26' Intex - Planning, Install, Upgrades, and Landscaping Thread

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
We close on our house tomorrow, so tonight we went and did the pre-closing walkthrough. We wanted to look at the spa again, and good thing we did! It was displaying "LF" on the display and only 45 °F! LF = low flow. The owner had been keeping it at 80 °F over the winter and not using it. At some point the water level had dropped below the level of the skimmer, it couldn't circulate water, and so had errored out and shut off the heater. I texted the owner (they are long since off to a state that doesn't get snow), and we ended up thawing out a hose that was outside and frozen in a bathtub of hot water, then filled up the tub to halfway up the skimmer as outlined in the owner manual.

Filling spa.jpg

Luckily, after filling, the pumps were able to turn on and the spa started heating. I wanted to check operation of the jets, so after pushing off the 4" of snow from the other half of the cover I opened it up all the way. With both pumps running, I started turning valves and it appears it's unfrozen and working, which is good. Since they listed the spa as included (and working), we likely would have gotten a credit had something been broken from freezing but it would have been a hassle. Much better it just is working, which is why I wanted to fill and get the heater back on. It's only getting to 30 °F tonight, but still. They are lucky this didn't happen sooner, as we recently had lows around 0 °F and highs around 10 °F.

I'm hoping the low water level was just lack of maintenance and doesn't mean there is a leak somewhere.

In any case, it's a 6 seat spa, with 1 lounger and 5 regular seats. Near as I can figure between the owner manual, purchase slip, and internet, it's a 2008 Cal Spa Legacy Atlantic. I believe it has the optional circulation pump, with two jet pumps. LED lights around the outside are color-selectable with a few basic colors. There's also ozone (still smells like it's working, but this will be getting disabled), and a "waterfall" on one side of the spa, which can be turned off.

IMG_20200123_174609783.jpg

Cover still seems in decent shape. Rest of the spa looks good, but probably nasty inside as they had it heated but not using it. Hopefully the ozone helped keep some things from growing, at least. I have two jars of Ahh-some and a test kit refill ready to go. We will be starting the Ahh-some purges this weekend, likely starting tomorrow after we close. Hopefully we don't have to do a million of those. Our goal is to have this ready to go by next weekend, which is our main moving weekend. After the move we'd like to relax in the tub to rest sore muscles.

In any case we do plan to use this through the winter, as we plan and dream for the pool install this spring!
 

Blacklisted

Well-known member
Sep 10, 2013
244
El Cajon CA
Nice catch on the hot tub. You should be able to tell if it's leaking by pulling off one or all the side panels to see if there is ice/water under it when you close. Depending on how long it has been idle with no maint. it could be evaporation of the water.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,759
Central California
Congrats, on the close and for being so well prepared. Love the spa. Nice little perk. Did you happen to notice in the manual: can it reach low-earth orbit?!? Man that thing’s got some bells and whistles! I sometimes attempt to steer folks away from in-pool spas (otherwise known as concrete bubble boxes). And yours is why. Who wouldn’t rather have one like yours? With all those jets and gizmos and contoured seated? Anywho, hope it continues to work well for ya. Welcome home!!
 
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jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Nice catch on the hot tub. You should be able to tell if it's leaking by pulling off one or all the side panels to see if there is ice/water under it when you close. Depending on how long it has been idle with no maint. it could be evaporation of the water.
I hope so. Seems like there shouldn't be too much evaporation with a cover, but I suppose there is still some air leakage. I'll pull a cover off at some point here soon.

Congrats, on the close and for being so well prepared. Love the spa. Nice little perk. Did you happen to notice in the manual: can it reach low-earth orbit?!? Man that thing’s got some bells and whistles! I sometimes attempt to steer folks away from in-pool spas (otherwise known as concrete bubble boxes). And yours is why. Who wouldn’t rather have one like yours? With all those jets and gizmos and contoured seated? Anywho, hope it continues to work well for ya. Welcome home!!
:LOL: Thanks! We had an inflatable spa set up on and off over the last two years, so between that and this site I'm familiar with spa water care.

Not mentioned is four speakers (black circles in the corners). There is not an audio head though, and it appears there hasn't been one in a while, based on the cobwebs under the covers. I may see if I can find one on eBay or something. The manual mentioned that some spas (not ours) have retractable TV's built right into the spa. Crazy! Not sure I'd want that though, seems quite liable to break.

In any case, I get what you're saying. I'd never get an in-pool spa. I get it, they do look great, and standalone spas do not. But look good is all they seem to be good at. I've sat in a few concrete spas, at resorts or hotels, and they are really uncomfortable. Sitting on concrete is, well, like sitting on concrete, half underwater or not. I preferred our inflatable spa to concrete spas. It didn't have molded seats either, but it wasn't concrete! (plus a concrete spa would cost a fortune to heat through the winter up here in Wisconsin)

