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Thread: Having Trouble with BBB

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    Having Trouble with BBB

    Ive had my hot tub for about 10 months now. We initially used the chemicals that came with SPA. When they ran out, we changed the water and went BBB. My first issue was that I couldnt seem to keep FC in the tub. Numbers would be in spec in regards to FC/CYA, but after a quick soak or a few days of non use no FC was in the tub. I began running a higher FC but then the bleach smell was a bit noticable. Not very strong. But stronger than it was when I was using the spa chemicals. I started using a product called Spa Oxidizing Shock by Natural Chemistry. I'm under the impression this is shock with no chlorine, also called MPS. This has helped tremendously with FC swings. My question about this product is how do you properly use it with the BBB method. Follow instructions on bottle, or is their a better way to figure out what my doseage should be with this product. Right now Im pretty much just guessing.

    My current problem is that the water seems to be a bit foamy when the jets are on high. Ive had this issue since switching to BBB. The water foams, but when you kill the jets, the foam goas away after 15- 30 seconds or so. Is there anything I can do to reduce the foam. I started to use the defoamer product I see in the pool stores, but I really want to avoid using any additional chemicals if I can.

    Thanks

    I use Walmart 8.25% Bleach to chlorinate


    CYA 50
    FC 12
    PH 7.2
    CC 1
    20,000 GAL, 16 X 32 IG Vinly Pool, Sand Filter, & 1.5 HP Hayward - Hot Spot Relay Hotub
    N. Mississippi.

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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    What were the chemicals that originally came with the spa? Also, it sounds like you aren't using the spa every day so the chlorine gets used up in between soaks. Does your spa have an ozonator?

    How long are you soaking and how much chlorine are you adding after the soak? It sounds like you haven't been adding enough after the soak to oxidize the bather waste. When you say you are "running a higher FC" that doesn't sound like you are following the procedures in Using Chlorine in my Spa. A spa or hot tub is not a pool. You do NOT simply maintain an FC/CYA ratio as found in the Pool School for pools. That is not at all how it works with a spa. The bather load in a spa is much, much higher than in a pool so you need to add a LOT of chlorine after a longer soak and you do not need to maintain a high chlorine level in between soaks. Usually people maintain roughly 2 ppm FC between soaks or they have it be higher and then dropping so that they start their next soak with 1-2 ppm FC. Also, the CYA level is usually targeted at around 30-40 ppm and not higher unless the spa is not covered and is often exposed to sunlight.

    Unless you get the Nature2 silver ion system, you should not use non-chlorine shock (MPS) for disinfection. It can be used for oxidation of bather waste, but by itself it is not a disinfectant and unfortunately it interferes with readings in the chlorine test kit unless you get the Taylor K-2042 MPS interference remover test kit.

    You can raise your Calcium Hardness (CH) to 120-150 ppm to reduce foaming. Perhaps your initial chemicals that came with the spa included a defoamer so you didn't have the issue then. Foaming usually comes from soaps in the water that come from your skin or swimsuits.

    Do you find your pH to be stable? Usually when using bleach, you'd need to have the TA lower to around 50 ppm and you need to use 50 ppm Borates (usually from boric acid).
    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: Having Trouble with BBB

    When I say running a higher FC, that just means instead for using 6ppm as my target/min, I use 8ppm. So I was keeping my FC in the 10ppm-12ppm range between soaks. But the FC drops were faster after switching to BBB, but after doing some reading I see that may be the norm, as BBB seems to be known for requiring more frequent testing. I use the MPS along with Bleach. I do not use MPS as my sole disinfector.

    CYA got higher because we used the dichlor too long when we first switched over to BBB.

    I have the Hot Spot Relay and it does have a Freshwater ION system. Does this mean I should use less bleach to chlorinate or maybe less MPS. Now Im a bit confused.

    I have the Taylor 2006. It seems like you're saying Im not getting an accurate FC reading with the kit I have. Do I need to purchase the 2042 or is there anything I can do with the 2006 to get an accurate FC reading.

    PH has been stable. I have never added Borates.

    thanks!
    20,000 GAL, 16 X 32 IG Vinly Pool, Sand Filter, & 1.5 HP Hayward - Hot Spot Relay Hotub
    N. Mississippi.

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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    If you were using Dichlor which is the common chemical used for chlorine, then the drops would be fairly similar to the Dichlor-then-bleach method. That is why I asked what you were using and I still don't understand what disinfectant and/or oxidizing chemicals were used that came with the spa. If you were using Dichlor before but weren't targeting a higher FC, then you would have had similar percentage loss, but in absolute FC it would be less so would be less chemical used.

