Solutions Manual

22 Troubleshooting Questions

Thank you for your business and for your email.  My name is {{{Sender.FirstName}}}, I will help you.

There are a number of things that can cause the condition that you are experiencing. To help me figure out how to help you, please answer the following questions as best as you can.

  • How old is your tub?
  • Did you encounter this difficulty prior to using Spa Marvel?
  • This question relates to filtration of your spa: Does your tub have a hush pump (sometimes referred to as a ‘low speed circ pump’) or is it a programmable system where you tell it when to turn the filtration cycles on and off?
  • How many hours a day is the spa scheduled to filter for?
  • What brand of hot tub do you have?
  • How old are your filters?
  • Please describe your filter cleaning process (i.e. do you soak them in a filter cleaning solution prior to rinsing?)
  • Then how do you rinse them? i.e. in the sink, with a hose, pressure washer, dishwasher, etc.
  • Did you use a plumbing cleaner/purge product prior to draining and refilling the spa, and if so, what brand did you use?
  • How many days after the introduction of Spa Marvel Water Treatment did you start to encounter the issues you have now?
  • What is your alkalinity reading?
  • Do you or have you used any sanitizer (such as chlorine, bromine) with Spa Marvel? If so, what is the current sanitizer reading?
  • Are you using municipally treated water or well water?
  • Have you had difficulty keeping sanitizer in the water? e. do you add it and the next day it is gone? And if so, how long have you had this issue?  Did you have difficulty keeping sanitizer in the spa water prior to using Spa Marvel?
  • Do you see any flakes that look like pieces of dead skin or maybe appear as though someone threw a piece of tissue paper in the water and now there are bits of it suspended in the water, or accumulated in and around the filter?
  • Is the water odour-free? If not, describe the odour.
  • Is the water clear? Can you send a picture of the water?
  • Do bathers shower before using the spa?
  • If your hot tub didn’t begin with Spa Marvel, then why did you begin using Spa Marvel? i.e. what was the attraction, or what difficulties were you trying to overcome?
  • Was there anything out of the ordinary that preceded the struggle you’re having, such as an unusually high number of bathers in the spa, or was it used by bathers who don’t typically use it?
  • One person using the spa one time is considered one bather.  So if you and your spouse used the spa in the morning, that would be two bathers. If you both used it again at night, that would be 2 more bathers, a total of 4 bathers. With this in mind, how many bathers on average use the spa in a week?
  • Is there any other information you can provide that may help us in diagnosing this situation?
22 Question – difficult/rude customers not wanting to answer questions: Headache analogy

It’s unfortunate to hear that you aren’t prepared to take just a few minutes for me to help you.  I understand that I have asked you a lot of questions, but as an analogy, imagine that you have a bad headache and go to the doctor because of it.  There are a LOT of things that can cause a headache i.e. atmospheric pressure, brain swelling, a tumor, poisoning, a structural/alignment issue of the spine, stress, etc.  For one to tell the doctor that one has a headache and the doctor to simply prescribe a solution without doing an analysis, will more than likely prevent the headache from being rectified.

Cloudy water is like having a headache, in that there are a LOT of things that can cause it, hence the numerous questions. For example, cloudy water can be cause by:

  • Minerals in the water that are oxidizing.
  • Debris that had been accumulated in the spa’s plumbing that Spa Marvel cleaned out, which has now fouled the water.
  • Insufficient filtration.
  • Improperly maintained filters.
  • Bather overload.
  • Low sanitizer levels.
  • Unbalanced alkalinity & pH levels.
  • Contaminants in the spa’s plumbing, such as mould, algae, fungus, biofilm and bacteria.
  • And more.

I can suggest a solution to you without asking any questions, but it would be like a doctor prescribing an anti-inflammatory for a headache, when in-fact there is a brain tumor that is causing the headache.  If we don’t ask questions, we can’t serve you properly.

However, please find below the causes and solutions for hazy/cloudy water:

#1 Dirty Filters. Filters can only hold so much, and when they are full, debris stays in the spa water making it cloudy. Proper filter cleaning practices are essential to maintaining clear water. For detailed instructions on how to clean your hot tub filters you can view our video on filter cleaning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfOEbsnHYg&t=14s

#2 Bather Overload. Four people in a hot tub is the equivalent of 200 people in a swimming pool. If bathers don’t shower before using the spa, they are using it as a bathtub and introducing contaminants to the water which can easily overwhelm your spa and cause cloudy water. To minimize this from happening, insist that bathers shower THOROUGHLY before using your spa.

Changing the water is usually the fastest way to remedy cloudy water caused by bather overload. If that is not possible, increase filtration times, install clean filters, shock the water, use a water clarifier, and continue this regimen until the water clears. As the water becomes clearer, the filter will begin to become soiled and may require additional cleaning or replacement.

#3 High pH or Alkalinity. Water that has high pH or high alkalinity can quickly become cloudy, or may even come out of the tap looking hazy. Balancing the alkalinity and pH to proper ranges will clear the water.

#4 Minerals in the water. When minerals in the water such as copper and iron begin to rust, the result is discolored cloudy water that often appears green or yellow. To clear it, shock the water, wait a minimum of 24 hours and if the colour persists, shock the water again and wait at least another 24 hours. Repeat as necessary, multiple applications may be required.

#5 Old Filters. As filters age, the 20-micron holes in the fabric get worn out and become larger. While a filter may look good to the naked eye, a one-year-old filter can be worn to the point where it will allow twice as much debris to pass through it as it did when it was new, causing the water to remain cloudy. A filter should be replaced after at most a year of use, or a dozen cleanings, whichever comes first.

#6 Not enough sanitizer. When sanitizer levels are low, impurities that are introduced to the water from bathers or other environmental sources can overwhelm the sanitizer, resulting in cloudy and potentially microbiologically unsafe water. Maintaining sanitizer levels as per regulatory agency guidelines will prevent this.
#7 Insufficient filtration times. It takes time to filter debris from hot tub water. Make sure your spa is scheduled to filter for at least 6 hours per day, or if your spa uses a low volume hush pump, it should be programmed for the longest duration, preferably 24 hours per day if possible.

#8 Debris in the water. Contaminants introduced from creams, deodorant and other body-care products, can be so small that they pass right through the filter, causing cloudy water. This can be corrected by using a water clarifier that will collect the debris into a larger mass that can then be trapped by the filter, allowing the water to clear.

#9 Hot tub contamination. Mould, algae, fungus, biofilm or bacteria can cause cloudy water. You will need to decontaminate your spa. Please see this video to explain the process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvU4lcpjgBQ  I am also happy to send you a step-by-step instruction, should this be the means to solving your struggle.

#10 Filling with turbid water. This happens most often when filling with water from a lake or a well. The water can contain tannins or oxidized minerals such as iron oxide that can make the water cloudy. Shocking the water will clear it up, and you can help to prevent this from occurring by using a garden hose prefilter like Spa Marvel’s X10 Water Filter to fill the spa.

Thank you for your business.

Absentee Spa Owners

Spa Marvel is a favorite amongst absentee spa owners: people like cottagers and vacation homeowners whose spas are not being used and who may not be available to add sanitizer for weeks or months on end. Spa Marvel will maintain the water during their absence, even though no sanitizer has been added.

 

Ahhsome Problems

The purge product you used left a whole lot of gunk behind that you had to clean off of the shell of the tub when you drained it. That same gunk also clings to the inside of the plumbing, where you cannot clean it out. When you refill the spa the gunk in the pipes will dissolve into the water and will reappear at the water line.

Just keep wiping it off and it will eventually all be gone. In future, you can use Spa Marvel Cleanser which does an equally good job, without the mess.


Foam is caused by residual from the purge product you used. It comes from two sources:

  • When you drain the spa there are still about 5 gallons of water that remain in the plumbing. That water contains foam and debris from the purge product, and when you refill the spa it causes gunk and foaming in new water.
  • When you used the purge, you would have to clean a whole lot of gunk off of the shell of the tub when you drained it.  That same gunk also clings to the inside of the plumbing, where you cannot clean it out. When you refill the spa the gunk in the pipes will dissolve into the water and create more foam and scum.

In future, use Spa Marvel Cleanser, it cleans just as well, but doesn’t leave a mess behind.


Ahhsome is a very good cleaner but uses a bit of a ‘show’ to make it appear as though it is doing more than it really is.

Ahhsome adds foaming agents and sequestering agents to their product. The sequestering agents work the way that spa water clarifiers like Polysheen and Pure Blue do, grabbing small particles of debris that have been cleaned out of the plumbing, and also particles that had already been in the water, causing them to clump together to form scum. Ahhsome also wants you to let the filter cartridge float in the water while using their product, which will introduce more debris from the filter fabric to the water, which contributes to the volume of scum.  By directing the consumer to leave the aerators open, it causes the scum to build up on the spa walls and on top of the foam.

Which brings me to the next thing that Ahhsome does to add sizzle to their steak; they add foaming agents to the water and tell you to keep the aerators on so that you see massive amounts of foam, on top of which the scum will sit.

Consumers see the foam and scum and think that it was all caused by debris from the plumbing, but it is not.

If you’ve ever used Ahhsome, you’ll be familiar with the mess it makes- sticky scum all over the spa walls as the water is drained, and the scum needs to be wiped out.  But what can’t get wiped out is the scum that sits on the walls of the plumbing as the water is drained. When the spa is filled back up, the scum in the plumbing, along with the residual foaming agents in that scum, mixes with the fresh water and causes foaming in the new water.  We figured this out after Spa Marvel customers told us that they started with Spa Marvel and were experiencing foaming issues.  Turns out that they had used Ahhsome instead of Spa Marvel Cleanser prior to draining and filling, Spa Marvel’s inherent cleaners removed the scum that was on the plumbing walls, and that is where the foam came from. I tested this in my own spa and had foaming, even after performing a second complete drain and fill the same day, in an effort to get rid of the foam.

In summary, Ahhsome is a great plumbing cleaner, it makes itself look like it does more than it actually does, it is a pain to clean up, and can cause foaming in the water of the new fill. Spa Marvel Cleanser cleans just as well, but without the mess.


The product you are using is a very good cleaner but uses a bit of a ‘show’ to make it appear as though it is doing more than it really is by adding foaming agents and sequestering agents to their product. The sequestering agents work the way that spa water clarifiers like Polysheen and Pure Blue do, grabbing small particles of debris that have been cleaned out of the plumbing, and also particles that had already been in the water, causing them to clump together to form scum. These cleaners also want you to let the filter cartridge float in the water while using their product, which will introduce more debris from the filter fabric to the water, which contributes to the volume of scum.  By directing the consumer to leave the aerators open, it causes the scum to build up on the spa walls and on top of the foam.

They also add foaming agents to the water and tell you to keep the aerators on so that you see massive amounts of foam, on top of which the scum will sit. Consumers see the foam and scum and think that it was all caused by debris from the plumbing, but not all of it is.

If you’ve ever used products like this before, you’ll be familiar with the mess it makes – sticky scum all over the spa walls as the water is drained, and the scum needs to be wiped out.  But what it can’t wipe out is the scum that sits on the walls of the plumbing as the water is drained. When the spa is filled back up, the scum in the plumbing, along with the residual foaming agents in that scum, mixes with the fresh water and causes foaming in the new water.  We figured this out after Spa Marvel customers told us that they started with Spa Marvel and were experiencing foaming issues.

Turns out that they had used a cleanser with foaming and sequestering agents instead of Spa Marvel Cleanser prior to draining and filling, Spa Marvel’s inherent cleaners removed the scum that was on the plumbing walls, and that is where the foam came from. I tested this in my own spa and had foaming, even after performing a second complete drain and fill the same day, in an effort to get rid of the foam.

In summary, foaming and sequestering agents do clean the plumbing it is a pain to clean up, and can cause foaming in the water of the new fill. Spa Marvel Cleanser cleans just as well, but without the mess.


Ahhsome is a good cleaner but uses a bit of a ‘show’ to make it appear as though it is doing more than it really is.

Ahhsome adds foaming agents and sequestering agents to their product. The sequestering agents work the way that spa water clarifiers like Polysheen and Pure Blue do, grabbing small particles of debris that have been cleaned out of the plumbing, and also particles that had already been in the water, causing them to clump together to form scum. Ahhsome also wants you to let the filter cartridge float in the water while using their product, which will introduce more debris from the filter fabric to the water, which contributes to the volume of scum.  By directing the consumer to leave the aerators open, it causes the scum to build up on the spa walls and on top of the foam.

Which brings me to the next thing that Ahhsome does to add sizzle to their steak; they add foaming agents to the water and tell you to keep the aerators on so that you see massive amounts of foam, on top of which the scum will sit.  Consumers see the foam and scum and think that it was all caused by debris from the plumbing, but it is not.

If you’ve ever used Ahhsome, you’ll be familiar with the mess it makes- sticky scum all over the spa walls as the water is drained, and the scum needs to be wiped out.  But what can’t get wiped out is the scum that sits on the walls of the plumbing as the water is drained. When the spa is filled back up, the scum in the plumbing, along with the residual foaming agents in that scum, mixes with the fresh water and causes foaming in the new water.  We figured this out after Spa Marvel customers told us that they started with Spa Marvel and were experiencing foaming issues.  Turns out that they had used Ahhsome instead of Spa Marvel Cleanser prior to draining and filling, Spa Marvel’s inherent cleaners removed the scum that was on the plumbing walls, and that is where the foam came from. I tested this in my own spa and had foaming, even after performing a second complete drain and fill the same day, in an effort to get rid of the foam.

In summary, Ahhsome is a good cleaner, it makes itself look like it does more than it actually does, it is a pain to clean up, and can cause foaming in the water of the new fill. Spa Marvel Cleanser cleans just as well, but without the mess.

Alkalinity – Is very high and won’t come down

Alkalinity is fine between 80-150, and ideally should be 120-150.  Right now, alkalinity shows maximum on your test strips, which is 240, but it may actually be much higher, like 900. You can add pH reducer and it will continue to show 240, but in reality, it is slowly coming down from 900, but is still above 240.

To lower it, assume that your alkalinity is at 240 and add enough pH reducer to get it down to 150. One tablespoon of pH reducer will lower alkalinity about 10 ppm in 250 gallons of water. (If you need help with the math, let me know how much water your spa holds and I’ll calculate it for you.)

Wait a MINIMUM of 2 hours, and test again. If it still shows 240, then add the reducer again, wait at least 2 hours, test, etc. Repeat this until the alkalinity starts to come down.  Once it begins to move, then reduce the amount you add to get it to settle into between 120-150.

You may want to consider using muriatic acid rather than pH reducer. One tablespoon of muriatic acid in 250 gallons of water will lower alkalinity by 10 ppm.  It should be diluted in a pail of water and poured around the perimeter of the spa with the jets on. Wait 2 hours and retest.

Alkalinity – Increasing alkalinity using increaser

1 tablespoon (15g) of alkalinity increaser to increase alkalinity by 10 PPM in a 250-gallon (or 1,000 litre) spa. Double the dosage for a 500-gallon spa.

Starting at ZERO alkalinity, 8 tablespoons (or ½ cup) of alkalinity increaser will bring a 250-gallon spa to 80 PPM (or 1 cup for a 500-gallon spa)

For a spa reading 60 PPM alkalinity, 2 tablespoons will bring it to 80 PPM.

Alkalinity – My alkalinity is low how do I fix this?

When chlorine is mixed with water it turns to chlorous acid. (Bromine turns to bromous acid).  The acid brings the alkalinity down. Part of using chlorine or bromine is that you will need to keep the alkalinity in proper ranges. When alkalinity is below 80 ppm, the chlorine or bromine don’t work very efficiently, your water can get foamy, and your skin will itch.

Your alkalinity should be maintained between 80-150, ideally between 120-150. Use alkalinity increaser (which is sodium bicarbonate) to bring it up.  One tablespoon of alkalinity increaser in 250 gallons of water (15 grams per 1,000 liters) will raise alkalinity about 10 ppm.

Once you have raised the alkalinity, the pH will come up with it, and pH is fine between 7.2-8.4 when using Spa Marvel, as long as the alkalinity is in range.

ALT Ending:  Then wait about 24 hours to see what your true pH is reading. In traditional water care it should be in the 7.2-7.8 range, if you are using a product like Spa Marvel your acceptable range is 7.2-8.4. Should you be out of range at this point you can adjust as necessary.

Alkalinity – Lowering alkalinity & pH with Muriatic Acid

1 tablespoon (15g) of muriatic acid in 250 gallons of water will lower alkalinity by 10 ppm. It should be diluted in a pail of water and poured around the perimeter of the spa with the jets on. Wait 2 hours and retest.

Remember that most test equipment shows the alkalinity at a max of 240, so if the alkalinity was really 720, you’re going to have to add the acid a few times before it gets to 240 and you’ll see movement on the test strips.

Amazon – Rule, Procedures & Problems

The Spa Marvel Company is not against our dealers’ selling products on Amazon however there are a few important things to note:

  • We, as the manufacturer, do not sell on Amazon.
  • To be able to sell on Amazon, you have to be an authorized Spa Marvel retailer. To be an authorized Spa Marvel retailer, you have to have a bricks and mortar pool and spa store, or be in the pool/spa service; you cannot be an on-line only retailer.  We get 20+ emails and phone calls a week from on-line vendors wanting to sell Spa Marvel, and we turn each and every one of them down.
  • As an authorized Spa Marvel retailer, you can sell on Amazon if you wish to.
  • Authorized dealers selling online have to abide by our Minimum Advertised Price Policy (MAPP), a copy of which all of our dealers, whether they sell online or not, agree to and sign.
  • The Spa Marvel Company is very protective of our dealer network and have gone to great ends to shut down anyone selling Spa Marvel online for below MAP, or who is not an authorized retailer. As a recent example, one of our authorized retailers was selling our products to a third-party, who in-turn was selling Spa Marvel on Amazon.  We had the Amazon listings shut down, and we terminated the offending dealer’s agreement with us, and they can no longer purchase from us.

Most of our retail network are in pool and spa retail. A handful of our dealers, are in the service business.  Being in the service business where you are maintaining pools and spas, you don’t need to worry about other Spa Marvel vendors. However, Amazon vendors are a greater concern for our spa retailers, i.e. those stores that sell new spas to consumers and are not in the field doing service. 

To help with this, and to ensure that new spa customers come back to their originating dealer to buy Spa Marvel, we created our Complimentary Jet Warranty Program, a copy of which is attached. In short, the Spa Marvel Company will pay for the cost of replacing jets in a spa should they ever fail. This is a warranty that we underwrite ourselves and is provided at no-charge to our dealers.  The crux of it is that to maintain the warranty, the spa owner has to use Spa Marvel as part of their water care program, and that they have to buy Spa Marvel from their originating dealer; they cannot buy it from Amazon or a dealer down the street. Please keep this program in mind should you ever decide to get into the retail spa business.

