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Archive for January, 2014

6 Month Chemical Kits for Spas and Hot Tubs

January 30th, 2014 by

image purchased from PM

Spa chemistry should be simple, not a guessing game like a Rubik’s cube. Today’s topic is chemical care – and how to make it Simpler. Our 6-month spa chemical kits are designed as an easy to use system. They are complete while at the same time not over-complete, with no chemical leftovers that you don’t need or won’t use – I like that!

We have Bromine and Chlorine kits, which are both very similar. We also have two non-halogen spa chemical kits, our Nature2 kit for use with an ozonator, and our Leisure Time Free kit. For areas of the country (like us!) with hard water problems, we have our kits available in Hard Water versions, containing 3lbs of Balance Plus to help control hard water minerals.

 

All of our 6-month spa chemical kits contain a Pre-Filter, to be sure that your fill water is as fresh as can be. Also included are two bottles of 50 ct spa test strips, let’s see, that works out to one strip every 1.8 days – that’s just about right!

You’ll also find a similar blend of spa water balancers, clarifier, filter cleaner and enzymes, which all work to assist the sanitizer. To help disinfect the water, each kit also includes a spa shock treatment, enough to shock it 2.1 times per week. Works for me!

Our 6-month spa and hot tub chemical kits are based on a spa size of 300-500 gallons, and so for my 400 gallon Beachcomber – that’s perfect!

 

6 Month Chlorine Kit

Uses chlorine tabs in a small floater or inline chlorinator
bromine-chlorine-6month-spa-chemical-care-kit1 Pre-filter
1 Leisure Time Chlorine (5lb bottle)
2 Leisure Time Renew Shock (2.2 lb ea)
2 Metal Gon/Defender 2-pak (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time pH Balance (1 quart ea)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean – Overnight Soak (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time Spa Test Strips Chlorine (50 strips ea)

 

 

 

6 Month Bromine Kit

Uses bromine tabs in a small floater or inline chlorinator
bromine-6month-chemical-care-kit1 Pre-filter
2 Leisure Time Bromine Tabs (1.5 lb ea)
2 Leisure Time Renew Shock (2.2 lb ea)
2 Metal Gon/Defender 2-pak (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time pH Balance (1 quart ea)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time Spa Test Strips Bromine (50 strips ea)

 

 

 

6 Month Nature 2 Kit

Use with a salt chlorinator or spa ozonator
nature2-6month-spa-chemical-care-kit1 Pre-filter
2 Nature 2 SpaMineral Sanitizer
4 Zodiac Cense – Shock / Aromatherapy – 4 scents (2 lb ea)
2 Metal Gon/Defender 2-pak (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time pH Balance (1 quart ea)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Nature2 Test Strips (50 strips ea)

 

 

6 Month Free Kit

Non-Chlorine Biguanide Spa Care System
leisure-time-free-6month-spa-chemical-care-kits-21 Pre-filter
3 Leisure Time FREE (16 oz)
2 Leisure Time BOOST (32 oz)
2 Leisure Time CONTROL (32 oz)
2 Leisure Time CLEANSE (16 oz)
1 Leisure Time Spa Up
1 Leisure Time Spa Down
2 Metal Gon/Defender Two pack (1 pint ea)
1 Leisure Time Bright and Clear (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Filter Clean (1 quart)
1 Leisure Time Spa Enzyme (1 quart)
2 Leisure Time Spa FREE Test Strips (50 per bottle)

 

 

What could be Simpler? Choose a particular sanitizer you like and follow the simple daily-weekly-monthly instructions included. It’s best to choose a sanitizing method and stick with it. I use the Nature2 6-month kit, but I also supplement with bromine tablets. The Nature2 spa kit is also great for ozonator equipped spas, or spas that use a salt chlorinator.

Using a 6-month spa chemical kit saves time, money and worry about the spa. It’s all in the box!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Hot Tub Parts: Ozonator Parts

January 27th, 2014 by

ozone-molecule

Ozone is used in spas and hot tubs for sanitation and disinfection purposes. It’s widely known to be the world’s most powerful sanitizer, and when combined with good filtration, can almost provide all of your spa sanitation needs.

But alas – ozone is not a stand-alone sanitizer. Many people with an aversion to chlorine or bromine supplement their spa ozonator with a mineral purifier and non-chlorine shocking. You can also use ozone with about half of the bromine or chlorine normally required.

Ozone systems are fairly simple devices, and thus can be simply understood by most people, which makes troubleshooting easier. This article is about the ozonator parts that may be needed in common spa ozone repairs.

There are two types of ozonators for spas – Ultraviolet systems (UV) and Corona Discharge (CD) systems. UV systems create ozone by using an ultraviolet light bulb, which converts oxygen molecules (O2) into ozone molecules (O3).

Corona discharge ozonators create ozone by using a small electric charge through the air, which also converts O2 into O3. CD systems can outperform UV systems in ozone output by a factor of four, and with far less energy consumption.

Is My Ozonator Working?

