Water Care Instructions for the FROG @ease Sanitizing System
FROG® @ease® is the Bullfrog Spas suggested water care method in the USA for all spas other than swim spas. All 2 filter Bullfrog Spas (other than Swim Series) come equipped with an @ease-ready holder system installed. This holder accepts FROG @ease system cartridges (mineral & SmartChlor® chlorine) designed specifically for Bullfrog Spas. The @ease system holder and system cartridge kits may be obtained through your Authorized Bullfrog Spas Dealer or on our online shop.
FROG @ease is a hot tub sanitizing system custom designed for Bullfrog Spas® that takes the guess work out of water care so you always feel at ease while enjoying your hot tub.
*FROG @ease is available in the USA only. If you are not using FROG @ease in your spa, please see the instructions here on proper hot tub water care.
Water Balance Guidelines
Balancing water chemistry may seem difficult or confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. The basic factors that go into maintaining and balancing your spa water are alkalinity, pH levels, sanitizers, and hardness. You will use a test strip to see the levels of each and then adjust one at a time to get them in the correct range.
Always follow printed instructions on the balancing chemical packages. Add balancing chemicals in small increments one at a time with the jets on and wait 6 hours before testing again and adding any additional balancing chemicals.
pH: 7.2 – 7.8
Total Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 150 – 250 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids: <1500
Testing and Balancing Instructions
- Take a FROG @ease Test Strip and dip it into your hot tub water for approximately 2 seconds.
- Remove the test strip with pads up and shake once.
- Compare the test strip pad colors to those on the test strip bottle.
- Look at the Total Alkalinity reading first. Adjustments should be made to bring the Total Alkalinity in the range of 80 – 120 ppm prior to making any adjustments to pH even if it throws pH off further.
- After Total Alkalinity is in range, test for pH. It should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If higher or lower, add a pH adjuster.
- Lastly, test for Calcium Hardness. It should be between 150 and 250 ppm. If higher, partially drain the hot tub (about 6 inches) and fill with water low in calcium. If lower, add Calcium Increaser. If balancing takes longer than 2 days shock the water and maintain a chlorine level while continuing balancing.
- Very Important! After balancing and before using cartridges, establish an initial residual of 0.5 – 1.0 ppm free chlorine with FROG® Jump Start® start-up shock, included in this package, that quickly dissolves with an effervescent fizzing action – one packet per 600 gallons.
Select the Cartridge Settings
The combination provides the Fresh Mineral Water benefits of cleaner, clearer and softer water that’s easier to take care of.
First, Remove the silver FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge from its bag before proceeding.
Next, Set the blue FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge to #4 using the dial on the bottom of the cartridge. No further adjustments are necessary for the life of the blue cartridge.
Recommended Setting for Silver Cartridge
Setting #1: A5L, R5L
Setting #2: A6, A6L, R6, R6L, STIL5, X7, X7L
Setting #3: M7, A7, A7L, A7D, R8L, R7, R7L, STIL7, X8, X8L
Setting #4:M9, M8, A9L, A8, A8L, R8
Set the silver FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge to the setting that matches your hot tub model number. If needed, you may increase or decrease the dial setting. Once set, the FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge will maintain a low 0.5 to1.0 ppm chlorine level as long as the pH stays within 7.2 and 7.8 so typically there is little need to adjust the cartridge setting.
Place the Cartridges in the Spa
A Series (2023 & Later) and M Series Instructions
- Turn off main power to the spa
- Locate the JetPak to the right of the control panel and remove the JetPak.
- Remove Simplicity Filter Holder by taking hold of the handle, pushing into the hot tub and lift out.
- Insert FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge and FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge into the two openings below the filter cartridge. Push cartridges in until they are latched.
- To remove cartridges, push them in until they are free of the latches, then slide them out.
- Replace Simplicity Filter Holder and the JetPak over it.
- Turn on main power.
A/R Series (2022 & Prior), X Series, and STIL Instructions
- Remove filter snap cap.
