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Archive for the ‘hottubworks.com’ Category

7 Hot Tub Accessories I Can’t Live Without

October 9th, 2017 by

Hello again! Carolyn here to tell you about some of my favorite hot tub accessories. It could’ve been a ‘top ten’ list, but I wanted to keep it shorter and made of more unique spa products.

So then, without further ado, here’s the 7 hot tub accessory items I just couldn’t live without!

 

 

MY SPA PRE-FILTER

Water where I live is not very good hot tub water. It has really high minerals, making the water hard. Plus, it looks gray, and even smells bad sometimes. Whenever I fill my spa, or top of the water level, I just screw on the Pre-Filter to the end of the hose, to ‘pre-filter’ the water, so my filter doesn’t have to.

 

MY TAYLOR K2105 TEST KIT

The Taylor K-2105 test kit is the complete DPD test kit, for Low Range chlorine and bromine. Since I also use minerals and some ozone, I keep a very low bromine level in the spa, about 0.6 ppm. The low range test kit lets me test down to 0.1 ppm levels. We don’t sell it, 🙁 but I found mine for $45 Taylor K2105.

 

MY NATURE2 SPA STICK

Nature2 spa cartridge is a thin mineral stick that fits inside of your filter cartridge. As the water rushes over it, copper and silver ions are released into the water, which kills bacteria and other particles in the water. Lasts for 4 months, I buy the Nature2 Spa 3-pack, to have a year-long supply on hand.

 

MY BALBOA CONTROLLER APP

I’ve become quite attached to my tablet around the home, for playing music, adjusting the home temperature and a few lights. But the newest Balboa App is just amazing. Using our wifi enabled Balboa Spa Controls, one can view temp, change modes – everything that I can do from the topside control.

 

MY FLOATING SPA COVER

I just brought it out again recently, as I don’t use the floating spa blanket during the summer, but for winter it really helps to hold in the heat. We have 3 types of spa floating covers, a low cost bubble blanket, a closed cell foam blanket (like mine!), or the aluminized Radiant foam blanket, to help trap the heat this winter.

 

MY SPA BOOSTER SEAT

I’m a short person, ok? I can’t enjoy the ‘captain’s chairs’ in our hot tub without my spa booster seat. Unlike inflatable boosters that float, this one is filled with small pebbles or marbles, to stay in place in the seat. I wish it was a bit larger, but that’s my problem, I suppose. 🙂

 

WIRELESS THERMOMETER

Before I got the Balboa App, I had the Wireless Thermometer, with the thermometer transmitter in the hot tub, and the remote receiver or temperature display on my kitchen counter. Great way to monitor spa temperature, and it can even help increase your spa usage with toasty temps displayed. I guess I am living without this one now!

 

What are some of your favorite spa or hot tub accessories? With fall already here, winter hot tub accessories will be needed, for those of you in colder climates. Would love to see some snow down here in southern California! On the other hand, I don’t think we would deal with it very well! Keep your snow!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Spas & Hot Tubs in the News

June 9th, 2017 by

Reporter Gina on the job – rounding up news story from around the globe, about hot tubs and spas. I’ve been clipping news stories for months now, waiting for another chance to present Spas & Hot Tubs in the News )))).

Today’s line up is full of fun and feel good stories, well not all of them actually. Stories like these really show how much spas and hot tubs really are woven into the fabric of America. Not just a fad from a bygone era, people really like to soak in hot water!

 

Iceland Spa has Hot Tubs filled with Beer

3 guys in a beer hot tub, drinking beer

At the beer spa Bjorbodin, in Árskógssandur, Iceland they offer warm soaks in a wooden hot tub filled to the brim with beer, water, hops. Beer for drinking is also included, so please don’t drink the spa water. Just another reason to hop on a flight to Iceland, says the article. Full Story

 

Wanted: Hot Tub Stolen from Fairport Canal Days

By , D&C, June 5, 2017

Fairport police are looking for a hot tub stolen from a vendor during the annual Fairport Canal Days. Overnight, a Softub brand hot tub was stolen from a vendor. The 2-person hot tub is a tan T-150 Softub spa. Soft tubs are easily portable and weigh less than 75 pounds when empty, according to Softub. Full Story.

 

Former UMKC basketball coach has hot-tub problem solved

by , Fox4KC, May 12, 2017

Retired UMKC basketball coach Darrell Corwin had contacted Fox4 Problem Solvers because he wanted to warn the public about a hot tub repairman who had taken $800 from him and disappeared. After the story aired, that repairman returned Corwin’s money, but the news got even better. Watkins Hot Tubs called Problem Solvers. It recognized the 33-year-old tub in Corwin’s backyard as one of its own and wanted to give Corwin and his wife a new one. “It ended up I got the money and I got the hot tub,” Corwin said smiling. “I really appreciate it.” Full Story.

 

Hot Tub Huckster Barred for Life

By Doug Jenkins – WBGZ Radio, May 24, 2017

James Flanagan has operated businesses under the names of Hot Tub Addict, Hot Tub Recyclers and Two Guys and a Spa Dolly. He has been barred from selling hot tubs or offering hot tub moving or repair services in Illinois. He has also been ordered to pay $48,000 to defrauded customers. Better Business Bureau spokesman Don O’Brien says that incidents like this can tarnish the whole industry. Full Story.

