The equipment used with a spa typically consists of a spa pump, spa filter, spa heater and spa blower. Click here to shop for quality spa parts and spa equipment at competitive prices. The spa pump draws water from the spa, and pushes it through the spa filter and heater. A spa filter is typically a "cartridge" type filter. A cartridge spa filter consists of a pleated paper or polyester element that fits inside a cylindrical space formed into the side of a fiberglass spa shell, or the cartridge fits inside a small round canister located near the pump. Dirty water from the spa is drawn in around the outside of this filter element, and passes through the element. The dirt and debris is left behind on the outside of the element, and the clean water is collected in the center of the element and circulated back to the spa.
This filter cartridge should be removed and cleaned as needed, and needs to be inspected on a regular basis (every time the water is tested). Normal cleaning for a filter cartridge consists of simply spraying the debris off with a garden hose, but due to the build up of oils and other contaminants the cartridge will require a deeper cleaning at least once a year. The deep cleaning consists of soaking the cartridge in a bucket filled with a solution of muriatic acid and water, or a cleaner made specifically for this purpose. Under heavy use the deep cleaning will be required more often.
The spa heater used with portable spas is almost always an electric heater. The compact size of an electric spa heater fits perfectly inside the cramped space underneath the spa, and an electric spa heater is able to raise the water temperature very quickly. A more permanent spa built into the ground or into a deck may have an electric heater or a gas heater. These spas are often built into or directly next to an inground swimming pool, and the pool and spa will often share a gas heater. A spa “blower” is also found on nearly every spa/hot tub. The spa blower creates air pressure to blow air through small tubes leading to the many jets positioned on the inside of the spa. These jets help create and direct the cascade of soothing bubbles inside the spa.
Another common piece of spa equipment is called an Ozonator. An Ozonator is plumbed inline with the circulation system, and designed to produce Ozone gas and inject this gas into the spa water. Ozone is a form of oxygen with strong oxidizing properties. The oxidizing properties are harnessed to burn up bacteria and organic contaminants in the spa water, which significantly reduces the frequency of shock treatments. An Ozonator reduces the frequency of shock treatments, however it cannot eliminate shocking because Ozone does not build a residual and stay in the spa water. An Ozonator only works to burn off bacteria while the filtration system is running and circulation water through the unit, so periodic shock treatments are still required.
Another very important piece of spa/hot tub equipment is a cover. Every hot tub, whether it is indoors or outdoors, should have a cover on it when not in use. A cover plays two very important roles, to insulate the spa and to reduce evaporation. Nearly all heat that escapes from water is lost from the surface. When a hot tub is covered and the surface of the water is insulated, very little heat is lost. A hot tub cover is also important to prevent evaporation. When water evaporates, most of the minerals in the water are left behind. If a large amount of water is allowed to evaporate from a hot tub, and simply replaced with fresh water as needed, staining and scaling at the water line and around fittings will occur as a result of the high concentration of metals and minerals in the water. If a hot tub/spa is indoors evaporation can pose a very serious problem, and cause damage to the ceiling and walls of the hot tub/spa room. Humidity levels should be monitored to prevent water damage.