Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Have you ever wondered why the UV light on a float tank needs to be replaced so often? If the light is glowing, doesn’t that mean it’s working?
Ashkahn and Graham tackle everything you need to know about UV light, how it works in a float tank, and most importantly, how it can go wrong. This episode is dense with information useful for anyone who uses UV in their float center.
FTS Blog – The Basics of Float Tank Sanitation
The 2018 Model Aquatic Health Code (relevant float tank sections are 4.12.10A – 4.12.11A(pg.101-107) and 5.12.10A – 184.108.40.206.2.1 (pg. 138-147))
Ultraviolet Light As a Sterilization Method in Flotation Tanks – Study done by Peter Suedfeld and Glenn K. Wong on the efficacy of UV in float tanks
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: I’m Graham.
Ashkahn: I’m Ashkahn.
Graham: And today’s question is-
Ashkahn: It’s been served up hot.
Graham: Just came out of the oven.
Ashkahn: And fight them hot and ready. It needs maybe a little bit more salt.
Graham: Today’s question is, “I feel like have to replace my UV bulbs once every six months or so. Is this normal?”
Ashkahn: Okay. Missed the full question.
Graham: That’s the question.
Ashkahn: It’s big question.
Graham: And there’s a lot going on there. Like what what makes you think that you have to replace them every six months? Is it just because the light is literally not working at some point?
Ashkahn: Yes what is it that’s leading you to this conclusion?
Graham: Is it that you just have a policy of replacing the bulb every six months and nothing’s going wrong? ‘Cause in the case-
Ashkahn: Is it that you’re looking at the light bulb on the ceiling of your room and just confused?
Graham: All of these are important question.
Ashkahn: This is perhaps a good opportunity to, and I think maybe let’s just go over-
Graham: Let’s just talk about what we really want to talk about instead of answering those questions at all?
Ashkahn: I think we should talk about UV in general. Let’s just get real. Let’s get real with UV.
Graham: So first of all, light is-
Ashkahn: Is a form of energy.
Graham: Plutonic, yeah, energy.
Ashkahn: Both a particle and a wave. And that’s confusing.
Graham: That’s crazy, right?
Ashkahn: I don’t really understand-
Graham: Blows my mind, being blown.
Graham: And UV is a specific spectrum of the light.
Ashkahn: So UV is a spectrum of the light. And when we talk about UV lights in the form of sanitation, we’re also just talking about a specific section of the UV range. And different sections. But there’s some extremely common ones in terms the wavelengths that go into different types of disinfection and stuff like that. And there’s some differences between low pressure and medium pressure systems and there’s obviously unbelievably complicated stuff that goes into UV, there’s so many things and we honestly know all of those things.
Graham: But a lot of it is based around that simple idea of wavelengths, right? It’s how can you get those specific wavelengths of light to pass through as much of the water as you possibly can and do a good enough job disinfecting for the flow that you have.
Ashkahn: There’s also things like UV interacting with chlorine and how much collectors, things about UV absorption with the actual microorganisms and trying to up the absorption of the organisms for the UV to be more thorough, it’s just all sorts of crazy, crazy stuff.
Graham: But even the difference between low pressure and medium pressure, a lot of that also does have an effect on just the wavelengths that are going on. Just say that the building blocks of wavelengths and what those are doing is kind of the essentials of UV.
Ashkahn: And UV basically, how it’s keeping things clean is that it is, unlike a lot of the other things like chlorine, and bromine, peroxide, stuff like that, UV is actually breaking down the RNA and sometimes the DNA of these kinds of pathogenic organisms that are in your solution and stops them from being able to replicate. And if they can’t replicate, they can’t grow to numbers that are harmful to people and things like that.
So that’s what kind UV’s doing. So it’s doing things in a different way than other things are, which is nice. I guess the other thing that is important to think about, I feel, is that there’s a big spectrum of UV. Like just saying I’m using UV is-
Graham: Which we hear all the time.
