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Thread: New to hottub - water problems

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    New to hottub - water problems

    So I am new to having a hottub, maybe 2 months. We had it running but I was fighting cloudiness and odors so I drained and refilled, I used the leisuretime Chemical system, thought I followed the directions now I have cloudy water and constantly am getting the filter blocked up with white chalky (calcium?) deposits. I have been battling this since Sunday, it's now Wednesday

    Here is what I did:
    Filled tub
    Used the metal gon
    Adjusted ph and alkalinity with spa up and alkalinity increaser
    used the ph balance
    Tried to adjust calcium with the calcium booster because I had no calcium reading
    By the way I am using the leisure time test strips to check
    I added renew to shock and the spa 56 chlorine
    Still wasn't getting any calcium levels but didn't add more calcium booster because the water was cloudy and the filter wa blocking up with what appeared to be calcium
    I've added defender to try and clear up the cloudiness and continue to have the filter blocking up, it appears that it may be getting better. But not quickly.
    I'm thinking that the calcium booster was not the was to go as in reading the label further on the ph balance it mentions that you shouldn't add or even look at calcium levels with that added.
    So what can I do to improve the situation? Any help is greatly appreciated, I spent quite a bit on the leisure time chemicals thinking they were the way to go, but having just found this forum and looking at the posts, I'm guessing that they are not.
    Also should I continue with the test strips or go with a better water test kit?

    Thanks for any help

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    Re: New to hottub - water problems

    Welcome to TFP!

    It sounds like you added too much calcium, probably because your test strips are useless. Test strips don't even test for Calcium Hardness (CH). They only test for Total Hardness and don't do very well for other readings either. Yes, you definitely need to get a proper test kit. See Test Kits Compared for two of the kits we recommend. I suggest you also read Using Chlorine in a Spa (there's a summary near the end of the first post) though you should target a Total Alkalinity (TA) of 50 ppm and the use of 50 ppm Borates is pretty much required, not optional, if you use this Dichlor-then-bleach method.
    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: New to hottub - water problems

    Thanks for the information, I just ordered a test kit so I should have a better picture of water quality once that arrives.
    I'm guessing from what I read i am pretty much on hold until that arrives, it sounds like I can try to balance using the strips I have but likely won't be suceessful.

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    Re: New to hottub - water problems

    i bought a bullfrog hottub 425 gal water, in november then drained it after 2 weeks as suggested by dealer. filled with filtered water with whole house filter from lowe's, 5 micron filter, adjusted ph with hth ph minus (sodium bisulfate), then using carefree clearwater ionizer model 1100, installed on a float in spa 8 hrs. and ion level was approx 0.3-0.4 and added p.h. perfect. have been using spa 9 days and p.h is still approx 7.3 only add approx. 1 tablespoon of glb oxy-brite (potassium peroxymonosulfate) when we get out of spa and let pumps run approx 5 min. water still looks as clean or cleaner than water out of faucet.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New to hottub - water problems

    Quote Originally Posted by bullfrogspa682
    i bought a bullfrog hottub 425 gal water, in november then drained it after 2 weeks as suggested by dealer. filled with filtered water with whole house filter from lowe's, 5 micron filter, adjusted ph with hth ph minus (sodium bisulfate), then using carefree clearwater ionizer model 1100, installed on a float in spa 8 hrs. and ion level was approx 0.3-0.4 and added p.h. perfect. have been using spa 9 days and p.h is still approx 7.3 only add approx. 1 tablespoon of glb oxy-brite (potassium peroxymonosulfate) when we get out of spa and let pumps run approx 5 min. water still looks as clean or cleaner than water out of faucet.
    Your spa is unsafe to use because the water isn't being sanitized. You have been hustled, and need to learn how to sanitize your water before someone gets sick from using using your spa. Appearance is not a valid criteria to judge water safety.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New to hottub - water problems

    The Carefree Clearwater ionizer presumably introduces both copper and silver (and zinc) into the water so the silver plus the non-chlorine shock (MPS) could be similar to the Nature2 system, BUT you would have to maintain the MPS level. Also, this system did not get EPA approval to make any disinfection claims the way that Nature2 did so I would beware.
    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: New to hottub - water problems

    So I have received the test kit adjusted my levels - calcium hardness is extremely low about 20. I have noticed white powdery deposits in the seats and low spots of the spa, its my thought that the other chemicals from the leisure time system which are supposed to help cloudiness are causing the calcium to 'drop out' of solution.
    pH is inline at 7.5, chlorine is low, but cya is at 30, I am switching to bleach instead of the dichlor based on the recommendations that I have read, any thoughts on the calcium? Also borates is low, I will start working on them this week thru use of borax. Any thoughts/ suggestions are appreciated

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    Re: New to hottub - water problems

    Since I don't know what specific other chemicals you are using, it's hard to say. Some systems use a phosphate pH buffer and that will certainly precipitate calcium (as calcium phosphate). If you go with Dichlor-then-bleach, I target 50 ppm for the TA and use 50 ppm Borates as well. Other than that, everything else is described correctly in Using Chlorine in a Spa.
    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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