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Algae-Mold Spa Problems

Proper sanitation helps assure better water quality.
 
The Pool and Spa Informational Website
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Sanitizing Solutions, Alternatives and Suggestions.
 

 
 

Scroll down to browse through some archived SPA and Hot Tub questions and answers.  Please click the Spa Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Spa and Hot Tub Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Spa and Hot Tub Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Spa and Hot Tub Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for Spas and Hot Tubs, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

 
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Model SV battery-powered Spa Vacuum. Proper sanitation and water analysis are the keys to keep spa and hot tub water, free or algae, mold and microorganisms.  You will find a variety of sanitizing options and products to help make water quality and clarity.  Proper, reliable water testing is one of the keys to success. METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese.

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How to control algae, mold and more, in a spa, swim spa or hot tub? Microorganisms of all types can grow in a poorly treated spa. Sanitizing is the only thing that keeps spa water clean, healthy, enjoyable and from becoming old bath water. Microorganisms including algae, bacteria, slimes and mold can present themselves in various ways: cloudy water, slimy growths or slippery underwater surfaces. The warm temperature of the spa or hot tub can accelerate the growth of microorganisms. Today, there are many more choices of spa water sanitizers: chlorine, bromine, biguanide, ozone ultraviolet, mineral purifiers and ionization. Using a combination of two - one as the primary and another as a backup - produces consistently good results and sparkling clear spa water. Proper spa water treatment has never been easier or more convenient.  Water testing the sanitizer level has never been easier: there are models of the ColorQ digital water analyzers for most every need. Eliminates all the color matching and guesswork. If problems arise, refer to the Spa Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

Orange Goo?

Hi, I noticed today that on the inside of the cover in various places of the middle section there is some orange goo! What is this and how do I deal with it? Is it harmful?

Steve, 3/17/2013
Nano-Spray Spa Cover Protectant

It is probably a bacteria, that has found a home in a wet and dark place. It is probably, not harmful, but you should get rid of it.  Try cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol and follow with cleaning using a disinfectant kitchen counter spray.  It probably will have to be done periodically, as the spa sanitizer remains in the water and does not reach inside the folds of the cover.  You might consider using Nano-Spray Spa Cover Protectant.  It is a Nano-Technology product and is a 21st Century way to help prolong the life of your spa cover.  I hope that this information will be helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 3/17/2013
 

Failed Again???

I have a spa that is 8 months old. It was a floor model at the store where we bought it and we believe they were using bromine as the sanitizer. The first set of problems occurred only a couple of months into ownership. We started having scaling issues. The usual treatment of Defender after draining, scrubbing and refilling the spa seemed to resolve this issue. I did notice something a little odd when I would remove the filters to hose them off, though. Little wisps that looked like broken down tissue paper under the filters. I tried devising my own filter net out of a cloth diaper and plastic coated wire since it’s a tight area where very little can fit. The pieces were very small and looked like they would go through a standard pool filter. We refilled the tub, added the same sanitizer as the first time, an all natural enzyme treatment that we use in conjunction with chlorine as the shock. A little over a month, the problem was back with a vengeance. It looked like a person with a severe, peeling sunburn had used our hot tub. Really gross! We were told there was little choice but to drain it, scrub, and refill. Before draining, we super shocked for about 10 days. To try and prevent another recurrence, we added chlorine to the tap end of the hose, let it sit for 10 min, then refilled after cleaning out the tub yet again. Since we didn’t know the exact age of the filters, I decided to get a new set (it uses two 14” long filters) that were supposedly antimicrobial. I religiously add chlorine shock weekly, whether we’ve been able to use the tub or not. It doesn’t see a lot of use, probably 1 or 2 times/week. I even try to leave it open to the sunlight, if weather permits. Since its winter, those opportunities are not many. Here we are, less than one month later and…IT'S BAAACK! Not only is this labor intensive, its getting expensive. The all natural enzyme treatment is costly at $35/fill up. Mother Nature isn’t giving us many opportunities to drain and scrub without freeze worries either. We chose this enzyme treatment since I have very sensitive skin and wanted to avoid bromine, which seems to produce the strongest skin, eye and nose irritation from other pools we’ve visited. Note: We are on a well, but use a hose pre-filter and the LaMotte test strips we’ve been using don’t show anything out of balance. Help, Help, Help! What now?

