We've assembled some of the Frequently Asked Questions on the Heating and Hot Tubs. Enter your question into the search box for quickest results.
Q. Where can I get parts for my Carrier equipment?
A. Barron Heating, your expert Carrier dealer, is the best resource for identifying and supplying the correct, current parts for your system, as well as pricing and availability.
Q. Why can't I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store?
A. The filter shipped with your Carrier unit is made from higher-quality materials than those of the disposable filters found in retail stores. For that reason, replacement Carrier filters can only be purchased through Barron Heating, your Carrier dealer. However, keep in mind
Q. I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.
A. Barron Heating, your Carrier dealer is your troubleshooting expert, and is glad to help you. In addition, Carrier also provides a network of troubleshooting technicians at Carrier Distribution centers across the country. Should your dealer encounter a situation that requires additional factory help, just ask him or her to contact their Carrier Service Manager for assistance.
Q. Where can I find literature about my Carrier products, such as owners manuals, installation guides and product specifications?
A. Our Product section has complete information with downloadable Consumer Brochures and Owners Manuals. Barron Heating, your Carrier dealer is your source for installation and product specifications.
Q. Which Carrier equipment will best fit my home?
A. There are many factors that affect the sizing and specifications of your system, including square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, geographic location of your home, duct sizing and arrangement, and many others. Your Carrier dealer ca
Q. What does my warranty cover?
A. Under the standard factory warranty, Carrier covers parts that fail during the warranty period due to defect in the part. The warranty does not cover labor. A warranty certificate was included with your homeowner information packet, and is specific to the
Q. How much will a new system cost?
A. Please contact your local expert Carrier dealer for pricing. Each independent expert Carrier dealer establishes his or her own equipment and labor prices.
Q. How can I talk to a factory engineer regarding a problem I am having with my Carrier equipment?
A. Simply contact Barron Heating, your expert engineering and technical resource.
Q. Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?
A. Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the rating. Please see yourCarrier dealer for the information.
Q. What is the life expectancy of my unit?
A. Dependable Carrier products are among the longest lasting heating and cooling products available. For your specific equipment, there are many variables that affect life expectancy, and of course, the regularity of routine maintenance. Contact your local Carrier dealer for insight into the remaining lifespan of your system.
Q. What is the life expectancy of my unit?
A. Dependable Carrier products are among the longest lasting heating and cooling products available. For your specific equipment, there are many variables that affect life expectancy, and of course, the regularity of routine maintenance. Contact Barron Heating, local Carrier dealer, for insight into the remaining lifespan of your system.
Q. I am an Architect and need application/specification information so that I can specify Carrier products... where do I obtain this information?
A. Barron Heating can provide you with the specifications, and can also set you up to access the Carrier HVACpartners web site so that you can access the information yourself. If you are seeking specifications on older equipment, so as to specify something similar, it will be helpful if you have the model and serial number available.
Q. What's the difference between a Hot Tub and a Spa?
A. The term "Hot Tub" originally referred to the wooden, barrel-shaped tubs, which became popular in the late 1960s. Early hot tubs were fairly simple devices, which basically held hot water and had enough room for one or two bathers at a time. When the industry began building tubs of molded fiberglass or with thermoplastic shells, they were given the tag "spa" to differentiate them from their wooden cousins. The wooden hot tub has evolved over time to include such amenities as seating, jets, filters, and most of the features associated with a spa. In fact, the phrase "hot tubbing" can be taken to mean soaking in either type of vessel.
Q. How do I find a quality brand of spa?
A. Take the time to look at various brands. Ask about warranties. Quality products will carry ironclad warranties against defects that will cover the shell, motors and control units. Reputable manufacturers will will not be shy about disclosing specifications. Check for either the ETL or UL rating. "Look under the hood." We cannot stress this enough. If the workmanship inside the access door of the spa looks shoddy, this tells you a lot about what you cannot see. In these time of rising energy costs, insist on a spa cabinet that is full-foamed, and has other energy saving features. Many companies will have documented estimates of operational costs. Also, since maintenance is a key issue, investigate the style of filtration and cleaning system the spa has to assure an easy cleaning schedule.
