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Thread: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

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    Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    So we are now in a home that came with a hot tub outside on the cement porch. It's a Tiger Spas Sumatran model. I got a flyer in the mail addressed to the previous owners from a local spa store. I went into the spa store to get some water tests done, from the well & afterour water softener, and talk to them about starting it up.

    Well, I found out the previous owners also purchased the hot tub from them and it has an ozonator in it.

    The tub is currently empty and the shell looks fairly clean when checked under the cover. I had been reading about bromine on here because of a friend & his success with bromine, but the spa store had a different recommendation.

    The spa store recommended a set of various items for start up which included a Fresh Water brand Continuous Silver Ion Sanitizer cartridge that goes in the middle of the filter and then an non-chlorine shock product and a chlorine shock product. My understanding of what they were stating is that that the mineral cartridge & ozonator serve as the continuous sanitizer and the non-chlorine & chlorine products for a after soak type sanitizer/weekly shock.

    My gut feeling was not too good that an ozonator and mineral cartridge were enough to keep things clean but wanted to ask the knowledge of this forum for an opinion.

    They also recommended Silk Balance. Some initial search on TFP and I did not find many hits so I'm still on the hunt for info on this one. Update: This post by chem geek refers to silk balance and gives some explanation and also seems to describe what the spas store was recommending.
    Some variants of the system use Nature2 with MPS to minimize the amount of chlorine that is needed, dosing with chlorine about once a week and using MPS after soaks (the Nature2 provides silver ions).

    So think of the product as an add-on to an existing regimen of either chlorine or Nature2/MPS.....
    http://www.silkbalance.com/customer-...e-bottle-19799

    They had some test strips picked out asll well but I'm already committed to ordering Taylor kit, the Taylor K-2006 if I go the Bromine route.

    I'd appreciate any feedback on the above and other things I might check and do before starting up the spa.
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    I'm going to try to include an image of the set of products the spa store was recommending.
    From Left to Right:
    Non-chlorine sanitizer
    Mineral Cartridge
    chlorine sanitizer (I might have this reversed with the sanitizer above but not super crucial for the intent of this post)
    test strips
    PH Decreaser (I will have to post the results of their water test which indicated my water was on the high side)
    Scale Inhibitor (Now this they said would not be needed if I went with the Silk Balance instead)

    Please let me know if the image is not showing it worked for me when I previewed the post
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    And here are the water test results from the store. Softened water on the left and straight well water on the right.
    Any recommendations for when I start this spa up? I plan to fill it with softened water if I possible. I have a Kinetico system that hopefully can keep up.
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    Since you've already got the chemicals, you can try using the silver ion system with non-chlorine shock (MPS) and use chlorine (Dichlor) weekly. However, that's much more expensive than using the Dichlor-then-bleach method described in Using Chlorine in a Spa. You should get a good test kit since test strips are not very accurate and won't measure some parameters (such as Calcium Hardness as opposed to Total Hardness) at all.
    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
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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    Sidenote: you said those test results were of your well nd softened water, right? And that your hot tub is empty?

    Both those tests show CYA readings -- there is no cya in well water or softened water. So that tells you all you need to know about teir testing machine
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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Since you've already got the chemicals, you can try using the silver ion system with non-chlorine shock (MPS) and use chlorine (Dichlor) weekly. However, that's much more expensive than using the Dichlor-then-bleach method described in Using Chlorine in a Spa. You should get a good test kit since test strips are not very accurate and won't measure some parameters (such as Calcium Hardness as opposed to Total Hardness) at all.
    Thanks for the reply chem geek. I did not purchase any of those chemicals/products. That was just what the pool store was recommending. Sorry I did not make that clearer.

    I'm planning on using bromine and from what I read/learned the spa's ozonator should compliment the bromine compared to a chlorine based spa.

    I just received the Taylor K-2106 test kit in the mail today.
    I'd be eager to hear any other advice you have for me as I get this spa going and with bromine spa water maintenance.
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman
    Sidenote: you said those test results were of your well nd softened water, right? And that your hot tub is empty?

    Both those tests show CYA readings -- there is no cya in well water or softened water. So that tells you all you need to know about teir testing machine
    Correct those test results were of well and softened water. The hot tub is still empty. Good point on the CYA in those results and the quality of their test machine. What's the saying on here? I was pool stored or spa stored.
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    If you aren't going to use the tub every day or two, then yes with an ozonator a bromine system will be easier to maintain since the ozone will make bromine from a bromide bank. So use the 3-step [EDIT] CORRECTION - 2-step [END-EDIT] bromine method described in Using Bromine 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
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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    If you aren't going to use the tub every day or two, then yes with an ozonator a bromine system will be easier to maintain since the ozone will make bromine from a bromide bank. So use the 3-step bromine method described in Using Bromine in a Spa.
    Sorry, I'm not clear on this. I thought if I were not to use used the tub every day or two then I would use the 2-step bromine method as as my spa has an ozonator and thus I might not need a floater and tabs. What am I misunderstanding?
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Starting up a spa. Bromine or Spa store recommendation?

    You're right. You don't need the tabs if you start off with a bromide bank and the ozonator creates enough bromine from the bromide. Sorry about that -- I'll edit my post to correct it.

    As for irritation with bromine, there is truth to it for some people, though it's mostly bromamine and the fact that bromine isn't moderated in its strength. It's something you could try, but to convert to chlorine requires a drain/refill.
    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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