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FAQ
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How often should I drain my spa?

Depending on usage and type of sanitizing system, a spa or hot tub with well-maintained water, which is treated with non-chlorine shock, should be drained and refilled every two to four months. This is necessary because of the amount of total dissolved solids becomes excessive, making it difficult to maintain sanitizer effectiveness and water balance.

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What should I use to clean my spa?

It is very important that you use a cleaner designed for spas and hot tubs. While household cleaners are great for cleaning jobs around the home, they can cause foaming and alter the pH of your water. Quality spa surface cleaners are safe for all materials, contain no abrasives, are non-toxic and will not cause water foaming.

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Is there a good product for removing tub ring?

A good all surface cleaner such as spa cleaningClean All is recommended, since any runoff from periodic cleaning will not cause foaming or alter water pH.

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How often should I clean my filter cartridge?

Depending upon bather load, it is generally a good practice to rinse your filter cartridge every other week with fresh water from a garden hose to dislodge hair and other foreign matter. Every 3 to 4 months, and with each water change, your filter cartridge should be soaked in a filter-cleaning compound designed for this purpose. We recommend the rotation method: have two filters on hand, one in the spa and a clean, dry spare. Remove the dirty filter and rinse thoroughly, being careful to spray between the pleats. Soak the filter in a 5-gallon bucket of cleaning solution, overnight or according to the instructions on the package. You can now install your clean spare while the dirty one is soaking. After soaking, rinse again and set aside to dry completely. With this method, your filters will last much longer, and you will never have to wait to use your spa.

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When should hot tub filters be replaced?

Filters are generally good for about a full year of usage. After that, they become less efficient in trapping foreign matter because of deterioration of the media. With the filter rotation method described in "How often..." (above), this means you would replace a pair of cartridges every 2 years. hot tub,spa replacement filtersFilter Replacement Guide

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How do you remove calcium scale from spa filters?

First clean filter with Power Soak or Eco Soak, rinse, then soak the cartridge in a solution of one part Acid Magic  to twenty parts water until all bubbling stops. Presto! Scale is gone!  Acid Magic has the scale removing properties of Muriatic Acid, but is much safer to use, and has virtually no fumes.

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Is there anything I can do to protect my hot tub cover from damage?

The main factors in spa cover deterioration are sunlight, dirt, and acid rain. Fortunately, there are now great products available to protect and clean vinyl covers, and greatly extend their life. Select a cover protectant that contains a UV blocker for fade resistance and use a good cleaner such as Clean All. Regular use of spa cover protectant303 Protectant  will keep the vinyl supple, prevent cracking and fading, and seal out damaging moisture. Avoid products which contain silicone oil-- these will actually cause premature failure of the vinyl, when exposed to sunlight.  We recommend 303 Protectant because it is the best product of its kind we have found, and is also Earth friendly. Don't forget to clean and treat the inside surfaces of your cover as well-- this is very important.

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Can scratches be removed from my spa shell?

Until very recently, the answer would have been no. Fortunately there is now a product available, spa scratch removalNovus Scratch Removal & Polish Kit, which will actually remove these scratches, even relatively deep ones, from acrylic and plastic surfaces.

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Is it OK to use car wax on my spa shell?

No. Automotive waxes are designed for car finishes, and will not generally hold up in hot water conditions. Use a product designed specifically for acrylic or thermoplastic spas such as spa sealant / polishGel Gloss.

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What causes the dark staining on my plastic spa fittings?

Metals in the water cause these stains. Use a spa stain and scale inhibitor to prevent this discoloration.

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Should I treat the wooden skirt on my spa?

This is partly a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the natural graying of unfinished wood. Wood that is treated with a good water repellant sealer will generally last longer, be more resistant to cracking, and retain much of the original coloration.

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If the bulb in my ozonator burns out, can it be replaced?

Yes!  Our Eclipse CD Ozonators and Del UV Ozonators have replaceable chips (CD) or lamps (UV). Ozonztor productsOzonator Department

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My spa is losing water.  How can I find the leak?

