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Archive for the ‘hottubworks.com’ Category

Family Games to Play in the Hot Tub

September 12th, 2013 by

family-in-spa
Want another reason for owning a spa or hot tub? Family Togetherness. A family takes work, to keep it knit together. It takes the effort to make it happen, to do things together.

A spa or hot tub is a place where there are fewer distractions, and everyone can enjoy the soothing sensation of the hot water, in close proximity to each other. The result? Conversation.

Have you ever noticed how conversations seem to just flow in a hot tub? People get into a relaxed and comfortable manner, and there’s not much else to do – except talk. Even surly teenagers tend to open up under the influence of hydrotherapy.

Spa Night can become a regular event for a household family, and it can also be a way to spend quality time with nearby relatives. A regular reunion can be held at your house, “bring your suits”!

Games to Play in the Hot Tub or Spa

  • Floating Chess / Checkers Game, for some brain exercising games that all kids know.
  • Waterproof Playing Cards can be used for casino style games or games like Go Fish.
  • Name Game. Pick a name, i.e. ‘Mike’, each person names a famous ‘Mike’, until they can’t.
  • Category Game. Pick a category, i.e. ‘Rock Bands’. Each person names a band that begins with the last letter of the previous suggestion.floating-drink-game-tray
  • Question Game. Ask a question, respond with a question. No statements, repetition or rhetoric allowed.
  • Uno. The card game has waterproof cards. Just use our floating Game and Drink tray for the card pile.

Have fun in your spa, and make it a point to soak with family! A spa or hot tub is the perfect way to reconnect and relax with your loved ones!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Comparing Spa Manufacturers – Which is Best?

August 22nd, 2013 by

spa-manufacturers-3Since we don’t sell spas, we may be in a better position to offer unbiased advice on choosing a spa brand or manufacturer. We’ve seen a lot of ‘em come and go over the years.

We spend considerable amounts of time working with manufacturers on issues of defects and warranty claims. And, since we sell spa parts, we also have an in depth view of parts availability, quality and the parts that are replaced more often than others.

We also get to hear the horror stories from customers who have experienced less than world class customer service, or had difficulty locating replacement parts or warranty service, or had a spa that was troublesome.

surveyWe’ve even done some informal research on our own, sort of a JD Power survey on spa owner satisfaction. I call them the JS Power surveys, to find out for myself, which spas and hot tub brands people are most pleased with, by asking one question “Would you buy this brand of Spa again?”.

bogus spa awardsWe also like to point out, here and there, that while most manufacturers have many awards for their spa from various organizations, that these aren’t necessarily worth the paper they’re printed on.

Here’s my short list of spa manufacturers that I think have a shared respect in the industry. There are other good brands out there, but these are some shining examples of well run spa manufacturing companies.

Bullfrog Spas

Founded in 1996, and based in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bullfrog Spas is known for it’s “Jet Pak” technology – modular, interchangeable jet paks for their spas. Bullfrog is also known for it’s charitable efforts, and seems to have a spa ready to aid weary athletes in a variety of sporting events, or donate to various good causes.

Dimension One

Founded in 1977, Dimension One was recently acquired by Jacuzzi, who plans to continue the brand, calling it New Dimension One spas. Known in the industry by the abbreviation D1, they were the first to make a fully insulated spa for inground or above ground use. They have been consistent in good dealer and customer relations over the years.

Hot Spring

Founded in One of the largest selling brand of spas, Hot Spring spas are made by Watkins Manufacturing, and is based in San Diego, Ca. Their spa Deck Designer tool is a lot of fun to play with, on their website. They have the most extensive dealer network, with over 800 locations worldwide, and are known for having strong dealer relations.

Marquis Spas

Founded in 1980 in the pacific northwest, Oregon based, Employee owned Marquis Spas has a reputation for building quality and technically advanced spas, with luxury surfaces and cool features. They are also a prolific giver, Marquis Spa dealers have granted over 500 wishes to children with advanced medical conditions, and are a Corporate Sponsor for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Saratoga

Saratoga Spas are made near the Saratoga Springs, NY, since 1984. We really like the company around here. Easy to work with, for dealers, customers and even aftermarket retailers, (like us!) and their spas are known to be easy to work on as well. A reputation for reliable, energy efficient operation and features that no one else has.

