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Thread: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

  1. Back To Top    #1
    launboy's Avatar
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    launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    I thought I'd start a new thread about the building of my hot tub.

    Specs:
    -Inground Round spa
    -6 ft. diameter
    -3 ft. total depth
    -375 gallons
    -28 sq. ft. surface area
    -vinyl liner
    -2" foam board insulation
    -Jets, unsure, depends on GPM required by each(so far 2 jets)
    -2 main bottom drains(no skimmer)
    -2" PVC pipe - 35' between pump and spa
    -1 530 GPH cart filter(circulator)
    -1 1 HP AG pump(30 GPM) - shared with pool
    -100 lb. sand filter - shared with pool
    -160 sq. ft. Solar heat - shared with pool
    -1 12 amp elec. leaf blower(to power the bubbles

    The dig has started... Pics will soon follow.

    I have a plumbing questions though. Where should the air be introduced to the water? Should I run a seperate 2" line over to the spa and inject the air just before each jet or can I just inject the air after the heater by the equip. pad? The run from the equip. to the spa is about 35 ft. I plan to run the pipe in a circle around the spa backrest with a Tee for each jet.

    Thanks,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    http://www.wcc.net/~jkmccoy/hottub/hottub.htm

    thought you might like to see this
    have a good day

    dr jim

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    Thanks, that was very helpful! That was a brilliant idea to use a tank as the tub.

    I've got some pictures now.

    The Dig has started...


    Liner Test fit(yes, I know, many wrinkles)


    Only 6 more inches in the footwell and the crude dig is done, then comes final measurements and levelling.


    The trench for the pipes has been started!


    Does ANYBODY know ANYTHING about spa building?

    Right now I have two questions that will impact my design...

    1. Does the air from the blower need to be injected just before the jets or can I inject it at the equip. pad 35 ft. from the spa?

    2. What do you think of using a jet system from a jetted bath-tub? It uses a 1.5 HP pump that powers 6 jets? Will this work?

    Thanks,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    Bump and Update... Does nobody know ANYTHING about Spas?

    I dug some more and am now to the point of refining the edges and leveling the floor and seat. Hopefully tomorrow I can get most of the plumbing roughed in and the 2" Pink foam sheets fitted. I won't have any of the jets or 1.5 HP pump until at least saturday(it's on eBay). The two Intex Strainers(Suctions) have been ordered and should be here in a couple of days.

    Here are a couple of new pics...

    The complete dig (minus plumbing cut-ins).


    The trench to the equip. pad just needs the bottom leveled out.


    I'm running one 3" suction and two seperate 2" return lines to feed the 1HP filter pump and the 1.5 HP Jet pump. Does this sound adequate?

    Still looking for answers...
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    Update, I made some progress, mostly in the plumbing area. I have almost everything to and from the spa piped. Have to make another trip to Home Depot to get the rest so I can finish.

    Here are some pictures...

    Just a few PVC bits and pieces.


    Equip. moved and ready to begin the plumbing process.


    Almost done, just have to hook up the pump for the jets(need an elbow and a reducer)


    I got this stuff off eBay for $50.00 It's all new!

    The 1.5 HP pump that will power 6 jets.


    The other stuff: 6 jets 1 suction, air flow control, air switch button for pump, 25 ft. of 1" flex hose and a box of Tees, 90's, and end caps. This stuff I bought seperate: 2 Intex pool fittings(dual suctions, for safety) and 2 sink drains(the kind with a bunch of little holes, these will be the jets run off the pool pump).


    Here's what the hot tub hole looks like now. I've begun digging the trenches for the suctions. It still needs to be refined and leveled.


    And on a side note, I was testing the Spa suction line and left the flex hose in the pool. It created a siphon and drained about 1/3 of the pool. Luckily the water's high enough to run the filter so it will stay like this until closing.


    This time I only have one question: Has anyone ever made a Venturi Tee or know where to find one? I need two of them for the dual metal jets. If I end up making them, does this sound like it would work? Use a 1.5" Drainage Tee(because the leg of the tee sweeps in) with a 1" reducer just before it so the water is essentially jetted though the Tee pulling air with it? Does anyone have any other ideas?