Leaks can be hard to find, but a common cause is pump seals. Look for water under your pump. Also check around your heater, pressure switch and all interior plumbing, unions, and connections. If visual inspection does not isolate the leak, you can try adding some food dye to the water. Another method is to allow the spa to sit until the water level stabilizes. There is a good chance that you will find the leak at that level. Yet another method is to fill the spa to correct level, then run it for a full day, marking the reduced water level with a crayon. Then refill, and allow it to sit for a full day with nothing running. If the water drops the same amount in both tests, this tells you that you likely have a shell leak (which includes jet fittings and/or other connections to the shell.) If it dropped more when pumps were running, it is more likely a seal or plumbing leak. Use of a quality leak sealer can save you some repair money. Although not always a permanent fix, they can be effective on many leaks, with the exception being bad pump seals, which will need to be replaced.

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My pump quit pumping, and now it just makes a humming noise. What happened?

A common cause is a jammed or broken impeller, or the bearings may have seized. If the motor shaft can be rotated by hand, then the problem may be a dirty pump switch, defective starter capacitor, burnt motor windings or other electrical problem with the motor.

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I can hear the motor running, but there is no circulation or heat. What is going on?

First, check your filter. A severely clogged filter can greatly restrict water flow, and with little or no flow, there will be no heat either. Try running the spa with filter out. If water now circulates properly, replace your filter(s). Another frequent cause is an air lock in the pump, especially if you just drained your hot tub. To clear an air lock, first locate and close the valve on the intake side of your pump. Then, on the outflow side of the pump, loosen the pipe union just enough turns to allow the trapped air to escape and fill with water. Retighten union, open intake valve, and run spa to verify correction of the problem. If an air lock or clogged filter proves not to be the culprit, the cause could be blocked plumbing, or a damaged or obstructed impeller blade.

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My spa is not heating. What's wrong?

First, check your filter. Dirty or clogged filters are one of the most common causes of heating problems. Try to operate the spa with no filter in (you may need to push the reset button on your spa pack). If everything works correctly at this point, then the filter was your problem. Next, check the heater indicator light. If it is not glowing, then you are likely not getting power to the heater. You could have a defective or stuck thermostat, high limit switch (check by pushing reset button), pressure switch, or flow switch. If none of these components is the culprit, it may be a bad relay or contactor. If the light is on, but water is not circulating, the heater will not work. If the indicator is on, and water is circulating, then you most likely have a defective heater element.

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Why does my water overheat?

Several conditions could cause water to overheating, including: a stuck thermostat, a stuck relay or contactor in your spa pack, or even leaving your pump on high speed for an extended period of time. Another possibility is a defective high-limit switch, likely in conjunction with one of the above.

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What is causing my water temperature to fluctuate?

A temperature sensor unit that is not insulated properly could cause this. In these cases, the sensor may actually be affected by changes in air temperature. Other causes could include: a dirty or clogged filter, sticky or defective thermostat, contactor, or relay.

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Why aren't my jets as powerful as they used to be?

The most common cause by far for reduced action in a spa is clogged or worn-out filter cartridges.  If you try running your spa with the filter out, and this improves performance considerably, then you may have found the culprit.   A broken impeller blade in your pump, or foreign matter obstructing the impeller can cause this. Bad motor bearings will (often indicated by a progressively loud motor or a grinding noise) could cause your pump to operate at a reduced speed, and pump less water. If air jets are weak, check for obstructions, inspect the blower if so equipped, and check gasket seals around the jet fittings.

If the amount of water coming out of your jets is normal, but they no longer spin, there are several possible problems:  they may be stuck from scale deposits.  In this case, remove the affected jets and soak them in vinegar for 24 hours to dissolve the calcium.  Be sure to treat your spa water with stain and scale preventer such as our spa stain & scale preventerMetal Free Stain, Scale, Metal Control to avoid this problem in the future. Another cause is lint or hair stuck in the jet bearings.

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What can cause the GFCI to keep tripping?

