hot tub temperature

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Not to be argumentative, but there may be times when getting that spa up and running again in a timely fashion is pretty critical.... such as when it's -25C and you're potentially looking at one big and very expensive ice cube :-) That's when you really hope your local dealer has that one part you need and maybe the technician to install it (especially true for those of us, like myself, who can't tell one end of a screw driver from the other).
Also, if you live in Canada, ordering parts from a U.S. supplier is just this side of a nightmare. If a part takes two days to ship anywhere in the States, count on ten days to Canada. Then be prepared to fork over big bucks for shipping, custom charges and brokerage fees (UPS has got to be the worst in this respect). When all is said and done, a local spa dealer may be able to provide you with the necessary part for less.
Cheers, Paul
On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 22:48:50 GMT, Mys Terry
[snip]

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I own a vacation rental. It rents for $300 per day. One of the drawing cards is a spa. If the spa is not running, I have complaining guests. Not a heart lung machine situation as one dramatic poster stated, but to me, a potentially money losing situation.

Not to mention they may just decide to confiscate the item pending the court ruling.
When all is said and

We have a cabin at 7,500 feet in elevation in Utah. It gets down to around 0 degrees F. It is a royal PITA if it is not working, and a potentially expensive situation to let if sit for days waiting on a part that may or may not come via the Internet. The Internet is many things, but foolproof it ain't.
Steve
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Hi Steve,
I fully appreciate what you say. In the case of a vacation rental, clients demand (and rightfully so) everything to be in proper working order. If the tv wasn't working, I could live with it, but the hot tub is a different matter altogether!
I know of one spa manufacturer (it happens to be my "preferred brand") is working on something that could be of interest to people, like yourself, who own rental properties or spas located at remote, unattended, locations. The spa will monitor itself and in the event the heater fails, a filter clogs or something falls outside its normal operating parameters, it will dial its owner or page the local dealer (cellular or land line). In addition, it can be linked to the home's security system and remotely monitored by Chubb or whichever company you use. A service tech can then be dispatched to correct the problem before the condition becomes an even bigger problem (i.e., the big, expensive, ice cube I spoke of earlier). Pretty impressive, indeed.
Cheers, Paul
On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 19:12:00 -0700, "Steve B"

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We have this system/service on our cabin. So far, only one call when a window blew in during a storm. We have a local resident who runs up and checks on such things, as we are 175 miles from the cabin.
Yeah. Pretty nifty.
Steve
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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 23:41:47 GMT, Paul M. Eldridge

It's easy enough to drain the tub and use a shop vac to blow out the lines if your tub will be unheated for a few days in freezing temps.
In -25C temps, you are not going to get parts fast enough to prevent freezing no matter how you get them, and that technician may be booked up a week in advance.
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wrote:

I'm confused. You first said that it was no big deal to have it down for a week. Then you said it was no big deal to get parts off the Internet to avoid being gouged by the local shop. I assumed you were talking about doing your own labor, because most repairmen won't do the work using customer parts because they won't give any warranty, and they want to make all the markup like the evil shop owners do.
Which way is it?
Steve
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I agree that you are a very confused person.
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wrote:

