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Thread: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

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    good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Hi all,

    I'd like to make reference to an interesting article about drain intervals. I've posted this information in another forum as well, but I wasn't sure if it was acceptable to cross post so I'll repeat my text below:

    Those who have followed my posts know where I stand on the subject of drain intervals and especially purging, and this post is about that subject as well. The Aqua magazine site, "features" section contains an article on this subject, especially the consequences of the high bather load in heated water. These are not new details for those who are aware, but frankly this was a good reminder for me as to what the water must endure. It even opened my eyes a little more. Here is a link to the full article:


    http://aquamagazine.com/features/spa-soup-why-we-dump-spa-water.html



    Highlights from the article include a long list of things that are contained in the various bodily fluids that end up in the water -- and we're not talking just the 3 pints of sweat per person per hour . for example, pharmaceuticals that accumulate. The author concludes with this statement: " That relatively small liquid base, to which all the ingredients we've discussed are added — from live bacteria to creams and oils to disinfection byproducts — makes for a rather dense spa soup. Which is why, on a regular basis, you should dump the water and start from scratch."


    Anyway the article is quite a good read, and for me it solidly ratifies the need to drain . The author didn't discuss purging ,unfortunately, as I suppose this subject has too many opinions, but I will say from personal experience I learned to purge at least every other drain interval and sometimes every drain. Adding a purge product (I use "Ahh-some" as do many here) to the water just before draining is a no brainier to me because it takes such little incremental effort. There's just so much information that is now known which, combined with what I personally discovered and learned, makes me more determined than ever to purge regularly.


    I won't clutter the forum with my "purge" story again, but I will highlight that I'm glad I clean the soup out and wash the bowl regularly. with apologies for the analogy, draining without purging is (to me) like eating from a dirty plate without washing it first: you can put new water in the tub but that doesn't scrub the pipes


    -dlleno




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    EVChargeGuy's Avatar
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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Interesting post and I look forward to replies from the TFP Gurus as Im not a spa owner, Yet- Just ordered a Hot Springs Spa Envoy which should be up & running later this month.
    I cant find in your post nor the article the effect of the spa's filtering system as well as the fact that not all Spa filter systems are equal? As a noob I can only imagine that good filtration would make a difference in water life expectancy?
    As the Article bring up urine alot, I guess I should not pee in the tub often?
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Aqua Magazine is generally a pretty good resource for pool and spa owners. But, keep in mind that some of the information published there is from people in the industry. TFP teaches things a little differently than the industry does when it comes to adding chemicals to your water and, of course, the chlorine/CYA relationship.

    So, most of what that article says is in line with how TFP teaches spa care. We agree that regular draining and purging with a product like Ahh-some is a good idea. Many of us put less stuff into our tubs and find that the drain interval can be extended.

    Here is what we teach
    How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?
    How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)?
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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Quote Originally Posted by EVChargeGuy View Post
    Interesting post and I look forward to replies from the TFP Gurus as Im not a spa owner, Yet- Just ordered a Hot Springs Spa Envoy which should be up & running later this month.
    I cant find in your post nor the article the effect of the spa's filtering system as well as the fact that not all Spa filter systems are equal? As a noob I can only imagine that good filtration would make a difference in water life expectancy?
    As the Article bring up urine alot, I guess I should not pee in the tub often?
    Yes I would agree the article isn't comprehensive and doesn't talk about filtration or extended drain intervals that many of us enjoy via such methods as switching to bleach, which goes against the DNA of a large portion of the profiting segment of this industry. And my experience bears this out. My experience also bears out that regardless of the drain interval itself that one may have optimized, the need to purge from time to time is still there and that especially once biifilms have formed they are nearly impossible to cure with traditional methods (without a good purge product). I learned this via thousands of gallons of water, numerous purges and decon procedures, and tests of several products. I wholeheartedly support and practice the chemistry and higiene that extends the drain interval and only point out that purging is still required from time to time based not on water age but the drain cycle itself.

    As an aside regarding filtration, one other lesson I learned is that filters harbor biifilms and must be part of the purge process. The bad guys may certainly be trapped in the filter but they are not necessarily dead. They are smart little regenerating buggers.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Quote Originally Posted by dlleno View Post
    Yes I would agree the article isn't comprehensive and doesn't talk about extended drain intervals that many of us enjoy via such methods as switching to bleach, which goes against the DNA of a large portion of the profiting segment of this industry. And my experience bears this out. My experience also bears out that regardless of the drain interval itself that one may have optimized, the need to purge from time to time is still there and that especially once biifilms have formed they are nearly impossible to cure with traditional methods (without a good purge product). I learned this via thousands of gallons of water, numerous purges and decon procedures, and tests of several products. I wholeheartedly support and practice the chemistry and higiene that extends the drain interval and only point out that purging is still required from time to time based not on water age but the drain cycle itself.
    Agreed.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Quote Originally Posted by EVChargeGuy View Post
    I cant find in your post nor the article the effect of the spa's filtering system as well as the fact that not all Spa filter systems are equal? As a noob I can only imagine that good filtration would make a difference in water life expectancy?
    As the Article bring up urine alot, I guess I should not pee in the tub often?
    Unless you are buying some no name/low end brand, spa filter systems are pretty much equal. Hot Springs is no better than Sundance or Marquis or Bullfrog or "fill in the blank". Any marketing one company wants to push out the door about how their system is better than another is all garbage these days. As long as the filtration system can pump and move the water, it is doing it's job.