A properly functioning Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) activates when it senses even a very small voltage leak or short to ground. They are designed to react very quickly. The cause can be many things. To isolate the culprit, shut-off the power source, then disconnect the system's major components including: blower, ozonator, pumps, heater, etc. Power on. If it now trips, your problem is isolated to the wiring or circuit board. If the GFCI does not trip, plug these things back in one at a time until the GFCI trips again. (Make sure power is off whenever connecting or disconnecting components). When it trips, you've located the culprit. If it is not one of these, check for bad wire connections, missing or burnt insulation or chafes, and loose screws or corrosion on terminals. If that is not the problem, sometimes a heater element that is going bad will cause the GFCI to trip. Another cause may be a defective GFCI unit itself. They do not last forever, and especially in damp locations, they can fail and cause erroneous tripping. Other electrical devices in your home, especially those with motors, can send a pulse through the circuit that can actually trigger a GFCI to trip. These include washing machines, garage door openers, air conditioners, furnaces, and house fans. Monitor your spa's GFCI to see if it trips when one of these devices is switched on. Make sure that the supply circuit to the spa is adequate.

CAUTION: Electrical repairs can be dangerous. We recommend that electrical service be referred to a qualified technician. Regardless of who performs the work, make certain that all electrical power to the hot tub or spa is disconnected prior to making any inspections or repairs. This information is provided for educational purposes only. If you hire a qualified technician, this will give you a better understanding of the diagnostic process involved.

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My wooden hot tub was left empty for a year. Now it leaks like a sieve. Any suggestions?

Wooden tubs should never be allowed to dry-out. This shrinks the staves, resulting in leaks. It is possible that the wood will re-absorb enough water over a period of days and expand so that the leaking will stop after refilling.

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Which is better for my hot tub: letting the thermostat determine run times, or setting the timer for a specific amount of time each day?

The frequent on and off cycles, which you will have if you allow the thermostat alone to determine the operation of you pump and heater, will shorten the life of your motor. It is usually better to set your timer to run in scheduled cycles. For example: 6 hours per day total, set up for two 3 hour segments, 12 hours apart. Actual total run times depend on your spa manufacturer's recommendations, sanitizing system, and bather load.

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What can I use to remove stains and scale from my spa's surface?

You'll need an extra-heavy duty cleaner for this type of problem. One that was originally recommended to us by a customer is a terrific product called spa stain removerTLC Stain & Scale Remover. Apply sparingly with a sponge, then rinse with water. Follow label instructions.

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Can we use our outdoor spa year 'round? Our winters get very cold.

Winter operation of your spa in cold climates is fine, if you take reasonable precautions to prevent freeze-damage to your equipment. During very low temperatures, you should either run your spa continually, or set the thermostat to run the pump(s) at a safe temperature. Check your owner's manual. In extreme low temperatures, 24-hour operation is the safest bet. It is important to check your water level daily, because if it gets too low, the pump could air lock. Remember to keep your filters clean. A clogged filter could cause the flow (pressure) switch to shut down your pump, and this could result in frozen equipment. Keep a clean, dry, spare filter on hand at all times, especially in the winter. To save energy, make sure your air jets are closed when not using the tub. Keep your cover securely strapped to prevent heat loss. If your cover is in poor condition, consider replacing it. A waterlogged cover has very little insulating value, and will cost you a lot in energy waste.

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Our spa has some cracks & blisters.  Can I repair these myself?

Often you can, especially if the defect is not too extreme.  Small blisters can often be diminished by first heating the affected area with a hair dryer (on the highest heat setting); then, as blister becomes pliable, poke a small pin-hole in its center (for releasing the trapped air behind it), and finally lay it down evenly with hand pressure or a small roller.  Cracks, dents and holes can be repaired with our acrylic repair kit, repairs PVC tooPlast-Aid Acrylic & PVC Repair Kit.

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I'd like to install an Ozonator.  Can you tell me how?

Refer to our Ozonator installation informationOzonator Installation Guide for easy, step-by-step instructions.

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Spa Depot, The, Spas & Hot Tubs - Dealers, Olympia, WA
 

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