Saturday, 25 June 2011

Hot Tub Moving

Moving house is a time when you may gather the possessions you want to move onto your new property and cull any that are not needed or wanted. But where in this process does your outdoor spa fit in ?

Some people decide to leave their garden hot tub at their old property, in order to add value and encourage a sale. This is common, as the hot tub value can extend the likeliness of a sale in the same way that a swimming pool would. It can also be used for bargaining power, informing the buyer that you want to take the hot tub, but then changing your mind and convincing the buyer to purchase, with the hot tub thrown in.

Others decide that their hot tub must travel with them to a new property. This is an increasingly popular decision, with hot tub moving services, such as ours, becoming cheaper and more convenient. If you search "moving hot tub" on YouTube, you will begin to realise that some people choosing to move their hot tub themselves are met with lots of problems and struggle intensively.....But there is a solution.....

Our hot tub moving service was one of the first in the UK, and with our experienced engineers who have moved thousands of tubs and the increasingly sophisticated equipment available to us, moving a hot tub has never been simpler. Why struggle ? when we can move your hot tub with ease, speed and at a convenient low price.

For a quote, contact us on the Hot Tub Helpline - 0845 366 1122 or you can e-mail us on

For pictures showing exemplar deliveries & hot tub moves see the pictures on our Facebook page -

Monday, 20 June 2011

Facebook / Twitter !

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Happy Hot Tubbing !

Waterlogged Hot Tub Covers

Its the most vulnerable part of your hot tub and most long-term spa users will know that it can be one of the first things to be damaged after warranty expiration. Despite steel reinforcement and double layered protection over the foam inserts, most spa covers start to feel waterlogged or the foam physically damaged after about two to three years of ownership.

So we all know that its not worth having a hot tub if you cannot enjoy it, but if you take care of your spa cover from the offset, you can ensure it will not become damaged and should last much longer. The first thing to ensure is that you have an easy method of removing the cover for spa use, without it being dragged along the floor. The best method to stop this is a cover lifter arm, which attaches the hot tub and lifts the cover back to be stored on one side of the spa, this prevents the cover ever touching the ground and also adds to ease of removal.

The other issue with spa covers is damage through the foam protection polythene, which is used to prevent moisture entering the high-density foam. Once a split in the polythene has occurred, moisture begins to get into the foam and this is the reason for a heavy-waterlogged cover. This can also occur through broken zips on the seam, which are a tight fit. We recommend to never remove the foam inserts, as zip problems can mean your spa cover becomes faulty.

Another common issue with hot tub covers is where lock-down storm straps pull off in heavy wind. This is caused by stitching weakening gradually over the spas lifetime due to exposure to the elements. Even though lock-down straps are sold as heavy duty wind prevention, these should not be relied upon and we recommend placing something heavy like a garden chair upon the hot tub cover to preventing it blowing off, rather than relying on weak lock-down straps that could easily rip off once the cover catches the win.

And our last tip is....replace your spa cover before it becomes a huge hassle. Not only does a broken or waterlogged cover result in the loss of spa heat, it can also become so heavy that its removal becomes a draining and long-winded process. The best way to dispose of an old spa cover is to use a Stanley knife to cut the cover up and the take it to your local recycling center.

Remember.....replace your cover NOW ! Whilst you still can !

Happy Hot Tubbing !

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hot Tub Pump Humming ?

Its another issue we come across on a regular basis with spas. The first issue is a spa pump that hums and sounds like its working, but without any water actually coming through the water jets. The other issue is a pump "hum" becoming increasingly loud and to the point where it can be heard by neighbours.

