Common Water Problems with Swimming Pools

Even with careful maintenance there can be unexpected water problems that take place in your pool. Being able to resolve them on your own is very important. It will save you both time and money. You will also get more enjoyment out of your swimming pool because you won’t become stressed out every time something is amiss. It is very important that you strive to resolve issues though right away. They can continue to compound if you don’t.

Many people assume that cloudy water in the swimming pool is a sign that no one has been taking care of it. In many instances it is the sign that your filter isn’t doing its job like it should. Take the time to check it and make sure there isn’t a build up of debris you need to remove. You also need to make sure the filter you are using is right for your size of swimming pool.

You may discover you simply need to have the filtering system on more time each day than you currently do. If your pool is used often by many people then you will definitely want to increase the filtering time to get rid of all the oils and debris that will be in your water.

Some individuals have clear water but they can see black spots in it. This is a sign that a type of algae is starting to form. The sooner you act on this the better as it can spread very quickly. You will want to shock the water as soon as you notice these black spots appearing. You will also want to scrub the locations by hand or with a robotic cleaner daily for about a week to prevent the algae from coming back.

Signs of reddish brown have also been noted in swimming pools. This is an indication that you have too much iron present in the water. There are some good chemicals specifically to remove iron. You want to get rid of it as soon as you can so that it won’t permanently stain your swimming pool. The additional iron may just be something you have to deal with ongoing if the water in your area contains higher than normal amounts of it. You simply don’t have any other choice about the water to use in order to fill up the swimming pool.

You shouldn’t find your eyes or your skin to be irritated by the chlorine in the water. If that is the case there is something out of balance. If you haven’t completed a shock recently then this is the time to do it. The next day you want to test your chlorine level. Too many owners assume that they are adding too much chlorine and that is why they have the irritation. As a result the cut back on the recommended amount to use. Don’t be tempted to do this as it won’t get you the results you are after. But there are many better alternatives to these harsh chemicals. Here at SpaCap.com we use and recommend PristineBlue which is a copper based disinfectant.

When you notice problems with the look or smell of the water in your swimming pool you need to take action. The early warning signs are your chance to get everything back under control right away. If you ignore the problems they will only escalate in nature and they can be expensive to take care of when they do.

Why You Should Install a Pool Fence

Pool Fence
Pool Safety Fence

Are you a pool owner?  If you are, you may be contemplating installing a pool fence.  Although a fence is recommended, you may be looking for reassurance that you are making the right decision.  After all, high-end pool fences can cost thousands of dollars.

As for why you should install a fence around your swimming pool, five great reasons why are outlined below.

It Is an Amazing Safety Tool

On the market today, you can find an unlimited number of items that are commonly referred to as pool safety tools.  Just a few of these items include pool safety covers, pool alarms, and flotation devices.  The more safety tools you use, the better protected you will be, but the greatest of all is a fence around your swimming pool.  Why?  Because if your swimming pool area is outfitted with a strong and sturdy fence, the chances of anyone getting inside are slim to none.

It Can Help to Reduce Your Liability

If you are a parent, a pool fence is a must.  However, even if you aren’t a parent, you can still benefit from installing one in your yard.  Do you have children in your neighborhood?  If one of those children made their way into your yard and fell into your swimming pool, even when uninvited, you could be held liable.  It all depends on the safety measures taken, as well as the family of the victim.  Don’t take any chances.  A pool safety fence can help to keep unwanted guests from your pool, keeping it a fun, safe, and affordable place for you to sit back and relax.

Your Buying Options

As it was previously stated, high-end swimming pool fences can sell for thousands of dollars.  The good news, however, is that you don’t have to spend that much.  Depending on the size of your swimming pool and the type of fence you install, you could walk away only spending a few hundred dollars.  Even if this seems like a lot, remember that a fence around your swimming pool can help to protect your children or reduce your liability from stranger or neighborhood related accidents.

