freeze damage is when water freezes and expands inside of spa pipes or spa equipment, like your filter, pump or heating system.
Water broadens about 10% when it freezes. For pipes or equipment that have a small amount of water inside, for instance a pipeline that is less than half loaded with water, unused area inside the pipe permits for some ice growth.
When pipes, pumps or filters are over half loaded with water, there is little space for expansion, as well as extremely thick materials can break from the ice pressure inside.
Today’s lesson centers on how to prevent freeze damage in a spa or hot tub, which can be a complicated and costly spa repair, and in some cases, might ‘total’ the spa, with repair costs of countless dollars.
There are 3 methods to avoid freeze damage in a spa or hot tub
1. Winterize the Spa
We do not recommend that you winterize your spa, unless you make sure that it will not be utilized for a minimum of 3 months, or it can not be maintained (at a villa, for instance).
Winterizing the spa is a process that takes a couple of hours, to drain all the water from the spa, and utilize air to ‘blow the lines’, to require water from the pipelines, hose pipes and equipment.
We did a post on How to Winterize a Spa, if you are considering winterizing the spa. It’s easy, but if you desire assurances of a proper winterization, most spa service business use this service.
2. Usage Freeze Protection
Modern spas packs will have a freeze defense mode on the spa that will turn on the circulation pump when temperatures get close to freezing. If you do not see this available in your control options for the spa, you may not have freeze protection.
Freeze defense deals with an air temperature sensing unit that interacts with a controller, wired into the pump power circuit. Freeze protection is basic equipment on all our Digital, Flex-Fit and Balboa spa loads, which is the most basic way of adding freeze protection for older health spas with air activated spa packs.
For assistance including freeze protection to your spa, don’t hesitate to call our spa techs with some details about your spa.
3. Run the Pump
As long as water is moving through the pipes– all of the pipes, the water won’t freeze. Open all your jets, if your spa has the ability to isolate banks of jets. Low speed can be utilized, as long as all pipelines are utilized.
The water need not be hot, or even warmed at all–. As long as it’s moving through all of the pipes and devices when temperatures are listed below 32 degrees. The heat from the spa pump, under a closed skirt, is likewise useful to warm up the equipment. Of course, a spa cover need to be utilized during winter to prevent ice forming on the spa surface.
Throughout winter season, it might be sensible to operate your pump 24 hours per day in cold northern locations, or set the time clock to turn on the pump for 10 minutes every half hour.
ALSO HELPFUL TO PREVENT FREEZE DAMAGE:
• Adding heat to your spa, a hot spa can offer 24 hours of protection
• Keeping a tight fitting spa cover in place and secure
• Spa insulation– the more there is, the more protection you have
• Hang a 100 watt shop light, under the skirt, beside the spa pack
Always cover the tub when you’re not using it, and check to be sure the cover is properly secured on the hot tub, because in this way you can avoid wasting energy which is good for you as well as for your pocket. If you are using a traditional rigid foam cover to do this the dealer you bought it from may have recommended to clean and condition it once a month with vinyl protector, because in this way you will avoid to let UV rays to damage it. What they don’t tell you is that the vinyl on the outside of your cover is rated by HOURS outdoors. 1500hrs to be precise. Cleaning it and rubbing it with vinyl treatment is just wasting your time and money while prolonging the inevitable. Which is why SpaCap.com Hot Tub Covers employ Sunbrella outdoor fabric which is rated by (wait for it) YEARS outdoors. In fact we have seen Sunbrella fabric still looking brand new after ten years outdoors. Nothing else comes close. That said, if you do need to clean your cover for some reason, use the solution just on the top of the cover and pay attention to not let the solution to pour into the water of the spa. It is better to take it off and clean also the underside of it with a mild cleaning solution. Rinse well and air dry.
If you find a spa or hot tub that is solid frozen, and perhaps you identify some freeze damage currently, the equipment has to be thawed out. If there are broken pipelines, using electric space heating systems might be risky, under the skirt.
If you have a camping tent big enough to location over the spa, you can thaw out a spa in a couple of hours. When I was servicing spas in Colorado, we had a camping tent we utilized whenever we ‘d get a ‘frozen spa’ call.
Adding hot water to the spa is another old trick. With a little adapter, a garden hose can be connected to most sink faucets, to bring warm water to the spa, to raise the water temperature level for a much faster thaw. In some cases, you can gently wet frozen pipes with warm water– just do not spray any motors, electronics or controls.
SPA POWER FAILURE!
If your power stops working during winter season, bear in mind that a heated spa with a great fitting spa cover has enough warmth to prevent freeze damage for 24 hours approximately, longer if it’s extremely well insulated.
To keep some heat under the spa skirt during a power failure, you might hang a 100 watt shop light in a place close to the spa pack. In some circumstances, a little space heater may be safe to use likewise, inside the spa cabinet, in a dry place, until power is restored.