Water Care & Chemicals – FAQs

Water Care
Q:
What is the proper level for Bromine or Chlorine in a hot tub?  Bromine is not recommended for use in wood hot tubs, always refer to the chemical care instructions provided with new wood tub purchases.
A: Bromine should be 5 ppm, (parts per million) and Chlorine should be 3 ppm, (parts per million)

Q: What is the correct pH range for hot tubs?
A: pH level should be between 7.2 – 7.8 ppm

Q: What is the ideal range for Alkalinity?
A: Alkalinity should be between 100 – 150 ppm

Q: Can I switch from a Chlorine disinfectant to a Bromine sanitizer?
A: Yes. You can switch from chlorine to bromine without draining your hot tub or spa. You can call, fax or email Roberts Hot Tubs and we’d be happy to explain the process to you. You can also switch from Bromine to chlorine but the process is a little more intricate. For more details, please give us a call or send us an email.  Our contact information is listed below.

Q: How accurate are Test Strips?
A: Test Strips are more than adequate for your private or residential hot tubs, spas or pools.  It is important to remember that all test strips are not created equal, some are much better than others.  For accuracy, strip longevity and results you can count on, purchase quality brand name test strips by manufacturers such as Leisure Time, AquaChek or Taylor.

Q: Should Bromine be stabilized in hot tubs, spas and pools?
A: No. Bromine cannot be stabilized.

Q: How often should a hot tub be drained?
A: Most hot tubs require the water to be changed every 60 – 90 days.  This number of days vary based on how often you use your hot tub and how well you maintain, balance and sanitize your water.

Q: Can I use a non-chlorine pool shock product in my hot tub?
A: A non-chlorine spa shock is buffered as to not affect the ph or total alkalinity.  The non-chlorine pool shock will lower the pH and alkalinity if used.  DO NOT mix chlorine and bromine together.

Q: When I used pH Balance by Leisure Time, my hot tub water became cloudy. Why?
A: pH Balance reacts to reduce calcium hardness.  The calcium cloud will be filtered out and the filter should be cleaned.  Ideally, pH Balance should be used when calcium hardness is less than 150ppm.

Q: If I have an Ozonator, do I still need a bromine or chlorine sanitizer?
A: Yes!  Ozonators are extremely effective oxidizers, but you still need a chlorine residual of 1-2 ppm or a bromine residual of 3-5 ppm for sanitizing purposes.  The good news is that your Ozonator makes chlorine and bromine last longer, so you won’t have to add nearly as many chemicals as you have in the past.

Q: I start coughing whenever I take off the insulating cover off my hot tub. What might cause this?
A: Sanitation and disinfectant fumes are the most likely culprits. If the residual of the sanitizing disinfectant is high, fumes will accumulate under the cover.  Inhaling these fumes could easily induce coughing or sneezing.  Fumes can also accumulate if you don’t shock your hot tub on a regular basis. We recommend you use Renew by Leisure Time or Sea-Klear Chlorine-Free Shock.  Whenever you add any chemical to your hot tub water, it is recommended that you leave the spa cover open for a minimum of 20-30 minutes to allow any gas to escape.

Q: Which sanitizer is better, Chlorine or Bromine?
A: They both have their pluses and minuses, but it really boils down to your own personal preference. Stabilized Chlorine has a stronger odor, but it is a very effective sanitizer. Chlorine also causes colors to fade, while Bromine does not.  Bromine causes less eye, skin and nose irritation and is an effective sanitizer when properly administered in a combined two-part form.  It’s really a toss-up that depends on each soalers personal preferences.

Q: How often should I shock my hot tub or spa water?
A: In a perfect world, a hot tub should be shocked after each use. Once shocked, wait several hours before retesting because it takes at least that long for anything that you have added to the water to properly mix with all of the water in your hot tub. We recommend a minimum of waiting 3-4 hours after shocking before retesting.

Q: Is it OK to add fragrances or scents to my hot tub water?
A: Yes, but make sure the fragrance or scented product is water based.  Oil based products can leave your water and your skin looking oily and greasy.  Oil based products will also shorten the life of your hot tub equipment and increase equipment maintenance.

Q:  How often should I clean my filters?
A: Pleated Hot tub filters should be thoroughly rinsed at least once a week.  Do not rinse or clean with high powered pressure washers as they can damage the filter.  To clean your filter properly, it must be submersed in a filter cleaning solution and then rinsed off thoroughly with clean water before putting it back into your hot tub or spa.

Q:  Why does foam accumulate on the surface and around the edges of my hot tub?
A:  The two main culprits responsible for foaming on the surface & around the edges of hot tubs and spas are:

  1. Bacteria – Bacteria is nothing to mess around with and you should discontinue use of your hot tub or spa immediately. The best course of action is to call in a hot tub professional or at the very least, discuss the situation in detail with your local hot tub professional.
  2. Residual Laundry Soaps & Body Oils – A good quality hot tub Defoamer should eliminate foaming caused by excess laundry soap or detergent. Many of our customers have significantly reduced or completely eliminated their foaming problems by using a quality product called Foam Out by Rendezvous.

Filter & Filter Cartridge FAQs

FAQs20Q.  When should a cartridge filter be acid washed?

A.  Acid washing is perhaps the biggest single factor leading to premature filter cartridge failure! For years, service technicians and homeowners have acid washed D.E. grids. However, cartridge elements do not have the protective D.E. powder coating that grids have and can be permanently damaged by the acid.

As a rule of thumb, acid wash only when required, if at all, and never without thoroughly cleaning the element with a cartridge degreaser first.   Here’s a simple test to determine if acid washing is required; After thoroughly cleaning the cartridge with a degreasing agent, flush the cartridge with a garden hose to remove all traces of soap, etc.

Now apply several drops of acid directly to a small area of the filter media. If bubbling occurs, this indicates a build-up of calcium or minerals, and you should proceed with a mild acid soak. If no bubbling is observed, your cartridge most likely does not require acid washing.

Q.  Is there an easy way to know when to clean a cartridge filter?

A.  Cartridge filters work on the clarification process. They utilize the debris they collect as an aid to improve filtration. As a result, cleaning too often does not allow the filter to work at optimum filtration efficiency, while not cleaning often enough will shorten the life of a cartridge element.

Filter Cleaning Tip – When you replace the element with a new one, note the start-up pressure on the tank gauge. This reading is the system’s total pressure in “pounds per square inch” or psi.

Mark this point with a drop of fingernail polish or a grease pen. Then add 8 pounds to the reading and place another dot. You now have the normal operating pressure for your cartridge in psid or pounds per square inch differential. Allow the filter to operate between these two points and clean whenever the gauge reaches the higher pressure mark.

Q.  Some filter cartridges have one hard end cap and one soft end cap. Why is this?

A.  When cartridge manufacturers design a new filter element, several factors must be considered. One of the most critical is the end cap hardness. To determine the exact degree of shore hardness required, we first must look at the element sealing points.

Sealing points both position the element and prevent water by-pass. Historically, single cartridge systems all used cartridges with inside i.d. friction seals with hard end caps. This design provided both strength and pleat support. However, as filters became more sophisticated, so did end cap design.

Sta-Rite’s Posi-Flow element, for example, uses a soft vinyl bottom to both seal the inside and outside edges and lock the cartridge into the filter base, while the top end cap is a hard compound for cartridge strength and integrity.

