New here and looking for refill tablets for Frog @ Ease

Knayrb

New member
Apr 29, 2021
2
Sandy, Utah
Pool Size
500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello,

I've been lurking for a few days trying to cheat on the Frog @ Ease entrapment system. :)

For 20+ years I've owned a Sundance spa. I used bromine tablets conveniently placed in the compartment of the skimmer. Weekly I would test the pH, bromine levels, minerals. My water here in Utah if quite hard and I've never really had problems with total alkalinity. I'm colorblind to the stupid pH strips so I use a digital pH tester. I rarely have to add pH increaser but sometimes need to add small amounts of decreaser. Weekly I threw in non-clorine shock and put in a few bromine tablets. I've don't get scale nor itchy skin. I had it figured out and could almost tell what needed to be done by sight and smell. I'm pretty handy and have replaced pumps, a motherboard, ozone generators, fixed leaks, and most repairs.

My Sundance finally "rotted" away with the occasional leaks. I've replace wooden framing a few times but the base finally grew roots. I ended up throwing the Sundance away and buying a Bullfrog A8 (500 gallon) mainly because the frame was not organic or metal. I've also visited the manufacturing plant here in Utah due to the work I do. I'm happy with my Bullfrog except for the the Frog @ Ease system. Now I've only had it for 2 months and can tell this isn't going to be cheap. The sanitizer cartridges say they will last 3 weeks but I get 1-2 weeks before they are empty. There's only me and my wife that use it. We try to keep lotions, soaps, etc. out of it. It's not like I have lots of people in it often. I'm now having to dump a lot of chlorine sanitizer/shock to keep the level on the [email protected] strips up. It's fine for a week or 2 but you can tell when the cartridge runs out. Yesterday I replaced another cartridge and took the old one apart. The bottom comes off easy and would be a piece of cake to add more sanitizer.

I like the idea of slow release cartridges but would like to find something similar to the dichloro ingredients used in the [email protected] cartridge. My lurking shows that the toilet bowl tablets are pretty close but have fragrance, coloring, and surfactants added. Has anyone had success if finding something similar that I could refill the [email protected] cartridges with? I'll take a new one apart, weight the chucks, and put in the same amount of generic sanitizer. I hate being taken on this marketing train of the [email protected] system.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
You could just ditch the whole set up & go the dichlor then bleach route. I do this coupled w/ a drop in swg (that adds most of my chlorine) & once i’m set up it’s pretty easy. Bleach (liquid chlorine) is cheap, it took me well over a year to use $9 worth of dichlor.
 

Kletust

Member
Jun 8, 2016
16
South Carolina
You could just ditch the whole set up & go the dichlor then bleach route. I do this coupled w/ a drop in swg (that adds most of my chlorine) & once i’m set up it’s pretty easy. Bleach (liquid chlorine) is cheap, it took me well over a year to use $9 worth of dichlor.

What has been your experience using a SWG in your hot tub? I currently have a 2400 gallon swim spa that I run using the Bleach method for hot tubs. It works great, but I get admittedly lazy/forgetful at times so I end up over chlorinating to give me a buffer in case I forget to check my chlorine for a few days. I'm strongly considering installing a Salt water system this year, but I'm wondering if there are any issues to contend with regarding warm/hot spa water vs a normal pool? For reference... I stay at 95 degrees in winter, 90-93 in summer (mostly nighttime use).

I'm sort of in a weird middle ground where I'm too big for a spa based SWG and too small for a pool size.

I'd love to hear any thoughts.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,016
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Hello,

I've been lurking for a few days trying to cheat on the Frog @ Ease entrapment system. :)

For 20+ years I've owned a Sundance spa. I used bromine tablets conveniently placed in the compartment of the skimmer. Weekly I would test the pH, bromine levels, minerals. My water here in Utah if quite hard and I've never really had problems with total alkalinity. I'm colorblind to the stupid pH strips so I use a digital pH tester. I rarely have to add pH increaser but sometimes need to add small amounts of decreaser. Weekly I threw in non-clorine shock and put in a few bromine tablets. I've don't get scale nor itchy skin. I had it figured out and could almost tell what needed to be done by sight and smell. I'm pretty handy and have replaced pumps, a motherboard, ozone generators, fixed leaks, and most repairs.