Fair enough question – ozonators work silently with the usual exception of a small stream of champagne bubbles coming from one of the spa returns. Your unit should have an indicator light, or you may be able to smell the ozone gas if you remove the discharge hose. There is a spa ozone test available that you can use if you want to check the spa for the presence of ozone. Ozonators don’t last very long however, most UV systems need a new bulb within 2 years, and for newer CD ozonators, it can be shorter and can require a new CD chip every 12-18 months.

Which Type of Ozonator Do I Have?

SideTypicalUVCD

Most CD ozonators tend to be boxy units, with a hose than connects to an injection fitting, or a larger injection manifold. UV ozonators tend to be long and cylindrical, housing a long UV tube bulb. They will also have a hose to inject the ozone gas from the generator unit into the water stream. UV systems can also be identified by their strange blue glow.

To buy parts for an ozonator, you’ll need to know the brand, or more specifically – the make and model. The easiest way to ID your spa ozonator, is to look closely for the label that’s on the unit. A flashlight and maybe reading glasses will be necessary.

Repair or Replace?

repair-or-replace your spa ozonator

It’s not uncommon, with the low price of spa ozonators nowadays, for spa owners to just replace an ozonator with new, for less than $100. So consider that an option, after obtaining your ozonator make and model. Every two years or less, order the exact replacement model. Switching to a different model could require plumbing in a new mixing chamber or injection manifold, which is usually not a big job, but may require draining of the spa.

Common Spa Ozone Parts

If you do want to make your own ozonator repairs, you can save a few dollars in the process. Spa ozone problems usually boil down to either ozone production or ozone delivery. Either not enough is being made, and you need a new UV bulb or CD chip – or the air pump, air hose, check valve, or injectors have clogged or failed.

The most common spa and hot tub ozone parts fall into one of these categories.

Ozone  Injection Manifolds

If the ozone bubbles cease in your spa, but when you remove the hose from the injector fitting you can smell it, you have a clogged or failed injector or manifold. Or you may have a clogged or failed check valve within the ozone hose.

spa-ozonator-manifoldMost modern spas and hot tubs will use a 3/4 inch injector, threaded on both ends, which connects to a dedicated ozone line or to the heater pipe. The internal injector can become clogged. Replacing the cap will usually fix your ozone trouble, or you can replace the entire injector assembly.spa-manifold

Larger inground spas or pools will use a 1.5 or 2.0 inch manifold that plumbs into the return line or a dedicated ozone line. These allow excess water pressure to bypass the ozone mixing chamber. Repairs to these larger manifolds are usually limited to replacing the injection fitting.

Ozone Diffusers

dimension-one-diffuserA diffuser is device that diffuses the ozone gas, creating smaller bubbles which allows it to come into contact with a greater number of contaminants. It’s commonly attached to the end of the ozone hose, and is most common on older, over-the-wall hot tub ozonators. Prozone and Dimension One are two ozone systems that use a diffuser

Air Pumps

Not so common on most modern spa ozonators, but a few dimension one ozone systems use a small air pump to inject the ozone gas into the pipe. These can be external mounts, or more commonly mount inside of the ozone unit. If your bubbles quit coming, check that manual air valves are closed, which could reduce suction. Replacing an inline check valve, the small one-way flow valve within the clear ozone hose is a very common spa ozone repair.

UV Lamps & CD Chips

spa-cd-chips-uv-bulbsAs mentioned above, neither of these items last for long. When the bulb quits working that can be obvious, as you no longer see the strange blue light. Most UV bulbs will last for 2-3 years. For a CD system, each CD chip is rated for a certain number of hours, so you could do the math. Running a CD system daily will usually give it an average lifespan of about 2 years. Larger ozonators using a CD electrode can be in service longer, usually around 3-5 years.

Hose and Clamps

Ozone tubing or hose will eventually dry out and deteriorate from the ozone, becoming brittle and discolored. Generally speaking, it will need replacement every year or two. In a pinch, you can use hose from Home Depot, but it won’t last as long as the manufacturer ozone hose.

Replace your clamps every few years as well to prevent them from cracking and the hose slipping off of either end. Loop and hang the hose in such a way so that it won’t crimp or bend.

Renewal Kitscd-renewal-kit

A renewal kit is an ozonator repair kit, made to fit Del ozonators. They typically include hose, fittings, check valve, CD chip and hose clamps. They come with full instructions and is a rapid renewal, only taking 15-20 minutes to replace these spa parts.

If you have any questions with troubleshooting your spa ozonator or finding the correct ozone parts, you can always call or email our spa tech supporters!

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

10 Reasons Why Your Spa Water is Cloudy

January 23rd, 2014 by

cloudy-spa-hot-tub-waterWhy is my spa water cloudy? If I’ve heard that question once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. It may be the number one spa water problem plaguing spa owners.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about cloudy spa water – such as, “Bromine will make your spa cloudy”, or “Metals in the water cause cloudy hot tub water”, or the constant sales pitch – that if you just had this super-special-magical spa water treatment, your spa water problems will disappear.