So, there you have it, my personal and unbiased opinion as to some of the best spa manufacturers in today’s market. If you are looking for a new spa or hot tub, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these brands.

Have you owned one of these spa brands? Would you buy another one? Tell us below in the comments.

- Jack

5 ways to Improve your Spa or Hot Tub Appeal

August 15th, 2013 by

spa-landscapingSpas and hot tubs need decor surrounding them – plants, wood, stone, tile. Natural elements, to complement the hot bubbling water.

Wrapping your spa in decking really expands the spa area, making the hot tub a part of a larger, cohesive design. Spas or hot tubs need some exterior design elements, for privacy, and to create that tranquil vibe.

 

Here’s some ideas for taking a plain ‘ol above ground spa, and wrapping it in other natural elements, to create a more inviting and interesting outdoor spa environment.

I hope you like the pictures!

DECKING

An important design consideration is that the area around the spa needs to be well draining and clean. No puddles or muddy spots, spa users need to be able to walk barefoot around the spa. The surface needs to also be non-skid, since it will be wet.

Here’s some ideas for wrapping decking around a spa or hot tub. Sinking it in the ground makes the spa easier to get in and out of, and reduces the visual footprint of the spa or hot tub.

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ROCKS

With placement of rocks around the spa, you can create a rustic or natural mountain spring setting. Wrap 2 or 3 sides in soil, rock and gravel (leaving room to access the spa pack), to hide a big, chunky spa. Use thick plastic sheeting if planning to put dirt or rocks up against the spa skirt.

Here’s some ideas for using natural or faux rocks around a spa or hot tub.

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PLANTS

If some of these ideas so far look daunting, consider planters around the spa at varied levels. If your spa sits on a large patio without close earth, large and small planters can be placed on the sides of the spa to soften the view of the spa, provide privacy, and a natural element.

Tropical plants are great around southern spas, while northern spas can use hearty evergreen bushes, along with seasonal flowers or blooming plants. Use Cactus and succulents for southwestern spas. Volcanic rock or river stone makes a nice ground cover for pathways.

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FURNITURE

Spa furniture makes a quick and easy way to frame your spa, and reduce the visual impact of today’s gargantuan spas. They are also convenient spaces to place plants, candles or towels. The counter and stool arrangement makes a nice place for family to eat, or converse with people in the spa.

Spa steps are necessary for hot tubs that are completely freestanding, above the ground. Wrapping steps around the spa, and integrating with barrier walls or external seating is an exciting way to make the spa more accessible.

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GAZEBOS

I think the Gazebo must have been invented for spas and hot tubs. It provides shelter from sun and rain, not just for you, but for your spa and spa cover. They also allow you to easily hang overhead lighting and speakers.

A gazebo can be built to any shape and size, or there are many pre-fab kits you can buy and build. Pergola is an open option to use with climbing Wisteria or hanging plants. Drape with curtains for a cabana look and feel, or create a tropical roof of shingles or thatch.

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So many ideas, so little time, I know. I hope this inspires you to some action for improvements around your spa or hot tub. Let us know your plans, in the comment section below!

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

How to Buy a Used Hot Tub

August 5th, 2013 by

would-you-buy-a-used-hot-tub

Would YOU buy a used hot tub? Two-thirds of people surveyed would buy a used tub, especially if they knew the person. You can always find someone trying to sell their spa, for one reason or another. You’ll find used spas and hot tubs on craigslist and local papers by dealers and home owners.

Used spas and hot tubs can still have much life left in them, and can be purchased for less than half of a new spa. Even if you decide to invest in a new spa cover or cartridge filter element, the cost savings can be substantial.

Here’s some tips on how to buy a Used Spa or Hot tub.

Buying from a Hot Tub Dealer

Many spa dealers take trade-ins, much like a car dealer may sell new and used cars. They may sometimes have older models or demo units they are trying to sell.

The advantage of buying from a dealer is that it will have some kind of warranty, and a thorough ’29′ point inspection and detailing. They can also sanitize the pipes for biofilm removal. Plus – they can also deliver it, set it up with proper power, fill it, and show you how to use it.

Just make sure it’s a ‘real’ spa dealer, not a guy working out of a storage unit. And never buy a spa that you have not seen filled with water, hot, and fully operational.

