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Archive for March, 2011

NEC Exempts Hot Tubs and Spas From Requirement

March 23rd, 2011 by

By Rebecca Robledo | 3.23.2011

The National Electrical Code has been temporarily changed to exempt portable spas from bonding requirements.

spa-and-hot-tub-parts--cords-and-connectorsIn 2008, the National Fire Protection Association added language requiring that pools and spas be connected to a bonding grid under the deck to prevent shock hazards. The mandate didn’t differentiate portable hot tubs from inground spas or pools.

“It would have meant that any portable spa would require an equipotential bonding grid underneath it, and anytime you’d move the spa, you’d have to move the installation as well,” said Carvin DiGiovanni, senior director, technical and standards at the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. “Equipotential bonding may serve a purpose, but it doesn’t apply to portable spas.”

Manufacturers and retailers alike called the mandate prohibitively expensive and unnecessary. For homeowners to tear out portions of the deck and install a bonding grid could cost more than the hot tub itself, they said. Furthermore, currently the units must meet UL and ANSI/APSP standards, making a bonding grid redundant. And, finally, when portable spas are installed above ground, it’s nearly impossible to experience a shock from the deck, they said, because a bather would not be on the deck and in the water at the same time.

“In [an inground] swimming pool, you can be in the water, then crawl out on the deck surrounding it, and if the deck or water is electrified you could get shocked,” said Larry Nicholson, senior electronic engineer at Watkins Manufacturing in Vista, Calif. “If you’re stepping out of an above-ground spa, you won’t have one leg in the water and the other touching the deck,” added Nicholson, who helped draft the argument to alter the requirement.

Industry officials tried to enact a change in time for the 2011 code writing, but met with resistance from the NFPA. APSP then submitted a request for a tentative interim amendment (TIA), which is essentially a temporary addendum to the body of the code that had already passed. It automatically goes up for reconsideration during the next code-writing cycle.

Bonding wires and grids no longer will be needed on portable spas in states and localities adopting the 2011 NEC. Those still enforcing  the 2008 language, however, may still require the grids. In those areas, professionals may try to show local building officials a copy of the TIA, found here, to try getting a waiver.

To push a TIA through, those requesting it must prove that the proposed change has technical merit and addresses a potential safety risk posed by the code language. The first committees hearing the proposal agreed that the change had technical merit, but didn’t believe it was an emergency. APSP appealed the decision, submitting that it did potentially put consumers at risk.

“People were having to tear up their whole patio and repour the concrete, and it was costing more to do that than to actually purchase the spa,” Nicholson said. “[The requirement] was forcing people to say, ‘You know what? I’m just not going to get a permit.’ I’ve seen installations where the electrical job was absolutely atrocious, and it was because the homeowner was doing it on their own and shortcutting things.”

A higher committee overturned the original decision.

The NEC is revised every three years, at which point all TIAs are automatically put up for reconsideration and public comment so that, if approved, it is adapted in the body of the code. The next NEC comes out in 2014.

It seems certain that at this next meeting, the NEC will accept the amendments as presented by the APSP.

Thanks;

Jerry

Installing a Spa or Hot Tub Ozone Injector

March 18th, 2011 by

One of the greatest items to ever come out for a hot tub has to be a spa ozonator. They have the ability to kill the majority of the bacteria in the water as well as significantly reduce the amount of other chemicals that have to be used in the water. The only problem is that it is very difficult to disperse the O3 gas into the system if you aren’t pre plumbed for ozone.

We were getting so many calls for this that we actually built a spa ozone injector kit that will allow the ozone to be injected into the water in a way that is even more effective than if your spa was actually pre plumbed for ozone. If you have 1.5 plumbing you would use part # HTW-OIM15 and if you have 2 inch plumbing you would use part # HTW-OIM2.

To install the spa injector kit, locate a length of pipe AFTER the filter and heater where you install the manifold in an upright position, as shown below. It measures approximately 15″ long and 5″ tall, so you need a clear section of pipe that’s around 16″ that you can cut into. In cases where there is no room, you may have to reroute the return line slightly, to create the space needed for the ozone manifold.ozone-injection-manifold

After locating a suitable location, all you do is cut the ozone venturi manifold (shown above) into your plumbing with a hacksaw. The pipe that is cut out should be about 3″ shorter than the overall length of the manifold, so the pipe will slip into both ends of the manifold, 1.5″ on each side.

Use pipe cleaner or primer and then glue the manifold in place with fresh PVC glue. Connect your new spa ozonator hose to the injector and you’re ready to go. The Ozonator unit should be mounted somewhere nearby, in reach of the ozone hose.

I get calls all the time where people are asking for an ozonator and they don’t even realize that it has to be pre plumbed and you could hear the defeat in their voice when I ask. But then when I tell them we have a device that will allow them to use the ozonator you could hear them perk up again. It’s a good feeling to know that we could help people find what they are looking for when they don’t even know they needed it.

So if you ever have any questions about ozone or the different ozone systems or injection manifolds that we have available – don’t hesitate to call, we at www.hottubworks.com are here to help you out.

