Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Let’s say you buy a center and want to use H2O2 instead of the chlorine that was being used by the previous owner. Or maybe you want to switch over to H2O2 after using chlorine for a while. Let’s further assume that this is in compliance with your health department and your UV system is sized adequately. What else do you need to know to make this happen? Do you need to change the water?
Ashkahn and Graham lay out all the things to consider and why someone may or may not want to replace the solution in their tank at the same time as replacing the water treatment method in a float tank.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: All right, salutations.
Ashkahn: Okay-dokie. Welcome everybody.
Graham: Yeah, hi there.
Ashkahn: Warm those hands up cause-
Graham: Yeah, cause what?
Ashkahn: It’s here then you say-
Graham: Good set up there-
Ashkahn: Warm up-
Graham: It’s just like throwing the basketball out of bounds. Where were you on that one?
Ashkahn: Jeez I’m just the setup guy.
Graham: All right, today’s question is “hello”.
Graham: “We have purchased an ongoing float center. The disinfectant-”
Ashkahn: Oh, nice. Yeah, so it matches with our other question from before. We should ask them, you know how they-
Graham: “We’ve purchased on ongoing float center. The disinfectant of choice the previous owners used is chlorine and UV which we continue to use. I would like to change to HP.”
Graham: Hydrogen peroxide, I’m sure they mean. “Do I have to dump my current water to switch over to HP?”
Ashkahn: What’s the name of that like steak sauce that they use in England? Is it HP sauce?
Graham: I think it’s HP.
Ashkahn: Okay, hopefully that’s not what they mean. Cause I would strongly advise them against that.
Graham: I mean, it’s probably anti-microbial.
Ashkahn: Yeah, it probably would make the solution denser. You know, I’m going to go ahead and chance my recommendation. You go ahead, use the HP sauce. Delicious, nutritious maybe.
Graham: All right, so you’ve got a bunch of chlorine in your water.
Graham: You want that to instead be hydrogen peroxide.
Graham: Well, I guess first make sure that, that’s legal and your health department is okay. You know there might be a reason they were using chlorine-
Graham: Which could be health code or something that you’re required to actually use the setup they have. Double check that but then if you are able to switch over, I mean-
Ashkahn: Yeah. I mean, yes is probably the answer, that you can switch and you won’t have to drain the system. But like before we jump into the kind of details-
Graham: I’m ready.
Ashkahn: Or a little bit-
Graham: I want to jump.
Ashkahn: Don’t jump, hold on. Don’t jump.
Graham: Woo cannonball.
Ashkahn: You should consider something, which is that, let’s say you have a chlorine and UV system, which is what this person said in their question, right?
Graham: Yeah. That’s exactly what they said.
Ashkahn: In that scenario, typically chlorine would be viewed as kind of the primary disinfectant. That’s your kind of, biggest gun that you’re leaning on and you’re making sure is killing things. You know, if you have a chlorine UV system it might be that your UV is really light and not super hardcore. And that’s kind of okay cause the chlorine is killing stuff. If you switch to UV and hydrogen peroxide, the UV in that scenario becomes the thing that’s the main umphf in your system, right?
Ashkahn: So, you got to be careful. You’re like switching what the primary disinfectant is.
Graham: It’s a good point because the UV attached with the chlorine system might be super wimpy. You know and its just sort of there to add extra clarity and get rid of some of the disinfection byproducts that chlorine is generating. And it could totally not work as a primary disinfectant. So, yeah I mean, that’s definitely a great thing to make sure you’re double checking before you get into this.
Ashkahn: Yeah, like in your head you’re switching chlorine for UV and now that you’re switching to UV, you’re using hydrogen peroxide as an extra like oxidizer for it, is what you should be thinking in your head, as opposed to saying “I’m replacing chlorine with hydrogen peroxide.”
Graham: So, I mean let’s talk for just one second about how they check that. Like how do you look into whether or not your UV light might now be good enough to be the primary disinfectant?
Ashkahn: Great question. I would recommend listening to our episode about UV lights.
Graham: Yeah, I mean, yeah, listen to us some more is a great way to get educated. I totally agree. All right, so assuming those two things, assuming that you are cleared by the health department to actually do this switch and assuming that your UV light is good enough or that you’re just getting a new UV light, which is going to be good enough, now do you have to get rid of chlorine in the water?
Graham: Or can you get rid of chlorine in the water without dumping it?
Ashkahn: So, things around hydrogen peroxide get a little bit looser in the kind of general pool and spa field of knowledge. But, like I’m pretty sure hydrogen peroxide is used as a way of getting rid of chlorine. Like if you over chlorinate something or if you super chlorinate to deal with some sort of fecal incident or something like that, you know it’s one of the ways pools respond to contamination issues is by bumping the chlorine levels up. To get the chlorine levels back down, you can do a couple different things. One of them is using hydrogen peroxide. It just eats up the chlorine, they kind of destroy each other.