Buy from a Friend you Trust

If you have a good friend whose personal grooming habits you respect, it might be worth a look into his or her gently used spa. There are those however, who say that you never should transact business with friends – if you want them to stay friends. Nonetheless, if you trust them that the spa was well maintained and is in good working order, you can help out a friend and get a hot tub for yourself at a good price.

Making the offer sweeter would be accessories such as a spa cover lifter, spa steps or furniture, spa chemicals and equipment. A spa cover in good shape, one that looks new and is not sagging, faded, water logged or broken – is also a nice asset.

Buy from Some Guy Online

So, you find a good deal, it looks good, but how do you know what kind of condition it’s in? Take a look at the spa, and if it looks operational but you want to be sure, contact a local spa service company to perform a systems check on the hot tub. A spa inspection, along with other information such as overall condition, age or any necessary repairs. If you decide to buy it, the spa tech may also be able to move the spa for you, with specialized trailers and dollies made for the purpose.

Even if you are buying from a friend, having a spa tech do an inspection, and possibly move the spa and set it up in it’s new location, would be a good idea – especially if you are a novice to hot tubs and spas.

How much Should You Pay for a Used Spa?

odometer for spas?Unfortunately, there’s no mileage indicator on a spa, to see how many hours of use it has, or how long it’s been in service. There may or may not be a record of regular service, repairs and maintenance. If you can identify the spa model, you can try some online searches to find a retail price. If not, you can take some measurements, count the number of jets and other features and try to find comparable models to figure a base price for a new, similar spa.

Generally, the price for a used spa should be about 50% of the retail cost, or the cost paid by the current owner, for a spa less than 10 years old. If it needs a new spa cover, or the shell or skirt look worn and faded, or if the spa pack, pumps or blower look aged, the price should drop another 10% or more.

Moving a Spa to a New Location

spa-dollyNot as easy as it sounds, depending on the size of the spa. A 6 ft spa is much more manageable than an 8 footer, which hangs over the edge of most trailers and is too large for standard dollies. And they’re heavy! Drained of water, and with the spa cover and spa pack removed, a large spa can still weigh 500-800 lbs and be quite unwieldy.

Moving a spa to an indoor location presents even greater challenges, involving moving through doorways and possibly steps. If it’s possible to pull a large trailer right up to the existing location, and also pull it right up to the new location, the job is much easier.spa-moving

Electrical for the spa will need to be planned for in advance. Most spas require a 230V plug, like what you have for a dryer or washing machine. In addition, you may need to have a power cut-off box installed near the spa. An electrician can power up a spa in most cases for  under $300 dollars.

Deep Cleaning a Used Spa

citrabrightWhen buying  a used spa, you’re gonna want to disinfect it really well, am I right?

Once in the new location, start by filling the spa with water, testing the operation of the spa, then super-chlorinate with a granular spa shock product. After circulating for several hours, use a purge product such as Tub Rinse to strip off hidden bacteria and biofilms that may be hiding in the pipes and hoses.

Drain the spa after this treatment, and use a hot tub cleaning product (never use household cleaners) such as Tub Rub or Citrabright to remove grime from the spa jets and surfaces. Refill again and adjust the pH, Alkalinity and Hardness for perfect spa water balance.

Replacing the spa cartridge filter would be a good idea, and if the cover smells musty and looks old, it may be best to start out with a new spa cover.

If the opportunity to buy a used spa or hot tub comes your way, you are now a bit more prepared for the conversation.

Happy Hot Tubbin’
Daniel Lara

 

 

Spas and Hot Tubs in the News

August 1st, 2013 by

SPA-AND-HOT-TUB-NEWSAnyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that we like to highlight spas and hot tubs in the news. Jerry and I keep our ears to the ground, reading press releases, hot tub blogs, forums and online groups. Here’s a collection of our favorite stories this year, we’ve stumbled onto online. Enjoy.

 

Best of Class Awards

leg-lamp - it's a Major Award!Las Vegas, NV, USA (PRWEB) Just released this morning, is a press release announcing the Best of Class awards for pool and spa builders and manufacturers. I’ve ranted before about the large numbers of awards that are given to various spa manufacturers or spa models. Most of them aren’t real, but instead give top awards to the spa maker that pays the most, or buys the most advertising. So, when you see that this model or that brand of spa has received a Major Award – take it with a grain of salt.