~ Nicholas

 

Spa & Hot Tub Show in Novi, Michigan

March 17th, 2011 by
novi-pool-spa-show

 

If you live in MI and want a spa or hot tub, or a pool, then this is the show to attend.  I attended some years ago and the saving and selection were amazing.

Every weekend is a vacation for a homeowner with a pool, spa, hot tub and backyard living amenity from the Novi Backyard, Pool & Spa Show, March 22-24, 2013 at Suburban Collection Showplace.

Exhibits display products and services from the major outdoor living environment categories including inground and aboveground pools, spas, swim spas, decks, patios, fencing, outdoor living spaces, patio furniture, outdoor court systems, patio enclosures, sunrooms and accessories.

 

Novi Backyard, Pool & Spa Show

The 18th annual Novi Backyard, Pool & Spa Show will run from Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi (formerly the Rock Financial Showplace).

“We will help you create the backyard of your dreams,” said Mike Wilbraham, show producer of ShowSpan, Inc. “From hot tubs, spas and pools to sunrooms, patios and decks – the show has what you need for the perfect ‘staycation’ every weekend.” The show is sponsored by the Michigan Pool & Spa Association, member of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP).

Hundreds of ideas, products and services are available from the major outdoor living environment categories on display including inground and aboveground pools, spas, swim spas, decks, patios, fencing, outdoor living spaces, patio furniture, outdoor court systems, patio enclosures, sunrooms and accessories.

Homeowners will find the information they need about buying a pool or spa at show exhibits. Experts are available with tips and advice on purchasing, planning, maintenance, safety, exercise, health, financing and landscaping.

“Just think of the fun you can have with family and friends right in your own backyard,” said Wilbraham. “Our professionals are available to assist you with all of your planning and purchasing needs for the spring and summer season.”

Suburban Collection Showplace is located at 46100 Grand River Avenue between Novi and Beck Road in Novi. Show hours are from 3 – 9 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8; $4 for children 6-14 and children 5 and under admitted free. Discount coupons for $2 off adult admission on Friday and Sunday are available at show’s Web site. On site parking is available for a fee. For more information, visit http://www.NoviPoolShow.com or call (800) 328-6550.

Spa Cover Lifters Buyer’s Guide

March 16th, 2011 by

spa-cover-lifterIn owning a spa or hot tub, you should know some basics to increase the benefits and reduce costs. One of these important things is having a new spa cover. This will help you by conserving power because the cover will hold the heat inside of your tub.

In addition, hot tub covers are a great help in keeping your water clean and clear, protecting your spa from unsafe bacteria and other dirt-sources. In general, a spa cover is an essential component of your hot tub health care.

Spa Covers Can become heavy

At first, it may only weigh something like 30 0r 40 lbs.. But ultimately, the longer you have it, the dense insulation inside the  spa cover will become much heavier. In some cases, its weight can increase as much as fourfold.

This will make you think that besides the great advantages, a spa cover can also offer some trade-offs. At times, because of the really heavy cover, you may find yourself abandoning and merely uncovering half of the tub for use.

However, this problem has a wonderful solution – a spa cover lift. Hot Tub Lifters can assist you with the removing and secure storage of your spa cover.

Types of Spa Cover Lifters

Lots of options are available in spa cover lifts. Most of these choices use a mechanized lift to truly lift the cover for you. Other models are meant to hold the cover securely every time you push and pull it off of your hot tub.

Furthermore, many of these alternatives will offer you covers that are held in a position away from the ground. This helps to prevent scratches as well as damage to your spa cover from coming in contact with soft, muddy areas – and also holds it steady where it won’t easily fall over, or be in the way of people moving around the spa. This feature makes the spa lift worthy of the costs due to the indisputable fact that spa covers are not cheap to replace.

Take Some Measurements

measuring tape

Before you buy a spa cover lifter, it is necessary to take into account the clearance regarding the tub in addition to the enclosure or boundaries around your spa. Gather information about the clearances you have, to match up to those needed in your cover lifter, to find the lift that is ideal for you. Some hot tub cover lifters need up several feet or clearance, although some only require 6 inches of space to operate.

Which Spa Cover Lifter is best?

Certainly, any tub cover lifter could be an extremely essential instrument in maintaining and also protecting the spa. The spa cover lifter can be priceless because of its help in keeping the cover out of the way every time you use the spa.

Generally speaking, the more you pay for your spa cover lifter, the better quality device and construction it has. We have a range of prices from $120-280 on spa lifts currently. Something for every need and budget.

A spa cover lifter will help you with the maintenance, safety and protection of your spa cover. See our huge selection of hot tub cover lifts, at hottubworks.com to save on top brand name spa cover lifters.

Hottubworks.com celebrates Alea’s Birthday

March 14th, 2011 by

Alea Cozzi is a wonderful person.  It’s really that simple. She’s loyal, smart, funny, kind, authentic, considerate, responsible, supportive, brave, caring, fair, generous, …. and she has great style. I guess you might get the picture.

My life is better because she’s in it. ~ Happy Birthday, Alea!

photo
Thanks;

Jerry

Titanium Heater Elements and Ozone Seals

March 11th, 2011 by

Some spa and hot tub manufacturers are offering Ozone generators and/or Salt Water systems to sanitize the water. Although beneficial to water quality, salt and ozone can be detrimental to equipment like standard heater elements and standard pump seals.

