DIY Hot Tub, 750 gallons, Questions and Build Updates (Finished!)

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,648
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
I used rockwool around my air conditioner in the attic, helped A LOT... I think spray foam is a little better but that would be a pain...
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
71
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Trust me the lawn was not a battle i wanted to fight. We have a well, so even with crabgrass it never looked as bad as some other lawns with water restrictions. The problem is it stays a very dull green in the summer and dies an ugly death in the winter. The wife wants a beautiful lawn next year so we're giving it a go.
 

Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
71
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I spent quite a bit of time this weekend just thinking through how to enclose the back while keeping everything accessible. I went with a hinged enclosure i think will work.

The power meter i bought on amazon installed easily and might be the best 12 bucks I've spent so far. If this thing ends up a power hungry beast at least ill know pretty quick.

Installed the chlorine generator probe by feeding the cable through the overflow pipe.

Shout out to A.O. on the Perfect Pour recommendation! The bottle makes acid additions a snap and since im adding a few times a day it really helps.
 

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Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
71
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Still waiting on my cover. What a bummer because its starting to get cold in the mornings and a nice soak to start the day will be great! I also started leveling a 28 ft diameter site for a future AGP kit and was pretty beat up Saturday night from the digging. Its getting close though. Probably one more round of photos after i get the cover and this thread will be a wrap. I wont start a dedicated thread on the above-ground because there's already so much great content on that. Looking forward to it though. I want to get the ground prepped now so it will be nice and settled by spring.
 
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Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
71
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
My hot tub cover finally showed up yesterday! I still need to take and post pics of that, but let me back up a bit. When I realized it was going to take much longer than expected I made a temporary cover using foam boards with 3.5” metal stud track taped around the outside and plastic taped underneath. I used 1.5 inch and 2 inch thick foam boards to fit within the track and secured everything with gorilla tape. I’ll admit, I got a little carried away with this temporary solution and it ended up costing way more than I care to admit. It’s all good though because I’ve actually been able to use the hot tub for the last 4 weeks.

My thoughts so far:

I use this thing WAY more than anticipated. I hop in most mornings, when I get off work, and sometimes later in the evening. The novelty might soon wear off but at the moment I’m really enjoying it.

With the temporary cover and not-yet fully completed insulation I’m using about 16-18 kilowatts per day. At 0.41 cents per KW-hour you can do the math. Frankly, a couple hundred per month for something I use every day is not problem in my book, especially considering the overall cost of living in southern california. Insulating the bottom of the tub during construction however would have been a worthwhile endeavor.

The MegaChlor is indeed a beast. I mostly use settings 1 or 2 out of 10 and don’t manually dose after use. I figure with 800 gallons there is enough volume to buffer the swings in FC but I’m still figuring out the best approach. I usually see the FC levels rise or fall less than 1 ppm day to day and turn it up or down as needed. Had I known there was the SmarterSpa option I might have paid a little more for the “automation”.

I like 102 and I don’t necessarily care for jets or bubbles. The light is worth having but never used.

I need to build steps for the front.

I developed quite a bit of scale on the plaster in the first few weeks when the pH very quickly wanted to be 8+ and I couldn’t keep up. Also not brushing plaster dust for the first few days surely didn’t help. It might be that I’m finding ways to accept faults but I don’t think it looks that bad. Maybe even a little rustic charm to it lol.

We had some friends over a few weekends ago for the first hurrah and it was a huge success. It was an awesome feeling getting to hang out and enjoy all the work and planning that went into it. I included a photo but threw a filter on for privacy.
 

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Dirrby

Gold Supporter
Oct 26, 2020
71
Poway, CA
Pool Size
800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Some action shots and pics of the cover. I ordered the fabric-grey color which would have looked fantastic but they ran out of stock. The brown is ok but doesn't look as good as I hoped. I added 4 oz of AuquaClarity right before these photos so you'll see some foaming that I wouldn't normally be present.

Thanks to all who helped me out along the way - your advice was invaluable to say the least. I'm still tinkering with this-and-that and I don't know that I'll ever be "finished," but this is a good end point for this thread. I have to give a shout out to Gene Trumbull and his tutorial on how to build a "custom built spa." If anyone ever considers building one of these I encourage you to visit Gene's site and purchase the PDF. I kept it simple so to speak with only 6 jets, but if you look online you will see photos of other spas built with his instructions and some of them turn out amazing. Anyway, thanks again for all the help.

Cheers,
John
 

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