Hot tub noob (Maintaining hot tub)

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Old 05-20-07, 11:41 PM
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Hot tub noob (Maintaining hot tub)

I dont know jack about hot tubs but one came with my house. Im guessing its maybe 10 years old, I forget the brand but I think its one that Costco sells.

Anyhoo, this thing is just full of rain water.... and a few... ummm... frogs How do these things drain? Are they usually piped into the sewer system of the house or do you just drain them on the lawn? Im guessing all that chlorine couldnt be good for your lawn.

Anybody care to give me a quick run down on using and maintaining a hot tub? Do you refill them with a hose, or do they have their own water supply? Is there a drain plug?

I dont even know if this thing works, I guess I will find out when I turn the breaker back on for it. Worst case, I can throw some fish in it and call it a pond.
 
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Old 05-21-07, 12:44 AM
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If you know nothing about hot tubs, it is best to contact a local professional to come help you through the draining, cleaning, and sanitizing and show you how to operate your system and maintain it to keep it sanitary and safe.

One must open the drain plug to drain. Some models allow for hooking up water hose to drain. Submersible pump or siphon system can expedite draining. The drain may be hooked up to a storm drain.
 
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Old 05-21-07, 05:13 PM
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If you have not been maintaining the spa (not adding chlorine) then there should not be any chlorine to worry about on the lawn. Sewers are not always conveniently located so getting the water there may require a pump. Just opening the drain and watering the lawn is usually the easiest. You want to be mindfull of where the water will go. Don't just dump 400 gallons at the base of your house letting it seep into the crawlspace or basement, and you don't want to flood your neighbors garden. If you cannot find the drain (remove cover on the skirt of the spa, remove drain plug/cap, and open drain valve) you can start a siphon with a garden hose to get the water out.

Portable spas are usually filled with a garden hose, but larger commercial pools & spas may be plumbed into the water supply for faster & easier filling.

There is a lot of information online about how to maintain a spa. Just do a Google, Yahoo or MSN search. There are several different sanitizing methods available (chlorine, bromine, silver ion, ozone...) and each has it's pros & cons.
 

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Old 05-21-07, 06:07 PM
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i agree contact a local pro, get them to come out and have a spa school.

i do a thing called "pool school" i get 1hr labor.

i instruct on how to care for a pool correctly. they should be willing to do the same. its a investment of your time and money.
spas and pools can be very costly if maintained improperly and spas have thier own lil quirks, improperly sanatized water and cause minor skin irritations.
 
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Old 05-21-07, 06:33 PM
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Thumbs up hot tub maint.

Be mindful that some communities prohibit the dumping of pool/spa water on the ground or to the street, curb, street drainage grate in any manner. Yes, do get professional help such as a run thru of how the unit functions. Most professionals will be glad to, for a fee, advise proper use of the unit, how the filter & pump function, how long to run the equipment, proper chemical maintenance etc. Have a list of things you need or want to know about the "spa". Don't be bashful about the type of questions you ask or how many times you ask them. Spa chemistry is a little more tricky and is easy to get out of balance. Be sure too to have the "pool guy" do a safety check. By knowing the codes in your area he should be able to advise you there.
Ken
 
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Old 05-21-07, 08:52 PM
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What will a typical 4-5 person Costco style hot tub do to my electric bill? Will I notice a big difference?
 
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Old 05-22-07, 06:02 AM
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All hot tubs are different. Our Coleman hot tub adds a fairly significant draw to the electric bill, but we are very mindful of our usage. If you live in a cold climate, extra insulation can help. We plan on building a larger enclosure (like a mini-deck) and insulating the heck out of it. Having a solid cover and even one of those floatie bubble-wrap like covers on the water as well will help.

As far as maintenance the big thing we notice is when people get in wearing any sort of lotion, hair product, sunscreen, etc. Even soap residue on bathing suits cause suds. Parties are the worst and can turn the tub into a bubble bath. YUCK. Be sure that regular users shower first. We plan our quarterly tub draining/refilling around parties to save on the cost of water (we have ours trucked in since we are on a well).
 
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Old 06-18-07, 10:45 AM
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Say I just wanted to use this thing as a small cold swimming pool to cool off during the summer, Is there enough clorine in tap water if I just filled it from the hose or would I need to add chemicals?
 
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Old 06-18-07, 03:34 PM
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jdubbya, the water from your tap is approx 3.0ppm chlorine however it will not have any residual effect and will turn green within a couple days. The ideal chlorine level is 1.5 you can (as a last resort) use household bleach. Depending on the gallonage of your spa and usage, a couple tablespoons daily should be sufficient.
 
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Old 08-05-07, 09:03 PM
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Dont want to leave you guys hanging, I finally got the hottub cleaned out today, I just used a garden hose and science to siphon it out into the woods behind the house. I put a few capfulls of bleach and about 5 gallons of water in the bottom and scrubbed the whole thing out with a sponge. I then drained it again and started filling with the hose.

I added about a cup and a half of bleach, thats what I figured out using a kiddie pool chlorine calculator, figuring that the tub is about 600 gallons. It smells about as chlorinated as a typical swimming pool. My skin hasnt peeled off yet, so I think its ok. Do I need to keep adding bleach? Did I read that right? Do I need any algae killer? Any other chemicals?

I flipped the breaker on for the tub and everything works like new. Its now heated up to about 84 degrees after being on for a few hours. I figure it will take a while to heat all that water.

I found the filter cartridge and it looks ok, not overly gross. Where can I get a new one when needed? Are they universal or particular to the hottub?
 
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Old 08-06-07, 03:01 PM
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There are 100 different filter cartridges, you'll need make/model of hot tub, part# of filter, length/width/highth/hole placement.

You will need to get some chlorine tabs or bromine and a floater to keep your chlorine level up. I don't recommend the use of bleach in pools or hot tubs, however you could use it if you wanted but would have to be added probably daily.

You'll want to adjust your PH and Total Alkalinity and keepit at proper level.

If you don't have one you should buy a test kit or test strips to check water every week.
 
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Old 08-07-07, 07:45 PM
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Smile

Cool, thanks for all the help. Now just 1 more thing.......... Frogs! They are unhappy about their recent eviction and are trying to reclaim their pond....

I just fished out 1 dead one that was floating there today. There were 5 more around the rim. I do have a big foam cover but they just climb under the lip and fall in and.....croak.

He was only in there for a day or less but now it smells.... kind of froggy and not in a good way. Do I need to dain the water or just add some more chlorine ? I havent got the test strips yet and the water has only been in there for 2 days with 1.5 cups of bleach.

I caught 2 of the 5 frogs but the other ones escaped. Im going to go frogging again in a few hours to see if they came back.

Does that sound like an ample amount of bleach (for now) The tub is about 77inches by 79 inches by about 24 inches to the shallow part and probably like 45 or so in the deep middle part. I was guessing about 600 gallons.

Yes, I know, I need to go get the test strips and chemicals.
 
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