Equipment Selection FAQ

What’s the difference between a hot tub and a spa?

In the late 1960s, the tern “hot tub” referred to the popular wooden, barrel-shaped tubs. They were simple machines that basically held hot water and only one or two people. The term “spa” came in later years when manufacturers began making the tubs with thermoplastic and molded fiberglass shells. Needless to say, the amenities have increased over the years, including expanded seating, automated timers, jets, and filters.

Should I install my hot tub spa inside or outside?

There is no “recommended” location; both sites have their pros and cons. Here in the High Country, an outside spa will allow for breathtaking views, not to mention mild to cold temperatures which many people prefer for spa enjoyment. Because the hot water raises your body’s core temperature, you will not typically feel any cold, even when getting out of your spa in the cold winter months.
Inside installations will add humidity to the air in your home, which require properly-maintained ventilation in order to control the moisture. An indoor spa, however, provides total privacy as well as decreased chances for damages due to extreme weather.

Do I have to install plumbing for my portable spa?

No. While plumbing installation is optional, above-ground spas can typically be filled with a garden hose.

Is it expensive to operate a spa?

Beyond the initial purchase of a spa, the major costs are attributed to water chemistry and repairs. Recommended preventative maintenance and proper upkeep of the water in your spa will prolong the life of your spa, as well as an energy audit which can be scheduled with High Country Spa.


Maintenance & Repair FAQ

Why is it important to have a professional maintain my spa?
  1. Balancing chemicals is an important part of keeping a hot tub clean and safe. Not adding enough of some chemicals will not produce a clean tub, and adding too much of others can burn sensitive skin. An experienced professional knows the proper way to determine the levels in your tub and react accordingly.
  2. Chemicals & supplies for spas are not inexpensive. A professional can provide these materials for you, also relieving you of having to find the storage for them.
  3. Routinely maintaining a spa takes time – Having a professional do the work for you ensures that you can lay back & enjoy your spa anytime you wish.
How often should I drain my spa?

This depends on your spa usage and sanitizing system; however, a spa with properly-maintained water should be drained and refilled every 90-120 days.

When should I replace the filter in my spa?

Typically, spa filters are good for a full year. Obviously, this can vary depending on usage and maintenance of your spa, but after a year, the efficiency of a filter will decrease.

Is it okay to use car wax on my spa shell?

No, the wax used on automobiles is not designed to hold up in extreme hot water conditions. It is best to use a wax and/or gloss specifically designed for spas.

The water in my spa is not heating. What should I do?

The first thing you should do is check your filter. If a filter gets dirty or clogged, it is the primary cause of heating problems. If you can operate your spa properly with no filter in, then you know you need to replace your filter. If this does not solve your issue, check the heater indicator light. If that light is not on, that means the heater is not getting any power. Some of the causes of this could be a defective thermostat, a high limit switch (check by pushing the reset switch), a pressure switch or a flow switch. Finally, if none of these are causing the issue, your spa could have a bad relay or contactor. If the indicator light is on but the water is not circulating, the heater will not work; however, if the indicator light is on and the water is circulating, the most likely solution is a defective heater element.

Is it better for my spa to allow the thermostat to determine run times, or set the timer for a specific amount of time each day?

It is strongly recommended that you set timers for your spa to run at scheduled times each day. If you let the thermostat determine the operation of your spa, it could shorten the life of your spa motor. Allowing your spa to run three hours per day is a safe allowance.

Is it safe to use our spa all year? The winters here can get very cold!

Absolutely! In fact, many people prefer to enjoy their spa in the winter months. Please make sure to take precautions in order to prevent any damage to your equipment so that you can use it all year, and it is recommended to either run your spa continually or for a scheduled time allotment every day. Check your water level each day to ensure no damage to your pump, and keep your filters cleaned. When not in use, keep your spa cover securely strapped.


Water Chemistry FAQ

What is the proper level of bromine or chlorine in spa water?

The National Spa and Pool Institute recommend a minimum level of 2 parts-per-million (PPM), an ideal range of 3-5 PPM, and a maximum level of 10 PPM of free chlorine or bromine in spa water.

Is there a difference between shocking compounds for my spa?

The two most common shocking compounds are chlorine producing and non-chlorine shock treatments, which release oxygen to break down foreign matter. These non-chlorine treatments have no harsh chlorine odor, and are preferred by many spa owners. There are also “buffered” shocks on the market, which are basic shock treatments with sodium carbonate added, and very expensive.

What is the importance of pH?

Regardless of the sanitizing method you use, maintaining proper pH level is essential for proper and prolonged operation of a spa. A high pH can lead to cloudy water and even eye irritation. A low pH makes the water too acidic which can lead to corroded equipment.

What is the recommended pH range?

The National Spa & Pool Institute recommends a range of 7.2-7.8, with 7.4-7.6 being considered ideal.

How do I make the pH level in my spa higher?

Adding a product containing sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate will raise your pH level.

How do I lower my pH level?

Instead of sodium carbonate or bicarbonate mentioned in the previous discussion, the main ingredient needed to lower your pH level is sodium bisulfate.

Sometimes the water in my spa is cloudy. What is the cause of this?

Cloudy water can usually be attributed to one of two things: either there are excessive contaminants in the water, or the pH level is too high. Check your filter first to make sure it is clean and working properly, and add a water-clarifying agent.