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How to get rid of hot tub rash bacteria

I have a new hot tub purchased in June of this year. I have drained it once already and I am faithful to shock each week and to keep the bromine tablets topped up in the floater and I replace my filter with a clean one each month. I am the only one who uses the tub and yet this past week I have gotten hot tub rash. I have been told that bromine or chlorine will not kill the bacteria and that I have to drain and refill the tub to get rid of it yet what about bacteria in the plumbing system. Also I live in the country so I fill the tub with well water and the tub is outside in an enclosed gazebo so draining it while I have a foot of snow on the ground (I live in Canada :) ) is not really desirable. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the bacteria would be appreciated.
Thank you
Bruce Barber
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  • Mike Drummond (Dealer Development Manager) December 12, 2017 16:41
    Thanks for your note Bruce!

    There are a few reasons for people to develop rashes in the hot tub.  In fact it is not always caused by bacteria.  I'm going to walk through the possible causes and how to correct.  I will end with bacterial infections and how to treat for that as well.

    For some people, a pH imbalance can cause skin irritations.  Low pH is corrosive and high pH is caustic.  In each situation, the water can be aggressive on skin, resulting in rashes.  These rashes typically do not last very long.  Correct the pH in the water and the bather should stop getting rashes.

    Another cause of rashes is a sensitivity to ingredients in water treatment products.  Many homeowners use non-chlorine based oxidizers to shock the water (Amaze, Amaze Plus, Oxygen).  One of the ingredients in the shock is a form of sulphate.  Some bathers react to the presence of sulphates in the water.  By discontinuing the use of the oxidizer to shock, the rash can be avoided.

    In some cases, the bromine/chlorine levels can be high (above 5ppm).  With some bathers, their skin can have a reaction with the high level of sanitizer in the water.  To resolve that issue, simply bring down the sanitizer level to normal range (3-5ppm). 

    Lastly, bacteria in the water can lead to rashes.  There is bacteria in almost all hot tubs, but the bromine/chlorine levels normally keep the them under control.  Sometimes however, the bacteria can form a "colony".  The colony will quickly establish a defensive shield that will resist bromine/chlorine.  The key at this point is to use the right products to ensure the bacteria is killed and removed from the hot tub.  I would recommend you do the following:

    1. Increase the bromine level above 5ppm, but keep it below 10ppm.

    2. Add 3 Mineraluxe Cubes to the water. 

    3. Add Dazzle Algae Clear 60 at a rate of 150ml per 1000L of hot tub water.

    4. Allow the water to circulate for 3-5 days.  Ensure the bromine/chlorine level stays above 5ppm throughout this time.

    5. Ideally, drain the water and clean the surfaces of the hot tub.

    6. Soak the filter cartridges in a solution of Dazzle Rapid Action Filter Cleanse.  This ensures that the filter doesn't harbour any bacteria.

    7. Refill the hot tub, balance, establish sanitizer level and enjoy.

    I understand that you do not want to drain the hot tub, however, if you believe that the rash is being caused by bacteria, a draining and refill is a sure way to ensure bacteria is flushed out with the water.

    I would recommend that you check the water to see if any of the non-bacterial causes may be what has lead to your rash. 

    I hope this information is helpful.  Please let us know if we can help further.

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