Hayward’s Star Clear filter uses hard end caps for integrity with a soft gasket to allow a knife edge top seal. Both the new American Predator and Jacuzzi CFR designs rely on a soft top and bottom to achieve an o-ring seal.

These end cap configurations are excellent designs. Only the compounds change to meet the manufacturers’ specifications. This is just one of many reasons why Unicel builds its replacement filter cartridges to OEM design specifications and why Unicel is #1 in filter quality and reliability.

Q.  I saw a new filter cartridge made with yellow material. What kind of filter is this and why are Unicel filter cartridges white?

A.  Unicel and virtually every brand name company in the filter business uses a spunbonded, 100% polyester material called “Reemay” as their filter medium. Reemay, which has FDA compliance, is approved for milk filtration and is white to indicate purity.

Research shows no added benefit for using a yellow filter cartridge other than being a different color than everyone else. The filter cartridge you mentioned uses a less expensive version of the same spunbonded polyester material that other manufacturers use, but it’s yellow instead of white.

Some low-end manufacturers are utilizing this material to reduce costs; however, there is a significant difference in performance.

Q.  How can I tell when a cartridge filter element needs to be replaced?

A.  With no moving parts or electrical switches to fail, cartridge elements do not have a defined termination point. Instead the fine interstices of the media matrix gradually plug up over time.

In a typical hot tub or spa, the culprit that plugs the media is perspiration and body oils combined with soaps, chemicals and very fine particulate.  Assuming the filter has been properly maintained and correctly sized to the pump, determining when the cartridge is exhausted depends primarily on three factors:

1. Shorter cycle time between cleanings
2. Low water flow rate and high differential pressure
3. Catastrophic failure such as a tear in the media or center core collapse

All three are dependent upon proper spa water chemistry and following a routine maintenance schedule. Tub owners should be reminded that filter elements are plastic and should be handled and maintained accordingly.

All of the following will help maximize the life & performance of a filter cartridge:

• Clean the elements per cleaning instructions.
• Never use a stiff brush to scrub the media.
• Maintain spa water chemistry in proper balance.
• Do not allow the differential pressure to go over 8 psi between cleanings.
• Alternate two sets of cartridges when cleaning.

Q.  Sharp Pleat Folds vs. Rounded Pleats; Is There Really a Difference?

A.  Absolutely! One of the first things a filter expert will look for when examining a hot tub or spa element is the pleat fold or “knuckle radius” of the pleat. Why is this important?

If you look carefully, you will notice that some manufacturers’ pleats are very sharp while others are rounded and even appear puffy. With Reemay, or other spunbonded polyester medias, it is much easier to make a rounded fold than a sharp pleat.

Moreover, a rounded fold can mask the filter manufacturer’s inability to make straight pleats or maintain proper pleat spacing.  Unicel takes great care to make sharp pleat folds for the following reasons:

• Ease of Cleaning – Sharp folds increase the spacing between pleats making it easier to flush out loose debris.

Eliminates Bridging – Allows particles to get down into the pleat instead of laying across the top of two or more pleats. This assures maximum dirt holding.

• Full Utilization of the Pleat Surface – Allows debris to build up from the inside out, critical to obtaining the maximum cycle life between cleanings.

• Maximizes Flow, Minimizes Pressure Loss – by decreasing the surface contact between the inner pleat knuckle and center tube.

* The above pleat information pertains to spunbonded polyester filters. Paper based
filters were not considered for this article.

Q.  Why Do Some Filter Cartridges Use Support Bands, but Not Others?

A.  Support bands are almost exclusively used on pool filter cartridges to help prevent pleat flutter during the filtration cycle. The water flow through spa filters is under much less pressure and support bands would do more harm than good on hot tub and spa filter cartridges.

Q.  What is the filter cartridge cleaning procedure on a chlorine or bromine sanitized hot tub or spa?

Answer:

1. Remove the cartridge from the filter housing following the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Use a garden hose with a straight flow nozzle to wash down the filter element. Work from the top down, holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle, and wash all the pleats with emphasis between pleats.
3. Rinse until all dirt and debris is gone.
4. For all spa cartridges and elements used in swimming pools where perspiration, suntan lotions, and other oils are present, soak the element for at least one hour (over night is more effective) in (1) a commercial filter cleaner; or (2) one cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) to five gallons water; or (3) once cup dishwasher detergent to five gallons of water.
5. Rinse the cartridge again to remove oils and cleaning solution.
6. If the filter has a coating of algae, calcium carbonate (residue from calcium hypochlorite), iron, or other minerals, soak the cartridge in a solution of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water until all bubbling stops. WARNING: Failure to remove all oils and cleaning solution before acid soaking will result in a permanent restriction of water flow and cause premature cartridge failure.
7. Rinse the cartridge clean an reassemble housing.

*WARNING – Always wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when using acid or chlorine. Do not add water to acid. Do not mix chlorine and acid.

Please Note – Unicel does not recommend the use of diatomaceous earth (DE) with cartridge filters. DE particles can become trapped in the body of the filter and shorten cartridge life. If desired, a cellulose fiber/synthetic DE can be used in moderation.

Wood Hot Tub FAQs

Q.  What are the Advantages of a Wood Hot Tub vs. an Acrylic Spa?

A.  Although acrylic spas are by far more prevalent today than wooden hot tubs, it was the wooden hot tub that began the experience of social bathing in America. Whether to purchase an acrylic spa or a wooden hot tub depends mostly on personal preference and each individual situation.

There are however many reasons for choosing a wooden tub over a plastic spa.
Because they are assembled on site, a wooden hot tub can be carried through any doorway, down any stairs or through any other narrow access.  With a spa, you have a large one-piece vessel which can be unwieldy or impossible to move into its final location.

The vertical walls and greater depth of the wooden tub surround the bather with more water than would be found in a spa, so there is a greater effect of buoyancy in the hot tub. In addition, there is typically much more leg room since you can stretch out under the bench, and taller bathers are more comfortably accommodated.

The overall size of the hot tub, depth and diameter, can be customized to fit anything you can imagine. The exact height of the bench, and the location that the jets are installed are exactly as you like.

Because of a wooden hot tub’s greater depth, a smaller diameter hot tub will seat the same number of people as a larger plastic spa. For example, a 5′ round hot tub will seat as many people as a 7′ square spa.

And a smaller surface area means less heating expense.  Then there’s the natural rustic look of a traditional wooden hot tub. From an aesthetic point of view, nothing matches the appearance of a wooden tub.

Q.  How Do Roberts Hot Tubs Differ from Other Wood Hot Tubs?

A.  Thickness of Wood – Roberts Hot Tubs Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar hot tubs have a finished thickness of 1-3/4″. While all hot tubs are constructed of what’s commonly called 2×6, other hot tubs frequently have a finished thickness up to 1/2″ thinner. Thicker wood provides more stability, less warping, more insulating value and a longer life.

Round vs. Flat Bands – Roberts Hot Tubs use bands made of 1/2″ cold rolled circular steel with a tinsel strength of 10,000 pounds. The bands are polyethylene coated and held together with solid steel lugs and stainless steel nuts to eliminate corrosion.

