BBB method in a hot tub / spa ?

Oct 12, 2007
20
0
spartanburg, sc
#1
I'm a pool & hot tub owner and switched to BBB in my pool last year. Pool has been awesome. The only problem is getting rid of all those big bleach bottles... (joke)... We've had our hot tub a few years and I've never been happy with it. We use baquaspa chemicals, and I use test strips and occasionally take samples to the pool store. It all seems to balance okay, but the water never smells clean, and a lot of times the water is cloudy and I just can't get it cleared up.

I thought I remember reading about BBB in hot tubs back at the pool forum, but I can't search there - and couldn't easily find the thread. Does anyone here know if this will work? Has anyone successfully tried it? Thanks!
 
G
#5
you should get an ozinator(sp) at least i got one when we ordered the spa, hope it works as good as they say
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
0
Ontario, Canada
#6
I heard that the main cause of problems in a BAQ pool was that the
water and the filter sand needs to be changed once a season if not more, so you would
think that frequent changes in your BAQ hot tub would be ok. I personally use the Bromine/Bromine floater
system and shock with chlorine. Its the easiest and lowest maintence. In a BBB method you have to add
chlorine (bleach) every day. In a Bromine floater you can leave it alone for 3-5 days and its ok. But with bromine you have
a more chemical smell, almost musty. Both have positive and negatives.

I too have an ozonator, I have heard good and bad things about those too.
 
Oct 12, 2007
20
0
spartanburg, sc
#7
Rollin Thunder said:
you should get an ozinator(sp)
I've been told that they are useless. Wonder if it will help you.

So "Baqua" products are no good huh. Our pool/spa store is probably pushing them onto people because they have a huge display and carry lots of their products. We first tried some "frog" system, I forget the name - it was supposed to be really ease and carefree - but we hated that. I may switch to bromine? Any other suggestions?
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
0
Ontario, Canada
#8
The stories I have heard about Baqua is that its good for people who are sensitive to chlorine which apparently is pretty rare. and that it costs ALOT more and is ALOT harder to manage. People who are successful in keeping a BAQ pool usually do a partial change of their water every year and replace their sand in their filter every year, if not sooner.

If you can live with a little bit of the Bromine smell, and want the lowest maintence, bromine is the way to go. Especially with a floater. If you want to be a little more hands on and don't mind storing bleach, then go for BBB.

One thing I did learn is that if you have a water softener for your house... do not use softened water to fill your hot tub. I did on one refill and my water was always cloudy and i could never get it clear and my bromine consumption was always high.
 
Oct 12, 2007
20
0
spartanburg, sc
#9
no water softeners here. Thanks for your feedback crazycanuck. I'll think I'll be switching to Bromine. Also, while I'm here - My pool store told me it's a good practice to change the spa filter every 2-3 years. Do you agree? I've used the filter cleaner and soaked the thing and also the spray cleaner. I've had the hot tub going on 3 years now. It looks to be in good condition - it's slightly discolored, but not ripped or anything. Could that be part of my cloudy water problem?
 
G
#10
sorry to steal your thred, but is it ok to use clorine in a hot tub. maybe i will skip the ozone machine and save 1400 and just use clorine sticks like my pool
 

ric

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2007
217
0
Ohio
#11
Hi rjbeals
I have my hand up and I am using the bbb in my tub. I just switched this summer and the tub has had little use because of the heated pool. The winter months will be a different story. I switched from Sodium Dichloro on June 27 and I have never had better water. I still have the same water in it and have never had combine chlorine and have never had to shock. The main ingredients in the tub has bin cya 20 ppm, bleach, borax to 30 ppm, and Sodium bi sulfate and also a scum bug. I have a ozinator and threw the silver ion cartridge in the trash. I cant say about Bromine or Baqua because I have never used them. I run the hot tub from 4-6 ppm cl. I have loved using the bbb method in the hot tub because it goes with the pool maintenance so well. OK the negative on the bbb and the hot tub. I check the tub morning and evening. so we have high maint. It takes about 2 ounces of bleach every 2 days but it Will drop sometimes at the day in a half and that is why I check morning and night. I am retired so I have the time to do this. Like I said I have had the best water ever I have used no clarifier's, no stain & scale control, Enzyme's or nothing else. I will be changing my water soon to go through the winter and I know there will be a change this winter because of a lot more use. Time will tell.
if it wasn't for having to keep testing so much I would say bbb was perfect. It has bin for me but you have to take the time.
good luck
Ric W
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
0
Ontario, Canada
#12
You can use chlorine in your hot tub in the BBB method and you can use chlorine as a shock if you are
using a bromine floater or the two step PArt A and Part B bromine method. There is a non-chlorine shock you can
use with Bromine, that comes in a powdered form called MPS, but it is very expensive. The chlorine or MPS basically reactivates the bromine in youe hottub. I am not familiar with using chlorine pucks (di chlor/cal hypo etc.) in hot tubs, maybe someone else can chime in on that.
 

