How does SpaBalancer work?

1) SpaBalancer's active principle


SpaBalancer is not a mixture of chemicals. It is made up of water (95%), salts and minerals. SpaBalancer does not work on its own either. It stimulates the water to increase its natural cleansing mechanism.
The basic principle of this cleansing mechanism is hexagonally structured water molecules. When they come into contact with a surface the water molecules in one hundredth of a millimetre arrange themselves. Much like water molecules that make up ice. This arrangement brings about a gel-like configuration which encapsulates foreign objects. In this gel the water molecules are arranged in a hexagon. Similar to what happens with snow, foreign objects are pushed out of this configuration. Additionally, this process releases hydrogen atoms. This release causes redox potential which reduces the encapsulated anaerobic bacteria. SpaBalancer increases this naturally occurring process so much that the water is effectively cleaned.
As this effect affects any contaminants in the water even those dissolved in the water we are able to clean the water thoroughly without polluting it. During customary disinfection using chlorine the chlorine reacts with the elements in the water by exchanging electrons. This kills bacteria. When Chlorine comes into contact with urea or amino acids (urine, sweat, fats, shampoo, oils, etc) however, it is not strong enough to oxidise them. A chemical compound is formed between these elements and the chlorine. This is what are known as chloramines or “bonded chlorine”. The effects of thousands upon thousands of these unknown compounds on our health have never been investigated. In those that have been investigated, many have been shown to have adverse (e.g. cancer causing) effects on our health.
These chloramines cause the water to cloud because they are too small for the filter and cannot be filtered out. They also hinder the normal effects of chlorine and enable bacteria to survive. The water “blooms” and must be replaced. The great things about SpaBalancer is that all foreign objects in the water are encapsulated and can be filtered out. No chemical reactions or resulting waste products are initiated. The clumped foreign objects are separated by the filter and removed. The water remains crystal clear, clean and springwater-like. We have determined that the life span of water with these qualities is more than two years. So it is no problem at all to leave the water in your whirlpool for a year.

2) The problem of treating water in a whirlpool by using chlorine

In a whirlpool many problematic factors come together to make treating the water very difficult

2.1) A small amount of water and high degree of use

A whirlpool generally holds between 1000 and 2000 litres. It is not uncommon that 3-4 people use this whirlpool simultaneously. In comparison: that would be as if 200 people went into an 8 m x 4 m x 1.6 m (50 cubic metre) swimming pool.

2.2) The water temperature is very high

37 degrees Celsius is around body temperature. What happens at that temperature?

-Chemical and biological processes are greatly accelerated.
-Some bacteria can double their population every thirty minutes. Starting from one bacteria, in 12 hours one would have 16 million bacteria in the water.
-The user's main pores are open. People sweat in water. Up to 0.5 litre sweat per person.

2.3) Strong swirling of the water by the massage jets

-The lymphatic system below the skin is stimulated by the massage. The skin is detoxified.
-Pores open. Talc, skin cells, old cosmetics (most cosmetics are petroleum-based) are all introduced to into the water.

2.4) The heating and swirling of the water has other technical disadvantages

The water releases the strongly acidic gas carbon-dioxide which is normaly bonded in cold water.
This leads initially to a much higher pH. As air (oxygen) is mixed with the water many disinfectants react and disintegrate quickly. (Faster chlorine demand than in a swimming pool). Aside from that, this changes the composition of hardening ions which can lead to lime sediment.

2.5) The whirlpool's pipes

A modern whirlpool often contains more than 50 m of pipes. Bacteria is deposited on the inside of them forming biofilm. This biofilm cannot be cleaned because the piping cannot be reached mechanically.
2.6) Very small filtration systems in a whirlpool
Compared to the strain on the water, the filtration systems are under-dimensioned and the filtration cycles often much too short. So the dirt remains in the whirlpool and must be cleaned chemically. 

