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Thread: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

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    What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Hi all,

    We're waiting on delivery of our new Jacuzzi tub in about a month and I want to be prepared. Wondering what test kit we should get. Dealer seems ok with strips or the drops but from reading here it seems most think drops are the way to go.

    It will have the Clear Ray system in it and I think they mentioned some silver thing and some Nature 2 perhaps with non chlorine shock on a schedule (if all that makes sense).

    thanks!

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    What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Nature 2 for a hot tub makes sense to me. That is what we use in out Viking tub. Not that familiar with Clear Ray, just know that it is UV. The "silver thing" is likely the Nature 2.

    What we do (we have no uv or ozone) is just Nature 2. Every 4 months we drop a new stick in the filter. Toss a capful of chlorine in there to "activate" the stick. From there on out it is non chlorine shock every time tub is used or at least weekly.

    We have tried chlorine, bromine and about everything else and the N2 is about as easy as it gets for the tub.

    To answer your initial question I use my K2006 from my pool to get the ph and ta correct. Other than that we just shock. If there is heavy use during the summer I will occasionally toss in some LC to napalm it.


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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Ok good to know. They mentioned adding a bit after the tub was used and then a weekly shock. The dealer we're buying it from had us bring in a water sample so they could tell ahead of time what we'd likely need. Ph was 7.6 (which I guess is at the top of the range - think they said 7.2 - 7.6 is fine). Hardness was 200ppm, Alkalinity was 7-ppm and no metals so they said on start up we'd need to add some alkalinity increaser. And now that I look at the sheet, it might be ProClear (which I think it's Jacuzzi specific) that's used but it looks similar to the Nature 2 cartridges.

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Is there some sort of disadvantage in using bleach to sanitize a hot tub? All this talk of napalm and shocking has me wondering why not just maintain proper level of chlorine. Then never have to shock or napalm. No?
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    The main disadvantage to using bleach (after using Dichlor or adding CYA to the water) is that you have to add it every day or two or possibly twice a week to a spa even when not used. It's hard to have the chlorine last a week unless the temperature of the spa is significantly lowered. This assumes one does not have an ozonator. With an ozonator, ozone reacts with chlorine canceling each other out (converting ozone to oxygen gas and converting chlorine to chloride and chlorate) so the chlorine demand is more than doubled and that requires adding chlorine every day or maybe every other day but not less than that.

    So it really comes down to convenience since with MPS you can add it weekly if not using the spa because the MPS will last longer and is not used up by an ozonator. However note that MPS by itself is not a disinfectant and needs silver ions in the water and the water needs to be kept hot at least when in use in order to kill pathogens quickly.

    Now as far as shocking or high chlorine levels, that is inevitable whenever there is a lot of bather load which is pretty easy to have in residential spas since they are not very large. Every person-hour of soaking would require roughly 7 ppm FC in 350 gallons to oxidize the bather waste. What is usually not needed when using chlorine is to do any additional shocking. Instead one just maintains a chlorine level in between soaks and adds sufficient chlorine to oxidize bather waste right after a soak. One basically does the same thing with MPS -- the difference being that the MPS lasts longer in between soaks. Bleach is a lot less expensive than MPS, but spa volumes for either one are fairly small.
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    I'm using liquid chlorine and add 100mL every evening. That keeps level ok, even after 1 our soak with 2 person's. When we are away we use melpool 70/20 tabs, these are without stabilizer.
    Arctic Spa Klondike Legend SE
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Melpool 70/20 tabs are Cal-Hypo where for every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) they also add at least 7 ppm Calcium Hardness (CH). So you need to be careful about using these tabs long-term since the rise in CH can lead to scaling. If your spa chlorine usage is low at around 1 ppm per day (say 25% chlorine demand at 4 ppm FC) then the CH increase by around 20 ppm per month so that shouldn't be a problem. I'm surprised these don't dissolve too quickly in a hot spa. Even in a pool, Cal-Hypo tabs don't dissolve evenly and have binders in them that are leftover and don't dissolve (so tend to float on the surface).