 

Driver backs spas for a cause

By Staff, Independent Free Press, June 3, 2017

Race car driver Gary Klutt has teamed up with one of his sponsors, Pioneer Pools, for a cancer fundraiser, Spas for a Cause pink hot tub giveaway raffle, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. Ballots are $5 each and can be purchased at a Pioneer Pools location or online at spasforacause.ca. Full Story.

 


 

Well that was fun! I hope you enjoy peeking into the news surrounding hot tubs, as much as I do! Much thanks to the original authors of these articles, keep them coming, your readers (like me) love to hear about spas and hot tubs!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Flooded Hot Tubs – What to do Next

January 16th, 2017 by

Tim Baker watches his spa float away - image by examiner.co.uk

We’re a California company, and with rain pelting the west coast for many months now, and many of more local customers have been calling and emailing us for help with damage caused by high winds, heavy rain, flooding and even mudslides.

During a 50-year or hundred year rain event, spas and hot tubs that are normally high and dry in all types of weather, can become flooded or can develop problems with sustained moisture and humidity.

What do you do after the storm?

rain-cloud-by-ocal-clkerIf your spa begins to flood, or has flooded – even if only a few inches deep, make sure to keep the spa power OFF, at the main circuit breaker. Do not use a spa that has flooded, and do not turn the power back on to the spa until you perform several important steps. You can add MPS or spa shock, to maintain the water while it is not being filtered.

 

inspect the cabinet equipment bay

If your spa is currently flooded, use a submersible pump like the Spa Drainer, to pump water downhill from the spa area, if waters are not receding on their own. Sand bags or trash bags filled with soil can be used around a spa or hot tub, allowing you to pump and clean the area around the spa or hot tub.

leaking-spa-pump-causesOpen up the equipment bay, when weather permits, to inspect the possible damage. Flood waters are usually dirty waters, so there is usually a visible waterline mark, like a bathtub ring. Look for evidence of how high the flood waters were inside the spa cabinet, and look to see if it rose over any electrical equipment. Did the water rise high enough to submerge the jet pump or circ pump, or an air blower? Did it rise over the spa controller, and specifically was it deep enough to touch the (gasp!) circuit board?

Spa pumps and blowers submerged only slightly fair pretty well, once they are dried completely. Most spa jet therapy pumps that have been fully submerged, they will likely need to be replaced. If only partially submerged briefly, while not running, spa circ pumps can be removed and dried internally, and sometimes will still work.

Control panels – the motherboard, the PCB or main circuit board. If the spa control was not energized (power off), during the flood event, there is a better chance of survival, after a proper drying of the circuit board and connections. Most spa controllers can be opened up, to inspect the main board and connections. Look at the board and connections closely, for any signs of damage, specifically electrical burn marks or corrosion, on the circuit board and on the wire connections.

Spa heaters are often not harmed in a flooded spa situation, as long as the spa was not powered when the flooding happened. Flow through heaters are sealed pretty tightly, and do not have a circuit board or an electric motor, so the heater may be safe from harm.

 

Dry out the cabinet equipment bay

It doesn’t just happen from heavy rain and flooding rivers, flooded spa equipment also happens people fill or top-off their hot tub, and forget about it overnight, as occasionally happens!

spa-controllerA wet/dry vac can be used to clean up puddled water, or use some old towels, to remove remaining water and clean the deposited silt and dirt. As weather permits, dry out the equipment bay by keeping the cabinet door open. Set up fans to circulate drying air into and through the cabinet.

If your hot tub equipment was completely submerged (water depths of 12″ or more), remove the spa pack or equipment to a dry and cool area within the home. This will allow for faster and more precise drying of the electrical equipment and connections, but some motors or circuit boards may not recover.

You can replace individual spa equipment parts, like pumps, blowers, heaters or ozonators. Your spa pack controller can also be repaired, or if your spa system already has 10 years on it, a new spa pack may be the best decision.

There are other spa electrical parts in there too, like contactors, cords and connectors, and thermostats, time clocks and transformers. Everything has to be dry before you turn the power back on.

 

Turn on Power at Circuit Breaker

After a complete drying out of your spa equipment (please see above), you are ready to turn the circuit breaker back on. Flip the main spa circuit breaker back to on, and any secondary cut-off box between the breaker box and the spa.

hot tub flooding, what to do after the storm

Check your topside control panel for any troubleshooting messages, or error codes. If your spa survived the storm successfully, you can proceed to put it through some paces, checking operation of lights, pump, heater, blower, etc.. If you find trouble however…

Circuit Breaker Trips: This usually points to damaged equipment, pumps or heaters. Disconnect electrical equipment one by one, to find out which load is causing the breaker to trip; heater, pump, blower, ozonator, light?

GFCI Trips: If the red reset button on the GFCI keeps popping out, it could be moisture related, be sure that everything has been completely dried out.

Nothing Trips, still won’t work: Check for Fuses that may have blown on your spa pack. If fuses are ok, circuit board may be faulty.

 

That’s it for now – be safe out there California, we love you!

