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Thread: Chlorine / Bromine / Clear Choice - Which way to Go?

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    Chlorine / Bromine / Clear Choice - Which way to Go?

    I currently have a MasterSpa Envision that was delivered and instructed to use Chlorine.
    I've been doing that for about 3 months and have recently developed a rash. I have had some great
    feedback on this site in tems of adjusting my water levels.
    But for now, I am thinking of redoing my water chemistry.
    Instead of using Chlorine, my MasterSpa rep has recommended using:

    Bromine
    Clear Choice

    Either way I have to drain my water (which I was going to do anyway since my CYA is way too high (250+)

    It seems straight forward in switching over to bromine.
    Now, I was reading up on this Clear Choice product. Seemed like a lot of prep work. Removing the spa Filter
    adding one of the Clear Choice solutions and running the tub for 7 days to purge everything. Then draining the tub,
    filling it up, adding another chemical, for two days, then draining again, flushing out all the jets, refilling and then adding
    the final Clear Choice solution.
    Question, does anyone have any Pros/Cons about this Clear Choice Product?
    Also, I just invested in a Talyor K2006 Kit , I believe I should be able to use that with a Bromine pool, but
    what about with Clear Choice? The document says you dont need to test the water? (Can I believe that)

    Any input would be appreciated into any of the three methods in santisizing my hot tub
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Ron DiLauro
    MasterSpa Envison Owner

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    I'm sorry to sound cynical...but what does "If it smells like treatment (enzymes)... reduce treatment." ???????????????????
    Sure doesn't sound like a sound practice to treat a spa. Bear in mind that a spa will react to bacteria, virus, germs, etc, quicker than a pool will because of the smaller volume of water you're dealing with.
    I would not risk it and would recommend sticking with chlorine or bromine.

    There's not enough information to indicate what this is, other than "enzyme treatments".
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
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    Switching to bromine is easy of that's what you want to do. I would stay far away from this other stuff. They seem to be angling for a "chemical free" spa which is usually the first sign of something that won't work. Another trigger for me in their literature is their liberal use of the word "oxidizer" in reference to their process. As far as I can tell no oxidizer is involved, only enzymes.
    21' Leslies Beachland Ag Pool, 10,000 gallons, professionally installed (best money I ever spent) Hayward 16" sand filter w/Pentair two speed pump Fafco 4x20 solar heater,Aqua Trol RJ. Borates added. Hard plumbed.

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    8. Add point five milliliters (.5 ml) of Clear Choice Water Spa Water Treatment every 14 days. Always turn jets on high for five (5) minutes to mix treatment evenly. Water Treatment dosage and time between will vary for each household.
    Somehow i don't believe that 0.5ml of anything will help water treatment. Maybe in a cup...

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    No P in my ool's Avatar
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    When you get the rash it is time to drain the water. This will happen if you use chlorine or bromine. It's part of owning a spa that you have to drain them several times a year. Choose between these two. I would recomend staying away from anything else.
    21' Leslies Beachland Ag Pool, 10,000 gallons, professionally installed (best money I ever spent) Hayward 16" sand filter w/Pentair two speed pump Fafco 4x20 solar heater,Aqua Trol RJ. Borates added. Hard plumbed.

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    rdilauro,

    Do you think the chlorine caused the rash? Probably not. My guess is your water got loaded with CC's and caused "hot tub itch". Shocking the tub will probably cure it.

    I am not a spa expert and am only repeating what I remember reading here. Others will be along soon with solid advice but, meanwhile, don't be in a rush to replace chlorine because of the rash....I doubt that was the culprit.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    My guess is that Dichlor was used as the chlorine product and after 3 months a significant amount of CYA would build up since for every 1 ppm FC one gets 0.9 ppm CYA. The buildup of CYA would make the chlorine less and less effective over time. For example, at 4 ppm FC per day, that would result in increasing CYA by around 100 ppm per month. The bacteria that causes hot tub itch, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, may be heartier (it tends to form biofilms more readily and likes higher temperatures as found in a spa) and require higher levels of chlorine than other bacteria.

    If one started using Dichlor for around a week at 4 ppm FC per day and then switch to using Clorox regular unscented bleach, then the CYA would remain constant and disinfection would remain constant. I've seen [EDIT] the buildup of CYA and subsequent problems [END-EDIT] happen to another user on this forum and to 7 users on another forum (that I no longer post to due to a lack of moderation of personal attack posts). I don't know if it's always actually hot tub itch (one case was hot tub lung confirmed by a doctor), but the fact that they all occurred after 1.5 months or more (most were 2 months or more) of Dichlor-only use raised my suspicions (one case happened in the first month, but the user used MPS and had zero chlorine level during the week in between Dichlor shocking on weekends). The main problem with using bleach after Dichlor is that the pH will tend to rise if there's lots of aeration (especially true if one has an ozonator) though one can mitigate this somewhat through lowering aeration sources (including unused jets) and having a lower TA and if necessary adding some acid before one adds the bleach which essentially simulates Dichlor but without the CYA.

    If one manages the CYA level, then I don't see why a spa couldn't go for even 6 months using chlorine, though by that point the salt level will be starting to get high so a drain/refill would be appropriate. If one didn't clean before getting into the spa, then extra organics could build up though usually a superchlorination or use of MPS non-chlorine shock will clear things up, just as in a pool. I'm not saying one should go 6 months normally without a drain/refill -- 3-4 months is more the norm -- I'm just saying that one could.