Ashkahn: Right. ‘Cause there’s tiny little UV lights people put on aquariums and there’s humongous UV systems that municipal wastewater treatment plants use, and everything in between. And different levels of quality, and size, and power and functionality, and how long they last, and all that sort of stuff. As opposed to chlorine, which you know, there’s a couple different versions of the chemical you can get and stuff like that, but the spectrum of what’s different in the number of different ways to use chlorine out there, or bromine, or ozone, or things like that, is just much, much smaller than when it comes to UV.
Graham: In a lot of ways, just for a comparison, I think the difference is between different UV units is actually even there’s a broader spectrum there than differences between float tanks. Right? There’s way more variety, and craziness involved in that range of products and what we deal with. There’s a pretty wide array of float tanks too. I don’t know, the thing I honestly going back to, when people say something, “oh I’m using UV”, whenever I hear someone say that without knowing exactly what system they’re using, or just when they’re tossing that out is sort of a, “oh I’m taken care of”, I always worry it’s gonna be one of those aquarium UV units. Especially when it’s like a home built kind of tank or they’ve been piecing things together on their own with help from the guy at the aquarium store.
So it’s one of my greatest fears is people using undersized UV as the main disinfectant system on their tank.
Ashkahn: And there’s basically, one of the tricky things about UV is that it’s very difficult to tell what it’s doing. You just stand there and stare at your UV light, not at the light itself, but if you’re staring at your UV unit on your filtration system, you’re just looking at this cylinder and you’re like, okay, yeah it’s glowing. And like that’s the input that you have. And there is just there’s so many different reasons why UV, even with a legitimate UV device is maybe not performing at the level it’s supposed to be performing. And there’s a lot of maintenance routine procedures and stuff like that to make sure it’s actually effective or as effective as you would like to be.
Graham: And there’s things like cleaning the cords tube. Like you mentioned in in the question actually changing out the UV bulbs can be a big part of the maintenance as well.
Ashkahn: So it’s kinda breaking down, it’s basically there’s issues with the mechanics of itself, of the UV system that can wear out or become less effective over time. And so the bulb is a big one. Bulb, just like any other bulb is going to, it’s not gonna last forever. But as opposed to a light bulb in your house where it just goes out one day and you’re like, “oh I need to change the light bulb,” you don’t have that sort of cue from a UV light. So the visible spectrum you’re seeing off of a UV, that glow that you see that’s gonna last much longer than the actual wavelength of UV that is doing the killing. The UV wavelengths. So it might look to you like it’s glowing and everything’s fine past the point that your system’s really putting out perhaps any UV, perhaps just enough UV, stuff like that.
And I think a lot of times these things have, again, we’re now kinda edging out of my level of understanding of this stuff but there’s something going on in there with like mercury, and that mercury gets heated up and activated and that there’s a process where things like that kinda get used up over time. As well as the connections between the bulb and the other things turn on and off can get worn out over time.
Graham: That’s one of the things we’ve heard mentioned pretty consistently from a lot of different UV manufacturers is sort of unless they’re specifically designed for that kind of constant on and off action, maybe even if they are designed more for that, it’s gonna wear them out faster, right? Like having something running continuously like you do on a big municipal swimming pool is, actually easier on the light than kicking it on and off all the time.
Ashkahn: Basically the background of that is that most UV systems for pools and stuff are meant to be just running all the time, or maybe turned off once a day. Like you turn it on in the morning you turn it off at night, you know if it’s in your backyard or something like that. So UV manufacturers are building around kind of those assumptions, that the lights pretty much on, or if anything doing one on-off cycle a day. And there are parts of the system that can get wear and tear from going on and off, and with float tanks, for flipping these things on and off, over and over and over again. And there’s other complex stuff about that, with like the ballast and digital ballasts and anyway. Without going into all the details of the stuff, just know that pieces can be worn out and need to be replaced.
Amongst them the bulb itself, which is probably the biggest one and no matter what system you’re on, it’s gonna come as some sort of replacement time. And they talk about replacement time in terms of lamp life, hours of lamp life, but often the recommendation for switching bulbs are much more frequently than if you were to run the calculations on lamp life. And this is gonna differ from equipment to equipment but-
Graham: Size of bulbs-
Ashkahn: You often hear, once a year. A lot of heuristics lead to annual bulb replacement for people. But those approximations and can be different based off of different systems.
