Polysheen Blue in spas?

Hilton

In The Industry
Jun 15, 2010
74
I am responsible for daily operations for several semi-private pools and spas. By semi-private I mean they are not public; they are located in retirement villas, condominium complexes, apartment blocks, etc. I took over this position only 3-4 months ago so I have been maintaining the regimen that previous operators had developed. I've been slowly making changes as I become more educated as to each pool/spas usage and quirks and the products being used, but now I have a question that nobody seems to be able to answer.

Of the six spas, there is one 10,000L, one 1,800L, and four 5,000L. All are maintained using BioGuard products, all are using Trichlor pucks. Every spa is maintained at 102-104 F. All are concrete and tile except the tiny one. There has been a daily regimen in place of "a squirt of Anti-Foam" (just enough to dissipate any foaming when the jets are on) and "a shot of Polysheen Blue" (average seemed to be about 15mL, more if water was not clear). For those familiar with the product, you will know that the directions for Polysheen Blue say 15mL per 10,000 L *per week* (it is intended for pools).

I have had one person tell me that Polysheen Blue is not suitable for use in high temperature waters such as a spa; however I can find only one retailer's web site which says the same thing. The manufacturer says nothing about it.

Can anyone give me some more information on this? I can say that it *seems* to be working, however I am concerned about using large amounts of a potentially unsuitable product, possibly building up contaminants and TDS faster, and wasting quite a bit of (other people's) money in the long run.

As a side note, these pools have been shocked every Monday using 1/2 bag of BioGuard Smart Shock (1 bag is meant for a 40,000L pool), however as stocks run out I am starting to switch to Oxysheen (potassium monopersulfate). They are also drained every 4-8 weeks depending on TDS buildup.
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
Are these spas indoors?

Are they ever covered?

Monopersulfate is a great oxidizer. It is NOT a sanitizing agent. I usually only use it in bromine tubs to free the combined bromine.

Polysheen Blue is an oil based clarifier. Depending on the filter type, it may be unsuitable. I have found it clogs up cartridges and DE grids. It's regular use requires soaking in in a degreaser much more frequently. It may also be the source of the foaming. What type of filter is being used for these facilities?

What are your normal chem level targets?

How are you testing them?

How frequently?

Scott
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
PoolGuyNJ said:
Polysheen Blue is an oil based clarifier. Depending on the filter type, it may be unsuitable. I have found it clogs up cartridges and DE grids. It's regular use requires soaking in in a degreaser much more frequently. It may also be the source of the foaming. What type of filter is being used for these facilities?
Scott,

Is this true for pools as well? There were some reports of excellent results with this, but I'd like to know the limitations. If used with cartridges, I would expect them to get filled with particulate matter and need cleaning -- that's pretty much what clarifiers are supposed to do, but maybe I'm missing something in what you are saying such that they get clogged in a way that is not easily cleaned. I do understand what you are saying if it is oil-based, but it's presumably a soluble polymer so that's weird if it were really oil-based since it wouldn't mix with water very well if that were the case.

Richard
 

Hilton

In The Industry
Jun 15, 2010
74
Here are more specific details on the spas. Most are similar (almost all tiled, all sand filter, most recirculate roughly every 40 minutes, 24 hours a day). They vary in age from 2 to 20+ years.

- 7,000L (1,800gal) Outdoor, tiled. Operating at 45gpm, sand filter. Bubble cover kept on. ID: K3440
- 5,000L (1,300gal) Outdoor (under a roof), tiled. Operating around 40gpm, sand filter. Bubble cover kept on year round. ID: K1000
- 5,000L (1,300gal) Outdoor, tiled. Flow rate unknown, but has similar pump to others so likely around 40gpm. Sand filter. Bubble cover. Operated only from May-Sept. ID: K671
- 5,000L (1,300gal) Outdoor, tiled. Operating around 40gpm. Hard cover kept on most of year, bubble cover from Jun-Aug. ID: K973
- 1,800L (500gal) Outdoor (under a roof), vinyl/fiberglass?. Flow rate unknown, but has similar pump to the others so likely very high for such a small tub! Sand filter, foam cover. ID: K1424
- 10,000L (2,500gal) Indoor, tiled. Operating at 65gpm (recirculation every 40 minutes), sand filter. No cover, obviously. 2 banks of jets (2 pumps). ID: K768. This one is probably the most used, estimating 100+ persons per week; frequently clouds up over weekends (there is no maintenance on any pool/spa on weekends), typically has to be drained after every long weekend.