    It is not about the type of filtration system the tub uses but what sanitizer method is being followed. The methods described in this forum work for all tubs and filtration systems. Stray from these methods and I bet you'll be spending way more time trying to figure out why your water is not balanced.

    Main selling point of any hot tub should be how it feels when you soak in it (i.e. wet test before buying). Not what the sales person says makes their tub better than another. Imagine spending $10K-$15K on a tub because it uses some special super duper filter only to find out you can't stay seated in any of the seats due to floating!
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Agreed the filter is an insignificant factor in the equation. They are all small pleated cartridges meant to grab hair and dirt brought in on feet. Most tubs don't get much debris in them so there isn't a lot of mechanical filter requirements. The cleanliness of the water is dependant upon effective sanitation practices.

    Same as a pool, no filter will prevent or clear up algae or bacteria. It is all about sanitation.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Again I have to re-state that I’m pretty much a Hot Tub Noob and maybe quite wrong with some of my conclusions, which are based on info from product websites etc Also, I’m a card carrying Bleach Bum going on my 4 year using the TFP method, TF-100etc..


    RE: spa filter systems are pretty much equal.:
    Well I have to humbly disagree, for example according to the Marquis web site the Promise has one filter, the largest Marquis filter that is listed as a 35 square foot filter. It also states that the filter is treated with a layer of “Microban” ‘which inhibits mold, mildew and bacterial growth. Used in hospitals and nursing homes to prevent bacteria growth’.- I can't speak to this claim but the size of the filter seems to be black & white @ 35 sqft.

    Where as the Hot Springs Spa Highlife product line uses filters that are 65 Sq Ft each and makes use of 5 of these filters for a total of 325 Sq Ft or approximately 10 times more than the competitor. Oh and these filters are not pleated cartridges in the normal sense as they’re made of a Ceramic fiber – 100% of the spa’s water flows through the filters all the time, which I understand maybe unique? I also understand they’re dishwasher safe

    I do agree that the best hot tub is the one that makes you feel the best.
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Spa Soup article in Aqua Magazine is Excellent! The article is extremely enlightening. This article will be very helpful to the Hot tub owners who wonder as to when to dump their water. I have seen numerous posts from so called experts who say that they have never drained their spa water to those who go over a year without draining. Now we know exactly what bathers are subjecting themselves to when they inhabit hot tubs that are using water for extended periods of time. The industry has to be forthcoming with their customers. Tell consumers the real deal and they will totally enjoy their hot tub even more with less chemical maintenance. I agree that the article did not discuss the biofilm build-up inside the plumbing that is responsible for most of the issues. You must purge or eliminate plumbing gunk and build-up. Just like your bathroom sink drains. You de-gunk them periodically. Hot Tub Plumbing has to go through a colonoscopy. Just draining the water is not enough. I must say that I am amazed that Aqua Magazine printed this article. It s true, but it may turn some potential hot tub buyers off. Let me say this. I own a large hot tub. I use it almost every day. I love my hot tub. However, I purge and drain on regular intervals. It is time the industry, from manufacturers to dealers, talk about this maintenance protocol.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    EVChargeGuy,
    The size of the filter doesn't matter at all in terms of water sanitation. Filters are for mechanical filtration only, the bigger the filter the more physical debris, leaves, etc, it can hold before it clogs up and you need to clean it. But, if there isn't enough chlorine in the water then the water is not sanitary. Bacteria grows exponentially faster in warm water, bacteria colonies can double in size every 20 minutes. It doesn't matter what filter the spa has if there isn't enough chlorine in the tub to kill the bacteria then the bacteria will grow uncontrolled.

    Same for a pool. If there is not enough chlorine then algae will grow even if you change to a bigger or better filter.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Pooldv
    I understand completely and i said: 'As a noob I can only imagine that good filtration would make a difference in water life expectancy?"
    i didn't say it had anything to do with water sanitation .
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: good article in Aqua Magazine - drain intervals

    Water life expectancy will not improve due to size or type of filter. Life expectancy is based on how well you maintain sanitizers and your type and usage of the tub. High usage and wearing suits in the tub (or not rinsing before getting in) may result in shorter life expectancy if you are bringing oils/sweat/perfumes/lotions/soaps into the water on your body. A filter DOES NOT clean these items. Your sanitizer will handle some of it but a lot will build up and that is what causes the need to change the water. If you hardly use the tub, you can go much longer.

    If one filter technology was truly better than an another, all manufacturers would make the switch. Filter marketing is no different from all this new wave sanitizer marketing. UV, Ozone, minerals.....all drive up costs and profits for the tub makers but do nothing to eliminate the need for you to add sanitizer (chlorine/bromine/mps) to the tub. All you are doing is adding more chemicals to your tub whereas you could follow a tried and true method that gives you clean water at a ridiculously low cost. I won't even get started on the expensive salt systems that are being pushed now.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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