Graham: And going back to the question as well, which is I found that I’ve had to replace my bulb once every six months or so, like again are you finding you have to replace it because the light actually is no longer producing any light at all because, like we were talking about before with lamp life, it gets really scary since the lamp life ends well before the visible spectrum ends. So it almost say, it’s probably a bigger issue than you think, if that’s what you’re basing it on.
Ashkahn: I mean I don’t know what this person’s talking about, like how is he gonna know their lamp is time or they’re finding they switch it doesn’t make any sense to me. If you’re trying to, but mostly you’re doing this based off of some recommendation and you have some sort of pattern. Or sometimes, systems will come with indicator lights that tell you it’s time to replace it. Maybe that’s what they’re talking about. They have an indicator light going off on the ballast or some float tanks have logic built into them, they give you a cue as to when to change the bulb. But you know things can get tricky from there too. I’ve talked to UV manufacturers, so the other thing that’s tricky about UV or another reason UV is maybe not as effective than you may think it is, is that a lot of times these systems take time to heat up. And so the stuff inside the bulb has to get to a certain temperature to produce the wavelength of UV that you’re relying on for your sanitation.
And this also differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, you know we’ve talked to some UV manufacturers where their systems take an hour to get to the optimal actual performance range. If you had a UV light like that connected to a float tank, you’re basically doing nothing every transition when you’re running that thing for 15 minutes.
Graham: But it does look like you’re doing something.
Ashkahn: It does look like, yes.
Graham: I wonder, how he kind of unfortunate part about it.
Ashkahn: And in addition to that, even for systems that take only a couple minutes to get to performance levels, when you turn them on, that’s another factor that can actually weaken as you use it. I have talked to another UV manufacturer who said, a brand new bulb might be able to get up to proper performance in 2 minutes but after about a year of usage, that is more like 20 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes. So even if you’re replacing your bulb every year, you maybe by the end of that bulb’s life span, if you’re just running it during transitions, never turning it on long enough for it to get to the point where it’s actually producing enough, or the appropriate range of UV.
Graham: You scared yet? Because you should be.
Ashkahn: Because it just gets worse. Now we’re just talking about the UV even being produced in the first place in the right amount. And the next layer of difficulty comes with that UV actually getting past the bulb and into the liquid and being effective from there.
Graham: So that’s these things like cleaning the quartz tube, and making sure that you have proper visibility is the wrong word, proper transmission actually going through-
Ashkahn: And the quartz tube, just to like, break down the pieces if you’re unfamiliar with this stuff. There’s usually some sort of tube that you’re using-
Graham: A tube by the way is some sort of a cylindrical type thing that you often put other objects inside of.
Ashkahn: Cylinder is a space in geometry.
Graham: Geometry started largely with ancient Greeks.
Ashkahn: Often your bulb doesn’t wanna touch water, is basically, like you don’t want your bulb directly touching the liquid and so there’s some sort of protective layer. Most times you see the bulb inside of like a big glass tube and it’s usually quartz glass. Other times it’s made of Teflon, other times the liquid itself goes through a big Teflon tube through the middle of the system and the bulb’s around the outside shining into it. Whatever it is, there’s some sort of barrier between the bulb and the liquid. And whatever that barrier is, is the liquid’s going through it, the solution can have stuff in it. Especially oils and things like that, that can build up on that quartz or that Teflon, and form some kind of a small layer of something. Sometimes in pools and stuff to they have to do a scaling and calcium builds up. But we’re never gonna see that in float tanks.
Graham: Fortunately we don’t seem to have to deal with that one.
Ashkahn: And the problem is we’re talking about a wavelength of light that has to penetrate into something, into your liquid to be able to get through everything and be effective. So if you have a layer of oil or something between the bulb and the liquid, that’s going to not allow as much of the UV light to go through or diminish the performance of your UV system.
Graham: Yeah. It is hard to figure where you started that sentence. What was the that can go wrong, right?