My Sundance finally "rotted" away with the occasional leaks. I've replace wooden framing a few times but the base finally grew roots. I ended up throwing the Sundance away and buying a Bullfrog A8 (500 gallon) mainly because the frame was not organic or metal. I've also visited the manufacturing plant here in Utah due to the work I do. I'm happy with my Bullfrog except for the the Frog @ Ease system. Now I've only had it for 2 months and can tell this isn't going to be cheap. The sanitizer cartridges say they will last 3 weeks but I get 1-2 weeks before they are empty. There's only me and my wife that use it. We try to keep lotions, soaps, etc. out of it. It's not like I have lots of people in it often. I'm now having to dump a lot of chlorine sanitizer/shock to keep the level on the [email protected] strips up. It's fine for a week or 2 but you can tell when the cartridge runs out. Yesterday I replaced another cartridge and took the old one apart. The bottom comes off easy and would be a piece of cake to add more sanitizer.

I like the idea of slow release cartridges but would like to find something similar to the dichloro ingredients used in the [email protected] cartridge. My lurking shows that the toilet bowl tablets are pretty close but have fragrance, coloring, and surfactants added. Has anyone had success if finding something similar that I could refill the [email protected] cartridges with? I'll take a new one apart, weight the chucks, and put in the same amount of generic sanitizer. I hate being taken on this marketing train of the [email protected] system.
I have a new A6 and once I run out of the Frog cartridges I will be switching to Di-Chlor / bleach. I used that method in my pool for years before switching to a SWG. I I don't like that I can't test CC with the Frog system in place, and I too think it runs out of chemicals way to quickly. Maybe I will keep the empty cartages in case I want to fill them with Di-Chlor.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
What has been your experience using a SWG in your hot tub? I currently have a 2400 gallon swim spa that I run using the Bleach method for hot tubs. It works great, but I get admittedly lazy/forgetful at times so I end up over chlorinating to give me a buffer in case I forget to check my chlorine for a few days. I'm strongly considering installing a Salt water system this year, but I'm wondering if there are any issues to contend with regarding warm/hot spa water vs a normal pool? For reference... I stay at 95 degrees in winter, 90-93 in summer (mostly nighttime use).

I'm sort of in a weird middle ground where I'm too big for a spa based SWG and too small for a pool size.

I'd love to hear any thoughts.
I wouldn’t have a spa without it. When my cell finally went out I ordered a replacement the same day. I use the saltron mini but that is not rated for your size tub. The controlomatic megachlor drape over has a version rated for up to 3000 gallons. Not sure what your inline options would be.
I keep my tub @104F & my mini keeps up fine on a couple hours a day in my small 200 gal tub. If i’m going to be away & not use the tub i turn it down so the fc doesn’t get too high.
the only issue w/ all spas is that the hotter the water is the faster the fc gets used up no matter the sanitation method.
 
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BravoRomeo

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2012
91
San Juan Islands, WA
I gave the @ease system a fair shake when I got my Bullfrog A5L, and I even wrote extensively about it in these forums. Despite the cost, I saw the potential for time savings, especially when I was gone traveling for a week or at a time. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. Despite my best efforts to a) follow the directions, b) keep the water chemistry balanced, c) trust the system, d) verify by testing... invariably after no more than about six weeks I was battling foaming and a musty smell to the water. I was spending more time trying to make @ease work than manually dosing takes.

As far as I could tell, the @ease system just doesn't boost the FC levels high enough to oxidize bather waste post-soak, which will then slowly build up over time. Manually adding chlorine or MPS was frustratingly ineffective either due to how bad the water had gotten, or some weird interaction with @ease. I gave up after two seasons and switched to Dichlor / Bleach method. When I Ahh-some'd the tub after dumping the foul water, the gunk released from the plumbing was disgusting.

With Dichlor / Bleach system we are much happier! The water is always sparkling clean with no foaming or musty funk. To make life easier, we picked up an unused 1 oz. squeeze & dose bottle like that used for lawn chemical concentrates. That's filled with 8% unscented plain bleach and kept out by the hot tub. After soaking, we just add 1 oz. per person. By the next day, the tub is down to about 3 PPM FC (@ 20 PPM CYA). Simple.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
How long are the cells on the SWG expected to last?
The chlormaker lists 7,000 hours lifespan.
 

Cousinvinny

Member
Apr 3, 2021
19
Tucson, Az
The chlormaker lists 7,000 hours lifespan.
Thank you. So at least once a year you have to replace the sell. Lot more expensive than LC but much less work. Always a trade off.
 

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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,138
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
My first saltron mini cell lasted about 2 years. Solaxx doesn’t list how many hours its rated for.
The chlormaker is rated at 7k hrs of cell use (approximately of course)
So say u run it for 4 hrs/day x 365 = 1460 hrs. That’s how u figure it
 
Last edited:

MikeDelta62

Bronze Supporter
Aug 7, 2019
8
Atlanta GA
I gave the @ease system a fair shake when I got my Bullfrog A5L, and I even wrote extensively about it in these forums. Despite the cost, I saw the potential for time savings, especially when I was gone traveling for a week or at a time. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. Despite my best efforts to a) follow the directions, b) keep the water chemistry balanced, c) trust the system, d) verify by testing... invariably after no more than about six weeks I was battling foaming and a musty smell to the water. I was spending more time trying to make @ease work than manually dosing takes.

