Spa Borate "Aeromatherepy" Stings Eyes?

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
121
N. Central, ID
My spa tests 30 ppm for borate and my pool tests 50 ppm. Both pool and spa run around pH= 7.3, CYA=30, FC=3-5, and CC always under 0.5 ppm. I run my CA and TA lower in the spa than my Gunite IG pool too--at CA=150 and TA=50. Years ago I owned and maintained a spa and never used Borax. With this spa, whenever I turn on the aeration, my eyes sting and it sometimes even makes me cough. I never have trouble in the pool, but then it doesn't produce an atmosphere of tiny chemical infused bubbles that pop at the surface of the water and deliver a dose of something stingy to my eyes either.

Given that this never happened to me in the past, I'm thinking about dumping the water and re-balancing the new water without Borax!

Any similar experiences here?
 
Last edited:

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,610
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Never experienced that. Borates are used as buffers in eye drops and contact lens solutions all the time. My guess is your setup is generating an aerosol of chlorinated water that is stinging your eyes.

Try this - let the hot tub FC drop to zero or near-zero before you next use and see if it happens again. It’s ok to soak in low FC water as long as you bring the FC up afterwards. In my pool it has an attached spa and I prefer to soak in it when the FC is low as the aerated & chlorinated water bothers me as well. When the FC is low, it’s more comfortable. Then I just shock it afterwards, let it circulate for 30mins and flow it back into the pool.
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
121
N. Central, ID
Never experienced that. Borates are used as buffers in eye drops and contact lens solutions all the time. My guess is your setup is generating an aerosol of chlorinated water that is stinging your eyes.

Try this - let the hot tub FC drop to zero or near-zero before you next use and see if it happens again. It’s ok to soak in low FC water as long as you bring the FC up afterwards. In my pool it has an attached spa and I prefer to soak in it when the FC is low as the aerated & chlorinated water bothers me as well. When the FC is low, it’s more comfortable. Then I just shock it afterwards, let it circulate for 30mins and flow it back into the pool.
I'll try that, JoyfulNoise. Maybe the FC is bothering me in my old age. The last time I had a spa I was in my late 20s and I don't recall this problem.
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
121
N. Central, ID
You're saying aromatherapy. What exact product are you talking about?
Sorry to throw you off, JamesW. I was just joking about "aromatherapy." Years ago, spas were sold with extra features to put aromas into the jet airflow. I don't even know if they are available anymore. What I'm experiencing is definitely not positive therapy and I"m trying to get to the bottom of it.
 
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