The Spa Marvel Company does a lot of things that other manufacturers don’t do to help to drive business to our retailers.  As examples:

  • Our website has a “Where To Buy” section, where people can find the authorized dealers within 100 miles of them.
  • We do NOT list any online vendors/sites on the Where to Buy section; with one exception:  We have one listing for an online site, but it is a site controlled by us, is difficult to find on SpaMarvel.com, and we actually charge MORE than list price for our products; in essence penalizing customers for buying from us, as we WANT them to go to the retail stores.
  • We spend tens of thousands of dollars annually on online advertisements directing people to our Where To Buy section, so that new customers will go to the bricks and mortar retail stores. What other suppliers do you have that do that for you?
  • Our office will direct incoming emails and phone calls from people looking to buy Spa Marvel to their local retailer if there is one convenient.
  • We often partner with our retailers to participate in special events to help them to promote Spa Marvel.

Does this all make sense?

If you have any questions, if you are going to be doing any special events (fall fairs, open-houses, etc.) at which Spa Marvel can be promoted, or if there is anything that we can do to help you grow your business, please reach out to me directly, I will help you.

Thank you for your business.

Ambient Temperature

Your spa’s pumps are driven by electric motors. The electric motors generate heat. The waste heat from the motor is transferred to the spa water to warm it up, which is a very efficient use of the waste heat, because your spa’s heating element doesn’t need to come on as often.

When the ambient temperature is high, tubs don’t get a chance to cool down, but will continue to heat up from the heat generated by the motors.  As an example:  Assume your spa is set at 92 degrees, and it is 104 degrees outside most of the day.  The tub temperature will continue to rise above the 92 degrees just from the waste heat. There is a safety mechanism that will shut the filtration setting off once the spa water gets to be X degrees more than what it is supposed to be, so that the water doesn’t scald anyone.  The pumps will not come back on until the spa cools down; which can take a few days if it is really hot out. In this time the water can often go ‘off’ and become cloudy.

When it is really hot out, prop the lid open with a pool noodle or tennis ball or rolled-up towel to allow the tub to ventilate and cool off, so that it doesn’t shut down and cloudy water won’t develop.

Bio Film – How to decontaminate and be rid of BioFilm

The contaminants that cause biofilm can be introduced to hot tubs in several ways.  They can be introduced by bathers, by filling the spa with a garden hose that contained a contaminant, and sometimes spores can simply drift through the air and land in your spa water, eventually taking root in your spa’s plumbing where they will develop to the point that they impair water quality. It is surprising how many brand-new spas arrive at a customer’s house with biofilm already in the plumbing; so often that some spa manufacturers even address this in the owner’s manual.

When spas are manufactured, they are filled with water and wet-tested to make sure that they don’t leak. After they are tested, they are drained, but the plumbing is still wet inside. The spa is wrapped in shrink wrap and then warehoused and eventually shipped.  The damp, dark, warm plumbing, with no airflow, is a hospitable environment for the growth of biofilm. Once the spa makes it to your backyard and is filled with water, the biofilm can then grow throughout the plumbing, impairing water quality and causing bather discomfort.  Some of the signs of a spa infected with biofilm include persistently cloudy water, foaming, inability to maintain sanitizer readings, odours and rashes.

Draining and refilling a spa won’t get rid of biofilm as it actually attaches to and builds up on the walls of the plumbing.  And while the use of plumbing cleaners and purge products will remove biofilm from the walls of the plumbing, they will not denature the biofilm, and all it takes is one drop of water left behind after draining to re-infect a freshly filled spa.

To effectively rid a spa of biofilm, it needs to be decontaminated. To decontaminate you need to super-chlorinate the water with granular chlorine. (Granular bromine may be substituted.) Add chlorine at the ratio of 2.5 ounces per 100 gallons (or 75 grams per 400 litres) of spa water. Adding extra won’t hurt.

For this treatment to be effective it is crucial that the chlorinated water is distributed throughout the entire plumbing system. Ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and are subjected to the chlorine. If your tub has a drain next to the pump or at the base of the cabinet to which you can attach a hose to facilitate draining, ensure that some of the chlorinated water is bled through the drain at the onset of this procedure.  This is very important to do because any built-in drains are a dead end in the plumbing and as such the chlorine will not naturally make its way down to that part of the plumbing, but the biofilm will.

Check the chlorine reading after 24, 48 and 72 hours.  If at any of these intervals the chlorine is anything less than ridiculously high (if it shows less than the maximum on your test strips) treat the tub again with chlorine and start the clock over on the 72hour time period.  Do not use the spa during the decontamination process.

After 72 continuous hours of successful chlorination:

  • Remove your filter and clean it.
  • Use a plumbing cleanser or purge product, such as Spa Marvel Cleanser, to clean the plumbing.
  • Drain the spa.
  • Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per the manufacturer’s directions
  • Carry on as you normally would.

It is often difficult to determine if the problems in a hot tub are caused by biofilm or because of some other issue.  A great source to help you make this determination is the water wizard app that can be viewed at spamarvel.com.  If you still struggle, you can reach out to our support team by email at  solutions@spamarvel.com

The Spa Marvel Company- Making sure that people enjoy their hot tubs!

Bio Film – quick fix

The slippery vinyl is caused by biofilm. It’s not a big deal and easy to remediate. Using a cloth that is aggressive but not abrasive ( ie terry cloth, face cloth, etc.) wipe the slippery build up off of the vinyl. Then add sanitizer (bromine/chlorine) at the ratio of 2 tablespoons (30g) per 250 gallons of water.

Going forward maintain your sanitizer levels between 3-5ppm to prevent the development of biofilm.

Blotchy black stains on fiberglass surfaces / Porosity

Blotchy stains on fiberglass surfaces are caused by porosity (the porousness of the surface). These stains are more common on spas made in China. The surfaces are gelcoat, rather than acrylic.  The spots are plaque from the fiberglass.

It happens when air bubbles get into gelcoat during production and then over time chemicals eat away at organic material causing the stains.

I would recommend contacting your dealer and checking your warranty right away.

Can Spa Marvel be added at any point in to spa?

Plumbing accumulates buildup; even the fresh water lines in your house get scaled up with calcium, lime and minerals over time.  Hot tub plumbing also accumulates this type of buildup, and additionally collects body oils, chemical binders, detergents, lotions and other debris that have been introduced to the spa water. 

Spa Marvel has inherent cleaning and descaling properties. When it is added to spa water, it works its way through the plumbing and removes all of the buildup that is in the plumbing.  As the buildup is removed it is introduced to the water and can cause all kinds of messes, such as odours, cloudy water, foaming and pH travel. To prevent this from happening you need to use Spa Marvel Cleanser in your old water to clean the plumbing prior to draining, refilling and beginning with Spa Marvel.

Cleanser - Why You Need To Use It

This is in answer as to why you need to use Cleanser first. Or if they didn’t, why they can have water quality issues in the first 1-3 days of using Spa Marvel. Note- does not apply to a brand-new, never been used, spa.

Plumbing accumulates buildup; even the fresh water lines in your house get scaled up with calcium, lime and minerals over time.  Hot tub plumbing also accumulates this type of buildup, and additionally collects body oils, chemical binders, detergents, lotions and other debris that have been introduced to the spa water. 

Spa Marvel has inherent cleaning and descaling properties. When it is added to spa water, it works its way through the plumbing and removes all of the buildup that is in the plumbing.  As the buildup is removed it is introduced to the water and can cause all kinds of messes, such as odours, cloudy water, foaming and pH travel. To prevent this from happening you need to use Spa Marvel Cleanser in your old water to clean the plumbing prior to draining, refilling and beginning with Spa Marvel.

 

This is a follow up I sent to a customer who didn’t use cleanser, and was still blaming Spa Marvel for being problematic.  He had bad odours, but you can also modify this to reflect cloudy water too 

You added Spa Marvel to your tub, and the very next day the water smelled.  Spa Marvel would have cleaned debris out of the plumbing that caused the odour, the filter would have sucked up a lot of the debris, and possibly even made the water hazy. There is no other explanation as to why your water went off in one day.  (The upside to all of this is that your plumbing is now cleaner than it was when it was new and as a result, you’ll experience stronger jets, quieter pumps and more efficient heating elements.)

Cloudy Water Caused by Calcium Stearate

Problem: Small white plastic-looking flakes/flecks in the water that dissolve when you touch them between your thumb and finger, along with water that inexplicably and frequently goes cloudy, are indicative of a calcium stearate issue. 

Calcium stearate is a component used in the production of plastic plumbing.  Around the year 2015 a plumbing manufacturer that supplies multiple spa manufacturers distributed a faulty product in which the calcium stearate leaches out of the plastic plumbing.  The plastic plumbing is literally degrading, which causes the cloudy water and white flecks that you are experiencing. 

Solution:  Replace the affected plumbing, if possible.  If it is not possible to replace the plumbing, you will need to replace the spa. 

Cloudy Water – 10 Causes & Solutions

For hot tub owners, there is nothing worse than having cloudy water! There are 10 causes of cloudy hot tub water and here are some tips on how you can correct and prevent them from occurring.

#1 Dirty Filters. Filters can only hold so much, and when they are full, debris stays in the spa water making it cloudy. Proper filter cleaning practices are essential to maintaining clear water. For detailed instructions on how to clean your hot tub filters you can view our video on filter cleaning, or email us for detailed instructions at solutions@spamarvel.com.

#2 Bather Overload. Four people in a hot tub is the equivalent of 200 people in a swimming pool. If bathers don’t shower before using the spa, they are using it as a bathtub and introducing contaminants to the water which can easily overwhelm your spa and cause cloudy water. To minimize this from happening, insist that bathers shower THOROUGHLY before using your spa.

Changing the water is usually the fastest way to remedy cloudy water caused by bather overload. If that is not possible, increase filtration times, install clean filters, shock the water, use a water clarifier, and continue this regimen until the water clears. As the water becomes clearer, the filter will begin to become soiled and may require additional cleaning or replacement.

#3 High pH or Alkalinity. Water that has high pH or high alkalinity can quickly become cloudy, or may even come out of the tap looking hazy. Balancing the alkalinity and pH to proper ranges will clear the water.

#4 Minerals in the water. When minerals in the water such as copper and iron begin to rust, the result is discolored cloudy water that often appears green or yellow. To clear it, shock the water, wait a minimum of 24 hours and if the colour persists, shock the water again and wait at least another 24 hours. Repeat as necessary, multiple applications may be required.

#5 Old Filters. As filters age, the 20-micron holes in the fabric get worn out and become larger. While a filter may look good to the naked eye, a one-year-old filter can be worn to the point where it will allow twice as much debris to pass through it as it did when it was new, causing the water to remain cloudy. A filter should be replaced after at most a year of use, or a dozen cleanings, whichever comes first.

#6 Not enough sanitizer. When sanitizer levels are low, impurities that are introduced to the water from bathers or other environmental sources can overwhelm the sanitizer, resulting in cloudy and potentially microbiologically unsafe water. Maintaining sanitizer levels as per regulatory agency guidelines will prevent this.

#7 Insufficient filtration times. It takes time to filter debris from hot tub water. Make sure your spa is scheduled to filter for at least 6 hours per day, or if your spa uses a low volume hush pump, it should be programmed for the longest duration, preferably 24 hours per day if possible.

#8 Debris in the water. Contaminants introduced from creams, deodorant and other body-care products, can be so small that they pass right through the filter, causing cloudy water. This can be corrected by using a water clarifier that will collect the debris into a larger mass that can then be trapped by the filter, allowing the water to clear.

#9 Hot tub contamination. Mould, algae, fungus, biofilm or bacteria can cause cloudy water. You will need to decontaminate your spa. For detailed instructions on how to do this you can email us at solutions@spamarvel.com.

#10 Filling with turbid water. This happens most often when filling with water from a lake or a well. The water can contain tannins or oxidized minerals such as iron oxide that can make the water cloudy. Shocking the water will clear it up, and you can help to prevent this from occurring by using a garden hose prefilter like Spa Marvel’s X10 Water Filter to fill the spa.

Following these guidelines will help you to get rid of and to prevent cloudy hot tub water from happening. Keep your spa environment pristine. With Spa Marvel, you can greatly decrease the amount of chemicals needed to maintain your spa. Spa maintenance has never been so simple.

Cloudy Water Causes & Solutions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdVZN0VhvYg

Coloured Water – Minerals in source water

Spa water that is clear, but exhibits a tinge of colour, typically green or yellow, but can occasionally be other colours including brown or orange, is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs as a result of minerals in the water that are oxidizing (rusting). The coloured water is not harmful, it just looks odd.

To clear the water, you need to further oxidize the minerals in the water by shocking the water with granular chlorine or bromine at the ratio of 30 grams (1 ounce) per 1,000 litres (250 gallons) of water. You may also use spa shock as per the directions on the package. Wait a minimum of 24 hours. If the colour persists, shock the water again and wait at least another 24 hours. Repeat as necessary, Multiple applications may be required.

Sometimes when the shock is added, the colour may become more intense, often right before your eyes. This is because the shock is oxidizing the minerals (making them rust). If this happens, leave it alone and wait 24 hours. The colour in the water will be greatly reduced, if not cleared completely.

Adding fresh water to your spa will also introduce more minerals to the spa water, and you may experience the coloured water again at some point after adding water.

Purple Staining

Purple stains or Copper Cyanurate is caused when the CYA (Cyanuric Acid) also known as stabilizer levels are very high and then it reacts with any copper that may present in the spa water.  To solve this, drain and refill the spa, preferably using a hose pre-filter such as the X10 Water Filter, and once the water is in balance, the purple dust will dissolve back into the water.

Combined Chlorine - odours/chloramines/combined chlorine

Chlorine breaks things down and becomes depleted doing so. It breaks down contaminants in the water that are introduced by the bathers including sweat, body oils and other human waste, and it breaks down things that are dissolved in the water like iron and copper.  When chlorine is depleted, it doesn’t just vanish, rather, it is converted to something called a chloramine (sometimes referred to as ‘combined chlorine’). All a chloramine does is give off that odour that people refer to as the chlorine odour. 

As another example, when you walk into a public pool and smell the “chlorine smell” and think “wow, they have a lot of chlorine in the water”, the opposite is true.  They have a lot of depleted chlorine (chloramines) in the water. 

To get rid of chloramines, you need to shock the water.  Shocking is the process of adding a large dose of an oxidizing agent to the water, and oxidizing agents can be chlorine, bromine or spa shock.  In other words, if you smell chlorine, you can clear it up by adding more chlorine (or bromine or non-chlorine shock) to the water.

When chloramines are oxidized, they are converted to trichloramines, which are airborne, and you need to leave the lid open/cover off so that the trichloramines can escape into the air. 

Combined Bromine - odours/bromamides/combines bromine

Bromine breaks things down and becomes depleted doing so. It breaks down contaminants in the water that are introduced by the bathers including sweat, body oils and other human waste, and it breaks down things that are dissolved in the water like iron and copper.  When chlorine is depleted, it doesn’t just vanish, rather, it is converted to something called a bromamide (sometimes referred to as ‘combined bromine’). All a bromamide does is give off that odour that people refer to as the bromine odour. 

To get rid of bromamide’s , you need to shock the water.  Shocking is the process of adding a large dose of an oxidizing agent to the water, and oxidizing agents can be chlorine, bromine or spa shock.  In other words, if you smell bromine, you can clear it up by adding more bromine (or chlorine or non-chlorine shock) to the water.

Competitors

Spa Marvel outperforms Aquafinesse on several levels. Spa Marvel:

  • Is a fraction of the price.
  • Does a great job at reducing and eliminating foaming.
  • Prevents scum lines.
  • Does NOT have a weekly component (unlike Aquafinesse), so it is great for absentee owners who may not be present for weeks on end to maintain the spa.
  • Has conditioners to leave skin feeling soft and supple.
  • Is unconditionally guaranteed, backed with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Spa Marvel outperforms Silk Balance on several levels. Spa Marvel:

  • Is a fraction of the price.
  • Does a great job at reducing and eliminating foaming.
  • Prevents scum lines.
  • Does NOT have a weekly component (unlike Silk Balance), so it is great for absentee owners who may not be present for weeks on end to maintain the spa.
  • Has conditioners to leave skin feeling soft and supple.
  • Is unconditionally guaranteed, backed with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Spa Marvel outperforms Mineraluxe on several levels. Spa Marvel:

  • Is a fraction of the price.
  • Does a great job at reducing and eliminating foaming.
  • Prevents scum lines.
  • Does NOT have a weekly component (unlike Mineraluxe), so it is great for absentee owners who may not be present for weeks on end to maintain the spa.
  • Has conditioners to leave skin feeling soft and supple.
  • Is unconditionally guaranteed, backed with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Spa Marvel outperforms Frog in several ways:

  • Reduces and helps to prevent foaming.
  • Prevents scum lines.
  • Prevents scale build up in plumbing.
  • Conditions skin leaving it feeling soft and supple.
  • Unconditionally guaranteed- if you are anything other than delighted with your experience, you can get a full refund from your authorized Spa Marvel dealer.

Spa Marvel outperforms mineral sticks in several ways:

  • Reduces and helps to prevent foaming.
  • Prevents scum lines.
  • Prevents scale build up in plumbing.
  • Conditions skin leaving it feeling soft and supple.
  • Unconditionally guaranteed- if you are anything other than delighted with your experience, you can get a full refund from your authorized Spa Marvel dealer.
Contaminants

Do you suffer with:

  • Flakes in your spa water,
  • Persistently cloudy water,
  • Excessive foaming,
  • Musty odours,
  • Rashes,
  • or with the inability to maintain desired chlorine or bromine readings?

These conditions can be caused by a contaminant in your spa’s plumbing, a contaminant such as mould, algae, fungus and bacteria & biofilm.

Contaminants in spas in general.

Spas can often harbour contaminants like mould, algae, fungus, biofilm and bacteria.  These contaminants can sometimes be already present in a spa’s plumbing between the time it was water-tested at the factory to the time it gets to your backyard. Contaminants can be introduced from a garden hose that has been sitting around, they can be introduced by bathers, some contaminants drift in through the air, and some get introduced by leaves and bird droppings getting in the water.  Some of the signs of a contaminated spa include persistently cloudy water, foaming, inability to maintain chlorine/bromine readings, odours and rashes

It is difficult to pinpoint how a contaminant gets into a spa, but rest assured that this was not caused by anything you did or didn’t do, it was not caused by Spa Marvel, and it was not caused by the store that sold you the spa. Contaminants of different sorts can simply develop in even the best cared for spas.

*NOTE- if not using Spa Marvel in their spa, remove the phrase “it was not caused by Spa Marvel,”

Contaminants in a new/nearly new spa.

You would be surprised how often we meet new tubs that have a contaminant like bacteria, algae, fungus, biofilm or mould in the plumbing.

These contaminants develop between the time the spa was water-tested at the factory to the time it gets to your backyard. When spas are manufactured, they are filled with water and tested to make sure that they don’t leak. Then they are drained, but the plumbing is still wet inside. The spa is wrapped in shrink wrap and then warehoused and eventually shipped. The damp, dark, warm plumbing, with no airflow, is a hospitable environment for the growth of contaminants.

Once the spa makes it to your backyard and is filled with water, the contaminant can then begin to develop and grow throughout the plumbing, impairing water quality and causing bather discomfort.  Some of the signs of a contaminated spa include persistently cloudy water, scum, foaming, fizzing, inability to maintain sanitizer readings, odours and rashes.

CYA-Stabilizer : Concerned to have high CYA in hot tub

Excessive stabilizer (cyanuric acid or CYA) accumulation in spas is common, even in those that use minimal chlorine.  There are some owners who are concerned with CYA build up and will do anything to avoid accumulation of the stabilizer in their spas.  It is possible to have CYA readings as high as 300ppm but this requires excessive management to keep water balanced and safe. With readings over 100ppm it is best to apply a CYA/Adjusted Alkalinity formula to get the adjusted alkalinity level.

CYA/Adjusted Alkalinity formula:   alkalinity ppm – (CYA ppm divided by 3) = adjusted alkalinity ppm 
As an example: alkalinity 80ppmCYA 100ppm (33.3ppm) = adjusted alkalinity 46.6ppm.  

When adjusted alkalinity is below 80ppm water is skews acidic and needs to be raised to keep spa balanced.

Cyanuric acid or CYA is a chlorine stabilizer that is used in pools and hot tubs, and it keeps chlorine from breaking down due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Typically, this is not something needed for hot tubs as they are usually covered and are not exposed to regular bombardment of UV rays.

CYA – Cyanuric Acid

Rapid accumulation of stabilizer (which is also known as cyanuric acid, abbreviated to ‘CYA’) in spas happens all of the time, even in spas that don’t use very much chlorine.  I understand the theory as to why they say that excessive CYA is detrimental, but I don’t know if I believe it. The reason I am doubting it is that if high CYA levels effectively block the free chlorine from working effectively, then wouldn’t the CYA also block/impair the ability to test for free chlorine?  In other words, if I can test for free chlorine, then it should be able to perform, regardless of how much CYA is in the water. I’ve actually recently reached out to chemists in the industry to inquire about this, and no one is getting back to me.

A lot of test strips don’t even test for CYA, and I really think that the reason for that is that if people changed their water based on CYA levels, they’d be changing water every 3 weeks.  My experience in my own spa, and with many of our clients, is not to worry about CYA.

Cyanuric acid or CYA is a chlorine stabilizer that is used in pools and hot tubs and it keeps chlorine from breaking down due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  CYA levels in hot tubs are not something to typically be concerned with however they can have an effect on properly calculating your true alkalinity reading.   In order to get an adjusted alkalinity reading you must take 1/3 of your CYA reading and subtract it from your current alkalinity reading taken from your test strip.

In case you are interested the formula:  alkalinity ppm – (CYA ppm divided by 3) = adjusted alkalinity ppm 
As an example: Alkalinity 80ppm – CYA 100ppm (33.3ppm) = Adjusted Alkalinity 46.6ppm.   

Purple Staining
Purple stains or Copper Cyanurate is caused when the CYA (Cyanuric Acid) also known as stabilizer levels are very high and then it reacts with any copper that may present in the spa water.  To solve this, drain and refill the spa, preferably using a hose pre-filter such as the X10 Water Filter, and once the water is in balance, the purple dust will dissolve back into the water.

Decontamination Instructions - with Spa Marvel

To decontaminate, you need to super-chlorinate the water with granular chlorine (or substitute granular bromine for chlorine).

Add chlorine at a minimum ratio of 2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75 grams) of chlorine per 100 gallons (400 litres) of spa water. For this treatment to be effective it is imperative that the chlorinated water is distributed throughout the entire plumbing system. Ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and are subjected to the chlorine. If your tub has a drain next to the pump or at the base of the cabinet to which you can attach a hose to facilitate draining, ensure that some of the chlorinated water is bled through the drain at the onset of this procedure.  This is very important to do because any built-in drains are a dead end in the plumbing and the chlorine will not naturally make its way down to that part of the plumbing, but the contaminant will.

Check the chlorine reading after 24, 48 and 72 hours.  If at any of these intervals the chlorine is anything less than ridiculously high (30ppm+ if it shows less than the maximum on your test strips) add another dose to the tub again with chlorine and start the clock over on the 72hour time period.

Do not use the spa during the decontamination process.

After 72 continuous hours of successful chlorination:

  • Remove your filter and clean it.
  • Add the bottle of Spa Marvel Cleanser (small green bottle) to the tub and run the jets on high-speed for 1 hour. If you have already used Spa Marvel in your spa, one hour will suffice for what we are doing. If you have not previously used Spa Marvel, then leave the Cleanser in for another 23 hours on the regular filtration cycles.
  • Drain the spa.
  • Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per the spa manufacturer’s directions.
  • Once the water heats up, add the bottle of Spa Marvel Water Treatment.
  • If your filtration settings are scheduled ensure that you are filtering a minimum of 6 hours a day. If your spa utilizes a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) please ensure that it is filtering 24/7.  If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult your dealer.
  • Add chlorine (or bromine) at the ratio of 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).
  • Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150ppm (120-150ppm is ideal) if necessary.
  • After the alkalinity is balanced, then ensure that the pH is between 7.2 and 8.4, adjust if necessary.
  • Use a sanitizer such as chlorine/bromine in your spa water as required.

It is important that you let me know if you have any difficulty during or after the water change, I will help as best I can.  If you have ANY questions, please contact me.

Decontamination Instructions: Step-by-step with SPECIFIC Measurements

Here’s a Decontamination Video that will help you get started.

To decontaminate, you need to super-chlorinate the water with granular chlorine (or substitute granular bromine for chlorine).

Super-Sanitize by adding x level cups (xxx g) of bromine/chlorine granules to your hot tub.
For this treatment to be effective it is imperative that the chlorinated water is distributed throughout the entire plumbing system.

  1. Ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and everything is subjected to the sanitizer.
  2. Open drain next to the pump or at the base of the cabinet of your hot tub ensure that some of the super-sanitizer water is bled through the drain for 2-5 minutes at the onset of this procedure.
  3. This is very important to do because any built-in drains are a dead end in the plumbing and the sanitizer will not naturally make its way down to that part of the plumbing, but the contaminant will.

Scheduled Checks:  Check the chlorine reading after 24, 48 and 72 hours.
If at any of these intervals the sanitizer is anything less than ridiculously high (if it shows less than the maximum on your test strips) add another 2 levels cups of bromine/chlorine granules to the tub again and restart the clock over on the 72 hour time period.

​*Do not use the spa during the decontamination process*

After 72 continuous hours of successful chlorination:

  1. Remove your filter(s) and deep clean it.
    • You can see our filter care video here
    • Remove your filter(s) from hot tub and rinse with spray hose.
    • Add 2 capfuls of Filter Cleaner (light blue bottle if using Spa Marvel) for a bucket upto 5-gallons bucket with fresh warm/hot water and mix to dissolve product.
    • Soak filter(s) overnight in the solution.
    • Rinse with a very strong stream of water to remove all debris, oil and dirt.
    • If there is still any discolouration in the pleats or if they still smell they are not clean, and you may need to evaluate if you need to soak again or purchase a replacement filter.
  2. Add the bottle of purge/cleanser to the tub.
    • If using Spa Marvel Cleanser (green bottle) run the jets on high-speed for 1 hour and leave the cleanser in for another 23 hours on the regular filtration cycles.
    • If using a different plumbing cleanser, follow instructions as indicated.
  3. Drain the spa.
  4. Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per the spa manufacturer’s directions.
  5. Bring water to temperature.
    • Once desired temperature has been reached. (Add Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner if applicable.)
  6. Ensure Optimization of Filtration Cycles
    • Filtering should be scheduled for a minimum of 6 hours a day.
    • If your spa utilizes a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) ensure that it is filtering 24/7.
    • If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult your dealer.

Time to BALANCE CHEMICALS – Tailored to you specifically!

  • Test source water for baseline levels
  • Add x tablespoons (xxg) of bromine/chlorine granules as sanitizer base level
  • Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150ppm (aim for 120ppm)
  • After the alkalinity is balanced, wait 24 hours and ensure pH is between 7.2 and 8.2.
  • Add sanitizer as required after each soak to maintain proper levels 3-5ppm.
    • Start with 1 teaspoon (5g) of bromine/chlorine granules per person per soak.
    • If sanitizer seems to disappear, or be drastically reduced next day, increase to 2 teaspoons (10g) per person per soak and evaluate if the dose is enough.
  • Shock as needed by adding X tablespoons (xx g) when:
    • Water isn’t sparkling.
    • If water has gotten cloudy increase dose to X tablespoons (xx g)
    • If the water has any odours (aquatic, fishy, chemicals)
    • If you have more than 4 people (heavy bather load) especially with people who have not had a chance to shower and remove oils, lotions, sunscreen, deodorant, make-up etc.

Filter care & maintenance is also very important.
Properly cleaned filters are essential to successful spa care.
A thorough filter rinse once a week with fresh water to remove heavy debris and discolouration, combined with a proper complete monthly cleaning, will maintain the filter cleanliness for the majority of hot tub users. Your filter can never be too clean, and it is MUCH easier to keep a filter clean than it is to clean a filter.

Decontamination Instructions - no Spa Marvel used

To decontaminate, you need to super-chlorinate the water with granular chlorine (or substitute granular bromine for chlorine).

Add chlorine at a minimum ratio of 2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75 grams) of chlorine per 100 gallons (400 litres) of spa water. For this treatment to be effective it is imperative that the chlorinated water is distributed throughout the entire plumbing system. Ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and are subjected to the chlorine. If your tub has a drain next to the pump or at the base of the cabinet to which you can attach a hose to facilitate draining, ensure that some of the chlorinated water is bled through the drain at the onset of this procedure.  This is very important to do because any built-in drains are a dead end in the plumbing and the chlorine will not naturally make its way down to that part of the plumbing, but the contaminant will.

Check the chlorine reading after 24, 48 and 72 hours.  If at any of these intervals the chlorine is anything less than ridiculously high (30ppm+ if it shows less than the maximum on your test strips) add another dose to the tub again with chlorine and start the clock over on the 72hour time period.

Do not use the spa during the decontamination process.

After 72 continuous hours of successful chlorination:

  • Remove your filter and clean it.
  • Add the bottle of plumbing purge cleaner like Spa Marvel Cleanser and follow directions for optimal results.
  • Drain the spa.
  • Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per the spa manufacturer’s directions.
  • Once the water heats up (add bottle of Spa Marvel Water Treatment if applicable)
  • If your filtration settings are scheduled ensure that you are filtering a minimum of 6 hours a day. If your spa utilizes a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) please ensure that it is filtering 24/7.  If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult your dealer.
  • Add chlorine (or bromine) at the ratio of 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).
  • Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150ppm (120-150ppm is ideal) if necessary.
  • After the alkalinity is balanced, then ensure that the pH is between 7.2 and 8.4, adjust if necessary.
  • Use a sanitizer such as chlorine/bromine in your spa water as required.

It is important that you let me know if you have any difficulty during or after the water change, I will help as best I can.  If you have ANY questions, please contact me.

Do I still need to use other chemicals with Spa Marvel?

You will still need to use chemicals to keep everything in balance, you will just end up using much less than average.

Think of Spa Marvel as a water booster that help you clear away all the organic particles that are left in the water.  These organic particles are the food for elements such as bacteria, mould, algae & fungus.  By removing the food, it is harder for these issues to take over the spa.  Spa Marvel is your first line of defense however, it is not a sanitizer.  You will still need to use a sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) to kill anything that may have been unknowingly introduced to your water.

Maintaining sanitizer, alkalinity & pH levels are in range is required as they will always go down over time with normal use.   With Spa Marvel you will find that you will have less adjustments, because it keeps everything operating smoothly, by lightening the amount of work the sanitizer and other chemicals need to do.

We are not a traditional chemical manufacturer having said that we do not have other lines of treatments.  We focus exclusively on the natural enzyme approach & our premium water filters (X10 Water FilterGrowRite, & AquaSafe) We also have Pool Marvel for pools that will protect your pool the same way Spa Marvel does for your hot tub.

Our goal is to help people start with the best water possible & super charge it, so that at the end of the day customers can do less to maintain their water, and have more time to enjoy.

Electricity Use

To test to see how much electricity your spa is using you can do a little experiment. Pick 2 days above freezing with similar outdoor temps. Pick a time of day and record your meter reading. Then carry on like normal and then record the meter at the same time the next day. That will be your overall usage over 24 hours. Then flip the breaker off on your tub and leave it off for a day. Record the meter at the same time the next day. That is your usage without the tub running. The difference would be a ballpark amount of what the tub uses in one day.

Evaporation

Water that evaporates from the spa will not decrease the amount of Spa Marvel in the spa, it doesn’t evaporate with the water.  But with any spillage you will lose a bit of water, and whenever a bather gets out of the tub, they take some out with them.  It is for these latter two reasons that you need to add more Spa Marvel every 3 months. So do not worry about the fact that you’ve added more water, you have enough Spa Marvel left in there.

Filter Care

Properly cleaned filters are essential to successful spa care.  

If your current cleaning method is simply to rinse your filter with fresh water, that is like bathing without soap or shampoo.   After 1 day you’ll know you didn’t use soap and shampoo, and after a week everyone around you will know; water alone will not get the deep-seated dirt off of your skin, out of your hair, and out of the filter fabric. 

To properly clean a filter, use a spa filter cleaning product such as Spa Marvel Filter Cleaner. After soaking the filter in filter cleaner, it is critical that the debris is thoroughly removed from the pleats of the filter by using a strong stream of water like you would from a garden hose sprayer.  If after rinsing your filter the fabric does not appear brand new, i.e. there is still discolouration in the pleats or if it still smells dirty, then it is not clean and you need to reevaluate your current filter cleaning techniques. Many people gently and carefully use a pressure washer to quickly and effectively remove the debris after soaking the filter. Keep in mind that a pressure washer has the ability to peel paint from a car, and similarly can damage the fabric on your filter, so use common sense when using a pressure washer.  If you do not have access to a pressure washer, the sprayer at the coin-operated car wash works well. 

A thorough filter rinse once a week with fresh water to remove heavy debris and discolouration, combined with a proper complete monthly cleaning, will maintain the filter cleanliness for the majority of hot tub users.  Your filter can never be too clean and it is MUCH easier to keep a filter clean than it is to clean a filter.

You can see our filter care video by clicking here

Filter Care – Is it ok to install wet filters?

It is okay to reinstall a filter into the spa immediately after cleaning it, but never reinstall a damp filter that has been sitting out for even at least a few hours. If you cannot reinstall the filter right away, put it somewhere warm and dry and do not use it until it has been completely dried out.

The reason for this is that the damp filter fabric is a hospitable environment for the development of contaminants such as mould, algae, fungus and bacteria. Putting a contaminated filter back into a hot tub can then introduce that contaminant to the spa and can infect the whole tub with it, affecting water quality and bather comfort.  By allowing the filter to dry completely you are removing the moisture necessary for contaminants to survive, and you won’t risk contaminating the spa when it is reinstalled.

So, if you clean a filter and put it back into the tub right away, you’re alright; you don’t need to worry about drying it.  If you clean a filter and let it sit around damp for even a few hours it may develop a contaminant, and should not be installed until it is completely dry.

Filter Care – How often should I clean my filters? (option 2)

Clean filter cartridges are essential to successful spa water care because they capture debris introduced by the bathers, such as hairspray, makeup, deodorant, perfume, lotions and creams, along with human waste, including body oils, sweat, and residual urine, feces and blood. A dirty hot tub filter can strain your pump, cause the spa to shut down, and cause cloudy and smelly water.

How often should a filter be cleaned? The answer depends on several factors, but the biggest one is the amount of debris that is introduced to the water; as an example, if the spa is at a vacation home that is only used once a month by two people who shower thoroughly before using the spa, the filter will go months and months before needing to be cleaned.

On the other hand, if the spa is at a home where a family of 5 uses it daily without showering beforehand, the filter will require much more frequent cleaning. As an example, if on the first day of using a brand-new filter a bather covered in sunscreen were to use the spa, the sunscreen will wash off of their skin and muck up the filter so that it won’t work well. Even though the filter is brand new, and even though it is the first day of use, the water will go cloudy because the filter is soiled. The filter may look clean, but the tiny holes in the fabric are clogged up and nothing works well. Add all of the shock and clarifier you want to, if the filter is dirty, your water will remain cloudy.

We’ve established that filter cleanliness is important. However, if your current cleaning method is to simply rinse your filter with fresh water, that is akin to washing your hair without shampoo. After 1 day you’ll know you didn’t use shampoo, and after a week everyone around you will know. Similarly, your filter is not properly clean.

Instead, use a filter cleaning product like Spa Marvel Filter Cleaner. After soaking the filter in this proper cleaner, it is critical that the debris is thoroughly removed from the pleats of the filter by using a strong stream of water like you would get from a garden hose sprayer.

After rinsing your filter, if the fabric does not appear brand new; there is still discolouration in the pleats or if it still smells dirty, then it is not clean and you need to reevaluate your current filter cleaning techniques. Many people gently and carefully use a pressure washer to quickly and effectively remove the debris after soaking the filter. Keep in mind that a pressure washer has the ability to peel paint from a car, and similarly can damage the fabric on your filter, so use common sense when using a pressure washer. If you do not have access to a pressure washer, the sprayer at the coin-operated car wash works well.

For most spa owners, a proper monthly filter cleaning, augmented by routinely rinsing the filter with fresh water each week and after heavy bather loads, will sufficiently maintain filter cleanliness. But remember, your filter can never be too clean, and it is MUCH easier to keep a filter clean than it is to clean a filter.

Filters don’t last forever. Although they may look fine to the naked eye, they wear out as they are used; a one-year-old filter might allow twice as much debris to pass through the filter fabric as it did when it was new, which will impair water quality. Hot tub filters ought to be replaced after at most 1 year of use, or a dozen cleanings, whichever comes first.

Lastly, not all filters are created equally. Using a quality filter recommended by your professional spa retailer will yield better results, helping to maintain clearer water for longer periods of time.

Filter Care – My water smells bad / hot tub odours

Odours most commonly occur due to dirty filters.  Clean filter cartridges are essential to successful spa water care because they capture debris introduced by the bathers, such as hairspray, makeup, deodorant, perfume, lotions and creams, along with human waste, including body oils, sweat, and residual urine, feces and blood. A dirty hot tub filter can strain your pump, cause the spa to shut down, and cause cloudy and smelly water. 

You will need to install a new or properly deep cleaned filter and ensure you have your spa set to filter for a minimum of 6 hours.  Here’s a quick video that will help you learn how to best maintain your filter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfOEbsnHYg&t=15s

Once you have a fresh filter installed, add 2 tablespoons (30g) of chlorine or bromine granules for every 250 gallons of water (1.000 litres) and run jets for 15-30 mins.  Wait overnight and that should resolve the smell.

Filter Care – How often should I clean my filters?

Hot tub filter cleaning frequency is a function of use. For example, if the spa is at a vacation home that is only used once a month by two people who shower thoroughly before using the spa, the filter will go months before needing to be cleaned. On the other hand, if the spa is at a home where a family of 5 uses it daily without showering beforehand, the filter will require more frequent cleaning, possibly every week.

Additionally, filters come in different sizes and capacities. Filter size is measured in square feet, which is the measurement of the surface area of the filter fabric. The physical size of 2 filters may be identical, but the square footage of the fabric on one may be double the other, which means that the filter can go twice as long before needing to be cleaned.

Filter quality is also a consideration; not all filters are created equally. Using a good quality filter recommended by your professional spa retailer will yield better results, helping to maintain clearer water for longer periods of time.

