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Thread: Yellow scum in filters.....?

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    Yellow scum in filters.....?

    So, new to spa ownership, can't say I am loving it at this point.

    Had it going for the first month then the dealer told me I was using to much of the chemicals and such and gave me his way of doing it. Within 2 weeks my wife and I had red spots and bumps on her chest. So, I drained it at the advice of the a new guy at a different shop that seems to know what he is talking about.

    I refilled the spa last week with well water this time and the water had a greenish/yellowish tint, the tub is a medium grey so it was tough to tell but in the test vial it looks yellow. Sure enough it tested at 1.75 for iron and 285 for Alkaline.

    I ended up putting about 16 ounces of PH reducer to get the alkalinity down over the course of 2-3 days. The PH has been bouncing around 7.2 to 7.8 this past week. I used the brilliance brand of products to get the alky down and get the PH settled. It had some soy stuff in it to soften the water it said also.

    I also ended up dumping about 10-12 ounces of Brilliance metal control to try to get the iron under control.

    I am using the Bromine frog as of 3 days ago and used 4 ounces of oxidizer to get it jump started. This was recommended by the spa store.

    As of right now everything tests out pretty good but I am getting a lot of yellow build up in the filters and the water looks a little cloudy and still is yellow. I am going to get the water tested tomorrow to see where it is officially at.

    Any ideas? Did I use to much of the chemicals to get this thing in line? I have been rinsing the filters three times a days for the past two days. We are all afraid to go in it because no one can tell us if this **** thing is safe.

    Thanks for any help.
    Lazy-L shaped pool and a spa with 6 jets. 22.5k gallons. 2 X 1.5" pool suction. 1.5" loop with 5 return jets in pool return. 2" SPA suction and return. 230 Volts. Pentair 2HP pump and a booster pump. Pentair cartridge filter CCP520 (520 sf). STA-Rite SR400NA heater (400K BTU). Leuder limestone coping. Wooden deck.

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    BravoRomeo's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Everett, WA
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    Re: Yellow scum in filters.....?

    Since nobody has piped up, I'll try.

    Do you have a reliable drop-based test kit? It would help you to take precise readings of your water for yourself.

    I remember reading here that the metal sequester products work by precipitating and coagulating the dissolved metals out so you can catch them in the filter, which sounds like what is happening. I'm on very clean city water, so I'm unfamiliar with how to deal with high metal content. Hot Spring makes some kind of hardness-remover pillow you put over the circulator pump return... I wonder if that would work on metals?

    I use chlorine in my hot tub, so not familiar with bromine (see, lotta help I am). I do know sometimes people find bromine irritating. Following the Dichlor/Bleach method, I've found chlorine very easy and the tub does not smell or seem harsh on the skin.

    In either case, you should be able to test your pH and sanitizer levels before using the tub. Those are critical to safe and pleasant water. I use the basic Taylor kit for daily checking (left side, shades of clear to yellow for chlorine/bromine level, and right side, shades of red for pH). Walmart even sells a rebranded version of that kit. I now use the TF100 kit for a weekly analysis.
    Spa: 2001 Hot Spring Jetsetter, 215 gallon Dichlor/Chlorine
    When I'm not soaking, I just might be flying!

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

    Re: Yellow scum in filters.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by BravoRomeo
    I remember reading here that the metal sequester products work by precipitating and coagulating the dissolved metals out so you can catch them in the filter, which sounds like what is happening. I'm on very clean city water, so I'm unfamiliar with how to deal with high metal content. Hot Spring makes some kind of hardness-remover pillow you put over the circulator pump return... I wonder if that would work on metals?
    The metal sequestrant keeps the metal in solution and prevents its precipitation. The Hot Spring calcium remover will not work well to remove iron specifically.

    So if there are yellow stains in the filter, then there probably isn't enough sequestrant being used or it's not a good enough sequestrant (I can't find an MSDS on Brilliance Metal & Scale Control). 1.75 ppm iron is quite high. Something like the Metal Trap 25 filter would work and last a long time (removes 1 ppm from 25,000 gallons -- there's also Metal Trap 10 for 10,000 gallon capacity, but it's not that much less expensive). See Metals in the Water and Metal Stains for info on better HEDP-based metal sequestrants. See also Using Bromine in a Spa. The Frog and Brilliance products are an expensive way to maintain your spa. If you measure at least 2 ppm bromine (4 ppm more usual), it's safe, but some people do not like the smell of bromine.
    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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