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General Spa & Hot tub care questions & information Information for Chlorine & Bromine treated Spas & Hot tubs Information for Soft Soak, BaquaSpa & Leisure Time Free Treated Spas Alternative Spa & Hot tub Care Information, Spa Frog, Nature2, Pristine Blue Troubleshooting Spa & Hot tub Care Problems, mold, slime, biofilm, skin rashes Spa Care Questions Buy Spa & Hot tub Chemicals, ParPools.com
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General Spa & Hot Tub Care

Question:
I am having issues with rodents nesting in my spa.  Anything you can recommend I do to have them move out and prevent them from returning? 

Response:
You may want to try the Mouse Away Pouch.  Just put one underneath the spa cabinet.  They are non-toxic.  You may notice a "mint" odor.  We occasionally have had field mice that get into our warehouse in the past, but not anymore.  I would change it out about every 8 weeks instead of the 3 months for best results.

Question:
We have an Interlude Dimension 1 spa that we have used sporadically since it was installed in 1999. It has been empty all summer because my husband noticed that the underneath side of the cover was mildewy this spring. Even after I cleaned the spa and refilled it, including a shock treatment, the cover still has dark spots and smells mildewy.
 
The local dealer said it sounded like we needed to replace the cover. We cannot afford that right now.
 
Is there any way to clean the underside of the cover? We would like to refill the spa before things freeze at night.

Response:
You can mix a mild bleach solution to clean the spa cover for the time being.  That will help temporarily.  The only problem is that there is probably a fair amount of mold INSIDE of the cover as well. After 7 years, it's time for a new one.  For regular care, use a product such as Pristine Mist which will help control spa cover odor.
 

Question:
I have an in ground spa that has a blower attached for bubbles.  When I turn the blower off it continues to blow air thru the jets.  Not at the force of when the blower is on but more than just when I am running the filter.  I was told this was normal and known as "venturing".  I don't think I have the term correct.  The only way I could stop it was to turn off everything and start up the spa again.  Does this sound familiar?  I don't understand how air can continue to come out of the jets at the force it does when the blower is not on.

Response:
What you describe is a typical "ventury" effect.  Since the water lines are "attached" to air lines, the force of the circulating water will "vacuum" air into those lines & force it out.  On portable spas it is less noticeable because the jets typically have a separate air induction vent that can be opened or closed a lot more securely than on most inground gunite spas.
 

Question:
I have a Tiger River spa with 24 hour circulation. I continue to get an itchy rash on my back and lower legs. I started with Spa Guard Spa Sentry and Bromine, all directions followed to the letter, with good levels of all chemicals I switched to BioGuard’s Soft Soak system and had no rash problem but I do not like the residue (white sticky globs) that it leaves in the spa and filter. I have now changed to Nature˛ and added an ozonator which I have on a timer to run 6 hours a day. The Nature˛ system calls for Enhanced Shock (Sodium dichlor-s-triazinetrione) for start-up and Spa Shock (Potassium Peroxymonosulfate) weekly maintenance. The rash is back not as bad but I am still itching. The spa store that sold me the Nature˛ system said to stop using the Sodium dichlor-s-triazinetrione to see if that cleared up the rash but it has not. Do you have any suggestions? I suspect that I have developed sensitivity to chemicals and this is my problem, I really do not want to go back to the Soft Soak if I don’t have to. I only run the Ozonator 6 hours a day because the store that sold me the spa said that too much ozone would turn the jets and cover white. Ozone output for my unit is 0.1 grams per hour.

Response:
First question, it may seem obvious, but...when you switched to Soft Soak, did you change the water in the spa?  If you didn't, you'll definitely have a reaction between the chemicals resulting in a gooey film t the waterline.

When it comes to skin rashes, you could have sensitivity to the chemicals; the water may be out of balance (pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness).  If the water is NOT properly sanitized & the surfaces cleaned (especially at the water line), you very well could get skin rash due to possible pseudomonas.  This would be my primary source to look at to combat the skin rash. Clean the spa surfaces whenever you get into the spa - even simple wiping down helps tremendously.

The ozonator is not really going to help your problem (sorry).  Nature2 is a great system to use.  As with any, maintain good water balance & a proper sanitizer level.  The granular chlorine helps keep chlorine residual when the ozone that was generated "burns off".
 

Question:
I have noticed that bits of white (almost like Styrofoam, but crush between the fingers) are floating around in the last couple of weeks. We have had the hot tub for several years and I have never had this before.  Any ideas of what it is and causes it, so that I can fix whatever the problem is? 

Response:
The white stuff is most likely a build up of stuff from the inside of the plumbing lines that doesn't get oxidized or otherwise cleaned out.  When you next drain the spa, use a product like Spa System Flush or Swirl Away to clean out the lines.  Both products do a great job in taking care of that problem.
 