In keeping with your buying options, there are a number of pool fences available for sale.  These include a number of wood styles, mesh, aluminum, iron, and metal.  When making your decision, be sure to examine costs and consumer ratings.

Ease of Installation

At first glance, a installing a fence around your pool may seem like a task that you just want to avoid.  Yes, it can be difficult to do, but it all depends on the type of fence you purchase.  Mesh pool fences are the easiest to install.  Depending on where you make your purchase from, free installation may be included the overall cost.  In fact, professional installation is something that you will want to closely examine, regardless of whether or not it is included.

Because It May Be the Law

Perhaps, the greatest reason why you should have a pool fence installed is because you may be required to by law.  Did you know that many pool owners are actually surprised when they receive a fine from their local code enforcer?  Before your swimming pool is up and running, be sure to check your local and state laws concerning fences around swimming pools.  For example, in New York State all swimming pools that hold more than 24 inches of water must have a pool fence installed, even aboveground swimming pools.

As an important reminder, a fence around your swimming pool is an amazing safety tool.  With that said, it is only if you properly use it.  Be sure to keep your gate locked at all times.  This may take some practice on your part to get use to, but always keep your gate locked.  Be sure to keep all chairs, toys, and ladders away from the fence to prevent someone from climbing it.  An alarm on your gate is also recommended.

While we’re taking safety

Heavy hot tub covers can be a more than just annoying, they can be a serious hazard. That’s why the covers we build at SpaCap.com don’t use foam panels like the typical rigid hot tub covers. We use air chambers to do the insulating instead. Aside from being more efficient, the air chambers don’t suck up moisture like every foam-filled cover ever made.

Ready for Swimming Pool Maintenance?

Having your own swimming pool can be a wonderful treat. You can enjoy it when you want and not have to share with the public. You can also host terrific parties and barbeques with swimming as an option for your guests. However, before you have one installed or you but one that sits above ground you need to make sure you are ready to care for the swimming pool.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential so that the water is the right temperature and it is clean. If you don’t take the time to care for the swimming pool as you should it isn’t going to last you very long. It is also going to be very expensive for you to continually drain it out and refill it. A common problem is that people just don’t take the time to learn how to properly care for it. While they are putting in the effort they simply go about it the wrong way.
There are certain types of chemicals that you will need to use for your swimming pool.  Buying quality products is essential if you want your swimming pool to be the best it can be. While you can buy lower cost products, you need to make sure they are equal in quality as the name brands. Take the time to read the labels so you can verify that the ingredients are the same.Custom Swimming Pool
With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool.
Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. Don’t be in such a hurry that you don’t do things correctly the first time. Otherwise it can end up costing you a ton of money as well as a huge chunk of time to resolve later one.
Each week you will need to remove dirt and debris from your swimming pool. You can use a skimmer to get the stuff off the top of it. They come with very long handles and a net so you can reach all the areas of your swimming pool without getting inside of it. There are also vacuums that will suction up dirt and debris from the floor of your swimming pool.
The amount of effort you will have to put into that depends on many factors. You may have a swimming pool with an automatic cleaning system. This will do most of the work for you. However, there will be areas that you need to give attention to due to them not being able to work well in corners and such. If it is windy in your area then you will also find you have more debris to reckon with on a regular basis.
If you want to get the most enjoyment out of your swimming pool then you must take care of it. You need to take the time to evaluate this part of things before you commit to getting a swimming pool. That way you will know what is in store for you. All of the maintenance is going to be well worth it though when you get to enjoy relaxing and playing in your own swimming pool.

When you have done everything you can to make your pool area awesome why settle for a boring hot tub cover? At SpaCap.com, we build designer Hot Tub Covers with Sunbrella outdoor fabric. Sunbrella is not only long lasting and color fast but available in a wide range of colors that can really set off your spa.

