Eliminating Biofilms and Organic Contaminants inside Hot Tub Plumbing

Why All The Recent Talk About “purging” And “flushing” Piping In Hot Tubs Or Jetted Bathtubs?

Biofilms are ubiquitous wherever water or moist environments are found.  An easy way to describe Biofilms is to just imagine a slippery slime layer build-up on the inside of the tubing and piping that has water passing through it.  That slime layer may be algae, fungi, mold and a plethora of other nasties that provides protection for contaminants that have formed a colonization of Biofilms underneath it’s canopy. Ideally, periodic flushing with an effective cleaner, such as our Ahh-some product, will aid in removing all that bio-gunk that is raising havoc on many fronts to the hot tub itself and your maintenance protocols.  The Ahh-some Cleaner performs a chemical colonoscopy in less than 30 minutes.  What is the time lapse between purges?  Depending on the gallonage of the hot tub and the usage it receives, will dictate when to “purge”.  Typically, the industry recommends purging the plumbing every 6 months.  Smaller gallonage tubs that get frequent use should be purged every 4 months or so.

Biofilm will form on any surface in your hot tub where water comes in contact with.  This means your hot tub equipment including pumps, jets, heater, Ozone systems, filters, spa covers and the shell itself.  All this equipment is at risk of continuous water contamination and premature failure if not addressed periodically.  Biofilms can also be very unhealthy to bathers.  Biofilms can eat up your sanitizer. Hot tub water that is left for even a small amount of time without sufficient sanitizer, generally chlorine or bromine,  can and will propagate rapid bacterial growth of some unhealthy specimens that can affect your health.

Telltale Signs That You Need To Flush Or Purge The Hot Tub Plumbing.

First and foremost is that you will notice more foaming when you increase the jet pressure.
The foam itself will also have tinges of brownish or yellowish coloration. The foaming also does not dissipate soon after the jets are turned off. You will notice stickies on the waterline. Secondly, you may notice the water clarity itself. Not quite as sparkling as you are accustomed to. The water may have a different aroma or an unusual malodorous smell to it. A big red flag is that your sanitizer demand has increased. Your test kit keeps saying, Add More Sanitizer. You typically add chlorine at an ongoing rate that tests great and all of a sudden the Chlorine or Bromine levels are depleted overnight. Something is using up your expensive sanitizer. That something can be directly related to the amount of bio-contamination lurking inside your hot tub plumbing infrastructure.

Purging Is So Easy! Not Sure Why So Many Hot Tub Owners Fail To Do It!

So many hot tub owners simply dump and refill the hot tub on a periodic basis. They feel this is all they need to do. Their dealer never mentioned purging. Draining and refilling is a great thing to do periodically. However, PURGE just prior to doing this. The dividends are humongous . Hot Tub water is subjected to over one million bacteria from one average size adult during a 30 minute soak. Add all the other stuff like exfoliated skin, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, bird droppings, dirt, oils, laundry detergents and hundreds of other contributing factors and you have the proverbial witches brew forming. Much of this stuff supplies nutrients and food for the biofilm colony that is feasting on a daily basis because you did not remove their happy family with an effective purging. They love all this good living. Chlorine or Bromine will keep you protected for most of the time but there does come a day of reckoning.

I do hope that this little write-up is helpful and you will periodically purge your plumbing.

5 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar photo
    Darryl Olsen
    July 23, 2021 3:25 pm

    you had a document that I was sent a year or so back on how you recommend utilizing a double strength cleaning vinegar in conjunction with ahhsome treatment to remove some calcium or other contaminants that are found in the plumbing because of the glues that are used. Do you still have access to that document you could send me and I can keep a copy of this time?
    Darryl Olsen Manager Vintage Hot Tubs Victoria BC

  • Avatar photo
    Vivienne M
    May 1, 2023 8:53 pm

    I need some help. I changed my water on time and with proper levels of chemicals. I used a jet line cleaner. Later I noticed black and other colored biofilm. I drained the tub again and used Ahhsome. Purged the tub over several days and used most of the 2oz container which over time until I saw nothing in the tub. The amount was not extreme. Cleaned andFilled again and now again without ever using the tub I am still seeing some black flakes in the tub. Are these flakes now disinfected and need to be fished out with a net or could it be that I will need to again use ahhsome. I am in CA and this is such a huge amount of water to be using in my area to flush and time to try to fix this issue.

    • Avatar photo
      Jim Parker
      May 4, 2023 8:49 am

      Good morning Vivienne. Thank you for your comments. Sounds to me like you have some remnants of biofilm remaining. One of the best ways to completely ensure that you have removed all the biofilm is to do multiple purges which you did. However, one of the key factors here is that when you are doing multiple purges, you do not need to drain the water in between purges. You can also use the same original dose of Ahh-some. For example, let’s say you need to use 3 teaspoons of Ahh-some to do your purge. Put that amount in, run your tub for 30 minutes. Then turn off jets, wipe up all gunk, then run the jets again with the same water and no additional Ahh-some. Continue to do this until you no longer see any gunk coming out of the tub. You may need to refresh your Ahh-some after a few hours of doing this but only put in a small amount.


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