Filters are not magic; they need to be maintained. For example, if on the first day of using a brand-new filter a bather covered in sunscreen were to use the spa, the sunscreen will wash off of their skin and can impede the efficiency of the filter so that it won’t work well and will fail to pick up other debris. Then the spa goes cloudy, even though the filter is brand new. The filter may look clean, but the tiny holes in the fabric get clogged up and won’t perform well. Add all of the shock and clarifier you want to; if the filter is dirty, your water will remain cloudy.

Free, Combined and Total Chlorine

When you add chlorine to the water, it is called free, or available, chlorine, because it is free and available to break down contaminants. Once it has combined with a contaminant, it is no longer free chlorine, it is now a chloramine, also known as combined chlorine (because it has combined with something and broken it down).  If you add free chlorine and combined chlorine together, you get total chlorine.

Combined chlorine/chloramines don’t do anything except sit around and give off that ‘chlorine smell’ that people complain of.  To get rid of the smell, you need to get rid of the chloramines/combined chlorine.  The way to do this is to add a large dose of something to break them down. This is called ‘shocking the water’.  You can shock with chlorine, bromine or with spa shock.  As another example, when you walk into a public pool and smell the “chlorine smell” and think “wow, they have a lot of chlorine in the water”, the opposite is true.  They have a lot of used-up chlorine (chloramines aka combined chlorine) in the water and need to shock the water.

Ideally, you want your free chlorine equal to your total chlorine.

Note to Spa Marvel staff    

  • Chlorine turns into chloramines aka combined chlorine
  • Bromine turns into bromamines aka combined bromine and will have a chemical-type smell as well
Foaming Water – Reasons for foam in hot tubs

High pH won’t cause foaming, but soft water will. Bring your hardness between 150-250ppm and that will certainly help. Low alkalinity will also cause foaming, please make sure your alkalinity is in proper ranges 80-150ppm.

Did you use a plumbing cleaner/purge product to clean your tub, and if so, what brand did you use?
Here’s a quick 3 min video on foaming water issues and solutions. Hopefully this helps you out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB5OFxzXxOQ

Some spa owners seem to constantly deal with foamy hot tub water. So, how can you correct and prevent foamy hot tub water? The key is to understand what causes it.

Four major contributors are the difference between struggling with foamy hot tub water—and stopping it from starting in the first place.

  1. Detergents that have been introduced to the water are the most common cause of foaming. Residual soap, shampoo, creams, lotions, hair products, and laundry detergent in bathing suits all contribute to detergent-based foaming. There are even some filter cleaning products that contain detergents which cause foam. To fix this, have bathers shower thoroughly before using the spa, launder bathing suits without detergent—and use a no-foam, detergent-free filter cleaning agent like Spa Marvel Filter Cleaner that will not cause foaming.
  2. Dirty or improperly cleaned filters are another culprit. Filters absorb lotions, creams and oils., and if not properly cleaned, can contribute to persistent foaming. To correct this, install a new or properly cleaned filter and shock the water.   When shocking the water to help to eliminate foam caused by detergents and dirty filters, apply shock according to the directions on the package and then wait at least 24 hours. If foam persists, rinse filters thoroughly with fresh water and repeat the process every 24 hours as necessary.
  3. Improperly balanced water is another contributing factor. Alkalinity below 80 parts per million will cause foaming. To correct this, increase your alkalinity to between 80-150 parts per million.
  4. Calcium hardness below 175 parts per million can also cause foam. Increasing calcium hardness to between 175-250 parts per millions will reduce and eliminate foam.
Full Bottle – Do I use the full bottle of Spa Marvel?

Canadian customers:
Spa Marvel is an enzyme product. Enzymes last virtually forever; that is they keep working and don’t wear out.  However, every time you get out of the spa, you take some of the enzymes out with you, and as a result, the enzymes need to be replenished from time-to-time. As a converse analogy, if you were to add Spa Marvel to a spa and never use the spa, you would never have to add another bottle as the enzymes would not be removed from the water by bathers.  So whether you have a 500 litre spa or a 2,000 litre spa, add the entire bottle of Spa Marvel. 

Having said that, one bottle of Spa Marvel will last 3 months. So ½ a bottle will last 6 weeks.  It is okay to add ½ a bottle now, and then add the other half in 6 weeks. The benefit to doing it this way is that if you had to drain the water prematurely, i.e. there were a bunch of kids in the spa covered in bug spray and sunscreen and they wrecked the water, or maybe the spa needed a repair and had to be drained, you’re not wasting the whole bottle; you still have ½ bottle leftover to start up when you refill.

US Customers:
Spa Marvel is an enzyme product. Enzymes last virtually forever; that is they keep working and don’t wear out.  However, every time you get out of the spa, you take some of the enzymes out with you, and as a result, the enzymes need to be replenished from time-to-time. As a converse analogy, if you were to add Spa Marvel to a spa and never use the spa, you would never have to add another bottle as the enzymes would not be removed from the water by bathers.  So whether you have a 125 gallon spa or a 500 gallon spa, add the entire bottle of Spa Marvel. 

Having said that, one bottle of Spa Marvel will last 3 months. So ½ a bottle will last 6 weeks.  It is okay to add ½ a bottle now, and then add the other half in 6 weeks. The benefit to doing it this way is that if you had to drain the water prematurely, i.e. there were a bunch of kids in the spa covered in bug spray and sunscreen and they wrecked the water, or maybe the spa needed a repair and had to be drained, you’re not wasting the whole bottle; you still have ½ bottle leftover to start up when you refill.

French Translation:
Spa Marvel est un produit enzymatique. Les enzymes durent pratiquement pour toujours; c’est-à-dire qu’ils continuent de fonctionner et ne s’usent pas. Cependant, chaque fois que vous sortez du spa, vous emportez certaines des enzymes avec vous et, par conséquent, les enzymes doivent être réapprovisionnées de temps en temps. Par analogie inverse, si vous deviez ajouter Spa Marvel à un spa et ne jamais utiliser le spa, vous n’auriez jamais à ajouter une autre bouteille car les enzymes ne seraient pas retirées de l’eau par les baigneurs. Donc, que vous ayez un spa de 500 litres ou un spa de 2000 litres, ajoutez la bouteille entière de Spa Marvel.

High Ambient Temperature

Your spa’s pumps are driven by electric motors. The electric motors generate heat. The waste heat from the motor is transferred to the spa water to warm it up, which is a very efficient use of the waste heat, because your spa’s heating element doesn’t need to come on as often.

When the ambient temperature is high, tubs don’t get a chance to cool down, but will continue to heat up from the heat generated by the motors.  As an example:  Assume your spa is set at 92 degrees, and it is 104 degrees outside most of the day.  The tub temperature will continue to rise above the 92 degrees just from the waste heat. There is a safety mechanism that will shut the filtration setting off once the spa water gets to be X degrees more than what it is supposed to be, so that the water doesn’t scald anyone.  The pumps will not come back on until the spa cools down; which can take a few days if it is really hot out. In this time the water can often go ‘off’ and become cloudy.

When it is really hot out, prop the lid open with a pool noodle or tennis ball or rolled-up towel to allow the tub to ventilate and cool off, so that it doesn’t shut down and cloudy water won’t develop.

Homemade Hot Tub & Copper Heat Exchange systems

Spa Marvel is compatible with your copper heat exchange system and will not damage it or cause any harm. It would be beneficial to have water circulation and filtration for the water to help keep it clean and reduce water changes.

We do recommend that some sanitizer is used in spas and hot tubs, but I can appreciate that you can’t use chlorine or bromine with copper.  While many users don’t use any chlorine or bromine, to be successful the hot tub would need to filter at least 6 hours a day, and that even doing that we cannot guarantee perfect results. We would still honour the 100% money back guarantee mentioned later in this message.

How much chlorine/bromine should I use? - 1st time spa owner

A good guide for adding chlorine or bromine granules is to use the ratio of 4 teaspoons per 250 gallons of water (20 grams per 1,000 litres) on the initial fill, then add 1 teaspoon (5 grams) to the water each time you are finished using the hot tub. If you are using chlorine or bromine in a tablet form, using 2 tablets a week in the dispenser is a good place to start.

Ice Baths – Cold Water Immersion (CWI) or Cryotherapy

Maintaining an ice bath involves a series of steps to ensure its longevity and your comfort. When using Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner, you add 5 ounces every 4 weeks during your water change, which helps break down non-living organic waste and maintain water clarity. Regular water changes are crucial for cleanliness. Testing and adjusting the alkalinity and pH of the water regularly ensures safety and comfort, and also prolongs the life of your equipment. Keeping the ice bath clean and covered prevents debris and wildlife from entering the tub. Following these steps will help you maintain a clean and comfortable ice bath.

  1. Enzyme Application: Add 5 ounces of Spa Marvel enzymes every 4 weeks during your water change. This helps break down non-living organic waste and maintain water clarity.
  2. Temperature: Keep in mind that the cold temperature of an ice bath can slow down the enzymatic reactions. However, enzymes can restore most of their activity when temperatures increase again.
  3. Water Change: Regularly change the water in your ice bath to maintain cleanliness.
  4. Alkalinity & pH Balance: Regularly test and adjust the alkalinity and pH of the water in your ice bath to ensure it’s safe, comfortable, and that your equipment lasts as long as possible.
  5. Cleanliness: Be careful about how you use the ice bath. Clean off before getting in and wear footwear that you can take off before getting in.
  6. Cover the Ice Bath: Use a cover to keep out various debris, including leaves and dirt, and prevent bugs or other wildlife from making a home in your tub.

 Why people use Ice Baths

Ice baths, also known as cold water immersion (CWI) or cryotherapy, are a type of cold-water therapy that involves immersing your body in ice water for about 5-15 minutes. 

  1. Purpose: The main purpose of an ice bath is to help reduce muscle pain and soreness after intense exercise.
  2. Mechanism: An ice bath works by temporarily constricting the blood vessels in your muscles. This reduces inflammation immediately and forces your metabolic waste-filled blood to move through your system more efficiently.
  3. Benefits: Some potential benefits of using an ice bath include easing sore and aching muscles, aiding in sleep, and consequently, making you feel better from having less fatigue.
  4. Controversy: There is some controversy surrounding the effectiveness of ice baths. While some studies suggest that there’s no benefit to sore muscles, others argue that ice baths can be just as good for recovery as low-intensity exercise.

How to Care for your Ice Bath Tub

  1. Keep Mud and Dirt Away: Be careful about how you use the ice bath. If you’re using it outdoors, there’s a risk you could get mud and other debris in and around the tub. Clean off before getting in and wear footwear that you can take off before getting in.
  2. Cover the Ice Bath: A good cover can save you a lot of time on cleaning and maintenance. Using a cover will keep out various debris, including leaves and dirt, and prevent bugs or other wildlife from making a home in your tub.
  3. Switch Out the Water Regularly: The water in your ice bath should be changed regularly to maintain cleanliness.
  4. Use of Chemicals: Cold tub owners can expect to add a teaspoon of chlorine several times a week to ensure that the water is clear and clean. Regular testing can make sure you are adding just enough chemicals.
  5. UV Light: UV light can be an effective secondary measure to ensure that all bacteria and other microorganisms are eliminated.
  6. Skin Care After the Plunge: Prolonged exposure to cold water can leave your skin dry and sensitive. After the ice bath, indulge in a moisturizing routine to hydrate and protect your skin.

How to clean your Ice Bath

When using a plumbing purge like Spa Marvel Cleanser in an ice bath, the process is similar to that of a hot tub, but with some considerations for the colder temperature.  1 bottle of Spa Marvel Cleanser will do 4 cleanings. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove Filters: Start by removing the filters from the ice bath.
  2. Add Spa Marvel Cleanser: Pour 4 capfuls (60g) of Spa Marvel Cleanser into the existing water.
  3. Run Jets: Turn on the circulation pump for at least 1 hour to circulate the cleanser throughout the ice bath’s plumbing.
  4. Drain the Old Water: After the cleansing process, drain the old water out.
  5. Refill the Tub: Refill the tub as per manufacturer’s directions.

Remember, do not use the ice bath during the cleansing process. It’s okay to leave the Spa Marvel Cleanser in the ice bath for longer than one day if necessary. 

Inflatable Tubs – Balancing issues

Inflatable hot tubs can require a bit more effort to maintain water balance compared to traditional built-in hot tubs. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Size and Volume: Inflatable hot tubs are typically smaller in size and have a smaller water volume compared to permanent hot tubs. The smaller water volume means that any changes in water chemistry can happen more quickly and require more frequent adjustments.
  2. Insulation: Inflatable hot tubs typically have less insulation compared to built-in hot tubs. This can result in faster temperature fluctuations, which can affect the chemical balance of the water.
  3. Filtration and Circulation: The filtration and circulation systems in inflatable hot tubs may not be as robust as those in permanent hot tubs. Insufficient filtration and circulation can lead to faster buildup of contaminants and make it more challenging to maintain water balance.

To maintain water balance in an inflatable hot tub for longer periods, here are some tips:

  1. Test Water Regularly: Use test strips or a water testing kit to monitor the water’s pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. Test the water at least twice a week and adjust the chemical levels as necessary.
  2. Adjust pH and Alkalinity: Maintain the pH level between 7.2 and 7.8 and alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million). If the levels are outside this range, use appropriate pH increasers or decreasers and alkalinity increasers or decreasers to bring them back to the desired range.
  3. Sanitize the Water: Use an appropriate sanitizer, such as chlorine or bromine, to kill bacteria and maintain water cleanliness. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended sanitizer levels.
  4. Shocking the Water: Periodically shocking the water helps remove contaminants and maintain water clarity. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended shock treatment for your specific inflatable hot tub.
  5. Proper Filtration and Cleaning: Clean or replace the filter cartridges regularly to ensure proper filtration. Also, clean the tub itself to remove any debris or residue that could affect water quality.

By following these guidelines and maintaining regular water testing and maintenance, you can help keep the water in your inflatable hot tub balanced for longer periods of time.

Ingredients – Spa Marvel Ingredients List 1

Spa Marvel has 4 ingredients:

  1. A proprietary blend of natural enzymes derived from plant extracts.
  2. Sodium.
  3. Food-grade glycerin.
  4. Distilled water.

Through an enzymatic process, Spa Marvel’s enzymes naturally break down organic matter (organic matter is the food for bacteria). So, Spa Marvel doesn’t kill bacteria, rather it removes the food necessary for bacteria to live. This means that the chlorine has less work to do, so it will take a lesser amount of chlorine to maintain the desired chlorine reading when using Spa Marvel than when not.

Ingredients – Spa Marvel Ingredients List 2

Spa Marvel has 4 ingredients, none of which are hazardous or can cause any negative irritations or reactions, hence the reason that we do not require a warning label or child-proof cap on the Water Treatment and Conditioner. Twenty-eight years on the market, and never a negative reaction from exposure to Spa Marvel.  In fact, people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis find that using Spa Marvel often improves their condition.  We have a small following of customers who don’t even have hot tubs, they buy Spa Marvel to use it in their bath tubs and to apply directly to their skin. Similarly, some people use Spa Marvel in koi ponds, aquariums, and in one case, raising artemia (shrimp) for fish farming.  The ingredients are:

  1. A proprietary blend of natural enzymes derived from plant extracts.
  2. Sodium.
  3. Food-grade glycerin.
  4. Distilled water.
INSTRUCTIONS: Start-up/Refill

Step 1 – Purge

  • Remove your filter and deep clean it as required.  Filters should be white and scent free.
  • Add the bottle of Spa Marvel Cleanser (small green bottle) to the tub and run the jets on high-speed for 1 hour and then:
    • Leave Cleanser in water for a minimum of 23 hours on the regular filtration cycles if this is your VERY FIRST plumbing purge with Spa Marvel Cleanser or as a pre-step before you switch your spa routine to using Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner.
    • Otherwise leave Cleanser soaking for 1 hour if you currently use Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner or if your spa is less than 3 months old.
    • If you are using another kind of plumbing purge, please follow the instructions accordingly. Some purges will not clear the scale and calcium build up from plumbing AND “foaming” purges have a tendency to still foam once you refill the spa with fresh water, as up to 5-20 gallons of foamy water can get stuck in the plumbing, even after draining.   SOLUTION: Foam will usually sort itself out in 3-4 days so long as you keep water circulating and avoid turning on the jets. Should the foam be excessive you will want to shock the water before giving it a few days to settle.
  • Drain the spa.  It is perfectly safe to drain on to your grass or patio, however in order to play it safe, you will want to avoid draining into flower gardens, new growth patches or food gardens.

Step 2 – The Refill

  • Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per the spa manufacturer’s directions.  By using a pre-filter like the X10, will ensure you are starting off with the best water possible, which makes for less headaches in future.
  • Once the water heats up, add the bottle of Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner, and run the jets for 15 mins to make sure that the solution is diluted properly throughout your water.
  • Ensure your filtration/circulation settings are scheduled ensure that you are filtering a minimum of 6 hours a day.
    • Should your spa utilize a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) please ensure that it is filtering 24/7.
    • If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult your dealer.

Step 3 – The Balance

  • SANITIZER  Add base dose of sanitizer (chlorine/bromine granules)
    • DOSE: 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).
    • Add any slow release sanitizer system or support you want.
  • TEST  Get the base levels of your water:
    • You can use test-strips, drop kit or by taking water into your local pool & spa store.
  • ALKALINITY Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150ppm (120-150ppm is ideal). Calculate by aiming to 120ppm.
    • Add increaser or decreaser as needed, run jets for 15-20 mins and let it sit for 2 hours before testing again.
    • DOSE: Add 1 level tablespoon (15g) of Alkalinity Increaser or Decreaser  for every 250 Gallons (1,000 litres) of water your hot tub holds to raise or lower alkalinity 10ppm.
  • pH Once alkalinity is in range, you may need to wait up to 24 hours to ensure that you are getting a proper pH level reading.  pH should be between 7.2 and 8.2 when using Spa Marvel.  Spa Marvel changes the tension of the water so we tend to run a higher range for pH than what is typical in traditional water care (7.2-7.8).
    • Do not worry nothing untoward will happen if pH is higher than normal.
    • Should pH be 8.4 or higher and starts to cause any issues in water quality or bather comfort, you can adjust as necessary with pH down.  You will need to follow the instructions on your pH- product as they are all different.
    • A general recommendation is to start lowering the ALKALINITY 10ppm at a time until pH comes into preferred range.
  • SANITIZER Maintain adequate sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) in your spa water as required by health regulatory agency.
    • Some will add 1/2-1 teaspoon (2.5g – 5g) of sanitizer granules per person after each soak.  This helps ensure there is a boost in sanitizer to help clear any particles left in the water.
  • SHOCK Some shock once a week, others will shock on an as needed basis.
    • PLEASE NOTE: Total usage of sanitizer required to maintain sanitary health, is based on overall usage of your spa (ei: do people shower before going in the hot tub, did you have a heavy bather load (4+ people), are all levels balanced, etc.)
    • A general guideline for shocking your water would be to shock if:
      • Combined Chlorine  is 0.5ppm or higher
      • Water Clarity; if it is hazy, cloudy or has a tinge of colour out of the ordinary
      • Water Odour or Bather Overload; if you have had a heavy bather load (4+ people)  or if your water has any odour to it such as a chemical smell, aquatic, musty or fishy it requires a super shock AND a complete filter maintenance to maximize cleaning capacity and spa sanitization.