    If you do not have an ozonator, that in a hot spa a normal 24-hour chlorine loss in between soaks with no bather load (i.e. not in the 24-hours after soaking) is 25% or somewhat less. With an ozonator it's 50% or more which is why I asked if you had an ozonator.

    I can't find any info on the Freshwater ION system but metal ions do not reduce at all the amount of oxidizer (chlorine or MPS) needed to oxidize bather waste after a soak. If you could find out if it uses silver ions, that would be helpful since that would give you another disinfection alternative using MPS though technically only the Nature2 silver ion product has passed EPA approval to be called a disinfectant (when used with MPS).

    What you should be doing is adding sufficient chlorine or combination of chlorine and MPS after your soak. In a hot (104F) spa with no ozonator, the rough rule-of-thumb is that every person-hour of soaking requires 3-1/2 teaspoons of Dichlor or 3-1/2 fluid ounces of 8.25% bleach or 7 teaspoons of non-chlorine shock (43% MPS). However, the real rule is to add whatever amount is needed so that you still have a residual of 1-2 ppm FC for the start of your next soak. If you don't soak every day or two, then you may need to add more chlorine in between soaks. Your FC level in between soaks should be in the 2-4 ppm range until the hours just before your next soak when you can let it drop to 1-2 ppm since most people don't want to have as much chlorine or monochloramine smell during their soak and the risk is low in a residential spa over an hour or so of soaking (monochloramine will still kill bacteria to control their growth, but kills more slowly). There's no wonder why at 6 or 8 ppm FC you smelled chloramines during the soak. You'd only have the chlorine up to 4 ppm FC or so during a soak if you were to soak with strangers and wanted to kill bacteria very quickly to prevent person-to-person transmission of disease, so appropriate for commercial/public spas, but for residential spas most people think that's overkill.

    MPS is acidic so if you are using that then that may be why your pH is stable. If you were using only bleach, then I'd be surprised if your pH was stable especially if you used jets.

    Why don't you just use bleach and not MPS to start out now that you know how to use it and see how things go. If you find the pH to be rising, then you can lower the TA to 50 ppm and add 50 ppm Borates (using boric acid that's most convenient). Then report back and if we need to tweak by using MPS then that could be done and the other test kit purchased, but let's wait on that at this point. Bleach is very inexpensive so let's see if we can get you on track with the least expensive and very effective approach first before making things more complicated.
    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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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    ^Just make sure that Walmart bleach is not the kind that says "easy pour" -- the "easy pour" type will foam up your system, and there hav been numerous reports of this in pools and hot tubs latly because the bottles look the same
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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    Hi Guys, Thanks for responding. First, let me apologize, as it appears in my effort to keep my posts short, I wasn't making myself clear.

    When we got the spa, it came with chemicals. The dealer pretty much wrote on each bottle when, and how much, to use. The wife did all the mataining of the spa during this time and I have no idea what those chemicals were. My only dealings with the spa were using it, and occasionally testing it with my then OTO test kit, just to make sure there was FC in the tub. Once the chems ran out. We did a water change and started using BBB for our tub and I took over maintaining the tub. The tub is a Hot Spot Relay and the ION system is silver. I recently replaced the cartridge, and when I was at the dealer he explained that it some how helps with disinfecting by putting a coat of silver on the water. Maybe not his words exactly, but something close to that.

    When we did the water change, we started out using Dichlor shock to add CYA. We did a couple of doses to many, hence the CYA 50. We then started chlorinating with Plain Walmart 8.25% bleach, with the exception of one time I picked up some chlorox and it was that easy pour stuff. Ever since then, Ive been sticking with great value. During the first couple of weeks on BBB, there were times we went to use the SPA and found very low FC levels, which never happend when using the pool store chems. Also, with the jets on the highest settings, we saw a little bit more foam than we saw when we were using chems. To address the FC drops, I started using higher FC targets, but then the chlorine became a bit noticable. It wasnt a really powerful scent. But it was more than with the chems. Eventually I began to use the MPS. It helped a lot with the FC drops. But I still had slightly foamy water.

    ANd that brings me to where I am today. Trying to resolve the foamy water and figure out how to properly dose the MPS and have it work with the bleach. Right now Ive pretty much been following the direction on the bottle, and just pretty much guessing when to add more than the bottle suggests. The foam is my biggest priority. Again, its not that bad and only happens when jets are high. It dissapears pretty much right away, when jets are off or turned down. But its more than what it was when we were using the chems, and I couldnt help but think that maybe my lack knowledge on how to properly dose the MPS may have something to do with the small amount of foam we're seeing.