Flat bands, though quite attractive, greatly shorten the life of a hot tub. Water accumulating under a flat band can cause pockets of dry rot in as little as five years.

Bench Design – The unique bench design of Roberts Hot Tubs is completely supported from the side of the hot tub. Because the bench has no legs you can stretch out in comfort without the possibility of stubbing your toes or entangling your feet. The bench can be installed at the height of your choosing, or split into multiple heights to accommodate different people.

Quality & Power of Equipment – Roberts Hot Tubs uses “pool grade” equipment rather than under-powered or discontinued spa equipment.

Thicker & Better Insulated Covers – Roberts Hot Tubs was the first to design and implement the use of a 6″ thick tapered insulating cover with an insulating seal along the entire hinge.

These covers, that come with every complete hot tub system, have an insulation value of R-21 and provide up to 60% more insulation value than the “normal” spa cover.

Precision Manufacturing Process Makes for Easy Assembly – Technological advances in computer aided milling makes Roberts Hot Tubs easy to assemble. Proprietary manufacturing equipment produces allowable tolerances of less than 3/1000 of an inch.

This insurers that there’s no need to shave or alter the finished staves. It also eliminates searching through stacks of uneven staves trying to find one with the right specs so that you can finish assembling the hot tub.

Tub Bottoms – Our tub bottoms are thicker than most standard hot tubs which allows for better insulation, less chance of warping and prolongs the life of your hot tub. In addition, we computer stamp the exact placement of each stave on the bottom of the tub so you’ll get a perfect fit every time.

Tongue & Groove Staves, Not Ball/Socket or Flat Sided – Roberts Hot Tubs uses tongue and groove on the edge of our staves, while many tub manufacturers use cheaper and less precise methods of holding their staves in place.

It takes more time, patience and skill based on the numerous diameters of tubs requiring different angles on the sides of the staves, but it allows for better surface contact, a smoother finish and easier assembly. As an added benefit, the staves are self aligning and eliminates staves from splintering due to thin edges.

Strong Chine Joists – Roberts Hot Tubs sit on strong 4″ x 6″ chine joists rather than standard 4″ x 4″ chine joists. It would cost less to use 4 x 4’s, but the bottom edge of the tub would be so close to the ground that it could easily collect dirt and debris that could prematurely promote dry rot.

4″ x 6″ chine joists lift the tub high enough to allow for optimum air circulation and gives the tub additional ground clearance. The additional height also allows enough room to install a drain fitting in the floor so that when you do need to drain your tub, all of the water will drain out.

The bottoms of Roberts Hot Tubs are so thick that only 3 chine joists are required on tubs up to 6′ in diameter for proper support. Using 3 chine joists instead of the normal 4 or 5 makes installing and leveling your tub easier and faster.

Q. What are the Therapeutic Benefits of Hot Tubs?

A. Hot Water Hydrotherapy provides both physical and mental benefits for a wide range of aliments, injuries and good health in general. Hot Water Hydrotherapy is best described as the medicinal use of hot water for positive health benefits.

These health benefits come from the mechanical and thermal effects of water interacting with the body. Soaking in a hot tub improves circulation, and when properly equipped, can provide a powerful and soothing massaging effect on sore muscles and aching joints.

Stress is often the underlying factor of many ailments and a good long soak in a hot tub can do wonders for your mental and physical well being.

Unlike the limitations of plastic and acrylic spas, you can personalize the jets in a wood hot tub anywhere you want. We can concentrate the installation of the powerful jets to better suit your personal needs.

Whether it’s your legs and feet, your back or your neck and shoulders, you have the option of focusing on specific areas of your body or your entire body in general.

Q. Why is the Quality or Grade of Hot Tub Wood So Important?

A. Unlike plastic spas, the requirements necessary to build a quality long lasting wood hot tub are more extensive and much more stringent. Plastic is plastic, but each species of wood is different and they each have a unique set of qualities that may or may not make them good candidates for hot tub construction.

The type, grade and quality of the wood plays an important role in the life expectancy, beauty and maintenance of a wooden hot tub as well as your overall hot tub experience.

One of the most desirable and sought after qualities of timber for hot tubs is a clear, heart, vertical grain, but that’s just one of many properties that a timber species must possess to even be considered for use in high quality wooden hot tubs.

Natural resistance to decay is another top concern when choosing a species of wood to use for a hot tub. Different cuts from the same wood species, or even the same tree, can have vastly different rot resistance qualities.

The ability of the wood to properly swell is order to maintain water tightness is also an important consideration. The proper wood must also have an agreeable grain pattern to eliminate any possibility of warping, pealing, de-laminating or splintering. Needless to say, knots are not welcome and must be completely avoided.

Q. Does the Thickness of the Wood Make a Difference?

A. Absolutely! While other manufacturers finished thickness is as thin as 1″ – 1-1/4″, our wooden cedar hot tubs are a full 1-3/4″ thick. The extra thickness adds a much greater insulation value and over time there is much less proneness to warping and more importantly, dry rot. The thicker the wood, the longer the life span of the wooden hot tub.

Q. Are Wood Hot Tubs Difficult to Clean & Maintain?

A. Absolutely not ! This is another common misconception about wood hot tubs. In fact, unlike plastic spas, wooden hot tubs don’t crack, chip, blister, bubble, fade or stain. To clean a hot tub all one has do is drain the water and rinse it out.

If necessary or desired they can be gently scrubbed with a soft brush and a mild bleach/water solution . Also unlike a spa, wherein 8 to 10 inches of water remains, when you drain a wood hot tub all the water drains out.

Most people leave the outside of a wooden tub natural bare wood. As with any type of wood, over time it will naturally gray from the elements. If you choose to put a finish on the outside of the hot tub, the directions for that finish will need to be followed carefully and most likely reapplied annually.

Q. How Much Does it Cost to Operate a Wood Hot Tub?

A. The cost of operating a wood hot tub varies widely depending on the size of the tub, the climate, the configuration and equipment of the installation and the price of gas or electricity in your area.

What we can tell you is that heat rises and over 80% of hot tub heat loss takes place on the top. Wood hot tubs may hold more water than a spa, but due to the fact that a comparable sized wood hot tub has a smaller surface area than a plastic spa, they generally cost about the same to operate as a plastic spa.

To help reduce the heat loss and heat costs, we’ve developed a 6″ to 4″ tapered, fully insulating hot tub and spa cover with an R value in excess of R-22. We include this with all our complete hot tub systems and it reduces heat loss from the top of the hot tub by as much as 50% compared to the average insulated spa cover on the market today.

Q. Should I Get a Gas or Electric Heater?

A. There are generally two things to consider when deciding between gas or electric heat. The speed at which the water will heat, and the cost to heat the water. The smallest gas heater (100k BTU’s) heats more than twice as fast as the largest electric heater (11kW).

In general, this will only be noticed when you refill the tub with cold water, however, with the smaller electric heater (5.5kW) the system may need to operate for a longer than normal period of time each day to maintain temperature.

The cost to operate can vary widely as gas and electric rates greatly vary in different parts of the country. Typically though, natural gas will be much cheaper than electricity. Heating with propane tends to run about the same as with electricity.