If your spa or hot tub water is cloudy, hazy, milky – turbid, as I sometimes call it, your problem will be one of these situations below, or a combination of more than one.

1. High Calcium Hardness or Total Alkalinity

Your spa water chemical balance may be to blame, and it’s the first place I would check. Take an accurate reading of your calcium hardness, alkalinity and pH levels. In areas where hard water is common, calcium can easily come out of solution and cloud the spa water. If your calcium hardness levels are greater than 300 ppm, use Calcium & Scale Control to tie-up minerals in solution, and keep them from making your spa water cloudy.

If your test for Total Alkalinity shows high levels, in excess of 150 ppm, excess carbonates can come out of solution, and make the spa cloudy. High TA levels will also make it hard to control your pH, or keep it in range. Use pH decreaser to lower TA to around 100 ppm. If your spa pH level is outside of the range of 7.2-7.6, adjust accordingly for easier control of cloudy water.

TDS, or total dissolved solids, is not usually a concern in spas and hot tubs – but, if you have not drained your spa in years, for whatever reason – you may have a very high level of dissolved solids in the water. When water reaches it’s saturation point, where it can absorb no more solids, frequent bouts of cloudy water are the result. Time to drain and refill the spa.

2. Low Spa Sanitizer Levels

Some people are sensitive to bromine or chlorine, and try to operate the spa with as little as possible. That may be OK, if you have other sanitizers working, such as an ozonator, or a mineral cartridge, and your water chemistry is balanced, especially your pH level.

Otherwise, spas should always have a level of 2-3 ppm of bromine, or slightly less if using chlorine. When sanitizer level drops below 1.0ppm, particles and contaminants in the water begin to run rampant or grow at a rate faster than they are being destroyed.

A proper sanitizer level should destroy the particles that induce cloudy water. To help it out, shock the spa water regularly, especially after a several people have used the spa, or if sanitizer levels have mistakenly dropped to very low levels. If a chlorinated spa shock is clouding your water, try using MPS shock instead.

3. Cloudy Fill Water

Maybe the problem is not with your spa, but in your fill water. Nonetheless, balanced and sanitized spa water with proper filtration should be able to self-correct, and clear the water within a day or so. A spa clarifier can help coagulate suspended particles for easier filtration. In most cases, it may be better to use a spa pre-filter, to remove particulates that cloud your spa water. Just attach it to your garden hose when adding water or refilling your spa or hot tub.

4. Air in the System

Small particles of air, tiny bubbles – can make the spa water appear cloudy. If your spa has bubbles coming into the returns, but your air blower and spa ozonator are turned off – you may have an air leak, on the suction side of the pump. The suction side is anything before the spa circulation pump. A loose union fitting before the pump, or a loose pump drain plug can pull air into the system.

Low water level in the spa can also bring air into the spa, and give the water the appearance of being cloudy or hazy. Inspection of the pipes and equipment before the spa pump can reveal the source of the air leak, which can then be sealed up with sealants or lubricants.

5. Spa Filter Problems

This is a common cause of cloudy spa water. A spa filter cartridge may be positioned incorrectly, allowing for water to bypass the filter cartridge. Make sure the cartridge is fully seated on both ends to force the water to go through the pleated spa filter material.

A spa filter cartridge won’t last forever, and each cleaning reduces it’s efficacy a little bit more. After about 15 cleanings, replace the spa filter and you’ll notice an immediate improvement in water clarity. Depending on how much the spa is used, and how much is asked of the filter, you should replace the spa filter every 12-24 months.

Spa filter cartridges can also become gummed up with oils or minerals, drastically reducing their filtration ability. These substances can be very difficult to remove with a garden hose alone. Spraying a cartridge in spa filter cleaner before cleaning will break down greasy or crystallized deposits, and restore full flow to your filter.

DE filters are more commonly used on inground spas, and if a DE filter grid develops a hole, it will allow DE filter powder to come into the spa. This will cloud the water, and leave deposits of a light brown powder on the seats and floors of the spa.

6. Spa Pump Problems

There are a number of pump problems that can lead to cloudy spa water, the first being the amount of time the spa filter is running each day. You may need to increase the amount of time that the spa pump operates, to increase your daily filtering time. Running a pump only on low speed can also contribute to ineffective filtration. Run it on high for at least 2 hours every day.

Another issue could be with the spa impeller. It could be clogged – full of pebbles, leaves, hair or any number of things. The vanes on a pump impeller are very small and can clog easily, which will reduce the flow volume considerably. Another possibility is that the impeller is broken – the pump turns on, but the impeller is not moving, which will reduce flow rates to zero.

If you have no flow from your pool pump, there could be an air lock, especially if you have just drained and refilled the spa. To fix an air lock, shut off the pump and loosen a union on the pump and allow air to escape, tightening it when water begins to leak. If the pump doesn’t turn on at all – well, there’s your cloudy spa water problem. There could be a tripped GFI button, loose wires, bad contactor or relay, or another control problem.

