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Thread: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichlor..

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichlor..

    So, my 17 yr old jacuzzi pump failed and was replaced, so my brief experiment to see if I could stand using bromine is over (and I failed...I just can't stand the smell and it seems to exacerbate my eczema.)
    With my fresh water, I've initially loaded a new "controlled" floater with small trichloroethane pucks (the kiddie pool size) to get the cya up a little. (1" tabs)

    I will test in a few days, but I'm trying to take a guess how long before I need to switch to bleach. Or whether I can get through winter without a water change if I keep using the pucks, which are convenient...

    My spa repair guy's son has eczema, and he believes the trichloro pucks are better than bromine in a variety of ways, including easier on equipment,but does not seem to appreciate the cya impact fully. However, he uses an ozonator so therefore uses less product. He thought I'd be fine until spring...

    If anyone knows the formula for a 1" puck, please share...I know it's 60 percent of the FC produced but am unclear what ppm/gallon a 1" puck produces.
    Thanks in advance!
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Weigh one and then use poolcalculator.com to get the impact.


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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    A 1" puck is about 1oz but as UWV said, it's better to actually weigh it.

    If your spa is 700 gallons then 1 oz of trichlor will raise the FC by 10 and the CYA by 6.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Okay, well, I'll be adding CYA much more quickly than I thought...I'll have to pull some mini pucks out of that feeder.
    Basically each 1/2 ounce 1" tablet is delivering about 15 ppm of FC and ergo 9 ppm CYA in such a tiny (eg 220 gal) hottub.

    Without an ozonator, I'm not seeing the carefree mini-puck approach lasting for more than a few days unless I want to change the water every month I'll just have to find somewhere warm to store the bleach!
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman
    Okay, well, I'll be adding CYA much more quickly than I thought...I'll have to pull some mini pucks out of that feeder.
    Basically each 1/2 ounce 1" tablet is delivering about 15 ppm of FC and ergo 9 ppm CYA in such a tiny (eg 220 gal) hottub.

    Without an ozonator, I'm not seeing the carefree mini-puck approach lasting for more than a few days unless I want to change the water every month I'll just have to find somewhere warm to store the bleach!
    Bromide floater plus chlorine bleach isn't a bad option from what I read - I haven't tried it since I don't have a hot tub.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman
    Okay, well, I'll be adding CYA much more quickly than I thought...I'll have to pull some mini pucks out of that feeder.
    Basically each 1/2 ounce 1" tablet is delivering about 15 ppm of FC and ergo 9 ppm CYA in such a tiny (eg 220 gal) hottub.

    Without an ozonator, I'm not seeing the carefree mini-puck approach lasting for more than a few days unless I want to change the water every month I'll just have to find somewhere warm to store the bleach!
    Confused. Is the tub 700 gallons or was that just an example pulled out of a hat? To get those numbers I have to drop the size to 450 gallons.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    700 was Bama's example. 220 is my actual (I think) gallonage, plugged into pool calc and, based on 1/2 ounce that ideal says its 1" pucks are. Pool calc gave me .5 oz trichlor for a 15 ppm from zero. 15 x 60% = 9.

    UWV, the experiment WAS bromide floater plus chlorine bleach. I hate bromide and react to it allergy-wise. Hence the return to chlorine only.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Just remember that the Trichlor is acidic so you'll have to watch the pH and adjust it accordingly. It will also lower the TA over time as well. At least with Trichlor, your water will last 50% longer than using Dichlor in terms of the rate of CYA buildup. It is true that if you were to use the Dichlor-then-bleach (or CYA-then-bleach) method, you'd have to add chlorine bleach every day or two so this works best for those using the tub frequently since it is just added right after each soak.