    Thanks,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    Lasco makes one http://www.aqua-man.com/row_num.asp?...1&item=473-210

    If you search "homemade venturi" you'll come up with some stuff, mostly pond related, but I'd say spend the $10.

    As for the blower, in standalone it is recommended that you install a hartford loop and check valve as close to the spa as possible. Using 2" plumbing 35' should be no problem. Unfortunately I don't deal with any blowers that are injecting into the jet line so I'm not of much use there, but I would imagine you'd be fine injecting at the equipment vs. 35' further down a straight a piece of PVC.

    You've probably taken care of this, but since they're sharing a line be sure your jet pump will not be pulling from the pressure side of your filter pump when jets are on and filter is off (check valve just before or after the filter pump).

    Your Intex setup is incredible. Nice work!

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    Quote Originally Posted by drjames
    http://www.wcc.net/~jkmccoy/hottub/hottub.htm

    thought you might like to see this
    have a good day

    dr jim
    That's a very cool project! Ever get your cover situation resolved?

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    I've decided against using a bower for now. I'm just going to use the venturis on the jets and see how that works out. If I think I need more air, then I'll look into a blower.

    I found some venturi Tees that I believe will work well for the two extra jets. This is the best price I've found so far and I don't think I'll be able to do much better. I'll see if a local store has them first before I order them though.
    http://shop.swimmingpool.com/Browse/product/116166.html

    I thought about all of the possible ways the water could flow between spa and pool and planned for all but one. There's a check valve between the spa suction and pool pump so water can't flow from pool into spa via spa suction line. There's another check valve on the return line to the pool that prevents water from flowing through the pool return into the spa return or back through filter. There is One way the water could flow from the pool into the spa(and I don't know how to stop it). That is if the water flows from the pool suction, through the filter and into the spa return. There is a ball valve on the spa return and the pool suction so as long as they are not open at the same time this shouldn't be a problem.

    The only unideal path water can take is when the pool pump is filtering spa water and the spa pump is off. There is no Check valve between the spa pump and the pool pump suctions so water could be sucked back through the spa jets into the pool pump. I don't think this will be a problem because there is less resistance from the correct path then there is from the wrong one.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    Wow. $3 makes it pretty hard to justify building one yourself.

    I guess it's wait and see on operational glitches. Looks like you've got yourself covered. The ball valves cover the main problem (potential spa spillover), and if the filter starts to pull through the jet pump somehow at least it won't be going through any equipment (ie filter) the wrong way and a check valve is easy to put on after the fact.

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build

    UPDATE!

    Build has taken a different turn. I was adding up the costs of the stuff I still had to buy to build the hot tub and it came out to almost $200.00. I told my dad this and he asked what about buying a spa instead of building it.

    I looked on Craigslist for free/cheap hot tubs and was amazed at how many there are. A couple of deals fell through and then I finally got one! The guy I bought it from hasn't ever actually used it. He bought it from a friend last year with plans to build a room off his house to put it in. The project got held up and probably won't be completed for a while(he says) and he just doesn't want it in the way. He said when he bought it last year he saw it running and everything worked.

    It's a 4 person hot tub with one lounge seat and an L-bench. It only has four jets, but I have six more and I plan to add a couple on a seperate pump. It also has a bunch of little holes in the lounge and areas of the bench where air bubbles out.

    It's got Semi-digital controls(part digital, part air button) located on the top side of the spa. The spa pack consists of a 120v 1.0HP pump, 120v(1.375Kw)/240V(5.5Kw) heater and a 12v light. It's a Pinnacle Model PE40-A-L-G, it should have a 1.0 HP blower, but I didn't know that at the time and didn't get it, so the guy is going to look around for it and call me with his findings.

    Here are some pictures of it. There is a Skirt, but it's sitting in my garage right now. It also came with a cover, which is laying in the shed.

    Looking at it from the control panel corner. You can see the lounge seat.


    Looking at it from the opposite corner.