chem geek

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
2
San Rafael, CA USA
#13
waterbear knows a lot about various hot tub sanitation methods so I hope he chimes in, but the BBB method can absolutely be used and the principles are similar. Though there is the "Vermont" method that uses only Dichlor, that builds up CYA so I suggest just doing that for about a week or so to get to 20 ppm CYA and then switch to unscented bleach. The main downside is that, as was mentioned by others, you have to add the chlorine almost every day -- if you use the tub daily then you most certainly have to add the chlorine every day but that should be easy. To prevent hot tub itch, I suggest trying to target the FC level to be around 4 ppm, at least part of the time (i.e. it may start out a little higher and end up lower).

Some people on BBB in hot tubs find that they have a hard time controlling Combined Chlorine (CC) -- especially if the hot tub gets no sunlight as most don't -- and have to use a weekly dose of non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate, MPS) though there have been a small number of reports of people getting rashes from MPS (not positive if this correlation is accurate). The only other downside is that there is some chlorine smell -- more than you would find in a pool -- because the water is much hotter and is aerated by jets so there is more outgassing. Some say it's less annoying than bromine which smells different, but it's probably more of a personal preference. Opening up the tub a half hour before use to let it air out a bit seems to help.

Richard
 

keithw

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2007
303
0
Virginia Beach
#14
I have had a stand alone tub tub for many years that I use quite often and have tried all of the methods above. Here is my feedback on them:

A. Bromine is definitely the easiest and most stable. The downsides are the odor and a tendency for the water to get foamy pretty quickly. I use my tub almost daily and with bromine I can stretch out the "empty & refills" to three months. That's pretty good for a small tub with high volume use. No real scumlines with bromine and as long as the bromine stays pretty level, all the other chem levels seem to stay pretty level.

B. Chlorine. Make the water feel real nice, smells great, super clear, no bubbles. But it is almost impossible to maintain a safe sanitization level. Especially using bleach. I tinkered with a bunch of different methods, adding stabilizer, trying pucks, straight bleach, etc. with no consistent success. The scary part is that the water would always look incredible, even when it wasn't really safe. I would have to remember to add a splash of bleach prior to every usage. After forgetting a few times and getting "hot tub itch" a few times I bailed on Chlorine.

C. Baqu. I used this for about a year. Isn't too bad when you first start it up. Water is fine, smells OK. But it goes south too fast. You have to have like 4-6 different chemicals and always seem to need to replace at least one of them and they are not cheap. The water develops a scum line pretty quickly and at least for me required frequent empty and refills. A pointless sanitizer.

In regards to filters, I would recommend keeping two filters at all times and rotating them. Clean one and leave it out in the elements while the other is in use. The sun and weather are a great filter cleaner. Every few years throw them both away and buy two new ones.

As an aside, I am so impressed with the Liquidator that I am using on my pool that I am considering getting another and hooking it up to the hot tub and giving bleach another shot. If I could automate the bleach delivery, that would solve my major issue with bleach.
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
0
Ontario, Canada
#15
I just went a week between checking the chemicals in my hot tub. The only issue I had was my pH was a bit high and my
bromine floater needed to be refilled... and my bromine level was a bit high. I just adjusted the floater to a lower level... added a little acid and some shock and I'm done. I couldn't imagine having to open the hot tub up every day and putting bleach in... that would be a pain in the A**, especially in the winter.
 
G
#16
seems like there is nothing much more for me to say here ;)
Been said pretty well.
You might want to read the stickies I wrote on sanitizers if you want some more info.