Owning or purchasing a new hot tub can be exciting, but getting to know the different parts of your new hot tub can be confusing if you are a first-time owner.
From pumps, to jets, to exterior cabinetry and interior finishes, there are a lot of moving (and non-moving!) parts on a hot tub. Whether you have a Sundance® Spa that you purchased from us, or if you have recently purchased a hot tub somewhere else, we here at DFW Hot Tubs are glad to help you get acquainted with your hot tub’s anatomy.
One of the first things to consider is what electrical/pump configuration your hot tub has. There are two primary categories in terms of hot tub electrical configurations:
- Plug & Play (120V) – These hot tubs are designed to be plugged in to an ordinary electrical outlet. They typically have one pump that can run at a couple of speeds, and are generally unable to heat while the jets are being utilized.
- Hardwire (240V) – Like the name implies, these hot tubs are meant to be hardwired to a power supply. They typically require anywhere from 30 to 60 AMPs of service and are equipped with more robust heaters and pumps, which are generally able to run simultaneously unlike their Plug & Play counterparts.
Next, we can think about the components of the hot tub which are visible on the exterior and in the seating or “wet” area of the tub:
- Cabinetry – This term usually refers to the material that encloses the perimeter of the hot tub. It is often made of a synthetic blend of materials designed to look like wood, but which can withstand the outdoors without fading or deteriorating as quickly as real wood.
- Cover/Cover Lifter – Hot tub covers are manufactured in several different colors and materials. All Sundance® Spas from DFW Hot Tubs come with Sundance’s SunStrong covers, which are made using a highly weather/UV resistant material designed to last longer in the elements than more traditional vinyl covers. In addition to your cover, your hot tub may be equipped with a cover lifter which can make opening and closing your hot tub easier. Depending on the size/shape of your hot tub, a hydraulically assisted cover lifter can significantly decrease the amount of effort required to open or close your cover.
- Shell/Interior Finish – The shell is what makes up the seating and holds the water in the tub. It is generally made with either a glossy acrylic finish like the Sundance® Spas 680, 780, 880, and 980 series, or a rotomolded plastic material like Sundance’s Splash Series.
- Filter Cartridge – Usually visible in the wet area of your hot tub, your filter cartridge plays a key role in keeping your hot tub clean and clear. These filter cartridges can vary in size depending on the make and model of your hot tub, and in addition to being cleaned at least once a month, should be replaced on a yearly basis.
- Topside Control – The topside controller is your main way of controlling your hot tub’s settings. Using buttons on the topside, you can adjust the temperature, jet settings, and light settings, among other things. Some hot tubs are equipped with remote monitoring technology, like the Sundance® Spas SmartTub™ system which allows you to control all of your hot tub’s settings remotely from your smart phone.
- Jets, Diverters, and Aerators – Depending on the features present on your hot tub, in addition to the jets in the wet area, you will find some combination of diverter knobs and/or aerator knobs around the perimeter of your hot tub. These can be used to further customize your experience in your spa. The diverter knobs can be used to direct pressure from one seat or area to another, while the aerator knobs can be used to introduce air bubbles into your massage.
While most of your time as a hot tub owner will likely be spent using the exterior controls to enjoy your hot tub, it can be useful to be somewhat familiar with what is going on “under the hood” of your hot tub. The following components are generally found inside the cabinetry of a stand-alone hot tub:
- Circuit Board/Control Board – This is the hub for all of your hot tub’s equipment components. It is where the hot tub is connected to a power supply, and it routes power to all the electrical components on your spa.
- Heater – The heater does exactly what it sounds like. Depending on your hot tub’s make and model, your heater may be attached to the control board’s enclosure and can vary in shape and size.
- Pumps – Depending on the make and model of your hot tub, you may find a number of different pump configurations in your spa. Most plug & play spas will be equipped with one pump, while most hardwired spas are equipped with more than one pump. In a hardwired spa, in addition to the jet pump(s), there is generally a pump which is either a smaller dedicated circulation pump, or a larger 2-speed pump that serves both as a circulation pump and a jet pump. Jet pumps supply a large amount of flow in order to facilitate the massage actions of the many jets in your hot tub, while circulation pumps supply a source of lower speed circulation in order to maintain your desired temperature and to ensure that the water in your hot tub remains adequately filtered.
- Auxiliary Sanitizer Systems – While most of your water care will be handled using a chemical sanitizer, some hot tubs come equipped with a UV system like Sundance® Spas ClearRay UV-C system and/or an Ozone system like the Sundance® Spas ClearRay PROTECT. Each of these provides an additional layer of sanitation for your hot tub, helping to keep your hot tub clean, clear, and safe for regular use. Generally, a UV system will require that the UV bulb is replaced on a yearly basis. Ozone system maintenance can vary by manufacturer, so it is best to refer to your owner’s manual if your hot tub is equipped with an Ozone system.
Whether you live in Frisco, Dallas, Fort Worth, or anywhere in between, DFW Hot Tubs is here for you. If you need hot tub service or repair, or if you have questions about your hot tub, our team of service professionals are here to help!