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If you are experiencing a "smell" coming out of the water when you use the tub then you should use one of the products that are made for cleaning jetted tubs pipes.
Here is a link to a site that carries those items. These will get rid of the nasty smell and flecks of bacteria when you use the tub too.
You have a bacteria problem. You will need a cleaner to run through your system. some names to search for ... system flush, Jet Clean, Jet Fresh Once you run the cleaner through your tub that will eliminate the sludge you are getting
This is known as the purge cycle, it is very normal. It is to blow out any remaining water from the air jets. If it was to allow water to stand in the pipes, it would start to smell and grow algae, which would then clog the small air holes, nothing to be alarmed about.
one or more of the jets are turned off. i would suspect someone is plugging the jets off which causes water to go backwards in the system and the water goes out the air controls.
solution: check the jets to make sure the jet faces are turned on and/or tell someone to quit plugging off the jets when they are in the tub.
What you smell is algae forming in the pipes. If you have small black particles in the tub when running the jets, it is algae. Fill the tub with hot water, add 2 teaspoons of cascade dish soap and 1/2 cup bleach. run the tub for 15 minutes and drain. fill tub with cold water, run for 15 minutes and drain, tub is now ready to use. repeat as necessary.
Is it a jetted tub, or a air bath tub with holes or jets in the floor? If it has holes or jets in the floor, the control box is bad and needs replaced. If it is a jetted tub, there may be a water level sensor, if so the sensor may be bad causing the tub to turn on.
the jet covers normally unscrew counter clock wise .As far as the smell goes it could be clumps of old hair after time the old hair usually causes a pretty bad smell.Try snaking the drain.This might help.