I could have told you that. Now how about answering my questions? (Please see above)
Steve
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OK, I trust none of us will actually have to put this to the test, but there are a couple things you can do to hopefully avoid the "big freeze".
Assuming your tub is fully foamed/well insulated, I would advise against draining it unless you can properly winterize it with non-toxic antifreeze (the type used by RVs). Your owner's manual may have specific, step-by-step, instructions on how to do this, at least mine does.... follow them to the "T".
Now, 400 or 500 gallons of water at 100F or so, is a considerable amount of thermal mass and a good, well insulated, tub should be able to retain much of this heat for several days, even at below freezing temperatures. The one weak spot is the equipment compartment.
Assuming you haven't lost power, stick a trouble light inside the equipment compartment to keep the pumps, heater and exposed plumbing in this area warm. If it happens to be a CFL you are using, replace it with a 40 or 60-watt incandescent bulb depending upon the size of this area and outside temperature... now is not the time to be energy conscious. :-)
Be **very** careful to properly secure the light and ensure its heat won't damage any plastic piping, electrical wiring or electronic components; the object here is to keep this area warm, not burn down your spa down. An electric blanket or heating pad might also work, if one is available; without question, this would be the safer option.
If you have one of those indoor/outdoor temperature gauges, stick the external probe inside the equipment compartment and monitor the temperature (frequently) and if it's getting too hot or too cold inside there, bump up the bulb to the next higher wattage, or unplug the trouble light periodically to allow the area to cool down, as the case may be.
The next weak spot is the cover. The R-value of a good quality cover is probably less than half that of the spa cabinet. Protect the cover with as many old blankets or quilts as you have at your disposal. Secure them with a tarp or plastic sheet. If there is snow available, bank the sides of the spa to help reduce heat loss and minimize exposure to wind. If there is no snow, construct a makeshift shelter by leaning plywood against the spa; again, you want to protect the spa from the prevailing winds as best you can.
No electricity? If you have a natural gas/propane stove or even a BBQ, warm up as many bricks as you can find (if no bricks are available, hot water bottles, pots of water, whatever you can use) and place them inside the equipment compartment. Again, be careful not to damage any components. If the temperature of the water inside the spa is falling dangerously low, dump some of this water and refill with water from your home's domestic hot water tank or even pots of water heated up on the stove.
Be creative and do whatever it takes. If, for example, you have a portable propane heater, build a plastic tent and surround it with warm air (and if you don't happen to own such a heater, you might be able to borrow or rent one).
And now might be a good time to check your homeowner's policy. Often you can buy extra coverage for hot tubs and for a few extra bucks you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that your investment is well protected.
Hope this has been helpful.
Cheers, Paul
On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 12:05:05 GMT, Mys Terry

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On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 17:03:34 GMT, Paul M. Eldridge

Okay, you have now established that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and have never had any experience with a hot tub.
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Before passing judgement, you might ask for clarification or additional information.
Page 46 of the HotSpring Owner's Manual states:
"For maximum protection against freeze damage to your spa, Watkins Manufacturing Corporation recommends contacting your HotSpring dealer to schedule an in-home Propylene glycol (anti-freeze) Winterizing Service plan."
A copy of these instructions were provided to me by my dealer as part of my start-up package.
For more information on how to properly winterize a spa, see: http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/hottubs/winterizing.html
Cheers, Paul
On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:24:46 GMT, Mys Terry

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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 22:48:50 GMT, Mys Terry

Be aware most spas are NOT U/L listed as an assembly and your inspector may not let you hook it up if you get a permit. Most say they are "listed" by a famous lab but if it is not one of the "Nationally Recognized Testing Labs" like U/L, TUV and ETL the inspector does not have to approve it. They are starting to look. Just because some of the parts are listed does not mean the whole assembly is. Make sure you can get your money back if you can't use it.
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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 20:57:07 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Nice thought, but most HOUSES are not U/L listed either.
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On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 12:10:46 GMT, Mys Terry

Houses are inspected when they are built (or should be). The spa is sold as "equipment" A spa can be field evaluated but the AHJ has no obligation to do it himself. I have never seen one that would pass inspection using the NEC rules. Wiring in equipment generally does not follow the same rules as building wiring. (smaller wire, different splicing methods, voltage separatation issues etc) He could tell you to call a NRTL for a certification or he could simply red tag the thing. Your AHJ may not be looking at these but if he does it could be a problem
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On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 10:19:11 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Sorry, but you are completely nuts.
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On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:25:54 GMT, Mys Terry

I get the IAEI magazine (electrical inspector trade rag) and I go to the meetings. I am only relating what I am seeing. Some areas may be ignoring this but it is a valid violation if they want to call it.
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On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 20:57:07 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I just did a little google search on "Hot Tub" and "UL Approved" and found that virtually ALL free standing hot tubs are UL approved these days. Even accessories such as covers are UL listed. It looks as though it would be very difficult to find one that was NOT UL approved.
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I am certain that with your vast amount of experience, if there was ONE spa that was not UL approved, you would have been the one to have seen it. ;-)
Steve
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On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 12:08:22 -0700, "Steve B"

I'm sorry that facts offend you.
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wrote

Huh? That was a compliment.
Steve
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