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Thread: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    When I have stayed at a number of vacation homes I have used hot tubs - no test kit, no knowledge of water chemistry etc. So we happilly soaked for hours off an on and no one came to add anything to the water and no one told us we should.

    As a guest what is OK and what isn't OK to do to both protect my family and respect that this is someone elses?

    My thinking is that I would take my basic kit, test pH and OTO TC(or DPD FC/CC kit or FAS-DPD). Then test before a soak and after and bring some plain chlorox bleach with me. If the FC drops too low - I could hit it with some bleach when I get out.

    Is that a sound plan?
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    Yes, that is reasonable. If for some reason they never added CYA, such as using lithium hypochorite only or something like that, you could bring some Dichlor just in case. Or instead of bringing bleach, you could just bring Dichlor if you only plan to be there a short time. The CYA buildup will be someone else's problem
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Yes, that is reasonable. If for some reason they never added CYA, such as using lithium hypochorite only or something like that, you could bring some Dichlor just in case. Or instead of bringing bleach, you could just bring Dichlor if you only plan to be there a short time. The CYA buildup will be someone else's problem
    I would hate to add CYA if they had none. Also how could I tell if the are using bromine?


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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    Oh, I suspect if you're like me you'll be able to smell the bromine

    The folks who owned a vacation house that I used to stay at fairly regularly were very good about leaving a basket filled with pre-measured shock in little sandwich baggies, complete with instructions to use after each soak. You might wish to suggest the same to anyone you're renting from -- or offer to bag up the right amount for them while you're there if it's a case of their not being local/avail to do so. It makes it nice, simple AND SAFE for the folks staying there
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    SW, Which shock? Dichlor, Calhypo, MPS?

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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    I never knew, because they always had it in a pre-measured baggies in a basket by the door and their maintenance chemicals were presumably locked away in the cleaning woman's cupboard. They lived out of state but had someone local who acted as caretaker of the property.
    But they were pretty explicit in the "house instructions" about using one baggie each time the hot tub was used.

    It was a large hot tub and the family themselves also used the property for vacations, so I suspect whatever their method, the goal was to have good water the times they'd fly in without having to change it
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    ^in your shoes, I'd be inclined to use chem geeks recommended post-soak amount of bleach to shock because that works fine without adding anything even if it is a bromine pool. My hot tub guy, for example, tells all bromine users to use straight liquid chlorine for post-soak oxidization for that reason (it activates the bromine bank.) as a visitor, the benefit is you can add a teensy bit before the soak to ensure sanitation without actually mucking up whatever they consider to be "balanced"

    But if it's not convenient to travel with liquid bleach, I think the next best candidates might be MPS, then cal hypo if you don't want to add cya. Lots of hot tub users ignore cya, unfortunately, so using dichlor might not make much of a difference for a few days. Let's put it this way -- if they had a way they wanted, I expect they would leave instructions. So choose according to your own sense of comfort with the sanitization.

    Faced with an unknown hot tub and a few days, I'd likely add a small amount of bleach when I got there, eg 1.5-2 ppm, because I don't mind it if the chlorine is a little higher when I soak.
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    Re: Vacation Hot Tub - what to do as the guest?

    Just spray your kids down with some 409 after they hop out; you'll be all good

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