FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why isn’t my spa heating?
Why is the water so hot?
Why is the water so cloudy?
Can my spa freeze?
Where can I find owner’s manuals?
How often should I drain my spa?
How often should I clean the filter?
When should a filter be replaced?
How do I find a leak?
How do I winterize my spa?
Draining Your Hot Tub
The first question is, is the heat indicator light on? If yes, then you might have a bad heating element. We would need to check voltages and amp draws for you to be sure. If the light is not on, try removing the filter, and then see if the light comes on. That would indicate a filter in need of cleaning or replacement, but if it doesn’t come on we’ll need to schedule a service call for you.
Check your filter/timer settings for duration. If the duration is set for more than four hours twice per day, the heat from the motor can actually transfer into the water causing heat creep. The water temperature will start to approach the temperature of the motor, which can go as high as 120 degrees!
Cloudiness indicates a high organic level in the water. These are made up of organic material from bather’s bodies, dust, and detergent from bathing suits, etc., and must be oxidized out of the water. A good shock treatment is called for always after use, not before. A water clarifier can aid in this process. As the level of organics decreases due to oxidation, the water will clear up. If it doesn’t seem to want to, a drain and re-fill may be in order. Take advantage of our free computerized water analysis whenever you have questions. It really dials in on the fix and eliminates the “he said/she said” of other tests that can be so confusing.
This can be a concern during the winter here in Colorado, but not to worry. If the spa isn’t heating (see above), the water will not freeze as long as it is circulating, so don’t turn off the power. Just call us as soon as possible. If the circuit breaker won’t stay on (water is not circulating) you can place a shop light bulb or two in the equipment area and then close up the equipment door as best you can. Again, call us as soon as you can. Usually all that happens is that a union in the equipment area breaks, the water all runs out, and that is the extent of the damage. I have only seen two spas freeze solid over the years, and they still had very minimal damage!
We list many manuals here. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, give us a call!
Depending on usage and type of sanitizing system, a spa or hot tub with well-maintained water, which is treated with non-chlorine shock, should be drained and refilled every two to four months. This is necessary because of the amount of total dissolved solids becomes excessive, making it difficult to maintain sanitizer effectiveness and water balance.
Depending upon bather load, it is generally a good practice to rinse your filter cartridge every other week with fresh water from a garden hose to dislodge hair and other foreign matter. Every 3 to 4 months, and with each water change, your filter cartridge should be soaked in a filter-cleaning compound designed for this purpose. We recommend the rotation method: have two filters on hand, one in the spa and a clean, dry spare. Remove the dirty filter and rinse thoroughly, being careful to spray between the pleats. Soak the filter in a 5-gallon bucket of cleaning solution, overnight or according to the instructions on the package. You can now install your clean spare while the dirty one is soaking. After soaking, rinse again and set aside to dry completely. With this method, your filters will last much longer, and you will never have to wait to use your spa.
Filters are generally good for about a full year of usage. After that, they become less efficient in trapping foreign matter because of deterioration of the media. With the filter rotation method described in above, this means you would replace a pair of cartridges every 2 years.
Leaks can be hard to find, but a common cause is pump seals. Look for water under your pump. Also check around your heater, pressure switch and all interior plumbing, unions, and connections. If a visual inspection does not locate the leak, you can try adding some food dye to the water. Another method is to allow the spa to sit until the water level stabilizes. There is a good chance that you will find the leak at that level. Yet another method is to fill the spa to its correct level, then run it for a full day, marking the reduced water level with a crayon. Then refill, and allow it to sit for a full day with nothing running. If the water drops the same amount in both tests, this tells you that you likely have a shell leak (which includes jet fittings and/or other connections to the shell.) If it dropped more when pumps were running, it is more likely a seal or plumbing leak. Use of a quality sealant can save you some repair money. Although not always a permanent fix, they can be effective on many leaks, with the exception being bad pump seals, which will need to be replaced.
