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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

16 Funny TV Ads Featuring Hot Tubs

September 12th, 2016 by

Hot Tubs are a favorite theme for advertisers, because of their appeal to the emotions. In this collection of 16 product ads featuring hot tubs, spas are portrayed as sexy, relaxing, awkward – or all of the above. Take a look, and share this post if you chuckled, even just a little bit.



Too Funny ~ Hot Tubs as popular culture! Hat Tip to Bullfrog Spas blog who first posted their Funniest Hot Tub Commercials on TV, and inspired this updated version.


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

15 Hot Tub Deck Surround Ideas

August 22nd, 2016 by

Spas and hot tubs by themselves are wonderful, but when they are just plopped onto the back patio, they can look kinda plain.

For designers, the spa or hot tub is a focal point, and hot tub surrounds are used to dress it up and provide conveniences and privacy.

Today we look at some elegant ways to add a hot tub surround, or custom hot tub decks to ‘frame and set’ your spa or hot tub.

1. Marquis Spas accessory package paired with some big pots makes this spa blend well with the surrounding open patio.

Marquis Spa Hot Tub Surround Kit

2. Attractively designed wood spa surround wrapped in sturdy foliage that adds color and comfort all year long.

Hot Spring Spa with wood deck surround

3. Stone hot tub surround with a cinder block foundation, wrapped in faux stacked stone and topped with flagstone.


4. Hot tub surround is capped with a cabana and wrapped with a wet bar and wood step and box planter.

Caldera hot tub surround

5. Jacuzzi wrapped in rocks is set 2 ft lower and hidden with large boulders and colorful plants.

Baja Spa with rock surround

6. This lighted Pergola roof with lattice privacy wall is extended to include a side table, or with large pillow, a lounge.

Jacuzzi spa with wood pergola and lattice

7. Wrap the spa in stained planks and add a stack of steps with down lighting. Add a custom fence and bamboo planters.

wood cabinet and steps plans for spa shell

8. When your neighbors are this close, a proper privacy fence can help you enjoy your spa more.

wood hot-tub-surround and deck with seating and privacy wall

9. And for privacy at home, use large hedges, vine trellises, ornamental grass or bamboo around the hot tub.

hot tub surrounded by tall hedge, grasses, bamboo

10. Two more examples of a 4-post structure to mount lattice walls and side tables around a hot tub.

Hot tub with Pergola and Cabana

11. Close slat fence is capped with a vine trellis. Separate seating area, just off the Master bedroom. Sweet!

hot tub deck wood surround, off master bedroom

12. Inground tile spa kit by Signature with a beautiful hot tub surround and seating area. Tiki torch!

Inground tile hot tub wrapped in wood

13. If you have a real hot tub, wooden barrel type, wrap around wood stairs are popular.

classic wood hot tub step and wrap around

14. Japanese inspired spa gazebo surrounds the spa with sliding window panels and roll screens for a quiet retreat.

Hot tub gazebo, classic Japanese Hot House style

15. Hand Carved Concrete by Artiststone, created this impressive hot tub surround to blend with the natural surroundings.

hand carved concrete spa steps, faux stone


I hope these ideas on how to surround your hot tub was what you were looking for! If you’ve grown tired of your current hot tub surroundings, dress it up with wood and stone, and wrap it in plants to soften the surround.




Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works


Olympic Divers Love Hot Tubs

August 15th, 2016 by

nbc-video-olympic-divers-using-hot-tub Photo by NBC Universal
If you’ve been following the Rio Olympics this past week, you may have noticed that Olympic divers take to a hot tub after their dives, awaiting their scores and looking, oh so relaxed.

What is this Olympic athlete pampering? I don’t know of other sport besides diving where the participants can relax in bubbling bliss after their events. Why do Olympic divers get in a hot tub after their dives?

Twitter has caught fire with the question, and trending on Google last week was the query “Why do Olympic divers get in the hot tub?”. The people want to know!


The reason why divers jump into a hot tub after a dive is simply to keep the muscles warm and limber, in preparation for their next dive. Indoor pool stadiums filled with spectators can become too warm, so officials lower the water temperature and the air temperature.

So while the pool water is fairly cool (79°F or 26°C), the ambient air temperature near the pool surface is near 72°, and this gives wet divers a chill after their dives.

Unlike swimmers, who may only swim 1 event per day, divers compete in rounds of several dives. Competitive divers typically take a warm shower, followed by a hot tub soak and a toweling off with a tiny towel. (what’s up with that tiny towel?)

But not all Olympic divers jump in the hot tub, some opt for a short warm shower, and a long insulated coat between dives. Maybe some divers were purposely avoiding the hot tub in Rio, given the color and clarity of the spa water [below].

