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General Beluga

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About General Beluga

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    Simi Valley, California
  1. 2 Week Vacation - To Drain Or Not To Drain?

    If your pH drifts that much in a week, sure. With 50ppm borates, my pH moves very slowly. --paulr Water chemistry should be the least of your worries. If there is any possibility of freezing temps, unless someone is going to check your spa every day for you to make sure it's still running, it would be foolish to leave it filled. GFI's can trip for a multitude of reasons and if your tub shuts down while you're gone and no one is there to reset it you are leaving yourself open to freeze damage. In fact, here in NY, I tell my customers who want to use the spa year round that during the colder months they must check it everyday to see if it's still running. After 21 years I can't begin to tell you how many times I get a call from someone in Feb. saying they hadn't used the spa for 2 weeks and now it's frozen solid. Or a call in April saying they thought the tub was running all winter but now it's empty. Freeze damage because no one was watching, the GFI tripped or something else went wrong and the spa froze. Your spa, your money, your call, but unless you have someone to monitor it, winterize it. I would keep it running i am in Spokane, we get colder than you guys on the coast , there would be no question , when i go on vacation in December i leave my D1 running , never had a problem, even when we lost power last year for a week still no issue, good advice to put some chlorine in there, have a great vacation
  2. Newbie Needs Help!

    If all else fails, try a epoxy glue. They make one for underwater applications. You an buy it at any pool supply or hardware store (Lowes, etc).
  3. Needing Input On Purchase

    I love my Sundance Hawthorne 6 person spa. All those manufactures mentioned are good. That being said, I would go with the best local dealer. You will need service someday and it is always good to establish a relationship with a local dealership that can service your spa repair needs. I have had excellent warranty followup with Sundance. Recently I had what they call "microcrazing" develop on the top and sides of my new Hawthorne. They are tiny lines that form under the clear coat that don't effect the integrity of the spa but, look bad when the sun light hits them at a certain angle. I had the spa for about 8 months and contacted my dealer who put me in touch with the Sundance Warranty Department. They told me that this problem is rare but, occasionally does happen but, not to worry, as it is covered under their warranty. They had me send them some digital pictures of the problem and quickly agreed to replace the whole spa at no charge to me; I only had to pay a reasonable delivery/hook-up fee to my local dealer. Sundance makes an excellent high-end spa and I have been very impressed with their service and would highly recommend Sundance spas to anyone. They really do stand behind their warranty! John
  4. Mps And Chlorine Readings

    Nitro, I'm going away for about a 5 week vacation. I hesitate draining my spa as I don't want the seals to dry our and develop leaks. I have a Sundance Spa with an ozone generator and I use N2 with MPS shock weekly and add a small amount after each use. l also add dichlor in small amounts weekly to keep FC above 1. Given this routine, I am thinking that I should be able to shock the spa good before I go and have the neighbor kid add about a tbs of dichlor each week to keep the spa fresh while I am gone. Do you think this will be sufficient or do you have additional directions that I might need to follow to avoid a mirky mess when I return for vacation Thanks, John
  5. That should be true, but would apply equally to any source of chlorine whether it's from Dichlor or bleach. Chlorine is a little volatile and its reactions with other substances occur at a temperature dependent rate, so lowering the temperature should reduce the Chlorine Demand (CD) that Nitro talks about. However, I don't think anyone here has quantified the effect so can't tell you how much difference it makes in practice. Certainly, if you are going to be gone for a week, then it's less expensive to not continually heat the spa water while you are gone. That might be true but, if you are using an N2 stick in conjunction with Dichlor, the stick it looses it's effectiveness at lower temperatures.
  6. Newbie Needs Advice

    I don't know anything about that brand. But I can tell you if it's 2500 dollars new and it's not a small 2 person tub it's likely a low end brand. Look at Hot Springs, Sundance, Marquis, Dimension One and Arctic and see how there quality is. Forget the salesman just look at the quality. Have the dealer open up the equipment access panel and take a good hard look for yourself. Then go look at the Seville Premier and see how it compares. Sit in them and see how they fit your butt also. Do you have a web site I can look at the brand? How's there service? Are there any in your area? Is this an internet tub? I agree 100% with the recommendation above. Those are the best spa manufactures today and the most likely to survive this recession. It is important not to skimp on a cheapo spa or you will pay more in the long run. If you cannot afford to pay at least $6,000, then in my opinion, you shouldn't be buying a spa.
  7. Help A Newbie

    For price and quality, the best value is a Sundance Spa IMHO. I bought a 2008 Hawthorne last August for $6,500 delivered, installed with cover/cover lifter, N2, ozone, and start up kit. John
  8. Sundance Problem