 

XOXO;

 

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

5 Hot Tub Repairs you can Do Yourself

January 10th, 2017 by

DIY-HOT-TUB-REPAIR

Around here, we are decidedly DIY, and we do what we can to encourage spa and hot tub owners to manage their own water chemistry, spa care and maintenance. And being that we sell thousands of spa and hot tub parts, we also want our customers to feel comfortable making spa equipment repairs.

There are literally hundreds of spa repairs that you can do yourself, today we are going to focus on 5 common hot tub repairs, breaking down the process involved, so you can fix it and feel proud.

 


 

Leaking Spa Pump Seal

Leaking Spa PumpsWhen a spa therapy pump is leaking, it’s either going to be where the pipes screw in and out of the wet end, or it’s going to be the shaft seal. A leaking shaft seal can be visually observed by looking at where the motor shaft enters the wet end. A shaft seal is a spring loaded, 2-piece part that seals up the motor shaft, as it passes into the wet end and connects to the impeller.

The easiest way to replace the shaft seal is to replace the entire wet end, as shown in these wet end replacement videos. The wet end is everything that in front of the motor, we have center discharge and side discharge wet ends to fit most spa pumps. In this way the entire pump is new, not just the shaft seal, including the impeller, seal plate, diffuser and volute housing. You could just replace the shaft seal, most spa therapy pumps use the #200 seal or the #201 seal.

 

New Topside Control Panel


balboa-54155-serial-deluxe
Most topside control panels (the buttons you push to control the spa equipment), can last 10 years or more – before they become unresponsive, or some calamity befalls them. Replacing a Topside Panel is not complicated, you just want to make sure to use the correct replacement panel, so that it fits the cut-out in your spa, and will connect or plug-in to your spa control.

The hardest part about replacing a spa control panel is buying the correct replacement. We have almost 100 different topside panels available from ACC, Balboa, Hydroquip, Len Gordon, Gecko and Tecmark. Most spa topside panels include the power cord of the correct length, so all you have to do is “glue it and screw it” to the panel, and connect the cord or cable. If you are having trouble finding your exact replacement topside control, give us a call and we can find it for you.

 

Hot Tub Ozonator Repairs


del-ozone-apg
Spa ozonators are wonderful devices that can make your spa water practically drinkable, but maybe you shouldn’t. Ozone is produced by either a UV bulb or a CD chip, and then delivered via hose into an ozone injector.  Over 12-24months, the ozone production will deplete, and eventually fall to zero. Since there is no simple test for ozone, other than no more bubbles from the ozone jets, it’s wise to schedule ozone repair on your calendar.

Every 12-24 months, or whatever is recommended by your ozone unit manufacturer, replace the ozone hose, ozone check valve, and either the CD chip or the UV bulb. With ozonator prices so low, many people find it better to replace the entire ozone unit every few years. Dimension One spas and others, may blow out the ozone air pump, and not need further repair.

 

Spa Heater Replacement


spa-heater-element-tests
Spas and hot tubs are most often heated by an electric immersion element, housed inside of a 15″ long ‘flow-thru’ stainless steel tube, or other vessel. Replacing a hot tub heater element is something that can be done DIY, but for simplicity, it’s usually best to replace the element and tube, as a complete unit. If you feel confident and are careful in repair however, you can replace just the element and reduce your repair cost.

Like other spa repairs, the hardest part is correctly identifying and ordering correctly, the correct spa heater element or spa heater assembly. We have several ways to do this, you can find spa heaters listed by Brand (Balboa, Gecko, Hydroquip), Popularity and by Dimensional size. You also need to match the element output in Kilowatts, usually 1kW, 4kW and 5.5kW. 11kW spas use two 5.5 kW elements. If you have any doubt about your selection, give us a call, we’re happy to help you find the right hot tub heater or element.

 

Leaking Spa Plumbing


leaking-spa-pump-causes-sm
We’ve already talked about leaking pump seals above, but spas and hot tubs can leak almost anywhere. Common spa leaks include leaking spa jets, leaking manifold plumbing fittings, leaking unions and filters or skimmers. The first thing to do is to locate the exact source and find a spa leak. As per Murphy’s Law, it’s almost never going to be easily accessed. You may have to remove cabinet panels, and get yourself into awkward positions to find and fix the leak.

If it’s your filter or a spa union, you may just need to tighten up the lock ring, or it could be a pinched or dry-rotted internal sealing o-ring. Leaking spa jets are usually a deteriorated spa jet gasket. Leaking glue joints, on valves or fittings will usually need to be cut-out and replumbed. Draining the spa below the level of the repair will be necessary. Other than that, it’s just regular PVC plumbing, with primer and glue and the right spa plumbing fittings.

 


 

For help diagnosing a spa or hot tub problem, or help selecting the right replacement spa parts, you can contact us anytime at 800-770-0292, or you can send info and images to us in the email, at info@hottubworks.com.

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

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110V vs. 220V Hot Tubs – Which is Best?

December 26th, 2016 by

110v-vs-220v-hot-tubs-istk
When shopping for a hot tub, you’re faced with dozens of decisions, and one of the largest purchase decisions is whether to buy a 110V hot tub or a 220V hot tub.