The main problem when using chlorine

2.7) Insufficient oxidation

Chlorine works by way of an oxidation process. This is an electro-chemical reaction. The Chlorine atom is missing an electron in the outer-most of its three existing atomic shells. It only has 7 electrons there. Gases with 8 electrons in the outer shell are chemically stable (noble gases). They do not react with other elements. The chlorine atom is unstable. It definitely wants another electron in order to become chemically stable. Chlorine “steals” this electron from bacteria and other substances when it comes into contact with them. This kills bacteria. Unfortunately, a missing electron is not enough to oxidise amino acids (fats, oils), urea etc. The chlorine atom “bonds” by way of an “electron bridge” to these substances and in doing so creates new molecules. These molecules are called chloramines or bonded chlorine. They are largely harmful. For that reason the water should be changed every two months.
The first big disadvantage of Chlorine: it can kill bacteria but cannot remove amino acids (fats, oils) urea (sweat and urine) from the water.

2.8) The problem of cyanuric acid

In order for the chlorine to work for a longer period of time (a few days) it is bonded to a cyanuric acid. The cyanuric acid bonds to the chlorine atom and only permits it to react slowly. This keeps the chlorine from reacting instantly and leaving the water without a disinfectant and protection from bacteria. 
The chlorine reacts and breaks down leaving the cyanuric acid in the water. This results in an increase in the level of cyanuric acid in the water after each addition of chlorine. This serves to further limit the effectiveness of the chlorine. One can only get rid of cyanuric acid by changing the water.

2.9) The problem of a high pH level

The transfer of an electron from a bacteria to the chlorine atom is an electrical process. High pH levels greatly hinder the ability of electrons to transfer. Since it is precisely during the first 4 to 6 weeks that the pH level of the water rises, the effectiveness of the chlorine is strongly decreased. When a pH of 8.0 has been reached chlorine only retains 30% of the effectiveness it has at a pH of 7.0. So the amount of chlorine would have to be tripled to reach an adequate result which again greatly increases the amount of cyanuric acid.

2.10) The problem of high temperatures and swirling

Chlorine is not very stable in water. The hotter the water the faster the amount of chlorine is broken down. The introduction of air by way of the jets also leads to decreased levels of chlorine.

2.11) Chlorine and skin

Human skin really sucks up the chlorine. This leads to greatly decreased chlorine levels during use. This is also the reason why many people shower off after the whirlpool. They are trying to get rid of the smell of the chlorine. The chlorine that has been sucked in has unpleasant effects. Skin is fairly acidic; it has a pH of 5.5. This increases the effectiveness of the chlorine. It kills bacteria in the epidermis and in the hypodermis as well. The bacteria play a very important role for the skin as the largest excretion organ of the body. Without bacteria it can no longer really function. When these bacteria are constantly killed by the chlorine sometime they case to be produced. This causes a so-called “chlorine” allergy which causes itching, scratching and spots on the skin. In many people this “allergy” set in after two or three years.

Here is on overview of how SpaBalancer deals with these problems

2.12) Insufficient oxidation 

SpaBalancer works without oxidation. It encapsulates foreign objects in a natural way.

2.13) The problem of cyanuric acid

Doesn't exist with SpaBalancer because no cyanuric acid is introduced into the water.

2.14) the problem of high pH levels

Not important for SpaBalancer. The encapsulation process functions at any pH level.

2.15) The problem of high temperatures and swirling

Not problematic either. SpaBalancer does not turn into a gas and works at any temperature.

2.16) SpaBalancer and skin

This is one of the main advantages of SpaBalancer. The encapsulation of bacteria and foreign objects only effects the surface of the skin. This puts no strain on the skin. We have had it dermatologically tested on 27 subjects. None of the test subjects showed any reactions.
Even better: since SpaBalancer removes minerals from the water and lowers its surface tension it feels very soft. Even people with neurodermatitis can now spend hours in the whirlpool and enjoy the bath.

3) Ultrashock's active principle

3.1) What is Ultrashock?

The liquid in the bottle is a modified sodium hypochloride with a very high pH level. When it is introduced into the water (the water functions as “acid”) the sodium hypochloride separates into sodium and chlorine dioxide. The chlorine dioxide in our active component. Even though the words chlorine dioxide contains the word chlorine it is not chlorine! In chlorine dioxide ClO2, one chlorine atom bonds with two oxygen atoms. The chlorine atom functions as a sort of oxygen atom carrier.
If the chlorine dioxide meets bacteria, fats, dirt etc. then the oxygen atoms break away from the chlorine atom and oxidise the contaminants. The remaining chlorine atom bonds with the original sodium atom to form sodium chloride. Sodium chloride (written with a “d”) is every day table salt.

