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Thread: Spa's In The Winter

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    Spa's In The Winter

    This is our first season owning a spa . We live in central Illinois where the winters can be very cold with varying amounts of snow. Can you provide any advise regarding maintaining our spa throughout the winter months? One of my biggest concerns would be having a power outage when the temperatures are below freezing. Other than purchasing an electrical generator, are there any other alternatives available which could help protect our spa from freezing if we loose power?

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    Articfox918's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    Ahh yes good question! I don't own a hot tub but I have a friend who has one and he wants me to go over the ins and outs of maintaining it and the water chemistry once his new cover comes in and I'm sure he will ask this question. So I'm very interested in this also.

    Sorry I cant answer your question but I'm sure someone soon can
    POOL SIZE: 27 FT round 52" Deep on edges 66" Deep in center
    FILTER TYPE: Hayward Sand Filter
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    HEATER: None at the moment but in process of making my solar panels should be operational by next season!

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    East_Akl_Neil's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    This could work


    Sorry had to do it, worped sence of humor.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Late 1970's 39000L IG Concrete Pool with Vinyl Liner
    Austral FT55 Sand filter
    Hurlcon E170 Pump Brochure,Manual
    32-40mm Pipe work
    Living in beautiful New Zealand

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    Articfox918's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    How did I know someone was gonna throw that picture at this question....lol... I actually thought about that pic when I read the OP but just couldn't do it.... Well Played!

    My buddy will dig this answer
    POOL SIZE: 27 FT round 52" Deep on edges 66" Deep in center
    FILTER TYPE: Hayward Sand Filter
    PUMP SIZE: Hayward 1 HP Pump 60GPM
    FILTER SIZE/FLOW RATE: Unknown
    HEATER: None at the moment but in process of making my solar panels should be operational by next season!

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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    I wonder how long it would take for the water to freeze, assuming it's at 100-103 degrees and covered.

    I've been reviewing craigslist ads and thinking about how nice a hot tub would be, but other priorities definitely come first. I'm sure having a pad poured and electrical ran would be $1500+
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    I don't know the answer - but I wonder if stuffing some foam rope into the jets and putting a couple of half empty bottles in the water would help (giving room for crushing ice to expand).
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    I've had a hot-tub for the last decade and the power was never out long enough to cause damage or freeze to anything. And part of that time was spent in the Great White North (Canada).
    During outages, I just make sure not to open the lid! I also bought the kind of cover made for heavy snow load -- that makes a difference in terms of insulation.

    Your mileage may vary, but I would not expect a major problem. That said, a whole house generator is always a worthwhile investment if your area is prone to LONG winter blackouts!
    Alternately, you could buy a portable generator, and then stay warm in the hot tub if your heat goes out (due to an outage
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    I was trying to avoid spending the $3k to $4K investment for a whole house electrical generator this year due to the expense of purchasing my spa ..... too many $'s flowing out not enough coming in……

    So, let me toss out this idea; to keep my spa from freezing if we lost power during a blizzard this winter, we could purchase a small "very portable" generator 2,000 to 3,000 watt to use for powering a livestock or pond heater which would be suspended within the middle of the spa (cost about $300). I know that this would not circulate the spa water but it would keep the overall body of water warm inside the spa with the cover closed. Would this provide enough heat to keep the spa's pipes from frezzing?

    Please provide some feedback as winter is approaching and I want to be prepared BEFORE I have an incident .

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by StuffMan
    I was trying to avoid spending the $3k to $4K investment for a whole house electrical generator this year due to the expense of purchasing my spa ..... too many $'s flowing out not enough coming in……

    So, let me toss out this idea; to keep my spa from freezing if we lost power during a blizzard this winter, we could purchase a small "very portable" generator 2,000 to 3,000 watt to use for powering a livestock or pond heater which would be suspended within the middle of the spa (cost about $300). I know that this would not circulate the spa water but it would keep the overall body of water warm inside the spa with the cover closed. Would this provide enough heat to keep the spa's pipes from frezzing?

    Please provide some feedback as winter is approaching and I want to be prepared BEFORE I have an incident .
    Where are is the spa pump/filter and do any of the pipes leave the spa and go elsewhere?

    I don't know if you know this but you can get a separate sub-panel with an isolation switch and you can power it from a small generator - perhaps you could put your spa circuits and one or two lighting circuits from the house in there. Many people put their essential items in them to allow them to power them without a maze of extension cords in the house in a power outage.

    Here's a good picture and article on this practice:
    http://inspectapedia.com/electric/Backup_Generators.htm

    Here's another discussion around bonding this type of sub-panel but no pool is discussed so I'm not sure if it is relevant:
    http://www.nachi.org/forum/f19/generato ... ded-72660/
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    X-PertPool's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    Having a power outage that lasts long enough to take your hot tub down the freezing temperatures is highly unlikely. It is much more likely that you would encounter a mechanical problem with your system that would in turn disable the heating or circulation of the tub. In this situation it would be best to fix quickly or drain and winterize the tub and do the repair and then refill.
    -Kevin
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    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    I'm guessing that your spa is heated with an electrical heater? If it used a natural gas or LP heater, then the only power needed would be for the pump for circulation. Thus, you could get away with a much smaller backup generator to keep the spa from freezing over. The other issue would be how well insulated the spa might be. With reasonable circulation during a power outage, the much higher heat capacity of water vs. air would keep the temperature from dropping so quickly, unless the power outage ran for many hours. Also, if you kept the spa heated throughout the winter, this would extend the time that the spa could be without power. Obviously, you need a good cover to minimize evaporation and loss of heat.

    If it were me and I didn't want to spend a ton of money on this, I'd probably install a 3-way valve in the plumbing to a drain pipe with an automatic actuator controlled by a low voltage temperature controller and 24V motorcycle battery, or something like this freeze protect valve:

    http://shop.solardirect.com/product_inf ... cts_id=157

    This way, if the water does end up getting to near freezing, you at least have an automatic way to drain it out before it destroys the spa.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    a couple years ago here in kentucky we had an ice storm and lost power for 10 days. the temp got down as low as 5 degrees during this time. when the power came back on my spa was still at 60 degrees with no damage at all.
    24,000 gallon ig fiberglass pool
    1 hp hayward pump
    hayward sand filter (250 lb)
    madisonville, ky

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Spa's In The Winter

    Awesome info, thanks for letting us know! I think that pretty much settles it
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
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