Step 4 – Routine Testing

  • GENERAL LEVELS: Check on levels daily until you learn the flow of your water.  Once you understand the cycle of your water you can then test every 2 or three days, depending on use.
    • Sanitizer (Chlorine/Bromine) 3-5ppm
      • 4 teaspoons (20g) for every 250 gallons (1,000 litres)
    • Alkalinity 80-150ppm, ideally 120-150ppm but calculate to 120ppm
      • 1 tablespoon (15g) per 250 gallons (1,000 litres) to move up or down 10ppm
    • pH  7.2-8.2 (when using Spa Marvel)
      • Do not adjust unless pH is above 8.4 AND is causing unexpected issues (cloudy water, grit, etc.)
    • Hardness  175-250ppm
      • 1 tablespoon (15g) per 250 gallons (1,000 litres) to move up or down 10ppm
      • When water is below 175ppm water, it is considered “soft water” and can start to feel sticky or slimy to bathers.
      • Soft water can also increase foam development when water is soft and detergent is introduced into the spa.
    • Stabilizer/CYA  <100ppm
      • When levels are over 100ppm, it is required to calculate what the adjust alkalinity ppm actually is in order to maintain proper water balance.
      • CYA/Adjusted Alkalinity formula:
        • Total Alkalinity ppm(CYA ppm divided by 3) = adjusted alkalinity ppm
        • As an example:  Total Alkalinity 80ppmCYA 100ppm (33.3ppm) = Adjusted Alkalinity 46.6ppm.

Step 5 – Enjoy!

KDF – What is it and how it works

KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) media is a type of filtration media commonly used in water treatment systems, including hot tubs, showers, and other point-of-use water filters. It consists of a high-purity copper-zinc alloy.  KDF media works through a process known as redox (reduction-oxidation). It utilizes a combination of chemical and physical reactions to remove or reduce various contaminants from water.

Here’s how it works:

Oxidation: KDF media initiates an oxidation reaction, where electrons are transferred between the KDF surface and the contaminants in the water. This reaction converts harmful substances into less harmful or more easily removable forms. For example, it can convert dissolved chlorine into chloride ions, effectively removing chlorine from the water.

Reduction: KDF media also facilitates reduction reactions, where electrons are transferred from the KDF surface to certain contaminants. This process helps to neutralize or remove specific contaminants, such as heavy metals like lead, mercury, and copper, by reducing them to less toxic forms.

Adsorption: In addition to the redox reactions, KDF media has a surface with a high surface area. This surface can adsorb or trap certain contaminants by attracting them to its porous structure. This mechanism further enhances the removal of impurities from the water.

Overall, KDF media acts as a catalyst, accelerating the oxidation, reduction, and adsorption reactions that occur as water passes through the filtration system. It helps to remove or reduce a wide range of contaminants, including chlorine, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, and certain organic compounds.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of KDF media can vary depending on the specific contaminants present in the water, the contact time between the water and the media, and the flow rate. Regular maintenance and replacement is necessary to ensure its continued effectiveness in water treatment.

KDF – X10 Water Filter

The X10 Filter works differently than how most filters do by utilizing a media called Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF).  The media works to reduce or remove chlorine, iron, hydrogen sulfide, lead, mercury, calcium carbonate, magnesium, chromium, bacteria, algae, and fungi. KDF media exchange electrons with contaminants, changing them into harmless components. During their reactions, electrons are transferred between molecules and new compounds are created.

As an example, calcium is altered to a form called aragonite. Aragonite does not cling, so you don’t get the white scale buildup around heating elements or clogging of water features.  By removing copper and iron, the chances of water turning colour when chlorine is added are reduced, allowing for fewer water-quality issues, increased chemical efficacy, and better experiences for your customer.

Summary:  The X10 Water filter outperforms other filters on the market, and when hot tubs start with better water, everything works better going forward.

With respect to bacteria specifically, KDF media kills bacteria by direct electrochemical contact and by the flash formation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, both of which interfere with a microorganism’s ability to function.  Having said that, the X10 does also have a 50 micron filter, but it is mainly to collect sediment and other larger particles that may be in the water.

KDF – GrowRite Water Filter

The GrowRite Filter works differently than how most filters do, by utilizing a media called Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF).  The media works to reduce or remove chlorine, iron, copper, hydrogen sulfide, lead, mercury, calcium carbonate, magnesium, chromium, bacteria, algae, and fungi. Rather than pulling out these contaminants as traditional filtration does, the KDF media exchanges electrons with contaminants, changing them into harmless components. During their reactions, electrons are transferred between molecules and new compounds are created. This is why you do not get a significant reduction in PPM, as the water saturation is essentially the same as it was prior to filtration, however it is saturated with harmless components.

Having said that, the GrowRite does also have a 50 micron filter, but it is mainly to collect sediment and other larger particles that may be in the water.

Measuring spoons & cups to approximate grams

1/4 teaspoon (tsp) ≈ 1.25 grams
1/2 teaspoon (tsp) ≈ 2.5 grams
1 teaspoon (tsp) ≈ 5 grams
1/2 tablespoon (tbsp) ≈ 7.5 grams
1 tablespoon (tbsp) ≈ 15 grams
1/4 cup ≈ 60 grams
1/3 cup ≈ 80 grams
1/2 cup ≈ 120 grams
2/3 cup ≈ 160 grams
3/4 cup ≈ 180 grams
1 cup ≈ 240 grams

No Response Follow Up Email

I wanted to ensure that you did in fact receive the email that I sent you (below).  I figured either my email or your response may have gone astray in cyberspace so I wanted to connect with you again.  Please get back to me at your convenience and I will help you.

Odours

Odours in hot tubs typically come from one of two places.

  1. Dirty Filters: Filters absorb debris that has been introduced to the water by bathers, which includes human waste such as sweat, body oil, and residual blood, urine and feces. If the filter is not kept PROPERLY clean, it can cause foul odours.
  2. Waste in Plumbing: Spa plumbing may harbour contaminants such as bacteria, mould, algae, fungus or biofilm.

The Solution:
To get rid of the odour, install a PROPERLY cleaned filter, then add sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) to the water at the ratio of 4 teaspoons (20g) per 250 gallons (1,000 litres) of water.  This video will provide you with proper care for your filters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfOEbsnHYg

Should odour persist, then the odour is coming from the plumbing.  You will need more than just a plumbing purge to resolve this, you will need to ensure all bacteria or growing organism are sterilized and then remove the waste that is causing the odour.  A 72 hour decontamination process will be required to resolve your spa struggle.  This video will walk you through what a decontamination process involves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvU4lcpjgBQ

If you require step-by-step instructions, please let me know how big is your spa (gallons/litres) and I can calculate all dose measurements for your specific spa volume.

Outgassing – New Spas Going Cloudy

New spas that are going cloudy, when everything else seems to be in order, may be going cloudy due to outgassing.

Hot tubs are produced using plastics, glues, resins, acrylic, silicone and sealers. When the tub is first manufactured, these materials are left slightly unstable, and continue to release volatile organic compounds into the air afterward. These fumes evaporate (or outgas) over time. When a tub is filled with water it creates a seal on the shell of the tub that slows down the rate at which the gasses expel.

Spa Marvel reduces surface tension of water. Surface tension is reduced not just at the top of the water, but also at the sides and bottom where is meets the shell of the tub. So when Spa Marvel is added to the water the gasses can expel more easily because the tension of the water has been decreased. In other words, Spa Marvel can expedite the outgassing process.

As the tub outgasses it can cause hazy water.

This isn`t a common occurrence, but when we do see it, it is typically in a spa that is fresh from the factory versus one that has been sitting empty in a warehouse and has had time to expel gasses.

The gasses can be oxidized, which is why you rarely experience this phenomenon in traditional spa care where you maintain 3-5ppm of sanitizer.

If it occurs, shocking the water with dichlor will usually clear the spa, but if levels are left very low, then it may cloud again as more gasses escape. A tub that is expelling a lot of gasses can take up to two months to fully exhale.

pH & Alkalinity - The relationship between them

Alkalinity and pH are tethered together, so if one rises or falls so does the other. pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. Alkalinity is the buffering capacity of water which is the ability of the water body to neutralize acids and bases that then affects your pH level. Think of it like a boat and anchor, where your pH is the boat and the alkalinity is the anchor. If your alkalinity is not anchored in proper range your pH (boat) will float all over the place.

pH & Alkalinity – How are they connected?
The pH level in a hot tub, pool, or any other body of water refers to how acidic or basic (alkaline) the water is. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above is basic or alkaline. The ideal pH range for a hot tub is typically around 7.2 to 7.8.
 
The total alkalinity, on the other hand, refers to the water’s ability to neutralize acids, or its buffering capacity. It’s related to pH, but it’s not the same thing. A high alkalinity (120-150ppm is considered in the high normal range) helps to keep the pH stable, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the pH will also be high. Alkalinity can be balance to between 80-150ppm (120-150ppm is ideal). It increases linearly, so add increaser as needed, run jets for 15-20 mins and let it sit for 2 hours before testing again for an accurate reading.
 
SUGGESTED DOSES:
  • To increase your alkalinity about 10ppm you will need to add 1 level tablespoon (15g) of Alkalinity Increaser (aka Sodium Bicarbonate) for every 250 Gallons (1,000 litres) of water your hot tub holds.
  • To lower your alkalinity about 10ppm you will need to add 1 level tablespoon (15g) of Alkalinity Decreaser (aka Sodium Sulfate) for every 250 Gallons (1,000 litres) of water your hot tub holds.
  • You can also use Muriatic Acid to lower alkalinity and pH but it is a more volatile compound and must be used with proper safety equipment and follow instructions carefully.


PLEASE NOTE:

  1. pH increases or decreases exponentially so once alkalinity is in range, you may need to wait up to 24 hours to ensure that you are getting a proper pH level reading. If you just keep adding more product without giving it a chance to fully “settle” you will find yourself on a yo-yo ride. If after 24 hours your pH has not balanced then adjust as needed.
  2. You will also need to remember that if you are using chlorine sanitizer (dichlor) you may have a build-up of CYA (Cyanuric Acid or stabilizer).  If your CYA is over 100ppm you will need to calculate the adjusted alkalinity for a true alkalinity reading or you may need to add fresh water or refill the spa as required.
pH Low – Balancing trouble when alkalinity is in ideal range

The pH level in a hot tub, pool, or any other body of water refers to how acidic or basic (alkaline) the water is. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above is basic or alkaline. The ideal pH range for a hot tub is typically around 7.2 to 7.8.

The total alkalinity, on the other hand, refers to the water’s ability to neutralize acids, or its buffering capacity. It’s related to pH, but it’s not the same thing. A high alkalinity (120-150ppm is considered in the high normal range) helps to keep the pH stable, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the pH will also be high.

If your hot tub’s pH is low (6.8-7.2) while the alkalinity is high, it could be due to several reasons:

  1. Usage and Chemicals: The more a hot tub is used, the more substances are introduced into the water, such as oils, lotions, sweat, urine, and other organic materials. These can lower the pH. Also, some sanitizing chemicals, like chlorine or bromine, can lower the pH if they are acidic.
  2. Water Source: The source of your water can also affect the pH. If your tap water is naturally acidic, it can lower the pH in your hot tub.
  3. Incorrect Balancing: If the chemicals used to balance the water are not used correctly, it can lead to a low pH. For example, if too much acid is added to decrease the alkalinity, it can also lower the pH.

To correct the low pH in a hot tub:

  1. Check the Water Source: Test the pH of your source water. If it’s low, you may need to adjust the pH when you fill your hot tub.
  2. Balance the Chemicals Correctly: Make sure you are adding the correct amounts of chemicals to balance your hot tub water. This can be a bit of a trial-and-error process, but with practice, you can get it right. Use a test kit to regularly check the pH and adjust as necessary.
  3. Use a pH Increaser: If your pH is consistently low, you can use a product designed to increase the pH. Follow the package instructions for how much to add.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Keep the hot tub clean and free of debris. Regularly change the water (every 3-4 months is common) and make sure to check and clean the filters frequently.
  5. Professional Help: If you’re unable to correct the issue yourself, consider hiring a professional. They can test the water and equipment and make the necessary adjustments.

Remember to keep safety in mind when handling hot tub chemicals. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines.

pH is Too High

When your pH is high you can suffer with cloudy water, bather discomfort, low sanitizer efficacy and if there is any calcium or gypsum in your water (natural minerals) it will precipitate out of the water and start to stick to the walls of your spa.

This can range from a white type build up under the water line to feeling like 80 grit sandpaper when you touch the walls of the spa.

Alkalinity and pH are tethered together, so if the levels are within range if one rises or falls so does the other. Think of it like a boat and anchor, where your pH is the boat and the alkalinity is the anchor. If your alkalinity is not anchored in proper range your pH (boat) will float all over the place, high or low.

When chlorine is mixed with water it turns to chlorous acid. (Bromine turns to bromous acid). The acid brings the alkalinity down. Part of using chlorine or bromine is that you will need to keep the alkalinity in proper ranges. When alkalinity is below 80 ppm, the water is more acidic which will cause the chlorine or bromine to not work very efficiently, your water can get foamy and your skin will itch.  Alkalinity is the capacity of the water to resist acidification, and while pH can easily change, your alkalinity creates a safety buffer.

It is recommended to keep your alkalinity in 80-150ppm, ideally at 120-150ppm (aim for 120ppm).  

If it is too high, lower it by adding one tablespoon (15g) of pH Reducer (sodium bisulfate) in 250 gallons of water (15 grams per 1,000 liters) to lower alkalinity about 10 ppm.  Once you have calculated how much you need, sprinkle it to your water while jets running for 10-15 mins and wait 2 hours to retest with the test strip. Repeat as necessary.  Once the alkalinity is in range, it can take pH upto 24 hours to settle into it’s range.

pH should be in the 7.2-7.8 range for optimal results. If you are using a product like Spa Marvel your optimal range is 7.2-8.2 as Spa Marvel changes the tension of the water and this results in a higher range for your pH without anything untoward happening in your water.

If after 24 hours your pH is too high then take appropriate measure to bring it down with pH down.  It can be touch challenging to calculate exactly how much pH Reducer (sodium bisulfate) you will need, as pH moves exponentially.  This is why focusing on your alkalinity is usually suggested first, as it an easier calculation to make and will create a buffer for your pH in the long run.

Rash & Itchy Skin – Common Responses
  1. Alkalinity levels:
    You had been kind to let me know what your pH is at and it is well within range however, when chlorine is mixed with water it turns to chlorous acid. (Bromine turns to bromous acid).  The acid brings the alkalinity down. Part of using chlorine or bromine is that you will need to keep the alkalinity in proper ranges.

    When alkalinity is below 80 ppm, the chlorine or bromine don’t work very efficiently, your water can get foamy and your skin will itch and, in some cases, it will cause rashes.

    Your alkalinity should be maintained between 80-150, ideally between 120-150. Use alkalinity increaser (which is sodium bicarbonate, commonly referred to as baking soda) to bring it up.  One tablespoon of alkalinity increaser in 250 gallons of water (15 grams per 1,000 liters) will raise alkalinity about 10 ppm.

    Then wait about 24 hours to see what your true pH is reading. In traditional water care it should be in the 7.2-7.8 range, if you are using a product like Spa Marvel your acceptable range is 7.2-8.2. Should you be out of range at this point you can adjust as necessary.

    If you can let me know what your alkalinity is that will be very helpful.  Getting some test strips or a pool/spa store test will help us understand where this is, so we are not chasing our tails.

  1. Non-Chlorine Shock – aka MPS or Potassium Peroxymonosulfate:
    There are some people who are developing sensitivities to this MPS shock.  It can take up to 7 days to have it dissipate from the water.  We would suggest that you stop using the MPS Non-Chlorine shock and simply shock your water with chlorine or bromine granules (depending on what you currently use).

    You can shock the water with chlorine or bromine granules at the ratio of 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).
    If water is cloudy increase strength by 50% and shock the water at a ratio of 30g per 1,000 litres (6 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons per 250 gallons)

  2. Contaminant in spa plumbing:
    Spas can often harbour contaminants like mould, algae, fungus, biofilm and bacteria. These contaminants can sometimes be already present in a spa’s plumbing between the time it was water-tested at the factory to the time it gets to your backyard. Contaminants can be introduced from a garden hose that has been sitting around, they can be introduced by bathers, some contaminants drift in through the air, and some get introduced by leaves and bird droppings getting in the water.  Some of the signs of a contaminated spa include persistently cloudy water, foaming, inability to maintain chlorine/bromine readings, odours and rashes.It is difficult to pinpoint how a contaminant gets into a spa, but rest assured that this was not caused by anything you did or didn’t do and it was not caused by the store that sold you the spa. Contaminants of different sorts can simply develop in even the best cared for spas.

    Plumbing purges help remove build up from your plumbing however bacterial contaminants will still remain because purges do not sanitize or kill any contaminant you may have.  The only way to do this is to do a 72 Hour Decontamination of your hot tub.

    Follow with decontamination instructions

Rash Questions

Before I go into Spa Marvel, can you tell me more about the rash you’re dealing with?  The reason I ask is that some things that cause rashes will continue to do so even when using Spa Marvel, so I’d like to see if I can identify anything that might be at play.

  • Describe the irritation/rash, what does it look like, where on the body does it occur?
  • What are the current pH and alkalinity readings?
  • Is this rash/irritation experienced in other pools and spas?
  • Do any other bathers have the same struggle or just one person?
  • Do the reactions described in this article sound like what’s going on? Doc treating sudden ‘rash’ hot tub, spa reactions – The Lantern
  • What do you use to shock your water with?
  • What are you using for sanitizer right now, i.e. chlorine granules, bromine tablets, etc.?
  • Is your water clear?
  • How long after a fresh fill does it take before the rash/irritation is experienced?
  • Do you struggle with persistently cloudy water, i.e. it seems to go cloudy every 2 or 3 days regardless of what you treat the water with, and even if you have not used the spa?
  • Do you struggle to keep a chlorine/bromine reading in the water? i.e. no matter how much chlorine/bromine you use, there never seems to be a reading the next day.
  • Are there any medications taken, particularly heart medication, that could be causing the rash/irritation?
  • Is there any other information that you think might be of importance?

Get back to me when you can and I’ll see if I can shed any light on your struggle.

Rental Hot Tubs – Can I use Spa Marvel at a rental property?

Many owners like yourself have shown interest in using Spa Marvel at their rental properties with hot tubs. Our customers have had fantastic results by adding just 2.5 ounces (75ml) of Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner per week.

Customer Feedback:

“Spa Marvel has made a big difference in our rental tubs; there has been less swinging of water conditions overall.  We have heavy use at some periods and Spa Marvel is the only way we get thru it.  We achieve longer water use with fewer instances of it starting to go green or cloud up.”

Jan Ferry-AxmanFerryland Cottage Rentals585-802-3494

Residue on Spa Walls after draining = High Alkalinity, Cleanser and Gypsum

When alkalinity in water is above 150, it can cause things that would otherwise be absorbed in the water to precipitate out of solution and stick to the spa walls.

Spa Marvel Cleanser is alkaline, and when added to the spa water will increase the alkalinity. On very rare occasions this higher alkalinity can cause gypsum (that is dissolved in the water) to precipitate and coat the spa walls. (Think of a very diluted drywall compound.)