Amy, Monument, Colorado, 2/14/2014


A mold problem is usually indicative of the development of a resistant microorganism and/or inadequate sanitation. It can show up as slimy deposits or even look like floating tissue paper.   A spa requires a sanitizer and oxidation, to prevent it from looking like
old bath water. All sanitizers must have an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Registration number, in order to be considered a sanitizer. This is Federal law and every state has its own, as well. No number = not a sanitizer! It is certainly not behaving like it is a sanitizer. It addition to sanitizing, there must be oxidation, to eliminate organic wastes and byproducts.  The addition of an ozonator and a Mineral Sanitizer is something that you might consider, as it will make maintenance easier and produce higher quality water, with more consistent results. It will reduce the chemical consumption. All you should need is a very low level of bromine, as it will act as confirmation that proper conditions are being maintained. Water testing is not an assurance of proper sanitizing. This multi-pronged approach works very well and minimizes the chemical sensation, while providing layers of protection. I suggest that you add a gallon or two of laundry bleach and recirculate for an hour. If there is still chlorine present, you can drain and clean Start with a clean slate and use a recognized spa sanitizer. I hope that I have been helpful.

 Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/14/2014


Black Growth?

Alan, I have a hot tub and I use a product that doesn't contain chlorine or bromine, instead of chemicals.  I am getting a black growth that neither the tub dealer nor the treatment manufacturer can identify.  I have treated, drained & cleaned the tub twice, and the problem returns.  I have not treated with a chlorine type shock yet. On advice from the tub dealer, just the treatment's brand of shock.  Have you ever heard of a black type of growth?  Do you know of a lab where I can get it tested to identify it? Should I use a chlorine (or other chemical) based shock to completely get rid of the growth (how much and how long)? Thanks.

Phil J., West Virginia, 4/22/2011


I am not sure what this product is, but it doesn't seem to be working for you. I suspect that it is some type of natural enzyme product. Does it have an EPA Registration? If it doesn't, as I suspect, it is not recognized as a spa water sanitizer. You didn'tPlug-n-Play Spa Salt Chlorine Generators. provide much information as to whether or not the spa has an ozonator or mineral sanitizer? The product that you are using may provide acceptable results to a point. Eventually, a microorganism will start growing that is resistant to this product's action. Yes, I would try using chlorine to destroy the growth. Add enough chlorine to boost the Free Chlorine level to 5-10 PPM and keep it there until the growth is completely gone. Afterwards, you can return to normal maintenance. However, if this growth is truly resistant to the product you are using, the problem will return with near certainty. I suggest that you use a more conventional spa sanitizing system. Browse through the "Ask Alan" archives for more information on other sanitizing choices, such as salt chlorine generators, for spas and hot tubs. There is a possibility that the problem is not a microorganism. It the chlorine fails to remove the problem, have the water tested for iron, copper, manganese and other heavy metals. I hope that I have been helpful. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/22/2011


Possible Spa Water Mold Problem?

My husband and I have a 2008 model spa. Right before we changed the water the last time (2 weeks ago) we noticed these little wisps floating in the water. They range from 1mm to 5mm in size, feel slimy when touched and are pinky-orange-brown in color. Also, they smell. They are most noticeable after the pumps have run and then shut off. It almost looks like someone dropped a piece of tissue paper in the water and it has dissolved into these little bits. We have cleaned the spa and flushed the lines twice (got lots of green algae out of the lines too), but this problem came roaring right back after the spa was running only two days. This stuff dirtied up a filter in less than 36 hours. Help! Sincerely.

Rachel A., 4/18/2009

What you are describing sounds like mold and bacterial growth. Your ozonator may not be operating properly or for long enough
UltraPure Water Quality Ozone Generators for Pools and Spas. periods of time. Ozone should be detectable by odor, upon removal of the cover and can be tested for using an Ozone Test Kit. You need to verify that the ozonator is working properly. Ozonators requires a backup sanitizer such as chlorine, bromine or a mineral sanitizer. Are you using a backup sanitizer? If not, I suggest that you consider using bromine. An operating ozonator will allow you to maintain a lower than normal level, by adding reduced amounts of bromine. Try and keep the level at 1-3 PPM. Make sure that the ozonator is operating for at least 4, 2-hour periods spaced throughout the day. To help jump-start things, add shock treatment to help destroy any mold or bacteria and help establish a bromine level. I hope this information will prove to be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/19/2009


White Mold?

I have been told that my hot tub has white mold in it. Is this a serious health problem to the tub users. Me and my family? I was offered a chemical for ridding the pipes. It's pretty expensive and somewhat drastic looking. Any recommendations? Thanks so much.

