You guys are both crazy. My hot tub has a 240 volt heater that, when
running, draws as much as an oven broiler. There is a good reason why
you need a dedicated 50 amp 240 volt circuit for a hot tub. On mine,
the heater runs for 2 one hour periods every 24 hours during filtering
whether I use the tub or not. That also involves the running of a 2 hp
pump motor. Whenever the heater runs, that pump is on. These items
also both run whenever they are needed to maintain the set
temperature. It's a quite significant power draw.
As I have pointed out, it easily equates to $35-40 a month averaged
over a year in New England. Now that rates are higher, it's probably
more than that.
That's the reality.
On Tue, 05 May 2009 15:23:09 GMT, in alt.home.repair, "olddog"
Power is pretty cheap here to be sure, for the past few months I've been
paying about 9 cents per kWh. It's varied between 7 and 8.
Indeed. I don't know of a tracking meter suitable for 240V 50A, other than
the kind the utilities use. I'm not sure where to get one of those without
breaking the bank.
I'd guess the salesman was playing his pitch on the idea that 120V is "low
power" and 240V is "high power" in the minds of lay consumers. You and I
Maybe you had a tub with poor insulation? When I was looking at tubs, I saw
a wide variance in insulation quality. One (cheaper, but no less expensive)
brand was completely without insulation, their pitch was that the empty
space under the tub would catch the waste heat from the motors to help keep
the water warm. If I'd bought that line I guess I'd be paying a lot more to
keep my tub hot all winter. I decided to pay a little more up front for a
Not by much. Spa ozonators run between 10 and 50 watts, I think mine is
30W. It's only on when the main pump runs, which is when it's heating or
doing a filtration cycle.
I would also agree that gas is the way to go, if you have a choice.
Portable plug-and-play spas like mine are inevitably self-contained and all
electric. If you already had a gas heater, a place to house it, ready
access to gas, a certainty that you'll never move the tub, and a willingness
to hack into the tub's plumbing and electrics, then the conversion would be
worthwhile. I have none of those things, so electric it is.
Due to Usenet spam, emailed replies must pass an intelligence test: if
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I wouldn't convert one of those portable hot tubs. I'd have a gas one made
or buy one of those ready made gas ht. I was fortunate to find mine already
But I wouldn't own a stand alone ht anyway. Too much trouble keeping a small
tub of water clean. (for everyone who says "mine's easy" you don't know what
easy is) The reason mine is easy to care for is it's attached to the pool's
Baker Hydro sand filter. If you've ever owned a sand filter you'd probably
never use any other type. Virtually maintenance free other than occasional
backwashing. I was lucky getting this setup.
Gee, like taking the paper cartridge filter out of my spa every couple
months and rinsing it with a hose when I change the water isn't easy?
Pool filters aren't exactly maintenance free either. The sand or
diatamacous ones have to be pressure monitored, then manually
backwashed, replenished, etc.
But then you think a coffee maker is one of the large users of energy
in a house and that 240V has some inherrent big energy savings
advantage compared to 120V too.
I just joined the hot-tub crowd last October. bought a $600 tub off
Craigslist- replaced a pump [$200] and a heating element [$30].
I did the wrestling & electrical work. You'll need a 50-60 amp 220v
GFCI box installed. [I agree with the olddog that you're nuts to try
110] I also added some insulation to my 6-8 yr old Thermospa.
I've got about $1000 invested in the tub itself. Another couple
hundred in wiring and spa breaker- and another couple hundred in test
kit & chemicals.
The electrical use might be $30 a month. I've been tempted to buy a
separate meter, but haven't yet. I keep it at 101degress 24/7.
I use it every day. My wife might join me once a week. Friends come
over use it once a month or so. We've had a pool for 20 yrs. From
Oct-May this hot tub has gotten more use than the pool did in any 24
How about a forum where you can read till your eyes fall out-
Check out both the Hot tub side- and the chemistry side.
I'm happy with mine- but I can certainly see the folks who recommend
'wet testing' any tub, regardless of brand or model.
I was amazed at how simple they are. They can leak. silicone cures
that. Pumps die. They are pretty cheap. Heaters die- they are even
cheaper. Electronic panels can fail- but they aren't all that much
on some of the simpler tubs. I just replaced a jet on my old
Thermospa-- $15. [the simpler ones are $5]
Covers fail & they can cost $4-500.
My instinct was to think the ones encased in foam were the best
insulated. Thank goodness I didn't go that way- mine is insulated
with 2" of rigid polystyrene on the walls, bubble foil on the bottom,
and a decent 3" cover. Our power went out for 5 days last Dec & the
temp dropped to the teens, but the water never came close to
I *disagree* with olddog on the amount of work. I test mine every
couple of days now. [I did it daily for 4 months] It has never
gotten out of hand. I use Chlorine with every use, shock weekly &
I change my filter once a month [ I rotate through 3 filters], and
have changed the water once.
Less work than the pool- no back flushing, no vacuuming, no skimming &
no liner to puncture.
For the record, an in-ground pool is very little work these days. There
is no back-flushing, no vacuuming, no skimming, and no liner to puncture.
-Use a 4-cartridge filter. You only have to clean it once a year.
-Use a high end self-contained pool cleaner (no hoses) rather than one
of the pressure or suction side cleaners that depend on the main pump
(or have their own pump). This makes a huge difference in keeping the
-The skimmer is built in.
-Concrete pools have no liner.
-Chlorination is via a tablet feeder or a chlorine generator.
The biggest hassle with a pool for me is that the chlorinator tablets
have so much cyanuric acid as a stabilizer that the cyanuric acid level
goes up to too high a level rendering the chlorine ineffective. Liquid
chlorine is more of a hassle, but it doesn't have this nasty side-effect.
I assume that you are indeed talking about a redwood, rather than
fiberglass, tub. If so, be aware that is critical to keep the water
chemistry within the specified range. This is particularly true with
chlorine. If the chlorine in a wood tub goes too high, it destroys the
cell structure of the wood in contact with the water. The wood surface
then gets a "fuzz" on it that is very difficult to remove.
You cannot do a chlorine shock treatment on a wood tub for this
I owned a redwood tub when I lived in San Diego in the early 1980s and
will never own one again.
i have a bengal river spa that says its for 6 but 4 is more realistic. i've
had it for 8 years now and no problems out of warranty
it circulates 24/7 so water maintenance is not that bad. i also have it set
under a second floor deck so its pretty much covered all the time. this
manufactuer states it's the best insulated and my guess is it costs about
$10 maybe $15 a month on 220v.
I just bought a 4 person hot tub @
I got it installed pretty easy. It's been a blast all summer long. Not
much maintenance required due to the fact that it has ozone sterilization.
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