogous to our recommendation for people getting behind light niches to get rid of yellow/mustard algae. One doesn't want a reservoir of a problematic pathogen lurking about.
    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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