Just Bought a 26' Intex - Looking for suggestions on upgrades as I start the planning/build process

Blacklisted

Well-known member
Sep 10, 2013
206
El Cajon CA
What I had been doing to add the required after-soak dose of chlorine was to run into the house, pour some chlorine into a container (dichlor or bleach), then run out, sit back in the spa to warm up, get out, throw in the chlorine, slap the lid closed and run back inside. :D
If you can leave the cover open for the cycle after putting in the chlorine, I have read that it will degrade the cover faster by not letting the byproducts and heavy chlorine dissipate. We bought a used tub and you can see on the bottom of the cover where you can see a definite discoloration from chlorine.

Glad you got to use the tub, we will always have one after owning one.
 
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Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
740
south east Arizona
the "second" cover I was talking about is just that bubble wrap stuff. you pretty much just flick it on or off with one hand. can find it for less than $20. we don't have a lift for our regular cover, we just flip one side open to the other side then slide the whole thing off onto the ground on edge next to the tub. then the bubble wrap gets flipped right onto the main cover like a blanket. reverse to cover everything. might take as much as 30 seconds more than the main cover.

if your cover is still in good shape but may be water logged AND you ahve the room, you could get a second one to rotate them. then you could probably hang it up in a car port or garage and either unzip or take some of the stitching out to alow the foam to dry over a period of weeks (I think they have drain holes but might need more air than those allow). not sure though, as I live in a dry climate and only have a few weeks per year I have to worry about ambient humidity, mildew, and the like.:cool:
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
Also I just now realized, as I cracked off icicles from the cover latches, that a second cover would get frozen and impossible to put back on here during the winter. Would work once we get out of the winter though.

I'm going to say 100% we have a leak. The water has dropped about an inch and a half since I topped it up Sunday around noon. I will see about poking my head underneath sometime this weekend. Hopefully the leak is inside the access panel and not buried deep inside spray foam at the bottom of the tub...
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Here is hoping it is easy to find AND to fix!!! Hummmmmm do we have a good fairy........🧚‍♀️ ................she will wave her magic wand and it will be right where you look the first time!

Kim:kim:
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
I sure hope so. I was hoping to maybe check this weekend but today I was moving a few last thinga and organizing our garage so we could park inside for the upcoming snow.

After dinner it was 23 °F, so no way I was sitting outside to poke my head under the spa. We got in though. Lots of steam with these air temps.
IMG_20200208_224027066.jpg

Tomorrow I can't check cause we're getting 2-4 inches of snow. Rest of the week the high is about 32 and the low about 16. End of week lows will dip to 4.

Guess I'll just keep topping up the tub and wait for warmer weather!
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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It will happen when it happens. So long as you top it off and remember to adjust the chemical levels as they will change with the new water. I bet you are loving having it to jump into after working so hard on the house. When do you have to have the old place clean and empty? That will be another good time for the spa as well!

Smart move to get the cars inside before the snow!

Kim:kim:
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
IMG_20200213_211356546.jpg
So I'm starting to wonder if a leak or if my bowed cover is just letting water evaporate. When cold it's quite obvious water is condensing from the inside of the spa onto the spa cover, cause it makes ice. Lots of ice. I think it may be time for a new cover.

Just how cold is it right now?
Screenshot_20200213-212621.png
I'm actually posting this from my phone as I relax my sore back muscles in the tub. I'm quite content but next time I come out in these temps I think I'll bring a hat! 😁
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
2,476
NY
That leak very well could be evaporation only. If the water is 103 degrees warmer than the air and you have a loose seal...... you’re probably lucky to have any water left at all. I cut a scrap piece of my solar cover to fit the hot tub and it helped substantially with heat retention and evaporation. You might be able to find a smaller cover dirt cheap on clearance right now and just cut it to size.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
2,476
NY
its Not letting me copy the link at the moment but amazon has a 12ftx 24ft for $37. Intheswim might be even cheaper. With that size you’d have plenty of excess to make new pieces every few years and you would more than get your money’s worth.
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Yeah I think you found the "leak"! Here is hoping! I like @Newdude idea about the cutting up a plastic cover to help with the evaporation. It will be easy to remove and replace due to it being so small.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
I think I have a solar cover from a co-worker who was giving me his 18' pool (one I never got around to putting up). I will check.

I do think it's time for a new cover as well though. I'll have to look into that.
 
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jseyfert3

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Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
So I got my first electric bill. For 18 days, we used a whopping 825 kWh! :eek: I have GOT to get a floating cover here quick and put a new real cover into the budget!

