Hot Tub Air Blower Replacement

Hot tub air blowersGet a replacement spa blower online whether you need a 1HP, 1 1/2HP or 2HP blower.

Before replacing a blower, be sure the old blower does not have water in it, or you may have the same problem with the new blower.

Generally, there are 2 lines of defense when it comes to avoiding water getting into the spa blower.

First, there is a Hartford loop which is a 180 degree spa plumbing setup with the piping/hose going very high – ideally above the water line and mounted under the spa cabinet, attached to the rest of the plumbing.

After the loop, there is also an air check valve in the plumbing before it hooks up to the blower.  This is another safety mechanism to prevent water from getting into the blower.

If the check valve has failed, it will need to be replaced before replacing the blower.

Spa blower cords come with different connectors. The most popular types are the 4 pin AMP cord (usually white) and the mini-J&J connectors or Gecko In.Link connectors.

Another thing to watch when replacing a blower is whether it is a 120v or 230v blower.

Blowers are fairly easy to replace. They plug into the circuit board or spa pack directly.  They are usually screwed down to the spa floor, a mounting block or even an upright post with the air exhaust facing down.

The connection is often 1 1/2 inch air hose.

Replacement Hot Tub Air BlowerSome spa companies such as QCA Spas use the blower to force air into the venturi ports of the water jets. This creates a turbo effect where the air from the blower assists the water jets and creates a volcanic eruption inside the spa.

Some aromatherapy systems also use the blower air to introduce fragrance into the air injectors in the spa.

Find the right replacement hot tub blower online at Hot Tub Outpost U.S.A.

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.

Buying a Balboa Spa Pak for Your Hot Tub

Balboa spa packThe spa pack in your hot tub is basically the guts of its entire mechanical and electrical working systems. You can typically expect a spa pack to last about 8 to 10 years. Considering the fact that the average spa shell lasts at least 30 to 40 years, spa owners will most likely have to replace their spa paks at least once or twice – if not more – during the life of the hot tub.

You don’t necessarily have to buy the exact same spa pak that you had when you first bought your hot tub. In fact, there are other options available when it comes time for replacement, rather than get a highly marked up pack and service from your spa dealer.  The main manufacturer of spa packs in the world is Balboa. The majority of hot tub manufacturers don’t make their own spa paks, but buy them from a manufacturer that specializes in these products. You just need to order the one that fits based on the pumps and features in your hot tub.

Make Sure to Use the Latest Technology

Your best bet when it comes to replacing your spa pak is to take advantage of the latest, most innovative technology. Manufacturers of these components are constantly trying to improve the design of these paks in order to make their functionality as efficient and effective as possible. That’s why it’s wise to buy Balboa spa pak for your hot tub, as this brand is considered to be among the best in the world of hot tubs.

By the time your spa pak fails, you probably won’t be able to find the exact same model or brand at the time of replacement. It’s most likely been replaced by a newer design, which in essence puts the hot tub owner at an advantage.

Major Components of Spa Paks

Typically, you’ll see the following as part of a spa pack:

  • Controller
  • Heater
  • Pump
  • Blower

hot tub Balboa spa packTo buy a Balboa spa pack, look no further than The Hot Tub Outpost! They have  a large online selection of spa packs in all major brands including Balboa, Waterway and CTI, to name a few.

Save time and money buying all of your hot tub parts and accessories online with Hot Tub Outpost.  Their website also offers handy guides for water maintenance and getting the most out of your hot tub. You can find a full set of spa replacement parts including filters, covers, chemicals, steps and more.  Choose from a wider selectionand  never pay retail again!  Visit www.HotTubOutpost.com for all your hot tub needs.

What are the Best Hot Tub Features?

Hot tub spa featuresWhen it comes to hydrotherapy, QCA Spas offers a wave lounger so every spot on the body gets massaged as the moving massage goes row by row.

One consideration is how much hydrotherapy or how many jets are desired? Up to about 40 jets works with a single pump spa. Any more than that should have 2 pumps in the spa. Another pump is the air blower that is also found in the higher end spas.

Zoning is a system that moves water flow from one section of the spa to another. This helps a one pump spa provide more power to a particular side of the spa as needed.

The deluxe spas with air blowers also feature turbo charging where the water gets another boost from the forced air of the blower that can be routed through the water lines or through the dedicated air injectors for a more champagne like bubbling that spas are known for.

Many quality hot tub features are hidden such as quality, name brand components, pumps, controls and heaters. Other features are out in the open for all to see such as the waterfall feature or LED lighting.

A sound system can also be added to most any spa. There is the lower end sound system with speakers and the high end Vibrasound system that turns the spa shell into the speaker creating a uniform sound field no matter where you sit in the spa. The Vibrasound system also adds the subwoofer for true bass.

