Hot Springs > switch from Frog @ease to Nature 2/dichlor bleach method

djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
This is my first post and I'm a fairly new hot tub owner so please bear with me if some of this is redundant. I've tried searching and I'm seeing differences of opinions and it's confusing to me.

I've been using the Frog inline system in my HotSpot Rhythm for a year now with good results, however for cost effective purposes I'd like to switch to using the Freshwater (Nature 2) system with the addition of manual chlorine. I'd like to use the N2 system since the chlorine levels are very similar to that of the Frog system (.5-1ppm). My tub does have ozone as well. I was getting typically around a month or so on each SmartChlor cartridge, however the last 4 or 5 have only lasted a week or two each even after a water change. At near $80 a month for cartridges the ease of use just isn't worth it to me anymore.

Is the N2 system compatible with the dichlor/bleach method? I'd like to stick with chlorine over the MPS method for testing reliability purposes (Taylor K-2006).

If using N2 would I still follow the recommendations by Nitro/chem geek for the bleach method with regards to the other chemical balancing? I.E. CH @ 150ppm, TA @ 50ppm, pH between 7.2-7.8, and Borate @ 50ppm? On a fresh fill would I still use dichlor until it reaches 20-30 ppm CYA?

Will I be OK to keep the FC at 1ppm with N2 instead of the 3-6 ppm normally set using this sanitizing method?

Since my tub has ozone I also so mentions where some users with ozonators found that the rate of pH rise was intolerable even with lowered TA. Is this what the addition of borates is supposed to help with? I've never used borates so this is new to me.

Appreciate any feedback. Thanks for reading.

Dennis
 

cowboycasey

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LifeTime Supporter
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Jul 3, 2013
5,256
Southern OK
Welcome to TFP :)

So glad you found us, you really do not want both of those, they are designed to drain your wallet and keep you buying more and more cartridges... I would just stick with the bleach method and call it a day.... Or :)

If it were me doing this I would go to a salt water generator and and really be done with it, they are super easy, the hot tub feels great when salt water, and it is really really easy...

install and turn on SWG
put in hot tub
test to make sure it is creating chlorine...
set the time to make enough chlorine

some put in some liquid chlorine after a soak


As for the PH a lower TA will help, the ozone will deplete some of the chlorine created by the SWG so you may have to run it a few minutes more..
 
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djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP :)

So glad you found us, you really do not want both of those, they are designed to drain your wallet and keep you buying more and more cartridges... I would just stick with the bleach method and call it a day.... Or :)

If it were me doing this I would go to a salt water generator and and really be done with it, they are super easy, the hot tub feels great when salt water, and it is really really easy...
Thanks! I'm definitely still learning a lot about these things.

I don't mind paying for the N2 cartridges if it means I can keep the chlorine content a bit lower than standard sanitization (neither I nor my wife particularly care for the smell of chlorine and the higher content makes me a bit itchy). That was a big plus for both of us with the Frog system. We use our tub maybe a couple of times per week so the straight dichlor/bleach method may be more work than desirable since we aren't using it daily.

I can't use the saltron since my tub is still under warranty and adding that would void it (according to HotSprings/Watkins).

I already have the stuff to run N2 for a while from my dealer, so might as well use it to see if it's something that works for us.

The N2 instructions state as an alternative to MPS dichlor may be substituted. The calculations for my spa would indicate just over a teaspoon of dichlor before and after using the tub. Shock treatment as needed (I'm fine with using MPS to shock, that's how I've been doing it with the Frog system).

I was hoping to use the bleach method so the CYA doesn't just keep adding up from me using dichlor all the time.
 

CuckooChris

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
57
Coplay, PA
I don't know about anyone else, but I can say that I don't notice any chlorine smell from my tub after using this system. I got a free tub (20yrs old) from my neighbor, almost a year ago, that I have purged three times with ahhsome and I don't have any issues with chlorine smell. I only only use liquid chlorine and sometimes dichlor (to keep my CYA around 30) and nothing else besides the occasional MA (no ozone). It has never smelled like a "bleach bath".

I suspect that you need to purge your tub with ahhsome and get those pipes cleaned out. If I understand it correctly, the chlorine smell comes from bad stuff in the water and in the pipes that the chlorine is trying to break down. Once you get that cleaned out, the only thing left is you.
 

djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
It has never smelled like a "bleach bath".

I suspect that you need to purge your tub with ahhsome and get those pipes cleaned out.

As it is now it doesn't really smell that much at all. Only time it's noticable is on the skin once out after a soak but I usually follow with a shower anyways so doesn't bother me. I understand it'll never be completely free of this due to what it is and the need for chlorine to be there.

I actually have purged with aahsome already a couple of months ago. I plan to do that again next drain and refill.

I guess the real reason I'd like to go with bleach is due to the CYA levels and some cost savings. I live right by Spa Depot which has the best prices chemical wise that I've found near me. 5lbs dichlor is about $30 and imagine that would last a long time.
 