You can roughly figure a cost comparison based on your power bill. In comparing a 100k BTU natural gas heater (82% efficient) with an 11kW electric heater (100% efficient), you’ll want to compare a “Therm” of gas (generally how natural gas is billed) with 24Kwh of electricity (1 therm natural gas = 29.3kW electricity, however gas heaters are only 82% efficient). Propane is typically billed by the gallon, and 1 gallon of propane is equal to 22Kwh of electricity.

Q. How Quickly Does the Water Heat?

The rate at which the water heats depends on two things. The size of the hot tub, and the size of the heater. Below is a chart, showing the size of hot tub, size of heater, and how many degrees per hour the hot tub will heat.

Gas Heat Electric Heat

100k btu 200k btu 5.5kW 11kW
5×3 25° 50° 5.5° 11°
5×4 20° 40° 4.5° 9°
5×5 17° 34° 3.5° 7°
6×3 17° 34° 3.5° 7°
6×4 14° 28° 3° 6°
6×5 11° 22° 2° 4.5°
7×4 10° 20° 1.5° 3°
8×4 8° 16°

Hot tub size…diameter x height Figures are based on covered, straight sided hot tubs, conical tubs will heat approx. 10% faster. Your “mileage” may slightly vary.

Q. Do Wood Hot Tubs Leak?

A. Wood Hot Tubs springing leaks is the #1 common misconception or urban myth among people that don’t own one.

Wooden hot tubs are supposed to leak ever so slightly for the first few days after assembly, but the amount of leaked water is generally not even noticed. After the first few days, the wood in your hot tub will have swollen properly and formed a tight seal.

After almost 40 years of manufacturing wood hot tubs, we can say that there are basically only two reasons why a well built natural wood hot tub would leak.

1. Overuse of Chlorine & Bromine – The overuse of chlorine & bromine sanitizers is categorically the #1 cause of leaks in wood hot tubs. Excess chemicals will attack and destroy the wood causing leaks.

This issue is easily avoid by using non-chlorine based sanitizers, ionizers or ozonators for hot tub sanitation and by not exceeding the safety levels of chlorine and bromine sanitizers.

2. Improper Tub Assembly – Leaks due to chemical overuse are much more common than leaks due to improper assembly. If your hot tub never seems to totally seal, then improper assembly is the most likely cause.

All of our hot tubs come with a comprehensive, fully detailed and easy to understand set of installation and assembly instructions. We find that the vast majority of leaks due to improper assembly come from installers that failed to read and follow the assembly instructions.

Q. Are Wood Hot Tubs Unsanitary?

A. This is common misconception #2. The fact is, wood hot tubs are no less sanitary than plastic or acrylic spas. When improperly sanitized, wood hot tubs and acrylic spas can both represent a health hazard, but there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that natural wood is more likely to harbor more bacteria or micro-organisms than plastic or acrylic spas.

In fact, a university study of kitchen cutting boards found that while bacteria multiplied and prospered on plastic cutting boards, it quickly died on cutting boards made from natural wood.

It’s important to remember, that regardless of the material that your hot tub or spa is made of, proper sanitation is the key.

Q. What Accessories & Options Are Available?

A. You can find all kinds of options, upgrades, accessories and more just by browsing on our user friendly website. We asked some of our long time customers for their opinion and they felt that the following list of upgrades and options improved their overall hot tub experience the most and gave them the Biggest Bang for Their Buck!

1. Larger Pumps, Extra Jets – All 5′ and larger hot tub systems come with a 1-1/2HP, 240v, 2 speed pump and four massage jets. This is generally adequate, but adding more jets and a larger or additional pump made a huge difference in the amount of soothing massage and stress relief that their hot tubs provided them.

2. Air Blower System – The next accessory to consider is a Bubbler System. The bubbler, or air blower, blows bubbles through a small holes in a ring of pipe that is attached beneath the hot tub bench.

The effect it creates, sometimes called a Champagne effect, can be very soothing. The Bubbler System comes with a 1-1/2 HP, 240v compressor, along with additional plumbing and controls.

3. Larger Gas Heater Option – The standard gas heater provided with our hot tub systems is a 100k Btu gas heater. Larger heaters are a great option for those who hate waiting for their hot tubs to warm up or for those who want to be completely spontaneous and use their tub whenever they want to.

4. Upgraded Insulating Covers – There are two different types of covers that you should put on your hot tub. One is an inexpensive floating blanket that rests right on the water.

The other is an insulating cover which fits over the top of the tub. These two covers and the layer of air between them virtually eliminate surface energy losses and will pay for themselves in a short time, even on indoor installations.

Our complete hot tub systems come with a UV inhibited marine grade vinyl covered 6″ thick foam cover. Some of the available cover options and upgrades are wooden covers, aluminum covers, roll covers and upgraded insulating covers. Please see our section on hot tub covers for descriptions in more detail.

5. Low Voltage Lighting – Low Voltage Lighting Systems for hot tubs have become very popular and provide subdued lighting inside the tub. The light is supplied with a separate spa side switch and a set of five colored lenses to suit your particular mood. The colored lenses can be changed from inside the tub without any need to drain the water.

Hot Tub Installation FAQs

Q.  How difficult is it to assemble a wooden hot tub?

A.  Hot tubs are not at all difficult to assemble, at least ours aren’t. Our assembly instructions are written with the do-it-yourself installer in mind and take you step by step through the basic hot tub assembly process. No special tools or skills are required.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe computer accuracy we use in manufacturing our wooden hot tubs means that not only is there no need to cut or modify the final stave to fit, but the bottom is also computer stamped to indicate the exact placement of each stave (vertical side board).

We can generally assemble a hot tub, on site in under 30 minutes. Figure about 2 hours for the novice, a little less if you have some help.  Included with the complete assembly instructions is a phone number to call for 24 hour, 7 day a week technical assistance regarding installations.

We can also ship a hot tub fully assembled, but beware, this adds to the shipping costs and can be rather difficult to move into location on your site.

Q.  How easy is it to install a complete hot tub system ?

A.  Besides assembling the wooden hot tub (listed above), the complete system also includes the necessary equipment along with most everything else needed for a basic installation. While many people do hire a contractor to do the complete hot tub installation, a good many do the majority, if not the entire installation themselves.

The three more difficult aspects of installing a wood hot tub are, providing a concrete pad for the hot tub and the equipment, running the gas line to the gas hot tub heater (if so equipped) and running the electrical circuit to the time-clock.

Excluding these 3 aspects, installing a complete hot tub system should be just a weekend project for a “home handyman”.

All of the hot tub plumbing is accomplished by gluing together PVC piping, and the support equipment is shipped complete with everything necessary to install your system. The instructions included contain complete plumbing diagrams and a simple to follow wiring schematic. We even provide the PVC glue and a special mallet for assembling the hot tub.

Q.  What type of base is needed for the hot tub to sit on?

A.  A wooden hot tub needs to sit on either a deck engineered and reinforced to carry the weight, or solid concrete. Anything else could allow the hot tub to settle unevenly and concrete_padpossibly cause leaking.

The necessary thickness of a concrete pad may vary depending on different soil conditions. Generally a 3″ thick, wire reinforced cement pad on stable ground will suffice.

Footings may or may not be necessary depending on local conditions (freezing, rain, ground movement etc.). Consultation with a local concrete contractor is advisable.