Why You Should Install a Pool Alarm

Are you looking to have a swimming pool installed in your backyard?  Whether you do your shopping locally or online, you will find a number of swimming pool accessories available for sale.  One of those accessories is a pool alarm.  If you are like many other new pool owners, you may be curious whether or not this is an item that you need.  Please continue reading on for five reasons why a pool alarm is considered a must have.

It May Be Required By Law

Did you know that many state and local governments have strict laws concerning swimming pools?  Many home and pool owners are actually surprised to hear this.  Typically, you will find requirements for pool fences, but many states are now starting to mandate swimming pool alarms as well.  For example, all pools installed or constructed after December 14, 2006 in New York must come equipped with a pool alarm.

Does your state have this similar requirement?  You should know before you buy your next swimming pool or at least before it is up and running.

It Is a Pool Safety Tool

As for why some states are starting to require the installation and use of pool alarms, it is because they are a great pool safety tool to utilize.  When properly used, pool alarms can help to reduce fatalities associated with drowning.  This is because these alarms are designed to sound when there is a disturbance in the water.  This includes a child or even an adult falling into the pool.  While you will find some variations, most alarms are designed to sound within twenty seconds of that disturbance.  SonarGuard can and will sound instantly.

If you are a parent, a pool safety alarm can give you great comfort and peace of mind.  Of course, it shouldn’t replace constant supervision and a watchful eye.

It Can Reduce Liability

One of the biggest complaints made by some pool owners is that they don’t have a child, so why do they need to have a pool alarm?  It is important to remember that just because you don’t have a child in your home, it doesn’t mean that one can’t make their way into your pool.  Do you have young children who visit your home?  Do you have small children in the neighborhood?  If so, a pool alarm is needed.

In terms of liability, it is hard to state whether or not you will be held liable for an accident in your pool.  It depends on a number of factors, including precautions taken, the outcome of the accident, the victim’s family, and your local and state laws.  Don’t let it get the point where you are concerned about liability though.  Protect your swimming pool with an alarm.

They Are Easy to Install

Another pool safety tool that is recommend is that of a fence.  Although fences are recommended and even occasionally required by law, they can be hard to install.  In fact, professional installation is often used.  That isn’t the case with pool alarms.  They are easy to install.  In fact, with detailed directions provided by the manufacturer, it could take you five minutes or less to do so!

Your Buying Options

Pool safety alarms are sold by a number of retailers, both on and offline.  Just because you buy your pool from one retailer, it doesn’t mean that you also have to buy your pool alarm from there.  You can price compare.  Just make sure that you have an alarm and that it is installed as soon as your pool is filled with water.

As an important reminder, equipping your pool with a pool alarm is recommend, but it isn’t always enough.  Be sure to check the alarm for yourself.  Set it so that your pool is protected and jump in.  Does the alarm sound as required?  If you have children in your home or even in your neighborhood, remember that a watchful eye is the best way to implement pool safety this summer.

As always when replacing hot tub covers or swim spa covers, SpaCap.com is the best to get a custom made, light weight, easy to use cover.

Why Do Hot Tub Covers Get Heavy?

Heavy Hot Tub CoverEvery traditional foam filled hot tub cover gets heavy. But the how and why may come as a surprise. It has nothing to do with rain so it doesn’t matter how steep the taper is, that cover will still get heavy. If it was rain that was making hot tub covers heavy then putting a roof over the spa would stop the cover from getting heavy.

Moisture getting trapped in the foam is what eventually makes a cover too heavy to lift. But if it’s not the rain, how does the water get in there? The answer is steam from the warm spa water. When water becomes steam it is a much smaller molecule than a drop of water.

Steam can get into a much smaller area, like say the spaces in the foam. Once it cools back down and turns into water again, it’s trapped inside the foam. Once trapped in the foam the water won’t drain out so a fancy drain hole won’t help. The only way the water can get back out of the foam would be to evaporate. In order to evaporate, the hot tub cover would have to be removed from the source of steam (the hot tub) and placed in a dry, well ventilated area.

