Discount Spa Chemicals Online

replacement spa chemicalsWhy run around from store to store wasting gas and time when you can comfortably order replacement hot tub chemicals online?

With online shopping, you get access to an immediate and huge selection of hot tub chemicals, fragrances, filters and other maintenance accessory products.

Get free shipping when you buy enough chemicals to put you over the free shipping threshold.  The prices are great too because online merchants can offer you lower prices than high-overhead retail stores.

The retailer is a great place to go to buy your hot tub if you want to try out the individual spas by sitting in them, but no reason to drive all the way to some retailer for a bottle of test strips. Chances are they don’t have every filter in stock either.  The warehouses of online merchants are much larger than the floor space in some retail store, so you have a wider selection of in-stock, ready to ship hot tub chemicals and accessories.

Don’t forget to buy all you need at the same time so you get free shipping.

Hot Tub spa chemicalsGet bromine tablets, granular chlorine, shock treatment, pH plus and minus, test strips and even fragrances or foam down. Make a list and then order up!

Your shipment will be on its way fast and you can spend more time enjoying your spa and the people around you.

Here’s to crystal clear water and beautiful hot tub evenings. Get your replacement spa chemicals at the Hot Tub Outpost.

Buying a Replacement Hot Tub Pump? Read This First!

discount hot tub pupmsYour hot tub pump is an essential component of the entire spa system.

If it starts to malfunction, it’s important to either repair the part right away, or replace it altogether. There are a few telltale signs that you hot tub’s pump is faltering, including issues with  shafts or bearings, humming noises, a jammed impeller, and a faulty staring capacitor.

You may also notice jets aren’t working right or you can’t get the second speed to work. These are all be signs that the pump is in trouble and needs to be replaced.

When it comes to replacing your spa pump, there are a few things to consider first before buying discount hot tub pumps.  The place to start is looking at the existing pump label so you can find the frame size (48 or 56 frame).

You will also need to know the plumbing size, which is usually 2 inch but can vary between 1.5 – 3 inches.  The brand is not as important as the specifications.  Other things you will need to know:

Variable or Single Speed –   1speed or 2speed

The motor inside the pump is configured either for a single or variable speeds. Almost all units are either one or two speed. Determine whether your hot tub pump is a 1 or 2 speed and if the operating voltage is 120v or 230v in order to find the right pump for your spa. Unless your hot tub is designed for upgraded pumps with added pressure for moving water faster, it’s generally not recommended to buy an upgraded pump.  Replacing same type of pump will yield the best results.

You can convert a 2 speed pump for 1 speed operation, but you can’t convert a 1-speed pump for 2-speed operation!

Horsepower

You should ideally buy a pump that has as close to the same horsepower as the unit you are replacing. Ideally, the same level of power should be bought in order to avoid any potential problems. Going up more than two horsepower when getting a new pump is not recommended, as it could result in issues like damaged components or broken pipes that won’t be able to handle the added force.

Outlet Voltage

You should take note of the voltage of the original unit when finding a replacement. Pumps are constructed in only two voltages (120v or 230v), and the plug location on the circuit board or spa pack that will be supplying the power should be either 120v or 230v depending on the specifications. Getting one with the wrong voltage can cause damage to the motor, which will burn out fast. The wrong voltage can also create a fire hazard that can not only destroy the hot tub, but cause major damage and danger to the surroundings.  So replace pump with same voltage type pump.  Note that just because the spa pack operates at say 230v does not necessarily mean the pumps are 230v. They may be 120 volt pumps in a 230 volt spa, so check the label on the old pump for the proper operating voltage of the PUMP not the spa.

discount hot tubFor unbeatable prices in discount hot tub pumps, visit www. HotTubOutpost.com today!

They have most replacement spa pumps in stock, including the most reputable brand names available, including Aqua-Flo, Executive 56, Waterway, Ultra Jet and others. They also carry spa pump parts – like wet ends, pump impellers, seals, capacitors and more. In addition to savings in prices, they also offer free shipping to anywhere in the continental US on most brand name hot tub pumps!

Visit their website today to order your replacement spa pump.  Save both time and money at www.HotTubOutpost.com.

Check out their unbelievable deals on both new and remanufactured pumps for additional savings.

Therasauna Made in the USA

Infrared SaunasTherasauna is the only infrared sauna manufacturer in the U.S.A. (as of 2012) with components coming from Chicago and Minneapolis. The retail customer that bought a Therasauna almost 20 years ago still can get replacement parts, unlike many others who have come and went over the years.

Others may say they are made in the USA, but they are actually bringing in saunas from overseas.  The main line of Therasauna uses aspen wood and U.S. based technology.

Lifetime heater warranty from a company that has been in business for almost 50 years gives peace of mind for your infrared sauna investment.  The electronic control system comes with a 3 year unconditional warranty.

