TRUCKEE DONNER MAINTENANCE
Parts & Shipping - 10855 Palisades Dr.
Truckee, CA 96161
Mailing - P.O. Box 1758
Truckee, CA 96160
530 587-4840

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Tips

Hot Tub & Spa Tips

A hot tub or spa can contribute to overall wellness through relaxing you and alleviating stress. 
Spas are good for arthritis, type-2 diabetes, and aches and pains.
 

Be advised, however that if you fail to maintain your hot tubs and spas, you may be harming yourself and the environment. If the pH level is off, bacteria may thrive and multiply. There are issues with indoor humidity and lung diseases in cases where your indoor hot tub is not well maintained. Communicable diseases can even be passed if there are no sanitizers in the water.

A Word About Ozonators


Ozone is a gas (like the earth’s ozone layer). Ozone sanitizers produce ozone by exposing oxygen to an ultraviolet source. Ozone acts like a powerful sanitizer when it is injected into the spa water. Ozonators are usually added to the spa package as an after-market option. Many spas come pre-plumbed for an ozonator, which means that there is plumbing and electrical already in place for EZ installation.


Once injected into the spa water, the ozone dissipates rapidly. This means that after a few hours your spa will have no sanitizer in it. For this reason, it is recommended that an ozonator be activated with each filter cycle.

Will you have to use other chemicals along with an ozonator ? YES… You still need to test and adjust the pH and Total Alkalinity levels weekly. You may still need Defoamers and Clairifiers. Even with an ozonator, you still need to add some type of regular sanitizer to your spa after each use.

An ozonator requires periodic maintenance. The ultraviolet light bulb in the unit will eventually burn out, and the unit will need replacing. Bulbs usually last 2-3 years under normal use. Ozonators are easily replaceable (as a complete unit) which reduces labor costs. The ozone check valve, pick-up tubing and ozone injector also require periodic inspection, cleaning and/or replacing.


How will you know its working? You can smell it. Ozone smells much like air does after an electrical storm. Normally, you can see the little ozone bubbles coming out of a spa jet. This is a good visual that indicates that the injection system is working.


A service technician should repair or replace an ozonation system as ultraviolet lights can damage your eyes.

We can repair or replace most ozone systems on the market.

 

A Word About Insulation

 

The Sierra mountains have extreme weather and temperature swings. Insulation (or lack thereof) varies from spa manufacturer, to mfg. Some spa manufacturers use foil-faced reflective insulation on the back-side surfaces of the spa skirting. One such product is made by Reflectix, Inc. Their web site is www.reflectixinc.com.  Adding insulation to a spa may be limited to whatever product your local hardware store stocks.


Some spa manufacturers spray foam (of various densities) into the void areas of the spa which insulates as well as holds the plumbing from moving and sagging.


Some spa manufacturers seal the bottoms of the spas where others are open to whatever surface they are setting on. A lot of heat can be lost out of the bottom of a spa. I recommend that exterior plywood be installed if there is no bottom in your spa.


Fiberglass type insulation is not recommended for extra insulation because it can become damp and moldy. The electrical motors and air-blowers need circulation around them, so do not smother them with too much extra insulation.

 

A Word About Water Leaks

 

This can be most costly for a spa owner. Whenever a leak appears from the spa, its origin must be located. Leaks are most often located in the equipment area (where the motors are). Water leaks happen there because pumps and heaters are usually attached to plumbing using plastic unions along with o-rings and gaskets. Vibrations cause unions to loosen. Bad water chemistry can cause pump-shaft seals to deteriorate which can also produce leaks.

 

Other sources of leaks harder to locate:

1)      Poorly glued fittings

2)      Defects in flexible hoses

3)      Cracks in fittings and plumbing, defects, etc.

4)      Cracks in light lenses

5)      Leaky seals at jet wall fittings

6)      Cracks and broken blisters in spa shell

7)      Hair-line cracks in plumbing due to freezing

8)      Stress cracks caused by sagging spas and poorly supported plumbing

9)      Leaking o-rings in isolation valves and directional valves

10)  Worn check valves

 

All of the above leaks are problematic because they have to be located and made accessible before they can be repaired.

 

Many spas are made where you cannot easily remove the sides for inspection purposes. This is something to consider when purchasing your spa.

 

A Word About Spa  Lighting

 

Most spa lights are low voltage. Some are neon or flood-light types. Bulbs do burn out and require replacing so that users will be able to see a well -lit spa seat when climbing into a spa.

 

REMEMBER YOUR LIABILITIES

 

Routine service checks should include visually checking the lighting systems so bulbs don’t catch mice and squirrel nests on fire.

 

Many spa lights can be upgraded to L.E.D. lights that have multi-colors.

Call us for upgrade information and service.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FIND YOUR SPA OFF AND FROZEN

1)      CALL US! Do not drain the spa water. Water above 32 degrees has energy in it.

2)      Check to see if the electricity is on or off

3)      If you suspect frozen pipes or pumps, DO NOT TURN THE ELECTRICITY BACK ON.

4)      Immediately start to re-thaw the spa. The sooner you thaw the spa, the less damage you will have to repair. Ice expands more, the colder and longer it remains frozen. This can further crack and damage fittings and pumps.

5)      Run an extension cord (with a ground wire in it) to the spa equipment area and plug in a small electric fan driven heater that has a thermostat in it. Put it on low heat. Or, put a drop -light in the equipment area to start to take the chill off of the equipment. Carefully monitor the heat you are providing so that you do not overheat or melt anything.

6)      As long as you provide warmth to the spa equipment, you will have time to schedule a service call or order parts etc.

7)      Once the spa water and plumbing is thawed out, you can attempt to reset the breakers to restore electricity to the spa. If however, your breaker immediately trips off or the motors only hum (trying to run) you still have a problem. Don’t panic. Put the heat source back in the equipment area, put the door back on to hold in the heat and call us.

 

 

Winter Storms In The Sierra

 

In the past, there have been times when powerful winter storms have left us without power for several hours to several weeks. This is where scheduled spa checks and home security checks come into play. With the roads plowed and driveways clear, we can get to the homes and turn off house water systems, putting R V antifreeze into traps and toilets, etc. This will stop further damage to your home until the electricity is back on.

If your spa is outside and buried in snow, it is in better shape than you think. Snow insulates spas and holds in the heat so they do not cool down or freeze as quickly. After the power is restored, we often find the spas running and heating as if nothing ever happened. Note: Some spas will automatically switch to their “economy mode” after power has been interrupted.

 

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