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Hot Tub and Spa Plumbing Information.
Plumbing in Spas & Hot Tubs
Most of the spas / Hot Tubs you see on the market are considered "portable" even though some weigh over 1000 pounds. The reason they are called "portable" is that they require no external plumbing. In other words they can be filled and drained with a garden hose. There is usually a hose bib that you can hook up to in the equipment area for draining. NOTE: when draining a hot tub / spa it is best to have the power turned off, as that damage can be done to some of the components if power comes on when there is no water in the tub.
Did you know?
goes around a 90-degree bend it loses force.
plumbing is capable of handling roughly twice the water of 1 1/2"
Filters will be plumbed into all portable spas. A filter can be placed into a tub's plumbing in a number of ways. Regardless of how it is placed, what is important is that your tub has an adequate skimmer. When you look at a tub that is up and running, look to see if the filter intake is skimming the surface water, this is where most of your contaminates will go during use. (See filters for further information)
All spas that I am aware of will have some sort of air plumbing. Some hot tubs use passive air intakes only and some will use a forced air system or "blower". Most tubs will use check valves to keep water from backing up into the air lines, and will place a portion of the air plumbing above the water line, the reason this is done is, that water that backs up into the air lines can cause the spa to leak from the air intakes, or venturies, where the air is adjusted in and out of the jets, and in systems that use air blowers, water that gets into the air blower will short the system out and cause the GFCI to trip. Some manufacturers maintain that they will not use air blowers because they are problematic in tubs where the water level goes too high. (Like when there are several people in the tub). And that they offer limited therapeutic value, and that they cause the power consumption to increase due to the fact that blowing air through the water in such volumes causes faster heat loss. All these things are true. My suggestion here is that with this information in mind, you test drive a tub with an air blower, keeping in mind that they do not have to be used all the time, and see if the benefits outweigh the potential problems for you.
There are two typical ways
to plumb an air blower into a spa.
The second method is to use "air injectors". This is where small air lines run from a manifold to individual air injectors that are placed throughout the spa shell, and while they tend to be cleared of water more efficiently than air channels, the water in them does not circulate, so they can be prone to the same bacteria and mold problems that air channeled spas are. Also by adding more glue joints there is more potential for leaks, secondary to improper gluing at the time of manufacture.
Also, without circulation these areas can be more prone to freezing than other plumbing parts in the tub, if the heater fails.
Venturi Air Injection;
Almost all spas have venturi valves, these allow for air to mix with the water before it is shot out into the tub. They can increase the flow volume at the jets and give a more turbulent feel to the jets. Some manufacturers will supercharge the air venturis with forced air from the blower, this will greatly increase the thrust of the jets when done properly. With this much air introduced into the tub , again you can have some unwanted cooling of the water.
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