    Sundance spas automatically shut down after 20 minutes of operation. This is normal and you can restart by pushing the jet button again.
  9. I've used Hottubworks.com for several orders and have been very satisfied with the prices and service. If you purchase over $100 in stuff, they ship for free. That isn't a lot to spend if you buy less often and in large quantities. The last time I ordered from them the stuff arrived in less that a week! John
  10. What About Cal Spa's

    That sounds a little high to me. I purchased a 2008 Sundance Hawthorne 6 person spa (acknowledged as one of the best!) with cover, cover lifter, ozone, steps, N2, and start-up chem kit for $6,500 total OTD, including 7.5% state tax, delivery, and removal of old spa and gazebo in Southern California (not known to be a cheap retail area either). I think that was a smoke'in deal, back in August when I purchased it, but should not be particularly unusual today given the economic times that we are currently in. Remember, CASH is KING, if 'ya got it! Never accept their first offer and be sure to play dealers against each other. Be ruthless as hell! John
  11. Help, Purchasing A New Spa!

    I purchased a '08 Sundance Hawthorne, six person two pump spa with ozonator last August for $6,500 complete including sales tax, delivery/installation, removal of old spa and gazebo as well as a cover, cover lifter, chemical start-up kit and a Nature2 mineral stick. It does not have a re-circulating pump but, uses a two stage pump #1 to filter and heat. I had a Dimension1 spa for 22 years and liked it a lot (I replace the wood siding and equipment skid at 12 yrs.). After 4 months of use, I feel that the Sundance Hawthorne spa is every bit as good as my old D1 spa and about have the current day replacement cost. When considering a spa (two stage pump system vs a re-circ pump), be sure to factor in the additional cost for the spa to have the latter. Most re-circ pump systems are included only on the high end more expensive models of a spa manufacturer. If you have to pay $1,500 or $2,000 more to get it, you will never break even on the electrical savings. I have found that my Sundance costs about $40 to $50/Mo. running 4 hours/day to maintain the spa at 101 degrees in Southern California (My wife and I use it about 2X/week for 30 min.). I can't imagine that a smaller re-circ pump running 24 hrs a day could be that much cheaper on your electric bill. Assuming a re-circ pump would cut your bill by 30%, in my example, it would take you 8 to 11 years to break even! To me, it isn't worth it and is one more thing to go wrong. John
  12. Newbiw With Questions/problems

    Jim, Take a look at my post here: http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.ph...art=#entry72855
  13. Which Taylor Test Kit?

    I agree and forgot to mention that I do keep a few of the Leisure Time Chlorine test strips around just to test the initial CH level when I refill the spa. Since the CH value remains relatively stable between refills, the strips last a long time and are good for the neighbor kid to use when he is maintaining our spa while the wife and I are cruising the Caribbean dive sites! Thank you for your continuing great advise and input! I really appreciate it! John
  14. Which Taylor Test Kit?

    Chem Geek, The two kits you recommended above are the very best and most accurate available but, for us non-chemist types who just want a clean, healthy spa and want to keep the water maintenance SIMPLE, I have found that the small Taylor kit (and N2 MPS strips) sold under the Leslie Pools Deluxe Pool Care DPD Test Kit label is more than adequate. Although it only tests for free and total Clorine, bromine, PH, Acid Demand and TA, if you have a spa with an ozonator and are using a N2 system requiring a lower dichlor usage, and you drain your spa ever three or four months as recommended, are the more robust (and expensive) test kits really necessary for the average casual home spa user? I could see it in a commercial spa or pool setting but, in the home, it seems to me like an over kill and twice as expensive to buy and refill. Besides only a "Chem Geek" would fully undestand what all those chemical values and numbers meant anyway! John
  15. Which Taylor Test Kit?

    I live in SoCal and went to Leslie's Pools and they have a test kit with their name on it but it is a Taylor kit and all of the chemicals have the Tayor brand. Get the one that tests Dichlor (chlorine) as you are using N2 you cannot use Bromine. As far as the strips are concerned, I use the ones made by Nature 2 for MPS. Leisure Time is a good brand as well but, someone else on the board might have a better choice. Figuring out the color test match can be tricky. I have found that the PH on my test strips usually registers a little high, ie, slightly on the red side but, when I use the Taylor Kit, it is right on the money at 7.6. When using the Taylor Kit, remember, you are not checking for darkness of the color but, more the "hue "of the color, if that makes any sense. In other words, pink is still pink regardless of how dark it is. When using test strips, you must take an immediate reading as soon as you take it out of the water. If you wait a while the colors will start to change and some will go half one color and half another. That usually means that you waited too long to read them. Here is where I go for on-line supplies. They have great prices, reasonable shipping and they are very fast' usually in the same week! http://www.hottubworks.com/HotTubSpaFilter...lter_Search.php