Video screen shot, credit NBC Universal

Maybe you thought they were rinsing off from their dives in the green water at the Rio Olympic diving pool? After struggles with returning the water to blue after green algae infested the diving pool, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada said, “We first learned that chemistry is not an exact science”. What?

nbc-green-diving-poolRio 2016 officials have resorted to draining the 3.7 million gallon diving pool, which they blame on the introduction of 160 gallons of Hydrogen Peroxide into the water by a technician.

There is another recent diving pool complaint in the news, are you ready for this? That the entire indoor diving pool facility ‘smells of far..’ [rotten eggs]. That could be a water problem or chemical reaction, off-gassing some sort of sulfide.  The training pool, located right next to the diving pool, is blue and clear.


Anyway, the reason why divers take a shower and get in a hot tub after their dives – is to prevent muscle cramping, and maintain the body core temperature, so they can perform at their best! Most have hot tubs at their home training facilities, and it becomes part of their routine!

Enjoy the rest of the Rio 2016 Olympics!


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works



Replacing a Spa Pack

April 18th, 2016 by

balboa-vs-spa-pack-newToday we cover, in detail – how to replace your spa or hot tub “Spa Pack”, the combination Controller, Heater and Pump system that connects to the Top Side panel and controls all of the functions for filtering, heating, lighting and purifying your spa; automatically.

The controller and heater of a Spa Pack (without the pump) can be installed separately; but if you want a complete upgrade, install the Balboa VS Spa Pack with 1 or 2 pumps, which will include the new digital Topside Panel, LED spa light and all new wiring. Blower is optional.




Unless you have valving on either side of your existing spa pack, you’ll need to have the water removed to replace your spa pack.


Disconnect completely at the circuit breaker in the panel or breaker box, and also at any secondary cut-off boxes that may be located nearby the spa or hot tub. Lock the boxes or place tape over the breaker to keep anyone from turning it on again, while you are working. Use a voltmeter to be sure that power is completely Off.


Start by disconnecting the incoming electrical wiring (checking first with a voltmeter to be sure power is Off). Remove the front panel and simply unscrew the nuts or disconnect the wiring from the main terminal block, inside your existing spa pak control.

Next you can remove the accessory items that are plugged into the spa pack. Pump(s), blower, lights, panel, ozone, stereo, sensors. Fold over a piece of masking tape on each wire and write the port code, or write a color – code legend on paper, so you remember which wire goes where.

Look for a bare copper bonding wire that connects to the bar outside the control box. Remove or clip off with wire cutters.


Disconnect the plumbing unions that connect in and out of the heater, and the spa pack should slide out, mounted on a small skid made of plastic or plywood. Disconnect the unions on the pool pump or blower if necessary.

Inspect the floor beneath the old spa pack for rots and damage which is not uncommon, if the floor is not bare concrete, but a frame.Sweep up around the area, removing any dust or leaves, or excessive water loss.




balboa-spa-pack-partsThere’s some minor assembly required to connect the controller to the pump, via the double-90 fitting arrangement. The heater connection is made with the white gasket and the pump union is sealed up with the black gasket. Be sure that the o-ring and gasket is sitting in place properly and don’t overtighten the union nut on the pump or the split nut union on the heater.


Connecting the plumbing in and out should be pretty fast, just position the new spa pack in place so that the plumbing lines up, the connection into the heater and the connection out of the pump.

plumbing-a-balboa-vs-spa-packFor the suction line, bringing water into the heater and then the pump, tighten the union together, using the old union, or cutting the pipe and gluing into the new split nut union.

For the return line, coming out of the top of the pump, this is a standard 2″ threaded pvc fitting or union, often a 90° fitting is used. Put Teflon tape or RTV silicone (or both) on the threads before hand tightening, very snug, and lined up with the pipe.

Use the same fitting from the old pump, if possible. If you cannot loosen the fitting in the old pump by hand, use very large channel lock type pliers to remove, or use a strap wrench. Or you can gently tap the ridges counter clockwise, with a small screwdriver and hammer.

Once your plumbing is connected, check that the skid is level using a small carpenter’s level. Shim the pack if necessary, with steel or plastic, and secure it the floor by running a  screw through the corners of the mounting base, into a wood frame or directly into the concrete.


All wiring is done with the power still Off. Double check with a voltmeter to be certain that power has not been mistakenly turned back on again while your plumbed the new spa pack in place.