Air leaks before the pump, as discussed above, also makes the pump less efficient by reducing the overall water volume. Water leaks after the pump is also a problem, in that your water level will soon drop below the skimmer intake, begin to take on air, lose prime and stop pumping your water through the filter.

7. Biofilm Problems

Biofilm is a slimy bacteria that coats the inside of pipes and fittings. In extreme cases, it will cloud the water, and you may notice slimy flakes floating on the water, or have severe issues with spa foaming. Biofilm forms quickly in a spa that has sat empty and idle for some time. If you suspect a biofilm contamination, lower the pH to 7.2 and use spa shock to raise the chlorine level above 10 ppm. Follow this up with a treatment of Jet Clean, to remove biofilm deposits.

8. Salt System Problems

Salt systems are becoming more popular with spa owners, although they are much more prevalent on swimming pools. The issue with salt systems is that it is possible to place too much reliance on them, and never check your chlorine level. Spa salt cells also need occasional cleaning to maintain chlorine output.

Adding salt to your spa when needed may cloud your spa temporarily, until the salt becomes fully dissolved. When adding salt, be careful not to overdose, and run the jets on high for greater agitation of the water.

9. Biguanide Problems

If you use a non-chlorine, biguanide sanitizer in your spa, and have difficulty with cloudy spa water, you are not alone. This is the main complaint of using a PHMB sanitizer. You may find relief by draining and refilling the spa, and changing the spa filter, which is probably gummed up with residue. Using spa chemicals with any amount of chlorine, or using algaecides or any non-approved chemical will not only cloud the water in a biguanide treated spa, but can also create some wild colors, too!

10. Soaps, Lotions, Cosmetics and Hair Products

This problem is common to just about every spa, unless you are careful to shower well before using your spa. Everything we put on our body and in our hair can end up in the spa, and can bring oils, phosphates and detergents into the water, and a hundred other undesirable chemicals. These can consume sanitizer, clog spa filters and make the spa water cloudy and foamy. If your spa has a high bather load, or is used as a giant bath tub, you can expect issues with water clarity. Adding spa enzymes can help control greasy gunk, and reduce sanitizer demand and clogging of your spa filter.cloudy-spa-water

Cloudy spa water is not so difficult to find and fix – but remember that you may have more than one of these issues working against you. Consider each cause of cloudy spa water carefully – it’s likely one or more of these situations above. Draining the spa regularly is one more piece of advice to prevent cloudy water – depending on how much the spa is used, draining it every few months is a good preventative way to keep your spa water from becoming cloudy in the first place!

 

– Jack

 

Preventing Freeze Damage to a Spa or Hot Tub

January 20th, 2014 by

frozen-spaFreeze damage  is when water freezes and expands inside of spa pipes or spa equipment, like your filter, pump or heater.

Water expands about 10% when it freezes. For pipes or equipment that have a small amount of water inside, for instance a pipe that is less than half full of water, unused space inside the pipe allows for some ice expansion.

When pipes, pumps or filters are more than half full of water, there is little room for expansion, and even very thick materials can burst from the ice pressure inside.

Today’s lesson centers on how to avoid freeze damage in a spa or hot tub, which can be a complicated and expensive spa repair, and in some cases, could ‘total’ the spa, with repair costs of thousands of dollars.

There are 3 ways to prevent freeze damage in a spa or hot tub

1. Winterize the Spa

We don’t recommend that you winterize your spa, unless you are sure that it won’t be used for at least 3 months, or it cannot be maintained (at a vacation home, for example).

Winterizing the spa is a process that takes a few hours, to drain all of the water from the spa, and use air to ‘blow the lines’, to force water from the pipes, hoses and equipment.

We did an article on How to Winterize a Spa, if you are thinking about winterizing the spa. It’s not difficult, but if you want assurances of a proper winterization, most spa service companies offer this service.

2. Use Freeze Protection

Modern spas packs will have a freeze protection mode on the spa that will turn on the circulation pump when temps get close to freezing. If you don’t see this available in your control options for the spa, you may not have freeze protection.BALBOA-SPA-PACK

Freeze protection works with an air temperature sensor that communicates with a controller, wired into the pump power circuit. Freeze protection is standard equipment on all of our Digital, Flex-Fit and Balboa spa packs, which is the simplest way of adding freeze protection for older spas with air activated spa packs.

For help adding freeze protection to your spa, feel free to call our spa techs with some information about your spa.

3. Run the Pump

As long as water is moving through the pipes – all of the pipes, the water won’t freeze. Open up all of your jets, if your spa has the ability to isolate banks of jets. Low speed can be used, as long as all pipes are utilized.

The water need not be hot, or even heated at all – in most cases. As long as it’s moving through all of the pipes and equipment when temperatures are below 32 degrees. The heat from the spa pump, under a closed skirt, is also helpful to heat up the equipment. Of course, a spa cover should be used during winter to avoid ice forming on the spa surface.

During winter, it may be wise to operate your pump 24 hours per day in cold northern areas, or set the time clock to turn on the pump for 10 minutes every half hour.

