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Thread: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

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    Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    Made the move to Borates last week. Happy with the maintenance, but not happy with how the water "feels". To me, everything is too "squeaky".

    I was expecting a "silky" feel, based on what I read from others regarding bromate. Didn't happen. I can't slide from seat to seat in the hottub. It's too grippy.

    I guess I was expecting the water to feel like soft water from a home water softener system.

    Researched adding salt and I'm seeing some yes answers to adding salt, with a 2000 ppm target.

    I plugged in the 2000 ppm salt target in the calculator and it says add 8 lbs. of salt.

    What kind of salt? Will Epsom Salt work?

    What needs to be checked regarding spa parts to make a good decision on wear and tear? I'm sure the mfg. will say no, based on what I've read.

    Is there any other product recommended that will make the spa and bather skin feel more slippery / silkier?

    Getting ready to go for a squeaky soak.

    Br = 10
    Ph= 7.4
    TA = 50
    CH = 150
    Borate = 50 estimated
    Temp = 100F

    Thanks!
    2007 Artesian Island Spa, Bahama 52, 2 pump, 450 gallon, Serial# 75777, Build date 2/23/2007, on Bromine and Borates.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    Not Epsom salt. You want plain salt, like solar salt for softeners that is sold in 40 pound bags for around $5
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    LOL at your grippy squeaky descriptions, very descriptive, I know what you mean.

    I don't know if you have some specific reasons for using bromine. We use bleach, borax and CYA in our tub and there are some epsom salts too and it is very nice water. No salt. It is smooth and silky. I don't know if bromine could be the difference or if salt will help yours. It is certainly worth giving salt a try and if it doesn't make it better then try something else.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-Spa-(or-pool) is how I maintain my tub.
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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    LOL at your grippy squeaky descriptions, very descriptive, I know what you mean.

    I don't know if you have some specific reasons for using bromine. We use bleach, borax and CYA in our tub and there are some epsom salts too and it is very nice water. No salt. It is smooth and silky. I don't know if bromine could be the difference or if salt will help yours. It is certainly worth giving salt a try and if it doesn't make it better then try something else.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-Spa-(or-pool) is how I maintain my tub.
    Using Bromine since I have to leave the spa unattended for a week at a time. Wondering about adding an ozonator...
    2007 Artesian Island Spa, Bahama 52, 2 pump, 450 gallon, Serial# 75777, Build date 2/23/2007, on Bromine and Borates.

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    Gritty Bromine Bromated Spa

    I'm about to file for bromine divorce.

    After setting up borates, the spa is too "squeaky".

    Now, I'm noticing a gritty / sandy feel on all spa surfaces, both horizontal and vertical. It easily disappears when I sweep my hand across it, and doesn't return until the next time I soak. The surfaces are still "squeaky", also. The filters are new. Water changed about a week ago.

    100F
    Br - 5
    Ph - 7.8
    TA - 40
    CH - 200

    No sand in it. Nothing I can see.

    Too hard?
    Last edited by heykerrdog; 05-25-2015 at 04:15 PM. Reason: corrected bromates to borates
    2007 Artesian Island Spa, Bahama 52, 2 pump, 450 gallon, Serial# 75777, Build date 2/23/2007, on Bromine and Borates.

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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    it is "squeaky" because it is clean, most spa's that are slippery have some growth starting.. so be happy about that... I have salt added to my spa and it does help with the feel of the water, my wife loves it.. I put about 9 pounds in also.. I went and splurged on regular pool salt for my hot tub, 2 dollars more... I also use bromine and if you do not have an ozinator i would not add it, mine runs constantly and will kill a cover in 2 years from the outgasing...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    Thanks. I'm still hesitating on the salt. My wife and I are concerned that adding salt will give us 450 gallons of plant-killing water when it's time to change out water. Where do you dump your spa water? We're in southern California. I don't know if the salt level in spa water treated with salt will kill plants or not...
    2007 Artesian Island Spa, Bahama 52, 2 pump, 450 gallon, Serial# 75777, Build date 2/23/2007, on Bromine and Borates.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    For how rarely you dump the spa water and the low salt content, the pants should be fine. Without a SWG, just put about 2000ppm of salt in. You can build up over 1000ppm just chlorinating normally.
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    Re: Gritty Bromine Bromated Spa

    FYI it's "bromide" for the bromide bank created by adding sodium bromide, not "bromates".

    Though your CH and pH are on the high side, your TA is low so you shouldn't be getting calcium carbonate scaling. Are those your own measured numbers from your own good TFTestkits TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 (or K-2106) test kit? If not, then I wouldn't trust them and perhaps the TA is higher and indeed you may have calcium carbonate scaling. If your TA were really 90 or more, then the saturation index would be +0.3 or higher and you could get scaling in your hot spa.

    Collect some of that grit (if possible), dry it out, and add some acid to it. Does it fizz or bubble? If so, then it's likely calcium carbonate.
    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: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

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    Re: Can I Change the Water "Feel" in Borated Bromine Spa? Add Salt?

    my grass loves when I empty my hot tub... That amount of salt is nothing...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Re: Gritty Bromine Bromated Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    FYI it's "bromide" for the bromide bank created by adding sodium bromide, not "bromates".

    Though your CH and pH are on the high side, your TA is low so you shouldn't be getting calcium carbonate scaling. Are those your own measured numbers from your own good TFTestkits TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 (or K-2106) test kit? If not, then I wouldn't trust them and perhaps the TA is higher and indeed you may have calcium carbonate scaling. If your TA were really 90 or more, then the saturation index would be +0.3 or higher and you could get scaling in your hot spa.

    Collect some of that grit (if possible), dry it out, and add some acid to it. Does it fizz or bubble? If so, then it's likely calcium carbonate.
    My bad. I keep typing bromate instead of borate.

    The TA was set low with the borate recommendation and forum info.. I used boric acid.

    I know southern California has hard water, hence the high CH. I might try filtering during the fill next time if they have anything that can knock down the hardness. But, I'm thinking the hardness solution is simply using water softener salt.

    I am using the Taylor K-2106 kit.

    I don'y have a way to test borates. I used the calculator for the borates to set it up. The water has been easy to maintain since the borates were added.

    I'll see if there's any way to collect the gritty stuff.

    Thanks for your help!
    2007 Artesian Island Spa, Bahama 52, 2 pump, 450 gallon, Serial# 75777, Build date 2/23/2007, on Bromine and Borates.

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