Ashkahn: What else can go wrong. ‘Cause there’s more from there. The next one to think about is the fact that even so now, like we’ve talked about the bulb itself producing enough UV and having to get through the protective layer into the liquid in the first place. Now that we’re in the liquid, there’s also reasons why the UV can’t perform as well even once it’s in there. Which basically has to do with how much they usually talk about this in the pool world in terms of turbidity. Which is basically kind of like the stuff.
Graham: How murky your water is essentially, like how opaque is it?
Ashkahn: In sense of clarity but this isn’t really, you can have floating solution with turbidity and have it look, visually, clear to you. It’s not like specifically gonna look. I mean if it does look murky, it’s real bad. You’re doing a real bad job at that point and it’s definitely gonna be messing with this UV light. But even if it looks visually clear to you, that turbidity in the liquid can refract the light and that means the light can’t penetrate as far in. They usually call this your UV transmission. If you imagine maybe three, four inches of liquid moving through the system-
Graham: And the UVT is like the combination of all of that, right? Like how much is making it through the quartz tube or whatever you have, is the sleeve, then how much is going through the water after that. It’s really like the combination of how much is making it through to actually disinfect the water.
Ashkahn: Yeah, maybe. I mean it might be in terms of, I think often when they’re measuring UVT, at least in a lab they’re under ideal conditions, right?
Graham: Right, totally. I guess, well, we’ll get into the sensors later. I was just thinking if you’re actually measuring it on, you’re unit in action. I think it’s measuring the light that’s going through like every aspect, like how much is actually getting into your solution to do this kinda thing.
Ashkahn: Yeah, if you have some way of measuring it yourself.
Graham: Yeah, we’ll get into that in a second. Getting ahead of ourselves again.
Ashkahn: So if you have three, four inches of water moving past a system and if the more refraction is in there, the less the UV is gonna be able to make it to that four inch deep liquid that’s through there. It’s gonna be able to hit the stuff once you’re closer to it easier than getting through. So that’s where kinda where UVT comes in and it’s not like you’re expecting this to be at 100%, nothing is at 100%.
Graham: It the real world out here.
Ashkahn: There are different ranges and basically the lower your UVT is the more powerful of a UV light you wanna have to balance that out. And to be able to overcome the fact that it’s refracting a lot and not penetrating as deep.
Graham: And we’ve run some tests with UVT on our own tank water and it’s, like okay transmission, and even that I get kinda curious about what exactly is going on. We’ve kind of have done tests to it. It’s sitting in the tanks for a while, with totally fresh salt water, and we’ve gotten some strange results. But just mentioning it certainly to say that it’s not it, 100%. I would say 90, or 80, or 85, feels like a good number to me for the actual UVT here, expecting.
Ashkahn: That’s often like pools and spas there are at somewhere in that range. I’m sorry, pools, specifically. Spas tend to be worse. And like waste waters down to like, 50%.
So this is probably pretty frightening, we just listed a whole bunch of reasons why things can go wrong inside of your UV system. And again in all of these examples, you’re gonna be looking at your UV light and it’s just gonna look like everything’s fine.
Graham: Like everything’s working fine.
Graham: I guess I’d like to interject to say I think there is a reason to be concerned about this stuff. I mean certainly there was a time when we didn’t know any of this and we would definitely assume that if the UV light is shining through, that just means everything’s okay. So it’s good to be, I mean it’s terrifying to be educated but it’s good to have knowledge. It’s a good thing.
Ashkahn: This gets little bit into some stuff that maybe you’ve heard about over the last year. It’s like the model aquatic health code. There’s been this big conversations about sensors inside of UV systems. And that conversation I think kinda revolves around all this stuff we’re talking about. Basically UV lights can be built these sensors in them that can detect how much of that UV, like millijoules of UV, the dose that actually makes it through the liquid. And the purpose of that is it gives you something quantifiable to push against all this stuff, right.
Graham: And they’re sometimes calibrated sensors would be the ones that are measuring the output there.
Ashkahn: Yeah, I don’t know what goes into calibrating them, specifically. But yeah, usually, when you see it written they usually reference it as calibrated sensors.
Graham: I guess that just comes to mind for the conversation and what they might have heard in the background. I feel like there’s a lot to talk about. Calibrated sensors and the MAHC and that’s what we’re talking about now?