Q. Should I install my hot tub spa inside or outside?
A. Each location has its pros and cons. Outside installations may compromise some of your privacy, but you can add screens, shrubbery, or fencing to minimize peering eyes. The outside weather can be a deterring factor, although many people absolutely love the experience of lounging in bubbling hot water while a light rain or snowflakes are falling! It can be exhilarating. Awnings can be built to shelter the effects of weather. It should be noted for those of you who have not experienced it, hot water raises your body's core temperature, so you will normally not feel cold even when exiting a hot tub outdoors in the dead of winter. Inside installations will add humidity to the air in your home. It is imperative that proper ventilation be maintained to control this moisture and to prevent mildew and other damage. If you decide on an inside installation, be sure to take into account the draining and filling of the unit. There are two other important questions: will it fit through your doorwa
Q. Do I have to install plumbing for my portable spa?
A. No. Above-ground portable spas are normally filled with a garden hose. Hard plumbing is optional, but very rarely used since it is unnecessary.
Q. Which are better, gas or electric heaters?
A. Each type of heating system has its advantages. If you buy a portable spa, you probably will not have a choice, since the self-contained units almost always come with electrical heating units. Some spa owners have modified portable spas with auxiliary external gas heaters. These installations are unusual, but allow for very rapid heating of the spa water. In-ground and custom installations often utilize gas heaters. An advantage of gas besides rapid heating, is the lower cost of day-to-day operation since gas generally costs less than electricity to use.
Q. Should I use a 110-volt or 220-volt electric heater?
A. Depending on the Jacuzzi you choose, many times 220V is the only option due to the multiple therapy pumps. We recommend using the 220v option whenever practical, especially on full-sized spas. A 220v system offers the advantage of faster heating which reduces your "tubbing down-time" factor. There is also more amperage available to operate multiple motors, jets, lights, etc. A properly hard-wired 220v system has no cords to trip over or become unplugged. Contrary to popular misconception, there is no significant cost difference in heating with 110v system versus a 220v system. For a truly "portable" installation, 110v is generally more practical. Consult a qualified electrician for your wiring needs.
Q. Is it expensive to operate a hot tub spa?
A. It doesn't have to be. A primary cost is heating the water. A modern, well-insulated unit with a quality insulated cover will cost, on average, less than a dollar a day, even in cold climates. The other major cost is water chemistry and maintenance supplies. You can cut these costs by 30-50% on average, just by installing a Jacuzzi ProClean Ozone System and purchasing your supplies at www.enjoylifeoutside.com for your supplies!
Q. What is meant by the spa pump's horsepower (HP) rating?
A. Spa manufacturers use two different ratings for their pumps: "Continuous Operating HP" and "Brake HP". Continuous Operating is the amount of HP the motor is capable of producing while the spa is in operation. This is the meaningful rating. Brake HP is the momentary HP the motor produces at startup, before dropping to Continuous HP. Brake HP is marketing hype while Continuous Operation demonstrates the HP while the spa is operating.
Q. What's the story on ozonators?
A. Ozonators are electric-powered devices for helping to sanitize spa water by introducing a form of oxygen called ozone into the water. When they first arrived on the spa scene, many people thought they were a panacea for water disinfecting. Although this has proven to be an overstatement, ozonators do have their place, and will help reduce chemical amounts needed. Since ozone has no residual sanitizing ability, it only works while the spa is in operation. In order for the ozone to do its job, the spa should be run 6 or more hours per day - most Jacuzzi spa offer or have as a standard feature, a low volt, 24 hours circulation system that allows the ProClean Ozone system to operate 24 hours a day and almost no cost. Ozonators must be used in conjunction with another sanitizer such as bromine, chlorine or Jacuzzi's ProClear Mineral Purifier as well as a shock treatment.
Q. Can I save money by using an ozonator?
A. Yes, the use of an ozonator will cut down the amount of conventional sanitizer needed. The reduction has been demonstrated as high as 50%, depending on spa usage and amount of run time. These devices use electricity to run, but the amount is really quite minimal.
Q. Is there an easier way to remove my spa cover?
A. Use of a cover removal device will allow one person to remove the spa cover with ease, and without back strain. These devices come in a variety of models, from simple slides to more elaborate units, which allow for easy lifting and out-of-the-way storage of your spa cover. Today's coverlifts are lightweight and durable, usually made from aircraft grade aluminum with stainless fasteners. They are easy to install as well, usually requiring little more than a screwdriver to set-up and due to their materials, resist rust for years.