Open the front cover of the Spa Control by loosening the top two cover screws, the bottom of the panel is hinged, swing the door down and open from the top.  On the inside of the panel door or cover you will see the wiring diagram for the receptacles, switches and components. Main power wires enter through the upper left side access hole, below which is the grounding and bonding bar on the left side, outside the cabinet.


New power cords are included for the various components, it’s best to replace the cords rather than use the old ones, even if they look intact. Plug in the cord to all the electrical loads like secondary pumps, blower, ozonator, lights, topside panel and the other end into the labeled slot on the motherboard. For single pump spas, or twin spas without a blower, the VS501 circuit board below is used.


Wire the panel by bringing the wires inside on the upper left and connecting the power and the ground wires. Pumps, blowers and ozonators should also be bonded in accordance with your local codes. This is essentially connecting any metal component within 5 ft of the spa to the bonding grid or buss bar. Make sure that ground connections are solid. Torque to 27-30 lbs, which is pretty tight!


balboa-VS-spa-pak-installation-smFill the spa to normal level and check underneath the new spa pak for any leakage around the new plumbing connections. Turn on power to the spa pak and follow the quick start guide included with your  spa controller.

That’s it; 1001 words about how to replace your spa pack. We’ve just got a truckload of new Balboa spa packs and spa controllers in, and can have a new one shipped to you this week for the swap!

If you have any questions about replacing your old worn out spa controller pump and heater with a brand spanking new spa pack, you can order online, or give us a call to ask any questions about ordering or installing.


Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works




Salt Water Spas and Hot Tubs – FAQ

September 22nd, 2015 by

Image Credit: MISES.orgYou’ve heard about salt water spas or salt water hot tubs – as an accessory with a new spa purchase, or an easy add-on to an existing spa or hot tub.

To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of salt water systems, let me say that right up front. But they do have certain advantages over other methods of keeping your water disinfected, and could be the best choice in some situations.

Here’s answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about salt water hot tubs.



Well, I’m no chemist, but when you add water (H2O) and salt (NaOCl) together, you have all the ingredients needed to make chlorine. But first, you have to separate the molecules, breaking apart the Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sodium and Chloride. This is done through electrolysis, passing the water over two electrified platinum or titanium plates, (the salt cell) one positively charged (the anode) and one negatively charged (the cathode).

The small electric current causes the water and salt molecules to break apart (disassociate), and recombine into HOCl and NaOH, or Hypochlorous Acid and Sodium Hydroxide. Hypochlorous acid is pure chlorine and it instantly begins to sanitize the water. After some hard work killing off any germs in the water, the chlorine converts back to chloride and recombines with sodium, to form salt once again, in a continuous process.

Or, more simply – you add salt to the spa, about 2 lbs per 100 gallons, and hook up the salt chlorine generator device, and pass the water through it. As the salty water passes through the tiny electrolysis machine (electrified metal plates), it comes out the other side with a small amount of chlorine.


They usually do – but there are some times when the technology can fail. Like if you stop heating your spa and the water temp cools way down, below 60°, the salt cell will stop producing chlorine. Also, if the power goes out, or when the spa is turned off, the electrically powered salt cell also turns off, unlike a bromine or mineral floating dispenser.

If the salt cell becomes clogged or coated with minerals (which are naturally attracted to the charged plates), chlorine output can be severely reduced. Salt water systems also need the proper salt level in the water to operate, if too high or too low it affects output and cell life. And good water balance is important, if your pH and Alkalinity is or calcium Hardness is off, chlorine output and cell life are compromised.

If you are in a “hard water area”, where water comes out of the tap very hard (over 400 ppm), you may have a problem with mineral clogging of the salt cell, and a shorter salt cell life. Most manufacturers recommend a low calcium hardness level. If your calcium hardness level is over 150 ppm, look for a self-cleaning salt system.

And finally, your salt cell will eventually lose its mojo, and stop producing chlorine (or bromine) altogether, which can be 1-5 years, depending on the model.


  1. Softer, silkier water – because of the salt added. And if you use Dead Sea salts, you also get potassium and magnesium, and sodium.
  2. No binders and fillers – bromine and chlorine tablets or granules contain additives that just junk-up the spa water.
  3. Fewer chemicals to store and handle. You may still need some tablets and/or MPS on hand, but will only need them rarely.


  1. Salt is corrosive. Even at low levels of 2500 ppm, damage could occur to shiny chrome finishes, or soft rubber parts.
  2. Galvanic corrosion can make it easier for spa staining to occur, if your water has high levels of copper, iron or manganese.
  3. Draining a salt water hot tub can damage a lawn or landscaping, from high salt levels.