    For more regular automatic chlorine dosing without CYA buildup you might consider ControlOMatic Technichlor which is a saltwater chlorine generator. Just note that the 2000 ppm salt may not be good for some spas that aren't designed with more corrosion-resistant materials. Also, be sure to add some CYA initially, either using pure CYA or using Dichlor for a while, to get to 30-40 ppm CYA so that the chlorine strength is moderated. Otherwise, it will outgas and smell more and will react with your skin, swimsuits, etc. faster, create disinfection by-products faster (and produce more nitrogen trichloride), and corrode equipment faster. Even using the Technichlor, you may still need to add chlorine bleach after your soak since it's "boost" mode might not be enough if your bather load is high and with your smaller tub the difference between chlorine demand with no one in the tub vs. the demand from a soak is quite large. So the Technichlor should be seen similar to the Trichlor floater as just providing for chlorine in between your soaks, assuming you aren't soaking every day or two.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Actually, I do usually soak every day, but usually around 6 a.m. when it's dark, hence my desire for residual starting chlorine as I don't want to test at the same time I soak, and in winter, I hate trying to dose etc. in the dark more than I have to For post-soak boosting/oxidization, if I pre-prepare little packets of cal hypo in plastic baggies (we're talking about a teaspoon here) that would make that part easier than digging around in the snow to find my scoop, opening the jar in the cold etc. Likewise, I now have a little one ounce measurer that I could load with bleach and bring out of the house each morning. So maybe once the CYA's up and the TAs down a bit, I will just stick to bleach. I wish they made them in little 1 oz packets

    I thought about the SWG but kind of decided against it given the age of my equipment...hot tub guy says it's in great shape, but after 17 years it probably doesn't need any help in the wear department! He was a little skeptical about the (low) dose of epsom salts I had previously added as it was...
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman
    Actually, I do usually soak every day, but usually around 6 a.m. when it's dark, hence my desire for residual starting chlorine as I don't want to test at the same time I soak, and in winter, I hate trying to dose etc. in the dark more than I have to For post-soak boosting/oxidization, if I pre-prepare little packets of cal hypo in plastic baggies (we're talking about a teaspoon here) that would make that part easier than digging around in the snow to find my scoop, opening the jar in the cold etc. Likewise, I now have a little one ounce measurer that I could load with bleach and bring out of the house each morning. So maybe once the CYA's up and the TAs down a bit, I will just stick to bleach. I wish they made them in little 1 oz packets

    I thought about the SWG but kind of decided against it given the age of my equipment...hot tub guy says it's in great shape, but after 17 years it probably doesn't need any help in the wear department! He was a little skeptical about the (low) dose of epsom salts I had previously added as it was...
    Somewhere chem geek has a model for maintaining a hot tub that he talked about that uses bromine floater with bromide banked residual that keeps the minimum up and then using bleach AFTER using the tub to oxidize bather waste.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    ^ I TRIED bromine and I had an allergic REACTION to it. I was indeed using Chem Geek's method. Hence the need to revert to a chlorine-only tub
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    The Using Bromine in a Spa article from waterbear (he wrote that; I didn't) talks about the 2-steap and 3-step bromine systems, but that is mostly useful for maintaining a disinfectant level in between soaks so is better suited to those who soak infrequently, say once or twice a week. It might be possible to have the floater turned up enough to handle bather waste for frequent soaks, but in doing so it's likely that one starts a soak with a rather high bromine level and that may be objectionable (and some people don't like the smell of bromine/bromamine or have reactions to it as is this case).

    The issue here is that the right way to deal with peak high bather loads is to add an disinfectant (or oxidizer to activate a disinfectant as with a bromine spa) after a soak. Pouring chlorine bleach into a cup and adding it into the spa after you get out wet in the cold is what is trying to be avoided. I don't think the Trichlor pucks are going to work for this situation. If you add enough of them to handle bather waste, then you will likely start out with an unpleasantly high chlorine level during the soak.

    For frequent soaking, an ozonator can be helpful since it will oxidize some of the bather waste thereby lowering chlorine demand. In this situation, perhaps the Trichlor floater would work. A 3-step bromine system would also work since the ozonator can oxidize bromide to bromine, but getting the level right (by adjusting the bromide level in the bromide bank) will be tricky, but bromine doesn't work for you so that's out.

    What you really need is a system that will dose for you based on your bather load, basically automating the post-soak dosing while also maintaining a residual chlorine level until your next soak. As far as I know, such a system does not exist.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    ^Yes, that's pretty much it. Hot Tub guy felt I needed an ozonator, which is how he manages his set up.