 

Bookkeeper Sentenced to 3 Years

bustedTOMS RIVER, NJ (nj.com) – Gina Harle, 57, of Loveladies, Long Beach Island,  was sentenced today to a three year State prison term on one count of third degree theft and a five year term on one count of second degree computer theft. The court also ordered restitution in the amount of $52,946.09 payable to Hotsprings Spas of N.J LTD. Ms. Harle was found guilty of inappropriately using the Hot Springs Spa credit card, to pay her own credit card bills, and even paid $26,000 on her Volvo automobile with Hot Springs monies. Keep an eye on the accounting office staff!

Jacuzzi Brands Restructures

jacuzzi-logoCHINO HILLS, Calif.–(Businesswire)–Jacuzzi Brands LLC, announced today the closing of a recapitalization transaction that significantly raises liquidity, materially reduces outstanding indebtedness and extends the maturity dates of its loans out to 2018 and beyond. The transaction will position Jacuzzi to capitalize on opportunities from the recovery of the housing industry and the overall economy. They essentially restructured away $124 million in debt. Great move for Jacuzzi.

 Hot Tub Cinema Next Big Thing?

hot-tub-cinema(Hackneycitizen.co.uk) – For £30 a head you should know what you’re letting yourself in for. Sitting in a tub watching classic films is definitely fun, but to pay so much and then to have to buy the themed cocktails and food on top of that seems like a splash in the face. And if there are not six of your friends in the tub then more likely than not you’ll be grazing the leg of a total stranger, and the more you accidentally do it, the weirder the looks you get. Funny article about the popular new London rage, rooftop hot tub cinema, spreading to New Zealand and Australia I hear, maybe near you?

Jacuzzi Acquires Dimension One Spas

dimension-1 spas covers

(PoolandSpanews.com) This is the second acquisition of another hot tub company by the Chino Hills, Calif.-based firm in less than eight months. In June 2012, Jacuzzi brought ThermoSpas Hot Tub Products into its fold. As part of the deal, the business now will be called New Dimension One Spas and will continue to operate as a separate unit from Jacuzzi with most existing operation remaining at the current site in Vista, Calif. Jacuzzi has a lot of cash on the table. I wish them much luck in their ventures.

 

Balboa sued under the Sherman Antitrust Act

balboa(Salon.com) A lawsuit filed by a Californian manufacturer of hot tub electronic control systems claiming that another California company — the apparent Microsoft of the hot tub world — was restricting competition via aggressive litigation. The bulk of the complaint accuses Balboa of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by using a monopoly (defined by Newport as 75 % of the market for hot tub electronic controls) power to crush Newport’s attempt to get a share of the market. Balboa – the Microsoft of the Spa and Hot Tub world?

‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Sequel Could Happen

hot-tub-time-machine

(Huffpost.com) “Hot Tub Time Machine,” the cult 2010 comedy that starred John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Chevy Chase, Lizzy Caplan and Jessica Pare may be doing a sequel.

This might be the best hot tub news of the year – or maybe not. But, however you feel about the movie, or the concept – it looks like talks are underway between MGM and some of the original cast, to reprise roles for a sequel, or prequel, or something to do with time traveling with a hot tub.

Stolen Jacuzzi Recovered, Thief In Hot Water

he-stole-the-hot-tub-from-here

(khq.com) A spa on a trailer is stolen and recovered within hours. Jeff Hickethier called Crime Check to report that a hot tub had been stolen from his premises (without water). The spa was on trailer display with a For Sale sign; proceeds benefiting the Deer Park High School archery club.

“One of the deputies was just driving by and saw someone unloading a hot tub off a trailer; had I not turned that report in, there’d be no way I’d be driving my trailer back to Deer Park,” Hickethier told KHQ on the scene.

 

 

Inground or Aboveground Spas – Which is Better?

July 18th, 2013 by

inground-spas-vs-abovegrond-spasI love spas and hot tubs, no matter if they’re installed in the ground, above the ground, or on the roof – I love to soak in warm and fragrant waters with several friends or alone with ‘mi hombre’.