In the long run, the cost of s salt water hot tub system is going to be about the same as using chlorine granules or bromine tablets. Salt is cheap (but Dead Sea salts are considerably more), but you’ll need to replace it every time you drain the spa. And the salt cell (plumbed inline, or draped over the spa side) will need to replaced in 1-5 years, depending on the model. Do the math before you buy, and you may find that traditional methods will be cheaper – in the long run.


They all operate the same way, with a Salt Cell and a power source or Control Panel. The traditional cell is installed into the plumbing, where you cut out a foot or so of piping (after the heater, and any other purifier equipment), and plumb the salt cell in place. There is another type with a cell and cable; drop it over the side of the spa, and it just rests a foot or so below water, like the Saltron Mini. Most spa salt systems have a control box, wall mounted or spa mounted, for status and diagnostics, and allow control of chlorine output, with simple Up (^) and Down (v) buttons.


A salt water hot tub can be bromine if you use sodium bromide or chlorine if you use sodium chloride. So you don’t have to switch from bromine, just because you start using a salt chlorinator. It depends on which types of salt you use – sodium bromide salts will convert to bromine and sodium chloride salts (regular salt) will convert into chlorine. The cost of using the Bromides will be higher however, but bromine does have benefits over chlorine in a hot water environment.

super salty~ I hope you enjoyed this little lesson on salt water spas and hot tubs. Salt water hot tubs are quite enjoyable, and have great benefits, as long as you maintain good water balance, proper salt levels, and don’t overwork the cell. Use MPS shock (non-chlorine shock) after each use, to reduce the amount of chlorine needed, which will extend your salt cell life.

Corrosion issues can be solved by using a zinc anode somewhere in the spa, which will protect shiny finishes. Staining and scaling issues can be solved by using a Stain & Scale control.

Give us a call, or leave a comment below if we can help out in any way!



Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works




Hot Tub Water Conservation

July 21st, 2015 by


Are hot tubs and spas water wasters? The mayor of San Jose thinks so – in May, the San Jose city council voted to prohibit filling pools and hot tubs. And in Santa Clara, California, hot tub owners are allowed to replace hot tub water, but only after agreeing to take fewer showers.

Santa Clara also has required “Water School” for the edification of water restriction violators. What’s this world coming to? It is the new reality of life in California and other water poor states. Until the drought subsides, or new water harvesting technologies are installed, we will have to comply.

So then, for the hot tub owner who wants to keep their hot tub bubblin’, here are some ways to conserve hot tub water.

How to Extend the Life of Hot Tub Water

It’s a commonly accepted practice to drain and refill a spa after 3-4 months of use. This is due to a build-up of dissolved solids and and oily substances that can begin to “choke” the water over time, which can make water balance and complete sanitation more difficult. However, there are ways to extend the life of your spa or hot tub water…

Beginner Tips:

  • Check and balance the water 2-3 times per week, to keep levels optimum.
  • Replace your Spa Filter every 6-12 months, to keep filtration optimum.
  • Use a Spa Ozonator or Mineral Purifier, as a supplement to bromine.
  • Use Spa Enzymes to dissolve oils and organics.
  • Use Spa Clarifier to improve filter effectiveness.

Pro Tips:

  • Install a secondary in-line spa filter, to improve filtration.
  • Use a Pre-Filter to clean hot tub fill water (excuse my French!).
  • Use a floating foam blanket and a good spa cover to reduce evaporation.
  • Use a Rain Barrel to capture hot tub water (I know, what Rain?).
  • Limit hot tub use, if needed, to reduce solids build-up.

Eventually, you will need to change the water, but if a spa is maintained very well and not overloaded to capacity with users, it is possible to extend the time between water changes for a year, or even longer in some cases.

To protect your hot tub health however, you must always maintain the water balance and sanitation, and over-filter the water by running the filter pump for a sufficient amount of time each day. Periodic shock treatment is also necessary, in addition to keeping a constant bromine residual in the water.

A solid spa cover in good condition is important, to prevent water loss from evaporation. Drag off and splash out can also be controlled, and be sure to fix leaks in the plumbing or around the spa equipment.

The Future of Hot Tub Water

water_faucet_drop_400_wht_11410Some water watchers warn that we are only at the forefront of the current crisis in America and that rationing and cut-backs are sure to continue and escalate in many areas. If your town is under a water use restriction, you probably know about it.

To find out if there are any spa or hot tub restrictions (and not just swimming pool water restrictions), you can do an online search for “City/Town/County water use restrictions”, or visit your local government website and search therein.


– Jack



Spa Error Codes – The Big List

February 27th, 2015 by

spa-and-hot-tub-error-codesThe best thing about digital spas and hot tubs – those with a spa side control panel – is that you are given error codes for most equipment problems. Spa error codes can be somewhat cryptic, but when you have the BIG LIST of CODES, you can immediately define the two or three digit source of trouble.