Minimum Hot Tub Pad Size

Straight Sided Tubs

4′ Diameter —– 42″ x 42″
5′ Diameter —– 54″ x 54″
6′ Diameter —– 66″ x 66″
7′ Diameter —– 78″ x 78″ Conical Tubs
5′ Diameter —– 42″ x 42″;
6′ Diameter —– 54″ x 54″
7′ Diameter —– 66″ x 66″

Q.  At what distance can the equipment be placed from the hot tub?

A.  National building codes call for the equipment to be a minimum of 5′ from the hot tub, or separated by a permanent solid barrier so that the distance from the water line, around the barrier, to the equipment is at least 5′.

The maximum distance is limited only by your imagination and individual requirements. 20′, 30′ or even 50′ from the hot tub to the equipment is perfectly acceptable.

The only downside to the equipment being a great distance from the hot tub is that if the system hasn’t run for a few hours the water in the pipes will have cooled down. Jumping in the hot tub, then turning on the pump, you’ll feel the cool water coming out of the jets.

This is easily overcome by turning on the pump a minute or so before entering the hot tub. Additionally, if the equipment is further than 40′ from the hot tub, the size of the piping should be increased one size so as to not cause a reduction in jet flow and pressure.

Q.  What are the electrical requirements?

A.  The standard complete hot tub system, which included a gas heater and 2 speed pump, requires a 20 amp 240v circuit including a ground and neutral. If an electric heater is opted for rather than a gas heater, and additional 60 amp circuit is required for the 11kw heater, while a 30 amp circuit is required for the 5.5kw heater. Options such as an additional jet kit, or an air bubbler system require additional power.

Q.  What are the considerations for constructing a deck around a hot tub ?

A.  Many people design and build a deck around their hot tub. There are a number of things that should be considered and designed into such a deck. The decking should not run over the top of the tub, but should be flush to the top of the hot tub.

teak-ironwood1On round hot tubs a small gap should be left between the decking and the hot tub. ¼” to ½” is sufficient. The exception to this is oval hot tubs. In oval hot tubs, over time, the pressure of the water will try to round out the top of the hot tub.

Slight contact between the long side of an oval hot tub and either the decking or deck framing will prevent this.   Many people choose to have the top of the deck ¼” to ½” below the top of the hot tub. This helps to prevent dirt and debris on the deck from blowing into the hot tub.

An additional consideration is future access to the exterior of the hot tub. At some point in the future the exterior of the hot tub may need to be accessed for inspection, maintenance or possible for repairs.

Dirt and debris should also be cleared out from around the sides and bottom of the hot tub. If a deck is going to completely seal in the hot tub, screwing down the decking, or providing a trap door or other type of access is advisable.

Insulating Hot Tub & Spa Cover FAQs

cover


Q.  How much does a new cover weigh?

 72" round84" square84" octagon96" square96" octagon
4" x 2" 2.0 lb. 2640364438
6" x 4" 1.0 lb. 2238344238
6" x 4" 1.5 lb. 2846424844
4" x 2" 1.0 lb.2232303634
4" x 2" 1.5 lb.2436344036

Q.  What is the importance of a gusseted skirt?

A.  One piece continuous skirts, which are easier to manufacture, have many inherent problems as compared to skirts that are gusseted (also called “slits”). Gusseted skirts not only hang much straighter, but also have less of a tendency to bunch-up under the cover when putting it on your spa. If the skirt folds under the cover it prevents a proper seal between the cover and spa, greatly reducing the covers insulating ability.

More importantly though, as the sun beats down on a cover, extreme heat can build up between the skirt and the outer lip of the spa. This intense heat can actually damage the outer lip of the spa. A gusseted skirt allows this excessive heat to escape, preventing heat damage from occurring.

Q.  Is heat sealing the inner wrapping important?

A.  The most common cause of spa cover failure is due to the foam cores absorbing moisture. Besides the moisture causing the cover to gain excessive weight, the saturation also greatly reduces the insulating ability of the cover.

One of the most important features of an insulating is the vapor barrier surrounding the foam. Not only is the type of material and it’s thickness important, but how it’s sealed is also important.

The simplest way to seal the foam is to simply wrap it in plastic sheeting and tape it closed. Unfortunately the tape will fail rather quickly thereby allowing moisture to penetrate into the foam. The preferred method for sealing the plastic sheeting is to properly heat seal it.

Special care must be taken when heat sealing, otherwise failure can occur prematurely. Just the right temperature must be applied to the plastic sheeting to achieve a proper seal.  Too hot and it will become brittle and crack open, too cool and it wont remain sealed. The ideal temperature will literally “weld” the polyethylene together.

Single-extruded, polyethylene sheeting has proven to be the best type of plastic to use for sealing the foam. Our machinery used for heat sealing is thermostatically controlled to maintain exact temperature tolerances.

We also use a very heavy, 6 mil polyethylene and seal it extra wide, to assure years of performance. One of the options we offer is to double wrap the foam core with the polyethylene sheeting, which further extends to covers lifespan.

Q.  Why don’t you have a grommet in the drain hole on the bottom of the cover?

A.  All spa covers must have a drain hole on the underside. This is too allow moisture and condensed water vapor to drain out of the cover. Due to the properties of the two materials we use for the underside, scrim and Reflex´ Energy Shield, they do not require anything to strengthen this hole or prevent the fabric from fraying. All a grommet would do is cause scratches in the spa as the cover is slid off and on.

Q.  What are the ASTM standards for a spa cover and why are they important?

A.  ASTM developed standards which include a category intended to protect children five years of age and under. ASTM Standard F1346-91 for spa covers includes specific performance tests and labeling requirements. Covers must be able to pass certain tests.

The first is Static Load. “In the case of spas with a width or diameter greater than 8′ from the periphery, the cover shall be able to hold a weight of 485 pounds to permit a rescue operation. In the case of a spa with a width or diameter not greater than 8′ the cover shall withstand the weight of 275 pounds”.

Second is Perimeter Deflection. “The covers shall be designed in such a way that when tested, deflection of the cover does not allow the test object to pass between the cover and the side of the spa, or to gain access to the water”. Additionally, testing for surface drainage is conducted to see if a dangerous amount of rain could collect on the cover’s surface.

There are also requirements to include labeling in consumer information and on the cover itself. Labeling must contain proper warnings (as described by the Standard) and identify the product as a safety cover.

Q.  How long should I expect a spa cover to last?

A.  The life-span of a spa cover is dependent upon many different things. How much direct sunlight it gets, how well it’s cared for or abused, how extreme weather conditions are and how the chemicals in the spa are dealt with all have an effect on life-span. Generally though, if reasonably cared for a spa cover should last five to eight years.

Q.  What can I do to extend the life of my spa cover?

A.  Although very durable, a small amount of general care and maintenance can help extend the life of any spa cover.

• Do not over sanitize the water, and remove the cover when shocking. This is the most important thing. As excessive sanitizers evaporate, they can actually deteriorate many of the plastic materials a spa cover is constructed from.
• Periodically cleaning, treating and protecting the outer vinyl from the elements is the most important thing. 303 Protectant is the best thing for treating and protecting the cover from sun damage. Stay away from any petroleum based products that claim to condition vinyl. They actually do much more harm than good.
• Remove excessive snow to prevent the cover from sagging and possibly breaking.
• Never sit of stand on a spa cover.