    Another picture of the spa. You can see most of the little bubbler holes, they are on the edge of the bench and up the middle of the lounge seat. There is a cap for the hole where the filter cart. goes.


    This chip is the only thing wrong with the tub that I can find(haven't leak tested yet). Does anyone know how to fix it? It's about 1 inch in diameter.


    This is a close-up of the Control panel on the hot tub.


    This is the Info sticker on the Pinnacle Spa Pack.


    When you open it up, there are these two switches. They were in the 240V and D positions when I got it(I flipped both). I'm pretty sure the 120/240 switch is for the input/heater voltage, but what is the R/D switch for????


    Also, there are four wires for power. The colors are Green/Yellow, Red, Blue, and White. I know the Green/Yellow wire is the ground, and I'm fairly sure the White is Neutral, but for 120v operation, do I use the Blue or the Red wire?


    Finally, I, nor the guy I bought it from, have any clue what brand the spa is. This is the only information I have that might give me that info. It says...
    01-2030
    #482
    Hansens


    So, from the pictures and the numbers, does anoyone know/ have a guess as to the brand?

    Thanks,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    Woops, forgot to add this. Does anyone know where I can find information on the hot tub, or more importantly, the Pinnacle spa pack? Model: PE 40-A-L-G The only stuff I can find on it are for sites that sell them. If someone could find the Pinnacle Systems website, that would be great too.

    Thanks,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    Well, this project has made some progress and is nearing completion(I hope).

    Last time I posted an update, back in October, the hole in the ground was still round and the plumbing had been started, but not finished. Fast forward to today, July 2009, almost 10 months later and a lot of progress has been made on this project.

    First, the hole isn't round anymore, it's a rectangle, leveled, and has a concrete pad poured in it. The wood cabinet is assembled in the hole, waiting for the shell to be dropped in. That will(hopefully) happen tomorrow.

    The plumbing is 95% done, with the only thing left to do being to make the final connections for the 4 pipes to the tub itself. The pumps and blower are in place and plumbed up in their "dog house".

    Here's a pic of the dog-house and some of the plumbing. It wasn't finished at that point, but is now. I still have to figure out how I'm going to insulate the pipes above ground in the winter.


    I'll post another update tomorrow with new pics of the rest of it.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    I'm enjoying this thread - hope you finish it up soon. I wish I had answers to some of your questions, but just wanted to give you a

    Keep up the good work!
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    As promised, here's an update, with pics, and on top of that, it's all good news!

    Everything went pretty well with the move. Had four peopl to lift the tub so that went smoothly. Tub is only 1/4" off level which is close enough for me.

    Hole with cabinet...




    The tub is in the hole!!!!!!!


    Now the fun part comes, gotta connect the pipes in the ground to the ones on the tub.

    Here's the finished equipment area(just have to finish painting and re-bury the pipes).


    Inside of the pump house. 1.5HP Jet Pump(designed for bathtubs), 1HP Pinnacle Spa Pack(wired for 120v, 1.375 KW heat in this mode), 1HP Air blower


    Solar panels on south facing garage roof that heat pool and will heat hot tub. (3 2x20 panels = 120,000 BTU)


    Trench outside of spa, have to drill 5 holes in the side of the cabinet for the pipes.


    This is the fun part... Here's what I'm workin' with for access to the plumbing down there. The hole is about 2' tall by 4ft wide. I got the worst of the connections out of the way today though, the one that was about 4 ft back from the access panel wedged between the cabinet and tub.


    Next update should be tomorrow and with any luck, should show a filled, fully operational hot tub!!

    Enjoy,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    Great work!

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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    SON OF A #%$^*%#$%#&

    I had a big nice update with pictures and everything ready to go. I hit Preview Post(to make sure pics came out right) and the f***in' internet disconnected me so I lost it all!!!! GRRRR
    **End Rant**

    Kept my word about an update telling of a filled hot tub.

    Good news and bad news though. Good news is the tub's full with no catastrophic failures yet. Bad news is there are two leaks(that I know of) and that the plumbing needs a little work.

