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  1. It's Michael aka, MWS, from San Martin area with the crazy hot-rodded H2X. I also have a 1998 or so, 8x8 Optima that needs a standard hot tub cover-- and remember having conversations with you about the good cover material/ choices, etc.   Got any wisdom for shopping for one?


  2. see this movie trying to figure out what size O-ring to use for the 1997 era Sundance Optima diverter valve cap. The 6540-865 O-rings I bought are too big, Perhaps it needs a 6541-240? The ID of the valve chamber is 2.36" or so.
  3. we have a prop-powered Masterspas H2X, which is the precursor to the Michael Phelps. The newer H2Xs are cheezily designed and have jets instead of a prop. I don't consider jets to truly be a "swim" spa. For the record, my wife has swam in H2X, Swimex and Endless Pool with "fastlane" propulsion, and she likes the propulsion from Endless Pool best, but we could not find a used fiberglass Endless for as cheap as we found a used H2X. The steel-framed Endless Pools are an endless nightmare of leaks, insulation issues, thousands in upkeep, and thousands of dollars from a "certified" tech to assemble one, etc, so I was not going to buy a used one of those, no matter how cheap. I swim in the H2X rarely, but was a competitive swimmer as a kid. I find your problem to be true as well, for me. My wife swims in it regularly and I find she has the same challenge, but she seems to not mind it. I did a ton of modifications, of which, I don't expect you do do as well, but one of them was to create a new grate for the propeller that tilts up slightly and makes the wave push you up just a bit. Not a full solution, but it helps. I also bought a Michael Phelps propeller as a possible upgrade and was not impressed. I ended up using a Torqueedo prop for sea-going electric boats. It's design has modern knowledge of water propulsion and is not 1910 tech like the Masterspas props are. They come from trolling fishing boats. you can browse my modifications here. https://www.youtube.com/user/slkttop/search?query=h2x
  4. Another thought. I bought my H2X used. A 2007. The Propeller bearings, NOT the motor bearings, were just toast--gravelly and grinding sounding. I figured out how to replace them and the water seal that had allowed them to get rusted, for far less than $100 Master spas wanted $500 or so, for a new shaft. You can contact me to get a parts list if you go this route. You will need someone with a small hydraulic press.
  5. I own an H2X. Bought it used. My wife swims in it regularly. We thought the Endless Pool propulsion system provided her the easiest to swim in wave, compared to the H2X or a Swimex, but a used H2X came on the market and we picked it up for $15K 1.5 years ago. check out this thread to see what I have done to improve it's performance. http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=45695
  6. yippee. I remember our first bill heating the tub using electricity twice in one month from cold to hot (we had to drain it and re-heat it) and heating the the swim spa for the first time, was like $750!! I finally have the results of heating both the hot tub and swim spa on gas alone for one entire month of billing. Also, some home improvements to help with insulation and lower gas usage were in place during the entire cycle.. total bill $287. previous month $425 (and the hot tub was on gas for half that month, but swim spa was on electricity) the $425 bill was less than the month before that, even. (probably colder outside + both spas on electricity) electric usage with 2 spas was 1700 kWh last year in Feb-March, this year, no spas, 700 kWh from Feb-March. 1000 kWH less! gas usage is about same dollar amount from previous month to last month, even though we added spas (warmer month--less home heating). Last year we used only 96 therms in the same period, this year same period=105 therms, so 10 more therms per month this year, to heat the spas. I estimated 15-20 therms extra for the spas in my calculations, so we are likely saving 5-10 therms or so on home heating. _MWS
  7. cant agree with Dan the Spa man, sorry. I own an 2007 H2X with a steel frame. It weighs 2000 pounds or so, dry. It also leaks. It would be falling apart and un-moveable by now if it had a lumber frame. I have an older wood frame optima which has had a ferw owners and been moved a bunch. After sitting at our house for almost 2 years and leaking a bunch, I just moved a bit and I am sure I cannot move it anymore unless it is to the junk yard. The frame is pretty rotten. A used H2X is a good solution for what you want. It has an OK (surely not great) propulsion system, but works as a fantastic splash pool for our little 34 month old minnow we have at home. He loves it and loves playing around in the jets and playing with the controls to change the waterfalls and such. He loves it to death. We paid $15K used, and delivered for it. I hooked it up myself. If you shop around you can probably find one for less, these days.
  8. try Mcmaster-Carr (for basic parts and doo-dads to make your controller) , but also search on any European controller solutions for home water heating using solar. They have tons of innovative and unusual controllers like this.
  9. I had a rather prominent scum line on my 3000 gallon swim spa. I simply reasoned: I use muriatic acid in the spa to equalize pH, why not a small amount in a bowl to break down the scum? I used gloves and goggles and it came right off with a scotchbrite sponge. Used Muriatic acid and steel wool on some rust on teh acrylic surface as well, also worked great. No fears of leaving a chemical that might suds up in the spa.