Hot tub featuresAlthough an aromatherapy canister can be added to most spas that are outfitted with a spa blower, the most popular form of aromatherapy comes in liquid or crystal form that can be added to any hot tub, even those without a dedicated aromatherapy system.

Another nice feature is the integrated chemical dispenser inside the filter. This avoids having to use a floater to hold the bromine or chlorine tablets.

Want a salt water spa? Almost any mid-range or higher end QCA Spas can be upgraded to a salt system by adding the bromine salt system. Just buy the Bromicharge sodium bromide and put a reserve in the spa water, then the chemicals to kill bacteria and sanitizer the water are manufactured automatically by the bromine salt system cell.

Unlike an ozonator that can be retrofitted later, the bromine salt system is best when factory installed at the time of ordering to avoid a costly service bill.

hot tub spaWhen using the spa outdoors, always use a hard cover instead of a flexible soft cover that may come standard with the lower end spas.  Get a free hard cover upgrade on those spas as well from Hot Tub Outpost. They believe in offering quality from the get-go to avoid any unpleasant surprises. After all, you want to get into your spa and enjoy it from day 1, and not receive an incomplete kit.

Have any questions about buying the right hot tub? Contact the folks over at Hot Tub Outpost for knowledgeable assistance.

HL700 QCA Spas Hot Tub

HL700 hot tub spaThe HL700 has a comfortable lounger, but it is not a standard lounger. This wrap-around lounger allows for use as a lounger and seating because it wraps around the corner. In most lounger spas, only 1 person can use the entire area of the spa taken up by the lounger, however in a wrap-around lounger as featured in the QCA Spas HL700 hot tub, you can also use the lounger for upright seating because it is a flat level surface that extends around the corner.

The HL700 lounger is also found in the QCA Spas Dream Waver 7 person hot tub with 53 jets.

Another HL700 style spa is the Day Dreamer with 40 jets.

HL700 hot tubThese 7 Person lounger spas have dimensions of 82″ L x 82″ W x 36″ D and a water capacity of 425 gallons.  When comparing dimensions among hot tubs, it is important to also compare water volumes as this is a good indicator of how much seating room is in the spa. The higher the gallons, the more space there is inside the spa for moving about.

The HL700 family of spas operates at 230 volts and features a wide variety of massage jets including a 14 Jet Turbo Massage spa jet and lower & mid-back adjustable/directional/mini massage jets.

There are also adjustable back jets configured to mini massage and directional style as well as large adjustable vortex and adjustable rotational jets.

Powered by a 4.2 MBHP horsepower Hi-Flow Pump, this quiet operating spa features a low cost circulation speed and a high performance second pump speed.

The spa shell is made of Lucite-Xtra ABS-backed acrylic with the Dura-Bond™ four layer strengthening process.

The spa cabinet is called Weather Guard™ Maintenance-Free Cabinet and features reversible panels for easy access and maintenance.

A hard cover that is lockable and weather resistant is included.

The HL700 includes a Heat Recovery System and exceeds California Energy Compliance Mandate for energy savings.

HL700 spaHigh quality brand name spa controls are made by the industry leader, Balboa. The built-in filter system keeps the water clean and the replaceable cartridge filter is also included.

The HL700 is unique in that it offers the wrap around lounger along with Zone Control™, a dedicated Air Flow Control System (not a blower), and is delivered ozone-ready.

Standard outfitting also includes the 12 Volt Standard Light. Add the factory installed ozonator or LED light bulb as an options.

The HL700 spa is ETL & CE listed and like all QCA Spas, this hot tub is made in the U.S.A.

Enjoy easy operation with the 4 button Balboa digital topside control panel. Select massage, temperature, and lighting and enjoy life in your luxurious and flexible wrap-around lounger!

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.

Buying A Used Hot Tub

Used hot tub spasThinking about buying a used hot tub?  Found a hot tub in your new home or getting one second hand?  There are things to consider before jumping into that used hot tub for the first time.

It is a good idea to know about how old the spa is.  This can be determined from information on the spa pack or electronics box, or possibly listed in the owner’s manual if transferred with the spa.  Another method to determine a hot tub’s age is by serial number.  These are often date coded so that the month and year of manufacture can be determined.  The actual spa manufacturer also may be able to look up the serial number in their production database to help determine a spa’s age.

Typically a hot tub cover may need to be replaced after about 7 years.  Pumps that are older than 3 years or so and are broken may be better off being exchanged rather than repaired.  If the water quality was not maintained by the previous owner, then pump seals and other o-rings and gaskets in the system may wear, causing leaks.

At minimum, by filling and adding 2 capfuls of chlorine to attempt to kill bacteria in the lines are the best in super chlorinating the spa.  The new product is also available at www.HotTubOutpost.com for cleaning the pipes and inside lines of a hot tub and is highly recommended in addition to chlorine to give the pipes and hoses a new beginning.

Replace the cartridge filter with a brand new one for your model.  Determine if the cover is still good or needs to be replaced as well.