Ashkahn: The basic concept is, there is a sensor that’s sensing things.
Graham: And it’s calibrated!
Ashkahn: It’s calibrated. And so the logic of that is, if you have a sensor that is able to detect to the amount of UV that’s passing through the liquid in your UV system, you kinda answer a lot of questions, right? If you’re getting the dose that you are expecting, or the dose you know is good performance, reading off of that sensor, you know that your UV light is functional enough, and heated up enough, and new enough to be producing that much energy in the first place and the right wavelength. You know that it’s making through the sleeve of whatever form, the tube, as we’ve established the geometric shape that’s between that and the liquid, and you know that it’s made it deep enough into the liquid to have proper kind of penetration.
So that sensor kind of gives you a way of being able to look at something and understand if these things are working.
Graham: And if you have a calibrated sensor-sensor, you know the calibrated sensor is working properly. So it’s nice too.
Ashkahn: The requirements on the model aquatic health code, like ask some sort of alarm system to be connected to it.
Graham: For sure.
Ashkahn: Well I’m gonna guess that if your sensor goes down. If your alarm goes down, you need an alarm sensor.
Graham: Where does the madness stop, you know?
Ashkahn: I think that was a really scary thing to a lot people as this whole process happen including us because we all sort of looked at this and realize that a UV system with a calibrated sensor-
Graham: Cost some Benjamins!
Ashkahn: Yeah it’s like $10,000. These are really, really expensive systems. There was a lot of talk about-
Graham: Which is like a hundred Benjamins.
Ashkahn: Why that might not be justified in the fluid in fluid industry and I think there are some legitimate opinions on either side of that in terms of, maybe we should have this, and maybe we shouldn’t, and maybe not for these reasons. And there are real ways to help mitigate these risks, which we’ll go into. But just to give you some context on the whole sensor thing.
I don’t know, over the last years I’ve been looking into it personally. I will just speak for myself at this point, more and more. I started out being like, “What are you, crazy? $10,000 for these UV things? That’s insane! We don’t need these sensors!” And now I’m kinda like, “Well, I kinda get it. I kinda get why that would be a requirement, or why that may be kind of nice to have in your float center. To look at something and be like, hey my UV light’s working. And I know it’s working now and I don’t have to worry about has it been long enough that this thing’s not heating up in the appropriate amount of time, reproducing the UV dose.” All these other questions that we just went over.
Graham: Really, the shame is that they’re so expensive. Right? Because if a UV unit with calibrated sensor was $500 more expensive, or even a thousand dollars more expensive, it wouldn’t be such a burden on the industry. And just the fact that it’s $10,000 per unit with these is really difficult. When you think about the cost of upgrading existing centers and almost none of them have UV units with calibrated sensors. I guess it totally makes sense to me, it’s just unfortunate the logistics is such a difficult thing.
We don’t have calibrated sensors on our UV at Float On. And we couldn’t upgrade today to do that very easily, just spend $60,000 plus the cost of being down and skilled labor installing them. That would be a challenge to get installed.
Ashkahn: I mean this is pretty normal stuff for a commercial pool. And most commercial systems when you look into UV systems come with these things. But we’ve just been using a lot of more, things more on the residential end, for float tanks. Because they’re like sized more appropriately for what we’re looking for. Some sensors, according to UV people, UV manufacturers, their opinion is as an industry, we just got used to a price that was maybe unrealistic. And we need to change our assumptions about how this stuff is supposed to work and realize that a $10,000 UV unit is what we’re supposed to have.
Graham: Also unfortunate that we just that’s the equivalent of us having six, full-size swimming pools. Because big mini-spa pool as a pool, that they’ll attach it work. They have an Olympic pool next to that one, and they have two. Right and us, a small float tank center.
Ashkahn: They need a way bigger UV thing. There’s probably cost like $30,000 or something like that.
Graham: Still less than what we’d be paying with six, right? It’s still insane.
Ashkahn: And that’s a big pool. They’re probably getting way more people coming in than we are.
Graham: Yeah, probably.
Ashkahn: Let’s talk about some good things.
Graham: It’s cool. UV doesn’t leave weird chemicals that are combining with other stuff in the water in the same way-
Ashkahn: I mean, it can, it can.