50 years Lifetime heaterHot Tub Outpost has been selling infrared saunas since even before Therasauna was invented and we know our saunas.

Get free shipping and the best prices online for your infrared sauna from Hot Tub Outpost.

How to Drain a Hot Tub with Interior Valve

drain valve for QCA spasSome hot tubs have an interior drain valve located underneath the spa cabinet. To access the drain valve, remove the side panel closest to the valve and hook up a standard garden hose to the threaded fitting. Then open the tap and let gravity do its job.

These types of gravity drains are also found mounted to the exterior of some spas.

Some hot tubs do not have a drain valve at all. To empty this type of spa, it is best to use a submersible pump (and fastest too).

Alternatively, a garden hose can be inserted into the spa water, then turn the water supply valve on until all air is out of the hose. Then stop the water flow from the supply side and unscrew the filled hose from the tap/supply. The water will use gravity suction and run out of the hose in reverse.  This is a simple way of draining a hot tub that does not have a dedicated drain valve.

But the fastest way to drain any spa with or without a drain valve is to buy a submersible pump.

hot tub interior drain valveIf using the internal drain found on some spa models, be sure to close the cap again when finished with the draining operation in order to avoid air getting sucked into the plumbing lines via the drain connector.  If air is allowed to enter the plumbing, then poor performance or even air pockets can develop.

Be sure to rinse off the filter when refilling the spa and replace the filter entirely every year. Enjoy your newly filled hot tub.

QCA Spa Cabinet Removal

To remove the new style QCA Spas side panels, simply flex the board slightly and remove.  Some models may have layers of polystyrene behind the boards that also may need to be carefully removed when accessing interior components during a service or interior inspection.  Replace the panels the same way being sure to replace any interior insulation panels first and then get the tongue and groove boards into the guide rails on the top and bottom of the cabinet.

This style of cabinet allows for easy access to any point underneath the cabinet.Drain Adapter for QCA Spas

Old style QCA Spa panels were single large panels that spanned an entire side of the spa.  There were 4 of those type that required the removal of 6-8 stainless steel screws.

The old style cabinets used an exterior drain and drain adapter.

Most of the newer spas use the new system of integrated boards.  These are also reversible in the case one side gets scratched or damaged.

Mineral Sticks for Easy Hot Tub Water Care

Mhot tub mineral stickineral sticks by Frog, Nature 2 and Leisure Time are cartridges that insert right into the filter compartment and allow for a reduction in chemical sanitizer. Although the mineral stick does not replace bromine or chlorine, quantities of the sanitizer can be reduced when using a mineral stick.

The mineral stick helps kill bacteria by dissolving trace amounts of mineral material into the water while being odorless.  It works by producing positive ions that destroy negative charged bacteria cells.

Most mineral sticks work together with a built-in ozonator to help reduce bromine or chlorine needed.  Just put the cartridge in the filter housing area, it does not need to be mounted.  Never mount a mineral stick inside the plumbing of a spa.  Some filters will allow for the stick to go inside the filter if the filter is longer than about 7″, but just putting in the housing or in the filter basket area is adequate.  Replace the stick every 3-4 months.

frog mineral stickKeep your water safe, free from harmful bacteria and sparkling clean with a mineral stick in addition to reduced amounts of chlorine or bromine. That means less chemical smell and less skin irritation.  Never mix bromine and chlorine.

The frog mineral stick is green, like a frog and fits right in the filter compartment of most spas.  Follow the directions by snapping off the end and inserting into filter cartridge area.  This works with spas up to 1,000 gallons.  One stick will last 3-4 months.

Hot Tub Spa Plumbing Repair Tips

plumbing parts onlineHot tub sprung a leak?

PVC parts and glue may be needed to fix the leak. Common hot tub PVC plastic parts include elbows, tees, reducers, hose or pipe and unions.

Manifolds direct the water from a larger hose or pipe to several smaller hoses that usually connect to jets.  Most hot tub manufacturers use a manifold plumbing system in order to assure even pressure at every jet. Basically the water manifold is a water splitter and the air manifold is an air splitter.

spa plumbing parts onlineA spa that is left empty in the freezing winter may have a cracked manifold or two.  Those can usually be found easily because water comes gushing out of them as soon as the hot tub is refilled after the season.  This is why it is important to properly winterize the spa or just leaving it full over the winter, even if the temperature is turned down. Leaving the hot tub filled also allows the freeze protect systems in the controls to work.

When glueing parts together, it is first important to dry-fit them to assure they will all fit in the right place. Then apply glue in a circular motion around and around both joints to be connected. This also builds up heat and allows the two parts to bond better.  Use a fast drying PVC glue ideal for hot tub use.