 

ALSO HELPFUL TO PREVENT FREEZE DAMAGE: frozen-jacuzzi

  • Adding heat to your spa, a hot spa can give 24 hours of protection
  • Keeping a tight fitting spa cover in place and secure
  • Spa insulation – the more there is, the more protection you have
  • Hang a 100 watt shop light, under the skirt, next to the spa pack

 

FROZEN SPA!

If you discover a spa or hot tub that is solid frozen, and maybe you spot some freeze damage already, the equipment needs to be thawed out. If there are cracked pipes, using electric space heaters could be unsafe, under the skirt.

If you have a camping tent large enough to place over the spa, you can thaw out a spa in a few hours. When I was servicing spas in Colorado, we had a tent we used whenever we’d get a ‘frozen spa’ call. We used a small kerosene heater once the tent was set up over the spa, and monitored it closely. If there was freeze damage, (and there usually was), we would drain it completely, make the repair and fill it back up.

Adding hot water to the spa is another old trick. With a small adapter, a garden hose can be attached to most sink faucets, to bring hot water to the spa, to raise the water temperature for a faster thaw. In some cases, you can gently wet frozen pipes with warm water – just don’t spray any motors, electronics or controls.

 

SPA POWER FAILURE!

COLD!

If your power fails during winter, remember that a heated spa with a good fitting spa cover has enough warmth to prevent freeze damage for 24 hours or so, longer if it’s very well insulated.

To maintain some heat under the spa skirt during a power failure, you could hang a 100 watt shop light in a location close to the spa pack. In some scenarios, a small space heater may be safe to use also, inside the spa cabinet, in a dry location, until power is restored.

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’
Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

Spa Aromatherapy – Crystals, Beads and Elixirs

January 13th, 2014 by

spa-aromatherapy-spa-scentsThe sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses of the body, and like the others, it can be manipulated. Scents can soothe the mind, and relax your muscles. It can also help trigger release of serotonin in the brain, bringing peace of mind.

It’s why resort spas always use relaxing scents throughout, the same with savvy department stores. It’s also why your grocery store has a bakery, and your movie theater has a popcorn counter.

Using spa scents in your spa or hot tub just makes sense! Without you even being very much aware of it, spa scents make your time in the hot water more tranquil and serene. Or, they can also energize and invigorate.

Here’s a run down of 3 types of spa scents for your hot tub, Beads, Crystals and Elixirs – such sexy names!

Spa Crystals

spa-crystals-hot-tub-works-Spa crystals are crystallized spa minerals as colorful as their scent. They come in an unbreakable, easy to open containers. Just shake a capful or two of spa crystals over the water, right before you enter the spa. Instantly the aromas dance off of the water, and the natural botanicals leave your skin supple.

There are 4 groups of Spa Crystals by Spazazz. I recommend that you have at least one from each category, so you can set the mood accordingly.

ESCAPE SPA CRYSTALS

escape-spa-crystalsEscape aromatherapy crystals are formulated to help you escape the stress and tension of the time spent outside of your spa, and transport you and your lucky spa companion to a state of blissful relaxation. Allow yourself to drift into a citrus grove, a tropical island, or a field of lavender. Escape spa crystals are available in 8 tranquil scents, in a 24 oz. bottle.

ORIGINAL SPA CRYSTALS

original-spa-crystals by SpazazzOriginal spa crystals are tranquil and luxurious. Indulge your senses with mind-mending  olfactory therapy and repair your skin with moisturizing botanicals. Spazazz aromatherapy crystals relax the mind and stimulate your natural rejuvenation processes. Feelings of calm security waft over you as you release the stress of the mind and muscles. Original Spa Aromatherapy Crystals are available in 8 delicious scents, in a 17 oz. bottle.

MOOD SPA CRYSTALS

mood-spa-crystalsMood crystals are for when you’re feeling passionate; with names like Temptation, Seduction and Fantasize. Potent love potions arouse feelings of intimacy and heighten sensual response. These seductive spa scents can really set the mood, so turn down the light and turn up the Barry White. Sprinkle just a few capfuls in the tub to ignite a fire! Mood spa crystals are available in 7 sexy scents, in a 17 oz. bottle.

Rx SPA CRYSTALS

rx-spa-crystals - detox, energy, respiratory, muscle, brainUse Rx spa crystals to take care of aches and pains, Detox the body, improve respiration or energy levels. “Soak in Vitamins” is the tag line for these spa scents, and they may be just what the doctor ordered! Rich botanical moisturizers and natural vitamin extracts rejuvenate as you soak and breathe rejuvenating natural minerals. If you’re sick, sore or dog tired – Rx spa scents will improve energy, breathing and rid the body of harmful toxins. Rx spa crystals are available in 5 quick relief blends, in a 19 oz. bottle.

Spa Beads

spa-beadsSpa beads are another way to add the power of aromatherapy to your hot tub experience. Instead of crystals, these are smooth balls about the size of a peanut, you just toss a small handful in the spa.