Like I would say you don’t have to drain your float tank. You know, there’s a lot of complicated chemistry that comes when you’re dealing with chemicals and stuff like that. It’s very likely that I can say something like this and someone else will be like “Oh, but don’t forget this one weird things happens and something.” But as far as I know and as far as I’ve heard and as far as I can tell from the fact that this seems to be something commonly done for this very purpose, you should be all right. You should just be able to put hydrogen peroxide in there.
The tricky thing is how are you going to measure that the chlorine is gone. Which you can’t, so you really just like because the chlorine destroys the hydrogen peroxide, you really just put peroxide in there until the peroxide levels are stable. And once they’re stable that means the chlorine is no longer there to be eating up the peroxide.
Graham: And my guess is, I mean you could probably just do this over the course of a day that you’re shut.
Graham: I mean, you know, it’s not something specifically that we’ve played around with, with like getting the chlorine levels totally eradicated and getting hydrogen peroxide stabilized in that sense. Cause we’ve always been on hydrogen peroxide-
Graham: Or at least we’ve never used chlorine.
Ashkahn: But if you wanted to be careful, I mean you can just like give it a couple days, air it out. Make sure there’s good ventilation, make sure you’re dealing with … you know if disinfection byproducts are being created or whatever’s happening in the process but I don’t know. Someone would have to, like, give me some pretty serious arguments that you would need to drain it.
Graham: Yeah and I will not try to be that person. But that said, I do want to toss something in favor of considering draining it, which is, and like this isn’t even on the chemistry level, it’s just, you just took over a float center that’s out there. Depending on when the last time their tanks are drained, I mean it might just make sense to keep the chlorine in there and just do a full water switchover-
Graham: Rather than dealing with this right now. You know-
Ashkahn: Keep the chlorine-
Graham: I mean, for right now-
Ashkahn: Instead of trying to eradicate the chlorine-
Graham: Don’t try to switch disinfection systems right now. Switch to doing UV and then peroxide after they are going to already change out the water in the tanks.
Ashkahn: Or just, I mean one of the things about running a float center, is these float tank mysteries kind of happen in your float tanks. And if you have float solution from before you were ever around, it adds a lot of like question marks.
Graham: Was the water filtered when it originally went in the float tank?
Graham: Did they ever use spa enzyme cleaner in the float tank water?
Graham: Things like that you just don’t know. So there is something really nice now that it’s your center and you just took it over, kind of starting from scratch.
Ashkahn: For sure. I probably would do that, yeah.
Ashkahn: If you’re taking over a place, yeah so outside of the chlorine issue, like just dumping it because you’re taking over a new business and you want to know, have your knowledge kind of be clear from the beginning. Yeah, for sure. I agree with that. Nice. Good turn around there.
Graham: Yeah, thanks.
Graham: Did you like how I started very gently-
Ashkahn: I was impressed-
Graham: Not trying to convince you.
Ashkahn: I was like “I’m not going to be convinced, all right?”
Graham: Gotcha! All right if you have other questions-
Ashkahn: But, hold on.
Graham: Oh, wait, you’re not done? I thought that was such a nice button. We finished, you know and the banner was about to drop. I’m like “Mission Accomplished.”
Ashkahn: No they should like if you’re in this situation, the other thing I wanted to say is, I’ve heard of people who are using chlorine and hydrogen peroxide as part of their routine. Like they are on their deep clean day adding some chlorine as kind of an extra like buffer to kill some stuff, while they are on a hydrogen peroxide system. So, for those of you out there, just make sure you understand this process that those things can kind of destroy each other and that it makes things hard to measure and all that sort of stuff. But, you know, theoretically if pretty much if we had better ways of measuring chlorine, you could do that. You could shock your system with chlorine once a week and while no ones in there and have it be during your deep clean day and have it kind of whatever, not be too worried about the disinfection byproducts. If you have good ventilation and you don’t have people in there and then kind of switch back to peroxide.
It’s a little strange of a system cause it’s a little strange to me to think that you think the rest of your system is not good enough to handle both. You shouldn’t be relying on once a week making sure you’re actually killing stuff, but you know, chlorine is more hardcore than hydrogen peroxide, that’s for sure.
Graham: Yeah and more generally documented.
Ashkahn: Yeah. So now you can go for it.
Graham: All right, if you have your own questions, head on down to floattanksolutions.com/podcast. Run don’t walk. We’ll be waiting.
Ashkahn: Yeah and you know put those hands in your pocket now, they are nice and warm.
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