Our current pool company suggests the following targets:
FC: 5
pH: 7.4-7.8
Alk: 125-150
Stabilizer: 30-40 optimal, keep under 100
CH: 150-200, I think.

Testing is done daily in the mornings using AquaChek Yellow test strips. Not optimal, but certainly among the better test strips available; there is not time for liquid test kits when testing 16 pools/spas daily, and still handling other duties outside of pools! Water samples are taken to the pool company every 2nd Wednesday. Although the test strips do not test for CC/TC, I think there is very little need; in the last four months, every water test has returned an equal Free and Total chlorine count.

At most locations, chlorine is added with BioGuard Tabguard Tabs 200g (Trichlor pucks), directly in the skimmer. The reason for this is that the chlorine dispensers at most sites have proven far too troublesome, rarely working correctly and too costly to maintain. Unfortunately this also generates a lot of FC bounce, easily jumping to 10+ if I am not careful. Not a big deal, nobody has ever complained and there is rarely any discernible smell (I hear that many European pools and spas maintain 10ppm as a standard, and I suspect that this regular jump to 10 is part of why I never test with CCs); however, depending on expected usage, I often use 1/2 or 1/4 pucks to avoid it through the week.

I have been experimenting recently with BioGuard Stingy Sticks instead. They are also 99% Trichlor and also intended for use in chlorinators (but also marked as acceptable in skimmers). Their different shape makes them dissolve over a longer period of time, easing any sudden jumps, but sometimes also not increasing FC fast enough... :p
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
chem-geek,

I use these product types with sand filters only, usually when DE won't do it. They will gunk DE grids and cartridges, just like skin oils, lotions, etc... so that they need a soak. At least, that has been my experience, especially if the pool was a swamp.


Hilton,

A commercial pool or spa MUST be tested several times a day and logged. The cloudy water is your proof that what is being used is inadaquate. To not do this will put guests at risk and invites liability with grave indifference.

Test strips of any kind are, IMHO, unreliable, subjective, and not using best practices. Definitive drop tests are available such as the Taylor 2006K and TF-100.

If you are a CPO, you know better. Document this to cover your Rear or you will be held accountable, not just your employer and customer. While past performance has shown to be good, it only takes one OMG for 20 people to get ill, especially seniors.

Scott
 

Hilton

In The Industry
Jun 15, 2010
74
True, commercial spas must be logged several times per day. However, the laws here are mixed; though legally defined as commercial, these pools are regarded as private and have operated as such for the past 20 years with no qualms from the local or provincial health authority. None of these pools, for example, have any staff beyond myself. No lifeguards, no maintenance personnel, etc.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
When you call these pools and spas Semi-private I think someone is kidding you. When you have a number of different people with unknown habits and an unknown mix of "guests" or "friends" the facilities are squarely in the commercial realm. Yes, maybe for almost a generation the city, county or ... whoever has looked the other way but as stated above, one problem with someone sick or worse and you won't know what hit you by the time they are done investigating.
To be blunt I'd be worried how may people are peeing in these as they aren't really "owners" and being seniors they might not have the control.
It's not your fault at least you're trying to keep it clean but for something like the one that routinely clouds up over the weekend, someone needs to be doing the routine necessary daily testing and maintenance every day including holidays and weekends before there's a problem that gets someone sick.
 

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