Bullfrog Customer Area: Water Chemistry

Tap water that is safe to drink is not always safe for a spa. Normal tap water usually does not have enough dissolved minerals to maintain the proper pH balance.  This water has to be chemically treated in order to maintain and control:

CAUTION: Always:

Overview of Water Chemistry

(Note: If you want a No Maintenance Spa then let us install the In.Clear Bromine Salt System into your spa. If you let us do this then you will not have to perform the following water maintenance usually necessary for a spa/hot tub.) Check it out here:

In.Clear& ISIS Bromine Salt System Information

Water Quality Maintenance
Maintaining the quality of the spa water within specified limits will enhance your enjoyment of the spa and prolong the life of its equipment. It is a fairly simple task, but it requires regular maintaining because the water chemistry involved is a balance of several factors. There is no simple formula and there is no avoiding it. A careless attitude regarding water maintenance will result in poor and potentially unhealthful conditions for bathing and possible damage to your spa. For specific guidance on your water chemistry please come into our retail for a complete water analysis.

Sanitizers kill bacteria and viruses and keep the water clean. A low sanitizer level will allow bacteria and viruses to grow quickly in the spa water. To raise the sanitizer level, simply add an approved sanitizer. We recommend the use of Bromine as a sanitizer.  This product has high heat tolerance unlike chlorine which cannot stand hot water and gasses off to create an odor.  Chlorine does not work well in a spa.
We recommend the use of the “Spa Frog” for proper sanitizing and ease of use.  This product is placed into the filter area of the spa.  It will dispense bromine and minerals over time to keep the spa nice.  This product gives you the ability to keep the spa water sanitized with only 1ppm Bromine.  Call splashtownpools.com for further information on this product.

NOTE: Increased use of the spa (or in the number of users of the spa) will result in the need to increase the amount of sanitizer required to maintain the recommended sanitizer level.

NOTE: Ozone purification is recommended only as a supplement to the above sanitizers. Ozone Purifiers greatly enhance the quality of the spa water when used in conjunction with an industry standard spa chemical maintenance program.

CAUTION: Never use ozone as a single-source sanitizer, water clarifier, stain & scale inhibitor or foam inhibitor.

Normal sanitation does not eliminate Chloramines (trapped Chlorine), Bromamines (trapped Bromine), along with other non-filterable wastes, such as perspiration, oils, hair sprays, etc. that can build up in the water. These substances make the water unattractive in appearance and odor, and can interfere with sanitizer effectiveness. “Shocking” or “Super Chlorinating” the spa water is achieved when the sanitizer level reaches or exceeds 10.0 PPM with granular Chlorine Shock , or with a non-Chlorine Spa Shock.
When Shocking your spa water you should allow the high level of sanitizer to off-gas by opening the spa cover at least half way for a minimum of 20 minutes. Failure to allow high concentrations of sanitizer to off-gas with the spa cover open will cause the underneath side of the cover to discolor and degrade. Such damage to the spa cover is not covered under the terms of your spa’s warranty.
WARNING: Never leave an open spa unattended, especially if there are children present.

pH Control
Proper pH balance is extremely important in providing water that is comfortable to the user, and preventing damage to the spa and equipment. The measure of acidity and alkaline in the water is called pH. The pH scale ranges from 0-14. Levels of pH less than 7.0 are acidic while pH levels greater than 7.0 are basic. The proper pH range for a spa is 7.4-7.6.
High pH levels (greater than 7.6) can cause scale build-up on the spa and its equipment, cloudy water, a prematurely dirty filter, and less effective sanitation. To correct high pH levels, add a pH decreaser.
Low pH levels (less than 7.4): can cause discomfort to the spa users, rapid dissipation of sanitizer, and corrosion to the spa equipment. To increase pH levels make sure the spas alkalinity is in the proper range using using Perfect pH when you first fill.
Perfect pH is the easy way to maintain your pH.

