I'm in the process of making a DIY hot tub. It's more like a soaking
tub now, because it doesn't have any jets. I've found a source of cheap
jets, and would like to see if I can salvage a pump from some common
household / shop / automotive appliance. The jets are recommended to be
installed such that there are 4 jets per HP. So I'd like around a 2hp
It's fine if I have to use a few seperate pumps, each less than 2hp.
But I don't want to use 16 1/8hp pumps. I'd say 1/2hp is the minimum.
Also, it's fine if they are shaft-driven or pulley-driven, I can supply
The list I've made so far includes:
washing machine pump (probably too small)
pressure washer pump
coolant pump (auto)
lawn sprinkler pump
Any other suggestions? Something that I might find at a local salvage
What's wrong with regular jacuzzi pumps? They can be had new for $100 to
$150, and you don't have to mess around with belts and such. No doubt you
can fine them used. Plenty of folks would just as soon have you haul away
their old jacuzzi that folks lost interest in years ago. Then there's Ebay.
I'd say 1hp sounds like a lot for just four jets. I have two 1hp pumps for
mine, which has something like 30 jets, and I regret getting the second pump
option, as it's still far too strong, and has thrown the jets out of their
housings more than once.
A hot tub/spa/pool pump would just fit the bill. Keep an eye on freecycle
and craigslist for your area, and you might get a used one cheap or free.
They also show up frequently at my local metal recycling yard. Seals and
motor bearings can be replaced.
Personally, I never use the jets in my homemade tub. I'm usually after a
quiet, relaxing soak, not a noisy pounding.
After a fantastic back massage under a waterfall on clear creek in the grand
canyon a couple of weeks ago, that's what I really want to add to my tub.
Five minutes totally relaxed my back. It was way better than any jet I've
ever used. I imagine an 8-10 foot drop with all the pump output dropping out
of a foot wide chute would duplicate the effect.
I like the waterfall idea, I might give it a try. As long as it didn't
splash too much water out of the tub.
I just purchased a Hayward 1.5 HP above-ground pool pump on eBay. An
added benefit was that it has a built-in filter. I think it's more of a
strainer; not a sand filter (I'm trying to decide if I need that also).
I'm hoping that with that and an ionizer, I won't need much chemicals.
It's most likely a cartridge filter, and should do quite well, as that is
what most spas have. Don't bother with a sand filter. They aren't nearly
as effective as the cartridge type, and they're more of a pain to clean.
You'll still need chemicals. I use bromine, and it works well enough. It's
low maintenance and cheap.
The pump probably has a strainer to protect the pump from larger particles.
To properly maintain a spa, you should have a proper filter or change the
water very often. Ionizer? Do you mean ozonator?
Yes, the more I look, I think it's just a strainer (to protect the
impeller from leaves). Sorry about "ionizer" - I meant ozonator. I've
been looking for filters on eBay, and all I see are lots of replacement
cartridges (for store-bought Jacuzzi's) or very expensive sand / earth
filters (around $600).
I want the plastic housing that the cartridge filters go in. There have
to be cheap ones out there, because I've seen inflatable pools that
include the pool, pump, and filter, all for around $50. Can I just hook
a cartridge filter up to a pump, and submerse the filter in the hot tub
(no enclosure)? What is really in the "guts" of the filter housing
There's nothing too complex. On most models, the cartridge filter(s) are
enclosed in a skimmer, with a simple door and a tray to catch larger
objects. The filters themselves are sealed at one end, have threads on the
other, and simply screw into the pump intake pipe.
Since your using a larger pump, it's important to use a larger filter, or
you'll risk caving it in. Many above ground pool pumps also come with a
filter, so sizing it shouldn't be too hard.
The filters I've used are plumbed into the water line returning water from
the pump to the tub. They have generally been cartridge filters with a
replaceable pleated filter cartridge. Give up on Ebay and try looking at
pool and spa stores for ideas. Used units are probably available locally
cheaper than on Ebay. Again, try freecycle and craigslist.
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