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Thread: New (to me) home with in-ground spa - where to even begin?

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    New (to me) home with in-ground spa - where to even begin?

    I recently moved into a new house with an in-ground spa of indeterminate age (maybe 800gallons?). I'm paying a pool/spa-guy $65 a month to come weekly, but would like to take it on myself, but I have no idea where to even begin! I've started reading the "How do I use Chlorine in my Spa (or pool)?" thread, so that's a great start, but would like to rely on this board's expertise to get a feel for:

    • I see switches for "blower" "heater" "light" - is there a glossary somewhere so I can get an idea of what exactly these do (the last two are more obvious), and more importantly, their roles in relation to each other?

    • Obviously lacking even the most basic knowledge, what common devices (e.g. heater) should I look for, and gather specs for?

    • The spa-guy has recommended re-plastering, at a cost of ~$1400 -- I'm not sure how to assess the condition of the spa surface, how do I know whether a re-plaster is really necessary?

    • The spa-light was broken, got "fixed", and is now broken again... are there any common troubleshooting steps for this?

    • There appears to be a timer for operation of the filter (set for 2hrs/day), but not the heater -- I've noticed that many of you have your heater on a timer. Our use of the spa would be extremely infrequent... maybe once a month... how should we adjust the maintenance and filter/heater timing to account for our rare usage?

    • Does the board have a general opinion on spa salt system chlorine generators, like Saltron?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: New (to me) home with in-ground spa - where to even begi

    The blower makes the spa jets more exciting.

    The plaster should be fairly smooth and uniform. Failing plaster tends to be loose, pitted or rough, and uneven.

    Usually lights break because they get water in them. You should be able to see if there is obvious water inside the light or not by looking into it when it is off.

    There is no point in putting the heater on a timer when you don't use the spa much. I would just heat it up when you were planning to use it.

    Salt systems have mixed results in spa's. Chlorine demand in a spa very much depends on how much the spa gets used, while a salt system puts out uniform amounts of chlorine. If you rarely use the spa, it might work out, as you could set it up for non-use and then manually add a little more chlorine when you actually use the spa.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: New (to me) home with in-ground spa - where to even begi

    Welcome to tfp, sbt99

    I am not a big fan of Bromine sanitized hot tubs, but for your infrequent use, it might be a good fit. You might want to take a look at the 3-step approach here:
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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