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About Mikey_in_NY

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    Hot Tub Aficionado
  • Birthday 03/07/1961

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    Western NY

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  1. To my horror I recently became aware the lumber base (kickboard) on my 9 year old Sundance Hawthorne had gone rotten to the point where it was basically falling apart. Called Sundance about this who informed me they could not help with a spa this old, but did advise I should replace it as long-term it could affect the structural support as well as let vermin in under the tub. Tub has run 24/7 trouble-free for all 9 years through some very cold winters here in Buffalo, and is used on average about 3 times per week. I don't know if Sundance have moved away from using pressure treated lumber, but if not then they certainly should. Purpose of this post is to inform other owners of my solution (it worked out great for me but do this at your own risk!). Here's what I did... 1. Drain tub, remove cover, cover lift supports/brackets and rear corner surrounds. 2. With the help of my two adult sons pushed rear of tub forward around 3 feet in the concrete pad (3 people was a real struggle, 4 would have been much better). 3. Used a scissor jack to lift front of tub about 10" just to get a better grip underneath. Important - scissor jack placed directly under vertical frame strut. 4. Carefully lift tub onto its back using a LOT of cardboard between concrete pad and back of tub to cushion it. Secured with rope as it had a tendency to fall forward. 5. Used an aerosol spray can to indicate locations of all 4*2 cross members (see photo). 6. Unscrew outer 2*2 rotten kickboards. Cross members are only attached to these, two of them were also going rotten. 7. Visited lumber dealership to purchase replacement pressure-tread lumber, however they had close-out (50% off) sale on composite 4*2 so I went for this. Had to get two 8' lengths cut down center to give me the 4 outer pieces. 8. Drill pilot holes into outer composite 2*2 surrounds and screw to base of tub (over existing plastic sheet). Cut and screw 45 degree corner pieces. 9. Cut cross members to length and screw to 2*2 surrounds using aerosol spray marks for exact locations. 10. Four adults carefully lowered tub back onto concrete pad and back into final location (tip - placed sleeping bags under front end in case weight became too much and we had to drop it last few inches, but in the end not necessary). Total cost: $110 for composite plus $40 stainless deck screws. About 12 hours total labor.
  2. Need a bit more info than that. How many wires are feeding the tubs electrical box - two? three? four?
  3. Might be a dumb question but does the water 'feel' like 88 or 99? i.e. is the display wrong, or the thermometer?
  4. #6 wire is common for a 50A hook-up, however a run of 135 feet is definitely on the long side, so you may(?) need to go to #4 wire. Suggest you speak to a qualified electrician, or wait for a more knowledgeable forum member than myself to advise. Assuming the correct wire is being used there is no advantage to going to a bigger one.
  5. I live in Western NY. Paid licensed contractor about $800 for approx 40' run in basement, and 10' (above ground) outside from basement to tub - 60A circuit. $80 of the cost was for town permit (a necessary rip-off). Didn't need new service panel. I had quotes ranging from $650 to $1,800 for EXACTLY the same work, so shop around. Word of caution - as another poster said make sure your contractor is licensed to operate in your town and/or county else you won't get a permit.
  6. You might want to check your local code. From memory I thought there was a maximum distance from the tub to the disconnect (maybe 15 feet?), but I could be wrong. Anyway, you'd be well advised to check with your town.
  7. 540 US gallons takes me just over an hour from a garden hose.
  8. Circ pumps are typically hard-wired to run 24/7. I'm assuming your tub has an ozonator also - that being the case it will be connected in-line with the circ pump, which is another reason it needs to run 24/7. The upside of this is that you can reduce the time period of your main pump cycles - if it's just you and your wife I'd begin with maybe 1 hour per day (2 x 30 mins), and closely monitior your water balance.
  9. As SpaGuy said the Sundance uses a regular panel, which most 240V tubs can use. The HS panel is HS only. In the big picture the cost is not significant - probably around $150 including GFCI. Unless things have recently changed Sundance use a 3 wire system - two hot plus ground. Both are good tubs - wet test to decide.
  10. I've had the Sundance Hawthorne (680 series) for 18 months now, and would totally recommend it. My temps get down near zero, but certainly not as low as the ones your talking about. No experience with Arctic, but I believe they're very comparable to Sundance as far as reputation and quality goes, i.e. they're both high-end manufacturers. Be careful when it comes to pump HP. According to the Sundance website the Hartford spec is: "Two 2.5 hp (1 @ 4.5 bhp*, 1 @ 4.8 bhp*)" "* BHP (brake horsepower) is a maximum value measured by the motor manufacturer with no pump installed." I think a true comparison of the two brands is 2*4 BHP for the Arctic, and 1*4.5 BHP plus 1*4.8 BHP for the Sundance. This being said 'real' (constant) pump power is determined by the lower (HP) value, which is probably very similar for both brands. As other posters have said you need to wet test to figure this out for yourself. Good luck!
  11. The summitt seats are FAR from narrow. Those seats are wide enough for the largest of people. Its a very comfortable spa and I would be hard pressed to find a seating arrangement more comfortable than a summitt. Also, as far as the filtration goes, take a look at how big that circulation pump is compared to a wetend on a filtration pump of an Arctic, how much water does it really move when its on ALL the time. The Arctic filtration pump moves much more water at a much quicker rate. There is a reason the circulation pumps that many manufacturers install has to run all day. The Arctic filtration runs longer than four hours a day I might add. Its customizable to your needs. Also, many thermal pane spas DO have to have their heaters run longer to maintain heat, but not Arctics with how well they do insulate. Other thermal panes dont insulate as well, and this has been spoken about on here several times. Also the summitt has a stereo option with the Aquatremor, you might ask the dealer to demonstrate this as its well worth the upgrade. BTW, both Jacuzzi and Arctic are excellent choices for spas. You have narrowed it down well. Slowly filtering the water all day via a circ pump is more efficient, and arguably better for water maintenance, than periodic bursts of rapid filtration for a few hours a day. A circ pump is typically rated at 75 watts, whereas a main pump may be rated at 2,000 watts - not rocket science to figure out which one is cheapest to operate. It will always be more efficient to move a given amount of water (or any other liquid for that matter) slowly over longer periods of time than in quick bursts due to lower frictional losses. As for moving MORE water with a main pump yes, this is true, however if a circ pump moving 'X' amount of water each day is enough to maintain clean, balanced water, then moving 2X or 3X water will achieve absolutely nothing other than pushing water around for no good reason, but more importantly pushing your electric bill up accordingly.
  12. If you want a 'cheap' sound system Walgreens sell portable battery operated AM/FM radios for $16, which sit just nice on the side of a tub. Not the greatest quality I know, but there again the neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate me having a 'quality' sound system on my tub. And at that price I couldn't care less if it falls in the water.
  13. Same here - I get a ton of snow each winter, have to regularly shovel deck to clear path to hot tub. Like iced says there's nothing better then getting warmed up in the tub, then rolling around in the snow for a few seconds, and getting back in again - amazing tingling sensation! I do wear a woolly hat if it's windy out.
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