How to Prepare a Hot Tub for a Winter Storm

prepare-hot-tub-for-winter-stormWhen a big winter storm is on its way bringing snow, ice and the potential for loss of power, it’s important to prepare a hot tub for a winter storm with a few simple steps:

Pre-Storm Planning

  • Turn up the Temperature: Most hot tubs go up to 104 degrees. Turn your hot tub to the hottest setting and make sure the “summer” or “economy” mode is off. The higher the temperature, the more time you buy yourself before you have to worry about the hot tub freezing, in case there is a loss of power.

Steps if you lose Power

Do not drain your hot tub!

If you don’t have a generator:

  • Leave the hot tub cover closed. With your spa set to 104 degrees, in the typical Pennsylvania and New Jersey winter storm, you can have up to 3-5 days without power before you need to worry about the hot tub freezing.

If you have a generator: 

  • Plug an extension cord from the generator into a submersible pump, and place the pump in the hot tub. The heat from the pump will add to the water plus keep the water circulating, preventing it from freezing.
  • Another option is to use the generator to run a space heater or 100 watt light bulb. Place the heater or bulb into the equipment area (Inside of the cabinet) of your spa and run for a few hours at a time.

Once power is restored, if you notice an issue with your spa, contact us right away to schedule a service or repair.




Protect your Hot Tub in a Storm

As you’re preparing your home for a big storm with a ton of rain, potential flooding and high wind gusts, don’t forget to protect your hot tub, especially the hot tub cover! Follow these simple steps to protect your hot tub during a storm:

  • Remove anything from your patio or deck that could fly and hit the side of your hot tub or puncture the cover, including debris like branches that have already fallen from trees.
  • Make sure all 4 of your cover locks are securely locked into place.
  • After securing the locks, pull up gently on the cover to see if the cover moves at all. If it does, adjust the straps so there isn’t as much give.
  • If your tub is located at the shore or somewhere that gets extreme wind, install a set of additional secure straps for extra security for your cover: Hot Tub Secure Straps

Stay safe & dry!

How to protect your Hot Tub from freezing.

no-heat-hot-tub

If you lose heat to your hot tub in the cold winter months, don’t panic! For a Fully-Foamed hot tub to start to freeze the temperature needs to be below 28 degrees F for at least 36 Hours straight. Even if it does get that cold if your hot tub & pumps are still operating, the water is circulating and will not freeze.

Freeze damage to a hot tub is a costly repair, so to protect your non-heating hot tub from freezing in the winter months, follow these easy instructions put together by George Thomas our service manage, who is one of the brightest in the hot tub industry:

Protect a Hot Tub from Freezing

  1. DO NOT DRAIN THE SPA! If it has been drained refill it.
  2. Periodically run the jet pumps to circulate the water. This will add heat generated by pump motors to your water. (If your jets do not operate go to step #3)
  3. Place submersible pump in center of foot well of your spa (See image below). Plug in the pump and allow to run in the spa without a hose. This will circulate water in spa and transfer heat generated by pump motor to water. NOTE: Pump should be plastic and NOT SMALLER than 1/4 Horse Power!protect-hot-tub
  4. Place a small ceramic heater or a 100 watt incandescent light bulb in the equipment area of your hot tub, making sure that the heater or bulb DOES NOT TOUCH any components or plumbing. Re-install front panel to keep heat inside. NOTE: On SUNDANCE SPAS this is to be installed behind Front Right Side Equipment door Not Center Panel.
  5. KEEP SPA COVER CLOSED AT ALL TIMES TO RETAIN HEAT.
  6. If these instructions are followed the spa will be in NO DANGER of FREEZING!

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, contact our service department to schedule a service appointment for your non-heating hot tub!

Schedule a Service Repair >>

©George Thomas and Spring Dance Hot tubs. May not reproduce without permission

Protect Your Hot Tub with a Vanishing Act Calcium Remover Bag

Vanishing Act Calcium remover for hot tubsTo soften your water and protect your hot tub by virtually removing all the calcium from your hot tub water, we recommend the Vanishing Act Calcium Bag.

For ACT Salt Water Users

If you’re on the ACE Salt Water Sanitizing System you must use a Vanishing Act bag every time you refill your hot tub.

The only exception is if you test your tap water & the calcium hardness is under 50ppm. This is HIGHLY unusual in the Philadelphia region, and most homeowners have hard water (which means the calcium level is high). If you aren’t sure how to test your water, bring us a sample of your tap water & we’ll test it for you!

High Calcium will destroy your cell which is what keeps your ACE Salt water system running effectively!

Note: If you’re using ACE your Freshwater Test strips will show your “Okay” range for calcium hardness being 0-50 ppm. Any other test strips will show an okay range much higher.

What if you’re not on ACE?