This phenomenon rarely happens. To prevent it from happening, you can forego the Cleanser process.  If there is some buildup in the spa’s plumbing, when you add Spa Marvel to the freshly filled spa, Spa Marvel will clean the plumbing and you may encounter some hazy water as the debris is cleaned out.

The other work-around for this is to lower the alkalinity to between 0-40 ppm prior to using the Cleanser, and then when it is added it will probably not push the alkalinity up too high.

If you ever experience this again, lower the alkalinity to 0, then the buildup will come off very easily and be absorbed back into the water.

Sandpaper/Gritty Residue on the Spa Walls

A buildup on the spa walls that feels like sandpaper, or that has the appearance of drywall compound, is always a water-balance issue. When total alkalinity is greater than 150 ppm, or pH is greater than 8.4, it can cause calcium that is naturally occurring and is dissolved in your spa water, to come out of solution and stick to your spa walls, leaving them feeling like 80 grit sandpaper. Similarly, if your source water contains gypsum, the gypsum will come out of solution and stick to the walls and it looks like drywall compound. If you wipe the buildup off of the spa walls, it will simply reattach itself again.

Solution: Lower the alkalinity to at least 150, and then, if necessary, lower pH to at least 7.8 (8.2 if you are using Spa Marvel Water Treatment). Once the water is balanced, then you can wipe the buildup off of the walls and it will be absorbed back into solution.

To avoid having to manually wipe it off, you can lower the alkalinity to zero, leave the spa water alone for 24 hours, and the buildup will come off on its own. You can then bring the alkalinity back up to between 80-150, or change the water and begin over again.

Selecting a Spa Dealer

Someone once said that they’d rather buy a lesser-quality spa from a great dealer, than buy a higher-quality spa from a bad dealer.

Whether your new spa requires an adjustment on the first day, or something major fails 10 years down the road, you want to make sure you can get it taken care of.  For this reason alone, many people like to purchase a spa from a dealer with a good reputation and that is close enough for the dealer to look after the spa in the future.  

There are several things to consider in choosing a dealer for the most reliable hot tubs:

  • Is the dealer local to you, or are they based hundreds, or even thousands of miles away?
  • Regardless of their location, do they have provisions in place to provide service and warranty work, either themselves or through a third-party?
  • Are they in the spa business, or do they happen to sell spas as a sideline, in addition to their main business?
  • Does the dealer have a parts and service department?
  • Can they provide proper instructions on spa water care?
  • Are they well established?
  • How are their online reviews?
  • Does the dealer service all makes and models of spas, or are they brand-specific when it comes to parts and service?  If a dealer can service other brands.
Shocking – How MPS Shock can sometimes be the problem.

Cause of skin rashes and sensitivities:
Here is the information on the non-chlorine shock that can cause sudden rashes: https://www.thelantern.com/2009/01/doc-treating-sudden-rash-hot-tub-spa-reactions/

You do not have to use non-chlorine shock. Instead, you can shock the water with chlorine or bromine granules at the ratio of 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).

If water is cloudy increase strength by 50% and shock the water at a ratio of 30g per 1,000 litres (6 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons per 250 gallons)

Corrupting Readings:
Monopersulfate (non-chlorine oxidizer) can corrupt total- and combined-chlorine readings. You’ll know this is the case because of a quick reaction to DPD No. 3, resulting in an abnormally high number (a false high.) This also applies to the color-matching method.
– See this article Overcoming Interferences in Water Tests| Pool & Spa News (poolspanews.com)

Ref: Taylor Technologies: The reagent all the best-selling kits have in common is DPD #3. DPD #3 contains potassium iodide. Monopersulfate will react with the potassium iodide in DPD #3, making it seem there is a higher combined chlorine level in the water than there actually is. 

In the standard color-matching DPD test, you first add DPD #1 and DPD #2 to your water sample to develop a pinkish-red color proportional to the level of free chlorine. After taking that reading, you add DPD #3 to obtain the total chlorine level. You then calculate the amount of combined chlorine by subtracting free from total chlorine.

To obtain an accurate combined chlorine reading, commercial operators should use a test kit with reagents that can eliminate the monopersulfate interference. There are kits on the market that include a neutralizing agent for monopersulfate along with the standard chlorine test reagents, or the neutralizer can be purchased separately. You simply add the neutralizer as instructed then take the readings as you normally would.

Should you wish to measure monopersulfate concentrations, take a fresh sample and perform the chlorine tests a second time without masking the interference. The result will be the total amount of oxidizer in the water. Subtract the total chlorine reading obtained in the first test from this total oxidizer reading to find the level of monopersulfate. Note: This will give a monopersulfate reading in ppm as chlorine. To convert to ppm monopersulfate, multiply the result obtained by a factor of 5. 

Test strips are also available for analyzing monopersulfate itself. Be sure to check the strip manufacturer’s test instructions to determine at what concentration chlorine or bromine will interfere with the monopersulfate test.

Shocking – What is shocking?

“Shocking” is a term used to describe the addition of a large dose of an oxidizing agent to the water. The oxidizing agent will break down contaminants that are too small to be filtered out of the water that can cause hazy water and odours, including chlorine that has already been used up (it is the used-up chlorine that causes the chlorine-smell).  Oxidizing agents include bromine, chlorine and non-chlorine spa shock.  Many people use spa shock to shock, some people use chlorine or bromine granules to shock. 

If your water is not sparkling, or if you are experiencing odours, you should shock your water.

Non chlorine shock doesn’t convert bromamines back to bromine, but it will oxidize (break down) the bromamines.  People are under the false assumption that the non-chlorine shock converts bromamines back to bromine because after they shock, their bromine level increases. But this is a false reading.  As an example, take a glass of water out of your tap and test it for bromine. It won’t show any.  Add a pinch of non-chlorine shock to the glass of water, then test for bromine, and you will see a reading, even though there is no bromine in the water.

The reason this happens is that the test strips don’t actually test for bromine, rather they test for oxidizing agents, which include bromine, chlorine and non-chlorine shock.

As an example, take a glass of water out of your tap and test it for bromine. It won’t show any.  Add a pinch of non-chlorine shock to the glass of water, then test for bromine, and you will see a reading, even though there is no bromine in the water.

Shock vs Sanitizer – what’s the difference?

Chlorine & bromine are both a shock (aka oxidizer) AND an active sanitizer.

Non-chlorine shock (aka SpaShock or MPS – MonoPeroxySulfate) is only an oxidizer.

Oxidizers function by breaking apart non-living organics (oils, lotions, etc) and combined-chlorine or bromine (used up sanitizer)

Think of it like this, the sanitizer is your front-line team design to eradicate contaminants and living organics like bacteria. An oxidizer is the clean-up crew that clears the field of debris so the sanitizer is free to do the work it needs to do.

Shocking – When you should shock your hot tub

Some choose to shock their water routinely once a week, but depending on the usage of your tub, you may need to shock on an as-needed basis.  

For example, you should consider shocking your water:

  1. If the water is not sparkling
  2. If the water is cloudy
  3. If there are odours (sanitizer, aquatic, musty or fishy)
  4. If combined-chlorine is greater than 0.5ppm
  5. If the was a heavy bather load AND in this case, a proactive approach would be to take the filter(s) and rinse them with a strong stream of water too.  

Some will add ½ -1 teaspoon (2.5-5g) of sanitizer granules per person after each soak.  This will depend on the conditions in which the hot tub is used and what you will need to adjust to ensure it keep water safe for use. 

It’s never a bad idea to check it every day, or every other day, at the beginning until you learn the flow of your water and how you using it affects the water balance.

Ensure your levels are within range:

  • Sanitizer 3-5ppm (Chlorine/Bromine)
  • Alkalinity 80-150ppm, ideally 120-150ppm (aim for 120ppm)
  • pH 7.2-8.2 (when using Spa Marvel)
  • pH 7.2-7.8 (in traditional water care)
  • Calcium Hardness 175-250ppm
  • Stabilizer (CYA aka Cyanuric Acid) <50ppm

You can shock with non-chlorine shock, chlorine or bromine.  With non-chlorine shock follow the instructions on the bottle to ensure you are using enough product to properly oxidize the waste.  If you are shocking with chlorine/bromine granules you would add 4 teaspoons (20g) for every 250 gallons (1,000 litres) of water.

I’m happy to help you with the math, I just need to know how many gallons/litres your hot tub holds.

Shocking - The Spa shock myth.

When using chlorine/bromine in a granular or tablet form, there is a belief that adding non-chlorine spa shock, also known as MPS, to the water, recharges or reactivates used-up chlorine/bromine. And the reality is that it does no such thing.

This fallacy exists because when spa shock is added to water that is showing low chlorine/bromine, the chlorine/bromine reading increases, falsely leading people to believe that the spa shock has rejuvenated the chlorine/bromine.

But if you take a glass of water out of your tap and test it for chlorine/bromine, you don’t get a reading. Now add a pinch of spa shock to the glass of water and then test it, and you’ll see a chlorine/bromine reading. How is this possible, since there was no chlorine/bromine in the tap water?

The reason for this false chlorine/bromine reading is that test strips don’t actually test for chlorine/bromine, they test for oxidizing agents. In the context of spa water care, an oxidizer breaks things down. Oxidizers include chlorine, bromine and spa shock, and this is why you get a chlorine/bromine reading when adding spa shock to your water, but there isn’t actually more chlorine/bromine in the water.

Shock, SLAM or Decontaminate – Getting the terms right.

Shock (5ppm+) is when sanitizer/oxidizer is added to assist in clearing contaminants from a spa on a weekly or as need basis depending on the boosters you use (like enzymes, minerals, etc.). Levels spike for a short period of time before returning to normal.

SLAM – Shock, Level, And Maintain (20ppm+) as a method used in pool water care. It’s process is designed to aggressively address and resolve water quality issues, particularly when dealing with algae blooms, without needing to completely drain the pool. Timing with this method is dependent on what you are trying to clear from your pool. As an example, I had to SLAM my pool for 2 weeks straight to control a crazy springtime algae bloom.

72 Hour Decontamination (10ppm+) The purpose of a 72-hour decontamination process is to thoroughly sanitize the hot tub and eliminate any potential pathogens or contaminants present in the water, surfaces, or equipment. Once you have completed 72 hours with maintaining 10ppm+ of sanitizer, it is common practice to run a plumbing purge product before emptying the hot tub and refilling with fresh water.

Skipped Cleanser

This is in answer as to why you need to use Cleanser first. Or if they didn’t, why they can have water quality issues in the first 1-3 days of using Spa Marvel. Note- does not apply to a brand-new, never been used, spa:
Plumbing accumulates buildup; even the fresh water lines in your house get scaled up with calcium, lime and minerals over time.  Hot tub plumbing also accumulates this type of buildup, and additionally collects body oils, chemical binders, detergents, lotions and other debris that have been introduced to the spa water. 

Spa Marvel has inherent cleaning and descaling properties. When it is added to spa water, it works its way through the plumbing and removes all of the buildup that is in the plumbing.  As the buildup is removed it is introduced to the water and can cause all kinds of messes, such as odours, cloudy water, foaming and pH travel. To prevent this from happening you need to use Spa Marvel Cleanser in your old water to clean the plumbing prior to draining, refilling and beginning with Spa Marvel.

This is a follow up I sent to a customer who didn’t use cleanser, and was still blaming Spa Marvel for being problematic.  He had bad odours, but you can also modify this to reflect cloudy water too:
You added Spa Marvel to your tub, and the very next day the water smelled.  Spa Marvel would have cleaned debris out of the plumbing that caused the odour, the filter would have sucked up a lot of the debris, and possibly even made the water hazy. There is no other explanation as to why your water went off in one day.  (The upside to all of this is that your plumbing is now cleaner than it was when it was new and as a result, you’ll experience stronger jets, quieter pumps and more efficient heating elements.)

 

Social Media Responses - General

English: Please send an email with the subject line ‘info’ to Water@SpaMarvel.com and we will send you instructions, answers to common questions, pricing, where to buy and tips on hot tubbing.
If you are having a specific struggle that you’re trying to overcome, let us know about that too.

French:  Veuillez envoyer un courriel à Water@SpaMarvel.com en indiquant « plus d’Information » à la ligne d’objet et nous vous ferons parvenir des instructions, des réponses aux questions fréquentes, des prix, une liste de détaillants et des conseils sur l’utilisation d’un spa. 

Soft Tubs

In the 90s I was a big dealer for Softub and up until recently, always had one on my deck.  The Spa Marvel Company actually has one in their office!  So I am well versed in Softubs.

You can use Spa Marvel in a Softub, and many people do. Softub Canada is actually an authorized Spa Marvel retailer.  Hot tub chemicals and water treatment products work more efficiently with more filtration time, which understandably cannot be achieved in a Softub.  Even without Spa Marvel, Softubs can encounter water-quality issues due to insufficient filtration time, which tend to occur more when the ambient temperatures exceed the spa-water temperature.

Although we don’t recommend it, some Spa Marvel customers operate their spa with no sanitizer, just Spa Marvel.  And while this method works for many users, one of the conditions to be successful it that the spa HAS to filter a minimum of 6 hours a day.  So in a Softub you HAVE to use some sanitizer (Softub recommends chlorine) with Spa Marvel.

The exception to this is in an absentee-spa situation, i.e. the Softub is at a vacation home and is not used for weeks or even months on end. In these cases Spa Marvel will maintain the spa water without chlorine or 6 hours a day of filtration, as long as the spa is not being used.

Soft Water

A water softener removes calcium and other minerals from the water.  Filling your spa with soft water allows you to start with better water.  In the short-term, soft water may cause your fingertips to feel sticky when you’re in the spa, and it may cause some foaming in the spa (which is no big deal, and will cease when you harden the water).  It has been argued that in the long-term soft water seeks to naturally harden itself by degrading metal components such as pump seals and heating elements, and this is why spa manufacturers recommend that you don’t use soft water in your spa. (A lot of people question this theory, because if soft water degraded metal, why don’t the copper pipes in your house fall apart from having soft water in them?) But if soft water was going to degrade metal, it isn’t going to happen overnight, it would take prolonged exposure to soft water to cause any damage.

So fill your spa with soft water to get the purest water you can, then add calcium hardness increaser from your professional pool/spa store, to get the hardness up to 150 ppm.  (No one in the industry can agree on what the hardness reading should be, but we find that 150-250 is ideal, so shoot for 150.) One level table spoon of Calcium Hardness increaser will raise hardness 10 ppm in 250 gallons of water.

Spa Marvel Ingredients

Spa Marvel has 4 ingredients:

  1. A proprietary blend of natural enzymes derived from plant extracts.
  2. Sodium.
  3. Food-grade glycerin.
  4. Distilled water.

Through an enzymatic process, Spa Marvel’s enzymes naturally break down organic matter (organic matter is the food for bacteria). So, Spa Marvel doesn’t kill bacteria, rather it removes the food necessary for bacteria to live. This means that the chlorine has less work to do, so it will take a lesser amount of chlorine to maintain the desired chlorine reading when using Spa Marvel than when not.

~ ALT ~

Spa Marvel has 4 ingredients, none of which are hazardous or can cause any negative irritations or reactions, hence the reason that we do not require a warning label or child-proof cap on the Water Treatment and Conditioner. Twenty-eight years on the market, and never a negative reaction from exposure to Spa Marvel.  In fact, people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis find that using Spa Marvel often improves their condition.  We have a small following of customers who don’t even have hot tubs, they buy Spa Marvel to use it in their bath tubs and to apply directly to their skin. Similarly, some people use Spa Marvel in koi ponds, aquariums, and in one case, raising artemia (shrimp) for fish farming.  The ingredients are:

  1. A proprietary blend of natural enzymes derived from plant extracts.
  2. Sodium.
  3. Food-grade glycerin.
  4. Distilled water.
Spa Marvel – What is it and what does it do?

Spa Marvel is a brand of water treatment products specifically designed for hot tubs and spas. It offers an alternative approach to traditional chemical-based water treatments by utilizing a blend of natural enzymes, minerals, and plant extracts. The goal of Spa Marvel is to provide a more eco-friendly and gentle solution for hot tub maintenance while still ensuring clean and clear water.

Here are some key features and benefits of Spa Marvel:

  1. Natural Ingredients: Spa Marvel products are formulated using natural ingredients, including enzymes derived from plants. These enzymes help break down organic matter, such as oils, lotions, and other contaminants that can accumulate in hot tub water.
  2. Water Clarity: Spa Marvel aims to improve water clarity by reducing scum lines and preventing the formation of foam. The enzymes in the product assist in breaking down oils and other organic substances, making it easier for the filtration system to remove them from the water.
  3. Reduced Chemical Usage: One of the main advantages of Spa Marvel is its ability to reduce reliance on traditional harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or bromine. While some minimal chlorine or bromine may still be required for residual sanitization, the use of Spa Marvel can significantly lower the amount of these chemicals needed to maintain water quality.
  4. Easy to Use: Spa Marvel products are designed to be user-friendly. The treatment process usually involves adding Spa Marvel Water Treatment to the hot tub water initially and then maintaining the water by adding a smaller maintenance dose periodically. Detailed instructions are provided with the product to guide users through the treatment process.
  5. Skin-Friendly: Spa Marvel aims to create a more enjoyable and gentle hot tub experience by reducing the potential for skin and eye irritation. The reduced reliance on harsh chemicals can be beneficial for individuals with sensitive skin or those who prefer a more natural approach to water treatment.

It’s important to note that while Spa Marvel can provide effective water treatment, regular monitoring of water balance and periodic testing of sanitizer levels are still necessary to ensure a safe and sanitary hot tub environment.

Spa Marvel – How do enzymes work?

Spa Marvel is a concentrated enzyme system that naturally breaks down organic matter such as oils, lotions, sweat, and other bodily fluids, that can accumulate in the water. 

When you add Spa Marvel to a hot tub, the enzymes go to work targeting and breaking down the unwanted organic substances. They break down complex organic molecules into smaller, simpler components that are easier for other chemicals, such as sanitizers, to eliminate.

Enzymes are particularly effective at breaking down oils and greasy substances, which can form a film on the water’s surface and create a breeding ground for bacteria. By reducing the presence of organic matter, enzymes help prevent the formation of scum, improve water clarity, and enhance the overall effectiveness of the hot tub’s sanitization process.

Spa Marvel DOES NOT kill living organisms like bacteria and it is important to note that enzymes alone are not sufficient to keep a hot tub clean and sanitized. They are a complementary component to regular maintenance practices, including maintaining proper water balance, sanitizing with appropriate chemicals (such as chlorine or bromine), and regularly cleaning and filtering the water.

Start the spa with hard or soft water

A water softener removes calcium and other minerals from the water.  Filling your spa with soft water allows you to start with better water.  In the short-term, soft water may cause your fingertips to feel sticky when you’re in the spa, and it may cause some foaming in the spa (which is no big deal, and will cease when you harden the water).  It has been argued that in the long-term soft water seeks to naturally harden itself by degrading metal components such as pump seals and heating elements, and this is why spa manufacturers recommend that you don’t use soft water in your spa. (A lot of people question this theory, because if soft water degraded metal, why don’t the copper pipes in your house fall apart from having soft water in them?) But if soft water was going to degrade metal, it isn’t going to happen overnight, it would take prolonged exposure to soft water to cause any damage.

