Best Way to Plan your Hot Tub Set Up

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REMEMBER – ALL spas DO breakdown, yes every make and model. In order to make repairs convenient for the homeowner, adequate access is required. With warranty work it is up to the homeowner to provide proper access.

1. Leave good access to the equipment (pump, control pack, filter, etc). Not doing so is like welding the hood of your car shut. Some spas have removable panels on all sides, if so, it’s a good idea to leave access to all sides.

2. Mount the ground fault circuit interrupter outdoors, in an approved outdoor panel. These are available from the spa retailer for a very reasonable price.

3. Design the site so that the spa can be removed as necessary, gives the option to upgrade models anytime. Down the road this can lessen the repair costs and lengthen the useful life span of all spas. Good deck design is essential. Talk to your dealer.

4. A proper base is required to protect your investment. Evenly distributed, level surface is mandatory. Should sustain approx. 100lbs per sq ft. (concrete pad or deck is ideal). If laying patio stones, they cannot be dropped on the ground, a proper base beneath the stones is necessary, the same as concrete.

5. It is best to leave the spa free standing, as most current models are completely skirted units and look beautiful.

6. Install the spa as close as possible to an outside door, ideally within 10 ft. The closer it is, the more inviting it is in the winter, the more it will get used. Tile inside the door is best, so that wet tub users need not worry about wet feet wrecking the floor. A convenient towel/bathrobe rack is a great plus, located just inside the door or beside the tub.

7. If the yard is locked, use a combination lock and provide the service company with the combination. A better level of service can usually be provided if there is access at all times. Do not lock the GFCI box (except for safety reasons) as this defeats the purpose of an emergency power shut down.

8. Spa operation is very demanding in a Canadian winter. Breakdown worries in the winter can be alleviated by having an inexpensive electric cube heater on hand (preferably with multiple power settings) to place in the equipment area to eliminate the potential of freezing. Your spa professional can show you where to place it in this unlikely event. Draining the spa during a failure should be done as a last resort, the volume of hot water in the spa can be slowly used to keep exposed plumbing from freezing. See the winter Breakdown page.

Winter Operation

Winter breakdowns on outdoor spas/hot tubs…
The best insurance is, knowing what to do. Do not let your spa freeze.
If your spa has shut down in the winter here is what to do:

Do not drain the spa – if you want to drain the spa, it can only be done immediately after it has stopped running & must be properly winterized by sucking out the lines & equipment (pumps & control pack), blowing out the lines & equipment & adding antifreeze to the lines & equipment, including down the skimmer.
Winterizing a spa is best done by a professional if the spa has more than a few jets.

Assess the situation:
As long as the pumps are still circulating and moving water there is little concern of a freeze up.

Do not attempt to restart a frozen spa.

If your GFCI or high limit has tripped, then try turning the heat down as far as possible or off. Rest the GFI or high limit to see if it will allow the pump to circulate without tripping again.

Do not attempt to restart a frozen spa.

If you cannot reset the GFCI or if your pump has stopped working, then you must put a space heater into the area of exposed plumbing & equipment (pump & control pack) to keep it from freezing. As long as the spa is insulated and you leave the water in the spa & the cover on, then the rest of the plumbing will not freeze for days or weeks, depending on how well insulated the spa actually is.
Be cautious when placing the space heater, not too close to plumbing etc, if the heater has multiple settings, use a lower heat output setting.
If you are unable to close the access door with the heater inside it will be necessary to place blankets, towels or tarps over the open spaces.
Check the area often to assure it is staying warm but not damaging the equipment.
If the spa is already frozen, be cautious with a space heater because the plumbing may have already burst & can leak water on to the heater & equipment (pumps & control pack) as it thaws. If the spa is already frozen you are best to call a professional.

Leak Repair

Most leaks can be repaired on site.  We assess the 5 most common sources of leaks and recommend replacement or repair:

  • Pump
  • Unions
  • Heater
  • Valves
  • Connections and Jets

Often we have the parts in our mobile service van.  

If you are experiencing internal leaks and there is insufficient access to the internal spa area, then we will pick-up your spa to repair in our facility, repair, test, re-install.  

This will prevent a potential mess in your yard, and allows for the convenience plus hydro savings of not having to drain/fill your tub, possibly several times if there is more then one leak.  We also diagnose air pressure & water pressure issues.Rainbows Lead to The Spa Guy

 

15 Ways to Protect Your Investment

bubblesphere sxhcWater balance and sanitizing is key. Sanitizing (i.e. bromine or chlorine) is for the users safety against bacteria and disease. Balance protects components within the spa and will determine the lifespan of replacement parts (i.e. hard cover, element, pump seal, jets) It is imperative to keep ALKALINITY, PH, and FREE SANITIZER WITHIN THE IDEAL RANGE on the test kit.

