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Typically, mineral adjusters and chemicals are applied to spas/hot tubs for very specific reasons: to balance water, kill and control bacteria and algae, oxidise organic wastes, increase clarity, or prevent stains. In other words, there is no one-for-all, all-for-one treatment product.


There is one product, however, that cuts across many of those lines and performs a range of functions. That product is SpaGuard Optimiser Plus and it works by introducing borates to the water. Boron, the fifth atomic element, is mined in several regions in North America (boron technology is the active ingredient in eyewash products that "get the red out"). Optimiser Plus uses similar technology to Optimiser, yet has some distinct differences. A near neutral pH, fragrance and corrosion inhibitors are present in Optimiser Plus only.


One of the key advantages for these products is their across-the-board compatibility with other spa/hot tub treatments. Optimiser Plus meshes well with all types of chlorine and bromine programs as well as many of the alternative sanitiser systems. All will operate more efficiently and with less potential for problems. Optimiser Plus is compatible with all spas and hot tubs.


So what do borates do in spa/hot tub water?

1. Optimiser Plus increases overall water comfort by reducing skin and eye irritation. As mentioned earlier, borate chemistry is used in applications where reducing irritation is required.

2. Optimiser Plus has a fresh, pleasant fragrance. This helps make the product more pleasing to use on a regular basis.

3. Optimiser Plus works to enhance water clarity. It does this by increasing the water’s ability to absorb calcium and other minerals, metals and salts commonly found in spa/hot tub water. Customer feedback has been overwhelming in support of the improved appearance of the water. In addition to an improved look to the water, the added solubility of minerals, metals and salts helps to decrease the potential for scale formations and metal staining (ideal for hot water, fluctuating water balance parameters, alternative sanitisers, hard water areas, poor quality fill water, etc.).

4. Optimiser Plus enhances chemical effectiveness. "Optimiser Plus reduces the carbon dioxide content of the water by transforming the carbonate system in the water into a borate system." This helps in creating an environment which is less conducive to the growth of algae by removing an important source for its growth. Please remember, however, that Optimiser Plus is not an algae killer or preventative on its own, but does improve the chemical efficiencies of a good maintenance system so added benefits in this area are attained. The improvement in chemical efficiencies helps make lower operating costs more attainable.

5. Optimiser Plus protects metal surfaces with unique corrosion inhibitors. The unique formulation provides protection to all metal surfaces within the spa water environment including the heat exchanger.


Prior to applying the product, it is advised that the water be properly balanced in accordance with proper water balance procedures. It is especially important to ensure that there are no metals in the spa water. The application rate for Optimiser Plus is 200 g per 1,000 litres to establish the recommended level of 20 to 32 ppm. This initial application can be added at one time by applying directly into the skimmer, if applicable, or in front of the suction plate with the pump and filter in operation. Water should be at least 30°C to maximise the solubility of the product.


The only way you lose the product is through actual water loss (i.e. splash out). Therefore, once the initial application is made, a minor weekly maintenance addition of 30 g per 1,000 litres is all that is required until the spa/hot tub is drained and re-filled. Regular testing is not a necessity when maintenance additions are added regularly, however, the Optimiser test kit can be used to record borate levels, if desired.


Optimiser Plus is compatible with spas using Perfect Balance. If using Optimiser Plus in conjunction with Perfect Balance, allow 6-24 hours for Perfect Balance to stabilise pH and remove calcium before adding Optimiser Plus. As Optimiser Plus helps to hold minerals in solution, it may slow the action of Perfect Balance in clearing the water of calcium. Optimiser Plus will have minimal effect on pH. pH neutralisation should not be necessary. This product should be added after the spa water has been properly balanced with either the mineral water balance system or the new Perfect Balance system. Optimiser Plus should not be added if the pH is outside the acceptable range of 7.4 - 7.6.


One final note on Total Alkalinity testing after applying Optimiser Plus. It is not uncommon to find that the Total Alkalinity reading has increased after the product’s addition. This is due to the product’s ability to titrate as Total Alkalinity in the test and its ability to provide some buffering effect to the water. As this is not the carbonate form of alkalinity, it is not necessary to reduce the level if the range has increased above parameters.


In summary, Optimiser Plus is a product which improves spa/hot tub water in a number of key areas. Improved chemical efficiencies for reduced operating costs, improved water quality and improved comfort are all benefits attributed to Optimiser Plus. It also proves to be a very economical treatment when consideration is given to the frequency of Optimiser Plus additions, the reduction in everyday sanitiser consumption and the positive performance of the product.


The above information is supplied by Bio-Lab and represents its best interpretation of available technical information at the time of preparation. The sole purpose is to supply factual information to Bio-Lab customers. It is not to be taken out of context nor used as support for any other claim not made herein.