Graham: I guess it’ll interact with others stuff that you have.
Ashkahn: This is also complicated.
Graham: I guess it’s true.
Ashkahn: UV can create disinfection by-products. We learned about this mostly in association with chlorine. But yeah, it’ll actually produce disinfection by-products and help break them down and so far it seems like-
Graham: And just an example of why that may be caused, like you can imagine, someone even just having, like sweating a little bit in the float tank, or something like that, and we secrete things that are in our system, right? So if you’re sweating and if you’ve had certain antidepressants or taking in other chemicals kind of foreign to your body, you can be releasing those into the water. Now UV is going through this odd chemical structures that aren’t just basic water and hydrogen peroxide and things like that. As it does it can just create all kinds of weird mutations or odd interactions with that.
Ashkahn: So yeah, I wouldn’t say UV is just-
Graham: No, you’re right, I wouldn’t say that either. I just started to say that I know, but I regret it. It’s a huge-
Ashkahn: Let’s talk about some good stuff. There are ways that you know, without a sensor, there are ways to at least be doing good practices to give you UV systems the best chance of performing well.
Graham: So let’s talk about, I’d say number one is actually making sure you’re UV is sized appropriately and talking to your manufacturer and just establishing basic things like your UV unit doesn’t have to be on for an hour before it reaches full dose, and some really basic, just not even operational but manufacturing side of things are good to clarify.
Ashkahn: I mean, talk to the UV manufacturer. You don’t even have to call the float tank manufacturer.
Graham: Oh, so I meant the UV manufacturer.
Ashkahn: Oh great, perfect. Do that then. You can also get your UV transmission tested. You could send a sample, you could talk to the person who, the UV manufacturer and they might do a test for you, you might have to pay them a tiny bit of money or something like that. And you might find out that with your regimen and whatever’s going on with your filtration, stuff like that, you have maybe a low transmission percentage and maybe you need a bigger UV light to balance that out. So that’s a good thing to find out.
Graham: Yeah, for sure. I was gonna say, a good piece of news is just with the manufacturers of float tanks themselves. Hopefully they’ve actually done some research into this as well and might actually have some of that data. So do talk to your float tank manufacturer and see what they can send you about any tests that they’ve had their UV manufacturer do on, the liquid or on float solution.
Ashkahn: You can make sure to actually be replacing your bulbs on a routine basis and keeping on top of that to mitigate that risk.
Graham: It’s a good job asking that question, loyal listener.
Ashkahn: You can clean, you should, not even like you can consider doing this. You should be cleaning whatever that quartz sleeve or Teflon tube or something like that. You should be cleaning that on somewhat regular basis, this is again what you can ask the UV manufacturer or your float tank manufacturer, to make sure it is clear from oils or other things building up in there.
Graham: By the way, pro-tip. Make sure you have back-ups before you ever go cleaning these things. They’re so easy to break. There are different UV units where they’re easier and harder to take out. But as you can imagine, kind of a shatterable tube that you’re trying to remove from something and get in there to clean is very delicate. So same with the bulbs themselves, any work you’re doing on the UV unit, make sure you have back-ups on hand.
Ashkahn: Just have spares, ’cause if you break them, you’re about to start canceling a lot of appointments.
Graham: Right? ‘Cause you can’t run floats without any form of disinfection in between.
Ashkahn: And often if something like this is broken it means that if you turn your filtration system on, float liquid will start shooting up out of the top of your UV-
Graham: Or glass, just start going through the entire filtration system. Or anyway. Pro-tip.
Ashkahn: You can also just make sure UV is running everyday. At least make sure the glow is glowing, you know.
Graham: That’s no guarantee, but if it’s not glowing, you do know that that’s not working.
Ashkahn: Something’s definitely up. This can happen. We’ve seen that something go wrong, and like the brain of a float tank that stops providing power to the UV system.
Graham: Or just in the ballast, like the power supply to the bulb. Nothing’s wrong with the bulb, it’s doing fine, but yes, something with the UV unit is malfunctioning.