The chlorine atom does not react with the contaminants.
The reaction in the water is purely an oxygen oxidation. Thus, Ultrashock can be described as chlorine-free.

3.2) The difference between chlorine and Ultrashock

Breaks down biofilm in the plumbing

Chlorine: in drinking water concentration only slight break down of biofilm due to minimal penetration.

Ultrashock: chlorine dioxide penetrates completely into the biofilm and breaks it down very well.

Deodorises


Chlorine: production of smell and taste inhibiting substances by way of reactions with phenols, amines or algae. 

Ultrashock: deodorising properties, so scent and flavour substances in water, i.e. phenols, algae and the products of their decomposition are transformed or never even produced.

Disinfectant effectiveness dependant on pH levels

Chlorine: disinfection only provided at pH levels < 7.5.

Ultrashock: Disinfection independent of pH levels stable between pH 4 < x < 10.


Production of cancer causing THMs and AOXs

Chlorine: high production due to reactions with orgainic water content substances.
Ultrashock: No THM production in drinking water. Only minimal AOX production.

Production of mucous membrane irritating chloromines (cause of swimming pool smell)

Chlorine: chlorination of all amines (amino acids, e.g. urea, fats, oils, sweat, cosmetics) into chloramines

Ultrashock: no reaction with primary and secondary amines and therefore no chloramine production. Chloramines produced by chlorine destroy oxidatives.


Bactericidal and virucidal effects

Chlorine: good bactericidal but poor virucidal properties. At pH levels > 7.0 poor bactericidal effects as well.
Ultrashock: very good bactericidal and very good virucidal properties. At pH levels > 7.5 around 20-30 times stronger disinfectant effect than chlorine.


Algaecide effects

Chlorine: only for shock chlorination. 

Ultrashock: permanent disinfection is ensured at amounts as low as 0.02 – 0.5 mg/l.

Oxidation effects

Chlorine: strong oxidation substance, which oxidises via chlorination (AOX production). 

Ultrashock: up to five times higher oxidation than chlorine. Oxidation occurs via oxygen transfer.


Temperature stability

Chlorine: temperatures > 30 °C break down chlorine very quickly. Rapid loss in whirlpool due to high reactivity.
Ultrashock: chlorine dioxide remains sufficiently stable in closed systems at temperatures of 30°C to 45°C.

Corrosiveness


Chlorine: high ration of chlorides in chlorine bleaching solutions in conjunction with high potential for oxidation results in high rates of corrosion.
Ultrashock: chlorine dioxide solutions contain next to no chlorides. Meaning lower rates of corrosion.

Flushing action

Chlorine: poorer flushability due to formation and adhesion or chlorinated substances from the water. Remains in the plumbing. Formation of sediments.
Ultrashock: easily flushed from plumbing

The oldest disinfectant for treating drinking water is chlorine. It exists in various oxidation levels, for example as chloride in salt or as chlorine bleach. As chlorine gas it is a highly toxic compound, whose bi-products are, among others, chloramines which irritate the mucous membranes and respiratory system in even the lowest concentrations.

Following the discovery of the reaction between chlorine and organic substances (humic substances) in 1974 the chlorination of drinking water was re-evaluated. The main by-product of so-called chlorination is chloroform but there are also various haloforms which contain bromine as well as chlorine which qualifies as a mutagen and carcinogen. The disinfectant effect of chlorine in the water is also strongly dependant on pH levels. At pH levels > 7.5 the sterilising effects decrease sharply.
The chemical compound group of trihalomethanes (THM) qualifies as carcinogenic and is dangerous for pregnant women due to its teratogenic properties. THMs can be produced when chlorine reacts with organic substances like sweat and urine. They can enter the body through the skin, be swallowed in water or inhaled because they evaporate. Trichloroethane, commonly known as chloroform, belongs to the THMs and has been avoided for decades due to suspicions that it causes cancer.

4) The combination of SpaBalancer and Ultrashock

SpaBalancer works best when used with Ultrashock. Its method of action has been successfully micro-biologically analysed for anaerobic germs and legionella.
There are, however, certain restrictions where Ultrashock should be used additionally.