The problem has nothing to do with how well the cover is cared for or how much vinyl protector is rubbed on it. The problem is the foam. The type of foam used in hot tub covers is designed to be used as insulation in DRY conditions. For instance it works well in floors, walls and ceilings (provided it is kept dry) and is great for refrigeration applications.

However if the same foam is exposed to steam, the insulation it could offer is quickly reduced to something equivalent to wet plywood.Another Heavy Hot Tub Cover

So why is foam still being used in hot tub covers? It’s cheap and it’s the industry standard. But just because everybody is doing it doesn’t make it the best idea.

A hundred years ago the standard mode of travel was the horse. The horse had been the standard for hundreds of years. Until something better came along.

A better idea as far as hot tub covers go would be one that eliminates the foam, still insulates but stays light weight and easy to use.

Thirty years ago, (yes really, thirty years ago) that is how the SpaCap was developed. A single woman with back trouble, needed to be able to use her hot tub every day for therapy. She had to be able to get her cover off and on by herself without further injuring her back.

The cover she eventually came up with was light weight, easy to use and insulated as well as a foam filled hot tub cover. Although it has gone through many improvements over the years, the concept and principle is still the same. SpaCap.com builds custom hot tub covers for all kinds of spas including swim spas.

Don’t go out and purchase another foam filled hot tub cover just because that’s what the neighbors do. Visit SpaCap.com and get a cover that won’t get heavy or break and will make it easy for you to use your spa for years to come!

SpaCap Hot Tub Cover

Toddler Falls on Hot Tub Cover

It’s not everyday that hot tub covers make the news. Recently in Florida a toddler fell from a three story balcony and landed on, you guessed it a hot tub cover.

Here’s a link to the story

Now, as a grandparent the first thing that comes to mind is, “How did this happen?” Not to say we are disappointed to have a happy ending (the little boy was fine and ran back up stairs to tell his grandfather what happened) but how did the little guy fall?

Let’s lock the sliding glass door and prevent this future stuntman from repeating this maneuver. Next time he might miss the hot tub entirely.

A few years ago “Dwarf Tossing” was a thing. Then “Dwarf Bowling” and a few other manifestations along the same lines. Without taking a side as to the rights of little people to be tossed for sport and amusement, let’s just nip “Toddler Tossing” in the bud before it too becomes the new fun activity.

In our personal experience a lot of things seem like a good idea to toddlers. Many of them seem to lack the “fear” gene or chromosome to alert them to potential serious consequences. As entertaining as it may be to watch videos of animals misjudging their leaping abilities, no one wants to see this with toddlers.

If on the other hand you would like to lay your toddler gently on your spa cover for some reason, let’s go over some ground rules first to ensure safety and happy endings.

First rule. The spa or hot tub must be no higher than deck level. If your hot tub is free standing, the distance from the edge of the spa to the ground would be enough to damage your toddler so better to lay the little bugger on the ground than on the spa. If on the other hand your spa is flush with the deck it MAY be okay. Move on to rule two.

Rule Two. The cover must be properly secured in such a way as to insure that the toddler cannot by accident or intent gain access to the spa water below. Neither by a fall from a great height, significant impact or any other instance. Toddler Approved Hot Tub Cover

Rule Three. The hot tub cover must be a comfortable place to lay one’s toddler. If the hot tub cover is a rigid piece of foam it must be considered not suitable for toddler laying. If the spa cover allows a cushion like softness that will comfort and embrace the toddler then proceed to rule three.

Kid Tested Hot Tub Covers
This is only a demonstration of ruggedness. Please do not try this with your own hot tub cover. Damage caused by this would NOT be covered by warranty.

Rule Four. If a toddler is resting comfortably on a soft hot tub cover, there should be jumping on the cover by any other person or animal. This would dislodge the toddler and could potentially cause harm.