- Hold weir door/filter plate out into the hot tub slightly or remove from hot tub. If cartridge holder is already installed between the filter cartridges, remove by pulling up on the handle.
- Snap the FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge into one opening of the cartridge holder. With the @ease logo facing the holder, put the dial end of the cartridge into the holder first by connecting the tab on the holder with the indent in the cartridge.
- Then push the top part of the cartridge in until it snaps into place.
- Follow the same procedure for the FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge into the other opening.
- With the silver FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge facing the inside of the hot tub, insert cartridge holder between the filter cartridges under the weir door/lter plate pushing down until it stays in place.
- Replace the filter snap cap.
Silver FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge
Silver FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge will last about 3-4 weeks for an average 400 gallon hot tub. To check if the cartridge needs to be replaced, Dip a FROG @ease test strip into your water for 2 seconds and then shake it once. Compare the color at the top of the test strip with the SmartChlor Out Indicator on the test strip bottle. When the test test strip is darker than the bottle label, the hot tub is good to go. When it’s lighter, you need to replace your SmartChlor Cartridge. You can also drain the water from the cartridge to ensure it is empty. If it is empty, discard in trash or bring to your dealer as part of the FROG @ease recycling program.
Blue FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge
Replace blue FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge every four months. Discard it in the trash even though you will hear the spent media left inside. Don’t attempt to reuse: the minerals are spent after 4 months.
Routine Hot Tub Care Tips
Drain and refill hot tub as directed by your hot tub manufacturer or every four months when FROG minerals need to be replaced.
Run filtration system as recommended by your hot tub manufacturer to maintain proper water flow through the system.
Regularly test water with FROG @ease Test Strips and follow directions in Step 1 for maintaining pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness.
NOTE: pH is affected by bather load, chemicals used, evaporation and the make-up of your source water so maintaining water balance regularly is important.
FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge will maintain 0.5-1.0 ppm free chlorine level as long as the water is balanced. NOTE: Free Chlorine levels are reduced up to 75%* when using FROG @ease Minerals.
NOTE: Why FROG @ease Test Strips? The FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge forms a chlorine reserve that will be inaccurately measured as total chlorine on other test strips. Unlike conventional chlorine, the SmartChlor reserve readily shifts to free chlorine as needed, maintaining spa health with a low level of chlorine.
Shock the hot tub with a non-chlorine shock when you replace the FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge or once a month.
Replace your FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge every 3-4 weeks or when empty and your Mineral Cartridge every 3-4 months or when empty.
FROG @ease Troubleshooting
Cloudy Water or Low-Chlorine Levels
Check water balance. pH and Total Alkalinity need to be in the proper ranges for the FROG @ease System to work correctly.
Check the FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge and replace if empty. If FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge is not empty, turn dial setting up 1 number and monitor chlorine levels for a few days while maintaining water balance. If needed turn dial up again.
Check your calendar. The entire FROG @ease System including a FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge needs to be replaced every four months. Without the minerals, SmartChlor will not be enough to sanitize the hot tub.
FROG @ease SmartChlor Cartridge Life
If your hot tub is larger than 400 gallons with a significant bather load, you may require a higher dial setting which will shorten the cartridge life.
If you think the cartridge setting is too high, you can turn the dial setting down 1 number and monitor chlorine levels for a few days while maintaining water balance. If needed, turn the dial down again.
High Chlorine Levels
This is highly unlikely with the FROG @ease System because SmartChlor is self-regulating. However, if you use standard test strips, it may appear that total chlorine is higher than the free chlorine. No worries—the strip is measuring the SmartChlor reserve, which will shift to free chlorine as needed. Please always use the FROG @ease Test Strips that were included with your System.
FROG @ease FAQ’s
If I use standard test strips, I see a high total chlorine level but a very low free chlorine level in the water. Why is this?
The FROG @ease system uses SmartChlor technology, a unique form of chlorine that:
- Creates a chlorine reserve that is activated only when there is a demand. This reserve is read as total chlorine on a standard test strip and can be as high as 5 – 10 ppm but it’s in reserve – inactive until needed.
