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Thread: Used Spa

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    Used Spa

    We just purchased an used spa and Dh is in the process of hooking it up. It sat for around 10 years not being used, before that it was only used around a year. It has always been inside the house. Question is, now what? What do I do to get it up and running for us? I don't want to use the store bought products, I am using your advice on my pool and now I want to do the same with this. Do I need to contaminate it? I have read some people talking about that, if so not sure how to go about that. It will hold around 300 gallons water.
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Used Spa

    Once he gets it up and running you want to clean it with Ahh-Some

    As you use chlorine in you r pool, I might suggest doing the same for the spa.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Used Spa

    There are 2 or 3 good Hot tub flush products out there, I too have used Ahh-Some and it seems to work well removing the scum and buildup from the plumbing. I too bought a hot tub which had been stored inside for some time a year or so ago, mine is a 1998 Hot Spring Jetsetter, if my experience is anything to go by expect a few mechanical / equipment problems to pop up. With mine the circulation pump died within 2-3 days, and I had a diverter valve that needed a rebuild kit (plastic part inside the valve had degraded and water was coming out around the valve), I also changed out the dead Ozonator for a Del branded unit, added a drop in SWG for chlorination (Saltron Mini, cost under $200 on ebay). Overall I am happy with the SWG, however it only has 10 levels so is hard to finetune on such a small hot tub (215 gallon) level 2 is a little too low, and level 3 builds up too high, I suspect it would work better on a larger 350+ gallon tub
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Used Spa

    Thank you for your quick replies
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Re: Used Spa

    ready to decontaminate the spa now but not really sure how much chlorine to put in, its a 300 gall spa, The paper I printed off says to add 100ppm chlorine but I don't know how much that is? Duh me!
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Used Spa

    Have you done the ahh-some treatment yet? You can do that with no/very little chlorine.

    Use the Pool Math link at the top of the page to determine how much you need to add to get to the desired ppm. Be sure to input your volume and go from there on the Pool Math page.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Used Spa

    yes we have done everything and the spa is up and running heated just ready for me to climb in
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Re: Used Spa

    ok think I am having a problem here. I get in the hot tub, get out take a shower and by the next day I have these bumps on me. Don't know what they are, but after googling it I am thinking hot tub rash. How do I stop this from happening?
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Re: Used Spa

    Did you use the Ahh-Some as suggested (it sounded like you were only decontaminating with chlorine)? If not, then you may have biofilms and those are very resistant to chlorine.

    See this link to try and distinguish between a rash from a chemical reaction vs. a bacterial infection, but of course you should see a doctor for a definitive diagnosis.

    If you did use the Ahh-Some (did it have a lot of junk come out?) then after the water change did you keep the chlorine level from dropping to zero at all times? It does not take long for bacteria to grow (they double in population every 15-60 minutes under ideal conditions).
    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: Used Spa

    ok used the Ahh-Some twice, just took the levels and here they are

    PH 8 should be around 7.5
    TA 30 should be 50 I will add baking soda to the water for this one
    Ch its blue if its blue not sure how to figure this one saw where it should be between 20-30ppm
    Cya tube fills all the way up and I still see black dot on bottom what do I use for liquid stabilizer
    FC 8.8


    not sure what the FC level should be can't find it in here anywhere
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Re: Used Spa

    To increase CYA you'd usually just use Dichlor as your chlorine source until you've cumulatively added around 33 ppm FC over the week or so (however long it takes) and then you switch to using bleach after that except for one day per month (since CYA drops around 5 ppm per month in hot spas). If you wanted to add pure CYA you could, but using Dichlor is easy and adds both chlorine and CYA, but it's up to you which way you want to go.

    To go from a TA of 30 ppm to 50 ppm you would add about 7 teaspoons of baking soda.

    To help prevent foaming, you increase your CH to 120-150 ppm so would add 110 ppm which is 8 tablespoons of calcium chloride anhydrous (e.g. Peladow) or 15 tablespoons of calcium chloride dihydrate (e.g. Dowflake).

    After you've added these chemicals, retest your pH and add acid to lower it to 7.7 or so. Then add 50 ppm Borates from boric acid you can get from . You would add 11.5 ounces weight or 12.8 ounces volume of this but if you don't have it now you can add it later when you get it.

    Your FC level is higher than it needs to be. Most people target 1-2 ppm FC just before their soak and add whatever amount of chlorine is needed after each soak to achieve that. You've seen the rough rule-of-thumb in the sticky that every person-hour of soaking in a hot (104F) tub needs around 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) to oxidize bather waste. If an ozonator is used, then the needed amounts are half or less.
    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: Used Spa

    I don't have that CYA test so not sure but presumably it means you have NO CYA in there, if you are soaking in 8.8ppm Chlorine that's not going to be nice on your skin, might be some explanation to your rash. I have 30 ppm CYA in my tub I squirt 100ml of 12.5% Chlorine in after using which gives me approx. 7ppm this then comes down to approx. 2ppm for the next time I use it ( Ozone generator eats chlorine) I think I would draw the line at ~4ppm FC with my CYA levels let alone getting in raw 8ppm.
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    Re: Used Spa

    Verna- just my two cents here about the decontamination process. I have compiled this from my observations over the past few weeks. Please be sure your sanitizer level is properly adjusted as per Ahh-Some directions. See the collection of excerpts of discussions from experts regarding Ahh-Some below. In addition, some folks put a little bleach in the Ahh-Some tub water to kill the biofilm that is emerging.