Q.  How important is the warranty?

A.  As with any product, a comprehensive warranty is important. It’s important however, to look closely at, and understand the warranty. Warranties are frequently used as a marketing tool and can be very deceptive. While the warranty may state an extremely long time frame, the exclusions can make it virtually worthless.

Some retailers are adding an extremely long extended warranty, to the actual manufacturers warranty, as a marketing ploy. It should be interesting to see if they’re still in business (or have any happy customers) towards the end of this time frame.

Most warranties exclude damages caused by animals, fire, vandalism, excessive chemicals, improper installation, excessive weight load, acts of God and possibly more. Almost certainly, they also have an exclusion for “normal wear and tear”. What exactly is “normal wear and tear”, and who makes the determination on this?

The most important exclusion in all spa cover warranties is “shipping and handling”. The customer is ALWAYS responsible for this, and the cover has to be shipped back to the manufacturer and then again back to you.

Unless you can personally deliver the cover to the manufacturer, almost certainly the cost of shipping will be MORE than the cost of a brand new cover.

Prorated warranties are some of the most deceptive! It makes it look like the warranty has an even longer time frame, but now you’re paying not only for the shipping costs (in both directions, which can be more than the cost of a new cover), but also a percentage of the retail cost.

We have been in the manufacturing business since 1976, and though it’s rare, what few warranty problems we’ve seen, have never occurred after the first year! In fact, almost all have occurred within the first month.

Since we started double stitching every aspect of our spa covers, we have never had a warranty problem. While it is stated in our warranty that the cover must be returned to us for repair, we have never required the actual return of an entire cover at the customers expense for repair.

Q.  How is the R value of a cover determined?

This is an interesting question, that even we have had to wonder about sometimes. We’ve seen different retailers offering the same exact spa cover, yet the R-value “claimed” can vary by as much as 30%.

The insulating core of almost all spa covers is EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). The insulating value of this product is very specific, and is listed in the table below. Please note, the R-value shown is for 1 inch of thickness.

Foam DensityR-Value/Insulation
13.85
1.254
1.54.17
24.35

The average spa cover cores, tapered 4″ to 2″, made of 1 pound density foam, have a total R-value of R-10.74 (calculated by averaging the thickness). Going to a 2 pound foam increases the R-value to R-13.05.

Additionally, some R-value can be added for the vinyl and poly wrap that seals the foam cores. But only about R-2. The R-value of a 1 pound density spa cover only calculates to, at most, R-13 (2 pound = R-15).

Q.  Can I order my spa cover from the make and model of my spa?

A.  Preferably not. Unlike cars, spa manufacturers are constantly modifying the spas. Sometimes twice a year!!!!……Although we have thousands of measurements for templates, your measured dimensions are the most accurate and ensure a proper fit.

There are a number of reasons we prefer your actual measurements over our measurements on file:

1. Your spa may have warped slightly out of shape over time.
2. Manufacturers may have supplied us with fictitious measurements.
3. You may want a cover different from the original.
4. Your year or model may actually differ from what you believe it is.
5. We have a typo, or are simply wrong.

There are some exceptions to this. For spas in which the sides are bowed out and not straight, we most likely have a template. We also are working at acquiring templates for spas that have raised speakers in the corners that require “pockets” in the cover to properly cover them.

For these types of spa cover, please call us to check if we have the template and to place an order. We’ll need you to tell us the exact brand and model of your spa, and the year of production.

Q.  How long till I receive my cover after it’s ordered?

A.  Depending upon your location, typical delivery time is two weeks after time of order. Frequently delivery time is much sooner, however during busy times it may be slightly longer. Usually most covers will be manufactured and shipped within a week.

Q.  Do you keep covers in stock to order from?

A.  There are literally thousands of different shapes and sizes of spas and hot tubs in existence today, and with all of the manufacturing options we offer, cost and storage space make stocking covers impossible.

Q.  Why do tie downs rip out?

A.  Besides excessive force, most tie downs tear out due to poorly designed or poorly made spa covers. While the tie downs shouldn’t be use as handles for lifting a cover, they should hold up to quite strong winds. We have virtually eliminated “tie down tear out” by using nylon webbing and sewing it into the cover at 4 different points.

Q.  Can I just replace the foam in my existing cover?

A.  In general, the answer is “no”. The foam for the cover’s core, is initially manufactured in large blocks. It is then cut or sliced to order (we’re one of the few manufacturers that starts with whole blocks and slices them ourselves).

Most all cover manufacturers use foam cores that are cut specifically for them, to their specifications.  Each individual manufacturer specifies the thickness and taper of foam that they desire.

Because the foam is almost 1/3 the cost of the materials in a cover, many manufacturers try to “skimp” in this area.  We’ve seen covers advertised as being 4″ thick, as thin as 3-1/4″ (our foam cores are TRULY as thick as we claim).

Secondly, over time the sun shrinks the outer vinyl covering slightly compressing the foam. A cover can actually shrink up to 1/2″ over it’s life.

As said, in GENERAL the answer is no, but it can be done. The real problem is expense! First off we would need to have your cover shipped back to us. If the cover is symmetrical, we can copy the good piece of foam.

If it’s not symmetrical (or both piece of foam are broken), we can through a little trial and error cut a new piece of foam (start a hair large, try it for fit, and trim if necessary). It’s rather imperative that the foam core be exactly the correct size. Too large and it wont fit, too small and the outer vinyl will wrinkle and sag.

The problem though is shipping expense. The covers are too large for UPS and have to ship via common carrier. Common carriers have a MINIMUM shipping charge of around $75.00 to $100.00…….. Each way.

Though a new foam core may seem reasonably priced, when you add in shipping both ways, it can cost almost as much as a whole NEW cover for just a single foam core.

Q. Can I replace only the outer covering on my existing cover?

A.  Just like trying to replace the foam cores, replacing just the vinyl outer covering usually isn’t cost effective. Our entire process for making spa covers, including patterns, cutting the vinyl and other fabrics, and cutting the foam cores, is completely computerized. The additional work involved to make a proper fitting vinyl covering could cost as much or more than a complete new spa cover.

Q.  What causes the underside of some covers to sag and droop into the water?

A.  Besides the obvious reason of a loosely fitted vinyl covering, the frequent cause of sagging is excessive air inside the polyethylene that seals the foam cores. Manufactured at cool temperatures, once on your spa the additional heat of the water will cause any trapped air in a cover to expand. It’s important (though difficult) to vacuum out any air that might be trapped during the process of sealing the foam cores in the polyethylene.

Q.  Why do some spa covers get so heavy as they get older?

A.  The foam a cover’s cores are made of is called Expanded Polystyrene and is made of small beads that are expanded with steam. Once expanded they are dried and then “attached together” simply by compressing them.

The more pressure they are compressed under, the high the density of the foam. The individual “beads” are waterproof! HOWEVER, water can saturate between the beads.
To prevent (actually reduce) water absorption, the foam cores are “sealed” in polyethylene.

The method used to seal the polyethylene is an important factor. Many cheep covers simply have the polyethylene taped closed. Not good, as the tape will eventually fail.
Better covers have the polyethylene heat sealed.