Q. What should I look for in a spa cover?
A. Start with the core. Polystyrene foam, tapered from 4" to 2" to allow for shedding of surface water, is a good choice. Don't settle for an R-value of less than 12. R-14 is even better. Since foam cores absorb water, select a cover with a core that is heat-sealed in heavy plastic sheeting. Marine-grade vinyl with mildew and UV inhibitors is a must. Quality covers will also have two other features: a double reinforced folding center hinge, and steel reinforcement inside. Make sure the cover has adequate locking fasteners, and a zipper for the cover. Avoid cheap covers. They won't last long, and will end up costing you more in the long run both in higher energy usage and in replacement costs. Also, replace with the OEM cover
Q. I'm ordering a new spa cover. Is there a benefit in upgrading to a 2-lb. Foam core?
A. In many cases, yes. If your spa is exposed to snowfall, then the 2-lb. upgrade is a very good idea. It will provide extra stiffness, which will help prevent sagging (and the resultant heat-loss) caused by the weight of the snow. In all climates, the upgrade will give you increased R-value. The upgrade is inexpensive, and will return its cost in energy savings.
Q. What can I do to protect my spa cover from seasonal high winds?
A. Although high-quality safety covers come with 4 tie down straps and locking hardware, that alone may not always be enough to stand up to high winds. Thousands of spa covers are lost to storms each year. Additional tie down are now available which offer an added level of protection for these conditions. Fully adjustable for spas up to 8 ft. wide, these heavy-duty overall locking straps offer an extra degree of security.
Q. Why are your spa covers custom made rather than shipped from an inventory?
A. There are literally tens of thousands of spa shapes, sizes and brands, both old and new, and many color choices. Rather than pull a cover from an inventory of approximate fits, our covers are hand-made, one at a time, for outstanding quality and a fit that is just right, per your specifications and color choice. It takes a little more time to make covers this way, but our customers tell us it's more than worth it.
Q. How often should I drain my spa?
A. 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 three to six months and definitely once per year. This is necessary because of the amount of total dissolved solids becomes excessive, making it difficult to maintain sanitizer effectiveness and water balance.
Q. What should I use to clean my spa?
A. It is very important that you use a cleaner designed for spas and hot tubs. While household cleaners are great for cleaning jobs around the home, they can cause foaming and alter the pH of your water. Quality spa surface cleaners are safe for all materials, contain no abrasives, are non-toxic and will not cause water foaming.
Q. Is there a good product for removing tub ring?
A. Since many things from organics to clarifying agents can cause a tub ring, feel free to check with a Backyards associate with questions or concerns. In most cases, a light duty scrubber or a TubRub will remove the lines easily and the addition of a product like Enzyme on a weekly basis will eliminate the ring all together.
Q. How often should I clean my filter cartridge?
A. 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.
Q. When should hot tub filters be replaced?
A. 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 "How often..." (above), this means you would replace a pair of cartridges every 2 years
Q. How do you remove calcium scale from spa filters?
A. First clean filter with Instant Cartridge Cleaner rinse, then soak the cartridge in a solution of Filter Clean over night. Presto! Scale is gone
Q. Is there anything I can do to protect my hot tub cover from damage?
A. The main factors in spa cover deterioration are sunlight, dirt, and acid rain. Fortunately, there are now great products available to protect and clean vinyl covers, and greatly extend their life. Select a cover protectant that contains a UV blocker for fade resistance and use a good cleaner such as Citra Brite. Regular use of Fast Gloss will keep the vinyl supple, prevent cracking and fading, and seal out damaging moisture. Avoid products which contain silicone oil-- these will actually cause premature failure of the vinyl, when exposed to sunlight. We recommend Fast Gloss because it is the best product of its kind we have found, and is also Earth friendly. Don't forget to clean and treat the inside surfaces of your cover as well-- this is very important. Cover Conditioner can be used to treat the outside vinyl as well.
Q. What causes the dark staining on my plastic spa fittings?
A. Metals in the water cause these stains. Use a Metal Gone and Spa Defender to help prevent this discoloration.
Q. My spa is losing water. How can I find the leak?
A. Leaks are rare in a well built spa and 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 visual inspection does not isolate 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 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 Leak Seal can save you some repair money. Although not always a permanent f
Q. My pump quit pumping, and now it just makes a humming noise. What happened?
A. A common cause is a jammed or broken impeller, or the bearings may have seized. If the motor shaft can be rotated by hand, then the problem may be a dirty pump switch, defective starter capacitor, burnt motor windings or other electrical problem with the motor. It may also be an air lock which is where air has accumulated around the impeller and created an air pocket that holds water back due to the pressure of the water on both sides. Many times the spa will need to be draining to remedy this. Call our service department for clues on remedying this without draining.