George, 6/13/2006


This type of mold problem is usually indicative of the development of a resistant microorganism and/or inadequate sanitation.
Some more information would have been helpful. If you are using biguanide, you should permanently switch to another sanitizer. If you are using chlorine, I suggest that you switch to bromine. Bromine seems to be the most effective treatment for this problem. You can add sodium bromide and non-chlorine shock (the 2-part bromine system) and boost the bromine level to 5-10 PPM. Keep it elevated until the problem is solved. After the mold is eliminated, you can continue bromine additions with either the 2-part system or bromine tablets. You could add a large dose of chlorine and really get the level up (20 PPM). This will clean out the pipes and the filter. Afterwards, drain and clean the spa. Refill and start off fresh.  The addition of an ozonator is something that you might consider, as it will make maintenance easier and produce higher quality water, with more consistent results. It will reduce the chemical consumption. You might add a mineral sanitizer, as well. The combination of the two work well together. All you should need is a very low level of bromine, as it will act as confirmation that proper conditions are being maintained. I hope that I have been helpful. Enjoy the hot tub.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/13/2006

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Possibly A Mold Problem?

I believe I am suffering from a white mold infestation. Here's the background. I've had my spa for 6 months, as of 3 months ago I noticed what looked like white flakes floating in the water. I can best describe it as what it would look like, if you put paper in the water and broke it down into fibers. I originally thought it was organic in nature and raised the bromine level to kill it off. When it didn't happen, I drain it, scrubbed it and refilled. It took 2-3 days, but the flakes returned. After some research, I thought it might be a hardness problem. The local water is somewhat high. Today, I'm back at thinking the problem is organic in nature. From several sources, professional, friends and the web, I have been told that white mold is probably the culprit. The mold is fairly resistant to bromine and chlorine. Sunlight is an effective agent against it, but the mold, within the pipes, is protected. Making the problem go away appears to be very labor intensive and sort of hot or miss. My question is what can you tell me about this problem/situation? I sincerely appreciate all feedback. As for specific: I use bromine and there is a functioning ozonator. I drain and clean, in accordance, with manufacturer specs. We don’t use it that much now (3-4 times a month), but it has been used heavily in the past. It can go a month without use. After use, I typically shock. The amount increases, if my kids use it or we have friends over. I clean the filter every 3-4 weeks. The current filter is 8 months old. It has never been dry. Even if it is not used, I watch the chemicals to make sure they are in spec. Thanks. However, test strips showed total alkalinity to be within specs or at least abnormally high. Today, I'm back to thinking the problem is organic in nature.

Pete N., 5/1/2007


This mold problem, if that is what it is, is common with biguanide and not bromine. The flakes could be calcium scale coming off
UltraPure Water Quality Ozone Generators for Pools and Spas. the heater, especially if the hardness is over 400 PPM. Have the water tested and add a calcium scale treatment, if necessary. I suggest the following: Add a SPA FROG Mineral Sanitizer to help add another type of sanitizing. It uses silver ions and is the only one that can be used with bromine. Make sure the ozonator is working and operates for several periods through the day. I prefer, 4 sessions of two hours each, if possible. Maintain a bromine level of 1-3 PPM, after boosting the level to 5-10 PPM, for 24 hours. Circulate periodically throughout this time. This combination of bromine and a Spa Frog should provide adequate sanitation, as it is approved as a spa sanitizer by the EPA. The added presence of bromine will/should allow you to use less bromine to maintain this level. Please let me know how this works.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/1/2007


Probably Algae, Bacteria And More?

We were gone for the entire summer and the spa was left with only a bromine floater. It now looks like yuck! What do you suggest? Thanks for the help.

Ken G., Fayetteville, NC, 9/23/2008


I suggest that you start draining the water and do some rinsing with a garden hose. Clean out the filter and replace. Refill with
WaterLink SPIN Lab - professional in-store testing. fresh water and add a double or triple dose of a quick dissolving chlorine or non-chlorine shock. Make sure that the pH is 7.2-7.6. Keep the Free Chlorine level high and the filter operating. Retest frequently and add more shock, as required. Eventually, the chlorine will destroy all of the "yuck" that developed on the walls, in the plumbing, in the filter and in the nooks and crannies. When things clear up, empty the spa and rinse off everything in sight. Now, you are ready to start from scratch. For free chlorine testing, I suggest using LaMotte Insta-Test Strips or a ColorQ Digital Water Analyzer, as they provide the right kind of information. To better assure proper overall spa water chemistry, visit a pool/spa store that has a very reliable, professional lab such as a WaterLink SPIN Lab or Pinpoint system, rather than a less accurate test kit or strip reader.  To locate a dealer near you, go to: LaMotte Professional Testing Center Locator  I hope that I have been helpful. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/23/2008


White Water Spa Mold?