As far as I could tell, the @ease system just doesn't boost the FC levels high enough to oxidize bather waste post-soak, which will then slowly build up over time. Manually adding chlorine or MPS was frustratingly ineffective either due to how bad the water had gotten, or some weird interaction with @ease. I gave up after two seasons and switched to Dichlor / Bleach method. When I Ahh-some'd the tub after dumping the foul water, the gunk released from the plumbing was disgusting.

With Dichlor / Bleach system we are much happier! The water is always sparkling clean with no foaming or musty funk. To make life easier, we picked up an unused 1 oz. squeeze & dose bottle like that used for lawn chemical concentrates. That's filled with 8% unscented plain bleach and kept out by the hot tub. After soaking, we just add 1 oz. per person. By the next day, the tub is down to about 3 PPM FC (@ 20 PPM CYA). Simple.
How do you maintain FC with Dicholr/Bleach system when you travel for a week?
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,016
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
How do you maintain FC with Dicholr/Bleach system when you travel for a week?


Here is what I would do, and plan on doing when I transition off of the Frog.

Depending on where my CYA is at and how close I am to my next empty and fill, I will either use a DiChlor tablet in a floater or will just overdoes the spa with bleach.

If my CYA is low enough that it can take the hit, a tablet should be OK. I used to do the same thing in my pool before I got a SWGC. Before vacation I would run the FC up to shock levels with bleach, then throw in a floater with a couple of tablets. My pool CYA could handle it for the 2 or 3 times a year I would do that.

With the hot up, the tablet is going to have a much greater impact on CYA. If my CYA is low enough, or I am close enough to a water change, I will use the floater. If my CYA is high, and a water change is a ways off (which in theory I should not let it get that way) then I will just run the FC up high with bleach, lower the temp (which I would do anyway) and realized that I may have to shock it when I get back. With the cover on you are not going to get UV degradation and no organics are going to be introduced.
 

Kletust

Member
Jun 8, 2016
16
South Carolina
Here is what I would do, and plan on doing when I transition off of the Frog.

Depending on where my CYA is at and how close I am to my next empty and fill, I will either use a DiChlor tablet in a floater or will just overdoes the spa with bleach.

If my CYA is low enough that it can take the hit, a tablet should be OK. I used to do the same thing in my pool before I got a SWGC. Before vacation I would run the FC up to shock levels with bleach, then throw in a floater with a couple of tablets. My pool CYA could handle it for the 2 or 3 times a year I would do that.

With the hot up, the tablet is going to have a much greater impact on CYA. If my CYA is low enough, or I am close enough to a water change, I will use the floater. If my CYA is high, and a water change is a ways off (which in theory I should not let it get that way) then I will just run the FC up high with bleach, lower the temp (which I would do anyway) and realized that I may have to shock it when I get back. With the cover on you are not going to get UV degradation and no organics are going to be introduced.

Do you have the ability to cut off your ozone generator? When my ozone generator was working on my swim spa I found that it was burning through close to 50% of my FC each day (CYA of 35-40, temp at 95). When you are dealing with half-life's it makes it hard to get the chlorine high enough to last for 5 days. (24,12,6,3,1.5 isn't much worse than 48,24,12,6,3). Five days is pushing it, 6 or 7 and you will be out. Now that my ozone generator isn't working it's easy to dump some extra chlorine in and be fine for the week. Your mileage may vary, but I'd try a couple of tests with and without the ozone generator running before you leave for a week.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,016
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Do you have the ability to cut off your ozone generator? When my ozone generator was working on my swim spa I found that it was burning through close to 50% of my FC each day (CYA of 35-40, temp at 95). When you are dealing with half-life's it makes it hard to get the chlorine high enough to last for 5 days. (24,12,6,3,1.5 isn't much worse than 48,24,12,6,3). Five days is pushing it, 6 or 7 and you will be out. Now that my ozone generator isn't working it's easy to dump some extra chlorine in and be fine for the week. Your mileage may vary, but I'd try a couple of tests with and without the ozone generator running before you leave for a week.


I had no idea O3 had that impact on Cl. My Cl usage is higher than I expected, and maybe it is the ozone. I cannot disable it from the control panel, but I should be able to just unplug the unit. I'll have to poke around the insides and see what I can find.