Problem is – there’s not much consistency among the error codes used by spa pack manufacturers. Each one uses it’s own conventions for naming the various system faults.

Hence the need for the BIG LIST of CODES. The alphabetical list of hot tub error codes below covers all major manufacturers of spa controls, including ACC, Balboa, Brett Aqualine, CTI, Dream Maker, EasyPak, Gecko, Hurricane, Jacuzzi, Len Gordon, Maax, Pinnacle, Spa Builders Group, Spa Quip, Sundance and Vita Spas.

Is it an Error Code, or a System Status Code?

Not all spa codes are errors, to inform you of trouble, but many codes are used to provide information about system mode, status or equipment operation. Some system status codes are identified below as well, with the phrase “system message, not an error”.


the big list of spa and hot tub error codes



* * *  Flow/Pressure switch either Open or Closed
* * * High Limit switch is faulty
– – – , – – – Water dangerously hot, electronic fault, system shut down
-1 Hi-Limit fault
-2 Temp sensor fault
-3 Flow/Pressure switch open
-4 Flow/Pressure switch closed
-7 Hi-Limit fault
Hi-Limit or Temp Sensor fault, water may be dangerously hot
Temp Sensor Calibration, after system shutdown/startup, not an error
1 Stuck Button on Keypad
2 No Controller Data being received
3 Temperature Sensor fault
4 Water Sensor/Pressure switch fault
5 Temp Sensor, or water is dangerously hot
6 High Limit manual reset on heater is tripped
7 Stuck Heater Relay
9 Water Pressure fault, pump may be airlocked, or water level low
131 Hi-Limit fault, water may be dangerously hot
A1/A2-ER Auxiliary system error; blower, lights, music
AOH Auxiliary system overheating; Equipment is running hot, or needs air
BJ2P Hi-Limit fault – water may be dangerously hot
BL-ER Blower error, faulty motor or closed valve
C4.4 Hi-Limit fault
C Celsius, used to indicate panel is in Celsius mode
Cd, CLd Cold – Freeze Condition detected
CE 01 Stuck Touchpad button
CE 02 No controller Data Communication
CE 03 Temperature Sensor fault
CE 04 Water Sensor/Pressure switch fault
CE 05 Temp Sensor, or water is dangerously hot
CE 06 High Limit manual reset on heater is tripped
CE 07 Stuck Heater Relay
CE 08 Temp Sensor Fault
CE 09 Water Pressure fault, pump may be airlocked, or water level low
CL Current Time of Day; system message, not an error
COL Cool – water is 20° below set point; system message, not an error
CoLd Cold – water is 40° or less; system should self-start pump / heater
Cool Cool – water is 20° below set point; system message, not an error
CP-ER Circulation pump error
dr, dy, dry Dry – low water volume detected in heater
E0 Short circuit temperature sensor
E1 Open circuit temperature sensor
E2 Short circuit Hi-Limit sensor
E3 Open circuit high Limit sensor
E4 Short circuit/closed pressure/flow switch
Ecdu, Ecn, Econ Spa is in Economy Mode; system message, not an error
EO Short circuit temperature sensor
Er0, Er1 Temperature sensor fault
Er2, Er3 Hi-Limit fault
Er4 Short circuit/closed pressure/flow switch
err 1 Water Pressure fault, pump may be airlocked, or water level low
err 3 Stuck Button on Keypad
err 4 Water Sensor/Pressure switch fault
err 5 Temp Sensor, or water is dangerously hot
err 6 High Limit manual reset on heater is tripped
err 7 Stuck Heater Relay
err 8 Temp Sensor Fault
Err Software Program Fault
Error 3 Stuck Button on Keypad
Error 4 Water Sensor/Pressure switch fault
Error 5 Temp Sensor, or water is dangerously hot
Error 6 High Limit manual reset on heater is tripped
Error 7 Stuck Heater Relay
Error 8 Temp Sensor Fault
F2 4 hours daily filtration; system message, not an error
