to Properly Open a Hot Tub/Spa :
Most damage that
occurs to Hot Tub/Spa is caused by improper winterization.
When it comes time to open up your Hot Tub/Spa,
any problems will become quickly evident. While it is strongly recommended
to have a pool or spa professional close your spa, many homeowners
do successfully tackle the job of spa opening themselves.
Hot Tub Spa Opening Instructions :
A- Remove the winter spa cover (or tarp) that is covering
your hard thermal spa cover.
B- Remove the air pillow (if any) and deflate
it. For an inground spa, remove and drain any water tubes
Clean, fold and store it away.
C- Remove the hard thermal cover.
D- Inspect the inside of the spa. Some water
or dirt is expected.
If there is water in the spa for any reason,
submersible spa draining pump into the tub and pump out all the remaining water.
Inspect the shell for cracks or splits. If there was a significant amount of
water in the tub over the winter, and it froze, there is a chance that it
damage to the spa shell. If any cracks or splits are visible in the spa shell,
contact a local spa professional to check it out immediately. Otherwise, remove
any rubber plugs that may have been installed in the jets at closing time as
If your spa shell appears OK, then move on
to the next step.
E- Clean the spa shell & filter.
F- It is recommended to use an acrylic cleaner
to clean your spa shell. For example, products like Novus,
or Clean and Brite. Do not use soap based
cleaners like Glass Plus, Fantastic, Scrubbing Bubbles, etc. These cleaners
abrasives that might scratch the acrylic spa shell. Also, they
will leave a soap residue on the spa walls and when you refill the spa, you
stand a chance of getting bubbly, soapy water. Spray cleaner on the spa shell
seats, and floor. Then sponge-clean the entire surface. Dirty water will
accumulate in the footwell of the spa. Make sure to keep your hose and your
submersible pump handy. When the dirty water fills up the footwell, simply
drop your submersible pump in and pump out that water. Continue
until the spa is clean to your satisfaction.
G- Clean your spa filter cartridge as well. Use
Spa Filter Cleaner to do this. Do not use a soap based
cleaner on the
H- Wax spa shell.
It is recommended to use an acrylic wax such as Spa Brite,
Novus, or Hi Lite. Do not use any type of Car Wax or Furniture
Wax. Using the wrong wax could cause troubles with your
finish or cause problems with
your water chemistry. Applying spa shell wax with a soft cotton T-shirt works
best. Buff to a nice shine.
I- Clean your hard thermal spa cover.
Make sure you clean the underneath side of the cover too. Once cover is clean
of any dirt and grime, then you need to apply
a cover protectant such as Novus, Kover Kare, or Formula 303 Protectant. When
properly applied, these products will significantly increase the life
of your spa cover jacket. It is not recommended to use Armor All because it
will prematurely dry out and age spa cover vinyl jackets.
If your spa cover seems very heavy, the foams may have absorbed some water.
If your cover has a zipper around the outside of the cover jacket, unzip it
and remove the foams. Let them air out for a day or two.
If your cover vinyl jacket or foam cores smell musty or have a mildew stench,
a quick spray with Lysol brand disinfectant will stop the odor. Please note
that the construction of many spa covers do not allow for removal of the foams,
so you may not be able to do this with all covers. Some cover foams may be
covered with plastic too. If the plastic is heat-sealed around the foam
don't unwrap it. You will break the seal. However, if the foams are waterlogged,
even under the plastic, then you really can't worsen matters by unwrapping
them and letting them air out.
J- Check out Spa Pack.
spa was closed properly or professionally, there should be a number of fittings
in your spa pack that have been left unscrewed or open. You want to make sure
they are all re-connected and tightened before you attempt to fill the spa
with water. Also, make sure any drain plugs that were removed are properly
Visually inspect the spa pump, filter container, valves, and any
You can easily see around the equipment area. Make sure there aren't any
obvious cracks or splits !!! The most common problems encountered at opening
the wet end of the spa pump or filter container.
Cracks are caused by water freezing inside these components which then causes
expansion and eventually cracking. Sometimes these are evident before you
fill the spa. Sometimes they will not appear until the system is full
and pressurized. If you see any obvious cracks or other problems with the equipment,
a local spa professional to check it out for you.