While this is usually better than tape, if not done carefully and properly it can actually be worse. When the polyethylene is heat sealed, if it’s over heated the seam will be excessively brittle and can crack, allowing water to enter the foam.

The most obvious cause of water absorption would be a small hole punctured through the cover. Even the smallest hole will allow a large amount of water to enter the foam over time.

The most common cause of water absorption is the “natural degradation of the polyethylene”. Over time, chlorine, bromine, non-chlorine shock and ozone will break down the polyethylene causing it to become porous.

The thicker the polyethylene (we use a 6 mil thick polyethylene), the longer it will resist this chemical degradation.  At some point however, it will become porous enough to allow evaporation and steam to penetrate through it. It WILL NOT be porous enough to allow the steam that has condensed back into water to drip back out.
Since eliminating all the chemicals isn’t possible (and still have a safe spa) the best preventative measure is a floating blanket. The blanket will greatly reduce both chemical off gassing, and more importantly evaporation.

It’s also important to completely remove the cover for a minimum of 20 minutes when shocking the water. This will allow the off-gassing chemicals to freely escape without penetrating into the cover itself.

Q.  Why do some covers use a welt cording?

A.  Welt cording is a feature that is typically used to “straighten” out crookedly sewn seams. The down side is that it gives dirt and mold a place to attach, and gives an extra ‘ridge’ to get hung or torn when handling the cover. We prefer to simply work a little harder and sew straight seams.

Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tub FAQs

ofuro10

Q.  What sizes are available?

A.  If you can imagine it, we can make it (almost). We have no “standard” sizes and most every Ofuro we have made over the last 20 years has been customized to the needs and desires of the client in one way or another. We’ve made them as large as 7′ x 5′ x 4′ deep , and as small as 2′ x 2′ x 2′. Although we have made them as long as 7′, currently the largest Ofuro we’ll make is 5′ x 5′ or 6′ x 4′.

This is due to a decrease in stability as the size increases. The “typical” depth is 26″ to 28″ where upon you sit on the floor. It’s not uncommon though, to make them deeper, up to 48″, and have a bench for seating.

As the size of the Ofuro increases, the thickness of the walls increase as well. Up to 28″ deep the walls are 2″ thick. Over 28″, up to 36″ a thickness of 3″ is required and over 36″ the thickness increases to 4″. If forced to give a “typical” size, 3′ x 5′ x 28″ deep is somewhat common.

Q. How is the size specified?

A.  Due to our unique manufacturing process, it’s important to understand how the “specified size” relates to the actual finished size. Length and width refers to the overall outside dimensions, meaning the inside length and width will be smaller due to the thickness of the sides.

The thickness of sides range from 2″ to 4″ thick, depending on the overall depth of the Ofuro (up to 28″ deep, 2″ thick sides, over 28″ to 36″ deep – 3″ thick. Over 36″ deep, 4″ thick). The height refers to the actual inside depth, meaning the overall height will be higher due to the thickness of the floor and the added height from the small joists the Ofuro sits on.

With our optional slopped backs, length and width measurements are determined at the top of the Ofuro. The slopes are at a fixed 15 degrees (this angle can not be changed) and the bottom dimensions fall where they may.

Q.  How do they drain and overflow?

A.  In order to obtain maximum water depth for the most enjoyable soaking, Ofuros don’t have an overflow like the typical American bathtub. While we have on occasion installed “conventional” overflows, the preferred style allows the Ofuro to simply overflow over the top. This of course requires that the Ofuro be installed on waterproofed floor with a center drain.

For draining there’s a few options. If the Ofuro is being filled and drained for each use, included is a custom, 1″ MPT, flush mounted, bronze drain fitting. The location of the drain can be specified to exactly match your plumbing layout, and it includes a lever operated stopper. An optional fully electronic drain valve is also available.

Ofuros with a recirculating heating system or that are fully jetted, can have the above configuration as an option, but more frequently the draining is done through the plumbing. A “T” with a valve is simply installed into the added plumbing.

Q.  What different woods can an Ofuro be made of?

A.  The vast majority of Ofuros are made either of hinoki or teak. Other woods that have been used are yellow cedar, western red cedar, Spanish cedar and others. While hinoki is more traditionally Japanese, teak is slightly more durable and less prone to staining. Due to the majority of the production costs being labor, the type of wood you choose has little or no effect the overall cost of the Ofuro.

Q.  Can they be located outdoors?

A.  Yes, however there are some special considerations. If located outdoors the Ofuro has to be completely shaded from direct sunlight. We also don’t advise anything larger than 5′ x 3′ going outside, and teak is without a doubt, the preferred wood of choice.

Q.  Can I use soap in an Ofuro?

A.  No. The Ofuro is intended specifically for soaking and soap will cause permanent staining to the wood.

Q.  How is the wood treated?

Our Ofuros are made of all wood with no finish applied to them. We do not recommend any type of finish, nor can we even suggest one.

Q.  How are Ofuros heated?

A.  Most residential home do not have enough hot water supply to fill an Ofuro. With every cubic foot of water being 7 gallons, smaller Ofuros hold about 100 gallons and a “typical” 5′ x 3′ x 26″ deep Ofuro holds about 160 gallons.

Some instantaneous water heaters can fill an Ofuro, but most people chose to add a small recirculation (pump) system with an electric “spa” heater. Adding a filter and ionizer to this, one can reuse the water for up to a week without the use of standard hot tub chemicals. Using a small amount of chemicals the water can last up to 3 months.

Q.  Can they be outfitted with jets?

A.  Absolutely! Just like a normal hot tub or spa an Ofuro can be jetted. Just like the drain fittings, the jets are a custom clear coated solid bronze fitting.  The location of the jets needs to be determined before construction of the Ofuro is completed as they must be installed during the construction process.

Also, keep in mind that jets require plumbing on the exterior of the Ofuro. It will almost certainly be preferred to cover/hide this plumbing with some type of deck or surround, build on site.

Q.  How much does an Ofuro weigh when filled?

A.  The weight of a filled Ofuro is determined by simply calculating its size in cubic feet, and multiplying by 65 (equals total pounds weight). Since most Ofuros are sized by inches (outside length x outside width x overall outside height), it can be easier to determine the weigh based upon cubic inches. Total cubic inches, divided by 26.5, will result in the overall weight went filled in pounds.

Ozone Hot Tub FAQs

What is Ozone?

Ozone is active oxygen, O3. It occurs naturally in the earth’s atmosphere to protect us from the sun’s harmful rays.

What are some uses of ozone?

Some common uses are: pool and spa water purification, aquarium water purification, drinking water and waste water purification, meat processing and air freshening.

How long has ozone been used to purify water?

Since the late 1800’s.

How long has ozone been used to purify pool and spa water and remove odors from the air?

Over 50 years.

How does the ozone used for water purification affect the air we breathe?

The amount of ozone produced by an ozone generator is insignificant to the normal atmosphere we live in. When dissolved in water, ozone is extremely safe. Excess ozone quickly converts back to oxygen. Note: do not breathe concentrated ozone gas.

Is ozone the same as “SMOG”?

No! “Smog” is air pollution created by combustion polluters. While smog contains small amounts of ozone, it is largely composed of harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide. In fact, smog and other pollutants may contribute to the damage of the ozone layer.

If I use ozone in my pool or spa, will I help replenish the ozone layer?