A good friend of mine told me that she was looking into getting a spa, but was having some trouble deciding between a ‘natural’ inground spa built of rock and stone, or a much less expensive portable spa. Good blog topic, don’t you think?

 

POOL / SPA COMBO

This conversation is not about having a spa attached to a swimming pool. Many people have these, and my friend does have a pool, but the cost of retrofitting a spa to an existing pool can be high. Plus, having a pool/spa combo – is just not a real spa, in my mind. It definitely increases the wow factor of your inground pool, but it’s usually so far from the house, takes too long to heat up, has uncomfortable bench seating, and just 6 or 8 jets.

The question addressed today is the decision of installing an separate inground spa, built of rock and stone, or buying a ready-to-go spa.

Inground Spa or Aboveground Spa?

My friend feels that a portable spa looks big and clunky, and won’t add much appeal to her fabulous backyard (it is quite beautiful). I was quick to tell her that she could certainly sink an acrylic spa shell into the ground, or build a deck of wood or concrete to surround a regular spa.

After looking at her planned location for her new spa, I have to agree that just plunking down a portable spa onto a slab of concrete would not be the most aesthetically pleasing option. She said she likes how my spa is placed. Nothing special, but we have our spa half-sunk into a wooden gazebo type of thing. It’s actually more of a Pergola type of structure, with lots of hanging plants and climbing Clematis that I’ve been trying to nurture.

inground-spas

Inground Spa Advantages

  • Unlimited Design, as big or stylish as you want it to be.
  • Infinite ability to blend it into backyard decor and themes.
  • Can be at ground level or be raised up above.
  • Can integrate water features or fountains.
  • Variety of materials, such as concrete, tile, vinyl, acrylic, stainless.

Inground Spa Disadvantages

  • Large or unusual shapes will need expensive spa covers.
  • Can cost considerably more than portable spas to install.
  • Not nearly as energy efficient as a portable spa or hot tub.
  • Seating is typically not as comfortable or relaxing.
  • Cover Lifters are typically not possible for spa covers.
  • Exposed equipment requires winterization or constant operation.
  • Typically has only 6 or 8 jets, which may be not as powerful.

 

Aboveground Spa Advantages

aboveground-spas

  • Easy to install, nearly plug and play (most require 230V).
  • Very economical to operate, +/- $20 per month.
  • Although quite heavy, it can be moved to new locations.
  • 30-100 jets are standard in most portable spas.
  • Contoured, smooth seating surfaces, at varied heights.
  • Can integrate a spa cover lifter, for easy cover removal.
  • Spa equipment is protected from the weather, beneath the spa.
  • Features such as LED lighting and integrated stereo units.
  • Less costly to cover, most portable spas use standard spa covers.

Aboveground Spa Disadvantages

  • Not as attractive as an inground spa. Large and bulky.
  • Fewer options for interior surfaces, usually acrylic or thermoplastic.
  • Entrance and exit can be tricky, especially without spa steps.
  • Shapes and styles are more limited than inground spas.
  • Exterior wood skirt may require some maintenance.

Each type of spa has it’s own disadvantages and it’s own advantages. Not a clear cut choice. For some, it will come down to budget. And, don’t forget that you can always install a spa shell into any type of structure that you can imagine – stone, wood, rock.

I’ve seen some pretty fancy spas that were built around a spa shell, which is easily ordered from any spa manufacturer. Below are some examples of what I mean.

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To see more awesome hot tubs, see Jack’s recent blog post “12 Spectacular Spas & Hot Tubs“.

I’m not bossy or pushy (most of the time) – so I’ll let my good friend make her own decision. Either way, you can be certain that I and ‘mi hombre’ will be one of the first to crash her hot tub!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

July 4th Hot Tub Party

July 1st, 2013 by

july-fourth-spa-partyWant to get some friends and family together, but don’t have a swimming pool? Do what I do – and host a July 4th Hot Tub Party!

Planning a July 4th Hot Tub party is just like any other Independence day party – the only difference is, your guests can enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot tub.

Especially if you can see your local fireworks from your hot tub, it makes a great place to watch the fireworks show!

Here’s some tips on hosting a successful July 4th Hot Tub Party, without it being too complicated.