Q. I can hear the motor running, but there is no circulation or heat. What is going on?
A. First, check your filter. A severely clogged filter can greatly restrict water flow, and with little or no flow, there will be no heat either. Try running the spa with filter out. If water now circulates properly, replace your filter(s). Another frequent cause is an air lock in the pump, especially if you just drained your hot tub. To clear an air lock, first locate and close the valve on the intake side of your pump. Then, on the outflow side of the pump, loosen the pipe union just enough turns to allow the trapped air to escape and fill with water. Retighten union, open intake valve, and run spa to verify correction of the problem. If an air lock or clogged filter proves not to be the culprit, the cause could be blocked plumbing, or a damaged or obstructed impeller blade.
Q. My spa is not heating. What's wrong?
A. First, check your filter. Dirty or clogged filters are one of the most common causes of heating problems. Try to operate the spa with no filter in (you may need to push the reset button on your spa pack). If everything works correctly at this point, then the filter was your problem. Next, check the heater indicator light. If it is not glowing, then you are likely not getting power to the heater. You could have a defective or stuck thermostat, high limit switch (check by pushing reset button), pressure switch, or flow switch. If none of these components is the culprit, it may be a bad relay or contactor. If the light is on, but water is not circulating, the heater will not work. If the indicator is on, and water is circulating, then you most likely have a defective heater element.
Q. Why does my water overheat?
A. Several conditions could cause water to overheating, including: a stuck thermostat, a stuck relay or contactor in your spa pack, or even leaving your pump on high speed for an extended period of time. Another possibility is a defective high-limit switch, likely in conjunction with one of the above.
Q. What is causing my water temperature to fluctuate?
A. A temperature sensor unit that is not insulated properly could cause this. In these cases, the sensor may actually be affected by changes in air temperature. Other causes could include: a dirty or clogged filter, sticky or defective thermostat, contactor, or relay.
Q. Why aren't my jets as powerful as they used to be?
A. The most common cause by far for reduced action in a spa is clogged or worn-out filter cartridges. If you try running your spa with the filter out, and this improves performance considerably, then you may have found the culprit. A broken impeller blade in your pump, or foreign matter obstructing the impeller can cause this. Bad motor bearings will (often indicated by a progressively loud motor or a grinding noise) could cause your pump to operate at a reduced speed, and pump less water. If air jets are weak, check for obstructions, inspect the blower if so equipped, and check gasket seals around the jet fittings. If the amount of water coming out of your jets is normal, but they no longer spin, there are several possible problems: they may be stuck from scale deposits. In this case, remove the affected jets and soak them in vinegar for 24 hours to dissolve the calcium. Be sure to treat your spa water with stain and scale preventer such as our Metal Gone and Spa Defender to avoid
Q. What can cause the GFCI to keep tripping?
A. A properly functioning Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) activates when it senses even a very small voltage leak or short to ground. They are designed to react very quickly. The cause can be many things. To isolate the culprit, shut-off the power source, then disconnect the system's major components including: blower, ozonator, pumps, heater, etc. Power on. If it now trips, your problem is isolated to the wiring or circuit board. If the GFCI does not trip, plug these things back in one at a time until the GFCI trips again. (Make sure power is off whenever connecting or disconnecting components). When it trips, you've located the culprit. If it is not one of these, check for bad wire connections, missing or burnt insulation or chafes, and loose screws or corrosion on terminals. If that is not the problem, sometimes a heater element that is going bad will cause the GFCI to trip. Another cause may be a defective GFCI unit itself. They do not last forever, and especially in damp loca
Q. My wooden hot tub was left empty for a year. Now it leaks like a sieve. Any suggestions?
A. Wooden tubs should never be allowed to dry-out. This shrinks the staves, resulting in leaks. It is possible that the wood will re-absorb enough water over a period of days and expand so that the leaking will stop after refilling.
Q. Which is better for my hot tub: letting the thermostat determine run times, or setting the timer for a specific amount of time each day?
A. The frequent on and off cycles, which you will have if you allow the thermostat alone to determine the operation of you pump and heater, will shorten the life of your motor. It is usually better to set your timer to run in scheduled cycles. For example: 6 hours per day total, set up for two 3 hour segments, 12 hours apart. Actual total run times depend on your spa manufacturer's recommendations, sanitizing system, and bather load. Most Jacuzzi spas come standard with a low volt 24 hour circulation system to ensure consistently clean and heater waters.