    However, I had hoped that I could adjust this new feeder low enough to use trichlor to maintain a SMALL residual and then oxidize after a soak with either bleach or cal hypo...except my concern is that the cya will build up too quickly by my calculations.

    I'm the only regular user of the hot tub on a daily/frequent basis, with occasional exception during parties, for which I float trichlor no matter what and then add cal hypo to oxidize.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    The Using Bromine in a Spa article from waterbear (he wrote that; I didn't) talks about the 2-steap and 3-step bromine systems, but that is mostly useful for maintaining a disinfectant level in between soaks so is better suited to those who soak infrequently, say once or twice a week. It might be possible to have the floater turned up enough to handle bather waste for frequent soaks, but in doing so it's likely that one starts a soak with a rather high bromine level and that may be objectionable (and some people don't like the smell of bromine/bromamine or have reactions to it as is this case).

    The issue here is that the right way to deal with peak high bather loads is to add an disinfectant (or oxidizer to activate a disinfectant as with a bromine spa) after a soak. Pouring chlorine bleach into a cup and adding it into the spa after you get out wet in the cold is what is trying to be avoided. I don't think the Trichlor pucks are going to work for this situation. If you add enough of them to handle bather waste, then you will likely start out with an unpleasantly high chlorine level during the soak.

    For frequent soaking, an ozonator can be helpful since it will oxidize some of the bather waste thereby lowering chlorine demand. In this situation, perhaps the Trichlor floater would work. A 3-step bromine system would also work since the ozonator can oxidize bromide to bromine, but getting the level right (by adjusting the bromide level in the bromide bank) will be tricky, but bromine doesn't work for you so that's out.

    What you really need is a system that will dose for you based on your bather load, basically automating the post-soak dosing while also maintaining a residual chlorine level until your next soak. As far as I know, such a system does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman
    ^Yes, that's pretty much it. Hot Tub guy felt I needed an ozonator, which is how he manages his set up.

    However, I had hoped that I could adjust this new feeder low enough to use trichlor to maintain a SMALL residual and then oxidize after a soak with either bleach or cal hypo...except my concern is that the cya will build up too quickly by my calculations.

    I'm the only regular user of the hot tub on a daily/frequent basis, with occasional exception during parties, for which I float trichlor no matter what and then add cal hypo to oxidize.
    What I am reading here is that if you switched to Bromine (unless you can't stand it) in a floater (EDIT: Not "THE" floater you have probably) you would be in good shape. You are willing to add CalHypo or Bleach after soaking - which is exactly what that method needs. The floater maintains the basic residual level - the added chlorine works on the bather waste (in bromine format).

    Richard - Sorry for identifying you rather than Waterbear... mind plays tricks.

    As for doing the wet freezing shuffle - when I have used a hot tub on vacation - my process is get out freezing and run inside with towel - dry off get dressed in warmer clothes and then go back outside and shut the cover and shut down the temp if I'm keeping it lower than while soaking. If I were maintaining a tub I'd probably also dump in the bleach then (carefully so I didn't get it on my clothes). Of course I wasn't dealing with any snow - and it might be farther to the tub than what I am thinking. Maybe measuring the bleach inside before going to the tub and putting it in a special small bleach bottle for that purpose and leaving it beside the tub during the soak and then dumping it quickly in as you are getting out would be the best choice.
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    CAN'T STAND THE BROMIDE!
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman
    CAN'T STAND THE BROMIDE!
    OK - that rules that out. Sorry to hear that. Dang.

    You seem to have a good idea of what to do - maybe the cruddy calhypo skimmer pucks are another option?
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Mini liquidator with a tiny peristaltic pump?
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    Re: Not to be lazy, but how fast will cya climb using trichl

    Thanks guys, I'll let you know how my evil plan with the trichlor mini pucks works out...I may be draining it by Xmas day but I do have a heated source of water in the garage so perhaps I'll just suck it up and do it that way if I can't control the cya.

    I might experiment with the cruddy cal hypo pucks too
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