So fill your spa with soft water to get the purest water you can, then add calcium hardness increaser from your professional pool/spa store, to get the hardness up to 150 ppm.  (No one in the industry can agree on what the hardness reading should be, but we find that 150-250 is ideal, so shoot for 150.)

Surface Tension - pH And Alkalinity

Spa Marvel reduces the surface tension of the water. When surface tension is reduced, pH will naturally rise a little bit. pH that is high due to the natural rise will not cause cloudy water, reduced sanitizer efficiency, scaling, odours, bather discomfort, or anything untoward as it can in traditional (non-Spa Marvel) water care.

When using Spa Marvel, as long as pH is between 7.2-8.4 it is in an acceptable range.   If you try to lower pH to the ranges that are recommended in traditional spa water care, it will cause the alkalinity to drop, and while the pH may drop for a period of time, it will tend to creep back up. So as long as your alkalinity is between 80-150 (where 120-150 is ideal), if the pH is a little higher than what you are used to, leave it alone.

Amusing Surface Tension Experiment:  https://youtu.be/2F64qh9qPAI

Thick, Milky, Almost Chunky Spa Marvel Treatment

Recently, the facility that blends and packages Spa Marvel for us encountered a packaging issue where some bottles of Spa Marvel were filled with many times more Spa Marvel concentrate than was necessary.  The result is the clumpy product that you’ve encountered; I personally had a bottle that I put in my own spa that was so thick that it was like yoghurt coming out, it had enough Spa Marvel concentrate in it to treat about 20 tubs.   The good news is that too much Spa Marvel is never detrimental.  If anything, you can go a bit longer before having to add more.  So everything is okay when using an over-packaged bottle as you received.

If you have ANY questions, please reach out to me directly, I will help you.

Understanding Frog@ease Systems

Frog@ease combines sanitizing minerals with SmartChlor Technology to provide sanitization for your spa.  This system provide a low level sanitizer reading <1ppm.  Depending on which system is being used it can be chlorine or bromine.  Frog@ease proprietary SmartChlor. (Is basically 1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin – as per their SDS Sheet linked here). This is commonly referred to as DCDMH and is known to slow release sanitizer in water, making it effective in killing bacteria, viruses, and algae.

While a great system for light spa users a stumbling block to this system, practically speaking, is there are instances that there simply is not enough sanitizer released to fully ensure water safety levels. When using Spa Marvel alongside any system you bolster your waters efficacy in staying clean and able to maintaining balance.

As an example: 
If you have a heavy bather load (4+ people) or if someone enters tub loaded with lotions, bug spray, make-up etc. All that dissolves and contaminants the water, and a low sanitizer system seems as though it cannot keep up with clearing the contaminants before water goes sideways, and you are dealing with hazy, cloudy or smelly water.

One way to help minimize the “maintenance” of having a hot tub, simply adding 1 teaspoon (5g) of granular sanitizer for every 250 gallons (1,000 litres) per person after each soak will create and oxidizer boost that will breakdown particles left in the water helping maintain water longer.  Shocking is still required, but by using this process, water balance stays level so you can shock on an as needed basis.

Video Links

Spa Marvel Videos

For consumers:  Click here 2:14

For potential retailers: Click here3:35

Training video for dealers and staff once they have become a dealer: Click here 5:37

Dealer testimonial video: Click here 3:44

Niagara Falls 2022 Dealer Testimonials Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZtv_JAexPo

 

X10 Water Filter Videos

X10 Consumer Infomercial:  Click here  1:42

X10 Dealer Video for potential dealers:  Click here     1:20

 

Pool Marvel

Video for customers:  Click  here   1:09

Video for potential dealers:  Click here  2:35

Video for dealer training: Click here   2:23

Testimonial video:  Click here  2:12

 

Pump Marvel
Commercial: Click here  1:02

AquaSafe
Commercial: Click here  1:41

GrowRite
Commercial: Click here 1:10

Filter Cleaning
Educational video:  Click here

Foamy Water
Educational video: Click here

Cloudy Hot Tub Water
Educational video: Click here

Hot Tub Rash
Educational video:  Click here

How to Decontaminate a Hot Tub
Educational video:  Click here

MPS:
Allergy to a Hot Tub Water Treatment Chemical – PMC (nih.gov)
Doc treating sudden ‘rash’ hot tub, spa reactions – The Lantern

Alkalinity and pH Tash video:https://youtu.be/52otKzjW_AU

Changing Spa Water in the Winter: https://youtu.be/YNBm7m4a6S8

Water Change – How often should I change my water?

On average a good general rule would be to change your water out every three months.  When you use Spa Marvel this can sometimes be pushed to 4 or 6 months or if you use your spa very sparingly you can even 1 year however, it really does depend on overall usage.  If you use your tub everyday it would be a great practice to change it every 3 months, alternatively if you use your tub once a month you can go much longer without a water change.

We also find that at the 3-month mark your TDS Total Dissolved Solids (the “stuff” that has been dissolved in to the water) can reach its saturation point, around 3000ppm you water will not dissolve any more chemicals, at this point a water change is necessary as well.  As an example, if you have a glass of water and you add multiple tablespoons of sugar you will reach a point where no more sugar dissolves in the water and it just starts to collect at the bottom of the glass.  That is what happens to your hot tub when your TDS is too high and a water change is your only solution.

Website Listing Rules for Spa Marvel Company sites

We are not able to list your online store on our “Online North American” tab for several reasons:

  • We encourage people to patronize their local professional spa retailer to purchase Spa Marvel, and not buy Spa Marvel online. As such, we only have one listing on our online section which is for SpaSuppliesDepot.com, a site that we own and control, and as a deterrent to having people buy from us, the prices are more than MSRP.
  • If we did have multiple stores listed in the online section, there would be issues with customs, exchange rates and shipping with people in Canada ordering from a USA store, and vice-versa.
  • We have had hundreds of dealers ask to be listed on that section. So, if we did start to list online stores in the online section, there would be literally hundreds of them, and then we have to ask, how many is too many?  In what order are they listed?
  • If a customer ordered through a listed online retailer and there was an issue with the shipment (lost, damaged, incorrect, etc.), the customer will reach out to us to rectify the issue since we are the primary website, and we will not know who they actually ordered from.
White Mould with Restart Instructions

Thank you for your business and for your call today.

Flakes that are in your spa resembling pieces of skin or may be akin to pieces of tissue paper in the water are indicative of white mould in your plumbing.

White mould is an airborne spore and develops in areas left damp such as garden hoses, dehumidifiers, sump holes, children’s bathtub toys, hot tub filters that are left outside and reinstalled while not completely dry, swimming pools and hot tubs.

White mould can be introduced to spa plumbing from wet testing at the time of manufacturing, or in the time between when it was drained at the showroom till the time it gets to your house.  It can occur if you drain your tub and don’t refill it for a few days. White mould can also be introduced to spa water when filled from a garden hose that has developed some white mould while lying out in the sun and sometimes it just drifts into your spa water while the lid is open.

White mould can even remain in your tub and be kept at bay for months and years by conventional sanitizers such as bromine and chlorine. If you go an extended period of time without adding sanitizer (chlorine/bromine), the white mould can proliferate to a point that it becomes apparent (often 6-8 weeks).  Left unattended white mould can overwhelm your spa.

To kill white mould, you need to decontaminate the spa by super-chlorinating the water with granular chlorine (you can substitute granular bromine for chlorine).

To do so, add AT LEAST 2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75 grams) of chlorine for every 100 gallons (400 litres) of spa water or part thereof (adding more is fine and never a bad idea).  For this treatment to be effective it is imperative that the chlorinated water is distributed throughout the entire plumbing system. Ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and are subjected to the chlorine. If your tub has a drain next to the pump or at the base of the cabinet to which you can attach a hose to facilitate draining, ensure that some of the chlorinated water is bled through the drain at the onset of this procedure.  This is very important to do because any built-in drains are a dead end in the plumbing and the chlorine will not naturally make its way down to that part of the plumbing, but the white mould will.

Check the chlorine reading after 24, 48 and 72 hours.  If at any of these intervals the chlorine is anything less than ridiculously high (if it shows less than the maximum on your test strips) treat the tub again with chlorine and start the clock over on the 72hour time period.

Do not use the spa during the decontamination process.

It is important to note that the chlorine will kill the white mould so that it doesn’t continue to grow, but it will not make the flakes vanish.

After 72 continuous hours of successful chlorination:

  • Remove your filter and clean it.
  • Add the bottle of Spa Marvel Cleanser (small green bottle) to the tub and run the jets on high-speed for 1 hour. If you have already used Spa Marvel in your spa, one hour will suffice for what we are doing. If you have not previously used Spa Marvel, then leave the Cleanser in for another 23 hours on the regular filtration cycles.
  • Drain the spa.
  • Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per manufacturer’s directions. When a tub is drained there are still several gallons of water that are in the plumbing, and this water can contain leftover flakes of white mould.  When you fill the spa, turn all of the jets on and if you see a lot of the flakes come out of the plumbing, drain and fill the spa again. If there are only a few flakes your filter will pick them up or they can be manually removed.
  • Once the water heats up, add the bottle of Spa Marvel.
  • If your filtration settings are scheduled ensure that you are filtering a minimum of 6 hours a day. If your spa utilizes a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) please ensure that it is filtering 24/7.  If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult you dealer.
  • Add chlorine at the ratio of 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).
  • Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150 if necessary.
  • After the alkalinity is balanced, then ensure that the pH is between 7.2 and 8.2, adjust if necessary.
  • Use a sanitizer such as chlorine/bromine in your spa water as required.

It is important that you let me know if you have any difficulty during or after the water change, I will help as best I can.  If you have ANY questions, please contact me.

White Mould – Step-by-step with restart instructions (detailed explanation)

White mould is an airborne spore and develops in areas left damp such as garden hoses, dehumidifiers, sump holes, children’s bathtub toys, hot tub filters that are left outside and reinstalled while not completely dry, swimming pools and hot tubs.  It can occur if you drain your tub and don’t refill it for a few days. White mould can also be introduced to spa water when filled from a garden hose that has developed some white mould while lying out in the sun and sometimes it just drifts into your spa water while the lid is open.

White mould can even remain in your tub and be kept at bay for months and years by conventional sanitizers such as bromine and chlorine. If you go an extended period of time without adding sanitizer (chlorine/bromine), the white mould can proliferate to a point that it becomes apparent (often 6-8 weeks).  Left unattended white mould can overwhelm your spa.

THE GOOD NEWS is that a 72-hour Decontamination of your hot tub is the solution to your white mould!
To kill white mould, you need to decontaminate the spa by super-chlorinating the water with granular chlorine or bromine.  DO NOT USE non-chlorine, MPS or enhanced shock, as they are not the proper product for this process and will not achieve required levels to decontaminate your hot tub.

Step 1:  Add AT LEAST 2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75 grams) of granules for every 100 gallons (400 litres) of spa water.

  • For this treatment to be effective it is imperative that the chlorinated water is distributed throughout the entire plumbing system.
  • Ensure that diverter valves are midway and that all jets, valves, waterfalls, water features, and aerators are open and are subjected to the chlorine.
  • If your tub has a drain next to the pump or at the base of the cabinet to which you can attach a hose to facilitate draining, ensure that some of the chlorinated water is bled through the drain at the onset of this procedure.  This is very important to do because any built-in drains are a dead end in the plumbing and the chlorine will not naturally make its way down to that part of the plumbing, but the white mould will.

 

Step 2:  Check the chlorine reading after 24, 48 and 72 hours.

  • If at any of these intervals the chlorine is anything less than ridiculously high (if it shows less than the maximum on your test strips) go back to step one start the clock over on the 72 hour time period.
  • Do not use the spa during the decontamination process.

 

Step 3:  After a successful 72 continuous hours of super-chlorination.

  • Remove your filter and properly clean it or evaluate if it needs to be replaced.
  • Add a plumbing cleanser to the tub and follow instructions on bottle as required to clear any build-up in your plumbing.
  • Drain the spa.
  • Install the clean or new filter and refill the tub as per manufacturer’s directions.
  • It is important to note that the chlorine will kill the white mould so that it doesn’t continue to grow, but it will not make the flakes vanish.  
    When a tub is drained there are still several gallons/litres of water still in the plumbing and this water can contain dead flakes of white mould.  When you refill the spa and turn on all of the jets you may see a lot of the dead flakes come out of the plumbing in to your fresh refill.  Should there be a large amount of flakes the best way to clear them would be to drain and fill the spa again. Of course, if there are only a few flakes, your filter will pick them up or they can be manually removed with a skimmer

 

Step 4:  Refill Complete and Final Water Balance.

  • Once the water heats up, add the bottle of Spa Marvel (if applicable)
  • If your filtration settings are scheduled ensure that you are filtering a minimum of 6 hours a day.  If your spa utilizes a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) please ensure that it is filtering 24/7.  If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult you dealer.
  • Add chlorine at the ratio of 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).
  • Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150ppm, ideally 120-150ppm.
  • After the alkalinity is balanced, wait at least 24 hours and then ensure that the pH is between 7.2 and 7.8, adjust if necessary.  If you choose to use Spa Marvel your pH range is perfectly normal at a higher range (7.2-8.2) as Spa Marvel changes the tension of water and nothing untoward will happen.
  • Use a sanitizer such as chlorine/bromine in your spa water as required.
  • Shock as and when needed
White Water – High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are a measurement of the amount of ‘stuff’ that is dissolved in the water, things such as chlorine and other chemicals, and contaminants from bathers such as lotions, and detergents. 

When the spa is filled with fresh water, the TDS is low. When you turn the air on, the air bubbles can rise to the top of the water very quickly as there isn’t much dissolved in the water to slow the air bubbles down.

However, as time goes on and more ‘stuff’ is dissolved in the water, the TDS increases, which physically makes the water thicker.  Now when the air is turned on in this thicker water, the air bubbles get trapped in the thicker water and don’t rise to the surface as quickly as they did when the TDS was lower.  The accumulation of air bubbles in the water is what causes the milky-looking water you are seeing that will clear a few minutes after the air is turned off, as the bubbles slowly make their way to the surface.

This milky water is a sign that you are getting closer to a water change, and the only way to stop the milky water is to change the water.

~ ALT ~

The white water doesn’t mean that you have to change the water, but it is a sign that you’re getting closer to a water change.  As products like alkalinity adjusters and chlorine are added to the water, it increases the saturation of the water, as measured by total dissolved solids (TDS).  Once TDS is as 3000 ppm, the water cannot absorb anything else, and you have to change it.

With Spa Marvel you use fewer chemicals than you otherwise would, so the TDS doesn’t increase as quickly as it does without Spa Marvel.

The TDS is the sum of what was dissolved in the water when it came out of the tap plus whatever has been added to the water that has dissolved in it. All other things being equal, someone whose TDS out of the tap is 200 ppm will take a lot longer to reach saturation than someone whose TDS was 1500 out of the tap (some well water can be very high in TDS). We have a lot of customers who go 6 months between water changes, and a lot that go one year, but it does depend on how much you add to the water.

Because Spa Marvel will allow you to use fewer chemicals, you can usually extend water life beyond the typical 3 month mark. We do have many users that go a year without changing water, however there are other factors that come into play in determining how long you can go before needing to change the water.  Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are a measurement of the amount of ‘stuff’ that is dissolved in the water, things such as chlorine and other chemicals, and contaminants from bathers such as lotions, and detergents. As time goes on, TDS increases and once TDS is as 3000 ppm, the water cannot absorb anything else, and you have to change it.

However, the TDS is the sum of what was dissolved in the water when it came out of the tap plus whatever has been added to the water that has dissolved in it. All other things being equal, someone whose TDS out of the tap is 200 ppm will take a lot longer to reach saturation than someone whose TDS was 2500 out of the tap (some well water can be very high in TDS). We have a lot of customers who go 12 months between water changes, but how long you can actually go does depend on how much you add to the water and what the TDS at the initial water fill is.

Social Media Responses

Welcome New Spa/Hot Tub Owner

Congratulations on your new hot tub.  Please find attached a few great resources that will help you with your maintenance and water balance regardless of what chemicals you are using.
https://spamarvel.com/hot-tub-handbookhttps://spamarvel.com/pro-tips

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water can be caused by a variety of things.  Here’s a quick video that will explain what could be happening and how to fix it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdVZN0VhvYg

Foam in Water

Foam in water can be caused by a variety of things.  Here’s a quick video that will explain what could be happening and how to fix it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB5OFxzXxOQ

Clean Filters

A properly cleaned filter with a minimum of 6 hours filtration cycle will help ensure your spa has the best chance at clearing your water & staying healthy to use. Here’s a quick video that will help you learn tips & tricks to maintaining your filter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfOEbsnHYg&t=15s

Rashes

There are a few things that could be happening that can cause rashes. Check out a quick video explaining the common causes of rashes and a general way to fix things https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-QpS9FtC9U

Sometimes rashes can be cause by a whole series of issues that you may not have even considered. Simple things that might have gone unlooked like: low alkalinity, low pH, high combined chlorine & total chlorine when free chlorine below 5ppm, developing allergies to MPS, bacterial or viruses trapped in plumbing including mould, algae and fungus or even sanitizer sensitives, that require fine tuned adjustments to finally understand what you need to keep skin happy and your hot tub operating safely.

 
You can also speak directly to a FREE Watercare Specialist at Ask a Pro. They go out of their way to identify variables that could be causing your issue, develop a plan to help solve the issue, offer suggestions on the best way reach your end goal, and provide personal support to make sure issues are resolved.
 
https://SpaMarvel.com/hottubpro
Decontamination

You will want to run a full 72 hour decontamination in the old water, then a purge, dump, install new or properly cleansed filter and refill. Without proper and consistent sanitizer, you could be hosting various bacteria, virus, mould, algae or even fungus in your hot tub.

A proper sanitization/sterilization is where you should start. https://youtu.be/HvU4lcpjgBQ.

Decontamination – for Reddit
In order to ensure your spa is properly sanitization/sterilization I would highly recommend you perform a 72 Hour Decontamination process. You may also need to deep clean or replace your filters depending on their age, in order to ensure you have sterilized all possibilities of living organisms in your spa such as bacteria, mould, algae or fungus.
Here are a few links that will hopefully help explain what needs to be done:
– Need personalized assistance in developing a routine or solution plan for your hot tub; This link access and connect for FREE with a Watercare Specialist, courtesy of The Spa Marvel Company Inc. They are committed to helping everyone enjoy their spa, whether or not you use their products. Their specialists will guide you in understanding how to balance water, address any challenges that may arise, or simply answer questions for new tub owners who need a little support while figuring out what works best for them with their new spa. https://SpaMarvel.com/hottubpro
Reddit – Easy Start-up Instructions

In case you ever need a quick reference guide to how best to get your hot tub up and running – here’s a link that is really useful.  https://www.reddit.com/r/SpaMarvel/comments/14re2gs/simple_hot_tub_or_spa_startup_instructions/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Simple Step-by-step restart instructions

These are general start-up instructions intended to help anyone have a guide to their spa maintenance. As always please refer to your manufacturer’s instructions in order to keep your warranty valid.