110V (115V or 120V) hot tubs are often called “Plug and Play”, because most can be plugged into a standard 15 amp electrical outlet. 220V (230V or 240V) tubs are hard-wired from the home main circuit breaker box, to a safety cut-off box located near the hot tub, and then directly into the spa control box.

110V hot tubs and 220V hot tubs both have their own pros and cons – what’s right for you?

110v-hot-tubs-advantages

  • LOWER COST: The lower cost of ‘Plug & Play’ hot tubs has created opportunity for spa builders and for people who want to pay less for a hot tub. They are cheaper because they are smaller, with a fewer spa jets, less powerful pumps and heaters, and overall fewer ‘bells and whistles’.
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Place on a suitable location that can support the weight of the tub when full, fill it full of water and plug it in. What can be easier than that? 110V hot tubs can be plugged into most outlets, however depending on the model, you may need to unplug other electrical loads on the circuit, or plug into a 20 amp outlet.
  • MORE PORTABLE: Because 110V hot tubs are smaller and less full-featured, they often weigh less than 220V hot tubs. This is especially true for inflatable and rotomolded hot tubs, however some plug and play models can weigh 500 lbs, when empty.

220v-hot-tubs-advantages

  • LARGER TUBS: If you want a larger tub that 5 or 6 people can enjoy at the same time, look at a 220V hot tub. A larger body of water,  with a larger filter is easier to keep clean than a smaller hot tub. Smaller tubs (under 300 gals), can sometimes overflow when 2 or 3 people climb in the tub.
  • LARGER HEATER: 220 volts can power larger electric elements, 4kW or 5.5kW. 110V heaters usually max out at just 1.0kW, which can take a long time to heat, or reheat the spa, and lose heat quickly when the cover is off. For poorly insulated spas, a 1kW heater may not be able to stay hot in very cold weather.
  • LARGER PUMPS: Although 110V spa pumps have plenty of ‘oomph, they have to split it between fewer jets, and many cannot operate the jet pump and the spa heater at the same time. 220V spas can have 4 or 5 horsepower pumps, and can power pumps, heater, lights, stereo and more, all at the same time.

Convertible 110V/220V Hot Tubs

You can buy 110V only and 220V only, or you can buy convertible voltage hot tubs, which will accept either voltage. When connected to 110V, convertible spas heater elements will switch to 1.0 Kw, and make other sacrifices to split up the available power accordingly, such as pumping at low speed only, while the heater is operating.

Cost to Wire a Hot Tub with 220V

The cost to wire a 220V hot tub will vary, but depends mainly on how close the hot tub is to the house main breaker box panel. Barriers, terrain changes or other complications could raise the price. Another budget killer is a home whose breaker box panel is completely filled, without room (available amperage) to add another 50 amp breaker. In most cases however, wiring a hot tub with 220V usually costs about $500, although the price can easily double with distance or other difficulties.

What’s Best? 110V or 220V hot tubs?

pros-and-cons-saltwater-hot-tubIf you have the budget available, 220V hot tubs are the best choice, in my opinion. However, if you want only a small hot tub for 1 or 2 people, and your climate is mild during the winter, and the cost to buy and wire a 220V hot tub is prohibitive – a 110V hot tub may be the best choice.

As stated above, Plug & Play hot tubs do have certain advantages, and they offer all the benefits of higher priced hot tubs, at a lower price point. Many manufacturers position their 110V spas as an ‘entry-level’ hot tub, with the hopes that their 220V models will fit the bill for an eventual upgrade. Sort of like an auto dealer that sells both Chevrolet and Cadillac.

Let your budget and your conscience by your guide. Although my own hot tub is 220V, and very full featured – Hot water is Hot water!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Winter Hot Tub Accessories

December 19th, 2016 by

It’s officially winter now, and I can tell because our call center has begun fielding calls from new spa owners, with anxious questions about hot tub winterization or could they keep the spa open all winter? Or, can they safely drain the spa during winter?

We’ve talked about winter hot tub tips before, or how to get the most out of your spa during the winter months. Today I want to show you several cool winter hot tub products, or accessories that help protect your spa, and make winter hot tub use safer and more enjoyable.

 

spa covers

spa-cover-for-winterWell, of course you need a spa cover during winter. Without a tight fitting spa cover in good condition, your hot tub may have trouble staying hot. Spa tops that are waterlogged can lose half of their insulating properties, and a bad fitting spa top that doesn’t fit well, or is not strapped down tightly will lose heat. Replace cover clips that are broken or use high wind straps to pull the cover down tightly over the spa, and prevent heat loss. If you see steam escaping around the edges, or on the fold seam, just imagine it as dollar bills with wings.

 

spa caps

spa-cover-cap-for-winterIt’s a cover for your cover! Spa covers take a beating during winter, from sun snow and ice. The spa cover cap fits over top of your spa cover like a fitted sheet to protect it from moisture and UV rays. Available in 7’x7′ and 8’x8′ square sizes, to fit most hot tub shapes and sizes. Can improve heat retention performance on covers that are losing heat, and helps extend the life of any spa cover. The CoverCap spa cover cap is made from strong woven PE, using a silver reflective surface to melt snow faster, which also deters most birds, squirrels and bears, oh my!