    I assume that you are starting out adding some CYA to the water, either with pure CYA or by using Dichlor for a week or so, correct? You have to have some CYA in the water (say 30-40 ppm) to moderate chlorine's strength. Otherwise it will be too harsh on equipment and hot tub covers as well as on your swimsuits, skin and hair and will outgas faster as well.
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Perhaps my answer was to quick. Looking for a solution to add enough fc during vacation I purchased the pucks to have a way for the guy who is watching the home to add fc without him to have to handle lc every day. Did not knowabout the side effect AND did not have the oppurtunity to test the pucks. So for me only usage for ahort periods. Triggered by your remark I will test the pucks asap
    Arctic Spa Klondike Legend SE
    AG / Filter Cardtrige 50m2/ TFP / borates / TF100
    478 gallon @ 99.5-103.1 F Depending on season
    Ozonator disconnected

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    And yes I did add CYA manually with melpool cya to appr 30 ish
    Arctic Spa Klondike Legend SE
    AG / Filter Cardtrige 50m2/ TFP / borates / TF100
    478 gallon @ 99.5-103.1 F Depending on season
    Ozonator disconnected

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    I just purchased the Taylor K-2006 kit based on recommendations from this forum, and I'm really pleased with it. My measurements with my cheaper kit and test strips were certainly in the ballpark, but it's good to have the confidence that the numbers are dead-on, which is what you get with these titration kits.

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Does MPS react with ClearRay (UV-C) like it does with an ozonator? i.e. do I need something in addition to the K-2006 test kit to "overcome" the MPS readings?

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    While ozone reacts with chlorine and UV can break chlorine down, neither reacts with MPS so far as I know.

    If you want to distinguish between chlorine and MPS, then you can get the Taylor K-2042 for that purpose.
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    But we don't necessarily need to distinguish between chlorine and MPS? So if we're using nature 2 with MPS then K-2006 is fine as is?

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    If you are using Nature2 with MPS then that is your main disinfectant so yes you are right that you don't really need to distinguish between MPS and chlorine. Just note that with the FAS-DPD test that if you have no chlorine at all then the MPS might look like CC since you may not see an initial pink and if you then add R-0003 then you'll see pink and think this is CC when it's really MPS. Just don't get confused by that and you should be fine. The K-2006 would not only let you distinguish between MPS and chlorine, but also know if there is real CC. In practice, you'll probably not need to know that unless you notice a problem with chloramine odor that you have trouble getting rid of (shouldn't happen).
    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: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    If you are using Nature2 with MPS then that is your main disinfectant so yes you are right that you don't really need to distinguish between MPS and chlorine. Just note that with the FAS-DPD test that if you have no chlorine at all then the MPS might look like CC since you may not see an initial pink and if you then add R-0003 then you'll see pink and think this is CC when it's really MPS. Just don't get confused by that and you should be fine. The K-2006 would not only let you distinguish between MPS and chlorine, but also know if there is real CC. In practice, you'll probably not need to know that unless you notice a problem with chloramine odor that you have trouble getting rid of (shouldn't happen).
    Can I revive this one for a minute. We're about a month into the new tub. Things are (I think) going well thanks to the help of everyone here. We test weekly, add the Leisure Time Replenish after each soak, rinse the filters weekly and today we put the new ones in and used some cartridge cleaner spray on the ones that have been in for a month. The water is clear, no foaming (just some bubbles sometime when we're in it and I'm 99% sure that's coming from my hair since it's at a length that I can't really tie it totally up so some gets in the water) and it doesn't smell. No scum lines or anything.

    Today's readings using Taylor K-2006 kit:
    pH: 7.2
    Ak: 80
    CH: 130
    CYA: 42
    FC: 2.4
    CC: 0.2

    My question is around the FC reading/testing as it relates to ChemGeek's post. When I tested the water with the 4 in 1 strips, I got no reading on the FC. I got some Nature2 test strips (since we have the Nature2 cartridge in it) and it read MPS in the "ok" range. GREAT!! And then when I read FC with the Taylor kit I get 2.4 (ok but really could be lower given we use the Nature2 cartridge). The Replenish we add after each soak is 15% Dichlor but I think it's mainly MPS right? So is the Taylor kit getting confused? My CC level seems ok at 0.2 and the water doesn't smell like chlorine. But are the strips really THAT off that they'd read 0 FC when the test kit reads 2.4? When I do the test with the Taylor kit and add the powder, I get pink right away so it seems like maybe the strips are goofy but this just seems odd to me since they allegedly read so low according to the scale I'd expect them to get some reading.

    thanks!

