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Thread: Foam in Jacuzzi

  1. #1
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    Default Foam in Jacuzzi

    I have an in-ground pool with an attached jacuzzi and we started getting foam in the jacuzzi a couple of weeks ago.

    The pool chemistry got out of balance, but now it’s back to “normal”.

    Before:
    Cl = 0
    PH = 7.2
    Alkalinity = 70
    Ca Hardness = 120
    Cyanuric Acid = 0

    I was using liquid Cl exclusively for about a month instead of alternating between liquid and tablets, and the Cyanuric acid got out of whack. I added stabilizer and soda ash and now my chemistry is back to my normal levels:

    Cl = 2
    PH = 7.6
    Alkalinity = 70
    Ca Hardness = 120
    Cyanuric Acid = 60

    Unfortunately, the jacuzzi is still foaming with a strong chemical smell.

    What other steps should I take?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Foam in Jacuzzi

    Does the spa use the same water as the pool, or is it separate?

    If it's separate, drain and refill it, and start over. Generally, you shouldn't use stabilized chlorine in a covered spa.

    But . . . here's something you need to know, about what I know:

    1. I know how to do a fantastic job of maintaining water chemistry in outdoor pools.

    2. I know -- better than anyone else I've heard of -- how to do a decent job of maintaining water chemistry in indoor pools.

    3. I do NOT know any method of maintaining water in independent spas that people will actually follow. What's required is more than anyone is willing to do.

    My advice is
    • nuke it with bleach
    • drain and refill it
    • start over
    • repeat every week or so.


    But even if you DO follow my advice, I would NEVER enter your spa . . . or anyone else's unless I had
    • nuked it with bleach
    • drained it and refilled it
    • started over
    • and gotten in ONLY with my wife.


    I finally confirmed, just last year, something I've long suspected: it's quite likely that viral and bacterial infections INCLUDING STDs can be transmitted in spas. The guy who told me is a senior medical researcher, with both a PhD and MD, working for the CDC in Atlanta. He specializes in viral DNA studies. He spoke with me strictly 'off the record' since it is politically unacceptable to study such things.

    Basically, well maintained swimming pools are very, VERY CLEAN toilet bowls. Spas . . . are dirty used toilet bowls.

    I created "PoolSolutions.com", but never, ever "SpaSolutions.com" . . . even though it was an available domain back then. Nothing's changed my mind in the 20 years since I registered PoolSolutions.com! I have a high tolerance for gross things, but spas disgust me!

    So . . .

    1. Nuke it.
    2. Drain it.
    3. Start over.
    4. Use it ONLY with trusted family members!


    I have no other advice!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Foam in Jacuzzi

    The spa water is shared with the pool and I have dumped the spa water into the pool twice in the last week. This didn’t change the amount of foaming.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Foam in Jacuzzi

    What you are saying is, the pool water is intermittently shared with the spa, not continuously. That doesn't change anything. I've been doing this ( PoolForum, etc) for over 20 years. I'm well aware that this is NOT information either spa owners OR spa sellers want to hear. But the fact that the facts are unwanted doesn't make them 'not the facts'.

    You can go lots of other places, and get lots of answers telling you how wonderful spas are, and how well they can be sanitized. And, you can believe what you like. What you won't be able to do is find a pool service person who will get into your spa! A spa sales person probably would -- in order to make the sale -- and then go take a shower as soon as you sign on the line.

    Meanwhile, my advice remains . . .

    1. Nuke it.
    2. Flush it.
    3. Start over.
    4. Use it ONLY with trusted family members!


    Why is it foamy, THIS time, when it hasn't been foamy BEFORE? I don't know, and honestly, I don't care.

    I'm not going to spend time trying to 'fix' what's intrinsically broken: spas are unsanitary unless drained REGULARLY. If they are not CONTINUOUSLY part of the pool, the 'spa = toilet bowl' rules still apply. Trying to INTERMITTENTLY mix spa and pool water is a poor idea, foisted on consumers by builders who don't understand pool and spa chemistry . . . or who don't care. There are a number of chemicals used in pools -- stabilized chlorine, stabilizer, flocs, most algaecides, etc -- that should NOT be in spas, and which WILL cause problems in spas. In addition, it is NOT possible to 'balance' water (pH, alkalinity, calcium) for BOTH a pool and a spa: different values are required, for a number of reasons. (In fact, if you are putting algaecide into your pool . . . and pool water into your spa . . . that would definitely result in foaming!)

    But you want to smoke? Your choice.
    You want to be fat (like me, unfortunately)? Your choice.
    You want to use a typically managed spa? ALSO, your choice.

    But all those choices have consequences.

    You want me to tell you, it's all OK? That's my choice, and I won't do it. Sorry.

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