 

spa blankets

floating-foam-insulating-blanketFor spas and hot tubs in cold northern climates, a floating spa blanket can increase heat retention by up to 50%. Without a spa blanket floating on the surface of the water, heat rises to fill the air space between the water and your spa cover. Floating spa blankets are available in 3 types, the durable Radiant Spa Blanket with an aluminum underside, the Floating Foam Blanket made of closed cell foam, and the economy Spa Bubble Blanket made of extruded PE. All spa insulating blankets are sold in square sizes, and trimmed at home with scissors to fit your spa.

 

spa jackets

spa-insulating-jacketFor spas with little internal insulation, wrap the Spa Jacket around the cabinet to instantly improve heat retention. Spa Jackets block wind and keep insects and rodents out of your spa cabinet. Constructed of two layers of vinyl covering a 1/2″ thick foam blanket, each Spa Jacket is custom made to fit your spa perfectly. Comes in 4 panels that snap to your spa cabinet and Velcro connect to adjacent panels. Can be used to improve hot tub efficiency, or simply as a way to hide ugly or damaged cabinet panels. 7 available colors, to match your spa cover.

 

spa enclosure

hot-tub-gazebo in winterYou may have a hot tub umbrella, but do you have a hot tub enclosure? Sometimes called pavilions, gazebos or cabanas, the Japanese were the first to popularize the use of Onzens, or small huts built above a hot spring. Hot tub enclosures are available as inflatable domes, retractable domes, or wood structures with large window panels that can be opened. In addition to protecting your spa from sun, snow and wind, enclosures also can improve the efficiency of heating a hot tub in winter, and they can be the best way to add a little privacy to your hot tub.

 

heated floor mats

heated-mats-for-spa-steps-during-winterUnless your spa is located just steps from the door, on a covered patio, winter hot tubbers often have to cross a frozen tundra to reach their bubbling spa. Ice and snow can be dangerous and a slip and fall on your way to the hot tub, can ruin your whole evening. For hot tubs in snowy winter areas, consider heating patio pavers with floor heat cables placed beneath, or use heated floor mats to keep the path to your hot tub free of ice and snow. You can find them in many sizes, and also find heated stair mats to use on your spa steps, for safe entry and exit.

 

spa handrail

spa-handrails-for-winterSpeaking of safely entering and exiting a spa, Spa Handrails are the perfect winter spa accessory. Spa steps may be icy from splashed out water, or rain/snow; a spa handrail helps you make that awkward last big step into the spa, without making a fool of yourself. And getting out of the hot tub, when your legs are like jelly, and the blood rushes to your head as you stand-up, the Spa Handrail is at-your-service. We have several spa safety hand rails, one that screws into the cabinet, or two with a large plate that slips under the spa, and one that attaches to a spa step.

 

a good hat

hat-for-hot-tub in winterPossibly the best winter hot tub accessory, a good hat will keep you from losing heat from the top of your head, and keep your hair dry. When your head is cold, you risk getting a head cold! Along with my trusty Red Sox hat, I also swear by my spa slippers and robe, two other winter wardrobe essentials for hot tubbers. Wearing a hat while in the hot tub, even if that’s the only thing you’re wearing 😉 is always a good idea.

 


 

Enjoy your hot tub this winter with some of these popular winter hot tub accessories!

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

Spas & Hot Tubs in the News

December 12th, 2016 by

SPAS-IN-THE-NEWS

I always look forward to curating a new episode of spas and hot tubs in the news, which we do twice annually. News stories (no fake news here) from around the world, that have a spa or hot tub element to them.

There are always some similar stories and always some new and interesting news about hot tubs in popular culture. Today’s collection is no exception, with 5 stories to help you pass the time, or have a laugh or two.

 


 

JAPAN’S HOT TUB THEME PARK

beppu-city-hot-tub-roller-coasterA city in Japan is teasing plans of the world’s first spa-themed amusement park. In a concept video, Beppu City on Japan’s Kyushu island showed off an idea for a new “spamusement park.” The video featured visitors at typical amusement park attractions—a carousel, ferris wheel and roller coaster – but instead of seats for each ride, there were hot tubs. Beppu is already an onsen tourist destination – there are more than 2,000 hot springs for visitors to choose from. However the city recently launched an initiative to become the “spa city of the world.” Last year, Beppu welcomed nearly a half million foreign tourists. No completion date for the project has yet been announced. Full Story.

 

INTRUDER FOUND HIDING IN BACKYARD HOT TUB

hiding-in-a-hot-tub-nbc-los-angelesSan Diego Police say multiple 911 calls Thursday led them to a man hiding in a backyard hot tub in Rancho Bernardo. The man was in custody, accused of breaking in or attempting to break into several homes. The suspect ducked his head when NBC 7 showed up but he couldn’t hide for long as officers pulled him out of the cruiser to have witnesses confirm they’d gotten the right guy. The suspect, whose name was not released by police, lives in Los Angeles and was driving home from Mexico. For some reason, police say, he made an inland detour into this neighborhood – he was going from backyard to backyard when police finally caught him. Full Story.