It’s a great idea for everyone to use the Vanishing ACT calcium remover bag when you refill your hot tub. It softens your water! Softer water protects your hot tub & its equipment from corroding from calcium build up over the years of use.

You can purchase the  Calcium Remove Bag in our online store: Vanishing Act


Hot Tub Spring Cleaning Tips!

With the change of seasons you’re cleaning your windows, your car & that back closet in the basement you haven’t entered in years, so don’t forget about your hot tub!

Here are a few Spring Cleaning Tips to get your hot tub in TOP Shape for the season:

Hot Tub Spring Cleaning

1. Purge your Spa: Before Draining, put a Spa Purge agent into your hot tub to clean out bacteria from the plumbing lines. We like Clean Start by Silk Balance or Spa Purge by Natural Chemistry

2. Drain your hot tub: Remember to turn off the power to your hot tub first!

3. Clean the surface of your spa: Paying special attention to the water lines where sticky build-up can occur. Don’t forget to wipe down your pillows too! We recommend cleaning the inside of your hot tub with a solution that does not create suds and is not abrasive. Use this solution with a soft rag. For hard-to-clean stains, try a surface cleaner like one made by BaquaSpa or Brilliance for spas. After cleaning, rinse the hot tub thoroughly to get rid of any cleaning solution residue.

4. Clean & Protect Your Cover: Take note of any rips & tears in the vinyl of your cover as these issues can cause loss of heat to your hot tub. Check out our Cover Check-up List to see if it’s time to replace your cover. Protect your cover with 303 Vinyl Protectant.

5. Clean the exterior cabinet: Wipe down your cabinet with a mild cleanser. Hot Tip: Spray 303 Vinyl Protectant on your cabinet to make it look new again! Nothing makes a cabinet look better than 303!

6. Clean your Filters: Depending on the type of Hot Tub you have, your filter requires different care & cleaning. Refer to your owner’s manual for proper care, or read up on the most common filter care for the hot tubs we sell at Spring Dance.

Following these 6 tips will ensure your hot tub is ready for use all season! If you don’t have the patience or time to worry about Spring Cleaning your hot tub, contact us to Schedule Hot Tub Maintenance.

 

Should I close my hot tub for the winter?

So you’re not going to use your hot tub this winter, huh? That’s too bad! We think the wintertime with its cold temperatures is a GREAT time to be hot-tubbing. But we understand that if you’re going away or really not going to use it, you might want to save energy throughout the cold months. Jump to the bottom of this post for our suggestions & opinion on winterization or check out our post: To Winterize or NOT to Winterize

We were recently asked a great question about hot-tubbing in the wintertime:

My hot tub won’t go below 80 degrees F, but I would like to save energy over the winter and run it cooler without shutting it off. Can it be reprogrammed? 

The difference in cost in running your hot tub at 80 degrees vs. 100 degrees throughout the winter is pennies, if that. As long as you have the cover on your hot tub, the heat has no where to go and it maintains a nice warm, toasty temperature. The energy will not burn off from the hot tub.

We don’t suggest keeping your hot tub at a low temperature during the cold months for a few reasons:

  1. If the power goes out to your hot tub or home, your hot tub only has 50 degrees to get to freezing if it’s set at 80. At 100, it would take a lot longer to freeze
  2. What if you decide you want to use your spa in the winter? It will take more energy & use of your heater to get the tub from 80 to 100 in a few hours than if you just kept it at 100 and ready to use at a moments notice!

So what do you do if you want to save energy in the winter.?

You could have your hot tub winterized. During the winterization process we drain the hot tub completely & suck all the water from the plumbing in your spa. But, in our opinion, the cost of the hot tub winterization negates the energy savings over the cold months because our hot tubs are so energy efficient.

We only really recommend winterization if you’re going to be away during the winter or are leaving your hot tub empty for more than just one season!

But then again, we’re really biased because we just LOVE Hot-tubbing in the wintertime!

Contact the Spring Dance Hot Tubs’ Service Department for more information

Preparing your hot tub for a Hurricane

UPDATED 8/26/11 with new tips from our service manager!!

With Hurricane Irene nearing our coast and the potential for wind damage to be severe, here are a few tips to keep your hot tub safe:

  • Lock your cover: Make sure all 4 of your cover locks are securely snapped into place. If any of the locks are broken, contact us about ordering replacement locks.  
  • Tighten the Straps: Once the straps are locked, pull up gently on the cover to see if the cover moves much. If it does, adjust the straps so there isn’t as much give (this is especially important for Hot Spring brand tubs!)
  • Remove Debris: Try to remove any branches or lawn chairs or any other debris that might fly up and hit the hot tub in high winds (We realize you can’t do anything about that aging Oak tree that is 10 feet away- so our fingers are crossed that it crashes down in the other direction) 
  • Add Wind Straps: If your hot tub is located at the shore where the threat of hurricane is greatest, you should definitely add “wind-straps” (basically a longer set of straps with locks that stretch across your entire hot tub) to your hot tub. This is a great addition to your hot tub even if you’re not near the ocean! Secure Straps for Hot Tubs
  • Do not Drain: This is especially important if you’re at the shore & there is a threat of flooding, but DO NOT DRAIN your hot tub! If the flood waters do reach your hot tub, it will most likely float away if it’s drained.
  • Keep your hot tub electrically connected: If you lose power to your hot tub, just check & make sure it’s functioning correctly once the power is restored. There is no need to disconnect your hot tub during the storm.
Stay safe!

