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General Water Balance


Our wedding bands and sterling silver jewelry has been changing to a dull black after soaking in the hot tub on many occasions. I use Brilliance chlorine to maintain my tub. What would cause this as the chlorine level is fine? Is there a chemical that I am lacking or something I may have in my water causing this?


Sterling silver is one of those metals that can tarnish very easily.  If your gold wedding bands are tarnishing as well, that definitely tells me that you have a water imbalance.  Get your pH (7.4 - 7.6), total alkalinity (125 - 150 ppm) & calcium hardness (175 - 200 ppm) adjusted.  With the water being out of balance, other metals such as iron & copper are going to affect your jewelry as well.

Water balance is just as important as chlorine or sanitizer level.  It sort of is a little more important in that good water balance affects the efficiency of the sanitizer AND directly affects the spa's surfaces & equipment looks & life.  Just because the water looks clear & clean, doesn't mean that it is well balanced.

Get those levels properly adjusted & you can almost guarantee that you won't have that problem with your jewelry again.


We have a repetitive problem with our spa heated by a propane heater. Reddish brown copper stains repeatedly are occurring. The ph has been low and they are trying to balance it but it's very difficult. It does seem like the copper heater coils are being degraded in the heater. Stains are now difficult to remove from the spa. What would you suggest?


I wanted to get back to you ASAP.  The most important thing you can do is get the water in balance FAST.  Water balance means pH (7.4 - 7.6), total alkalinity (125 to 140 ppm) & calcium hardness (about 200 ppm).

Until the TA & CH is adjusted & corrected, it's going to be difficult to adjust & maintain the pH.  While making the balancing adjustments, it wouldn't hurt to add a little extra SpaGuard Stain & Scale Control to take care of the excess metals (iron & copper) that have been deposited into the water from the corroding heater core.

It may be wise to drain & refill & start fresh AND BALANCE THE WATER!!

The real bad news is that you'll probably need to replace the heater sooner than later.  I know this is water under the bridge but don't rely on "clear water".  Always test the water at least twice a week. Maintain those levels. 


I have worked at a retail pool and spa store and have taken care of the water maintenance of one pool and two spas for a year and a half.  In that year and a half, I haven't had any problem I couldn't fix with one chemical or another.  I have found a problem that has me totally frustrated.  One of the spas we keep water in consistently has a green tint to it. I have tried granular ph decreasers and they haven't touched the green tint.  The only thing that seems to remove the green is adding muriatic acid.  This definitely lowers the ph but you have to add so much that I bet the ph levels are down in the 5's or 6's.  Then when you try to add an increasing product, the green tint returns.  Even with just a 2 ounce application.  You can't even attempt to raise the ph.  So then off course you have very corrosive water.  It only seems to be happening to the spas we put in one particular location in the store.  We have tried changing spas thinking maybe there was something wrong with the spa itself, but it has happened with every spa we have put there.  Do you have any suggestions?  It would be greatly appreciated.


More than anything else, it sounds as if you've gotten into a real problem with corrosive water & therefore metals.  Particularly copper from the spas' heaters. 

Before adding any chlorine or bromine, I would recommend doing this:
1. Add a double dosage of Stain & Scale Control.
2.  Balance the water.
3.  DO NOT add chlorine, bromine or any sanitizer or oxidizer for at least 3 days.

It sounds as if the copper and any other metals aren't having a chance to be thoroughly chelated.  Keep in mind that the copper could be coming from the pipes supplying the source or fill water, especially if they are older.

More Water Balance Questions here (page 2)

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