 

CHILL BEAR SOAKS IN BACKYARD HOT TUB

bear-in-hot-tubA homeowner’s backyard security cameras caught a bear making itself at home last weekend in a hot tub. The bear wandered into the backyard Saturday night of the La Crescenta residence in the foothills east of Los Angeles and other than taking a long thirsty drink, the bear basically ignored the pool, opting instead for a relaxing dip in the hot tub. The stealthy visitor soaked for a few minutes, enjoying a solo pool party. The bear appeared to pluck something from a tree, possibly a snack, before pawing open a gate and lumbering back into the Pickens Canyon area. Bears like water, be sure to keep your backyard safe from entry, for bears and people! Full Story.

 

THIRSTY ELEPHANTS CAUGHT DRINKING HOT TUB WATER

By User Submission December 10, 2016, DailyMail.co.uk

elephants-drinking-from-hot-tubIn the African savannah, elephants are a common sighting. They are not especially fearful of people, and when no one is around, they don’t mind taking a dip or a drink of cool water on a hot summer day. This woman was startled when she saw a group of elephants drinking water from her pool. She slid her door open and watched as the majestic mammals dunked their trunks into the pool and sprayed their mouths. Taking video while speaking what appears to be Swahili, she calmly films and narrates the scene for the viewer. The water in this hot tub doesn’t look especially inviting, but the elephants don’t seem to mind.  Full Story.

 
 

HOT TUB HOPPERS CAUGHT ON CAMERA

By Staff Writers July 16, 2016, ABC6 Philadelphia

hot-tub-hoppers-in-paModern technology ended the fun times for a group of hot tub hoppers. A trail camera at a home in Montoursville, Pennsylvania caught the uninvited guests. Police say four young women were trespassing when they used a hot tub without permission, late at night. Investigators posted the pictures on social media. Within 15 minutes, tipsters identified them. Neighbors say they’re glad more people have cameras out and on at night. Elizabeth Labacher, a Montoursville Resident said “Trespassing when you’re twenty-years-old and in both of our opinions they are kids, but they also know not to do something like that.” Resident Steve Sheare added, “Thirty-some years ago, I’m glad they didn’t have cameras, have that stuff, because I was a teenager, too.” There’s no word yet if the hot tub hoppers will be charged. Full Story.

 


 
Want more News Stories about Spas and hot Tubs? See our earlier 6 episodes.

 

– Jack

 

Great Gifts for Hot Tubbers

December 5th, 2016 by

holiday-gifts-for-hot-tubbers
So many of my friends and co-workers have hot tubs, I get a large portion of my Christmas gifts just by walking out to the warehouse; and paying for it of course.

Problem is, I’ve done this so many years now, that it’s becoming harder to give a gift that I’ve not already given before!

I wrote about hot tub gifts 3 years ago, in the first version of 10 Gifts for Spa Owners. This year, I’ve pulled out all the stops in this new list of gift ideas for hot tubbers, to find fun & unique spa accessories, that I haven’t gifted before!

 


 

spa-side-patio-heaterSpa Side Patio Heater

When the weather outside turns cool at night, having a free-standing propane patio heater sitting next to the tub is sooo nice. Once only affordable for high end restaurant patios, prices for full size patio heaters have sunk to levels that everyone can afford. For instance, AZ Patio Heater has a model for $180, with 48K BTU output, it stands over 87″ tall. Adjustable flame lets you dial in the amount of heat output and wheels allow you to tip and move the heater around to different locations on your patio or deck.

 

hot-tub-umbrellasCantilevered Umbrella

A hot tub umbrella is great for providing shade over the hot tub, for spas that are out in the open. Shade also protects your spa cover and spa cabinet from UV rays, but the most common reason to use an umbrella over a spa is to block rain and snow while you are using the tub. Sure, a soft rain or lightly falling snow can be nice while in a spa, but too much of a good thing can spoil your soak. What once cost thousands of dollars a decade ago is now affordable, these 9′ diameter hot tub umbrellas make great gifts, at $299.

 

towel-warmerTowel Warmer

For the ultimate spa experience, what’s better than toasty towels? Roll up two towels, close the lid and turn it on. A 50 minute timer shuts off the appliance automatically, for safety reasons, but that’s perfect for a hot tub session, which shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. Like many of the items on this page, towel warmers were once found only at high end resorts, and cost nearly $1000 when first introduced. Nowadays, they make affordable gifts and everyone can buy an electric towel warmer, for just $90 on Hammacher Schlemmer.

 

custom-hot-tub-signsCustom Hot Tub Rules Sign

Amusing and whimsical, custom hot tub rules signs collect the most common hot tub sayings like “what happens in the tub stays in the tub”, or “Clothing Optional”, or you can opt for tamer messaging about relaxation. Custom signs, available on Etsy and other craft sites, allow you to order it with custom sayings, or include the family name, as in Galvin Family Hot Tub Rules. For about $50 you can give a wooden, hand painted, custom spa sign to your friends with hot tubs.