If you or someone you know would like to purchase such a hot tub cover, please visit SpaCap.com.

Can Hot Tub Covers Be “Green”?

All this talk about going green, saving energy and saving the planet. As it relates to Hot Tub Covers, the most important thing we can do is to not create more waste that will just end up clogging our land fills. Consider this for a minute… There are 10 million spa owners in the USA, and each one of them uses a typical rigid foam spa cover on their hot tub. For the sake of this demonstration each foam cover is only two inches thick and every spa is eight feet by eight feet. That would mean each spa cover contained about 10.666 cubic feet of foam per spa cover. For the rest of this example we will use 10.5 cubic feet per cover.

If each cover on every spa becomes saturated within two years and needs to be replaced that would mean that we would be adding 52.5 million cubic feet of waste to our landfills in just hot tub covers every year.
If it takes two and a half covers worth of foam to make up one cubic yard that translates to 4 million cubic yards of waste added to our land fills every two years just in spa covers.
Used hot tub covers waste enough foam to build the Giza Pyramid every six years
There are 11 million Cubic yards of stone in the Great Pyramid at Giza, we are adding enough foam to build a duplicate in our landfills just from used hot tub covers every six years conservatively. There are four and a half million cubic yards of concrete in Hoover Dam. So we could clog a river with our discarded foam filled spa covers every two years. Or we could build a two lane highway of discarded foam filled spa covers from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida every two years.

Remember, for this example we were using a two inch thick foam spa cover. Most foam filled spa covers are not two inches thick anymore. If all those old foam covers were four inches thick all these calculations would be double. If they were tapered spa covers, say from six inches down to two, it still doubles the amount, so the highway or dam could be built every year instead of every two years.
But we are just being conservative so we want to stick with two inches thick. If we ripped the covers in half and laid those pieces end to end we could circle the earth at the equator on used spa covers every two years.

Heck with parking lots, in a few years we could pave the entire planet with foam just from saturated foam spa covers from the USA alone.

So what is the solution? Well, how about a better spa cover?. What if there were a spa cover that did a better job insulating, did not get saturated, heavy, break or blow away in the wind? Good news, you do not have to quit using your spa to save the earth. You just need to get a SpaCap Hot Tub Cover that does not use foam to insulate. There would be two major advantages to doing so. First the spa cover that did not use rigid foam to insulate would last longer. Since what always fails in the typical spa cover is the foam, either breaking or getting so saturated that you cannot lift it, a spa cover that did not use foam would tend to last longer.

Second, if the new type of spa cover does not use rigid foam it will also be a lot more friendly to the environment when it does come time to discard it. Less trash, less waste, less land fill, not that is what going green is all about.

SpaCap uses a patented design to solve all of the following:

  • As easy to use
  • Light Weight
  • Sheds Moisture
  • Won’t fly away
  • Won’t break under a snowload
  • Won’t be damaged by hail
  • Insulates Better
  • Sunbrella fabric rated by years not hours

Beware the Man-eating Hot Tub Cover

How dangerous is an overweight foam hot tub cover? Recently a man was checking the chemicals in his spa. Rather than attempting removing the entire hot tub cover, he decided to just lift one side enough to get at the water long enough to get a sample. He bent over and supporting the heavy cover with his left arm while attempting to fill a sampling bottle with water from the spa to check the chemical content, and total alkalinity.

As he leaned over further, the weight of the water logged spa cover dislocated his left shoulder and allowed the cover to hit him on the back knocking him into the spa. He was now face down in the spa with his legs pinned to spa by the weight of the hot tub cover. His shoulder was dislocated and unlike the Mel Gibson character in Lethal Weapon, he was in agony because of a the pain. He tried to move but could not budge the weight of the waterlogged cover.

He began to choke as he swallowed spa water and tried to rise up but could barely get his head out of the water. With what could have been his last breath, he screamed for help. Fortunately he had left the door from the house to the deck open. His daughter and her boy friend heard the commotion and looked out to see his legs sticking out of the spa cover.