    Richard
    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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    Chlorine/Bromine/etc?

    Thanks all who posted here.
    I would sure like to get my tub under control prior to refilling the tub. Purchased in November, so the April/May
    time frame would sound like the appropriate time.
    I do believe my problem is with the use of Dichlor. That has been my major sanitizer. For the first two months of using
    my tub, my testing (strips only) always had a good reading with the Free Chlorine.. It was only after the 2nd month when
    my dealer switched to another test strip that was suppose to test for CYA did I see the high CYA levels. Then about 3 weeks later is when the rash started. That was also the time that my FC was one day at 3 after Dichlor and the next day at .5 (with CYA over 250). I went with some advise here and shocked my tub with about 1 cup of unscented Clorax bleach. That kept my FC at at 10 for about 8 days. I then purchased a Taylor test kit and got FC= 14.5, CYA=150 ph=7.4 TAlk=130. The last week I went back to the test strips and two days ago FC=.5,CYA=250. Shocked it and used Dichlor, FC=10,CYA=300.
    I will do some more testing with the Taylor kit. I liked the idea of Clorax Bleach. Of course the dealer and MasterSpa rep said OH NO, you Cant use bleach, it will destroy the jets and pool surface". But is that more because they want to sell their chemical product line.
    I've come to trust more what I have been reading here than I have from the dealership/Company Rep.
    Thanks again for all your tips and advise.
    Ron DiLauro
    MasterSpa Envison Owner

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Bleach is just fine if you add it to the spa carefully. You don't want to pour bleach directly onto the surface of the spa, you want to pour it in the water near the return while the circulation pump is running so it mixes well before touching the spa surface.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    I hate to bring this up, but under the circumstances I am going too.

    I've been is the pool store and on a couple of occassions the Manager told some customers with high CYA that it causes...wait for it.......... yeast infections.

    Now, I do not know the validity of that statement but could that much CYA cause such a reaction?

    He said this to people who had 100-150ppm cya, so having 250 is almost double.

    Has any one heard of this?
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

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    Perhaps he meant it as an indirect cause. Too much CYA = inneffective sanitation = hot tub tich, yeast infections, etc. Who knows?

    I have been in some pool stores in the late Spring when the customers are lined up to purchase all the "magic ingredients" they need and the "analysis" by the pool store employees is pretty amazing.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh

    I have been in some pool stores in the late Spring when the customers are lined up to purchase all the "magic ingredients" they need and the "analysis" by the pool store employees is pretty amazing.
    Why, Thank you! Oh, wait a minute, that wasn't a compliment, was it?



  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Why, Thank you! Oh, wait a minute, that wasn't a compliment, was it?
    Hmmm, Maybe......Maybe not.....
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    I went through the same evolution as you. I attempted Chlorine in my hot tub only to find out that it is to difficult to maintain safe levels. It just burns off to quickly in the heat if you use liquid and CYA builds up too quickly if you use tablets. Switch to Bromine. Very easy. I haven't had a single rash incident since I switched. The only drawback is that a Bromine spa tends to get a bit smelly after a few weeks. Just the nature of the beast.

    I'll admit that I prefer Chlorine over Bromine, it is a much cleaner feel, smells better, and seems to keep the water clearer and less foamy. If you are committed to Chlorine you might want to consider a Liquidator.
    6000 gal inground fiberglass
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    If you initially use Dichlor to build up CYA to around 20 ppm and in any event not above 50 ppm and then switch to bleach, you can still get a residual of chlorine (unless you have an ozonator or lots of other aeration since it is the combination of higher temperature and lots of aeration that outgasses much of the chlorine). If you don't have any CYA in the water and only start with bleach, it most certainly doesn't last very long as it outgasses rapidly and it's also too strong and can damage the hot tub cover and wear out swimsuits (and skin and hair) faster. You need some CYA, just not too much. There was one user who had an ozonator and couldn't retain a residual with bleach (even with CYA already in the water) but could with Dichlor and we never figured out why (we never found out what kind of bleach was being used) but most other users had the same loss rate with Dichlor and bleach at the same CYA levels -- higher CYA levels reduce the rate of outgassing of chlorine, but also reduce disinfection rates.

    One problem is that most people don't use enough chlorine to handle the urea/ammonia from sweat. A rough rule of thumb I figured out from the usage of a group of spa users is that the chlorine demand is around 7 ppm FC in 350 gallons per person-hour of soaking. If you are going to do 20-30 minutes of soaking (one person), then adding 4-5 ppm FC can still result in a small residual 24 hours later. If not, use more until you do get a residual, because if you get behind, then the ammonia will accumulate (though it also outgasses eventually). It is true that you would have to add the chlorine every day if you use the tub every day.

    Richard
    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"

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    that's the problem that I ran into with Chlorine, I had to add it every day. I have a smallish tub and even with a good CYA level the CL would be too low each day. And if you forget to add it before getting in just one time....rash!
    6000 gal inground fiberglass
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    I've said it before and I will say it again, chlorine in a spa requires daily testing and maintenance. (And running a high enough FC level---many people try to run a too low FC level in a spa!) If you are not going to do that use a three step bromine system!

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