All that said, I've actually never been in a molded standalone spa before, so I'm quite looking forward to it! I'm hoping my 6'5" body can actually fit in the lounger, but I'm not holding my breath on that...
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
Who wouldn’t rather have one like yours?
it completely depends on HOW i want to hot tub. The wife and i want to relax with back massages ? The standalone tub is king by a mile. To me its just a big bathtub and there are very few people i'd take a bath with. Even with suits on.
But if i have 7 friends over and we want to relax with drinks, the built-in is like a small intimate pool, thats hot and has bubbles.
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,759
Central California
it completely depends on HOW i want to hot tub. The wife and i want to relax with back massages ? The standalone tub is king by a mile. To me its just a big bathtub and there are very few people i'd take a bath with. Even with suits on.
But if i have 7 friends over and we want to relax with drinks, the built-in is like a small intimate pool, thats hot and has bubbles.
And maybe that’s the rub. I do see the in-pool spas as a pool alternate, a nice place to hang out with drinks, etc. so I wouldn’t discourage those, for that. But don’t call them spas. “Warming Pool”, “Second Pool”, “Bubble Pool”, “PiP” (Pool-in-Pool). Maybe a naming contest is needed!
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,627
Tallahassee, FL
:party: you are so close to being "home"! Make sure you have paper towels right by the awe-some stuff to wipe up the gunk before it has a chance to dry on the shell.

Kim:kim:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
Maybe a naming contest is needed!
P-I-P is what the swimming lessons place called a code brown. Eww.

here’s what I got so far :

Jets for Frets
toke n soak
hot square over there
Mason basin
VIP room
Concrete Cauldron
Champagne corner
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
it completely depends on HOW i want to hot tub. The wife and i want to relax with back massages ? The standalone tub is king by a mile. To me its just a big bathtub and there are very few people i'd take a bath with. Even with suits on.
But if i have 7 friends over and we want to relax with drinks, the built-in is like a small intimate pool, thats hot and has bubbles.
That is a good point. I think with this particular tub, it would be good for two couples without getting crowded. The two corner seats have an edge seat near them, so you could have one couple on each side of the tub and not be shoulder to shoulder with someone that wasn't your SO. One couple would be facing the other couple for easy conversation. Those 4 seats also have decent jets. On the left side though you can totally see they just squeezed in an extra seat to make it a "6-person". That seat only has two jets and has the waterfall above it, so it's clearly not made for "regular" usage.

That said, I do have some friends where I wouldn't mind squeezing all 6 of us in there, but like you said, there are only a few people I'd do that with.

Closing starts in 41 minutes! I'll get some better pictures in the daylight of the spa after closing (and probably remove the access panel to see what all this spa has for equipment), along with some more pictures of the backyard so we can continue the pool planning process! :swim:
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
That said, I do have some friends where I wouldn't mind squeezing all 6 of us in there, but like you said, there are only a few people I'd do that with
It’s funny how the mind works. 12 utter strangers at a hotel 1000 miles away..... hop on in there’s room for 3 more !! But at home with friends that although they are high enough on the list to be invited over, they still aren’t those select extended family members, and it gets weird quickly.
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,759
Central California
It’s funny how the mind works. 12 utter strangers at a hotel 1000 miles away..... hop on in there’s room for 3 more !! But at home with friends that although they are high enough on the list to be invited over, they still aren’t those select extended family members, and it gets weird quickly.
Ha, ha, OK, I admit it, maybe that's my REAL rub about in-pool spas. I had to go take a shower after just reading about 12 strangers in a tub. Shower. I don't even sit in my own people stew. I've been in this house for almost five years now and the only thing I've done with my master bath tub is vacuum the dust out of it once in a while! I'm not sure under what conditions I'd get into any hot tub, with strangers or friends or SO!! Ya'all are cray-cray!! I better go wash my hands now after typing that... ?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
Ha, ha, OK, I admit it, maybe that's my REAL rub about in-pool spas. I had to go take a shower after just reading about 12 strangers in a tub. Shower. I don't even sit in my own people stew. I've been in this house for almost five years now and the only thing I've done with my master bath tub is vacuum the dust out of it once in a while! I'm not sure under what conditions I'd get into any hot tub, with strangers or friends or SO!! Ya'all are cray-cray!! I better go wash my hands now after typing that... ?
:laughblue::laughblue::laughblue::laughblue::laughblue::laughblue:
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
@Dirk check out this awesome stuff we're pulling out.
IMG_20200124_164758118_1_1.jpg

I've got more grusomely detailed pics from my DSLR but we don't have Wifi or a computer here so I'll post them later.

This Ahh-some stuff does a great job!
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
Oh my ! Upload the others when you get time, but just that pic alone is the nasty proof in the pudding for future use/questions. Mine was all greasy film with no chunks, but either way, the stuff works.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Oh my ! Upload the others when you get time, but just that pic alone is the nasty proof in the pudding for future use/questions. Mine was all greasy film with no chunks, but either way, the stuff works.
I will certainly do when we get back to my old place.

The water was all cloudy before we started, and after the first addition of Ahh-some and jet running it was mostly clear, with a huge ring of nasty junk on the shell at the waterline. Hopefully my pictures show this, I think they will.

We had some paper towels but it's sticky and sometimes hard to wipe with paper towels. I should have brought my cleaning rags.

I've added, ran jets, wiped up, added more (full amount before I read back to back should be half, but okay). My plan based on reading other purges is to drain and refill it after we wipe up this run, then purge more tomorrow.

Jets just shut off after the second 15 minute cycle, so we're out to wipe again.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
My plan based on reading other purges is to drain and refill it after we wipe up this run, then purge more tomorrow
Same here and I did. And did again. And kept doing until I lost count by week 2. (With a random day or two off). Run it till it’s clear. And then I ran one more cuz one more was no big deal at that point.