F4 8 hours daily filtration; system message, not an error
F6 12 hours daily filtration; system message, not an error
F Fahrenheit, used to indicate panel is in Fahrenheit mode
FB-ER Fiber Optic error; accent lighting
FC Filter Continuous mode; system message, not an error
FL1 Water Pressure fault, dirty filter, airlocked pump, low water level
FL2 Pressure switch fault; switch closed while pump is off
FL Water Sensor/Pressure switch fault; water flow problem
FLC Pressure switch fault; switch closed while pump is off
Fldu Spa is in Filter mode; ; system message, not an error
FLO, Flo, FL1 Flow – inadequate water volume sensed by Flow / Pressure switch
FLO2 Flow – short circuit/closed circuit; pressure/flow switch
FLO (flashing) Flow – short circuit/open circuit; pressure/flow switch
Flon Spa is in Filter mode; ; system message, not an error
FN-ER Fan error; cooling fan fault
FP, Fr, FrE Freeze – water is 40° or less; system should self-start pump / heater
H2O Water Pressure fault, pump may be airlocked, or water level low
HFL Sensors out of balance, reporting different results
HiLi, HLEr Water temperature above acceptable range
HL, HH, OHH High limit sensor reading 118°, or above – check flow
Hold Panel buttons pressed to many times or too quickly
HOT Overheating, water over 112° F. Cool down procedure begins.
IC, ICE, ICE2 Freeze Condition detected; Warm up procedure begins.
ILOC Interlock failure; check magnetic contacts on spa equipment door
L1, L2 Panel Lock; enter code to unlock control panel
LF Persistent low flow problems.
LO Freeze Condition detected; Warm up procedure begins.
LOC Panel Lock; enter code to unlock control panel
O3-Er Ozone error; check for operation and output
OH High temperature condition, over 110ºF. Spa may be partially deactivated or low speed pump (and air blower if equipped) may activate to lower temp
OHH Overheat. One sensor has detected 118º. Spa has shut down
OHS Overheat. One sensor has detected 110º. Spa has shut down
OP Open circuit sensor
P1, P2 or P3-ER Pump 1,2 or 3 error or failure
pd Power supply interrupted, unit running on battery backup
PnL Panel error; communication error between panel and circuit board
Pr Priming – pump is starting; system message, not an error
Prh Hi-limit sensor failure
Prr Temperature Sensors Alarm
PS Water Sensor/Pressure switch fault
PSoC Pressure switch open on circulation
PSoH Pressure switch open on high speed
PSoL Pressure switch open on low speed
RH-HR Heater Repair error
RH-NC No Communication error; Panel to Board
RH-NF No Flow in heater
RH-NH No Heat, heater fault or failure
SA, SnA, SnH, Sb, Snb, Snt Sensor Open Circuit or faulty
SE Spa in Economy Mode; system message, not an error
SEoP Sensor open or disconnected. Heater disabled but spa operational
SESH Sensor short, nonfunctional. Heater disabled but spa operational
SH Short circuit on temperature sensor
Sn1 Hi-Limit fault, water may be dangerously hot
Sn2 Temperature sensor fault, Heater deactivated
Sn3 Temperature sensor fault, Heater deactivated
SN Temperature sensor fault, Heater deactivated
Sn Sensors out of balance, reporting different results
Sna Sensor plugged into jack A is not working. Spa is shut down.
Snb Sensor plugged into jack B is not working. Spa is shut down.
SnH Hi Limit circuit open or faulty
SnS Sensors out of balance, reporting different results
SnT Temperature sensor fault, circuit open or faulty
SP-F1,F2 or F3 Fuse 1,2 or blown
SP-HR Hardware error
SP-IN Input voltage low
SP-OH Overheat – water temp over 112°
SP-OT Overtemp – air temp around equipment is too hot, lack of air flow
Std Spa in Standard Mode; system message, not an error