For the first use in the first four weeks

Deposits of biofilm could have built up in the plumbing of the whirlpool. This is highly probable in the case of older whirlpools which have been cleaned with disinfectants such as chlorine, bromine or active oxygen as these substances cannot break down biofilm.

Even new whirlpools can exhibit quantities of biofilm. The cause is the water that was used for the water-tightness test. It is used repeatedly and therefore, is already laden. When the whirlpool is emptied remnants of the water remain inside and begin to mould.

For heavy strain

The dosage recommendation for SpaBalancer assumes that two people will use it 4 -5 times per week. If it will be used more then Ultrashock should be used additionally and the dosage of SpaBalancer increased.

After garden parties

You never know what bacteria, fungus or contaminants your guests will bring into the water. 
You would change the sheets in your guest room after your guests had left and not use them anymore. SpaBalancer can take up to 24 hours to encapsulate all the germs and render them harmless. To be sure I suggest using Ultrashock. It works very quickly.

For whirlpools with insufficient filtration

Short filtration cycles (e.g. inflatable pools in the summer) or filters that are too small or too few (most inflatable pools have filters which are to small) may not permit all of the encapsulated contaminants to be reliably filtered out. The additional usage of Ultrashock destroys excess dirt and takes strain off of the filter.

4.1) Can Ultrashock be used without SpaBalancer?

Ultrashock is meant for oxidation. It can destroy bacteria etc. very well. But fats and oils break it down very quickly. They would then collect and cloud the water. If Ultrashock is used on its own there is also the risk of inadequate disinfection. When Ultrashock has been used up disinfection ceases. Bacteria reproduce quickly. Bacteria can multiply two fold in 20 minutes in water at 37 degrees. This can cause the water to “bloom” within two or three days. If SpaBalancer and Ultrashock are used together it will never come to such a disinfection gap.

If you would like to use Ultrashock without SpaBalancer, please note the following two points:
(1) Ultrashock is an oxidant. The more dirt that is in the water and in the tubing, the quicker that Ultrashock will be used. It can also be reduced by gas release, caused by the swirling of the water. However, it will take several days or even weeks until it has been used up completely.
(2) Never let the concentration of Ultrashock in the water fall below 0.5 ppm (mg per litre), because the absence of Ultrashock will immediately allow bacteria to proliferate. In water at a temperature of 37 degrees, the bacterial population can double within 30 minutes. Even if only a single bacterium is present in the morning, the water may contain over 20 million bacteria by the evening.

I would suggest a dosage of 20 ml per 1000 litres, but you might like to use a higher or lower dosage. It depends on how often you want to add more Ultrashock, how many people use the hot tub, and how dirty the water and the tubing are.
The best method is to add Ultrashock to the water in the evening, leaving the pumps running so that it is evenly distributed. Always take great care when handling Ultrashock. It has a very high pH and can easily bleach trousers, jackets or sweaters – and may even make holes in them.
Measure the concentration of Ultrashock the following day. The concentration should not fall below 0.5 ppm. You can get into water with a concentration of up to 3.0 ppm without risking any ill effects. If you have non-sensitive skin, you can get into water with a concentration of up to 5.0 ppm.
If you have applied an overdose of Ultrashock, you will have to wait a few days until the concentration drops of its own accord, or change some of the water.
If you would like to use Ultrashock without SpaBalancer, I recommend that you change the water every 3 months.
The high pH value of Ultrashock may increase the pH value of the water, so please check the pH of the water regularly and ensure that it never rises to over 8.0.

4.2) What goes into the water first?

Put Ultrashock in the water first. Ultrashock can then handle the toughest strains. Then add SpaBalancer to the water around 12 hours later. Another tip: SpaBalancer arranges itself in water. It is most effective after a period of three months. Then the water is very stable and can be operated without Ultrashock.

5) SpaBalancer and water measurements

5.1) SpaBalancer and measurements

Can the amount of SpaBalancer in the water be measured?