 

15 Tips

  1. Turn the air controls off when the spa is not in use, this will help to keep the ph in control and will cut down on heating costs
  2. Especially at the beginning, the spa water should be checked every day.
  3. Start with the basic necessities with maintenance products, once the user is comfortable with water balance then they may use other water quality products.
  4. Don’t ever leave the acrylic surface exposed to the sun without water in it. During use is acceptable, but when the spa is empty, leave the cover on it
  5. Do not put sanitizing pucks in the basket. This causes a high concentration through the pump instead of dispersing slowly in the water first. Use a proper dispenser.
  6. When shocking the spa, leave the cover off for minimum 15 minutes. Allows corrosive gas, created when shocking, to dissipate & not hover under the cover.
  7. Fill spa with hard water.
  8. Use stain prevent while filling & allow to circulate, then balance water and add sanitizer.
  9. Spa water should be maintained to within the ideal range on the test strips. Balance alkalinity first and the ph should follow closely. Remember, it is safer to have high sanitizer levels rather than low.
  10. Have your water analyzed weekly at your local pool shop, where you purchase your maintenance products. At the very least check new water for sufficient calcium.
  11. Clean your filter cartridge regularly with a proper filter cartridge cleaning agent. Every 3-6 weeks depending on use.
  12. Laundry soap, hair & skin products all can contaminate the water making it difficult to keep balanced, clear or without foam. Have a bathing suit specially designated for the spa, which should just be rinsed every use & only washed occasionally.
  13. If the spa is being closed down for the winter have it properly WINTERIZED by an experienced spa technician. Not doing so can lead to internal leaks, which can be costly to repair.
  14. Check your pump occasionally – ideally, every time you are about to drain the spa – to make sure the seal is not leaking. Pump seals do wear out & can lead to expensive repairs if left undetected.
  15. Check & balance the water daily, when you first own a spa. The water should always be clear enough to see a pin in the bottom, and there should be no excessive foaming.

 

Necessary maintenance products:

  • Stain prevent – Keeps calcium in control & removes iron & rust from the water
  • Sanitizer pucks, spa size, 1” (chlorine or bromine) – Kills bacteria
  • Shock, based on sanitizer in use, ideally an oxidizer
  • Ph minus – To decrease Ph (or Alkalinity) as required
  • Ph plus – To increase Ph as required
  • Alkalinity plus – To increase alkalinity as required
  • Test strips
  • Floating dispenser (for spa size sanitizer tablets)

Winter Breakdown

The best insurance is knowing what to do.  Do not let your spa freeze.
If your spa has shut down in the winter here is what to do:

Do not drain the spa – if you want to drain the spa, it can only be done immediately after it has stopped running & must be properly winterized by sucking out the lines & equipment (pumps & control pack), blowing out the lines & equipment, then adding antifreeze to the lines & equipment, including down the skimmer.
Winterizing a spa is best done by a professional if the spa has more than a few jets.

Assess the situation:

  • As long as the pumps are still circulating and moving water there is little concern of a freeze up.
  • Do not attempt to restart a frozen spa.
  • If your GFCI or high limit has tripped very recently, then try turning the heat down as far as possible or off.  Attempt to diagnose what caused the spa to fail/shutdown before restarting.
  • IMG_0267

  • Reset the GFI or high limit to see if it will allow the pump to circulate, with confirmed water movement, without tripping again.  If the pump is on but there is no water movement, then turn the spa off (read on).
  • Do not attempt to restart a frozen spa.
  • If you cannot reset the GFCI or if your pump has stopped working, then you must put a space heater into the area of exposed plumbing & equipment (pump & control pack) to keep it from freezing.  As long as the spa is insulated and you leave the water in the spa & the cover on, then the rest of the plumbing will not freeze for days or weeks, depending on how well insulated the spa is.
  • Be cautious when placing the space heater, not too close to plumbing etc.  If the heater has multiple settings, use the lowest heat output setting.
  • If you are unable to close the access door with the heater inside it will be necessary to place blankets, towels or tarps over the open spaces.
  • Check the area often to assure it is staying warm but not damaging the equipment.
  • If the spa is already frozen, be cautious with a space heater because the plumbing may have already burst & can leak water on to the heater & equipment (pumps & control pack) as it thaws.  If the spa is already frozen you are best to call a professional.

Water Maintenance

steam sxhcWe have extensive knowledge & experience with water maintenance products.  Our “Spa 101” service will teach you proper water care, and familiarize you with proper maintenance of your spa.

 

You will save the cost of a Spa 101 service call within 1 year of owning the spa by minimizing hydro costs, repair costs, and maintenance products costs and improving the quality of your hot tub experience.