To combat this I suggest you use Titanium heater elements and Salt/Ozone pump seals; which are more resistant than the standard versions to the corrosive effects of ozone and salt.

Flothru Heater Element

These heater elements are more expensive, being made from Titanium and all… but if you’re replacing a standard element every 1-2 years, there can be a quick payback in a few years. The ozone grade pump shaft seals are only a few dollars more than standard grade.

So, if your spa heating element look deteriorated and corroded, and you use salt and/or ozone to sanitize, my recommendation is to replace with a version that can withstand the salts in the water.

If your shaft seal is failing, and you use ozone in the water, look for a softening and puckering of the rubber portions of the shaft seal, or possibly corrosion on the spring portion.

Hot Tub Covers – Service is Most Important

March 11th, 2011 by

hot-tub-spa-consumer-reviews

 

 

 

 

 

Actual Testimonial this morning! I feel so lucky to work with these folks!

 

Lietta Brutsche - We Love You!

MARCH 9, 2011                                    RE: LIETTA BRUTSCHE

ATT: ALEA

WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR THE PLEASURE OF PURCHASING OUR HOT TUB COVER FROM YOUR COMPANY.  IN TODAY’S IMPERSONAL, COMPETITIVE RETAIL AND INTERNET SALES CLIMATE SELDOM IS THERE AN EXPERIENCE THAT COMPELS ANYONE TO STOP FOR A MOMENT AND REFLECT ON THE EXTRAORDINARY ATTITUDE, ABILITY AND CHARACTER OF THE SALES PERSON, THE SUPERIOR QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT AND THE COMPANY PHILOSOPHY THAT CREATES THIS POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT.

WE REQUESTED THE NAME OF SOMEONE IN YOUR COMPANY THAT WE COULD CONTACT TO MAKE THEM AWARE OF HOW MUCH WE ENJOYED THE SUPERB SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE LIETTA PROVIDED.  QUALITY QUESTIONS WERE RESOLVED; SIZE ISSUES WERE DISPATCHED WITH PATIENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM ETC. ETC. BUT IN THE END, IT WAS OUR 100 PERCENT CONFIDENCE IN LIETTA THAT CONVINCED US TO PURCHASE OUR COVER FROM YOUR COMPANY.   WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WE COULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED BETTER SERVICE HAD WE DEALT WITH THE CEO OF YOUR COMPANY.

WE OWN THREE SMALL CORPORATIONS IN NY AND FLA AND REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYEES WHO REALLY CARE, WHO CONSISTENTLY PERFORM ABOVE AND BEYOND NORMAL EXPECTATIONS.  BASED UPON OUR EXPERIENCE LIETTA IS ONE OF THOSE SPECIAL PEOPLE.  SHE IS AN INVALUABLE ASSET TO YOUR COMPANY.

REGARDS,

LEW ROBBINS,  CAMDEN, NY

Custom Spa Cover for the Record Book

March 11th, 2011 by

This Spa Cover is about as complicated as they get.  The client need a 16 panel hot tub cover for a commercial water park.  The CAD drawing for this spa cover says it all. From the picture below, you can see the size of this commercial spa!

Too bad we couldn’t set them up with a spa cover lifter! :-)

custom-spa-cover

Great Customer Savings for Spa Parts!

March 10th, 2011 by

Balboa Spa Parts Spa Control - VS510SZ Retro Kit

I spoke to a customer today who received a quote from their local tech to replace a spa circuit board for about $525 just for the part! We had the same circuit board available for $229.99.

If you guessed that this customer was very excited, that would be an understatement. He was thrilled! At first kind of stunned, but thrilled on cutting the cost in half! His words were something like, “Thanks for saving my life, Scott.”

It almost made me want to change my voice mail to,”Hi! My names Scott! I sell hot tub parts and accessories, and I can save your life!” But how that Larry H. Parker Commercial sounds, with Intensity!

So, thank you stunned, yet thrilled customer.
Tub On!

The Soak is Always Better on the Other Side…

March 9th, 2011 by

soak in a spa - hot tubs are great no matter where they areAlthough I live in beautiful Southern California and the weather is usually amazing, I found myself becoming envious of our customers living in the Mid-West and North-East.

It always sounded crazy to me that anyone would go into their hot tub when it is freezing outside. So I had to ask why? My first thought was I would never go out in freezing weather to get in my hot tub. As it was explained why and described to me how wonderful it is to be in the warm water while snow is falling from the sky I could feel myself “turning green”.

One customer mentioned that while soaking in her lavender scented water not only can she enjoy the snow falling on her head, she has seen comets fly by.

Another customer mentioned how he watches the sunrise over snow covered trees while safe and warm in his hot tub. He actually eats breakfast and drinks coffee in his tub hot every morning. He was buying a new Spa Caddy to hold his morning meal.

Now, California may have nice weather but I want to see comets fly by, snow fall on my head and the sun rise over snow covered trees while safe and warm in my hot tub.

I guess the soak is always better on the other side.