 

Prepare the Spa

A few days to a week before the party (in fact last night), I checked the water balance, lowered the pH down to 7.3-ish, and gave my spa a healthy shock treatment. On July 3rd, I’ll clean the filter, and vacuum the spa. Before the guests arrive, I’ll add some aromatherapy crystals to the tub – to set the mood.I’m thinking of using the Sweet Pea Apple sample I have, from Spazazz.

Those of you who know me, know that I love signs – so, since my spa is in the back of my house, I put a sign on the front door to lead guests around to the side gate. This keeps me from having to leave the party, go all the way upstairs and back downstairs again. When they reach the gate, I’ll have something patriotic on the gate, so they know they are entering a July 4th party!

Don’t start too early!

My July Fourth party starts at 6pm, so most guests should arrive by 7pm. I’ll be serving alcohol, so a shorter timeframe on the party should mean that my guests should leave the party – after the fireworks show, in a relatively sober state of mind.

patriotic-playlist

 

Pump up the Jams!

Every good party needs good music. For the Fourth of July, I created a play list full of patriotic songs, loaded onto my ipod, which I’ll run through twice during the evening.

When it’s time for the fireworks, even if it’s just sparklers, be sure to have John Philip Souza’s very famous version of “Stars & Stripes Forever” playing for your guests.

 

Turn down the Heat!

If you can get away with it, turn the heat down to around 100 degrees, especially if you have guests that are unaccustomed to hot tubs. This will also allow you to worry less about the guests overheating or staying too long in the hot tub. You may even want to have cooler water – 85 degrees, and use your spa as a cool water dunking station for your Hot guests.

If your hot tub buddies are old pros, they may want it bubblin’ at 104 or less – but remember to limit each guest to 30 minutes max in the tub. This is to allow room for other guests, but also to prevent dehydration and overheating on a warm summer night. With alcohol, a light headed dizzy feeling can come over those who spend too much time in the spa. Because of this, it’s also a good idea to help your guests get out of the spa safely.

Patriotic Food & Decorations

There’s no need to overdo it, so don’t stress out about having a dozen different red, white and blue recipes and elaborate decorations. Focus on just a few recipes and a few decorations.firecracker-centerpiece

For the decorations, I’ll have a patriotic display on the backyard gate, as mentioned earlier, and my food table will have a nice red tablecloth, and bunting hanging off the front. A firecracker centerpiece, made from wood scraps will be fun. I’ll also be proudly flying an American flag, of course.

For the food, I’m planning a Blueberry, Strawberries and White chocolate chip platter, and a big batch of firecracker punch. We’ll also have hot dogs, chips and cole slaw.

So, NBD – No Big Deal – you can pull off your own Hot Tub Party for July 4th. Whether just a few friends, or a block party – have a super-terrific Fourth of July!

Happy Birthday America!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Top Spa Repair Forum Discussions

June 24th, 2013 by

spa-repair-forum

When we started our Spa Repair Forum in early 2009, we did so to add value to our website, to bring to our visitors another layer of information, to go along with our Hot Tub Blog and our Hot Tub Toolbox.

Today, our Hot Tub Forum has over 1100 posts, on over 440 topics related to spa and hot tub care and repair. Currently, as I write this, there are 23 people browsing the system, from all over the country, and the world.

Our Forum is built on the popular vbulletin platform, which has a lot of great features. If you’ve never used a Bulletin Board or an online Discussion Forum, users can view and reply to posts, called threads. You can also attach images, rate posts and search the database for keywords related to your specific spa problem.

Spa owners post their problems, and other spa owners, spa techs or our own moderator MaryH will respond to the posts. The person who starts a thread (by making a new post) gets an email when a reply has been made to the thread.

In today’s blog post, I’ve curated the best threads from the last 4 years. These forum posts were the most popular, in terms of views, replies, and ratings. Click the posts below to view the entire thread.

 

TOP 9 SPA REPAIR FORUM POSTS

 

 #1 – Spa Motor Cycling On & OffAfter a drain and refill, this problem resolved itself. Air lock?

spa-repair-forum-thread-1

#2 – Panel flashes OH, and then Everything Stops. Most likely a circuit board (pcb) problem here…

spa-repair-forum-thread-2

#3 – OH reading, after Spa Cools Down – In this case, the High Limit may be causing the OverHeat (OH) code

spa-repair-forum-thread-#3

#4 – Coast Spa: Blows Filter Off when I start Pump - Turns out the filter lid was installed backwards

Filter lid blows off of spa filter

 #5 – My Spa Heater Has Power, but No Heat – Tested the heater element for volts/amps, then Replaced.