Quick and fun to use, and the sensuous scent of Capri Colada and the euphoric experience of Fiji Apple will transport your spa soak into something special. Spa Beads are available in 2 sensual scents, in a 5 oz. bag. I have a bag of these in my car, and they are a great air freshener, too!

Spa Elixirs

spa-elixirsSpa Elixirs are a liquid form of spa scent. Just pop the top, and squirt in a small amount, about a tablespoon or so, to quickly infuse your spa with fragrant botanical extracts and moisturizing emollients. The same most popular spa scents that are available as Spa Crystals are have been liquified into a rich, pearly honey for your spa. Spa Elixirs are available in 12 indulgent scents, in 9 oz. and 12 oz. bottles.

 

Try some of these spa scents, if you can decide which one to choose! To make it easier, I suggest selecting one from each group. They are cheap enough that you can buy a collection for under $20.

Added bonus to the spa aromatherapy experience is soft skin, and no chlorine smell on your skin when you leave the spa. You’ll keep a soft scent and a lingering aroma of your scented spa or hot tub – all night long.

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Hot Tub Parts: Spa Jet Repair & Replacement

January 10th, 2014 by

lighted-spa-jets are way cool

Spa and hot tub jets – the nozzles where the water and air comes out are really are for me, the distinction in a spa and a hot tub. The jets used in most traditional round wooden hot tubs are neither fancy or numerous. They may not even have a blower, and are more about the hot soak.

A spa on the other hand, can have dozens of spa jets. Some newer spas can have as many as 80 or 100 different jets. Even lighted spa jets, shown here. If you have that many jets, or even far less – eventually you’re going to have some maintenance issue with a few of them.

Full disclosure; we carry over 100 different Spa Jets and over 250 Spa Jet Parts for names like Waterway, Hydro-Air, CMP and many others for easy spa jet repair by the spa owner. Shameless plug complete, moving on…

 

spa-jet-body-jet-insertWHAT IS A SPA JET?

Most jets consist of a Jet Body, which seals up to the backside of the spa wall with a large lock nut ring and lots of silicone. It has the pipe connectors for air and water lines. The inside of the Jet Body houses a Jet Internal, which includes the diffuser insert, escutcheon (bezel or beauty ring) around the jet, and the nozzle or eyeball.

 

IDENTIFYING SPA JETS

As mentioned above, there are hundreds of spa jets, and newer spa jets come in endless configurations of jet type, eyeball type, size and color. Most modern spa jets will allow you to remove the Jet Internal, or Thread-In Jets, as Waterway calls them, by turning counter clockwise on the outer ring, and pulling outward. Inspect the Jet Insert for any part numbers or stampings that would indicate manufacturer. If you need help, give us a call.

Group of 10 different spa jetsMost spa jets are identified by Make – Model – Jet Type – Hole Size – Pipe Size – Color, and other variances. Measuring the outside diameter of the bezel is sometimes sufficient on simple spa jets, while more information may be needed for more advanced jets.

If you don’t know any of the manufacturer information on your spa jet, you could always browse our spa jet pictures to help you visually ID your spa jet. If you still don’t see it, please call us or send a picture by email, with spa jet measurements, and any other information you have about the jet.

TROUBLESHOOTING SPA JETS

By my count, there are some 5 problems affecting spa jets today; and these are Low Flow, No Flow, Broken, Leaking and now a new one – No Lights.

low-flow-spa-jetsLOW FLOW SPA JETS: Check that your pump is on high speed and the jet is not closed by a diverter valve. Many spas have knobs on top that allow you to change the flow between banks of jets. You also need to have air intakes open, especially for spinning jets. If you can remove the spa jet internal, pull it out to inspect the diffuser or mixer assembly for any obvious clogs, from hair or lint. Leaving the most obvious for last, make sure that your water level is high enough and your spa filter is clean.

NO FLOW SPA JETS: Same here, check that the jet pump is on high speed and the jet is not closed by a diverter valve or knob. If you have just drained the spa, and you have a no flow situation, you probably have an air lock in the plumbing system. This can be released by loosening a drain plug or union to allow air to escape. When water begins to leak, tighten up again and retry the tub.

spa-jet-problemsLEAKING SPA JETS: If you have traced a wet spot under the spa as originating from one of your spa jets, there is a fix for that. It may need a new gasket, or sometimes just a dab of Boss silicone will fix it up. Repairs can be made in the front or rear of the jet, to keep water from getting in between the jet and the hole in the spa shell. Check that the ring on the back of the spa jet is very tight. You can use a strap wrench to tighten the lock nut ring on the back of the spa jet, but it’s best to use a lock nut wrench,which also allows you to do the job without a helper.

BROKEN SPA JETS: The eyeball fitting on the inside can become damaged, or can pop out, or be unable to hold position. The threads on a insert spa jet could become stripped, or the bezel ring can become cracked. If you can’t turn the eyeball to a direction you want, try twisting it first to loosen it. Some spa jets have particular methods of adjustment. If you can locate the owner’s manual, in print or online, these can be a big help in some cases.

first-world-problems - spa jet lights not working :-(

NO SPA JET LIGHTS: Spa jet lights not working? My, you really have some first world problems. These are LED and it’s unlikely that the bulb has burned out. More likely to have a problem with the power wire, or the end connectors. Find the cord, and inspect for damage, and be sure that the end plugs are firmly seated, and in the correct spot.