    The tub threw up its white flag, but not before I pounded it with 9-10 rounds(lost exact count). Nothing else came out on the following run. It feels amazing after such a grueling battle. Really a mentally and physically draining process but I'm not the type of person to say "this is good enough", I had to finish the job properly and wasn't going to be satisfied until the flushes were gunk free. That being said, there's a few tips I can offer in hopes of maximizing results vs effort.

    1)Very important IMO - get a shop vac and start sucking up this brown **** from the foam/sides as soon as you see it. It makes cleanup that much easier and it prevents that gunk from traveling back into the pipes. Also, it's helpful to stop the jets every so often and wipe down the sides. It becomes much tougher to wipe off if given a chance to start drying. The bottom line is you want this out of the tub as quickly as possibly and with no chance of getting back into circulation.

    I would also advise letting it do its job longer than the directions suggest. Run the jets for 20-30 minutes and then let it sit in the pipes for a while(maybe a couple hours). Then run the jets again for a few more minutes and drain.

    Another thing to note in the instructions is that the water should be balanced and have proper sanitizer levels in order for the ahh-some to work. I nearly did the ahh-some with zero chlorine (I got back from vacation and my chlorine levels were at zero....long story), but read the back of the ahh-some container, and it mentioned that I needed proper sanitization levels in order for it to work.

    Just an additional comment about combining the purge and the decon when Ahh-Some is used. this stuff is profoundly effective, as my own head-to-head experiments have shown. Other products release "little to nothing", such that one is tempted to combine the decon with the purge. not so with Ahh-Some!

    Lagreca : here is what I do to get the gunk off the waterline: Ahh-Some itself is a great solvent for this stuff. fill a 5-gal pail with ahh-some treated water. as the stuff accumulates, wipe it up with a micro-fiber cloth and rinse in the Ahh-Some solution.

    It turns out that Ahh-some is immune to the problem of combining the FC decon with the purge, as it is not an enzyme product. in fact, as the above post indicates, the Ahh-Some instructions specify elevated FC levels during the purge, just to insure proper kill of the gunk Ahh-some releases. however, the amount of material released by Ahh-Some can be so great, you won't be very anxious to wipe down your spa and cover with the water ... The solution to this problem, my experience has shown, is to drain and purge again with Ahh-Some until you achieve little to no new released material.

    The point remains, however, is that you SHOULD dose with a high FC level when treating with Ahh-some. When performing a purge/decon procedure I can say from experience that more than one Ahh-Some purge may be required, and by the time you achieve a clean spa -- where Ahh-Some releases very little or no new material -- that's the point where the combination of ahh-some dose and high FC will provide the best decon solution for the wipe-down. It does take some experience with Ahh-Some and a biofilm contaminated spa to really see this.

    I've been there. I have also achieved an Ahh-Some dosed spa, with ceramic filters installed into their normal positions -- generating no new contaminant release. Arguably the cleanest spa known to man.

    Another benefit of Ahh-some, which I have verified in my own experiments, is that regular purging -- and I mean every fill -- is beneficial. I routinely dose with Ahh-Some and ~10 ppm FC before draining, and every time I see visual evidence that I'm doing the right thing. Beyond the biofilm removal claims of Ahh-Some, this stuff will release material you would not imagine was in your spa -- even with proper water maintenance. this comes from build up of non-oxidized wastes/oils/what-have-you ...

    I will take the liberty to re-summarize my experimental product test results here:

    SeaKlear "System Flush": does a little, but not much
    Silk Balance "Clean Start" worthless -- its just borax in a really expensive container
    Aquafinesse "Spa Clean": worthless
    Natural Chemistry "Spa Purge" . Epic amounts of nearly-worthless foam
    Unique Solutions "Ahh-Some": woh baby this stuff works!
    2015 Bullfrog 131 180 gal Spa Indoor, TFP bromine fed, Taylor K-2106
    2012 2500 gal. Round vinyl AG Pool, Hayward Easy Clear Filter System, chlorine
    1994 Rubbermaid 175 gal horse tub, still looking for advice on algae problem.

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    Re: Used 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
    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: Used Spa

    Now I have something else going on. I used the awesome twice one right after the other, and it was awesome for a coupoe weeks we hace been qble to get tinto it qnd i have ntcieid something on top of the water, to us it looks almost like soap. I have took thnet for the pool and tried to get it out but to no avail. Does anyone know what it couod possbily be and hw to clear it up?
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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    Re: Used Spa

    What is your Calcium Hardness (CH) level? If it's not 120-150 ppm then you can get significant foaming. Make sure your swimsuits are thoroughly rinsed to remove any soap before using them in the 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
    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"

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Used Spa

    It may very well be soap scum from swimsuits, etc. I only use bathing suits that have been washed without detergent in my hot tub for this reason. Also it is probably close to time for a water change, typically hot tubs need the water changed about every 3 months depending on use level.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Used Spa

    Thank you for the answers that is what I was thinking it was. Soap from the swimsuits
    19300 gal (27x54), AG, 22"Millenium Ultimate Granular Filtration w/2HP 2SP Pump,
    July 2013, Polaris 65 Vac, Confer AG Curve Step System, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, Nordic Sport Hot Tub 300 gal, 78.5"R X35"D

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