Spa Heater has 240V, but No Heat Output

#6 – Water Level Mysteriously Going Down in Spa – A bad spa cover allows heat loss and water loss.

Water Leak in Hot Tub

#7 – Spa Water Odor – Could be the water, the spa cover, the spa filter, or poor water sanitation.

Spa water smells

#8 – New Spa, Heater Not Always Coming On – Faulty Chip used on PCB caused erratic heating.

Heater Not Always Coming On

#9 – Vita Spa Trips Circuit Breaker - Ozonator or Spa Blower causing main breaker to trip

spa-repair-forum-thread-9

Our Hot Tub Repair Forum is a resource for you! The next time that you are having spa difficulties, be sure to search our forum for problems similar to your own, or start your own thread, and post your problems!

- Jack

 

Spas and Hot Tubs as Management Tools

June 6th, 2013 by

hot-tub-spa-therapy

Therapy is such a broad term, from aroma therapy to physical therapy. Hot water therapy boils it down a bit more, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Your hot tub or spa can be used to manage all sorts of therapies. I’m not talking about the “stress-reduction therapy” of a relaxing soak, but bonafide physiological benefits to using your hot tub.

Spas and hot tubs can provide specific relief to certain conditions, ailments and discomforts of life. Here’s a break down of 5 ways your spa can become a management tool.

 PAIN MANAGEMENT

For those that live with daily pain, hot water immersion can reduce pressure on joints and nerves by reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. For the millions of Americans with Arthritis and other joint problems, hot tubs provide relief by loosening muscles and reducing stiffness. Areas of the body which have suffered stress or trauma also respond well to hot water and massage jets. Spas reduce pain for sore athletes or those injured in accidents. Those with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome are also finding hot tubs to reduce their symptoms. Migraines, tendonitis, back and neck pain – all can be helped with regular use of your hot tub.

SLEEP MANAGEMENT

Studies have shown that those who have a hot water soak before bedtime fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully. Using a spa raises the body temperature, while massage jets relax the sore spots. Physical tension (stress) is reduced, as one floats buoyant and weightless in the spa. At first exit of the spa, an energy boost is common, followed by a feeling of relaxed tiredness. I’m usually careful not to use my spa before 9 o’clock or so, or I’m out early!

BLOOD PRESSURE MANAGEMENT

Spas will cause your blood pressure to drop, as your veins and arteries open up and allow the heart to pump with less restriction. Studies on spa users show lower blood pressure levels during and after using a hot tub. However, spas are not recommended for individuals advised to avoid vasodilation, due to high blood pressure. Also, avoid alcohol and cigarette use in the hot tub, which cause vasoconstriction, removing the benefit, and possibly being dangerous.

BLOOD SUGAR MANAGEMENT

People with high blood sugar, did you know that regular use of your hot tub can lower your levels, restoring balance to the blood? It’s true, subjects with Type 2 Diabetes showed reduced levels of blood sugar when they used their spa daily. For this reason, some people unable to exercise are using their spa as a way to control weight gain. The decrease in blood sugar is linked to reduced hunger and faster digestion. There’s even been a book written about it, the Hot Tub Diet.

RECUPERATION & RECOVERY

If you have been in an accident, or had a recent surgery, recovery time can be improved in a spa. Soaking and floating, using the buoyancy to practice mobility exercises and stretching of the affected areas, will increase blood flow and oxygen, and speed healing. A lower water temperature may be used for recuperative therapy, around 88 degrees, or whatever is most comfortable. Professional athletes know the benefit of a hot tub after a game or match, and so do many recreational athletes. I have one friend who comes over to use my spa after every marathon or half-marathon, or 10K that she runs.

So, what therapy is your spa bringing you? Spa owners also report general well being after using a spa – so at the very least, you can enjoy the Mood Therapy benefits of your spa or hot tub!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Draining your Spa or Hot Tub Correctly

May 16th, 2013 by

drain-the-spa-hot-tubDraining, or emptying your spa or hot tub, is necessary every 2-4 months, to reduce the amount of dissolved solids in the spa, and any germs or “baddies” that may have built up some resistance to the spa chemicals.