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CuckooChris

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
57
Coplay, PA
I notice there are so many variables with what people can get locally. Luckily for me, I have a pool store five minutes away that sells five gallon jugs of 12% liquid chlorine for $20. May not be the best price, but I'm good with it. Sometimes I use the CYA for my pool in the hot tub and sometime I use dichlor to get up to 30. Love Spa Depot, have ordered many things from there!
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,256
Southern OK
5 gallons of 12% for 20 bucks is great, the company up the street wanted 70 dollars for 5 gallons of 12% :mad::brickwall: :laughblue:
 

CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
447
Massachusetts
It seems counterintuitive but the best way to get rid of the chlorine smell is to add more chlorine. The "chlorine smell" isn't actually chlorine, it's combined chloramines. You have to drive those off, using more chlorine and letting it breathe and/or using UV.

I don't live with the pool I maintain. If I ever arrive and smell "pool smell," I immediately know the chlorine is too low. I test to confirm and get exact numbers for dosing, of course, but always when the pool smells it's because there was a heavy bather load that consumed more chlorine than I anticipated. I've had the pool as high as 20 ppm (during a SLAM) without chlorine smell.

Chlorine doesn't cause itching, either. Inadequate sanitation does. 1-2 ppm with 20-30 CYA is too low is not high enough to maintain a safe environment.
 

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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,970
Spring Valley, NY
I maintain both salt and chlorine pools and even have a location where side by side there is one of each. Maintaining each to the "T" has them without any chemical stench. Yes the feel of the water itself are very different but standing on the coping right over the pool gives no hint which is which. What you do smell when it does is the combined chloramines off gasing as it's burning off organics left in the water from bathers. Once those are gone the FC (free chlorine) just hangs in the water but doesn't give off an odor. Had a new potential client once contact me if I do chlorine pools. Took him to one of the perfect chlorine balanced pools at the time to prove my point that it must not reek of chlorine. He was sold but he had his work order and prevailed. Pool companies don't work this way.
 

djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I ran a full test with my Taylor K-2006, here's the results

TA 80ppm
pH 7.5
CH 80ppm
CYA less than 30ppm
FC .5-1ppm
TC 7ppm
CC 6ppm

This is still running the inline Frog system.

As I said the only time the chlorine smell is noticable is on your skin post soak and even then it's not too bad or overwhelming. Public pools I've been in are much more noticable than this.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,970
Spring Valley, NY
Well hate to give you bad news but it's time for a mega slam if your numbers a correct. CC of 6 is way high. .5-1 is max. Maybe do a OCLT tonight to confirm your findings. something brewing. your CYA is low but don't bother till you finish slam and OCLT with all 3 criteria.
 

dan1333

Member
Nov 1, 2020
21
Orange, CA
Those numbers regarding the CC may be inaccurate. I thought I remember someone saying the frog system messes with the CC numbers using the taylor kit and the numbers can't be trusted.

If true, that's another reason why I don't like the frog system, I like to be able to accurately test my water.
 

djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Those numbers regarding the CC may be inaccurate. I thought I remember someone saying the frog system messes with the CC numbers using the taylor kit and the numbers can't be trusted.

If true, that's another reason why I don't like the frog system, I like to be able to accurately test my water.
Some additional reading appears you may be right with this. The Frog system has a very low FC value while maintaining a high CC value, so what I came out with on the Taylor test appears to be normal. Also MPS will affect that test (which I use albeit not a ton). I didn't realize that beforehand.
 
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djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
So I guess at this point I can drain and refill using the diclor bleach method with the addition of the n2 mineral stick and see how that goes.

First is use aahsome to purge.

I can take the advice of chemical balances:

CH to ~150ppm
Set TA level to ~50ppm
Set pH ~7.2-7.8
Add ~50ppm borates

On refilld use dichlor until cya reads ~30
Switch to liquid bleach to keep FC at 3-6ppm without affecting cya. Shock as needed or once a week.

I'll have to play with the calculator to determine how much bleach to use

Sound reasonable?
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,762
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
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Surface
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SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Just keep up with how much cya the dichlor is adding w/ PoolMath effects of adding or by using the summary tab. It doesn’t take long. Even if u use nature 2 I would suggest you maintain fc in accordance w/ the FC/CYA Chart to ensure sanitary conditions.
 

djmcphee

Member
Mar 5, 2021
15
Washington state
Pool Size
355
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I called King Technologies to inquire about the TC and CC levels and they did confirm those will show extremely high on a standard drop test kit as that's the "reserve" amount of chlorine necessary to keep the FC range at a constant .5-1ppm using the Frog system.

So even though my water is only a month old I think it's best at this point to drain and refill again before changing to the bleach method rather than try to lower the TC and CC levels by upwards of 10ppm.
 

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