 

 

napa-chiller-bucketLED Champagne Bucket

One of the coolest new spa products this year, the Napa Bottle Chiller with LED lights is a fun way to keep your favorite beverage cold (or hot), while casting a cool glow, in 24 different colors, and several brightness settings. Rechargeable battery fully charges in just 4-5 hours, with the included AC plug, or use the optional solar charger when using outdoors as a planter (you can use it as a planter or as a champagne bucket). At just $99, the Napa Bottle Chiller makes a great hot tub gift for any budget.

 

LED-wine-glassesLED Plastic Goblets

A primary hot tub rule is No Glass, broken wine glasses or tumblers in the spa can be dangerous. Glass sinks quickly to the bottom, and small shards of glass under your bottom would not be a pleasant thing, and may mean you have to drain the spa for a complete cleaning. LED wine glasses are liquid activated, and shut off when the glass is empty. Internal LED batteries last for years. You’ll find LED wine glasses, rocks glasses and champagne flutes at Wayfair, starting at $37 for a set of six glasses.

 

underwater-light-show-and-bluetooth-speakerUnderwater Light Show

This product is one of the more fun gifts for hot tubbers. A floating LED lamp that creates a disco ball effect with a splash of psychedelic colors. It’s actually made for pools, but in the small space of a hot tub or spa the effect is much more dramatic. Underwater Light Show has 7 color changing light shows, with auto shut-off. Runs on 3 AA batteries, included in the kit for just $20. We also have the Bluetooth Floating Speaker & Underwater Light Show, for $60. Rechargeable unit connects to any bluetooth device to play music through the speaker while displaying any type of light show you select.

 

i-love-my-hot-tub-coffee-mugHot Tub Drink Mugs

Hot Tub novelty gifts include T-shirts, caps and of course coffee mugs. I ♥ Hot Tubs, being the most common saying printed on mugs, but you can also find “Keep Calm, Hot Tub ON”, or “This is not a Coffee Mug, it’s a Hot Tub for my Donuts”. Lol, but seriously every hot tub owner should have at least one with a Hot Tub cartoon, or some reference to your hot tub. And not just for coffee, you can use a Hot Tub Mug for hot chocolate or hot tea, and take a steaming mug into the tub. Find them at Zazzle, from $15.

 

digital-spa-test-strip-readerDigital Test Strip Reader

For the colorblind, or ‘hue challenged’, estimated to affect nearly 5% of the population, a digital spa test strip reader is the perfect gift! Even if you can discern between shades of pink and yellow, using a digital strip reader will definitely improve your accuracy, and you may even test the hot tub water more often. Test results in just 15 seconds, with low/high indicators and it stores the previous 9 test results. The AquaCheck TruTest Digital Strip Reader is only $51, and available right here at Hot Tub Works.

 

spa-hot-tub-gift-basketHot Tub Gift Basket

One of my favorite hot tub gifts for the new hot tub owner, is to send them a basket filled with spa goodies. I get the basket and some straw paper at Michaels, and roll up a few inexpensive but colorful towels, and then add useful spa accessories like a cute ducky Thermometer, Spa Test Strips, Spa Crystals, and maybe a pack of Waterproof Cards. Small spa cleaning supplies, like a Grit Getter, Tub Scrubber, Scum Balls or a Pre-Filter also fit nicely in the basket, or the Spa Cover Care Kit makes a nice $50 present for any spa owner.

 


 

Have a very happy holiday season, I’ve already given Santa my wish list, with many of these fun new hot tub gift ideas, which I can’t wait to use! If you want more ideas for hot tub owner gifts, see my earlier post on the same topic ~

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Acrylic Spas vs. Rotomolded Spas

November 22nd, 2016 by

ACRYLIC-VS-ROTO-HOT-TUBS
In the old frontier days, all hot tubs were made of wood, then came fiberglass, and then Acrylic became the spa shell of choice. Acrylic spas are injection molded or blow molded into the spa shell, which is backed with many layers and set into a wood or composite material cabinet.

In the late 90’s, a few small manufacturers like Strong, Freeflow and DreamMaker began to produce spas with a radical new concept – rotational molding. Building a spa out of a single polymer plastic shell, reduces the cost and time of spa construction tremendously.

At first, major spa manufacturers poo-pooed the idea that John Q. Public wants to soak in a gray or brown plastic tub, but as sales and demand for the much less expensive hot tubs increased, they began to take notice.

Nowadays, most major players like Watkins, Cal Spas, Baja and Coleman are offering “Entry Level” rotomolded hot tubs, but still feature Acrylic models to offer a “Trade-up” product in their line of acrylic hot tubs. Sort of like a car dealer that sells both Chevrolet and Cadillac models.

ROTOMOLDED SPAS

rotomolded-hot-tubPROS: First of all, rotomold spas are 30-50% less expensive than similar sizes of acrylic spas. They are many rotomold models that are ‘plug and play’, and don’t require an electrician, just fill with water and plug it in. Finally, rotomolded hot tubs are extremely durable, and most have a lifetime spa shell warranty.

CONS: The appearance of the spa internal surface is not as beautiful as the lustrous colors and shine of acrylic hot tubs. The plug and play models don’t withstand very cold temperatures, and don’t have many jets, and often can’t run the spa heater at the same time as the spa jet pump.