Draining is also sometimes preferable to intensive shock treatment, which can be harmful over time to spa seals and finishes. I prefer to drain more often, and use fewer harsh chemicals, when possible.

There are some considerations for draining a hot tub, including: local water restrictions, spa water chemistry and in some areas – water discharge regulations. If you plan to leave the spa drained for an extended period of time, I have some tips below for that too.

When to Drain A Spa or Hot Tub

Spas with very high use, commercial or public spas, may need to drain every few days to keep maintain water health. For private spas or hot tubs, with say, 9 spa sessions per week (3 users, 3x weekly), your spa water will last longer, up to 4 months between changes.

Some spa owners will drain for persistent cloudy water, or after a heavy use weekend by many people, or if they’ve managed to let the spa “go” – for some time without sanitation or filtration. I’ve drained my spa for all of these reasons at one time or another – otherwise, it’s every 3 or 4 months.

thinking-guy-left“When in doubt, drain it”, is my usual advice, or when the spa chemistry is really bad – “water is cheaper than chemicals!”, is something I might say.

How to Drain A Spa or Hot Tub

Before draining the spa, or at least twice per year, use a Spa Purge type chemical to remove biofilm and hidden “funk and gunk”. If you’ve never use one of these spa pipe cleaners, you’ll be amazed at the amount of gross, brown bio-gunk that it foams to the surface. Spa Purge is a name of one spa biofilm remover, I get great results using Jet Clean, which is a lot cheaper.

After circulating Jet Clean for around an hour, I am ready to drain the spa. Some spas have a handy external spigot to connect the hose, but mine is inside, and not in the most convenient location. After hooking up a permanent hose of the perfect length, I now just reach inside the cabinet and pull out the hose.

Shut off the Power. At the main switch, so your equipment timer won’t turn the pumps on during the drain and refill.

Gravity Draining with a hose takes some time, my spa takes about 3 hours to drain. I come out every hour and move the hose to a new location in my backyard. You can also use a small submersible pump, like a pool cover pump, to drain the spa in 15-30 minutes. When it’s about halfway down, I spray down the exposed walls with my garden hose, and again when empty.

Spa Siphon – If you have no spa drain spigot, and no utility pump, you could drain by siphon, if you have an area nearby that is lower than the hot tub. Duct tape a Crescent wrench to the end of a hose and place it in the bottom of the spa. Starting at the point where the hose comes out of the water, push the hose straight into the water, and coiling it underwater. Fill the entire hose up in this manner, and then cap the end of the hose with your thumb and quickly pull the hose to an elevation lower than the spa floor. Release your thumb and water should begin to flow.

Spa Water Use and Hot Tub Discharge Restrictions

Drought is a real reality in areas across the country. If your city is experiencing severe drought, it may put in place mandatory water restrictions, that may restrict draining and refilling your spa or hot tub.

In addition to this, most cities and towns have some regulations regarding how to discharge or drain a spa, hot tub or pool. Here are some general guidelines, your city may be different.

  • Water should have a balanced pH level
  • Sanitizer level should be very low
  • Don’t pump to the Sewer, but “Infiltrate” around the yard
  • Don’t pump near any streams or tributaries

Leaving your Spa Drained for an Extended Period

Wooden hot tubs will dry out without water in them, so it is not recommended to leave them dry for longer than a few days, just long enough for repairs or relocation.

If you know you will be unable to maintain a non-wood spa for months at a time, it will be best to drain it, to prevent biofilm and bacteria build-up.

wetdryvacAs the spa is nearly drained, turn on the blower, to clear out the lines (you may want to put the spa cover on first!). Use a powerful wet/dry vac to blow air through the pipes – from the skimmer and spa jets. A small air compressor can also be used, (with low pressure), connected into the pump drain plug. This is important, to prevent standing water from developing into a bacterial mess, inside of the hoses or equipments. The same process is used to winterize a spa or hot tub.

Remove the drain plugs from the equipment, and leave all drains open. Remove the spa filter and store indoors. Wipe down the inside of the spa, with a  sponge or towel to remove any remaining water. Put on your spa cover on to keep it clean.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works