Do you have a spa or hot tub error code that is not on the list?  Make a call to our tech team who can look up the code for you, and decipher it’s meaning and let you know if it is indeed an error code, or a system status message.


Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works


In Ground Spa Covers

January 13th, 2015 by

inground-spa-coversIf you want to keep an inground spa warm for quick heat-up, or have it hot and ready to go – a spa cover is an absolute necessity.

Inground spas can be built of concrete and plaster, or they can be an acrylic spa shell that is placed into the deck.

They can be standalone systems with their own equipment, or can be installed as part of an inground pool/spa combo.

Here’s a quick post on options for inground spa covers ~


Spa blankets which float on the water surface dramatically reduce evaporation and help retain some of the heat in the water. Solar spa blankets will also add heat to the spa water during periods of direct sunlight, but they are thin and not a great insulator.foam-floating-spa-blanket

Foam spa blankets are much thicker, around 1/4″ of closed cell foam, with more than 3x the insulating ability. Foam blankets cost more, but are more durable and effective as far as floating blankets go – but there is a much more efficient and effective way to keep your spa or hot tub – hot.


The same spa cover design used for aboveground spas and hot tubs can be used on inground spa covers, with a few minor caveats.

inground-spa-covers-on-hot-tubsSKIRT: The skirt, the overhang of material on the cover’s edge, is usually shortened or completely eliminated on inground spa covers – depending if your spa is raised above the surrounding deck, or flush with the deck. A raised spa, or spa with raised bullnose coping, or a rough edge may work better with a short skirt of 1-2″.

SIZE: For inground spas, you’ll find it easier to have the spa cover made 6-8″ larger than the inside spa diameter. If only 2-3″ larger, it can be difficult to center the spa cover over the spa, without it falling in – and don’t forget that you’ll be usually be stooping and bending as you install or remove an inground spa cover.

cover-valet-cover-standSTORAGE: A place to put the spa cover safely, when it’s not covering the spa, is important to protect a spa cover from breaking (believe me, I know what I’m talking about). My favorite design is the Cover Stand, by Cover Valet, but you can also build your own cover rack, to keep the cover off the ground, and prevent it from falling over (and also prevent people from falling into the cover!).

STRAPS: Another difference for inground spa covers is that they may or may not have locking straps. I recommend ordering inground spa covers with straps and clips, and installing the plastic clip half into the concrete or wood pool deck. This will hold the cover down in high winds, and prevent unsafe access to the spa water.

wind-straps-for-spa-coversFor covers without straps, you can use our 11′ long cover Wind Straps. Set of two straps to cross over the top of the cover, with edge pads to protect the cover edge. Long straps make it easier to locate the plastic cover clips, and install them into an area that’s not so close to the spa, where they could be a toe stubber! Strapping down an inground cover with over-the-top straps is the better way to go, safer and it helps hold the cover down to the deck, to prevent heat leakage.

spa-cover-safety-strapsFor a heavier duty strapping method, you can use pool safety cover anchors, buckles and springs to secure your spa cover to the pool deck. Fabric stores carry the nylon strapping material, usually called nylon webbing. For each strap, connect two buckles and two springs, one on each end, and connect the springs to brass anchors, inserted into the pool deck. You can find safety pool cover hardware online, to create inground spa cover straps as shown here in the picture.

CUSTOM INGROUND SPA COVERS: are our specialty! We can make a spa cover for any size and shape of inground spa. Single hinge fold on covers up to 8′ across, or a 3-panel design used on spas up to 12′ diameter.

2lb-foamFor the most durable inground spa covers, choose the heavier foam density and foam thickness – this will help hold it down, and protect against most damage from weather, animals or tree branches. We call it “The Works” spa cover, but it’s not a pizza, it’s our top-o-the-line spa cover.


– Jack


Hot Tubs & Brain Function

November 24th, 2014 by

hot-tubs-make-you-smarterSoaking in water soothes the savage beast. Hot tubs are well known for reducing aches and pains, and research has shown that it relaxes muscles as it improves blood flow and raises muscle temperature. But did you also know that your spa or hot tub can make you smarter?

In a study done with 60 mid-aged women suffering from fibromyalgia, hot water immersion and light exercise was prescribed, including mobility, aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises for 16 weeks.

Study participants tested for higher cognitive function after the 16 week study, as compared to tests completed prior to the study, and as compared to a control group. In addition, they had a self reported higher pain threshold and reduction in pain symptoms.

By way of contrast, another study at Kent State showed that exposure to acute cold, lead to pronounced reduction of cognition, before and after soaking in cold water at 55°.  Subjects were tested against various known cognition tests for reaction time, before during and after cold water immersion. Brr… I hope they paid those students well!

Hot Tubs Make you Smarter?

You heard it here first, folks. But, how exactly can we make this claim, and what is making some test subjects test better on cognition skills during and after a soak in hot water? According to a study by Titis Wijayanto, at Kyushu University, “passive heat exposure increases oxygen delivery in the pre-frontal cortex to maintain pre-frontal cortex oxygenation”.

So, in the presence of heat, and more specifically an increase in the core body temperature, the body responds by sending more oxygen rich blood to the frontal cortex. This is why you are so brilliant in the hot tub, and immediately afterwards!

Don’t confuse hot tubs with hot weather, however. The US Army has studied the effects of outside air temperature extensively on it’s soldiers, and both hot and cold environments have an adverse effect on soldier performance in various cognition tests, especially at temperatures below 50° and above 90° F.

Power of Water – Known to the Ancients

cleopatra-being-bathedAs far back as Hippocrates, water therapy was appreciated for it’s effect on the mind. The Greek doctor said that water therapy was necessary to prevent “lassitude”, or physical or mental weaknesses. During the rise of the Roman empire, great baths were erected for the ‘spiritual fulfillment’ of the citizenry.

