Foam from filter cleaning - get rid of in bromine?

dimetime

Member
Apr 6, 2020
18
North West
Hello again.

Quick recap -- bullfrog r7 425 g tub, 2 years old. was using bleach method here, got saltron swg. Worked ok. Got controlmatic smarter spa swg, much better. Ends up I have skin reactions to chlorine. Asked controlmatic about using swg cell for NaBr, said sure. Put in NaBr salt, messed with run time for SWG, by far the easiest experience yet for me. Balanced water properly, it remains very stable for about 4 months now I guess. I get out of tub and run a cycle manually and that is about it. Quite amazing actually, if you don't mind the bromine odor. Best part, no rashes, at all.

Now the problem. I have used various methods to clean filters, usually the TSP method. I've tried some spray-on stuff but not had great results. I decided to try some dish detergent, as I've seen mentioned many times. I rinsed over and over, understanding the foam could be an issue. Needless to say, I should have rinsed another 5 dozen times because the filters have caused my water to look like I put ahh-some in it with the amount of foam.

I immediately washed down filters and put MPS in tub and turned the swg on for a few cycles. It did cloud up for a day but is now back to clear (as clear as bromine gets anyway). The foam still exists though. I used an acid product to clean my 2nd set of filters overnight and bought a power sprayer to clean them off really well and put those in the tub, trying to filter the soap out. There is still a lot of foam.

Does anyone know what the solution would be for this without draining the tub? I could drain it, but the NaBr is on the spendy side and it takes about a week to coerce my water to fall into specs, so I would rather wait until fall.

On a side note, with my water at pH 7.5 and alkalinity at about 50ppm, with about 2-3ppm bromine in water, adding a capful of glb oxy-brite mps turns the tub yellow. Really yellow. Drops the pH and stinks, because it's activating the bromine. I'm not worried about the color as this is common to see pH related color changes, but I'm not overly excited about how long it takes for bromine to dissipate.

Can anyone tell me about how bromine vs chlorine affects detergents in the water. I assume chlorine is much more effective/aggressive? And if I add chlorine (vs mps), what can I expect typically in time needed to shock vs amount of bromine being made?

A bromine system as been much better for me in every aspect except the shock part. I just don't want to have lower pH and very high ppm of chlorine/bromine for more than a day or two.

Any thoughts?
 

dimetime

Member
Apr 6, 2020
18
North West
I do indeed. I understand how each works when used as an agent to keep bacteria/pathogens out of our tub water. I understand the salt and the electrolysis that does the converting etc. I understand the interaction between chlorine or an oxidizer to the bromine bank. What is not talked much about though is if you have NaBr for use with SWG, what is really going to happen when you MPS or even add chlorine.

Technically I have a huge bromine bank, it's about 8-10 lbs of salt. Thus my questions of what's going on. Adding too much chlorine or MPS could radically change the pH, and I do not want that. My salinity is already high enough that I worry about corrosion, which many say at 2000ppm is not an issue. BUT, high levels of chlorine/bromine (shock levels) most definately DO cause corrision if they remain high for periods of time. What is that time period? I cannot say, but I've seen it happen myself on stainless steel, so I'm a little cautious.

I would not be in this situation if I had not tried the dish washing detergent sadly. TSP can cause that if you don't rinse well enough, and I have seen just a little of that a couple times. The use of Dawn brand detergent made sense because you can tell it cut's grease/oil very well, but it's residual is crazy!

I would welcome anyone's insights on either topic -- how to get the excess detergent out without draining AND/OR what is happening with an NaBr swg system concerning shocking. Side note when I was using a chlorine swg, I used bleach to shock or ran the swg 24/7 for a couple days to get rid of detergents/oils.

After cleaning spare filters well with H2SO4 based solution and a power spray, tub water is back to clear/clean and pH is spot on at 7.5 and stable. Salt level remains about 2000ppm. Can't seem to filter out the suds/detergent.

It's all a learning experience, thankfully we have forums and the internet today and we don't have to rely on the local "experts" who usually want to make money off your problems.
 
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