- Self-regulates the free chlorine level at a consistently low 0.5 ppm, which can be hard to read on a standard test strip. Since this level doesn’t change for the life of the cartridge, as long as the water stays balanced, there is no need to test for it.
- Has its own test strip that gives you an Out Indicator when the reserve is used up. If your test strip is lighter than the color on the bottle, it’s time to check or replace the SmartChlor Cartridge.
What does it mean when my test strip is lighter than the color on the test strip bottle?
Your SmartChlor reserve level is low. This can be due to one of several reasons:
- Your SmartChlor Cartridge may be new. If you just installed a new SmartChlor Cartridge, it can take several days for the SmartChlor reserve to build up. Test again in 24 hours.
- Your SmartChlor Cartridge may be very low or empty. Remove the cartridge from the holder, drain the water, and shake it gently to feel if there is any SmartChlor left inside. If empty, shock the hot tub with FROG Maintain Non-Chlorine Shock (1 packet per 600 gallons) and replace with a new SmartChlor Cartridge.
- Your SmartChlor Cartridge setting may be set too low. Turn the dial to the next highest setting, and test again in 24 hours.
My salesperson estimated that my SmartChlor Cartridges should last 3-4 weeks each, but they seem to be running out sooner than that. Why is that?
There are several possible answers to this question, along with a few tips for increasing cartridge life:
Hot Tub Use:
Like all water sanitizers, SmartChlor use depends on spa use. The more contaminants (the number of people and frequency of use) that are introduced to your spa water, the faster your SmartChlor Cartridge will deplete. You can always be sure your spa has enough chlorine reserve available by checking your spa water with the FROG @ease Test Strips provided.
Hot Tub Size:
Larger hot tubs need more sanitizer to ensure they stay clean and clear. This is directly related to hot tub use as typically larger hot tubs can hold more people which puts more demand on the sanitizer. Gallon size also determines your dial setting.
The rate of SmartChlor release is related to the setting (1-4) selected on the dial and the water flow in the filter well area during spa use or filtration. Start with the dial setting listed in the manual for your hot tub model. Depending on how you use your spa, a lower setting may extend cartridge life, while maintaining adequate levels of SmartChlor in the water.
Additional Tips for Clean & Clear Water
Adjust Dial Settings if Needed
Although the recommended SmartChlor Cartridge dial settings have been evaluated to be effective in most cases, each specific use case is unique, including yours. You may need to experiment a bit to find the setting that works best for your use, and you may need to adjust the setting if usage patterns change.
If you prefer to increase the length of your filtration cycle(s) beyond the factory settings, or if your spa is equipped with a dedicated filtration pump that runs all or most of the time, you may want to turn the dial on your SmartChlor Cartridge to a lower setting to reduce premature dissolving of SmartChlor.
People & Swimwear Cleanliness
People and their swimwear introduce most of the unwanted contaminants to a hot tub. To reduce the amount of possible organic contaminants introduced to your spa water, apply the following tips.
As much as possible, avoid entering your spa with sunscreen, lotions, deodorants, shampoos, or similar substances on your body, or detergents on your clothes.
Do not wash swimwear you intend to wear in your spa with detergents. Many people keep a dedicated “spa” suit that is never laundered with detergent but simply rinsed well after use.
Rinse off in the shower before (and after) spa use.
If your spa water ever appears a little murky in between water changes a simple non-chlorine shock treatment will often clear things up. Always use non-chlorine monopersulfate (MPS) shock products, like FROG Maintain, for these occasional clean up treatments.
When shocking your hot tub, never use a chlorine-based shock product (except when using FROG Jump Start® at start-up) These products introduce cyanuric acid (CYA) to the water which accumulates and can reduce SmartChlor effectiveness.
Enjoy Your Bullfrog Spa
The more you work with hot tub chemistry and water care, the better understanding you’ll have on what to do to maintain the correct water balance in your spa. It will get really easy after a while. Additionally, your Bullfrog Spas dealer is always available and ready to answer your questions and help you decide which care option works best for your hot tub, climate, and environment.