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    The chlorine test strips may not be reacting to the MPS in the water. The Nature2 test strips are designed to react to MPS which is why they read "ok". So not much mystery here. If you really wanted to clearly distinguish between chlorine and MPS, then you could get the Taylor K-2042 that you would use with your K-2006 kit. However, as I wrote earlier, that's not necessary since with the silver ions it doesn't matter whether you've got MPS or chlorine in the water.

    As for the CC, 0.2 ppm means "up to 0.2" and is negligible and nothing to worry about, especially since you've got MPS that under some conditions would show up as CC instead of FC (unless you had the K-2042 kit to properly distinguish chlorine from MPS).
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    I guess where I keep getting confused is why the 2.4 FC from the Taylor kit doesn't register as anything on the regular Insta 4 strips? I get the MPS part and am going to use those strips to check that going forward since you so nicely talked me out of "shocking" each week as the store suggested. I'm going to keep doing what we've been doing and all but I'm not clear on what Taylor K-2006 would read 2.4 FC and nothing on the regular strips. I know you mentioned the CC might be picking up the MPS but wouldn't the FC Taylor test read true chlorine and not get confused with MPS or are you saying that may not be the case?

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Without the K-2042 MPS interference remover, the Taylor chlorine test kit will be interfered by MPS meaning that MPS will show up as chlorine in the test. In a regular DPD test it will mostly show up as CC but in the FAS-DPD test that you are using then even a small amount of pink would have you add the FAS drops and those react with MPS so they'd be counted as FC. If you saw no initial pink, then you'd add the R-0003 potassium iodide which likely reacts with MPS and you'd end up counting it as CC.

    The test strip may be using a different chemical than DPD and it certainly isn't using FAS titration drops nor the potassium iodide for the CC part of the test. If that is true, then you could use those as a guide to whether there was any chlorine, but since you don't really care about that and just want to know whether there is MPS in the water then either the MPS test strips of the K-2006 chlorine test (total chlorine so FC+CC) would tell you the MPS level (technically the sum of MPS and chlorine, but we've already established you probably have little or no chlorine).

    The following chart shows roughly what may be going on:

    Test Chemical .... Chlorine ........ MPS
    DPD dye ............... pink/red ........ nothing (or faint pink)
    FAS drops ............. DPD to clear ... reacts (so looks like FC)
    KI R-0003 ............. CC ................ reacts (so looks like CC)
    MPS test strip ........ nothing .......... reacts so turns color
    FC test strip .......... reacts/colors ... nothing (does not react)
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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    Ok now I get it. I thought that the MPS only messed with the CC reading, not the FC too. So I'll just use my Nature2 strips for monitoring the MPS and not even worry about checking the FC/CC unless we have to shock for some reason and really need to know that.

    I know you've said that the MPS lasts longer but needs to be used with the Nature2 system and also that the water has to be kept hot. We keep it at 102 now but over the summer would likely drop that to... I don't know, 80 - 90? What's considered "hot" for MPS to be effective with the mineral system?

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    Re: What test kit to get for new Jacuzzi tub

    The MPS lasts longer WHEN THERE IS NO BATHER LOAD -- that is, in between soaks. When you dose after a bather load, both chlorine and MPS get used up rather quickly by the bather load.

    As for keeping the water hot, that is for fast disinfection. During the summer, you should still be OK if the water were warm at 85 or so, but technically even at 80 it just means the kill time is slower, not zero. It just won't meet the very fast kill time requirements of the EPA but it should still kill bacteria faster than they can reproduce (even silver ions alone can do that) so I think you'll be OK. The risk would be if you were to have a spa party with strangers some of whom were sick in which case you might get person-to-person transmission of disease from the fecal-to-oral route for viruses or protozoan oocysts (if the person has diarrhea, though those pathogens are resistant to disinfection anyway). You could always just use some chlorine instead of MPS in that situation.
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