 

SPA JET REMOVAL TOOLS

spa-jet-tools-spa-jet-wrenchesRemoving and replacing the jet body from the shell of the spa, for resealing or replacement, can be accomplished with one specific wrench, made specifically for your spa or hot tub jet. Spa jet tools or spa wrenches are important to make removal easier, without damaging soft plastic edges. For installing a new jet, or resealing a leaking spa jet, they are absolutely essential, to give you the leverage to tightly fit the spa jet body against the spa wall.

Other Spa Jet Tools help you to remove eyeballs or retaining rings. It can be confusing to know which spa wrench to use on your particular spa jet, there are over 30 different tools, and each one works with specific spa jets. Please contact us if you need any help.

1000 words about spa jets. I hope this was helpful to whatever spa jet problem you are having. Most issues are small, and can be fixed quickly.

If you’re having larger problems, and need help identifying which spa jet part or spa jet tool to use – please call our tech department, or send a photo/info by email. You’ll find out team happy to assist in your spa jet repair.

– Jack

 

Spa & Hot Tub Ozone Problems

January 6th, 2014 by

spa ozone bubblesOzone is one of the world’s most powerful sanitizers – over 200 times more powerful than chlorine. Using ozone in a spa or hot tub allows you to use fewer chemicals and may even require less filtration time.

Spa ozone is produced in a small ozonator underneath the spa cabinet, and it is delivered to the water by a small hose that carries the O3 gas to an injector fitting, where it is sucked into the spa plumbing.

But, over time, ozonator output decreases, and after 2-3 years, it’s time for a renovation or replacement of the ozone unit.

 

Is My Spa Ozonator Working?

When released into the line, ozone immediately begins to kill contaminants in your spa – when it’s working. But, how do you know when it’s working?

  1. Bubbles in the heater return line. A steady stream of champagne bubbles entering the spa.
  2. Spa ozonators have a power indicator light, but this doesn’t mean that ozone is being produced.
  3. There are ozone test kits, which tells you if your ozonator is producing ozone.
  4. If you remove the supply tube from the check valve, you should be able to smell the ozone.
  5. Water quality will deteriorate when ozone is no longer being produced, requiring more chemicals.

 

Clogged Ozone Injector

ozone-injectorAn injector is the point of entry for the ozone gas, which is located in the center of a venturi manifold, shown here. The injector draws in the ozone, mixing it with the water, where sanitation begins immediately.

If an injector becomes clogged with debris, gunk or scale, it will block the small amount of ozone gas pressure. To clean an ozone injector, remove the hose, and ream out the injector with a piece of wire or a very small screwdriver. Vinegar can also be used to help dissolve heavier deposits.

Broken Ozone Check Valve

A check valve is used on many spa ozone systems, to prevent water from backing up through the hose, and getting into your ozone unit. Check valves are one-way flow devices, designed to only allow gas (or water) to flow away from the unit.

ozone-check-valveOver time, ozone check valves can become stuck, or blocked by gunk or scale, much like the injector problem discussed above. Del ozone recommends replacing their check valves (shown here) every year. Cleaning a check valve with vinegar can remove deposits, but be sure that the mechanism inside is still doing it’s job.

Split Ozone Tubing

ozone-hoseThe tubing, or hose that carries the ozone from the ozonator to the injection manifold will deteriorate over time. Clear hose often becomes yellowed and brittle, and will eventually split, requiring replacement.

Inspect your ozone hose often, from end to end for degradation. Del recommends that the tubing be replaced every year, to prevent unexpected failure. Also inspect the barbed connections on the end of the hoses. Too much pressure can cause these to crack, and leak ozone.

Ozonator Expired

ozone-CD-chipFinally, the ozone generator itself may have expired. There are two types of spa ozonators, UV and CD. Spa ozonators using UV, or ultraviolet light to produce ozone, will need a new UV bulb after a certain number of operational hours, usually 8000-10000 hours.

CD, or corona discharge ozonators, will require a new chip or electrode every few years, to maintain ozone output. Del sells renewal kits for their CD spa ozonators, and it’s quite a simple repair.

Spa Ozonator Maintenance

…is not so difficult, once you know what to look for. The most important thing is to replace ozone parts on a schedule, to prevent damage to the ozonator, and poor spa water conditions.

Hot Tub Works carries a full line of spa ozonators, and ozonator parts to keep your spa ozone equipment running smoothly; doing it’s job.

Your spa ozonator probably won’t make it known that there is a problem – you have to go looking for it. Remember, eventually (2-3 years), your spa ozonator will quietly quit working. Maintain your spa ozonator to keep your spa sanitary.

