It's an old school commercial-style setup, with a freestanding gas heater, pump, and filter, rather than the newer kind that has all of its guts (including electric heater) stuffed under the skirt.
It sat for years next to the cottage that houses Euthymia Labs, and I finally decided that now was the time.
The shell is a fiberglass/gelcoat Beachport from the early '80's, the heater is a Raypak 155B, the pump is a 1HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas (plenty for the 4 jets in the spa), and the filter is a 100sq. ft. Posi-Flo. All top-of-the-line shit; you could run a decent size in-ground pool with that support system. I found an old Len Gordon air switch controller/timer for free on Craig's List and that's what runs it.
During the recent heat, we've let the spa drop down to 90 degrees, using it as a cool plunge. The Raypak can bring it up to 105 in about 15 minutes, so we don't bother to run the heater between hot soaks.
So. My question for those of you who have pools and or spas: how do you take care of your water?
I've started out with 2-part bromine, putting bromine salts in the water and shocking with potassium monoxypersulphate after each soak (I'm in the thing about twice a day at this point).
I'm not totally happy with this. Bromine does have an odor and can dry the skin, although it's not as susceptible to those effects as chlorine (after being traumatized by poorly-maintained chlorine pools in childhood, I can't stand the smell of the stuff-also, it is said not to like heat).
Also, my water has clouded up a few times, despite maintaining about a 7.6 to 7.8 pH and 100-ish TA according to my 4-in-1 test kit. No stale smell, just cloudiness. I've dribbled in some of that polymeric clarifier stuff and it went away.
I battled the pH and TA for a while, bouncing between too high pH and too low TA until I figured out that I just needed to bring up the TA with baking soda and then drop the pH with sodium bisulfate and keep doing that until it settled down.
There seems to be iron in our fill water, so I put some Metal Gon sequestering agent in yesterday.
I've been thinking of trying to switch over to Pristine Blue next drain-down.
All of the sanitizer systems seem to work great for some and poorly for others. Some folks swear by Baquicil, others scoff at anything other than good ol' chlorine, there are some bromine haters, and others whose tubs practically gave their families leprosy until they tried (insert name of favorite system here) after which they merely had to toss in a capful of stuff once a week and otherwise forget about it.
So what have you used? What do you like? Do you know someone who's had particularly good luck with this or that system?
Rockin' the Steven Segal hairdo, checking the temperature, air button in hand: