Jacuzzi spewing black stuff!!!

spookyMay 10, 2002

We don't use our jacuzzi bathtub that often and the last time it was truly disgusting. Once the motor was turned on, some black stuff came spewing out of the holes. Upon closer inspection, it was black worms. Totally gross! The tub itself is kept very clean and we have no idea what happened. We poured a huge container of chlorox into the tub and kept the motor running while the chlorox circulated into the pipes. What can we do to prevent this (whatever it is) from happening again. Was the chlorox treatment the correct thing to do? Help!

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Yes, I've heard you need to clean it monthly with clorox. Once you get it clean, it shouldn't take a whole bottle though! I'd say a cup or so would do the job. Just turn the jets on and let it run for a few minutes. We don't use ours that often either and don't clean the jets EVERY month.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2002 at 1:46AM
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We use diswasher detergent in a hot tub an run Jacuzzi for about 15 minutes onces a month this cleans the pipes out I use this method but I too use my jacuzzi once a week!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2002 at 8:34PM
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Research tends to show that manufacturers of hot tubs and spas are not providing consumers with the proper information for disinfecting and maintaining these products. Stop by a local spa and hot tub store and purchase the cleaners.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2002 at 1:29AM
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Last year there was an article that supports what twelvepole says above.

Definitely "spooky"

Here is a link that might be useful: Bugs in the Tubs

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 8:55AM
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I clean & disinfect mine every 3 months at a minimum, more depending on its use.

Hot water filled enough to cover the jets. Add 1 cup dishwashing detergent & run it through a cycle (20 mins). Drain & refill, this time 1 cup bleach, another 20 minute cycle. Drain & refill with cold water, anoher 20 minute cycle as a rinse.

This gets done more in the winter than summer when its hardly used.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2002 at 3:09PM
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wow...I am really glad I happened to read this message

we recently remodeled our bathroom and installed a whirlpool tub and I would have never thought of this problem...

thanks for the info and cleaning tips!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 4:38PM
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I think you may have a design or installation issue. Jacuzzi is a brand name like "kleenex tissue". I doubt you have a jacuzzi simply because they have been around a long time and carry a good reputation. If it is a jacuzzi the installation had to be botched by the installer. By code a jetted tub is allowed to retain no more than 6oz of water when totally drained. Because most all pump impeller housings hold considerably more they have to be plumbed in a certain fashion allowing the impeller housing to drain. If this procedure is not followed and more than 6 oz of water is retained it provides the perfect breading nest for all kinds of mold and algae. In any event to remedy the problem at this point would be very expensive. I would have to go along with Sharla's advice. Chlorine will kill most all algae and mold.
Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 2:58PM
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is it safe to use chlorine bleach to clean the piping in my fiber-glass whirlpool?

the manufacturer suggested using a non-abrasive cleaner so you don't scratch the tub and I've been using Comet Bathroom cleaner which is a spray that contains no chlorine bleach and no abrasives...but I'm worried to use the bleach when cleaning the piping or won't it matter if it's diluted enough?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 4:36PM
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Yeah, you know, that is the reason I ordered a plain, soaking tub this time around. Years ago, was having back problems, and boy the jetted tub was fine! But back seems to be fine nowadays, (knock wood) and the cleaning of the jets is something I no longer care to do. Plus, with no more back problems, I'm less likely to take a bath...just a shower. But the builder gave me the old "put a tub in the master bath....helps resale, etc.) but I ordered a soaking tub without jets, less expensive, more practical for me now. One less thing to break down, clean, etc. But having said that, I DO appreciate the benefits of a wonderful jetted tub!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2002 at 9:22PM
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Man I wish I would have seen this earlier before we had our Jacuzzi installed. I think I would have just gone with a nice soaking tub. We have been in our new house for 2 months now and have still not used the jacuzzi. Now I'm scared to death after reading the link from Texas Turantula. I will be sure to run the detergent and bleach through the tub if I ever get the nerve to step foot in it. I'm so bummed

    Bookmark   September 22, 2002 at 9:12PM
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Vatmark - don't be discouraged! We've been in our new house for almost two months and we absolutely love our jetted tub. It gets used about once a week. When we first got it, I ran it through one cycle with dishwasher liquid and then one cycle with clean water (this was recommended by the mfg).

Moving and setting up a new home is so time consuming. I'm sure once things settle down you'll get the chance to use your new tub more often.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2002 at 4:35PM
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Chlorine bleach can be death to your septic system if you are not on city sewers. Use sparingly and rarely.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2002 at 6:32AM
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We've had our jacuzzi for more than five years now and we've never had a problem. Our is a kind that you keep the water in it and you have one of those little pool things floating in it with chlorine tablets. Every night as we get ready for bed, we turn the jets on for about 10 minutes and that's all it needs. Every week or so, the water gets completely drained, tub cleaned and refilled. We are also sure to clean the filter every so often also and sometimes it just needs to be soaked in bleach water and rinsed off and put back. The only time we had anything remotely close to this was when we drained the tub because of the remodelling going on in the house and we didn't want the dirt and dust to affect the water. It was shut down for a couple of weeks. After a good cleaning (its fiberglass and we just use Tilex and a soft sponge on it), we changed the filter, filled it up, let the jets run, drained it and refilled it. They can be alot of work but we really love ours (as well as our bad backs) and have one going into the house we are building.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 1:57PM
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My friend a plumber warned me of this issue. He also said he makes so much money off jacuzzi and whirpool bath owners he hardly has to even advertise proactively anymore.
When I had my new home built I got just the soaking tub. Its all just too gross to deal with when I want a bath.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2002 at 1:25PM
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I just ran a 20 minute cycle with one cup of dishwashing powder (on a supposedly clean tub) there was a brown scum floating in the top. Not a lot but enough to see. The jets still looked like they had black around them.

Then I ran the second 20 minute cycle with a cup of clorine bleach and straight hot. Everything looks wonderfully clean. I am now running the last 20 minute cycle with cold clear water. THANK YOU so much.

We are on septic, so I will check for blackness in 3 months and do it again if it's there. If not, I'll try the bleach cycle with 1/2 cup and keep an eye on it.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 4:07PM
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I always throw a half a cup of dishwasher powder after I am done and let it circulate for 10 minutes, lightly scrub the sides if dirty, drain and rinse. Still looks new and that is very little effort for the benefits we get from the whirlpool.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 5:07PM
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after reading this, I am glad we ordered a Sanijet!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 3:29PM
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I feel like Curious George when he put too much detergent in the washing machine... I didn't consider the fact that I have a smaller Jacuzzi, so with 1 cup of detergent my tub was nearly overflowing with suds in less than 5 minutes. Next time I'll use half as much. Thanks for the tip though!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 1:01PM
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The cascade and bleach really works. Its been about 3 months since we used the jets and when the black mold...scum stuff came out I was like tjis is disgusting. But I can relax now in our jacuzzi tub..in complete awe.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:00PM
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This is the reason I swore I would never again have a jetted tub in my home. I did use clorox but it still sat in the lines and then my bath water smelled like bleach and there was still black stuff. The plumber said it was mildew from water lying in there and no matter what you do you cannot get them completely clean/free of it once it starts. I asked if the lines could just be replaced and he said no. I just got a new tub with nothing but tub. A soaking tub with no bells and whistles except it's a modern version of a claw foot without claws. I feel for you, once I saw black stuff coming from the lines that was it for me, it sat idle for 13 years until we redid the room. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 2:34PM
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There is only one thing that effectively kills mildew / mold, and that is white vinegar.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 8:41PM
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