The first issue, where a pump can be heard but not felt through the jets, is caused by an air lock in the hot tub. This usually comes about after a drain & re-fill, which allows little air pockets to emerge in the pipework. These air pockets then prevent the pump from pushing water through and can cause it to burn out. One method to clear the air is to turn the pump on and off repeatedly, slowly pressuring the air out through the jets, whilst this method is effective sometimes, it can also harm the motor, so we recommend not continually doing this if it didn't work the first few times. The second method to clear the air pockets, is to release air, either on a pump air release valve or by simply unscrewing the pump union until all the air is out and water starts to come out. These methods will clear airlocks and you will see air bubbles coming out of the water jets as it is pushed out.

The second issue, an increasing pump humming noise over time is less easy to diagnose and resolve, but some common issues have been found. The increasing loudness of a spa pump usually develops over a period of time, as the spa has settled in its position, the vibration of the pump motor gradually moves and loosens certain parts of the spa. The best way to diagnose a vibration issue is to remove all panels and listen carefully to the noise source, usually it can be certain screws, bolts or seals, which have slowly loosened over the hot tubs lifetime. Most spas have vibration pads underneath each pump to help reduce this at first, but again, these can become loose to the pump and be causing the base to vibrate. The best way to resolve this issue is to feel for vibration and tighten any screws or bolts, which you can see are moving. This humming noise can sometimes be due to an ineffective spa pump motor which is damaged, so ensure the condition of the pump is OK.

Happy Hot Tubbing !

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Chlorine vs. Bromine

The two most popular hot tub sainitisers (disinfectants) are chlorine and bromine, with chlorine being the most popular. But with many people judging chlorine as harsh, bromine, with its "softer" touch on the skin, meets the demands of spa uses that disapprove of chlorine.

Chlorine is by far the most popular sanitiser among hot tub and pool users worldwide. Chlorine was historically unrivaled until the growing popularity of bromine in the 1980's, due its fast-acting effectiveness in disinfecting spas and pools. It also has the added benefit of being cheaper Per KG than bromine, suiting smaller budgets. However despite effectiveness in sanitation and cost, chlorine has been labelled by many as "harsh" on the skin, eyes and lungs. This mainly comes down to association with "eye sting" and that sharp smell at public pools. The reason for this is the chlorine when it combines with organic compounds in spa water, so, in more simple terms, the dirtier the pool or spa, the more the chlorine will smell, hence the odour at public pools.

Bromine first became popular with pool and spa users in the 1980's, as scientists saw it as a more effective water disinfectant. The clear benefit was that, when bromine combined with organic compounds, the bromamines, unlike chlorine, helped to continually sanitise the water rather than cause odour. Many see bromine as "softer on the skin", but in my personal opinion, i believe this is more down to a distaste to chlorine, rather than bromine actually being less harsh. However, like all developments, issues with this bromine became clearer over time. At first, bromine was so stable, that chlorine had to be added to it, to speed up its sanitation of water. Even though developments have speeded up bromine sanitation, it cannot keep up with the Usain Bolt of chemicals, which is chlorine. Some strains of algae, such as black fungi, have been resistant to bromine, but affected by chlorine, limiting the effectiveness of bromine further.

In my opinion, chlorine is the safest and most effective hot tub sanitiser. But with bromine constantly being adapted and becoming increasingly effective, Its inevitable that the contest will go on. With more recent "non-chlorine" systems also being developed, such as AquaGarde, new competitors will join the race to be the top disinfectant.

Happy Hot Tubbing !

Hot Tub Flow Problems

As mentioned in the last post, flow problems are one of the most
common issues with portable spas. Most people panic when they see that a safety system such as "LF - Low Flow" is flashing on their spa touch pad screen, yet usually flow issues are easily resolvable.

The best way to understand flow is to, firstly, understand the flow cycle of spa water. The water which is heated by the spa, is firstly taken in through the filters then passed through
the heater element, which is then pumped back through the spa water jets. If the sensors on the spa heater are not getting sufficient water, it will send a signal through the control board to cut off the heater and present a safety message such as "LF" or "FLO", these are simple measures to prevent the heater burning out.