    I hope this help clear up any confusion.

    Again, thanks!
    20,000 GAL, 16 X 32 IG Vinly Pool, Sand Filter, & 1.5 HP Hayward - Hot Spot Relay Hotub
    N. Mississippi.

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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    I don't think the foaming is due to your chlorine or MPS -- at least so long as the chlorine is not the easy-pour, splashless, outdoor, or other specialty bleach as they contain thickeners that will foam. It may be that you've had too many times with the chlorine too low so you might consider for your next water change using Ahh-Some. That would eliminate the possibility of biofilms contributing to the foaming.

    It would be useful for you to measure the 24-hour FC drop in between soaks (starting at least 24 hours after a soak) so we can figure out the loss rate.

    Also, you never indicated whether you have an ozonator. An ozonator will consume chlorine unless you soak every day or two. If that is your situation where you infrequently soak but have an ozonator and are not willing to add chlorine to the spa every day or two, then perhaps you should use MPS instead. That might be what your wife was using initially. Ozone does not react with MPS but it does with chlorine (doesn't matter if it's from Dichlor or from bleach).
    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: Having Trouble with BBB

    I have the Taylor 2006. It seems like you're saying Im not getting an accurate FC reading with the kit I have. Do I need to purchase the 2042 or is there anything I can do with the 2006 to get an accurate FC reading.
    I don't see where this has been answered........the K-2006 is one of our suggested kits and the accuracy cannot be beat.....it's fine.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    The question was with regard to MPS and that interferes with the Taylor K-2006 chlorine test or any other chlorine test. I'm suggesting he try just using chlorine and only if that isn't working and he wants to use MPS (and he can even use that by itself since he has silver ions in the water) then he can get the K-2042 to be able to separately measure the chlorine from the MPS using the Taylor K-2006 in conjunction with the K-2042. So right now, there's no need for the K-2042 if he just sticks to using chlorine until we get things sorted out.
    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: Having Trouble with BBB

    Trey: can you post CH and TA levels? Usually foaming is due to low CH levels and perhaps adjusting CH will reduce the foaming. It also could be that you have some residual biofilms if the spa has never been deep cleaned between water changes. The Ahh-some product mentioned is indeed awesome for removing residues in spa plumbing. How long since your last water change?
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    CH 90
    TA 80

    Last water change was late summer. I think it was mid September.

    Im leaning towards doing a water change and using the Ahh-some product.

    From this point on, I will use bleach only. No MPS.
    20,000 GAL, 16 X 32 IG Vinly Pool, Sand Filter, & 1.5 HP Hayward - Hot Spot Relay Hotub
    N. Mississippi.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    A CH of 150 is recommended in most situations to prevent foaming. When you refill after the deep cleaning, be sure to use all un-softened water and retest the CH. If it's still below 100, bring it up above 100 for sure, target 150.

    3 months is a reasonable expectation for water change cycle for a frequently used, well maintained spa.

    MPS can still be useful in a spa, just need to be aware of how it works and how it may affect testing.

    Read through the How do I use Chlorine in my Spa thread and learn what you can there as well.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    Just wanted to give an update on my situation. Look like raising the CH did the trick. I raised CH to 130ish and thats where I saw the most improvment. I had stopped using the MPS initially, but I saw no change in the amount of foam I was seeing. After a while I then raised the CH and saw a difference, but I was CL faster. So I went back to using the MPS and the CL 'appears' to be sticking around a bit longer. Seems to be back on track on being easy to maintain

    You guys have been very helpful. Thanks... But Im still having confused about one issue. The accuracy vs non accuracy of CL testing when using MSP along with Chlorine, if your test kit is the taylor 2006.
    It would be great if someone can either give me a bit more info on this.


    Again, thanks!


    thanks!
    20,000 GAL, 16 X 32 IG Vinly Pool, Sand Filter, & 1.5 HP Hayward - Hot Spot Relay Hotub
    N. Mississippi.

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    Re: Having Trouble with BBB

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey9007 View Post
    You guys have been very helpful. Thanks... But Im still having confused about one issue. The accuracy vs non accuracy of CL testing when using MSP along with Chlorine, if your test kit is the taylor 2006.
    It would be great if someone can either give me a bit more info on this.


    Again, thanks!


    thanks!
    MPS gives a false reading on CC. Check out what Taylor has to say: http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Ch...P?ContentID=24
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