If all looks well, then simply tighten all quick disconnect fittings.
Check the pump, filter, and heater thoroughly. Make sure the air blower is
still connected to its pipe too. Make sure any drain valves are closed and
that any slice valves are in the open or up position to ensure adequate water
to the system.
If you have an external gas heater, make sure it is properly connected
and that any drain plugs or petcocks are properly installed correctly.
IF YOU SMELL GAS WHEN YOU TURN ON THE HEATER, IMMEDIATELY TURN
THE GAS OFF AND CONTACT YOUR GAS COMPANY OR A LOCAL SPA PROFESSIONAL.
DO NOT PLAY AROUND WITH GAS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
K- Fill the spa.
Put a hose inside the tub and
turn your water on.
As the tub starts to fill up, the
jet piping will slowly start to fill with water and therefore start to
reach each piece of equipment in your equipment pack. If a leak exists, THIS
IS WHEN THE MONSTER WILL REAR ITS UGLY HEAD !!!!
Keep an eye on everything as the tub fills. If you see a leak (or flood)
anywhere, turn off the water until you have diagnosed and repaired the leak.
The most common leak areas are around the pump and at all quick disconnect
fittings by the spa pack. These drips or leaks can usually be fixed by simply
tightening the fitting. Sometimes you may need a new gasket or o-ring to stop
the leak. In any event,
make sure all leaks and drips are fixed before you
continue to fill the tub.
L- Power up spa.
Assuming that the filling procedure went well, you are now ready to power
the tub up. Make sure the spa pack area is dry
and no standing puddles of water are present when first powering
up the tub. Make sure the spa heater thermostat is turned to
the off position before you turn on the tub. Turn on the circuit breaker
that controls the electric power to the tub. Go back to the spa pack and check
the GFCI to make sure it tests and resets. Not all spa packs have a built in
GFCI, but most of them do.
You want to make sure that the GFCI and/or the main house circuit breaker that
controls the electric to the spa are functioning properly. If the GFCI and/or
breaker works, proceed to the next step.
M- Start pushing buttons
Make sure the spa pump goes from high to low speed. Makes sure the air blower
comes on and off. Check the light and booster pump (if applicable). If all
those seem to be working well, then turn the heater on and turn up
DO NOT TURN THE HEATER ON UNTIL YOU ARE 100% SURE YOU HAVE WATER FLOW THRU
YOUR PIPES !!!!! YOU COULD BURN OUT YOUR HEATER IF YOU TURN IT ON BEFORE YOU
HAVE ADEQUATE WATER FLOW.
If you are getting good flow through the jets, then turn on the heater and
heat the tub to your desired temperature. If you are not getting good flow
thru your jets, or the pump does not seem to be running well you
could have a number of different problems.
One common problem many people encounter at their spa opening is
that the pipes become air bound and you get what's called an "air lock" in
your system. This causes the jets to appear not to work well (or at all). Your
symptoms will be that the pump goes on and off just fine, but little or no
water comes out of the jets.
This is how an air lock can happen...If you are filling the tub up fairly
rapidly, air can get trapped in the pipes that go to the suction fittings and
the jets. The water level raises up past the openings in the spa. The air becomes
trapped in the pipes. Then when you go to start up the spa pump, it
tries to suck in water, but only air is in the pipes. The pump cannot prime
itself at that point. So it just runs, but does not pump any water.
The way to fix this is to loosen the quick disconnect fitting in front of
the pump. This will allow some air to get in and will break the "air lock" seal
that has developed. There should be a hissssss noise and then you will see
some water start to come out of the pump fitting. Once you see the water,
simply re-tighten the fitting. Turn the pump on. It will surge for a few seconds,
but then it should pick up the prime and start to pump properly. If
it does not, you should repeat this procedure again. If it still does not work,
there could be multiple problems. At that point, contact
a local spa professional to check it out for you.
N- Adjust water chemistry.
Once the tub is filled, running, and fully operational, add your necessary
chemicals and enjoy your tub.