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Hot Tub Life Articles

My Hot Tub Spa is Broken !
(from Hot Tub Newsletter 1994)


Jeff Baxter is a Customer Service Representative for Poolandspa.com (Long Island Hot Tubs) and has worked for the company for the last 10 years. This is his first article for the HOT TUB LIFE Newsletter.

I just got off the phone with a woman who told me that her hot tub is not getting hot. We receive hundreds of these calls every month, but hers particularly stuck in mind. Her call made me realize that a lot of people simply do not understand that much about the inner workings of their hot tub, and it prompted me to write this article. The call went something like this:

Customer: My spa isn't heating up. It used to heat up to 104. What could be wrong with it ?

Me: Well Mrs. Jones, there are a lot of different things that could cause your spa not to heat up. It could be the heater, the thermostat, the high limit switch or the circuitry inside the control box. We'd really have to send someone out to look at it to know for sure.

Customer: What could cause this to happen ? I just got this tub and you guys were just here to fix it a while ago.

The phone call went on for a little while longer, and it turned out that her son had inadvertently reset the heater without knowing it, so there was no big tragedy here...but....I did go and check her past records. I found out that the spa that she "just got" was, in fact, 8 years old (she purchased it in 1988). "You guys were just here to fix it" was in June of 1991. Time really does seem to fly when you are having fun with your hot tub !

There are two main points that this story illustrates. The first is that no one in her family even went out to check her hot tub heater - to see what it was set for. They didn't even know where the heater was. Many people do not even have the simplest understanding of their units.

The second point is that this customer was truly surprised to realize that her spa might be malfunctioning. For some reason, she thought that her spa would never break - she thought it would last forever with no maintenance!

Of course none of us ever like it when one of our vehicles or appliances breakdown, but we accept it as part of life. As things age, they tend to break. However, after doing Customer Service for Long Island Hot Tubs for the last ten years, I have noticed that people seem really shocked when their hot tub breaks. For some reason, they expect their cars to break, but when their 6 year old spa doesn't bubble as much as they would like, they are very surprised (and often very angry ) !

When explaining hot tub maintenance to customers, I always like to compare spas to cars. If you take care of your car, change the oil frequently, tune it up periodically, etc., it will break down less frequently than if you don't take care of it at all. However, even the most well cared for car will eventually need new tires, brakes, a transmission, etc. , simply due to aging.

The same holds true for hot tubs. If you take good care of it, your spa will need much fewer repairs than if you don't. Most tubs cost between $3000 and $6000. This is a lot of money, and your spa should get the maintenance attention it deserves.

Of course, eventually even the most well cared for spa will have something in it break. Spending just a little time performing routine maintenance and water chemistry adjustments will ward off many of the most common needed repairs (see "Hot Tub Maintenance" article) !