Winterization of your spa is not generally necessary unless you plan to be away for an extended period of time. When you are not planning to use the spa for six or more weeks, or when someone is not able to maintain the spa on a weekly basis, you should winterize the spa. To winterize, follow these steps:
WARNING: Prior to winterizing your spa, it will be necessary to Super Sanitize the spa water as per the instructions in the Water Chemistry section. This procedure will help prevent the growth of bacteria, algae and fungi in any areas of plumbing that may not be fully free of water after you drain your spa for its period of winterization.
Step 1: Drain the water.Step 1: Drain the water. NOTE: For Sport X Spas or Bullfrog Spas made before 2013 skip to Step 4
Step 2: For A or R Series spas. Open all lower valves on the JetPaks to allow the water to drain form each JetPak as you drain the spa. Once the water is completely out of the spa then close each JetPak valve before starting step 3.
Step 3: Use a wet shop vacuum to vacuum the plumbing lines by placing the vacuum nozzle over each of the lower jet faces in the spa. Lower jets are any at or below the bench seat area.
Step 4: Remove the drain plug from the pump(s), loosen all PVC pipe unions, and pump air-bleed valves in the equipment compartment. Replace plugs on heater pump. Do not replace the plugs on Pump 2. Tighten the unions or close the air-bleed valves until the spa is de-winterized.
Step 5: Clean the entire spa.
Step 6: Remove filter cartridge(s) and clean. Do not reinstall until they are completely dry.
Step 7: Secure the cover to the spa utilizing the tie downs and locking system. In areas where heavy snow is anticipated, place a large piece of plywood (or its equivalent) on top of the spa cover to assist in supporting the cover with the added weight of the snow. Remove snow off the cover following each snow storm.
WARNING: To avoid water from becoming trapped between the floor suction fitting and the filter pipe . Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the remaining water out of pipe by placing the vacuum end over the filter hole. In a two-pump spa, first plug off one filter using a tennis ball then vacuum out the water. Or pour ½-1 gallons (5-9 liters) of RV antifreeze into the filter hole. NOTE: RV antifreeze is nontoxic and does not require evacuation at start up.
After a while water chemistry can become difficult to balance and needs a reset. Replacing the water in your hot tub is important to flush out your plumbing and generally freshen things. You should drain your hot tub about every 3 months.
As you prepare to drain your hot tub, make sure you do a complete drain. You may be tempted to only drain half or a portion of the water, but it’s not advised. Give your hot tub a deep clean to remove surface stains, avoid corrosion, and eliminate any organic material that may have started to grow.
When you drain your hot tub, use a line flush or hot tub pipe cleaner to clean out your plumbing. If you’ve purchased a used hot tub, you may want to perform this task a few times to ensure you get everything cleaned out sufficiently.
Tips for draining your hot tub:
Pick a place in your yard to drain the water. Hot tubs hold a lot of water and when you drain your spa, you’ll need a place for all that water to go. Avoid areas where the water could drain into basement window wells, a neighbor’s yard, or anywhere else that could lead to water damage. Side note: most spas drain at a rate of around 5 gallons per minute.
Turn off the power to the hot tub at the breaker. This will protect both you and your hot tub from serious injuries.
Locate the drain. On most spas, including Bullfrog Spas, this can usually be found below the equipment compartment door. Once located, follow the manufacturers directions for engaging the drain. On a Bullfrog Spa, turn the drain clockwise to pull the drain out. Next, remove the drain cap.
Drain the hot tub. To activate the draining process, attach a standard garden hose to the drain spout to direct water to your preselected location. Once the hot tub is completely drained, remove the hose and replace the drain cap and push the drain back into the spa. Remember to never expose an empty hot tub to direct sunlight, this may damage your acrylic shell.
Refill your hot tub. Place the garden hose into the filter compartment and turn on. Filling your tub at the filters will prevent air pockets in the plumbing and help keep your water clean as you fill. Fill your hot tub with high quality water which, in other words, means using house water and not secondary water.