    Here's the full hot tub!!! Looks inviting doesn't it!!! With it's nice Pond Muck lookin' water. That was how much dirt has collected in the pipes since I layed them in the ground last fall.


    This shows the tub and the pipes where the new meets the stuff that has been in the ground. I still need to do the pipes for the blower and the light.


    This shows the access panel which won't change much.

    The black flex hose is a semi-temporary deal. (explaination -->) Tub only came with four jets and the 1HP spa pack. I have 6 more jets and a 1.5HP pump(jetted bathtub kit I bought off eBay). Once we've used the hot tub a few times with just four jets, I'll get the families opinion on where the other 6 should go.

    The 1HP pump will power 4 jets in one half the tub(maybe all for the lounge) and the other pump will power the other 6 jets. That way, if only one person wants to use just the lounge, they can have just those jets on instead of the whole tub roaring. The pump with 6 jets also shares the line with the pool pump, filter, and solar heat, so I still need that line for now.

    The black hose connects the pipe for 6 jets to a tee in the pipe with the pump for the current four jets. This causes a problem though. When the Jet pump or the pool pump run, they push water backward through the Spa pack line. So not much circulation happens in the tub right now because the path of least resistance is through the other pump. I'm putting a valve on the line to the spa pack just before the pump tomorrow to solve that problem. Then I can run the solar heat and the filter to clean up that mess.

    In that last pic you can see two leaks. One is a small spot under the 3" pipe. I knew that would leak because it was the last joint and didn't go together well. Easy fix though.
    The other leak is a bit bigger as you can see. I think it's coming from the spot where the light glass hole is, but it may also be from the secondary suction. That puddle is pretty big considering the tub was only filled with water for about an hour when the pic was taken.

    There is one more problem with one of the pumps, but I'll post that in another thread.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    way to go Adam! You are my hero! I wish my kids were half as ambitious as you. I can't even get them to vacuum my pool most of the time
    15' saltwater 8000 aqualeader, 5300 gal. 2016 hayward xtream 150 cart and 1.5 hp powerflo matrix pump, intex swg.
    Hotspring Grandee spa 2006. I love BBB. no borates in the pool only in the spa.

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    Getting close t done here! I'm leaving the pool pump and sand filter run tonight to get that nasty water cleared up. I also added 1/4c 12% chlorine to kill anything in there, but I might need more. Shouldn't take long to clear as I figure all the water in the tub is going through the filter every 17 minutes or so. That's A LOT of turn overs. The water better be clear by tomorrow night because I've got 2 friends coming over for the maiden soak.

    I JUST got back in from backwashing the filter and sweeping the settled dirt toward the lower suction. Yes, I actually backwashed my sand filter at 1:30am. The water that came out was nice and brown! On the upside though, The water itself is A LOT clearer. Not crystal, but I can see the dirt on the seats and bottom now.

    I'll post a couple of "all finished" pics tomorrow when the water is clear. Tomorrow will also be the big test to determine if my three solar panels can get that water nice and hot. Forecast says 80 and sunny so my hopes are high. I'd be happy if the spa hit 102 by evening.

    Oh yeah, I manually vac the pool before we go in every time, well most times. If we don't use it for more than a few days, there are leaves and crud all over the bottom. I want my pool water, and bottom to sparkle.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    wow.. u have been busy! Looks good.. My only thought is...That is gonna be crazy to winterize..If you have already mentioned what you were planning on doing for the winter, Im sorry! i didnt read every post.. i like pictures more then reading
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

  20. Back To Top    #20
    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: launboy's Spa build (updated W/ Pics!)

    Nope, haven't mentioned winterizing in this thread. I winterized the pool plumbing last year, but that was easy, just two straight pipes and the solar manifold.

    Not sure if we will winterize the hot tub. Might just keep it open and hot. Afterall, the best time to soak in a tub is when it's snowing.

    Winterizing whouldn't be TOOO Hard. I can just disconnect the lines at the pumps and use a leafblower(worked REALLY well last fall) to blow out each line. Maybe pour a bit of anti freeze in the lines just in case.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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