No. Because ozone reacts so quickly with contaminants in water and air, it converts back to oxygen within minutes or even seconds. Any ozone molecules that break free from the pool or spa water will convert to oxygen and never reach the atmosphere.

Will ozone hurt me?

No! In the quantities necessary to be effective, ozone is very gentle to humans and equipment in the water. However, you should never breathe concentrated ozone gas.

Does ozone have an odor?

Yes. Depending on the concentration, the odor ranges from slightly sweet to moderately antiseptic.

What bacteria and other harmful substances does ozone kill?

• Bacteria – (such as E-coli, salmonella, streptococcus, cholera) . These are micro-organisms about 1/100th the diameter of a human hair and are relatively easy to kill.
• Viruses – (such as influenza, poliovirus, hepatitis). A virus is a parasitic, infectious microbe which can cause disease in humans.
• Parasites – (such as trichina worms, pinworms, amoebae, nematodes and fungi). Parasite eggs are large in microscopic scale and relatively easy to filter out, but are generally resistant to other disinfecting methods.
• Cysts – (such as cryptosporidium and giardia). Cysts are protozoa that produce a special protective shell.
• Chemical by-products in water – such as chloramines and trihalomethenes. Chemical water can leave undesirable odors and taste.

Will ozone kill viruses?

Yes. Ozone kills virtually all known forms of viruses in water and air.

How is ozone different from chlorine?

In the quantities needed for water purification, it has no noticeable odor, taste or color. It is not irritating to humans or equipment. Ozone purifies water and air very quickly and efficiently, 3,000 times faster than chlorine. Ozone leaves no by-products except pure oxygen. In contrast, chlorine leaves a chemical by-product called hypochloric acid and additional salts in water applications.

Will Ozone reduce scum lines and foaming in spas?

Yes. With proper filtration it should completely eliminate them.

How is ozone produced?

Ozone can be produced by ultraviolet (UV) light or by corona discharge (CD).

How does ultraviolet light ozone generation work?

A special lamp gives off a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light which converts oxygen (O2) molecules into ozone (O3) molecules by splitting the oxygen molecules into individual oxygen atoms (O1) which then recombine with oxygen molecules to form ozone. This all occurs instantly inside the ozone chamber in the ozone generator.

How does corona discharge ozone generation work?

Ozone is produced by passing air through a high voltage electrical discharge or corona. Corona discharge ozonators typically produce more ozone than UV bulbs and are more efficient than the older style UV ozonators.

Can ozone damage my pool or spa equipment?

No. In fact, it is very gentle to spas, pools, and equipment. Applied properly, ozone is more gentle than any other water purifier in existence.

Can the ozone in my pool irritate skin or eyes like chlorine in pools?

No! Ozone is very gentle to skin and eyes.

How long will ozone last in my pool or spa water?

Scientific theory states that ozone has a half life of about 22 minutes in water. In residential applications, ozone reverts back to oxygen in minutes (ozone breaks down faster in warmer water).

Will water temperature affect ozone?

Wide variations in pool water temperature will affect how well ozone works. An ozone generator should be designed and sized for maximum water temperatures and bather load.

Will ozone affect my pH?

Ozone is pH neutral. It will not adversely affect the pH. Additionally, you will have lower TDS in spas with ozone, so it will be easier to adjust the pH level.

Do I still have to filter the water as often?

Yes. Because impurities are constantly being introduced into the water and the ozone is constantly destroying them, the microscopic remains will need to be filtered out of the water.

Online Ordering FAQs

orderingFAQs

Q.  Are There Other Ways to Place Orders Besides Ordering Online?

A.  Absolutely ! Almost 35% of our orders are place over the phone. Please feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-735-5290 to place your order or talk to one of our Hot Tub Professionals. We’re available to take phone orders from 9am – 5pm PST, Monday thru Friday.

As an added customer convenience, we also accept faxed orders.  Simply print a copy of your completed shopping cart and fax it to us at 510- 234-7910.

You can also place an order using regular U.S. mail. Simply enclose a printed copy of your completed shopping cart along with a check for the full amount and mail them to us at the following address:

Roberts Hot Tubs
2343 Welcome Ave.
Richmond, CA 94804

Q.  What’s the Deal With Free Shipping?

We offer free UPS shipping and handling on most orders over $75.00 that are shipped within United States, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.

FREE SHIPPING RHSWe also offer Free Shipping on all of our Insulating Hot Tub Covers, Roll Covers & Aluminum Hot Tub Covers.

Most items that are too large or too heavy for UPS, such as complete hot tub systems, are shipped by ground via common carrier.

Unless otherwise stated, most of these items do not qualify for “Free Shipping.”  To receive a shipping quote prior to placing your order, please call us at 1-800-735-5290  or email us at customercare@rhtubs.com.  

We carefully review all online, fax and phone orders that we receive.  Unless otherwise stated, orders of less than $75.00 are shipped at a flat rate of $9.95.  Orders that do not qualify for free shipping, International orders and orders from Hawaii or Alaska will be contacted with a shipping quote prior to their order being processed.

Our customer care department confirms all shipping rate quotes with customers prior to orders being shipped.

Q.  How Long Will it Take to Receive My Order?

A.  You will receive an e-mail confirmation or phone confirmation from us once your order is placed. If you do not receive an email confirmation within 24 hours of placing your order, please call us toll-free at 1-800-735-5290 or email us at customercare@rhtubs.com.  An RHTubs customer care representative will get you fixed up in a jiffy!

Most orders are shipped via UPS within one day, but it can take up to two days on occasion. Custom made items and out-of-the-ordinary special orders take a bit longer. Hot tub and spa covers take approximately two weeks in production and one week for shipping.

Below is a “shipping time chart” provided by UPS that shows the approximate shipping time for U.S. orders. Canadian and International orders may take a bit longer.

ups1

Q.  Do You Charge Sales Tax?

A.  We are required by law to charge 9.25% sales tax on orders delivered within the state of California, but only California. Your shopping cart will automatically add California Sales Tax to any order being shipped to a California address. Sales tax does not apply to orders delivered outside the State of California.

Q.  Is Ordering Online Really Safe?

A.  Although no one can guarantee it, we believe on-line ordering through a secure web site is very safe. The secure ordering process encrypts your personal information and ensures a direct path from your computer to our web server thereby preventing anyone from intercepting that information.

Credit cards are probably the safest way of doing business. If any charge ever shows up on your statement that you didn’t authorize, it’s usually quite simple to dispute the charge with the credit card company and have it removed.

For the vast majority or customers, the slim risk more than makes up for the convenience and cost savings of Internet shopping.  You don’t have to drive somewhere, find parking and fight the crowds only to find out that the store is out of or doesn’t carry what you wanted.

If you’re still uneasy about ordering online, we’re more than happy to take your order by phone, fax or regular U.S. mail.

shopping_cartQ.  Problem Placing an Online Order or Viewing Your Shopping Cart?

A.  If you are placing your order from work, you may be behind a company firewall and can’t access our HTTP url.  You can add our url to your “Trusted Sites” if your IT Administrator has set-up allowed permissions.

If that’s not an option, just give us a call toll free at 1-800-735-5290 or email us at customercare@rhtubs.com and we’ll work something out together.