You are not required to purge each and every time your refill the spa, but it is a good rule to consider a purge every 6 months, especially in spas that are heavily used in order to keep the plumbing clean and clear build-up.

Step 1 – Purge

  • Remove your filter and deep clean it as required.  Filters should be white and scent free.

  • Add the bottle of plumbing purge cleaner (something like a non-foaming Spa Marvel) to the tub and follow instructions.

    • Most purges require you to run the jets on high-speed for 1 hour followed by:

    • If using Spa Marvel Cleanser (green bottle) – leave cleanser in water for a minimum of 23 hours on the regular filtration cycles if this is your VERY FIRST plumbing purge with Spa Marvel Cleanser.  This should also be a pre-step before you switch to using Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner in your spa routine. Leave cleanser soaking for 1 hour if you currently use Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner or if your spa is less than 3 months old.

    • If you are using another kind of plumbing purge, please follow the instructions accordingly. Some purges will not clear the scale and calcium build up from plumbing AND “foaming” purges have a tendency to still foam once you refill the spa with fresh water, as up to 5-20 gallons of foamy water can get stuck in the plumbing, even after draining.   

      • SOLUTION: Foam will usually sort itself out in 3-4 days so long as you keep water circulating and avoid turning on the jets. Should the foam be excessive you will want to shock the water before giving it a few days to settle.

  • Drain the spa.  It is perfectly safe to drain on to your grass or patio, however in order to play it safe, you will want to avoid draining into flower gardens, new growth patches or food gardens.

Step 2 – The Refill

  • Install the clean filter and refill the tub as per the spa manufacturer’s directions.  By using a pre-filter like the X10, will ensure you are starting off with the best water possible, which makes for less headaches in future.

  • Once the water heats up, add any boost system you may have (like Spa Marvel or minerals), and run the jets for 15 mins to make sure that the solution is diluted properly throughout your water.

  • Ensure your filtration/circulation settings are scheduled ensure that you are filtering a minimum of 6 hours a day.

    • Should your spa utilize a hush pump (often referred to as a ‘circ’ pump) please ensure that it is operating 24/7.

    • If you are unsure of your tub’s system, check your manual or consult your dealer.

Step 3 – The Balance

  • SANITIZER Add base dose of sanitizer (chlorine/bromine granules)

    • DOSE: 20 grams per 1,000 litres of water (4 teaspoons per 250 gallons).

    • After base dose, add any slow-release sanitizer system or support you want. (auto dispensers)

  • TEST Get the base levels of your water:

    • You can use test-strips, drop kit or by taking water into your local pool & spa store.

  • ALKALINITY Balance the alkalinity to between 80-150ppm (120-150ppm is ideal). Calculate by aiming to 120ppm.

    • Add increaser or decreaser as needed, run jets for 15-20 mins and let it sit for 2 hours before testing again.

    • DOSE: Add 1 level tablespoon (15g) of alkalinity increaser or decreaser  for every 250 Gallons (1,000 litres) of water your hot tub holds to raise or lower alkalinity 10ppm.

  • pH Once alkalinity is in range, you may need to wait up to 24 hours to ensure that you are getting a proper pH level reading.  pH should be between 7.2 and 8.2 when using Spa Marvel.  Spa Marvel changes the tension of water and therefore we tend to run a higher range for pH than what is typical in traditional water care (7.2-7.8).

    • Do not worry nothing untoward will happen if pH is higher than normal AND you are using Spa Marvel.

    • Should pH be 8.4 or higher and starts to cause any issues in water quality or bather comfort, you can adjust as necessary with pH down.  You will need to follow the instructions on your pH- product as they are all different.

    • A general recommendation is to start lowering the ALKALINITY 10ppm at a time until pH comes into preferred range.

  • SANITIZER Maintain adequate sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) in your spa water as required by health regulatory agency.

    • Some will add 1/2-1 teaspoon (2.5g – 5g) of sanitizer granules per person after each soak.  This helps ensure there is a boost in sanitizer to help clear any particles left in the water.

  • SHOCK – “Shocking” is a term used to describe the addition of a large dose of an oxidizing agent to the water. The oxidizing agent will break down contaminants that are too small to be filtered out of the water that can cause hazy water and odours, including chlorine that has already been used up (it is the used-up chlorine that causes the chlorine-smell).  Oxidizing agents include bromine, chlorine and non-chlorine spa shock.  Many people use spa shock to shock, some people use chlorine or bromine granules to shock.

    • Chlorine & bromine are both a shock (aka oxidizer) AND an active sanitizer. Non-chlorine shock (aka SpaShock or MPS – MonoPeroxySulfate) is only an oxidizer, while enhanced shock is a combination of non-chlorine & sanitizer (chlorine/bromine).

    • Some shock once a week, others will shock on an as needed basis.

    • PLEASE NOTE: Total usage of sanitizer required to maintain sanitary health, is based on overall usage of your spa (ei: do people shower before going in the hot tub, did you have a heavy bather load {4+ people}, are all levels balanced, etc.)

    • A general guideline for shocking your water would be to shock if:

      • Combined Chlorine is 0.5ppm or higher.

      • Water Clarity: if it is hazy, cloudy or has a tinge of colour out of the ordinary

      • Water Odour or Bather Overload; if you have had a heavy bather load (4+ people) or if your water has any odour to it such as a chemical smell, aquatic, musty or fishy it requires a super shock AND a complete filter maintenance to maximize cleaning capacity and spa sanitization.

    • A regular shock with sanitizer (chlorine/bromine) is to add 4 tsp (20g) of sanitizer for every 250 gallons (1000 litres) or when water is cloudy, or you have had a heavy bather load (4+ people) you can super-shock by adding 2 tablespoons (30g) of sanitizer for every 250 gallons (1000 litres) to ensure everything is broken down adequately.

    • If using non-chlorine or enhanced shock product, follow the directions for proper dose to achieve proper oxidation and proper clearing of the water. You want to make sure you are using enough product to keep water clean and clear.

Step 4 – Routine Testing

  • GENERAL LEVELS: Check on levels daily until you learn the flow of your water.  Once you understand the cycle of your water you can then test less frequently, depending on use.

    • Sanitizer (Chlorine/Bromine) 3-5ppm

      • 4 teaspoons (20g) for every 250 gallons (1,000 litres)

    • Alkalinity 80-150ppm, ideally 120-150ppm but calculate to 120ppm

      • 1 tablespoon (15g) per 250 gallons (1,000 litres) to move up or down 10ppm

    • pH  7.2-8.2 (when using Spa Marvel or 7.2-7.8 with traditional watercare)

      • When using Spa Marvel, do not adjust pH unless it is above 8.4 AND is causing unexpected issues (cloudy water, grit, etc.)

    • Hardness  175-250ppm

      • 1 tablespoon (15g) per 250 gallons (1,000 litres) to move up or down 10ppm

      • When water is below 175ppm water, it is considered “soft water” and can start to feel sticky or slimy to bathers.

      • Soft water can also increase foam development when water is soft, and detergent is introduced into the spa.

    • Stabilizer/CYA  <100ppm

      • When levels are over 100ppm, it is required to calculate what the adjust alkalinity ppm actually is in order to maintain proper water balance.

      • CYA/Adjusted Alkalinity formula:
        Total Alkalinity ppm – (CYA ppm divided by 3) = adjusted alkalinity ppm
        As an example: 
        Total Alkalinity 80ppm CYA 100ppm (33.3ppm)Adjusted Alkalinity 46.6ppm.

      • When adjusted alkalinity is below 80 ppm, the chlorine or bromine don’t work very efficiently, your water can get foamy and your skin will itch and, in some cases, it will cause rashes. Maintain adjusted alkalinity between 80-150ppm (ideally 120-150ppm)

Step 5 – Enjoy!

Link to Professional Watercare Specialist

👩‍🔬 If you want someone to help you develop targeted routine or solution plan for your hot tub struggled that is specifically designed for your unique needs follow this link access and connect for FREE with a Watercare Specialist, courtesy of The Spa Marvel Company Inc. Spa Marvel is committed to helping everyone enjoy their spa, whether or not their products are used.

https://SpaMarvel.com/hottubpro

Extended Information

Bromine & sensitive skin

Bromine granules (powder) and tablets are formulated with a combination of bromine and chlorine. In Canada, Sodium Bromide has been limited and, in some case, banned from use specific situations. (Health Canada Re-evaluation Decision on Sodium Bromide and it’s uses)

SpaGuard Bromine Concentrated Granules ingredient break down on the bottle are 52.7% sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione (chlorine) & 14.7% sodium bromide. This is what is available as “Bromine” and is the same across the board through various manufacturers.

Having said that, bromine does contain less chlorine that just chlorine granules and has been known to offer persons with chlorine sensitivities a viable option while working better in warm/hot environments. One other thing that you may want to consider if you are sensitive to sanitization chemicals, would be to introduce system that will help you manage how much sanitizer you need to ensure your hot tub or spa is safe to use.

Systems like Spa Marvel (a natural enzyme product) will support your sanitizer by breaking down non-living organics (oils, lotions, etc) in to smaller particles thereby greatly reducing the strain placed on your sanitizer and allowing it to maximize its potency for the living organisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, mould, & fungus.

Other systems like minerals, ozones and UV act as sanitizers as well (although not as aggressive as chemical chlorine or bromine), and will also take the load off your chemical sanitizer, which will allow you to use less and still be protected while using your hot tub.

How do enzymes work?

Enzyme are proteins that act as catalysts by accelerating chemical reactions. When enzymes find their designated substrate, they lock on and transform them, and then continue to the next substrate molecule.  As such when enzymes are used in water care they support your sanitizer by breaking down non-living organics (oils, lotions, etc) in to smaller molecules thereby, greatly reducing the strain placed on your sanitizer and allowing it to maximize its potency for the living organisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, mould, & fungus.

High Phosphates in my Hot Tub Water

Phosphates are a type of nutrient that plants and animals need to grow. They’re like the “food” for plants and algae. You can find them in many things around you, like food, cleaning products, and even in your body!

Now, imagine the hot tub is like a mini ocean. Just like in the ocean, there are tiny plants called algae that would love to grow in your hot tub. The phosphates in the water are like a buffet for these algae. If there are a lot of phosphates, the algae can grow really fast and make your hot tub water look green and slimy – yuck!

But here’s the tricky part. Phosphates can sneak into your hot tub in many ways. They can come from the tap water you use to fill the tub, rainwater, leaves that fall into the tub, and even from the soap residue on your swimsuit.

So, if you want to keep your hot tub clean and clear, you need to keep an eye on the phosphate levels. If they get too high, you might need to use special products to bring them down. This way, you can keep the algae away and enjoy a nice, relaxing soak in your hot tub. 

Algae love phosphates; however, it usually needs an abundance of sunlight to start growing, which is why in pools it ends up being more of issue.

With hot tubs, since they have less exposure to sunlight.  Keeping an eye on your levels is paramount to stay on top of anything that could start to slide out of balance. Phosphates can have a direct impact on sanitizer demand and can reduce its efficacy. There are products that lower phosphates, but they tend to be used more in pools.

Phosphates can enter your hot tub water from various sources. Here are some common causes of high phosphate levels:

  1. Source Water: Phosphates can enter your hot tub from your source water on initial fillIf you’re topping up your hot tub with water from your garden hose, this could also introduce phosphates.

  2. Rain and Natural Elements: Rainwater and natural elements like leaves can introduce phosphates into your hot tub.

  3. Body Oils and Cosmetics: Body oils, cosmetics, suntan creams, and even certain stain and scale inhibitors can raise phosphate levels3Residual laundry soap on the fabric of the swimsuit or T-shirt that you wear into the spa can also be a source of phosphates.

  4. Cleaning Products: Some cleaning products used to maintain the hot tub can contain phosphates.

  5. Hot Tub Chemicals: Some hot tub chemicals can also introduce phosphates into your water.

Remember, while phosphates themselves are not harmful, high levels can make your sanitizer ineffective and allow bacteria and algae to grow. Therefore, it’s important to regularly test your hot tub water and take steps to manage phosphate levels if they’re high. 

 

SPA UP - Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash) vs Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
  1. Sodium Carbonate (aka soda ash): Soda ash increases both alkalinity and pH and works to keeps hot tub water balanced. It makes the water more basic (the opposite of acidic) which helps maintain and protect the hot tub and makes it more comfortable for bathers to use. It has a stronger reaction and will increase levels faster than sodium bicarbonate.
  2. Sodium Bicarbonate (aka baking soda): Sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) will also increase alkalinity and pH levels in a much gentler and slower way.  It is a commonly used household product and is the safest of all the spa increasers and is found naturally in the human body.

Professional Pool & Spa Products have a combination of both sodium bicarbonate & sodium carbonate which is how they manage to work better than just sodium bicarbonate alone. This is why professional formulated products work more effectively.  Although to be absolutely fair, with patience and proper dosage, you will be able to also raise your alkalinity & pH levels using only sodium bicarbonate although it may require a little finessing to ensure you get it levels to where they need to be.

Lowering Calcium Hardness

Lowering the calcium hardness in your hot tub involves a few steps:

  1. Dilution: The quickest and easiest way to lower the calcium hardness level is to partially drain your hot tub and refill it with fresh, low-calcium water. This method is especially effective if your source water has low calcium hardness.
  2. Use of Chemicals: If dilution is not enough, you can use chemicals to lower the calcium hardness. For example, you can use trisodium phosphate. Measure out 1 1/2 oz. of trisodium phosphate for every 1,000 gallons of water in the hot tub to lower the calcium hardness by 11 ppm.
  3. Use of a Scale Control Product: If your calcium level is excessively high, you can use a scale control product in combination with partial water replacement. This product helps to control the formation of scale caused by high calcium levels2.

Remember, it’s important to test your hot tub water regularly to ensure the calcium hardness stays within the recommended range of 150-250 ppm. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, it might be a good idea to consult with a hot tub maintenance professional.

 

Sequestering Agents vs Flocculants

Imagine you’re making a cup of hot chocolate with powdered cocoa. When you first add the powder to the water, it doesn’t mix well and floats around in clumps. But if you stir the water, the powder breaks up and dissolves into the water, making a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

A flocculant works in a similar way, but in reverse. In a hot tub, tiny particles like dirt, oils, or minerals are floating around in the water, much like the cocoa powder before you stir it. These particles are so small and light that they can stay suspended in the water for a long time.

This is where a flocculant comes in. It’s a chemical that you add to the water. The flocculant has a special property: it can make these tiny particles stick together, or “coagulate”. When enough of these particles stick together, they form a larger clump, or “floc”. This floc is heavier than the individual particles, so it sinks to the bottom of the hot tub.

Now, instead of having lots of tiny particles floating around, you have a few larger clumps sitting at the bottom. These are much easier to remove, either by vacuuming the bottom of the hot tub or by catching them in the filter.

So, in short, a flocculant is like a magnet that pulls tiny particles together into larger clumps, making it easier to clean your hot tub. 

Flocculants: Flocculants are chemicals that promote the aggregation of fine particles suspended in waterThey work by neutralizing the charge on these particles, causing them to clump together into larger aggregates known as “flocs”These flocs are heavier than the individual particles and can either float to the surface or sink to the bottom of the water, where they can be easily removed.

Sequestering Agents: Sequestering agents, on the other hand, are organic compounds that can bind with metal ions in waterThey work by forming complex ring-like structures known as chelates with these ionsThis process effectively “hides” the metal ions and prevents them from reacting with other substances in the waterSequestering agents are often used to reduce water hardness by binding with calcium, magnesium, and other heavy metal ions.

In summary, while flocculants work by causing particles to clump together so they can be removed, sequestering agents work by binding with metal ions to prevent them from reacting with other substances. Both are important tools in water treatment, but they perform very different roles.

ISSUE: pH rising when chlorine added

Contrary to what you might expect, chlorine itself shouldn’t directly cause the pH of your hot tub water to rise. In fact, some chlorine shock treatments can actually have a slightly acidic effect.

However, there are a couple of indirect ways adding chlorine can be associated with a pH increase:

  1. Impact on Total Alkalinity (TA): Certain chlorine compounds, like trichlor tablets, can increase the Total Alkalinity (TA) of the water. TA acts as a buffer, resisting changes in pH. So, while chlorine itself might not raise pH, if it increases TA, it can make it harder for you to lower pH if it’s already high.

  2. Off-gasing of Carbon Dioxide: When you use jets or agitation in your hot tub, it can release carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s naturally present in the water. This CO2 can slightly raise the pH. Adding chlorine, which requires some aeration or circulation, can incidentally cause more CO2 to off-gas and contribute to a perceived rise in pH.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Test Regularly: It’s important to test both your pH and TA levels regularly in your hot tub. This will help you identify any trends and take corrective actions.
  • Consider Chlorine Type: If you’re struggling with high pH, you might want to consider using a different type of chlorine to have less impact on TA.
  • Address TA if Needed: If your TA is consistently high, you may need to take steps to lower it. There are special products available for this purpose.
Calculating Sanitizer Concentration (ppm) in Spa

Trichlor tablets typically contain around 90% available chlorine by weight.
This means 30g of tablets translates to:

  • Available Chlorine = Total Weight x  % Available Chlorine
  • Available Chlorine = 30 g x  90%
  • Available Chlorine = 27 grams

CONCENTRATION CALCULATION:
We want to find the concentration of chlorine in parts per million (ppm).
To do this, we can follow these steps:

Convert grams of chlorine to milligrams:

  • Milligrams = Grams x 1000
  • Milligrams = 27 g x 1000
  • Milligrams = 27,000 mg

Convert spa volume to liters:

  • 1 gallon = 3.785 liters
  • Spa Volume (liters) = 222 gallons x 3.785 liters/gallon
  • Spa Volume (liters) = 840.3 liters

Calculate chlorine concentration in ppm:

  • Concentration (ppm) = (Milligrams of Chlorine) / (Spa Volume in Liters)
  • Concentration (ppm) = 27,000 mg / 840.3 liters
  • Concentration (ppm) = 32.1 ppm (rounded to one decimal place)

Images and Extended Information

Spa Marvel Cleanser is a non-foaming product.  When a purge produces foam such as this it can be attributed to the foam products that have been trapped in the waste that has collected in the plumbing.  A brand new spa potentially has manufacturing debris such as solvents or adhesives that were used in the construction of your spa, still remaining within the plumbing.  This can cause issues, but with a brand new spa we suggest you fill and enjoy but be aware that you may need to drain sooner than 3 months depending on what has been left behind.

First plumbing purge cleaning with Spa Marvel Cleanser

 

Scale vs Limescale

Scale and lime are essentially the same thing when referring to build-up from hard water. Both terms are used interchangeably to describe the white, chalky deposit that forms in areas where hard water dries, like kettles, pipes, faucets, and showerheads.

The technical term for this deposit is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). When hard water evaporates, the calcium and carbonate ions combine to form this solid substance.

Here’s a breakdown of why the terms are used interchangeably:

  • Limescale: This term directly references the lime in hard water, which is calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2). When lime reacts with carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air, it forms calcium carbonate, the main component of scale.
  • Scale: This term is more generic and simply describes the accumulation of any mineral deposit, not specific to calcium carbonate. However, in the context of hard water, it’s overwhelmingly used for calcium carbonate build-up.

So, whether you call it scale or limescale, you’re referring to the same annoying build-up caused by hard water!