Dear Alan, I've had a terrible time getting rid of white water mold! I've super shocked the spa (had it orange for a week in terms of the chlorine and ran it several hours a day), drained it twice, switched over to using Bromine so the sanitizer doesn't break down like Chlorine after reading your website a few weeks ago, soaked the filters in chlorine water on two occasions, etc. Done everything I can think of to get rid of this problem- it's still coming back in the spa? Is there no product available for spas that specifically attacks and kills white water mold? Will the bromine kill it off eventually? What can you tell me about a recurring white water mold problem? I'm at wits end with this white water mold!

Jim R., 3/2/2007


Bromine seems to be the most effective, but not for the reason that you alluded to in your letter. It is not a case of not breaking down. Rather, bromine just seems to more effective under certain circumstances. You may have switched to bromine, but if that
New!!!  One_Dip Insta_test Strips for pools and spas means you are using bromine tablets, the level is not likely to be as high as you think. The orange color indicates that you are using OTO and that does not measure the important germicidal forms of chlorine. You will get better information by using a product such as the LaMotte Insta-Test Strips.  Bromine tablets are slow dissolving and contain chlorine, which needs to be converted, by the presence of bromide ions. Your spa, being freshly refilled, does not have a suitable level of bromide ions. I suggest that you add an initial dose of sodium bromide - it is a spa product that is part of the bromine 2-part system. Many spa dealers carry the product. Adding the sodium bromide, will create a bromide bank and all of the bromine/chlorine sanitizers or shock will be in the form of bromine. It s possible that the pipes have become coated with the mold and are a continuing problem. I suggest that you boost the Bromine level to 10 PPM and lower the pH to 7.2. Keep the water circulating and add more chlorine or non-chlorine shock to boost the bromine level, as necessary. This should do the trick. Once the problem is solved, resume normal operation. You might consider adding an ozone generator. It will make maintaining proper sanitation easier and reduce chemical consumption. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/2/2007


Noah's Ark?

We moved in January to a new house. We had to put our hot tub in the garage until summer, when we could finish the yard and move it back outside. To our surprise when we opened the lid we found our tub covered in mold and a terrible smell. Even the underside of the cover had tiny worms that looked like maggots on it. What can we do to clean this without hurting the finish and the lines. I can only imagine what is growing where we can't see it! Please help we want to be able to use our hot tub again but right the very thought disgusts me.

Laurie M., 8/11/2005


Ugh! It will clean up! Fill the hot tub up and get the filter running. Add a gallon or liquid chlorine. Keep the filter running and use a non-abrasive brush on the walls. Test the water for free chlorine after a few hours. If the level is not above 5 PPM, add more liquid chlorine or sodium dichlor granular chlorine. Once the water has improved and there has been a steady free chlorine level for a few hours, drain the spa and clean the walls. Remove the filter cartridge, hose it off and soak it in a plastic bucket with water and a few ounces of chlorine. Refill the spa and start by adjusting the water chemistry and sanitizer level. Hose off the cover, scrub with a solution of chlorine (a few ounces of liquid chlorine to a gallon) and water. Be assured that the ability to achieve clear water that contains 1-3 PPM of free chlorine or other appropriate sanitizer will make the unit safe to use. To help maintain ideal conditions, with fewer chemicals, you might give some thought to adding an ozone generator.  It will provide better quality, using less time and effort. I hope that this information proves helpful Enjoy the hot water experience.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/11/2005


Algae, Foam And A Cleaning Filter Cartridge?

I have been very, very bad. And have let my anxiety about pool care get me into a situation. I have a fiberglass swim spa and have not been monitoring the chlorine levels, nor circulating enough, thus the green tinted water. I also was afraid to change my cartridge filter. So, this is where I am now. I changed the filthy, dog-hair, algae, ridden cartridge filter, shocked the pool with chlorine, vacuumed the pool and brushed the pool. The water is blue again now. I still have foam, which is probably the algae being killed by the chlorine? and stained steps which brushing with all my might won't remove. Question #1: Will using muriatic acid on the old cartridge filter clean it enough to use again, or should I buy another new filter? Question #2: How do I get the stains off the steps near the return when they are under water? My telescope bristle brush is not doing it! Question #3: Is the foam I mentioned above, a natural algae killing result? My other levels in the pool are OK except for low pH at this time. I'm not sure if I should add pH rise at this time or not? I am learning the hard way! Please help!