ACRYLIC SPAS

acrylic-hot-tubPROS: That deep lustrous shine is a definite plus, you just can’t get that with a rotomolded tub. Wood panel cabinets are another nice feature of acrylic tubs. Acrylic hot tubs are often more full featured with many standard options, dozens of fancy jets, and large pumps, filters and heaters.

CONS: First of all, acrylic spas can cost $8-12K, or more, nearly twice the cost of rotomolded tubs. They are much heavier, bulkier and harder to move around easily. Most acrylic models require a full 230V electrical service, which usually involves an electrician.


 

At Hot Tub Works, we sell both Acrylic and Rotomolded Spas, to appeal to every budget. So, it comes down to what you want, a Chevy or a Cadillac? Major spa manufacturers agree, there seems to be room in this frontier town for both Acrylic and Rotomolded spas and hot tubs.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Cost to Repair a Hot Tub

September 19th, 2016 by

spa repairmanLots of people ask the question “what’s the cost to fix a hot tub”, but it’s kind of like asking how much does it cost to fix a car. The answer is the same in both cases, “it depends”. That’s because the cost to fix a hot tub is directly related to what’s wrong with it.

So – what’s wrong with your hot tub? Many hot tub problems can be fixed for under $100 in spa parts, but larger equipment purchases can set you back $500 or more. Let’s look at costs for some common spa repairs and equipment replacements.

Cost to Repair a Spa Leak

DIY: Depends where the leak is and what is actually damaged, but it could be a leaky pump union or shaft seal, leaking filter o-ring or jet gaskets, all of which are very inexpensive to replace yourself. With exception to large scale freeze damage, most spa leaks are easily found and fixed, if you can just reach it!

PRO: For the leak detection itself, probably 1-2 hours time, or a few hundred bucks. The cost for repairing the spa leak, again depends on where and what is leaking, but in most cases spa leaks are fixed for under $500. Larger leaks buried deep in foam, or under the spa, are more likely $1000, and large scale freeze damage could be two thousand, or more.

Cost to Repair a Hot Tub Pump

DIY: Most Jet Pump (Main Therapy pump) repairs are either a wet end replacement for about $65, or a motor replacement for around $200. You can also just replace the entire jet pump for $200-$300. Circulation pumps, aka Circ Pumps, which run low speed most of the time, are replaced for $150-$200. Other spa pump parts such as impellers, seals and o-rings are fairly inexpensive.

PRO: Having a spa guy repair or replace your hot tub pump is a lot easier and safer, but also costs more money. Cost for hot tub pumps professionally installed run about $500, and smaller pump problems like leaking or squeaking spa pumps should come in around $350.

Cost to Repair a Hot Tub Heater

DIY: If your hot tub heater is tripping the breaker, replace the element for around $30, or the complete Balboa style spa heater, tube and all for around $120. Titanium spa heaters by Sundance and Hot Spring are $320. If it’s just not heating up enough, it could be a temp sensor, high limit, pressure or flow switch, most of which are $20-$50 in spa heater parts. Your topside control may give an error codes to help guide troubleshooting a spa heater.

PRO: The last spa heater invoice I remember seeing was just under $500 for a diagnostic call, and an additional trip to install the new spa heater. If done in one trip, the cost may be more like $350, for either just the element, or the entire flow thru tube heater. Titanium proprietary heaters from Sundance or Watkins cost more to purchase and may be $750, installed.

Cost to Repair a Spa Light

DIY: A hot tub light is usually LED or halogen. Spa light bulbs or LEDs can be purchased in the range of $15-$72, depending on the size. Entire spa light kits with transformers and small incandescent bulbs average $25.

PRO: How many hot tub guys does it take to change a light bulb? Probably just one, but he’s got to get paid. A spa light repair service call would probably cost around $150, parts and labor. To save money, troubleshoot the spa light, so they know what parts to bring.

 


Cost to Replace a Spa Ozonator: Ozonators for hot tubs cost $70-125.

Cost to Replace a Spa Blower: Hot tub blowers cost $70-$110, and check valves are about $15.

Cost to Replace a Hot Tub Cover: Spa covers cost $250-$450, depending on size and options.

Cost to Replace a Spa Pack / Controls: Digital Spa Packs average $750. Control systems average $450.

Cost to Replace Spa Jets: The cost to replace a spa jet varies from $20-$50 on average.

Cost to Replace Spa Circuit Board: Hot tub PCBs range from $200-$600, with an average cost of $300.


 

Cost to Operate a Hot Tub?

Most people spend about $250 per year on average, some years more, some years less. Spa filters, spa covers, chemicals, parts and supplies, every cost to run a hot tub will average out to about $250 per year, not including electricity. In ten years, you can expect to spend around $2500 maintaining and caring for your spa, along with occasional equipment replacements. Some spend less, some spend more!

Cost to Buy a New Hot Tub?

animated-hot-tubLike automobiles, hot tubs and spas have a wide price range. For the well known Cadillac spa brands like Jacuzzi and Hot Spring, their top models range from $12-$15K. Lesser known brands are available in the $9-12K range, and online hot tubs can be purchased for $4-7K.  Some spend less, some spend more!

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works