All, first off THANK YOU - what a fantastic resource you have going here.
We received our new 290 Gallon spa on April 30th. We were (and are) totally new to spa/water maintenance and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Diligently took notes from the spa guy as he told us how to care for the spa. They recommended the following:
N2 stick in skimmer
1 container MetalGon
Capful of dichlor
Bromine floater set to 4 with Trichlor
About 1 tablespoon after each soak and once per day
using Spa UP/Down as needed
On alternating weeks putting in some enzime/Spa Defender/Sea Klear (3 week cycle)
Test with a 3 test strip (FC/Alk/pH) daily
And that was it he said.
Being the curious type at about day 11 I started poking around on the forums and found your site. After reading and reading I started to wonder about what I was doing. The weird part to me was that from day one the pH had never changed. Went to Leslie's and bought a more robust test kit (FC/TC/Alk/pH/Acid Demand). MY pH WAS OFF THE CHART.
I quickly got my pH into range with Spa Down and started reading Nitro's Approach over on the other forum. As the numbers I could measure were in range I stopped the di/trichlor and started using 6%. Everything seemed to be going fine and kept reading. That is when I took a sample down to the pool store - mostly curious about my CH and CYA levels.
I was glad to find that my CYA was not TOO high sitting at 45ppm. My CH was low at 50 so I added some calcium using quantities based on The Pool Calculator - shooting for about 115 as I didn't want to go to high when i can't yet test it myself. (more robust test kit is in the mail).
Anyway, everything else seemed to be going so well when I stumbled on waterbear's Borates article. Hm, this sounds like good stuff. Today I added 10 Mule and Acid - again per the calculator and it worked perfectly. pH and Alk are exactly where they where before I added the stuff - SWEET! Although I was disappointed that couldn't find less than 2Gal of acid so I now have a lifetime supply!
So, thanks to all the great information on this forum my numbers are now:
FC - 2
TC - 2
TA - 80
CYA - 45 (estimated)
CH - 115 (estiamted)
I think I'm in pretty good shape!
Thanks again guys and gals - I'm off to try out the "silky" water