His daughter and her boy friend were able to lift the hot tub cover off of his legs. His daughters boy friend jumped into the hot tub and pulled him up from the water. They took him to the emergency room where they put his shoulder back in place and treated him for shock.

Women who have experienced both child birth and a dislocated shoulder report dislocating a shoulder as more intense than childbirth. But either way we can agree the pain must be excruciating.

This man had owned a hot tub for 12 years and had replaced 3 conventional rigid foam core spa covers. While the life on the foam covers had averaged from 2 to 4 years, regardless of manufactures claims, all of these traditional foam filled covers became waterlogged. He has since bought a Spa Cover that uses air chambers to insulate rather than rigid foam. He is certain that the air filled spa cover will not try to kill him as the other foam cover did.

Another lady reported that while she and her husband were in the hot tub with their rigid foam spa lid propped up against the wall. A gust of wind hit the spa cover and it suddenly fell hitting her husband on the head. The blow was hard enough to push them both under the water. Fortunately they were not trapped and they both recovered quickly, or so they thought.

A couple of days later the left side of her husbands face suddenly went DEAD. He had no feeling, sensation or movement. Naturally they both were quite frightened and thought he had suffered a stroke. They did exactly what any of us would do and rushed immediately to the hospital. The doctor diagnosed him with Bells Palsy which can be caused by stress and or trauma like a heavy spa cover hitting him on the head. He later made a full recovery. He was extremely lucky.

Here is something you will never hear from a foam spa cover dealer. Every year people are injured by foam hot tub covers. Most of the injuries have come from a gust of wind blowing the heavy foam cover onto people as they use their spa. Sometimes people attempting to carefully maneuver a saturated foam cover off their spa, have lost their grip and had the hard foam cover slam down breaking the arch of their foot.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission people have even been drowned when they have become trapped under heavy foam covers. Maybe now is a good time to search for a better spa cover. With the World Wide Web, you can literally have the world to shop from. Do you really want to risk injury or death trying to use your spa?

Although the video above may look humorous it is not funny when it happens. In thirty years of building air filled hot tub covers, no one has ever been injured by a SpaCap hot tub cover.

Hot Tub Covers and When To Replace Them

Hot tub covers are imperative, if you want to keep that water warm inside the hot tub. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Despite what your spa dealer could possibly have promised, there shall come a season that you are going to be in need of a replacement hot tub cover.

What are the indications when your hot tub cover has given up the ghost? There may be obvious signs, as well as some that are not so obvious indicators. Here are 5 signs of hot tub cover distress to take into consideration.

Saggy CoverKirk Hot Tub

If your foam filled hot tub cover collects water on the surface, you’ll need a new spa cover. This signifies that whatever was provided in terms of the reinforcement of the foam boards is now bent or broken. You’ll find typically a C-channel that runs along both halves of the spa cover, where they meet at the hinge. Some cover manufacturers will use materials like aluminum or thin steel at this point, which will bend under weight (dogs, kids, snow), or (more typically) due to the weight of the cover itself.

If this is the case, attempting to milk a longer time from the cover is just going to end up costing you more going forward since whatever insulation value it might possibly have possessed is gone at this stage. Delaying the inevitable will simply cost you more in your energy bills. But more importantly considering a usage point of view, you are likely unlikely to wish to mess with your cover when it has water on top of it. Ultimately, you’re using your hot tub less, which is certainly a sin. Do not be a sinner.

Something to think about here. No matter what your hot tub dealer has to say about it, if he only wants to sell you another foam filled cover, it is 100% absolutely going to turn out to be just like the one you have to replace now.

It won’t matter whether it is shrink wrapped in Kevlar and reinforced with titanium, if it has foam inside, it is doomed to fail.