Used hot tubs can save money, but can also cost money to get them up to speed.  If the electronics and pumps work, and the spa does not leak, it is a good start, but the spa will need to be cleaned inside and out and brought up to proper operating standards. Note that if water chemistry was not properly maintained, another thing that may go wrong is that the spa heats slowly or not at all. This could be the result of a calcified heater element with calcium buildup on the element inside the flow through heater. This makes it harder for the heater to do its job and ends up costing the owner more in electricity.  The solution is to replace the heater.

buy used hot tubsThere are 2 types of heaters. Those with the sensors on the outside of the tube and those with sensors on the inside of the tube (like recent model Balboa heaters). The ones with sensors on the inside usually are not hooked up to a pressure switch, whereas older models have a separate pressure switch that makes sure the heater can only work when safe.

Get all your hot tub spare parts from www.HotTubOutpost.com.

Hot Tub Plumbing Repair Parts

hot tub plumbingWhether you are plumbing up a horse’s trough or fixing a hot tub, you’ll need the right PVC plumbing parts and glue to do the repair.

PVC fittings for spa repair include elbows, tees, connectors, reducers and maybe some pipe or hose.

Plumbing parts on a hot tub also include suction fittings, unions, manifolds, jets and valve parts.

Finding the leak is the first step to ordering the right parts to fix it. In spas with removable cabinet panels, it may be pretty quick to identify where the water is coming from. In spas that are fully foamed, this task can be more daunting.

So you found the leak and ordered all the parts you need from the Hot Tub Outpost.

You may need to cut out the old plumbing parts with a hacksaw or cutting tool, then smooth the edges and try to put the new pieces together without glue to make sure everything fits first. Clean and prime the connections, then apply the PVC cement to both sections, give a quarter twist and hold for about 30 seconds until dry. If you glued it well, your horse should be able to drink from the trough again, or you can go back to enjoying your hot tub.

Hot Tub Plumbing Part Types:

Elbows can be regular slip connection elbows where the pipe or hose fits inside the elbow, or if it is a “street” elbow, one of the connections will be where the hose or pipe goes over the connector.

Reducer bushings allow for the reduction of say 2 inch connections to 1 1/2″. There are reducer bushings all the way down to 1/2″.

Manifolds come in various port configurations starting with a 2 port manifold.  Common manifold types are 4-port, 8-port and 16 ports. 4s can be grouped to create a larger manifold as well. You may need plugs for any of the ports that do not need to go anywhere or for which there is not associated jet hose.

Manifold plumbing allows for even distribution of water through several lines, commonly used to route water from the main pump hose line to the individual jets.

hot tub plumbing partsThere are water manifolds to route the water and air manifolds for systems that use an air blower.

Valves help route the water or air and service valves may also be installed to help shut the water flow off around the pump or main spa pack/heater to allow for servicing of those components without the need to drain the spa.

Unions are usually glued on one side and allow for a component such as the pump or heater to be connected to the plumbing without hard-gluing it. This allows that part to be removed and replaced without needing to glue in plumbing, but sometimes the unions themselves need to be replaced and that involves glue.

PVC Glue: the best type is fast drying PVC glue such as by Weld-On.

Get all your hot tub plumbing parts at www.HotTubOutpost.com.

Hot Tub Safety Features

parts and supplies safetySafety is an important consideration when operating a hot tub, but did you know some hot tubs include more safety features than others?

Sure, there are some safety features that are required by law. The Virginia Graham Baker law affects the suctions that are to make to spec to avoid any hair entrapment. This means having at least 2 suctions for each pump so that if one plugs up, there is not a potentially dangerous hair entrapment issue.

Other safety features such as walk-in safety steps are optional and up to the individual manufacturer.

At Hot Tub Outpost, we offer QCA Spas at discount prices online with free shipping and no tax (except in the great state of Texas). These spas have numerous additional safety features including automatic freeze protection and automatic overheat protection, barrier-free seating, walk-in steps on many models and lockable safety covers.

Check out the larger 3-step steps with hand rails for additional security when getting into and out of the spa.

All of these spas are ETL and CE approved/rated and also exceed the California Energy Commission standards for hot tub energy usage.

Using proper, brand name components such as Balboa, Waterway, Aquaflo and Lasco assures a safer hot tub construction. Safer components = Safer spa.

When it comes to water chemistry, having a built-in chemical feeder also helps provide proper sanitization.  A built-in ozonator can further improve water quality.

parts and supplies safety featuresPeace of mind when operating the spa and when bathing in it is what you get when you purchase a spa from a manufacturer that values safety such as QCA Spas.

There are other spa manufacturers that also value safety and go above and beyond, so if you need any hot tub parts or accessories or to repair or replace any hot tub safety feature, you can get your parts and supplies online at www.HotTubOutpost.com.

Enjoy your hot tub!