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Thread: Spa living in the twilight zone...

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    Syvman's Avatar
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    Spa living in the twilight zone...

    After reading this, I fear I might be living in the twilight zone... Let me explain - last month I decontaminated our spa (hasn't had water since 2004) and filled it. I shocked using non-chlorine shock and then dropped the floater in the spa with bromine tabs. The spa is 425 gal. acrylic (above ground). We've kept the water around 90-95 degrees (the past couple of days in AZ it's been a "cool tub" in lieu of a hot tub), and I have been testing the water every couple of days. I did not establish a bromine "bank" but every time I test (I use a new Taylor simple OTO kit to test total bromine) I am reading 10 ppm (possibly more) total bromine. ph and alk are fine - haven't moved in the couple weeks that it has had water. The tub has been used daily by my daughter and wife. How could the bromine levels be so high without establishing a bank or crushing bromine tabs into the water? I haven't added more tabs to the floater and they still appear to be fairly good-sized, so I doubt they are dissolving too quickly. Very confused - anyone know what could be going on here? Thanks!
    EDIT: I suppose I should add that I cover the tub each night with a hard cover to help with evaporation and the tub is indoors. Not sure if that makes a difference or not. I should also mention that the water is clear, no foaming issues, and no overpowering smell issues, either.
    Last edited by Syvman; 06-04-2014 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Clarification
    Indoor IG Plaster ~7000 gal., 3/4 HP Pac-Fab pump (gal/hr flow rate not listed on pump), Hayward S210T sand filter (using 100 lb. zeo media), five 2x20 ft. Sungrabber solar panels, Taylor K-2006C test kit (overkill, I know), GLI Dirt Devil Rogue BX-35 suction cleaner, Pentair Skimmer/Suction side adapter for cleaner, "Scumbug" in skimmer. NOT INSTALLED YET: Poolmiser SM500 wireless water leveler, SPA: 425 gal. acrylic bromine floater

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Does your tub have an ozonator? If so, then if you added any brominating concentrate or used any bromine tabs then you could have some bromide in the water even though you didn't add it explicitly. Ozone will make more bromine from a bromide bank, though it usually needs more than just a little bromide to do so.
    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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    Syvman's Avatar
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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    No, no ozonator - it's a pretty rudimentary tub - over 20 years old, just a two speed pump, some jets and a heater. I'll run some more thorough tests today and post the results (have had the floater out for a day and a half now).
    Last edited by Syvman; 06-04-2014 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Grammar
    Indoor IG Plaster ~7000 gal., 3/4 HP Pac-Fab pump (gal/hr flow rate not listed on pump), Hayward S210T sand filter (using 100 lb. zeo media), five 2x20 ft. Sungrabber solar panels, Taylor K-2006C test kit (overkill, I know), GLI Dirt Devil Rogue BX-35 suction cleaner, Pentair Skimmer/Suction side adapter for cleaner, "Scumbug" in skimmer. NOT INSTALLED YET: Poolmiser SM500 wireless water leveler, SPA: 425 gal. acrylic bromine floater

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    UPDATE: Ok, so after leaving the floater out for two days, this is more what I would expect... I used my FAS-DPD test kit and got 2 ppm total bromine. Confirmed with the OTO test kit. I swear, I had 10 yesterday - I haven't even been drinking this week.
    So, I checked the tabs in the floater - they're pretty small - I was incorrect in my previous assumption that they were still good sized - they appear to be dissolving pretty quickly, so that might explain why the levels remained high even without establishing a bank. I didn't actually look at them before, I just sorta shook the floater to see how big they "sounded"... Probably not exactly the best way to check something. So I have added new tabs and re-introduced the floater back to the spa, just opened the floater half-way instead of wide open. I figure this is something I'm just going to have to "dial-in" via trial and error.
    This leads me to another question - the bromine tabs I am using are old. I mean OLD. They were originally purchased in probably 2003 or so. Same with my shock (MPS). Do these sorts of things expire? They've been stored in a dry environment and kept in their container, but I wonder if maybe the age of the chemicals is causing something fishy to happen here?
    Indoor IG Plaster ~7000 gal., 3/4 HP Pac-Fab pump (gal/hr flow rate not listed on pump), Hayward S210T sand filter (using 100 lb. zeo media), five 2x20 ft. Sungrabber solar panels, Taylor K-2006C test kit (overkill, I know), GLI Dirt Devil Rogue BX-35 suction cleaner, Pentair Skimmer/Suction side adapter for cleaner, "Scumbug" in skimmer. NOT INSTALLED YET: Poolmiser SM500 wireless water leveler, SPA: 425 gal. acrylic bromine floater

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    Re: Spa living in the twilight zone...

    I don't think there's anything unusual going on. When the feeder is wide open, it is supposed to output a lot since that's to handle either a larger spa or somewhat more bather load (though not full bather load -- you are expected to add an oxidizer after your soak if you soak a lot). The old tablets are still probably OK if they have been kept dry in a sealed container, though 10 years is quite a long time.
    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: Spa living in the twilight zone...

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    I don't think there's anything unusual going on. When the feeder is wide open, it is supposed to output a lot since that's to handle either a larger spa or somewhat more bather load (though not full bather load -- you are expected to add an oxidizer after your soak if you soak a lot). The old tablets are still probably OK if they have been kept dry in a sealed container, though 10 years is quite a long time.
    That's good to know, however I thought I might purchase a small container of new tablets and replace and see if the levels stay the same, or if they change - that would be a good indicator as to whether or not those older tabs are still in good shape, I think... Does that sound like a good idea? I haven't had a chance to test today after re-introducing the floater (at a much smaller opening), but if anything is really out of whack, I'll come crawling back looking for advice. Thank you for your help!!!
    -Terry
    Indoor IG Plaster ~7000 gal., 3/4 HP Pac-Fab pump (gal/hr flow rate not listed on pump), Hayward S210T sand filter (using 100 lb. zeo media), five 2x20 ft. Sungrabber solar panels, Taylor K-2006C test kit (overkill, I know), GLI Dirt Devil Rogue BX-35 suction cleaner, Pentair Skimmer/Suction side adapter for cleaner, "Scumbug" in skimmer. NOT INSTALLED YET: Poolmiser SM500 wireless water leveler, SPA: 425 gal. acrylic bromine floater

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    Re: Spa living in the twilight zone...

    If your test kit measures bromine, the tablets are very likely still OK. So yes, you could compare against new tablets to see if you get similar results.
    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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    Syvman's Avatar
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    Re: Spa living in the twilight zone...

    UPDATE: All is looking okay - new tabs seem to maintain the same level of bromine in the water that the old ones do. One thing I am noticing is that my brominating floater needs to be almost all the way closed (basically half of the first slot opened) in order to maintain a correct bromine level, which just seems awfully small to me (the floater has four slots, increasing in size as you open the dispenser). I seem to have to keep it at half of the shortest slot - otherwise the levels go too high. I'm not sure if it's a faulty floater or if that's just "how it is" but if I can't keep this dialed in I might opt for a different floater (not the $3 cheapo). Thanks again for your help!
    Indoor IG Plaster ~7000 gal., 3/4 HP Pac-Fab pump (gal/hr flow rate not listed on pump), Hayward S210T sand filter (using 100 lb. zeo media), five 2x20 ft. Sungrabber solar panels, Taylor K-2006C test kit (overkill, I know), GLI Dirt Devil Rogue BX-35 suction cleaner, Pentair Skimmer/Suction side adapter for cleaner, "Scumbug" in skimmer. NOT INSTALLED YET: Poolmiser SM500 wireless water leveler, SPA: 425 gal. acrylic bromine floater

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