Pat T., 4/8/2007


The foam could be the remains of the algae or from soaps formed by body oils. Try adding an enzyme treatment to help decompose these soaps. Antifoam products and enzymes can help suppress the foam, while the enzymes slowly decompose the
BlasterAutomatic Filter Cartridge Cleaners for pools and spas. oily byproducts. Depending on water chemistry and circumstances, you might be better of cleaning in a soluble of diluted liquid chlorine. Cartridges don't last forever. You might get a new one and alternate for cleaning purposes. If you want to make cleaning easier Visit The Blaster Store Page on this website. The stains are probably due to iron, copper and other trace minerals and are rarely removed by simply adding a metal treatment. Try this. Add 1/4 pound of pH reducer powder to a white sock, shut off the filter and drop onto the top step. Allow the material to "slink" down the steps. If the stain is still there it may be necessary to repeat the procedure using either oxalic or ascorbic acid. Try this first. Place a few vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablets on a stain, shut off the filter and leave in place for 15 minutes. If this worked it is likely that treating with METALTRAP Stain Remover will work. Some pool dealers carry these products. Have the spa and well water tested for iron and copper. ADD A DOSE OF A QUALITY METAL TREATMENT, such as Liquid METALTRAP, FOR EVERY 0.5 PPM OF IRON OR COPPER. At the very least add two doses. I hope that this information proves helpful and good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/9/2007


Do I Need An Algaecide?

Our pool is maintained with chemicals, including algaecide. The spa is completely separate. It is outdoors, but covered. Should I use an algaecide in the spa.

R. G., Evansville, IL, 5/26/2004


Spas that are covered are not usually treated with an algaecide. Without sunlight, algae is usually not a problem and the normal spa sanitizer should effectively prevent any growth. Enjoy the summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/27/2004


White Floaters?

Hello, I have small white things floating around my spa. They look like rubber or silicone pieces and are white. What are they and how do I get rid of them? Thanks

Jeff R., 9/29/2009


It could be a mold problem. Such problems can occur, if biguanide is used a the sanitizer. Sometimes chlorine resistant
Mini Salt Chlorine Generator, for spas and swim spas. microorganisms develop and that could be what you are describing. If you are using chlorine, I suggest that you switch to bromine, as it seems to be more effective in dealing with this problem. If the spa has not been emptied in several months, I suggest that you shock the spa heavily and recirculate for a few hours before draining and cleaning. Refill, shock the spa and start on bromine. Adding an ozonator would be another good idea, as it will make maintaining the bromine level easier and allow it to acts as a backup sanitizer. There is no guarantee that the problem is mold, but that is what is sounds like. If you are using biguanide as a spa sanitizer, I suggest that you convert to bromine on a permanent basis, as it is almost a certainty that the problem will return again and again. A salt chlorine generator would be a good choice. It works well with or without ozone and is the better way to use chlorine. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/29/2009


Spa Cover Is Moldy?

The underside of my spa cover seems to get moldy. I have to resort to laundry bleach to get rid of the stuff and remove the odor. Got a better suggestion.

Debbie R., Edison, NJ 1/31/2010
Nano-Spray spa cover protectand and Nano-Stick spa clarifier.
Unfortunately, you sanitize the water, but the condensate on the underside of the cover is not contacting the water. Mold and mildew are often the result and your solution is one that will work. At least for a while.  A better, longer term solution involves some new technology, as opposed to chemical treatment. The Nano-Spray can provide protection, for as long as 12 weeks, without having to resort to harsh chemicals. The Nano-Spray contains NanoTitanium, which activates when exposed to light. Once activated, it oxidizes and decomposes organic matter, that is in contact. It is a safe product to use and can help prolong the life of your cover. A Nano-Stick Clarifier, that uses the same Nano-Titanium technology, is also available. I hope that this helps solve the problem.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/1/2010


Worms Or Insect Larva?

I noticed in my hot tub tiny worms about 5 mm long, brown with a reddish head and tail. They were swimming/floating around these brown "nests" kind of like dissolved tissue paper. Do you know what these are? And what I can do to get rid of them? Thanks a lot.

Stephanie, 6/15/2007
Plug-n-Play Spa Salt Chlorine Generators.