For the ancient cultures of the Inca in South America, water was a deity, and natural hot spring baths were infused with local eucalyptus. The baths are still in operation to this day, known as the Baños del Inca. In North America and Europe, water therapy flourished until the middle ages, when puritan ethics decreed bathing to be something lascivious.

During the 17th and 18th centuries however, this gross misjudgement was corrected, and bathing for health, and well being become popular again.

Hot Water Therapy for Mood Elevation

happy-personMany studies have shown the effects of hot water immersion and an elevated mood, which can last for several hours after soaking, like the runner’s ‘high’. a study in 2020, by Dubois, et al showed that when test subjects (120 persons) were given regular warm water therapy, anxiety was reduced with less prescription drugs.

And in another study on the effects of hot tubs and depression, even the CDC is onboard, stating that hot water therapy improves mood and reduces depression.


Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works


Food & Drink Disasters at a Hot Tub Party

September 8th, 2014 by

food-in-hot-tubsHot Tub parties are a part of owning a spa – at least the occasional small, intimate affair with a few close friends. Or even if you are just enjoying your spa with that special someone, you may want to enjoy some wine and cheese, or other appetizers in the tub.

Now, you should always limit your soaks in water above 100° to no more than 20 minutes at a time, although after a 10 minute cool down, most people can take another session. And, although alcohol drinks in a hot tub are commonly enjoyed, our legal team would like me to remind you that using a hot tub while intoxicated can be dangerous.

With these disclaimers dispensed, let’s get to the worst food and drink of all time, for a hot tub party.


The problem with certain drinks is that they contain sugars and starches, which is a tasty food for algae and bacteria. Alcohol is particularly troublesome for sanitation, and it also sports a very low pH. Soft drinks are also low in pH. And some drinks are thick with creamy dairy products or stuffed with fruit.

  • Soda Drinks – coke, sprite, root beer
  • Smoothies – imagine that floating on the surface
  • Daiquiris – mostly ice, but also lots of fruit, alcohol and sugar
  • Beer – foams the minute it hits the water
  • Wine – too many ingredients to list
  • Energy drinks – could make your spa hyper


You can imagine the kind of foods that you wouldn’t want around your hot tub, don’t serve anything crumbly, powdery, crunchy or juicy. Food is not only messy in a hot tub, but like drinks that spill into your tub, food contains all sorts of junk that messes with your water balance, blocking sanitation while feeding the enemy (algae and bacteria).


  • Crackers, Chips, Cheetos
  • Fruit – unless served as Fruit Kabobs
  • Olives – oil slick on the surface
  • Cheese – unless served cubed and toothpicked
  • Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
  • BBQ Chicken or Pizza
  • Candy or Cake


If you noticed, my lists above leave very little party food to choose from! If you’re having a large party, it may be best to have a No Food or Drink sign posted, and place your food table far away from the hot tub.

hot-tub-signHowever, you don’t want your hot tub guests to become dehydrated, so in addition to limiting session time, place a large pitcher of water with a stack of plastic cups – no glass around the tub, within reach of the tub. Be sure to keep it full throughout the evening, to keep your hot tubbers wet on the inside. Water is the best drink to imbibe while in the hot tub – there’s going to be no problem if a cup of water spills over into the tub.

The best food to enjoy in the spa? Small food, which can be cubed and toothpicked. Avoid finger food, or food touched with hands, which then go down into the water. Avoid eating whole fruit, with the exception of grapes, which are one of my favorite spa foods to serve, or just eat myself. Frozen grapes are a special treat, just pop ’em in the freezer for about an hour. If you want to snack, try grapes, strawberries, or baby carrots – keep foods on a side table and not balanced on the edge of your spa!


Drain the hot tub? Maybe, if enough food or drink got in. If it’s just one drink, or a single potato chip, don’t worry about it. But if it’s the entire bowl of chips, or a plate full of rice and beans, you may want to drain the tub.

Alternatively, you could clean up any debris with a skimmer net (quickly!), balance the pH and then shock the spa. Chances are you’ll need to shock the spa anyway, so just give it a little extra this time. If you suspect or find broken glass in the tub (!), definitely drain it, or vacuum it very closely.

The best way to prevent a hot tub food or drink disaster is to stick to water, in plastic cups.


I asked this question via chat, around our office, and got some funny responses from the dozens of spa owners here at HotTubWorks. Here’s their best answers (warnings). Ugh!

  • Cheetos bowl flipped over into the tub
  • Bobbing for apples on Halloween
  • Pitcher of margaritas falling into the tub
  • Tray of Jello shots, which instantly dissolved
  • Pepperoni pizza found the next morning



Gina Galvin