Puddle Coverhot-tub-cover-damaged

Water is heavy, at 8 lbs. per gallon, it can add up quickly. Another case of broken reinforcement channel. Probably started out with a small crimp in the channel, which commenced to puddle some water, and a lot more water – and now it appears like a new hot tub cover is in order.

Just like Saggy Cover, this is due to using foam panels above a hot tub. Foam panels will saturate from the steam coming off the spa water. Not one thing will prevent it other than not using foam within your cover!

The spa dealer may suggest you to attempt to flip the panels over inside the cover to add to its useful life. Except the zippers as well as the vinyl material weren’t made to be opened and shut beyond the initial stuffing of the foam.

Once a cover begins a gradual puddle, it may never be reversed. It’s time to order a replacement hot tub cover. As we said above, putting it off means you’ll be making use of the hot tub less (a sin) and wasting money on the heating bill.

Water Logged Hot Tub Cover

This may be a hot tub cover that weighs about 3x what it did when it was new. They often get so heavy that they become next to impossible to use short of the aid of a Seal Team. They can also damage spa cover lifters once they get too heavy. That’s because the cover lifter is not made to handle a heavy cover. Bet the dealer didn’t mention that when he sold it to you.

When the foam core is taking on water – and, is not draining. This does not signify that rain water has somehow gotten into your cover, or snow or another outside source. It happens when steam rises from the warm spa water then since it’s a very small molecule, gets right into the foam. Once it gets inside of the foam it cools and turns back into water, and becomes trapped because of the fact that the water molecule is too big to drop out.

The best way to prevent it would be to never use a foam filled cover on the hot tub. Despite what the manufacturer claims to wrap it in or the way they package it, the foam will eventually become saturated. Period.

It is time for a new replacement hot tub cover. Again, putting it off at this point is just going to cost you more in your energy consumption and unless you have a Seal Team living with you, you aren’t going to be using your spa very often. (Still a sin)

If you want to be clever, you can take the cover from your spa and store it in your garage for several months. As soon as the cover is away from the moisture and being stored inside a dry place, eventually the moisture within the cover will evaporate (back to a smaller molecule) and of course the foam will become light again. It takes months for it to dry completely in which case you must have another replacement cover for your spa while you wait. Note: The cover may still warp wildly out of shape while it dries.

If you choose to rotate your covers every three months, you may be capable of making them last until the materials begin to come apart. See Below.

Torn & Worn Hot Tub Covertorn-spa-cover

Whenever the fabric (marine grade vinyl on the standard foam filled hot tub covers) is exposed to its limit of sun and weather, it becomes brittle and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, holes and tears happen that will.

Because ALL Vinyl, even the most costly Marine Grade, are rated by HOURS outdoors.

Using a spa cover protectant is just another way for cover dealers to take your money. If you would like to spend on weekly basis rubbing down your hot tub cover with conditioner, be our guest but the smart thing to do would be to buy the cover that does not have VINYL on the outside. Like say the SpaCap hot tub covers that use Sunbrella Marine fabric, which is rated by YEARS outdoors.

Still, if the cover isn’t heavy yet, you might to postpone acquiring another right away providing you don’t mind the look of Duct Tape. If you would like a few suggestions, check out some episodes of the “Red Green Show.” Red covers the finer points of Duct Tape.

Smelly Hot Tub Cover

Musty, mildew, old wet dog – whatever your hot tub cover smells like, if it’s a bad odor, that probably implies that you now have bacteria forming inside the hot tub cover. It probably also means the cover is water logging (see above).

Now we have crossed over from inconvenient to unhealthy.

What are you inhaling when this is what you smell?

Completely dismantling of the cover, and spraying it down with Lysol won’t help! Since the source of the smell, AKA the mold and mildew are stuck inside the foam! The best you might be able to accomplish would be to kill what’s on the outside of the vinyl or foam even so you are not going to touch what’s inside the foam. Plus now your cover smells like Lysol, nothing kills the mood faster than inhaling something that reminds you of how the school janitor cleaned up vomit.