This was last night:


Again, all that ice below the cover is from steam condensing on the "flap" of the cover and dripping down. It was much to cold for any of the snow/ice on the outside of the cover to melt. Besides the warping from age, it is a good cover and ice/snow on top doesn't melt without sun or temps near freezing.

Given the steam due to the wind and the cold temps, I decided to drop the temp to 80 °F as we wouldn't use it till this evening. I did that around 9:30 last night, and at 2:45 this afternoon it was down to 87. If I did my math correctly this equates to a heat loss of 826 watts at an average ambient temp of 21 °F (and an average spa temp of 93.5 °F). This is...not great, to say the least. That is almost 600 kWh a month in standby losses. Evaporating water would certainly easily account for much of this. A floating cover and a new, flat cover would both help with this considerably. You can see in the above picture how bent the cover is, since the "flaps" are way up in the corners.

Random, peaceful image I took during a snowfall last week:
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
Holy empty wallet! OUCH! BUT think of how worth it was as you moved in and got the NEW house set up! Do you have all of the boxes unpacked yet?

Kim:kim:
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
You know, at some point this will become an actual build thread...

Weather was warm today, currently 46 °F and sunny! Snow is melting at a good clip, but we have another 7-11 inches of snow coming in, starting Monday night, so today was just a teaser for spring. That said, I did finally get around to pulling off the access panel on the spa and taking a look.


Hmm, what's that rusty wet spot under the pump on the left?


I turned both pumps on high, and took a closer look. At the top of the drain fitting water was spitting out. Not a ton of water, but it's a leak nonetheless. It seems to go away when the pumps are off, but I think it leaks even with the pump on low. This is the pump that runs high for jets, low for circulation when needed and when heat is called for, so it has a lot of low speed run time even when we aren't using the spa. You can see the water spitting out in the picture, frozen by the flash. Good news is that looks to be an easy fix in that location. Not only is it out front, but if functional, both pumps have gate valves on the inlet and outlet, so I don't even have to drain the entire spa to fix that leak.


I took some other pictures too. We've got a rats nest of wiring, which reminds me of the wiring job in our RV...


Speaking of wiring jobs, the 12 VDC converter is literally thrown on the bottom of the spa, I note the lack of installed cable glands, despite clearly being set up for them.


Visible in that picture is the ozone generator. This is timed to run twice a day, I believe, and can't be adjusted. I know it is still functional to at least some extend as I've occasionally smelled a whiff of ozone, and additionally the FC test reads super high if I test while the ozone is on. I plan to disconnect it at some point, though it would be more useful if it could be set up with a manual mode, as it could be handy to run after a soak to help break down waste before we add chlorine. May be a project for another day, but not a high priority at all. I've got free UV light on sunny days if I open the cover.


Some random thing, perhaps a sensor, at the top of the spa, on the outside of the insulation. Not sure what it is. Anyone have any ideas?


Drain hose. This should be connected to the low point in the spa, and is also connected to the drain points on the motors. You know, the point I have a known leak.


In summary, I have one known leak. Based on what I can see, the other three sides of the spa appear to be stuffed with spray foam, and so if I have a leak anywhere else, I'm probably not going to be able to find it. I suspect it will be a while before I get around to fixing that leak. At the minimum I have to wait for the snow to pass and the return of warmer temps. And since that pump is needed for heat and circulation, I need to get everything lined up for a quick replacement so I don't take our spa down for a long time.

As I go, I wanted to add an aside related to the actual building of the pool. My brother in law and some friends were up here for our housewarming yesterday. Three of of us will be putting in a fence this spring. We're planning for the first weekend in May for fence installation. As soon as the snow melts (and it looks like it will stay gone) I'll get the yard marked and start the layout planning of the fence and pool!
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
Well, well, well............look at that! Good job! You sure found so future work and fixing up to be done! It does look like you can do more of it on your own.

Nice job talking them into helping you with your fence. What kind of fence and how much of the yard?

Kim:kim:
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
677
South-Central WI
Nice job talking them into helping you with your fence. What kind of fence and how much of the yard?
They offered to help. They are good friends.

Almost certainly a 6' wood privacy fence, covering the entire backyard. See post #1 in this thread for the aerial view of our property.

Depending on the buried utilities, we may need to shift the fence as much as 10' back from the rear lot line. Hopefully not, as that would mean we would "lose" a bunch of the yard.