Some hot tub techs like using a primer first to assure a better bond. This is a good practise, but many times just gluing 2 brand new, dry joints is also adequate when using a good PVC glue. Never hurts to prime and it does pre-treat the connection for a sure fit.

Ohot tub spa partsnce the PVC glue has cured (usually best to leave it for 24 hours or so even if dry in 5-10 minutes as is the case with the fast drying WeldOn type of glue), then refill the spa and check the connection as well as for any other leaks.

As long as the spa is not of the fully foamed type, getting at and repairing leaks is a straightforward process most of the time.

Get your plumbing parts online at the Hot Tub Outpost.

QCA Spas Troubleshooting FAQ

plug and play spasHow do I know if I am getting power to my Plug and Play spa?

There is a test button and above it a reset button on the GFCI power cord. When the GFCI is fully functional, the red light on the GFCI cord will be on indicating power to the spa.

I am getting power, but spa not working.

If the system fuse blows (0.3 amps) then the topside control panel will not light up, so the fuse needs to be replaced.

My Aux button does not work.

All plug and play spas have an Aux button on the panel that is inoperative. It is a generic panel that includes an additional function not used on plug and play models. This is similar to blanks that are in automobiles that do not offer certain features or functions.

What should I do if my spa pump is humming?

If the pump does not pump any water, see if there is an error message on the panel.  If the control panel shows an error message DR or DY, that means the heater is dry, so you may need to manually prime the pump or heater tube.  This process involves slightly opening a union to allow water to start coming out, thereby eliminating any trapped air bubbles. This usually may occur on a brand new fill.  Pumps are self-priming, but sometimes an air pocket can cause priming issues and the resulting dry heater error. This is a safety mechanism to avoid the heater tube from becoming too hot.   Always call for assistance if there are any issues that are unclear.

Most of the issues may crop up on brand new installations or refills as procedures are not understood until becoming more familiar with the spa.  Generally, once the spa is full of water and the power has been hooked up safely and correctly, there is little to do but turn it on and enjoy!

plug and play hot tub spaProper water chemistry will go a long way to avoiding any mechanical problems or eroding seals and also provide for a safe and fun water environment for the whole family.

Contact the folks at Hot Tub Outpost with any questions or to order replacement parts, filters, chemicals, covers or accessories.

Convert a Plug and Play Hot Tub from 110v to 220v

120 volt plug and playNot all 110-120 volt spas can be converted to 220-240v operation, but a select few of QCA Spas plug and play models such as the Mystic, Riviera and Star Gazer.

When a plug and play spa operates at 120v, the heater (if the spa has one) is mostly a 1kw heater. By converting one of the convertible plug and play spas to 220-240v operation, you make the heater a 4kw heater without needing to actually replace the heater.

Will the spa use more power at 240v?  No, because the recovery time and initial heat up time is 1/2 the time.  The only thing you are converting is the heater. The pump still operates at 120v even when the spa operates at 240v.

So the benefit of operating the spa at 220-240v is that the heater works better.

On a plug and play spa, the heater is convertible to 240v by removing a white wire and switching a dipswitch on the circuit board.

Your electrician can do this conversion in a few minutes.  The steps are to power down the spa, unplug the spa.  Remove the power cord by unscrewing the connections on the terminal block on the circuit board.  Then remove the jumper wire from the “Red AC” section.  Move the number 10 dipswitch down and that converts it to 240v.

Your electrician will then bring in the neutral, 2 hot wires and a ground wire and you are good to go.

See the diagram in the video for how to wire up a GFCI at 240v.

plug and play hot tubWhen inside the power control box, do not move the red, factory preset dipswitches.  The only dipswitch that needs to be adjusted when converting from 120v to 240v is the last one in the row (dipswitch #10). Do not move any of the other dipswitches at any time without calling for assistance.

Not all 120 volt spas are convertible, so be sure you have a QCA Spas convertible 120 volt plug and play model before attempting to hook it up to 220-240 volts.  As of the time this article was written, the only types of spas that accommodate this upgrade are the Mystic, Riviera and StarGazer type spas.

Wet End Removal – Hot Tub Pumps

hot tub spa pumpsReplacing a pump seal requires removing the plug that covers the motor shaft.  Use a hook tool to hook the impeller to avoid it turning. When holding the impeller, turn the motor shaft screw counterclockwise and loosen the impeller.  Remove the 4 through bolts that hold the motor to the wet end. These are usually 5/16″ heads that run all the way through the motor to the wet end. Once removed, the wet end falls off revealing the impeller inside and providing access to the pump seal.

Be sure to have ordered the right pump seal kit ahead of time for replacement once pump is taken apart.  Insert the pump seal kit per directions that come with the kit and then replace the impeller and wet end, tighten through bolts and reinstall the pump.

spa pumpsThe problem with pump seals is that they are susceptible to chemical damage by out of balance water. That is why it is imperative that the pH in a hot tub is kept between the desired range of 7.2-7.6 which is slightly basic.  This keeps it out of the acid range and hence avoids eating at pump seals which in turn can cause a leak at the pump.

