Hot Tub Life Articles
The Spa Guy Answers Questions
- Part 2
If you have a Hot Tub Spa question that you
would like answered in an upcoming column, write to the Spa Guy c/o
672 Los Feliz Street;
Las Vegas, NV 89110.
Dear Spa Guy,
In the last edition of your newspaper, you had answered a
question about a "high limit switch" that pops sometimes. This really confused
me. What is the difference between the "high limit switch" and the
"GFCI"? Isnt it the same thing ?
G.D, Oklahoma City, OK
Boy did we get tons of mail about that one ! The letter old
G.D. is referring to was from a woman asking why her high limit reset switch would pop
after she refilled her spa (answer was...power surge when she started it up because she
had the heater "on" when she turned her house circuit breaker back on). This
confused a lot of people. Let me explain.
There are usually two electrical "cutoffs" on a
spa system. One is the now infamous high limit switch, which cuts the power to the heater
when it senses a big power surge or the tub overheats. It is primarily there to keep the
spa from heating up too hot (over 106 degrees).
The GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is a main power
shut off that will kill all power to the entire spa system. This is primarily installed
for bather safety. If the GFCI senses a short in the spa electrical system, it will cut
off all power so that no one can get a shock. If the GFCI keeps popping, it could be
because any one of the components in the spa system (heater, pump, air blower, light,
timer, etc.) has some sort of electrical problem.
If the high limit keeps popping, it is indicating a heater
Hope this clears up all the confusion !
Dear Spa Guy,
I try to keep my water chemistry perfect in my hot tub at
all times. I use it almost every night and never have a problem with cloudy water. My wife
rarely uses the tub, but when she does, the water is always cloudy the next day. There is
also a film that forms around the water level of the spa. She is not a dirty person but
she does have long hair. What could be causing this?
H.P., Hewlett, NY
No, its not because your wife is a dirty person ! As
a matter of fact I bet she is very nice looking with beautiful long hair.
We hear this a lot and there is a simple solution to your
problem. Many women use either hair spray, mousse or styling gel in their hair (men with
long hair do too). Remember, oil is the enemy of hot tub water, and most hair products are
What is happening is that some of her hair is getting in
the water when she uses the tub, and the hair product she is using is getting into the
water. This will cloud the water and clog the filter, as well as cause the oily film you
see on the spa shell.
An easy way to stop this is to keep some baseball type caps
near the spa and to have her, or other bathers with long hair, tuck their hair up under
the cap while in the spa. Failing that, she will have to wash her hair before taking a tub
Dear Spa Guy,
You have gotta help me ! I am getting little white pieces
of something in my spa. The water chemicals are OK and I just put in a new filter. They
look like Styrofoam. I have an ozonator. Could it be going bad ?
L.F., Pittsburgh, PA
When an ozonator goes bad, it just does not work any more.
The bulb or the ballast stops working and must be replaced. Your white pieces are not from
the ozonator, but are probably being caused by it !
Check the underside of your spa cover. Many covers have a
type of insulating foam inside, visible from underneath, and that is probably
deteriorating faster than normal due to the oxidation reaction of the ozone gas. The white
pieces are from that foam.
Ozone is a great sanitizer of spa water, but the gas can
cause premature degradation of the spa cover foam material. I would suggest getting a new
cover that has a plastic seal wrap around the foam. This will stop the problem from
happening in the future !