So, the main cause of flow problems in hot tubs is dirty, old, or clogged filter cartridges (As pictured, top right). As the water cannot pass through the filter cartridge quick enough to allow sufficient water in the heater, flow protection modes are initiated. So, firstly, ensure your filters are clean, use your garden hose to see how easily water can be passed through the filter media, if the media is over-clogged, new replacement filters may be required. After cleaning or replacing your filters, turn the spa off and on again, running it with NO filters for a maximum of 5 minutes, this will allow the flow protection mode to be cleared and identify the filters as the issue. Then simply place your filters back in the spa and all should be back to normal.

In some cases, customers have experienced flow problems even with squeaky clean or brand new filters. This has been put down to sensor issues. In extreme cases, scale has actually layered the sensors, preventing an accurate reading and enforcing them to signal flow error messages. This problem is easily resolved by removing the heater, cleaning it thoroughly and ensuring PH levels are correct in the future, as well as using "No Scale" to break up any other existing scale in spa water.

In very rare cases, the control system has been the result of flow issues, with a faulty PCB board incorrectly reading signals from the sensors and being unable to clear any error messages, such as "Low Flow". This however is rare and any flow issues are usually simple to address and resolve. If a spa repair company simply claims, within 5 minutes, that a PCB board is the result of flow issues, you can ensure they have not checked thoroughly enough.

At Hot Tub Care Ltd. we receive calls from customers regarding flow problems on a regular basis. Our two-step policy is Step 1, tell the customer to check/test their filters and any potential blockages in the filter housing (e.g. leaves). If this has no luck. Step 2, organise an engineer to come and resolve the problem. We NEVER book an engineer at a customers' cost for flow problems before we can confirm it is nothing simple.

If you are still experiencing flow-problems after "Step 1". Feel free to contact us on
0845 366 1122. or Visit our website

Happy Hot Tubbing !

Hot Tub not heating ?

Whether you have a Balboa, Gecko or any other brand of control system, a spa, which is not heating can be diagnosed easily.

Step 1. Are there any errors ? Check the control pad of your spa to ensure it is set to whichever mode you prefer (usually STD, Standard, or ECN Economy), if a mode such as SLP is flashing on screen, the temperature will be kept at the lowest possible temperature before the spa freezes, therefore the heater will not appear to be working. Check for error messages such as LF or FLO, these are issues with the flow of spa water getting to the heater and this as a safety feature, most spas will cut off the heater, when insufficient water is flowing through it. To overcome flow issues, check your spa filters are clean and nothing is blocking the pipework within the filter housing. To overcome a flow issues, remove the spa filters, turn the hot tub off, then turn it back on again and run without filters, to diagnose the issue, if the spa runs fine without filters for 5 minutes, it is a problem with your filters, if it doesn't.....

Step 2. If all the above steps are OK and the spa is still not heating, it could now be an issues either with the control board not getting power to the heater element (rare) or the heater element itself damaged by scale and not operating (more likely). The best way to test a heater element is using an electrical tester. Turn off and remove all power to the spa, then remove the heater, you can then test hot tub heating elements for integrity, use an ohm meter on its lowest setting. With the meter's test leads, measure the resistance between the two terminals. The acceptable resistance range for heaters used in most hot tubs is between 9 - 12 ohms (a few may be as high as 25 ohms, depending upon kilowatt rating).A reading which is too low indicates a bad unit: short circuit. A very high (or infinite) reading indicates a bad unit: open circuit or limited conductivity. You will see either a burnt out element or scale damage which is limiting the heaters capability.

Step 3. If, after checking for any control errors, and inspecting the heater element, the error is still not visible, it is more than likely that it is a control board issue. By removing the faceplate to the control board you will see the layout on the back, you can then check the power source to the heater and see if any issues are present on the board itself.

These steps are more than likely to diagnose heater issues on a portable hot tub.
For any other queries, questions or advice, Contact us on (+44) 0845 336 1122 or follow us on twitter/facebook. @HappyHotTubs.

Happy Hot Tubbin' !