how to get a hotter hot tub?

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We're in the market for a used or new hot tub. One thing we're concerned about is the maximum operating temperature. It looks as if all hot tub thermostats are now capped at 104 degrees for safety reasons. That would probably be OK for me, but for my wife who likes it hot, hot, hot, that just won't cut it.
We have an indoor jacuzzi tub now, and she gets that above 110 for her tubs. Granted, there's no heater, so the water starts cooling off immediately - but it's still above 104 after 20 minutes of soaking.
We've measured water temps in other tubs and hot tubs and I think somewhere between 106 and 108 would probably be ideal, but at a max temp of 104, it won't be worth buying. My wife's parents keep their hot tub at about 112. Ouch! That's too hot for me. I can last about 5 minutes.
So, my question is not about the health effects of such hot temperatures, but rather...
Is there a simple way to hack the thermostat on a hot tub to get above the 104 cutoff? I was thinking of maybe covering the temp sensor with some kind of insulating material, but I'm not sure if that's feasible. Since we don't currently have a hot tub, I'm not even sure where the temp sensor would be located.
Has anyone successfully hacked their hot-tub thermostat, and how did you do it?
Thanks.
-JJ
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That might work, if you could raise the thermal resistance between the water and the sensor or lower the air-sensor resistance.

Sure.
Article 663748 of alt.home.repair: From: snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu Subject: Re: Hot Tub Thermostat adjust Date: 4 Nov 2004 13:30:36 -0500 Organization: Villanova University

You can't. That's the upper temperature limit for UL approval :-)

The latest Marquis Coastal Reward spas use a Balboa M7 controller with 2 thermistors near the heater. Balboa says the first (as water flows by) controls the water temp and the second is a 118 F safety limit. They must agree within 2 F for the controller to work.
If you wanted to make the controller think the water is 104 F when it's really 110, you might put a resistor in series with each thermistor near the control board. They have a negative tempco, with 22117 ohms at 90 F, 17636 at 100, and 14158 at 110, so 104 F would make them about 16245 ohms, adding a 2.2K ohm resistor in series with each thermistor exposed to 110 F water will make the controller think the water temp is only 104 F.
(Marcia got someone to do this, and it worked :-)
Nick
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On 23 Aug 2007 16:44:27 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

Who is this Marcia chick? She must be hot.
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I'd suggest seeing what service manuals, schematics, etc might be available from the manufacturers websites. There may not be any, but it's worth a shot. I have an older spa and inside the controller pack on mine there are pots that adjust the temp calibration. I would suspect many of them would have this.
If that fails, putting some insulation material over the temp sensor might work.
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On 8/23/2007 4:40 PM, mm wrote:

That's another reg those who <think they> know better than we legislated to keep us from cooking ourselves. They quote the story 'bout putting a frog in cold water and heating it up vs. putting it in hot water etc.
For the experienced there might be no problem. For the novice really hot soaks could be lethal. Especially when alcohol is involved.
I like'm hot. Tubs, too.
--
Ted
I wasn\'t born in Texas but
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It can be done easily by someone who knows such things. They are set that way because of the way the human body temperature works. You might want to read up about it and find the facts before you do something stupid. Hot tubs are limited for very good reasons. People have health conditions that many do not know they even have and go into hotter water than they should and stay there longer than they should. One should not consume alcohol prior to gong into a hot tub. We all do these things, and USUALLY nothing goes wrong.
Sure, you've done it, and it's okay. Tomorrow you invite your boss, and he has a heart condition he doesn't know about or blood pressure problems. He dies in the tub.
Can you say major lawsuit with possible criminal charges? I knew you could.
Steve
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Oh, please. Criminal charges just because he likes his hot tub at 108 instead of 104? I have mine set at that. I knew a big lecture was coming, but this takes the cake. How about my bathtub? Am I gonna be criminally charged if a guest decides to take a bath in water thats too hot?
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Your reading comprehension sucks, dude. I said that people pretty much do what they want. But, by your attitude, you are going to go through your life and never have a car accident, never know someone who has been murdered, never lose a part of your body, I could go on. Things happen.
Rules are meant to be broken. So, there are courts and lawyers to go back AFTER the fact and say blah blah blah.
FYI, a friend of mine since childhood went to a local hot springs. He had a heart condition, but did not know about it. He died there. Hot springs not responsible, as he exposed himself to the danger. They won the lawsuit because they had it posted.
So, to get back to the original point ........... you remember that, don't you? Yes, you can manipulate the tub to make it hotter. Just realize it has risks. Especially if someone else is hurt. You, and the OP can do anything they like in your own house. Darwin awards be damned.
Steve
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Darwin awards be damned.