It is not possible to measure the amount of SpaBalancer in the water. But it is also unnecessary. Dangerous bacteria are those bacteria that metabolise without oxygen. When the bacteria multiply then the water becomes cloudy and the water smells musty. As long as the water is crystal clear and scentless there aren't any anaerobic bacteria in it.
Whirlpools using SpaBalancer in customary concentrations were micro-biologically tested and 100% safe. Biofilm from the plumbing can lead to bacterial overloading which results in cloudy water and a musty smell.
If you are unsure Ultrashock can be added to the water. Ultrashock can be measured using our test strips or other testing methods (chlorine tests). Rule of thumb: if you put 40 ml of Ultrashock in a 1000 litre pool at night the next day there should be at least 1 ppm of Ultrashock in the water. If this is not the case then the water has a very high bacteria-biofilm load which consumed the Ultrashock overnight.

5.2) SpaBalancer and water hardness

People often say that disinfectants do not work well in very hard water. This is based on the fact that chlorine, for example, produces hypochloric acids in the water. And electro-chemical reaction occur in these acids which kill bacteria by way of electron transfer. In hard water, or water with many carbonates, which are basic, this acid is neutralised very quickly, limiting disinfection. 
Since SpaBalancer works by way of encapsulation of the foreign objects rather than oxidation hard water is not problem for SpaBalancer. However, SpaBalancer will remove a large portion of the hard water causing minerals. This means that it will be strained at the beginning.

5.3) Water hardness and lime sediments

All water contains minerals which cause hardness. Warming and swirling the water releases carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is very acidic. Since this acid is then missing from the water the pH level rises sharply. This process can take up to 4 – 6 weeks. At a pH level of 8.5 the chemical make-up of these hard water causing minerals is transformed. They dislodge themselves and accumulate as lime scale either as a fine dust or a hard layer on the surface of the acrylic tub and in the pipes.
SpaBalancer encapsulates minerals and they are then filtered out. This happens slowly and only applies to dissolved minerals. In order to prevent lime sediment you should add our product SpaBalancer SoftWater when the tube is filled. It “hooks” itself to the minerals which cause hardness and prevents them from becoming lime scale.
The dissolved lime can be removed by lowering the pH level of the water to 5.0 for one to two days. The acid then consumes the lime sediment.
For very hard water we recommend filling your whirlpool with a SpaBalancer SoftWater filter. The filter contains salt crystals through which the water flows. If it is filled very slowly the water will be softened by the salt.

5.4) SpaBalancer and alkalinity

Alkalinity describes the acid forming capacity of the water. Carbonates found in water are basic. When you add an acid to the water then these basic carbonates can neutralise it.
The alkalinity is formed by the amount of carbonate in the water. Many carbonates = high alkalinity, few carbonates = lower alkalinity. 
When you disinfect a whirlpool with chlorine then the chlorine in the water creates hypochloric acid. At low alkalinity levels the pH level of the water decreases very quickly and the water can become corrosive. In trying to become basic again it may dislodge ions from metal parts. The result can be damage to the heater or other metal parts. For this reason it is important that the level of alkalinity not be too low during chlorination.
The alkalinity should be between 80 – 160 mg/l when using chlorine or bromine.

Alkalinity and chlorine

High alkalinity – disinfectant effects of chlorine are decreased
Low alkalinity – the acids produced by chlorine sharply lower the pH levels of the water, making it corrosive. 


Alkalinity and pH levels

High alkalinity: the pH level is high and difficult to lower.
Low alkalinity: the pH level is normally to low and it is unstable. It will quickly rise or fall. 

Alkalinity and SpaBalancer

Since SpaBalancer also removes minerals from the water, it lowers alkalinity. It can go back down to 60 mg/l. Since SpaBalancer does not produce any acids, there is no need for high alkalinity. So, low alkalinity levels can be disregarded. SpaBalancer will lower high alkalinity levels already in the water over time. 


5.5) the pH level of the water

The pH level of the water describes how basic, neutral or acidic the water is. The pH level can be anywhere from 0-14. 0 designates an acid and 14 a base or alkali liquid. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. Water from the tap normally has a pH of around 7. The pH level can be communicated using a common logarithm. A pH level of 8.0 is ten times as basic as a pH level of 7.0 and a pH level of 6.0 is ten times as acidic as a pH level of 7.0. 