Hot Tub Tip: 303 Protectant for Hot Tub Covers and more

Here’s a quick tip to get your hot tub looking like it’s brand new!

Spray your hot tub cabinet* with 303 Vinyl Protectant!


303 Protectant is a product we carry to protect your cover- it’s like an SPF for your cover, protecting it from the sun.
But 303 can be used for lots of different vinyl products, including vinyl car seats, outdoor furniture & even your hot tub cabinet! Just spray on the 303 & rub it in & you’ll be amazed at the difference! Your hot tub cabinet will look shiny & new again!

Buy 303 through on our online store



*This 303 tip will only work with synthetic cabinets- not with traditional wood cabinets

Preventing Hot Tub Cover Damage

This is NOT funny!

I was reminded today of hot tubs while stopped under a tree, sitting in traffic at a light on my way in to work, when an acorn, or maybe it was the guy next to me throwing an apple core or hey- it could have been a meteor falling from the sky- but SOMETHING hit the roof of my car and DENTED it!!

Acorn damage is not covered by my car’s warranty. And understandably why. It’s not VW’s fault that that acorn/apple/alien dropping an meteor hit my car, but it reminded me about things that can happen to hot tubs that manufacture doesn’t consider “their fault.”

For example, if there’s a windstorm & your cover strap breaks- unfortunately, that was mother nature (and blaming mother nature doesn’t always get us anywhere) and those sorts of things aren’t covered under the warranty.

But the good news is there are a couple things you can do to prevent having to pay out of pocket for Mother Nature’s faults. Like:

  • Making sure your cover straps are tight
    Sometimes the straps aren’t taut against the side of your hot tub. They’re adjustable so adjust more or less until the strap feels tight against the spa cabinet
  • Making sure the cover stays locked when not in use
    That way a big gust of wind won’t sweep up under your newly adjusted cover straps and throw the cover open (and potentially all the way across your lawn- yikes!)
  • Making sure to unstrap all the cover locks before using your cover lifter!
    Because there’s nothing worse that getting ready for a relaxing soak and “Uh oh? What was that sound?” and realizing you left the back straps in the buckle & the pressure of the cover opening with the cover lifter ripped them right out. Way to ruin relaxation Mother Nature (wait.. can we blame that on Mother Nature? Ah- what the heck. Let’s do it anyway!)!!
Don’t let this be you!

All these things will prevent little mishaps & Mother Nature from ripping apart your cover & you shaking your fist just like I did, earlier today at that acorn or apple core or that alien throwing a meteor.

Hope that helps!

Big acorn found here

What am I forgetting?

Hot Tub Care Guide

Even the most seasoned hot tub owner calls us from time to time with questions about something common with their hot tub. And we don’t blame them at all. In a world where everything seemingly needs to be maintained- light bulbs, fridge filters, A/C units, oil changes for the car, heel replacements on that expensive pair of Louboutins, bed pillows (I JUST found out I’m supposed to be replacing those once a year- I guess the pillow I have from college is probably past it’s prime years, huh?!)- it’s easy to forget hot tub maintenance.

But we make it EASY! Here are some quick reminders for your Hot Tub Housekeeping.

  • Change your water: A couple times of year is great. While our hot tub’s filtration is the best on the market & we’re sure our water care systems kill any potential bacteria, it’s best to start fresh a few times a year!
  • Change your Silver Ion cartridges: If you’re on a chlorine + ozone system, most likely you had a silver ion (also called SunPurity for Sundance) cartridge installed in your filter or filter area at some point! Those stop working after 3-4 months & should be replaced. Sign up for our auto-ship program & you’ll never forget! Download the form here or order a few replacements online
  • Clean your filters: Because our filtration is so good, your filters will get extra dirty. Make sure you clean them according to the instructions for your type of filter. Forget what cleaning procedure is right for your tub? Download our Filter cleaning instructions!
  • Protect & Clean your cover: We suggest that every time you drain & refill your spa, you also hose down & clean off any dirt & debris from your hot tub cover. Then use 303 Vinyl Protectant which is like an SPF for the vinyl on your hot tub cover!
Download our helpful Quick Tips for Hot Tub Care Guide & keep it with your hot tub chemicals!