NOTE: Never use Muriatic or Hydrochloric acid to adjust pH as it can damage the spa shell and surrounding components.

Total Alkalinity (TA)
TA is the quantitative measurement of alkaline components (carbonates and bicarbonates) present in water, which if properly adjusted, act as a buffer against rapid pH changes. Proper total alkalinity levels are important to ensure optimal chemical balance in spas. Low TA can cause the pH to be unstable causing the water to be corrosive or scale forming to the spa and its equipment. To correct low TA, add a Total Alkalinity Increaser. High TA can cause scale build-up, cloudy water, as well as other pH problems.

Calcium Hardness (CH)
CH is the measure of dissolved calcium in the water. Low CH (soft water) can stain the spa surface as well as cause corrosion to the spa and its equipment. To correct low CH, add a CH Increaser. High CH (hard water) can cause cloudy water as well as rough scale build-up on the spa surface and equipment. If the spa water has high CH, it is preferable to either dilute the water’s hardness by blending the water with water from a water softener, or by the addition of a special water softening chemical.

IMPORTANT: If you are using “Perfect pH” or “pH Perfect” for water balance Do Not add Calcium to the water.

Stain and Scale Control
Stain and scale problems are common in hot water environments. To help prevent and control staining and scaling, add  Stain and Scale Inhibitor.

Foam Control
Spa water that is polluted with body oils and lotions, combined with high water temperatures, can cause excessive surface foaming. For a temporary fix, add a Foam Remover. The best way to control foam is to Shock the water; this will destroy the soap agents that normal levels of sanitizer will not.  Also clean filter after Shocking.

Cloudy Water Prevention and Control
There are two basic reasons that spa water becomes cloudy. Non-filterable liquid waste (e.g. perspiration) have contaminated the water. To remove these substances, Shock the water. Or, non-filterable micro-particulate waste (e.g. dust) has contaminated the water. To remove these substances use a Water Clarifier.

Starting the Spa with New Water
Step 1: For spas up to 500 gallons add 1 quart of Perfect pH to the water to balance pH.  This should be added after the water has heated to desired temperature.
Step 2: Using the “Spa Frog” floater open the Blue (mineral) cartridge all the way to # 6 position and snap into float.  Open the Yellow (bromine) cartridge all the way to # 6 for 4-6 hours or until you get a 1-2ppm bromine reading on your test strips.  After that turn the yellow cartridge only down to #2-3 position in order to maintain a 1-2ppm bromine.
Step 3: Add appropriate amount of Spa Shock or Chlorinated Shock for your size spa.
Step 4: Enjoy your Spa!

Maintaining Spa Water

Sanitizer and pH Levels
It is important to test and adjust the sanitizer and pH levels of your spa on a frequent basis. These tests should be performed prior to each use of the spa. At a minimum, it is recommended that you test the spa water 2-3 times a week, regardless of use.
Always test the pH level before you test the sanitizer level. If the pH level is not within the correct range (7.4-7.6), make the necessary adjustments.
Always maintain the bromine level at 1-2ppm (using the Spa Frog) or 3-6ppm using bromine alone.


Shock frequency is determined by the amount of use or number of people using the spa.  At a minimum Shock once per week.  High use spa will need to be Shocked at least twice per week or more.  There are some families that have to shock after each use to keep water clean.

Stain and Scale Control
The use a Stain and Scale control is good insurance for preventing the build up of mineral and metal scales that form in water usually on the jets or equipment. Add the product 3-4 days after Shocking.

Foam Control
If you spa starts to foam, this is a sign that it is time to shock. Foaming is usually caused by body oils, lotions or soaps in the water. When the jets are turned on they inject air and water and cause foam. Shocking more often is usually required to solve this problem. Anti Foam can be used to eliminate the foaming of the water but shocking is still required.
Use Anti Foam per the manufacturer’s instructions as needed.

Cloudy Water Prevention and Control
Use a Water Clarifier per the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the chemical 3-4 days after Super Sanitation.

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