Ya know.. that was my very first thought when I read the original post. I was even going to post that I thought we had a real contender on our hands.
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Most of what you need to know can be found here;
http://www.rhtubs.com/104f.htm
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I'm sorry, you must have not been paying attention or just missed the OPs comments on how he and his wife love temperatures that would ruin a lobster. You missed the parts where people have mentioned that it may be unsafe medically, but were promptly corrected, chastised and castigated.
This OP has his mind to make the water as hot as he/she/it wants it, and doesn't want facts.
All they want is a way to bypass the normal circuitry; safety guidelines, and common sense be damned.
Not to worry, though. You'll be reading about them soon in the paper.
Steve ;-)
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On Fri, 24 Aug 2007 17:37:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@rhtubs.com wrote:

For anyone who is interested - I found the above business by searching google a few years ago when I needed a new cover for my hot tub. They seemed to have a coherant website compared to most, and they had options for covers that addressed some of the problems that are familiar to anyone who has owned a hottub for a long time.
I ordered an extra thick cover for better insulation as I live in New England and use my tub more in the winter than the summer. I also ordered the double wrapped foam. That is what usually causes failure of covers. The usual cover has the foam wrapped with one layer of poly to protect it from absorbing water. When that layer of poly disintegrates, the foam soaks up water and pretty soon the cover is so heavy that you can't even lift it. The double wrapped foam in my cover from Roberts Hot Tubs is still dry after almost 5 years. I have never had any other cover last more than three years before it started getting waterlogged.
I am just beginning to have an issue with the "hinge" leaking rainwater into the tub, but that is a minor problem to fix, and the rest of the cover is still in pretty good shape at an age long beyond where previous covers were totally shot. When this one finally fails for real, I plan to go with another cover from Roberts.
This is a completely unsolictied testimonial for the benefit of anyone who may be shopping for a tub cover. I have no connection at all to Roberts Hot Tubs except as a very satisfied customer. They deserve this praise.
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No, I read what you wrote. You raised the spector of lawsuits and criminal charges over someone setting their hot tub higher than 104.
I said that people pretty much do

And that has what to do with this?

I see. Your friend died of a pre-existing heart condition and then the family blames the hot springs and sues. At least they didn't win. And how do we know the hot springs had anything to do with it? People with heart problems keel over and die the time. You even hear occasionally about a school kid dropping dead during gym class. . Should we ban gym class? How about saunas? How hot are they and how many people have died in them?

Yes, and we will. I'll just remember not to invite you.

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Since I won't be getting any awards, I wouldn't go anyway. Now, back into the killfile with your stupid ass.
Steve
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On Aug 24, 6:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

All this heating sounds wasteful? What's wrong with a quick shower then leave the couple/three inches of warm water in the tub to cool down to room/house temperature before draining it in order to keep at least that much energy within the structure. Since in this climate most months require some heating (around here very few if any homes have or need AC units). Most heating is by electricity. Yesterday (Aug 25th) was a nice clear bright 60 deg F. for example. It cooled down a bit overnight and today looks like about the same. Most of our electricity is produced by hydro power, with some oil burning backup in depths of winter. Just a thought!
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Nothing wrong wit it. You have to balance the savings in heat versus the energy used when it comes time to scrub the tub more frequently because of buildup of minerals or scum from the standing water.
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Criminal charges: ????????? Oh come on now ...............
Not a criminal charge necessarily! If you are in the USA (or any other part of the world given to law suits on almost anything the least bit out of the ordinary) possibly an action by an inurance company to recover damages i.e. death. Can you just see, say, a CNN headline "I'm afraid I fried my friend"! Quote: Joe whatshisname in Hot Water Springs, in some state or other, had tinkered with his hot tub to make it hotter than designed. Exceeding the US Underwriters Lab. temperature safety guidelines by several percentage points. He then invited over some friends, one of whom had an unknown heat allergy. Friend collapsed, was rushed to local hospital where despite ice packs and other treatment she expired. case goes to trial in .......... Settlements in cases such as these, if negligence, even unintentional or uninformed can be proven are normally in the several million dollar range etc. etc. The manufacturer of the hot tub originally named as co-defendant declined all responsibility because of the home-made modification to the heat control That has been accepted by the plaintiff. The sole defendant will now be the homeowner. In other words if you modify it don't tell anyone and hide the changes!
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Kill someone, then lie about it. Sounds like a plan to me.
Steve
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Go ahead, kill your wife.
As you said, limiting the temp to 104 is a SAFETY issue. Anybody who gives advice to override that is in serious legal trouble!
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I mentioned that, and got jumped all over. INFRINGEMENTS OF PERSONAL RIGHTS! and all that crap. People who don't read directions, think safety rules are for the other guy, yet want the biggest bottomfeeder scumsucker of a tort attorney they can find if they get hurt.
Besides that, if the doofus is too stupid to figure out how to defeat such a basic electronic device, I would doubt he could follow the directions or even know what the component looks like.
Steve
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