Winter and your spa

At the point of this blog there has been no sign of snow in the Twin Cities. That doesn’t mean it isn’t on the way!

Have the best experiences with your hot tub in the winter or cold!

There is nothing quite like relaxing in your Sundance Spa while the snow falls all around you, and you can feel the cold on your face but your body is wonderfully warm.

A hot tub from Sundance Spas truly is a treat for all Seasons. To ensure you can enjoy it in the cold weather, here are a few tips for keeping your spa in great condition and good working order through the harsh winter months.

Check Your Hot Tub Regularly

Hopefully you are enjoying your hot tub regularly through the winter months, and are sticking to your regular maintenance schedule.

If things come up that keep you from using it as much as you would like, it is still advisable to go out once or twice a week and check it is performing properly.

Take a few minutes and head outside to check that there is power going to the spa, and that there are no “Open Flow Switch”, “FLO” or other error messages showing on your control panel.

Have a quick look at the condition of your filter, and check the water level is where is should be. A low water level can cause issues with heating / filtering your hot tub’s water, so top up with fresh water if necessary.

Leaving your hot tub cover open for 20-30 minutes a week if the spa is not being used will help keep the water from getting stale.

Balance Your Water

While you are out checking on your hot tub, use a test strip to check your water has a good level of sanitizer and is properly balanced, so that it is ready for you to use when you decide you want to enjoy a soak.

Leaving unbalanced or untreated water in your hot tub for extended periods of time can be harmful to the equipment and plumbing so it is worthwhile taking the time to keep your water in good shape.

Change Your Water

Hopefully you changed your water recently before the cold hit and you will be good to go until Spring, but if you didn’t there is still hope!

It is recommended that you change your hot tubs water every 3-4 months to keep it fresh and easy to maintain. Winter conditions make changing the water a bit of a challenge, but if there is a day when the temperature is above zero you have an opportunity to replace your water.

If the temperature is too low to do a complete water change, a partial change should mean that you are adding enough fresh water to see you through the winter months. The use of a Quick Drain or a submersible pump is recommended, as this is the fastest way to drain water from your hot tub. Read here for more on draining your spa.

For either a full or partial drain during the winter months, it is a good idea to put a small space heater in the equipment bay to replace the ambient heat usually generated by the running pumps and an active heater. See below for more on the use of a space heater.

Keep Water Temperature Constant

Maintain an even, constant water temperature rather than lowering the temperature and then trying to boost it up before using the hot tub.

Keeping a constant temperature is more energy efficient, and is beneficial in keeping the water clean and clear.

Keeping the temperature higher is also wise during the cold months as it will take longer to get down to the point where your water freezes in the event of heat loss due to a power outage or equipment problem.

What To Do If There Is a Power Outage

If you come home to flashing clocks or notice the power in your home has gone out and come back on, it is a good idea to go out and check on your hot tub as soon as you can.

A power outage, sudden power spike, low voltage or high voltage surge in your neighborhood can cause your GFCI breaker to trip.

The GFCI breaker is designed to protect key components of your Sundance Spa such as the circuit board, Heater, Sensors & topside control panel.

Your breaker will not reset on it’s own once power has been restored, so it must be manually turned back on if it has tripped.

Once you have re-set the breaker, you should check your hot tub’s display panel to ensure there are no error messages and that the heater is engaged.

Dealing With Error Messages

Should you go outside and discover the water is cold or you can see ice forming in the hot tub, you should check your screen for any error messages (such as “Open Flow Switch”, “FLO”, “FL1” & “FL2”) to determine the cause of the problem.

Before calling to arrange a service call, follow these steps to see if re-setting your spa will solve the issue for you:

1) Switch the power to the hot tub off by turning off the breaker.

2) Remove your hot tub filter / filters completely. (Take them inside temporarily, don’t leave your wet filters on the cold, frozen ground).

3) Wait 10-15 Minutes to allow a complete re-set.

4) Turn the power back on, but do not replace the filters – leave them inside until you are sure the hot tub is running correctly.

5) Check your display panel to see if the error messages are gone and if the heater is now engaged.

If the error messages remain and the spa is not heating, Contact our Service Department as soon as you can and our factory trained technicians will promptly and efficiently take care of the issue for you.

Use of a Space Heater

If you have discovered cold water and the re-set instructions stated above did not resolve the issue, you should switch off the power to the spa and place a small ceramic space heater in the equipment bay.

Space heaters are widely available at all major hardware stores (please make sure you purchase a heater small enough to fit inside the equipment area).

When placing the space heater in your spa, it is best to place it off the floor so it does not come in to contact with any water or wet spots (resting the heater on a brick is a good option).

The heater should be positioned on the far left or right hand of the spa inside the equipment area. It should run on either a low or medium heat to prevent the pumps and interior plumbing from freezing. Do not put the space heater on a high temperature setting – it is not necessary or helpful.

Once the space heater is in position, re-attach your cabinet door, but leave enough room to run an extension cord safely. Be sure to use a extension cord with the correct gauge.

If you are not comfortable placing a space heater in the hot tub equipment area yourself, feel free to contact our Service Department and we can help you out to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

Visit your local PPS today!