Gotta learn more about water chemistry and jet repair/replacement


New member
Mar 8, 2019
Pahoa, HI
I tend to be a bit long winded in my posts.
I feel I need to include info to keep from having to answer too many clarifying questions later, so bear with me.
Plus, I always seem to do a narrative.
Drop down to the bold print if you want cut to the chase.

The home we bought here on B.I. about 6 years ago came with a Baja Spas installed off the back lanai.
From a label on the filter bowl it is a model 1054
It has 4 large & 1 small single jets; 3 large and 4 small spinning double jets: 12 total.
The 2006 Sportub user manual is the closest manual to an ID/specification match.
The user Control Panel matches in colors, shape and layout.
I do not remember how now, but I have figured it as holding ~250gal.

We didn't use it for the first 3 years.
Then we began to use it for hot summer day cool-downs after a hot day working in the yard.
I have never quite mastered the spa water chemical routine.
Our domestic water is rainwater from a catchment system using the house roof and a 10k gal catchment tank.
Because of the volcanic emissions we are constantly subjected to, our water is always at least slightly acid, sometimes much more than slightly.
Now that the eruption is over, gas emissions are the lowest in decades.

We didn't use it last summer as we were forced to evacuate due to the volcanic eruption taking place here in our subdivision.
Many of the metallic and electronic things left on location for much of the duration, have taken a beating from the SOx gasses.

I am checking the spa out now to see if it is still functional.
So far, all seems to be OK.
Over a week ago, I drained the water and refilled it with new, cleaned the filter and added bromide tablets to the filter, running the filter cycle for 2 hours/day, then cutting it to 1 hr/day.
Nothing more has been done.
I applied heat for a couple of days to bring it up to 84°F, then let it stabilize at 75°F with no heat added.

I checked bromine and pH after first filling the tub.
Bromine was OK at about 4.4, while pH was at 6.8 or lower.

I let it set for a few more days.
While working in the yard I was bit by a centipede, when it rains it pours.
So, haven't felt much like doing anything for almost a week or so.
Feeling better now, I just checked Bromine and pH again.
Bromine is between 4.4 and 2.2 [too bright for 4.4 and too much color for 2.2] while pH is at a miraculous 7.2, up from 6.8 or lower all on its own, probably because of the bromine buffering it.

In the past I have used Bicarb to raise pH, ending up feeling as if I were soaking in Soap Lake in Eastern Washington by the time The pH began coming up.

I picked up some borax as a soil amendment recently for our banana trees.
Recent reading has me thinking that would be better than bicarb to bring acidity down.
But, I wonder if using it in addition to bromine tablets might get complicated.

Several of the spinner jets do not spin or spin sporadically.
Can they be fixed, or will they need to be replaced?