Q. Can we use our outdoor spa year 'round? Our winters get very cold.
A. Winter operation of your spa in cold climates is fine, if you take reasonable precautions to prevent freeze-damage to your equipment. During very low temperatures, you should either run your spa continually, or set the thermostat to run the pump(s) at a safe temperature. Check your owner's manual. In extreme low temperatures, 24-hour operation is the safest bet. It is important to check your water level daily, because if it gets too low, the pump could air lock. Remember to keep your filters clean. A clogged filter could cause the flow (pressure) switch to shut down your pump, and this could result in frozen equipment. Keep a clean, dry, spare filter on hand at all times, especially in the winter. To save energy, make sure your air jets are closed when not using the tub. Keep your cover securely strapped to prevent heat loss. If your cover is in poor condition, consider replacing it. A waterlogged cover has very little insulating value, and will cost you a lot in energy waste.
Q. What is the best sanitizer to use?
A. There is no canned answer for this. The best answer is determined by the use and desires of the spa owner. While granular Chlorine and Bromine Tablets are still used, many customers have moved to mineral sanitizers like Jacuzzi ProClean Purifier for 4 month sanitizing along side a good ozone system. Please check with a Backyards associate to determine which system meets your needs and budget.
Q. How is bromine maintained?
A. Upon startup of your spa or hot tub, it is recommended to add a small amount of granular bromine. This establishes an immediate bromine reserve. The proper bromine level is then maintained by using bromine tablets in a floating device, not surprisingly called a "brominator" or "float". The best brominators are adjustable for proper dispersion of the sanitizer. In the case of most Jacuzzi's a bromine dispenser is built into the filter for easy of use and consistency.
Q. What is the proper level of bromine or chlorine in spa water?
A. The National Spa and Pool Institute recommend a minimum level of 2 parts-per-million (PPM), an ideal range of 3-5 PPM, and a maximum level of 10 PPM of free chlorine or bromine in spa water. Remember that having a properly working ozonator in the spa will reduce these amounts by up to 50%.
Q. How is sanitizer level measured?
A. Measure sanitizer levels with test strips. Many spa owners check their water daily, others find that once a week is sufficient, especially if bather load is not excessive and a floating brominator is used.
Q. What is the purpose of shocking compounds?
A. Shocking the spa water is the process by which suspended organic matter is oxidized or broken down. This is necessary because this organic matter is the material on which bacteria feed. Sanitizing alone does only half of the process of maintaining clean water. We recommend the addition of a non-chlorine oxygen-based shocking compound such as Renew for shocking the water either on a per use or weekly basis.
Q. What is the importance of pH?
A. Maintaining proper pH level is essential for proper operation of a hot tub spa, regardless of the sanitizing method used. If the pH falls too low, resulting in water that is too acidic, the sanitizer will dissipate rapidly, pipes and motor seals will corrode, and bathers will notice eye discomfort. If the pH rises too high, resulting in water that is too basic or alkaline, damaging scale may form, water may become cloudy, and eye discomfort may also result.
Q. What is the recommended pH range?
A. The National Spa & Pool Institute recommends a range of 7.2-7.8, with 7.4-7.6 being considered ideal.
Q. Is there a way to lock pH into balance?
A. Yes. There are now products on the market such a PH Balance that will lock pH levels, once they are established, into nearly perfect balance between water changes. This eliminates the need for constant pH checking and adjusting. Take care to not add Calcium Booster prior to adding PH Balance as precipitation of the calcium may occur during the balancing process.
Q. How is pH measured
A. We recommend using test strips to measure pH.
Q. How do I raise my pH level?
A. The pH level can be raised by the addition of a product containing sodium bicarbonate (SPA UP). This will also raise the Total Alkalinity. Sodium hydrogen carbonate (ALKALINITY INCREASER) can also be used, but will have less of an effect on pH.
Q. How do I lower my pH level?
A. The pH level can be lowered by the addition of a product containing sodium bisulfate (SPA DOWN). Although Muriatic Acid is an excellent pH reducer, it is not recommended because its fumes and skin burning properties.
Q. What is the importance of total alkalinity?
A. Maintaining the proper range of total alkalinity will prevent wild fluctuations in pH, will reduce the tendency toward corrosion of pipes and fixtures, and will reduce the scale forming potential of the spa water.
