Spa start up -- pH and Alk

Sep 14, 2018
7
Detroit, MI
Hi All

Starting up a new spa and having issues getting pH and Alk stabilized at the right level. Bromine reads 0 every time I test and I'm going to work on that after I get pH and Alk correct. I purchased a Taylor test kit after giving up on the test strips after a few days. Also I added 2oz sodium bromide per the instructions a week ago and am using a floater with bromine tablets.

Day 1
pH = 7.2 - 7.4
Alk = 30 ppm
Hardness = 200 - 250

Added ~8oz of sodium bicarbonate Alk Up. 2oz at a time, 30mins apart


Day 2
Alk = 110 -- YES!
Ph > 8. Demand test shows needs 3 drops
Hardness = 200-250

Added ~1.5oz Sodium bisulfate pH/Alk Down
Added 2oz hardness increaser


Day3
Alk = 90
pH >8.0 Demand test shows need 3 drops
Hardness = 275-300


I am at a loss. The Alk Up raised my pH to a level that's too high, and the Alk/pH down is decreasing my Alk but not my pH. Any suggestions? I'm getting concerned as we're using the tub nearly every day for a week now and I have not been able to maintain any sanitizer. I have shocked with 1.5 cups of bleach a few times. The only thing I can possibly think of is that I now see the Taylor manual recommends that I add the pH down over a 4 day window vs all at once. Not sure if I should wait 4 days and see what happens or if I need to do something else.
 

Certified106

Well-known member
Sep 10, 2018
101
Athens, Ohio
I don't know much about about bromine but there is a sticky at the top of this forum that talks about it.

I would start by reading the sticky that talks about starting up your chlorine hot tub. It goes in depth as to how to adjust your PH. Honestly before I found this place I fought my PH levels all the time and I'm talking about to the point I was really frustrated with it. After I read the stickys it started to make sense and I realized these guys were right. I just did a drain and refill on my tub and I currently have the TA at 50 and PH at 7.4 per the TFP reccomendations and for the first time ever I have not had to fight my PH levels.

If you want to read about my experience and the advice these guys and gals gave me getting mine started back up it starts a few posts down on this thread and it's explained in pretty good detail. It took me just over two hours to get my water balanced. My reccomendations also is to get the test kit that is reccomended (TF 100) because I know it sure helped me.
New Spa owner - Questions regarding water changes, biofilm, and @ease - Page 3
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
978
South-Central WI
Couple links for you to read to get started here:
How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)?) - Read this first, as it covers water balancing.
How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?) - Read this next, as it covers bromine in your spa. I'm not familiar with the details of bromine, as I use chlorine.
PoolMath - Use this calculator to figure out what to add. Fill out the "Now" column with current test results. Fill out "Target" column with desired values. Pre-filled target values are average and are aimed more at pool than at spa, so likely aren't correct. Note these values aren't what your spa or pool shop told you, but are outlined in the stickies. Ask if unsure.
Trouble Free Pool - Use this link to add a signature. Please put your spa type and size in there, sanitizer method, and test kit. This helps use help you. Be sure the "Show your signature" box is checked when you make a post.
Pool School - Pool School - Lots of useful articles that may be of interest.

Okay, so we got a lot of links there. DON'T PANIC! :D We're here to help. For now, focus on the water balancing section of the chlorine thread, the bromine thread, update your signature, and post a complete set of current test results and we'll help you on to the next step. You can also read certified106’s thread that he linked, it has a lot of useful information too as he had some of the same issues you are having.

Welcome to TFP! There's a bit of learning, but after that it's really easy and you won't be fighting your spa anymore. :thumleft:
 

jza1736

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2017
536
Greenlawn, NY
Don't chase the TA. You will be in a roller coaster PH /TA. Yes, put some in, then use PH down or muriatic acid to lower it to the right PH. I did the same thing when my spa was new. My manufacture spec is 100. It's currently at 50 and my PH is at 7.6.

How are you getting bromine into the tub and did you put a reserve in yet?
 
Sep 14, 2018
7
Detroit, MI
Hi All

Thanks for the feedback, I did read those threads and will do so again. Unfortunately after using the tub last night I went outside to find that all the water had leaked out. So I will be starting all over with a re-fill after that is fixed. It's pretty frustrating as it's a brand new tub and this is the 3rd manufacturer issue I've found in the first week.
 

Certified106

Well-known member
Sep 10, 2018
101
Athens, Ohio
Hi All

Thanks for the feedback, I did read those threads and will do so again. Unfortunately after using the tub last night I went outside to find that all the water had leaked out. So I will be starting all over with a re-fill after that is fixed. It's pretty frustrating as it's a brand new tub and this is the 3rd manufacturer issue I've found in the first week.

That has to be a pretty significant leak to have all leaked out overnight! Is your spa full foam?

I would again stress that I think you will fight PH fluctuations at a TA of 110. I would definitely shoot for the 50 that TFP recommends. My PH has been rock solid steady even after using it multiple times this week and my daughter leaving the air on all night...….
 

jza1736

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2017
536
Greenlawn, NY
Just out of curiosity, which brand spa did you get?

I have a premium leisure and I had multiple problems as well.

My main board has been replaced

Wifi & Bluetooth modules had to be replaced.

2 speakers needed to be recrimped

And I'm still waiting on the 2 main lights in the bottom of the tub to be repaired.

All from day 1 start up.