Thanks
 

amwillg

Gold Supporter
Apr 5, 2021
38
Louisville, KY
Pool Size
34000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital PPC4 (RC-52)
+1 for drop-in SWG. Cells seem to last a year or 2 depending on usage time and brand, but the ease of use is incredible.

For a 2500 gallon spa, the megachlor is a good option. It is capable of 0.25lb/day, which would cover up to ~7500 gallons if run continuously to add 4ppm Cl (though they claim covers up to 17,000 gallons🤨 :rolleyes:)
 

BravoRomeo

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2012
91
San Juan Islands, WA
If we're leaving for up to a week, dosing the tub up is easy enough to do with bleach given our 20 ppm CYA. The EOS ozone generator that Bullfrog uses seems to be rather effective, including effectively reducing chlorine. Disconnecting it is easy, if you know what you're doing. The spa controller doesn't seem to care. When my ozone generator gives up, I probably won't replace it. I just don't see the cost/benefit vs. letting chlorine do the oxidizing job. Bullfrog wants $80 for a carbon ozone destruction filter, supposedly to be replaced every 2 years. I got a good laugh over that. Del Ozone's destruction filter is more like $22. I'm sure one could just refill the OEM plastic cylinder with off-the-shelf activated carbon granules, if I cared. As it is, I have the O3 vent tube routed out and under the deck, since it drips a bit now and then.

I had plumbed in a Chlormaker SWCG in my previous tub (Hotsprings Jetsetter). I only did that after I got a feel for the Dichlor / Bleach method. The SWCG ran on a simple adjustable duty cycle with a boost function you could use after soaking. I rarely had to add chlorine manually, other than dichlor for the first week to get the CYA up to 20 ppm. You still have to balance the water and test regularly. It's a nice solution if you are often gone for days or weeks, once you get the feel for the right duty cycle. With a dumb duty-cycle based unit, it cannot detect if the chlorine crashes to 0 (i.e. snail crawls into the tub and dies), so won't recover on its own. Same goes for if it accidentally gets turned up to max... I had 30+ ppm FC one day. Apparently the knob got bumped to max.

For my new tub, I've thought about going SWCG again, but really, manually dosing is not much more work than the testing you have to do anyway.
 
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phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,016
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
If we're leaving for up to a week, dosing the tub up is easy enough to do with bleach given our 20 ppm CYA. The EOS ozone generator that Bullfrog uses seems to be rather effective, including effectively reducing chlorine. Disconnecting it is easy, if you know what you're doing. The spa controller doesn't seem to care. When my ozone generator gives up, I probably won't replace it. I just don't see the cost/benefit vs. letting chlorine do the oxidizing job. Bullfrog wants $80 for a carbon ozone destruction filter, supposedly to be replaced every 2 years. I got a good laugh over that. Del Ozone's destruction filter is more like $22. I'm sure one could just refill the OEM plastic cylinder with off-the-shelf activated carbon granules, if I cared. As it is, I have the O3 vent tube routed out and under the deck, since it drips a bit now and then.

I had plumbed in a Chlormaker SWCG in my previous tub (Hotsprings Jetsetter). I only did that after I got a feel for the Dichlor / Bleach method. The SWCG ran on a simple adjustable duty cycle with a boost function you could use after soaking. I rarely had to add chlorine manually, other than dichlor for the first week to get the CYA up to 20 ppm. You still have to balance the water and test regularly. It's a nice solution if you are often gone for days or weeks, once you get the feel for the right duty cycle. With a dumb duty-cycle based unit, it cannot detect if the chlorine crashes to 0 (i.e. snail crawls into the tub and dies), so won't recover on its own. Same goes for if it accidentally gets turned up to max... I had 30+ ppm FC one day. Apparently the knob got bumped to max.

For my new tub, I've thought about going SWCG again, but really, manually dosing is not much more work than the testing you have to do anyway.

I am assuming that eventually (shortly) I will get my tub to the place I used to have my pool. With my pool, I could estimate how much bleach it needed on a given morning before work without even testing. Based on the weather and if people were swimming, I would add +/- a quart a day. I would test every 2 or 3 days just to make sure nothing odd was going on, and then on the weekend would do a full battery of tests just to make sure pH or something else was not running amok. Then I got a SWCG and it got even easier. Once I get it dialed in at the start of a season I can *almost* ignore my pool all week.

Right now I am testing my hot tub every day (sometimes twice) to see where things need to be. I am getting to a point where I pretty much have it stable. I wish my CYA were lower, but that will happen next water change. I would consider a built in SWCG, but not a hang over the edge, because then I would have extension cords etc. My hot tub is outside my back door, as opposed to my pool which is across the yard. So even in increment weather, adding bleach once a day is not going to be a big deal.
 
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