Hot Tub Pumps perform two essential functions – supplying water to jets for hydromassage and heating the water. They also pass the water through a filter to remove impurities.
All pumps have a spec label that contains important information, such as frame, speed and voltage. Using the correct tool and a bit of practice it is easy to read.
When deciding what pump to buy for your hot tub the size of the motor is one thing you need to consider. The size of the motor determines how much power it can output. Generally speaking the larger the motor, the more power it can generate. This power is what drives the impeller and moves the water through the wet end.
There are two basic types of hot tub pumps; jet and circulation. Most hot tubs come equipped with a jet pump which will supply the pressure to the jets located around the spa. The pressure of the jets helps to provide that amazing hydromassage feeling you get when you soak in your hot tub.
A jet pump will also power a hot tubs heating system and its filtering system. Most hot tubs require a dedicated 50 amp service and a 240 volt connection to the hot tub for these functions. A specialized hot tub electrician will need to come out and make the necessary wiring connections for you.
The other type of hot tub pump is a circulation pump which will circulate the water in your spa non-stop in a slow and controlled motion. This movement heats the water, passes it through a filtration system and chemically treats the water. Then it pushes perfectly warmed and crystal clear water back into the hot tub for your enjoyment.
Most hot tubs will require a single or dual pump depending on their size. Larger hot tubs usually have two pumps so that each pump can drive a set of jets and help to provide the ultimate hydromassage experience. Smaller hot tubs will typically have a single pump since they are less spacious and have less space for more than one pump.
When replacing a hot tub pump it is a good idea to stay within the same horsepower as the old one. Changing the horsepower of your pump will change the amount of pressure inside the plumbing system of your hot tub which may cause problems such as leaks and damage. Changing the horsepower is not recommended unless you are replacing an older pump and the new one has a lower horsepower.
Many hot tub owners are surprised at the wide range of power output that is available for pumps. Even within a single manufacturer’s product line, there can be substantial differences. Much of this is due to the fact that a pump’s rating is typically based on performance under no load conditions, rather than on how well it performs when actually in use.
Another factor that can make or break a pump’s performance is its “load”, or how much resistance it experiences as water leaves the pumps and travels through plumbing. For example, there is far greater load (or friction) in a run of pipe that goes through several elbows than in a straight run up to the tub. This is why it can often take far longer for a hot tub to fill up when the water has to travel up through a lot of elbows than when the same amount of fluid is sent from the basement up to the tub over a short run of straight pipe.
Depending on how frequently you use your hot tub, how large it is and how many jets are installed, the type of pump you choose can play a big role in how much energy your spa consumes. For example, a circulation pump requires very little electricity, running at less than 1.5 amps when on low.
On the other hand, a high speed pump, which powers the jets that massage the body, will require considerably more energy. This is especially true if you have a large number of jets, as each of these pumps will have to push the same volume of water at a much higher rate of flow than a simple circular pump can.
It is also important to note that while a high speed pump may have a lower initial cost than a traditional spa pump, it will likely end up being more expensive in the long run. This is because a high speed pump will draw far more electricity than a traditional spa pump when it is running on a 24hr cycle.
If you ask any hot tub owner what their least favorite part of owning a spa is, they’ll probably tell you it’s the maintenance. Between adding chemicals, cleaning the shell and draining and replacing the water, there is a lot of work that goes into keeping your hot tub clean. Fortunately, you can cut down on maintenance with a good filtration system.
Every hot tub requires a filtration system to remove contaminants from the water and keep it clean and clear. Traditional suction side filtration systems require your pump to run a minimum of 8 hours per day, with most running 12-24 hours. This long filtration cycle leads to high energy costs and also creates hard water that takes more effort and chemicals to treat.
A better solution is a pressure-side filtration system like ConstantClean. With a pressure-side filtration system, your pump runs only for an hour each day to filter all of the hot tub water in your hot tub. This short filtration cycle cuts your energy costs, reduces your need for chemicals and keeps your water clean and crystal clear.
To make this process even more effective, the pressure-side filtration system utilizes a separate pump from your jet pump to pump the filtered water around the hot tub. The pump is a small, dedicated filtration pump that uses about 1/6 of the power of your jet pump.
This process works through a system of pipes, called a venturi, that creates a pressurized mixture of air and water. This forces the filtered water through a smaller hole than it normally would, producing a stream of bubbles that is then shot out of your jets. This process catches all of the contaminants and particulates that are normally left behind by bathers (like lotion, sweat, skin cells and dirt) and eliminates the need for harsh chemicals.
While a circulation pump is not a necessary feature, it can help your hot tub filtration system work at peak performance by continuously pumping and circulating the water. This can help reduce your energy costs and prolong the life of your therapy pump. If you have a circulation pump, be sure to check your vacuum and seals often for leaks or debris build up. If you do experience a problem with your circulation pump, shut off the power to the pump and remove the wet end cover plate to inspect the impeller for damage. If you notice any signs of rust or a sluggish flow, you may need to replace the bearings or motor in your pump.
An ozonator is a powerful tool that aids in the sanitation process of your hot tub. It works to destroy and oxidize organic contaminants in your water that are responsible for bacteria, yeast, and molds, resulting in healthy, pathogen-free water with reduced chemical usage.
An ozone generator uses UV or corona discharge (CD) light to split oxygen molecules into free, or ozone, atoms. These atoms then collide with regular oxygen molecules, causing them to bond together and forming ozone. When this ozone is in contact with a contaminant, it oxidizes and destroys the contaminant, breaking it apart from its original molecular structure. The ozone then reverts back into oxygen.
The ozone then mixes with the contaminated water, destroying bacteria at a molecular level and dissolving it from the molecule. It then reverts into oxygen at a faster rate than it did originally, leaving only the sanitized water behind. This process is what eliminates the need for chlorine or bromine shock in your hot tub, reducing the amount of chemicals needed to maintain sanitization levels.
Ozonators are not a stand-alone system, and it is still important to add some form of regular sanitizer such as chlorine or bromine to your water. It also is recommended that you use a mineral sanitizer, or salt chlorine generator in conjunction with an ozonator to further reduce the amount of chlorine you need.
When installing an ozonator, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It is important that you properly connect the ozone to your spa water line and that it’s running at the correct voltage. Using the wrong voltage will damage your equipment and void any warranty. If you are unsure of what voltage to run your ozone at, consult your user’s manual or a qualified service technician for assistance.
In addition, if you want to maximize your ozone efficiency, be sure to run it for at least three to twenty hours per day. This allows it to be effective in your hot tub for as long as possible. It is also recommended that you test your total alkalinity and pH regularly to monitor the water chemistry.