Ashkahn: Or small leaks are kicking off the GFCI protectors, something that’s kicking off the UV system, these are all things that can happen even upstream of all the stuff that we talked about. We, every morning, visually look at our UV systems, just to make sure at least they’re glowing as one of our daily checks.
Graham: And everything else that Ashkahn’s going over to. So we do have really regular maintenance, regular bulb changes and at least for now, without the calibrated sensor, that’s how we’re handling it.
Ashkahn: I know, it’s something to consider, it’s been on my mind. Maybe we should just slowly be building up $60,000 to-
Graham: I don’t know, I wonder at what point during the last eight years I stopped having recurring nightmares of clowns and start having recurring nightmares of weird things going wrong with my float water, you know what I mean? ‘Cause like yeah, giant monsters broken UV bulb, chasing after me. I feel like is in recent memory.
Ashkahn: The other thing to say is that, it’s always good to remember that we’re not pools. Or spas. Or you know, the stuff that we’re comparing ourselves to and everything we’ve been talking about in terms of you what the proper dosages and stuff like that, are based off of pool standards. I think what, when you hear people saying things like these sensors are unnecessary and we don’t need to be spending $10,000 on stuff like that, the logic behind those arguments is that we very likely have a much less risky environment in a float tank than we do in a pool. And maybe allows for some flexibility in terms of the stringency of these requirements because there’s just kind of a less, a smaller likelihood that we’re gonna get people sick.
Graham: Yeah, and you do see UV in combination with a lot of other systems. So a lot of what we’ve been saying is primarily a concern if UV is your primary or only form of real disinfection. If you are using UV in conjunction with something like chlorine or you’re using UV in conjunction with an ozone system for example, obviously that kind of redundancy takes away from some of the burden of being totally precise with everything on the UV side.
Ashkahn: I don’t know, keep this in the back of your mind and this is one of the requirements that’s in this new model aquatic health code thing that came out. This might become a reality we might see over the next ten years, that it become kind of assumed for commercial float centers will have $10,000 UV systems, or you know, whatever it ends up costing. UV systems with calibrated sensors that have gone through testing and stuff like that.
Graham: And maybe the cost will go down too. It could be that something that’s more sized-appropriately for a float tank but still has this method of establishing a performance gets made. Maybe a manufacturer will step up and kind of take that on as a project. There’s silver linings to all of it, you know?
Ashkahn: I’ve seen some for less than $10,000 too, it’s just that those that’s definitely the much more common ballpark price.
Graham: Benny’s Bargain Basement UV? Don’t look that up, that’s nothing, don’t go Google it.
Ashkahn: Anyway, good luck everybody. Have a good day!
Graham: Have fun out there guys! Alright. If you have any other really simple questions that can lead to crazy answers, I don’t even know of we even answered the person’s base-level question but luckily there was something in there that helped you out.
Ashkahn: We let them know that there’s more that they have to worry about.
Graham: Go to floattanksolutions.com/podcast
Ashkahn: Yep, we’ll be here. We don’t do anything other than this. We just sit inside of this room. For 23 hours and 45 minutes until the next episode.
Graham: So yeah, we’re waiting. We’re waiting.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Something in the world of floating have you stumped? Show HighlightsGrashkahmn are back to talk about the latest product they've been putting together during quarantine: The Buoy Project, a social media toolkit designed...
Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.
The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).
Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.
It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!
The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!
In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client.
Latest Blog Posts
Even before experiencing a global crisis, float centers have had a hard time navigating social media, marketing, and just generally keeping their customers engaged. That struggle is even more real in the wake of the COVID pandemic. We’ve spent the last two months (in...
As our communities begin reopening amidst this pandemic, float centers are straddling a line between wanting to run floats and making sure they’re keeping their customers and staff safe. The collective social fatigue and stress are palpable, and it’s apparent to many...
In the first episode of Improving Your Float Center from Home: the Bathrobe Chronicles, Ashkahn and Graham covered the special deal that they're running at Float On during their closure. Watch the full episode below:For the deal, they're offering 25% off floats, and...
These are challenging times for all of us, and many float centers (ourselves included) have decided to temporarily shut down to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Our team got together yesterday to figure out what we need to do to put our shop into hibernation mode,...