The origin of the problem? That high quality foam employed in traditional hot tub covers. Despite how much a dealer may attempt to sell how it is extremely resistant to water absorption and bacteria formation, it will still happen and they understand it.

When you happen to be ready for a brand new spa cover, make sure that it’s not made using a foam core.

If you were curious about your hot tub cover making it another year, don’t wait. It’s your basic instinct telling you something important – hot tub season is coming! Get ready now!

UglyHotTubCover

Hot Tub Covers and the R-Value -SpaCap

The Myth of R-Value and traditional foam filled Hot Tub Covers.

R-value is a form of measurement of the ability to resist heat transfer for materials like the fiberglass insulation in your house or maybe the insulating foam in hot tub covers. The intent is that, the greater the R-value, the better the heat storage and, heat retention would be the primary job of any hot tub cover.

Most industries using R-values are regulated by FTC standards. Commercially sold insulation must pass independent tests created by American Standards and Testing Methods (ASTM) so as to be advertised or marked using their R-Value.

The Misled Masses: As there is no FTC recognized independent test for spa covers, So ANY stated R-value stated by a spa cover dealer is in reality an unregulated, unmonitored “interpretation” of a given insulation value. It is open to misrepresentation and abuse, from adding the R-value of an air space between the water and the bottom of the cover, spacing between the vinyl and the cover insulation, or simply blatantly inflating the fictitious number. Some hot tub dealers state exclusively the known R-value of the insulation itself, but of course that doesn’t mean that it was tested and endorsed to use in hot tub cover applications.

The R-value of the actual foam insulation, no matter the density, is ONLY rated for use in DRY building applications! Which signifies the fact that the R rating of the foam is only applicable should it happen to be applied in a wall, attic or floor. Because should it were to be used in a moist environment, that type of insulation would fail quickly.

R-values

Foam Density and Foam Thickness.

These two factors that spa cover dealers claim affect the R-value of a spa cover, when in fact that R rating itself has nothing to do with the foam when it is used in a hot tub cover. Actually, it is as misleading as the idea that a taper on the cover will really keep it from getting heavy.

True, the foam density and thickness would have a bearing on the insulation properties In the event the Usage of the foam were in compliance with the designed use of a completely DRY environment.

Regardless if the dealer claims his spa covers are made with the most costly spa cover foam (rigid cellular polystyrene thermal insulation) available, resists breakage, vapor absorption and chemical damage more than all the others they’ve tested. The truth is, R factor is NOT something they test, and RESISTING breakage and saturation are not the same as AVOIDING it altogether.

When looking for and comparing spa covers, ALL claims associated with R-value of a cover that has foam are totally unsubstantiated. Foam Density and Foam Thickness do not have any ADDED R VALUE, since the foam is not designed to be applied over a wet environment. Most spa cover dealers repeat exactly the same numbers and consequently hot tub owners have been trained to believe the lie. Some dealers employ some fancy charts to substantiate their claims, however the main point is those claims cannot be in accordance to the ASTM.

Myth Busted!

R-value testing of materials is completed at room temperature, and doesn’t take into account moisture and vapor. In the spa environment, there is hot water and good amounts of steamy moisture. Each of which will dramatically reduce the R-value of any foam. A spa at 105 degrees will defeat the R-value of any foam tested to use in a dry application.

Don’t allow the R-value of foam be considered the measurement for spa cover quality. Instead search for a spa cover with NO FOAM. A hot tub covers that use air filled chambers as an alternative for rigid foam boards will out preform any other, in any test or real hot tub application. (Hello, SpaCap)

 

Don’t be fooled by claims of high density and weight, vacuum wrapped in sheets of heat welded polyethylene, sealed in heavy gauge marine grade vinyl, with chemical resistant scrim and stitching. It won’t insulate as well. It will definitely still become saturated, warped or broken. It truly was obsolete thirty years ago.