Below are the pH levels of common liquids

Hydrochloric acid 0.35% = 1.0
Stomach acid = 2.0

Citric acid = 2.0
Vinegar = 3.0
Cola = 3.0
Wine = 4.0
Beer = 5.0
Surface of the skin = 5.5
Mineral water = 6.0
Tap water = 7.0
Blood = 7.4
Chyle = 8.3
Laundry detergent = 10
Sodium Hydroxide 3% = 14 


5.6) The pH level and carbonic acid

Carbonic acid is found in water. Carbonic acid is very acidic. The warming and swirling of the water causes the release of carbonic acid from the water. This causes a sharp rise in the pH of the water. Up to 8.5 and higher. This occurs during the first 4 to 6 weeks. Then the pH level of the water goes back to normal at around 7. 


5.7) Problem of high pH levels

- at pH levels of 8.5 or higher the hard water causing ions (calcium, for example) found in the water are transformed into lime sediment. Then you get lime sediment on the surfaces.
- human skin has a pH of 5.5. There are oils in the skin. Oils are dissolved by liquids with a high pH level (soap). People with “dry” skin will find water with a high pH uncomfortable. The water “tightens” and “prickles” on the skin.
- At high pH levels the oxidation capacity of disinfectants such as chlorine decrease drastically. At a pH level of only 8 chlorine only retains 30 % of the effectiveness it had at a pH of 7.

5.8) Problem of low pH levels

At pH levels below 6.0 the water can dissolve metal ions, thereby attacking the machinery of the whirlpool. It does this to become basic again.

5.9) Chlorine and pH

The pH level plays a decisive role for the effectiveness of chlorine during chlorination. But chlorine also changes the pH level. Chlorine creates hypochloric acids in the water which lower the pH of the water. 


5.10) SpaBalancer and pH

Since SpaBalancer does not use oxidation it works at any pH level. This means that you do not have to set the pH level. During the encapsulation of contaminants the pH in the immediate area of encapsulation can reach 3.5. The pH level can go down (very rarely) in water that is either very dirty or water that contains a high quantity of metals or suspended substances. For this reason the pH level should be tested every one or two weeks and regulated with everyday pH regulator products when necessary. In everyday clean water SpaBalancer does not change the pH of the water. It will come to rest between 6.5 and 7.2 with time.

5.11) SpaBalancer Ultrashock and pH

Ultrashock also works well at high pH levels. Since it works by way of oxidation it works even better at low pH levels. That is why it is recommended that Ultrashock be added directly after the whirlpool has been filled and the SpaBalancer a day later.

5.12) pH levels, lime sediments

When using SpaBalancer, SoftWater should be added to the water during filling. The SoftWater “hooks” itself to the ions which cause hardness and prevents them from forming lime.



6) SpaBalancer combined with other water treatment products or methods 



6.1) SpaBalancer and chlorine

It is possible. However, the water must be changed every two months in order to avoid the problems caused by chloramines and cyanuric acid.
When changing to SpaBalancer you do not necessarily have to empty the water. But remember that since chlorination causes harmful chloramines to be on the safe side the water should be changed every two months.
SpaBalancer and chlorine can be combined. But this applies here as well: harmful chloramines will be produced and the water must be changed every two or three months.

6.2) SpaBalancer and active oxygen

It is possible. Is often done by users of soft tubs and inflatable pools because the filtration of the small filters and short filtration cycles is unamenable.

6.3) SpaBalancer and bromine

It is possible but I would not recommend it. Bromine does not dissolve well in water. A store of bromine would first have to be built up.

6.4) SpaBalancer and silver / copper ions

It is possible. Silver ions refer to ionised silver rather than silver. Silver would remove SpaBalancer from the water. But not ionised silver. Silver or copper ions can lead to green water.

6.5) SpaBalancer and salt electrolysis (e.g. the ACE system from Hotspring)

It is possible.

6.6) SpaBalancer and bromine salt electrolysis

It is possible.

6.7) SpaBalancer and Ozonator

It is possible and highly recommendable

6.8) SpaBalancer and UV irradiation

It is possible. UV light will break down ultrashock if it is being used. If UV disinfection is being used the amount of Ultrashock should be increased. UV light also breaks down chlorine.