Q. What is the recommended total alkalinity level?
A. The National Spa & Pool Institute recommends a range of 60 to 180 parts-per-million (PPM) with an ideal range of 80-100 PPM. Generally speaking, between 80-120 PPM is good.
Q. How is total alkalinity measured?
A. You can measure total alkalinity with test strips.
Q. How can I raise my total alkalinity level?
A. The total alkalinity level can be raised by the addition of a product containing sodium bicarbonate called SpaUp. This compound will normally bring up low pH into the acceptable range while addressing a low Total Alkalinity.
Q. What is the recommended calcium hardness of spa water?
A. The National Spa & Pool Institute recommends an ideal range of 200-400 parts-per-million (PPM) with a minimum level of 150 PPM, and a maximum of 500-1000+. The amount of Calcium Hardness required for "balance" water is determined by the water temperature, pH and Total Alkalinity. Usually a perfect target for NW Washington customers is 200ppm.
Q. How can I measure calcium hardness?
A. Calcium hardness can be measured using Hardness Test Strips.
Q. How can I increase the calcium hardness of my water?
A. Add Calcium Booster, containing calcium chloride to boost calcium levels that are too low. Note: calcium increasers should not be used when using a pH locking product.
Q. Is there a way to prevent algae formation?
A. Yes. Regular shock treatment and maintaining sanitizer to proper levels will help greatly. If algae persists, add a spa algaecide. Keep you spa at normal operating temperature at all times to minimize the possibility of algae formation, as it does not thrive as well in hot water.
Q. What is the cause of cloudy water?
A. Cloudy water can be caused by pH that is too high, but the most common cause is excessive contaminants in the water. Make sure your filter is clean and in good condition. Add a water-clarifying agent.
Q. Which water clarifier is best?
A. There are two basic types of clarifiers recommended: flocculants that actually coagulate foreign matter so it can be more easily trapped by the filter media, and enzyme scum digesters which break-down oils and lotion residues which can cloud hot tub spa water. Backyards offers both Bright & Clear as well as Enzyme for assisting in water clarification.
Q. What causes the musty odor I detect when I open my spa cover?
A. A common cause is mold or mildew growth on the inside of the spa cover itself. These organisms grow here because they don't come in contact with the sanitizer. Condensation forms on the inside ceiling of the cover, then rains back down into the spa water, contaminating it as well. The remedy is simple: clean the inside of your cover whenever your drain your spa.
Q. White flakes occasionally collect on the bottom of my spa. What causes them, and how can I get them out?
A. These are most likely calcium scale deposits which have formed on heater parts, and then flaked off. The easiest way to remove them from your spa is to vacuum them out... the SPAVAC is very effective for this. Remember to keep your water balanced (TA & pH). This will help prevent future scale formation.
Q. We use our spa in the summer (at reduced temperature) to cool-off. Will that adversely affect the water chemistry?
A. Lot's of tubbers do the same, and it's perfectly OK to enjoy your soak at a lower temperature. Keep your water in balance, and it should be fine. If you have kids, remember, a hot tub is not a small swimming pool. If they use it as a play pool, with frequent trips in and out (as most kids will do) you will have to change your water often. If you are going to maintain a different temperature for an extended time, visit a Backyards store for specific balance points that will be different than when tubs are at normal temperatures..
Q. My bromine level got way too high. How can I lower it?
A. Whether bromine or chlorine the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to reduce an excessively high level is simply to drain a portion of the water, and replace it with fresh. You may need to re-balance your TA & pH after adding water.
Q. My water immediately turned green. What is going on?
A. Most colored water problems result from the presence of metallic impurities such as iron (rusty color), copper (green) or other minerals (black, brown, etc). These discolorations may be present in the source water, or can be the result of the acidic action of water with low pH on: pipes, metal heater parts, and equipment. Prevent and correct this condition by using Metal Gone and by keeping spa water in balance.
Q. After recently using a hot tub I got some small reddish bumps under the skin. What would cause this?
A. That rash is known as "Hot Tub Itch", check for symptoms of Hot Tub Folliculitis (Pseudomonas). This seems to be the most common bacterial infection found by hot tubers. The red bumps are the result of having the hair follicles being infected. It comes from having too little sanitizer in the water. Contact your health care provider if you have symptoms and contact Backyards for a remedy to remove the bacteria from your spa.