I believe that this is an insect larva. In any event, I suggest that you add a lethal dose of chlorine, a pound of granular or a gallon of liquid. Recirculate for an hour or so, drain, clean and refill. If you are using biguanide as the sanitizer and I am guessing at this because of the tissue-like description, you should make a permanent switch to another sanitizer, at this time. The tissue-like material could be a biguanide-resistant water mold. If getting away from chlorine was the objective, you should look the following: Salt Chlorine Generators, Mineral Sanitizers, UV Sanitizers, and Ozonators. I hope that this information is helpful, in solving this problem.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/15/2007


Slippery Feeling?

Occasionally, I find that spots on the spa seating area have a slippery feel. Is this a scale deposit, an ingredient in the chemicals (I use bromine) or something else? Regards from Rhode Island.

Rhode Islander, 2/3/2010

Something else! Evidently, there are times when your bromine level is too low or has been depleted by the bathers. This allows for the development of microorganisms, creating a slippery, slimy bacterial film
(biofilm) on the underwater surfaces, especially in the corners and areas with poor circulation. A scale deposit would have a sandy feel and would probably be associated with cloudy spa water. The only slippery feeling, that might be chemical related, would be due to extremely high pH conditions. This biofilm is the result of inadequate sanitation, for some period of time. You should test the water for bromine more frequently and, if the level tests too low, add some non-chlorine shock. The addition of the non-chlorine shock will boost the bromine level very quickly, as opposed to the slow-dissolving bromine tablets. Try and keep the bromine level at 3-5 PPM and try and avoid allowing the bromine level to bottom out. The addition of an alternative spa water sanitizer system, such as a salt chlorine generator, ozonator, or a ultraviolet (UV) sanitizer, will reduce the amount of bromine required and will help assure a more uniform sanitizer level. I hope that the information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/3/2010


Floating White Stuff?

I have a one year old hot tub in which I use Bromine tablets in the filter basket. I have an ozone system and I am very religious about checking the levels. However, when I turn on the jets the tub gets filled with a floating white stuff. I have three questions I was hoping you could answer.
1. What is it, and how to I get rid of it?
2. What will keep it from happening again?
3. What is the best level for bromine with a ozone system?
Hoping you can help. Thanks.

Jim M., 2/23/2008


In the subject line of your letter you referred to "biofilm." Biofilm would be microorganisms growing on the underwater surfaces, as a result of inadequate sanitation. Not what one would expect in a spa equipped with an ozonator and using bromine. More likely
the problem iMagnetic water conditioners for spas, pools and the whole house.s scale formation in the heater. Turning on the jets can cause the white scale deposits to flake off. Have the water tested for calcium hardness and total alkalinity. If the calcium level is over 400 PPM, scaling would be very likely. You can try adding a sequestering agent for calcium and lowering the pH towards 7.2 and the TA to about 100 PPM. The Magnetizer is an easy to install device that helps deal with scale problems and might be worth looking into. If the ozonator is working properly and is in operation for enough of a period, maintaining a 1-3 PPM level of bromine should be adequate. The ozonator will allow you to maintain this level with fewer chemicals. I am not a big fan of adding bromine tablets to the skimmer, as the tablets are acidic and that could cause heater corrosion. Better to use a floating dispenser and keep the pH at 7.2-7.8. Adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier can help restore water clarity. The 10 inch stick is hung in the spa, adds no chemicals to the water, requires no installation and last 4-6 months. I hope that the information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/23/2008


Mold In A Spa?

I have been told that my spa has a water mold in it. I have been using biguanide with good results, until recently. How should I handle the problem?

Sam A., Columbia, MD, 2/2/2011

Water mold is caused by a microorganism that has, unfortunately, become resistant to the biguanide. In order to
ChlorMaker-IL In-Line salt chlorine generators for spas. treat the problem, I suggest that you drain the spa and refill with fresh water. Add some quick-dissolving chlorine or non-chlorine shock and make sure that at least a 1-3 PPM level of Free Chlorine persists overnight. Add more shock, as necessary. This will destroy the water mold on the surfaces and in the lines. Resuming maintenance on biguanide will require that you once again, drain the spa, refill and start from scratch or add sufficient chlorine neutralizer to drop the chlorine level to zero. Once a biguanide-resistant microorganism has developed there is no guarantee that it will not return, even after successful treatment. For this reason, I suggest that an alternative sanitizer be considered: a salt chlorine generator, chlorine, bromine, ozone generators, ultraviolet sanitizing, mineral sanitizers, ionizers or a combination. Otherwise, you just might get the problem back, in spite of your best efforts. I hope that I have been helpful. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/2/2011

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