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

6 Embarrassing Spa Problems to Avoid

January 2nd, 2014 by

spa-problems - image purchased thru PresenterMediaWhen you own a spa or hot tub, you want it to be in tip top shape, especially if friends come over to enjoy it. They may not understand all of the complex mix of water chemistry, filtering and heating that is going on – they just magically expect the hot tub to be… magic!

A spa or hot tub is not that much work, maybe 30 minutes per week, to keep the water clean, and all systems go, ready for any spur of the moment entertaining you may do.

Based on my years of being a spa owner, and just as many years working for spa companies in customer service, I have curated this list of the Top 6 most embarrassing spa problems.

Smelly Spa Cover

Woo-Wee! What is that smell!?! If your spa has a smelly, musty odor of mildew, chances are – your spa cover is to blame. Remove it from the tub completely so that you can give it a good whiff, away from the spa. If the smell is coming from the spa cover, you have some cleaning to do. Spray the inside plastic and vinyl with a diluted bleach solution, to kill any external mold and mildew. Then allow it to dry, with the spa cover off of the tub, for several hours. For extreme cases, you may need to gently remove the inner foam panels, and apply the treatment to the panels and to internal surfaces. If you have any rips or separations that is allowing moisture to get inside your spa cover, patch them properly, or start thinking about replacing your spa cover!

Foaming Spa Water

cloudy-spa-water-smWith the jets on full blast, a small amount of surface foam is nearly impossible to avoid, and is completely normal, like the white caps on ocean waves. What I’m talking about here is when the foam begins to build on itself, and become noticeable. Hint: When children begin giving themselves foam beards in your hot tub, it’s reached a problem stage; time to take action. First, check your pH and Alkalinity and adjust if necessary, to 7.5 and 100, respectively. Be sure that your test strips are not expired, old strips can give false readings.

Second, use a spa filter cleaner to will remove oils and grime. Advanced spa foam can be caused by excess biofilm – use a spa purge like Jet Clean to strip the pipes and jets clean. Afterwards, drain the spa, refill and balance the water. If your spa is used heavily, begin using an enzyme like Natural Clear to control organics. I don’t believe in using Foam Out, by the way – that just covers up a problem.

Noisy Equipment

When something doesn’t sound quite right, just like in your automobile, that’s a good clue that something is wrong. Loud spa pumps are the most common noisemaker, and this usually means that the bearings are shot. At this point, you can have a motor shop rebuild the motor, or you can replace with our spa motors. You could also replace the entire pump, for a simpler, but more expensive repair. Spa blowers can also become noisy over time. They also have motor bearings and brushes, internal to the motor. Most blowers are inexpensive to replace, so they aren’t usually repaired, but some motor shops will work on them. A loud chattering is usually the sound of a contactor and a quieter clicking is often a relay. This could be a connection or voltage problem, or these spa parts could be defective.

Privacy Problems

namarata privacy panel

If your spa is visible from other people’s houses, that’s kind of a bummer. There are a few spa cover lifters that will hold the spa in an upright position, providing a nice bit of privacy, but only on one side of the spa. Other ideas are cheap window treatments, like bamboo blinds, or using lattice wood, to block some light, but still allow a breeze to blow through. Using a pavilion or a pergola around an above ground hot tub helps to design more privacy around the spa. It goes both ways remember – your neighbors want their privacy too, so make efforts to block noise from the spa – like loud laughter, music and other sounds of frivolity. Having the Police called to your hot tub at midnight, by a tired and sleepless neighbor, is definitely best to avoid!

Heater Problems

No one likes a cold spa, and even worse is a spa that’s only 95 degrees or so. Most spas will begin to lose temperature when the cover comes off, and people enter the spa, soaking up the heat. If your spa heater is having trouble maintaining the heat in your spa, it could be a problem with the thermostat, or some other part. Daniel wrote Top 5 Spa Heater Problems, which covers some common mechanical failures, and some embarrassingly easy fixes to the problem.  Low heat could also be caused by a very cold night, and a very small spa heater. Some spas just don’t seem to hold their heat in very cold weather. If this spa problem happens to you, consider upsizing your heater element (call us for help). Another cause of heat loss in the winter, is the lack of sufficient insulation under the spa, around the tub. Some spas are packed in with insulation, and some have barely nothing.

Itchy Rash

spa-rashes-
Uh-Oh! If your guests complain to you hours or days after using the spa, of a red, pimply rash on their skin, your spa may be harboring some recreational water illnesses. We go into it in much more detail in our article about waterborne illnesses in spas and hot tubs. Essentially, you want to drain the spa and do a complete and deep clean. Use Jet Clean in the pipes, and replace your spa filter. Most importantly, to prevent it from happening again, maintain good water balance and keep enough sanitizer in the water – at all times. Shock weekly, or at least every other time you use the spa to kill such things as pseudomonas aeruginosa in your spa.

Don’t sweep spa problems under the rug, these symptoms are your hot tub’s way of telling you there’s a problem. If we can be of any help to you sorting out your spa problems, give us a call or send an email – spa techs are standing by!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works