Regular inspection of spa pumps can provide early warning of a leaky pump seal and if the seal is replaced in a timely manner, pump replacement can be avoided.

Need a replacement wet end, you can get those too at Hot Tub Outpost USA.

Hot Tub Hydrotherapy Jets

hot tub spa hydromassageOne of the main reasons to own a hot tub is to enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy and massage.  The basic idea back when the Jacuzzi brothers were introducing hot tubs, is that a pump move water to jets that provide a soothing massage.

A warm water massage is invigorating and helps get blood flowing.  Water stores and carries heat and energy. Relieve tired, aching and sore muscles with a massage provided by the spa jets.

There are various jet configurations in each seat type to help vary the pressure points and areas of the body to receive the beneficial massage treatment.

Even a single jet with water flowing through its orifice can provide some degree of stimulation and relaxation, but a cluster of jets is even better for treating larger areas of the body.  Foot jets can even reach the soles of feet while ankle and leg jets provide a soothing massage to calfs, thighs and legs.  A full body massage lounger such as the wave lounger found in GT500, Cozumel Ultra and Paradise Ultra spas provide scores of jets to benefit the entire body with a dynamic massage controlled by a separate panel.

Whether your spa has a full-blown digital whole body moving massage or clusters of ideally placed spa jets, the hydrotherapy benefit is much greater than the single jet type hot tubs often found in hotels where only 1 jet near the center of the back provides the massage.

This is one of the benefits of portable spas vs. inground spas, is that you will find many more jets in the portable spa varieties.  It is rare an in-ground hot tub will have more than about a dozen jets.  Some do offer an air system with air injectors, but the primary hydromassage comes from the water jets which moves water towards the body and not just air bubbles, although air bubbles can feel relaxing too.

A turbo charged air system is one in which there is duplicate plumbing so that air from the blower can be introduced into the water jets, creating a more powerful stream that provides an invigorating hydromassage.  This in contrast to the simple Venturi air that is provided by a topside air control that allows more air to flow along with the water from a particular jet or jet group.  Venturi is not forced air, but merely accompanying air that glides in as the water is flowing.  The blower-powered turbo systems actually move the air forward and create a more powerful water stream in turbo-charged systems such as QCA Spas hot tubs that come with turbo air blower systems.

The actual hydrotherapy or alternative medicine water treatments used by occupational and physical therapists is a similar concept to hydrotherapy found in hot tubs.  Moving hot water stimulates blood circulation and can actually treat symptoms of certain diseases.

The basis of hydrotherapy goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans.  Public baths have been a mainstay of many societies around the world.  Natural hot springs often provide moving hot water through vents with hot water streams emerging from the Earth. Some of that water is too hot to actually sit in front of.

With a hot tub, we have the luxury to control the water temperature and also the strength of the water massage.

If your heater is no longer working, you can still try Cryotherapy (cold water immersion) until you get a new heater shipped out asap from Hot Tub Outpost.

Hot tub Hydrotherapy massage benefits from a hot tub are delivered through a variety of multi-jet placements. Some jets such as the 14 Nozzle Turbo Jet actually are 14 jets in 1 with 14 streams of water providing a wide area of coverage.

Selecting a hot tub is based on size and budget, but also on the variety of jet configurations the spa provides.  Once 30-40 jets are in a hot tub, it is best to operate the spa with 2 independent spa pumps, allowing for up to 80 or more jets to provide an even massage.

hot tub hydromassageA manifold plumbing system in a hot tub distributes the water pressure evenly to a wide assortment of spa jets.

Jets can be different colors and styles as well, with some looking like grey or white plastic types while others are adorned with the stainless steel look.  Some jets have single, stationary nozzles while other spa jets have rotating single or dual nozzles.  Some jets have large faces and some have small faces, but the size of the actual orifice or hole in the jet determines the water stream.

Some jet types of the same size are actually interchangeable/replaceable.  This means if you have, say, a 3 1/2″ rotating jet and would like a stationary one there, just swap out the jets with a similar size model that has the rotating or stationary feature you like.

To remove most spa jets, just turn them counterclockwise past the detente position and they unscrew completely, allowing the new jet insert of the same type to replace it quite easily.

Other jets such as fixed Euro jets cannot be replaced.

The benefit to having a larger spa with 2 jet pumps is that you typically get more jets and more clusters so as you move from seat to seat you can vary your hydrotherapy experience.

Look for neck jets or should jets in some models, and a wide variety of jet placements that are sure to please.

Enjoy your Hot Tub Hydromassage and get all your hot tub supplies at the Hot Tub Outpost USA.