Question:
I purchased a spa, Life Springs by Burboa Manufacturing in Calif. The manufacture's rep said to only use bromine in the spa. The water is changed every 3 months. Have had a problem with suds and the water getting green.
 
I have had a problem with itchy rash and so has my daughter my husband is not effected. I know when I do not use the spa it clears up (I have appt with doctor for the rash). How should I be taking care of the spa?

Response:
Easy stuff First:
Suds/foaming - water can be "soft" causing foam, adjust the calcium hardness to about 200 ppm.  If it's getting foamy after several weeks of use that could very well be a sign that the water needs changing.  Depending on the spa size (gallons), & usage, the spa could very well "need" to be changed more often than 3 months.  This is especially true with smaller spas (250 gallons or smaller).

Water turning green is definitely a water imbalance causing the copper in the water to oxidize, turning the water green.  Maintain proper pH (7.4-7.6), total alkalinity (125 - 150 ppm) & calcium hardness (200 ppm).

Tougher stuff:
Skin rashes: You & your daughter may have more sensitive skin than your husband.  Depending on where on your bodies the rash is, the cause could be a case of the spa surfaces not being clean. Rashes especially on the upper chest, upper arms, and upper back (at the water line) are almost always a sign of an unclean spa surface.  Whenever you use the spa, wipe down all of the surfaces, below, at & above the waterline.  This will get the sanitizer in the water onto those surfaces to their proper work of killing bacteria.

Bromine or chlorine?  It really is a personal choice.  Plus there are other alternatives as well. Take a look at Soft Soak, Pristine Blue, or Nature2 as alternatives.
 

Question:
Is it OK to use bubble bath, bath salts, etc. in the hot tub? 

Response:
Normal bath stuff, NO; especially bath salts (they can scale up the heater).  Fragrances & "salts" that are made for hot tub use are purposefully formulated for pH & other water balance issues.  Typical bath stuff is made to be immediately drained out after use
.

Question:
What are some signs that plumbing under hot tub has been poorly glued?

What does it mean when a repair person says the glue is green & contaminated? 

Response:
A poorly glued spa will LEAK! Like crazy!

Depending on which glue was used & exactly where the spa is located (in a deck, close to the ground, a damp area) could mean that there's MAYBE some "growth" growing on those areas.  Glue doesn't become "contaminated". It almost sounds as if someone is trying to sell you on a very expensive & probably unnecessary repair job.

Follow Up Question:
I was actually asking the question because I purchased a brand new tub & right away it was leaking from several locations. Not just one leak, but many leaks.

The manufacturer & the dealer where I live refuse to take it back & give me another tub or a refund. They say I have to have it repaired.

I don't want it repaired--I want a new tub that is not defective & does not leak.

In order to repair, they will basically have to disassemble & reassemble the tub in my garage on my time.

The dealer's repair guy mentioned that the glue was green & possibly contaminated.

I was trying to understand what that meant so I could explain to the store & the dealer what was going on. 

 I can see that the glue some joints is not the nice bright colored blue glue that is on some other joints. It IS slightly green in color & thinner. The glue on some of the other joints is thin & you can see bubbles in the glue.  

Follow Up Response:
Contact them & let them know you have a defective product & the dealer is unwilling to take responsibility for it.  It is NORMAL & customary for a manufacturer to repair a product (i.e. automobiles) rather than replace.

As far as the bubbles in the glue -- that sometimes happens, but...This is one of the warranty issues that are not going to be easy to resolve. 

Question:
When I turn on my bubbler in my spa, it emits a foul odor. Something between moldy to petrochemical type smell. It is about 20 years old & works fine except for the toxic bubbler odor. I have an ozone generator and use bromine. Is there something I can do (add pleasant odors near the intake, somehow get bleach into the line?) My wife gags over the smell & opens the sliding patio door when I have the bubbler going. The bubbler has a dome type housing around it that has a type of rubber foam around it on the inside, that I assume is for noise dampening, as it gets quite noisy when it runs. This smell has gotten worse over the years. We don't use it as much as we did during the decades previous. Have you run into this problem with older (or newer) spas??? Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to eliminate or lessen the odor.

Response:
Over time, stuff builds up on the inside of all the lines.  Older spas have a little "greater" problem in that the air bubbler is normally a ring that is around the seat edges & bottom with holes drilled into it.  Because water doesn't directly circulate through it, you need to get chemicals down in there.  I would suggest draining &refilling the spa following the procedure.  The day before:

1. Put a good shock dosage in.  Probably double or triple the amount you normally would.  Allow to circulate overnight.
2.  About 30 minutes before draining, add spa system flush.  This will help to break up the film that is building up.
3.  Drain & refill the spa.

Due to the age of the spa, you probably want to repeat the process. Even though the spa doesn't get as much use as in days gone by, follow this procedure each time you drain & refill the spa.  Remember to do this 2 or 3 times a year.

 

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