  10. My solution to expensive ownership is split into a few things: 1] only buy used. No spa is worth what you pay for it new. And if you buy used for a low price and do some repairs yourself you should never exceed the price of a new one. I mean, buy an $8000 spa--but buy it used, and several years old, for $2000- $1500 or so, not barely used, for $6000. That's too new, and too much money for a money pit. Don't pay more than 20% of the original price. Spas hold up better than you might imagine, the shell, the jet motors, the control board, even the heating element. And if you can buy them and replace them yourself, each mentioned item above is not much more than $150-300 max. Still, way less than the $8K or more, for a new feature-packed hot tub. 2] not a Do it yourselfer? YouTube is your friend. I have learned a bunch about rebuilding spa motors and bearings, all sorts of stuff, on YouTube. Not a pro? Need cheap tools, much of it is available on Harbor Freight, including hydraulic presses, strap wrenches, gear pullers, etc. 3] when I have slow leaks, which i have had a few on my 1998 Sundance Optima I bought used (for $500, I probably overpaid) , and also, am probably the 3rd or 4th owner, I use this stuff. It's like fix-a-flat for hot tubs and pools. http://www.amazon.com/Fix-Leak-Pool-Sealer-32/dp/B003K1E99Y/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392071083&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=hjot+tub+leak+fixer
  11. i have an old used 1998 Sundance optima. it has one very very low seat for me --6'5" --and my wife likes the remaining three seats at 5'4" for her. the platform by the controls would qualify as a booster seat. not low in the water at all. but, i would gladly look into the other spas these folks mention once my used old spa leaks its last leak and i move on to yet another very cheap, used spa. i mention mine because around here they are so common as a used spa.
  12. A little history.When my wife and I shopped for a swim spa in 2012, she swam in a Swimex and a newer Endless Pool finberglass series with a Fastlane hanging in it from one end. After reading what I have about Swimex, I was surprised to find she found the sweet spot and could swim longer and more effortlessly in the Endless Pool. Once I looked into the massive size of the propeller on an Endless pool (about 16") and the way they groom the water to reduce turbulence, I understood why it would be a good experience. Unfortunately, the newer fiberglass Endless pools were not available used and the new pricing was prohibitive for us. We ended up taking a chance and buying a used 2007 H2X (not a Michael Phelps), which is the only one she had not tried until we actually filled it with water and she swam in it at out house, after purchase. It was adequate, but no Endless Pool. I bought a Michael Phelps propeller, thinking if it was good enough for him, it would be good enough for her. Once I found Torqeedo propellers, I never looked back and will probably not install the MP propeller. http://www.torqeedo.com/us/technology/propeller-technology Masterspas bought Exerswim and used their technology to make the H2X. It leaves a LOT to be desired. The grates are simple Waterways drain grates, in my opinion, not made for smooth, high water flow of ANY kind. The first thing I tried was to make a larger prop hole, and install the Torqeedo. I used simple stretched steel grate material, thinking it would work fine and let the Torqeedo rip. It kicked up some surf, but the huge twist of water coming off that prop sent her into the side of the pool. She requested I simply put it all "back to normal" and try again if she outgrew the stock prop. You'll see some funny pictures of a rectangle of fiberglass and some stretched grate metal wire. That's me putting it back to stock. I looked closely at how Endless pool grooms the water off that huge prop using curved ailerons, to kill the twist of the wash coming off the propeller, very cool, actually. http://mwsmith.smugmug.com/Sports/fastlane/26553954_WbSVWG#!i=2219087117&k=2ZtMK9G I realized that was what I needed for the Torqeedo prop. I needed some fins, basically, to stop the immense twist. My wife then in the meantime, outgrew the stock H2X propeller fairly quickly. I decided to try again. I tried the new ducted grate I made with the Torqeedo first, and my wife loved it. It reduces the twist of prop wash and distributes the flow more like an Endless Pool. Then recently drained the pool for some other work, and also converted the water return/intake grates with my better flowing design as well. I also decided to try a theory I had and aim the propulsion grate upwards slightly to buoy her a bit. It worked. Here's the results. Bottom line, my wife says it now swims like an Endless pool and she has a lot more room to grow before she out-swims this propeller. http://mwsmith.smugmug.com/Sports/SwimSpa/34527146_zMsNMG#!i=2935882273&k=r5KDPm8 Phase 1, get the prop in there, and show you the new ducted grate. Phase 2, swap out the old return grates for better flowing custom ones.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiuizjqCVdY a discussion of the old prop and the Michael Phelps prop.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JnAvgD9qyU&feature=youtu.be
  13. Have not tried the heavy duty pipe insulation yet. Spent the last coupla weekends plumbing the 3000 gallon H2X swim spa to the same DWH. The H2X has it's own pump and heat exchanger. The Bradford White DWH is keeping up just fine with one hot tub at 103*F and one swim spa at 88*F. for the techs: the only larger exchanger available was 88 BTU/hr sizing, not in the 70K range as we discussed. I went with 88K and it's working just fine. Pump is a 3-speed 26 series Grundfos. I thought a 3-speed 15 series was possibly too limiting in GPM. I started with the DWH heater at full blast to get it heated quickly. Therm usage has gone up over the few days its been running on gas, I have just now trimmed the DWH temp down a bit and will know soon an approximation of extra gas usage per day. Meanwhile, kwh use of electricity for the swim spa alone has gone down about 20 kwh per day, at an average of 23 cents per kwh. A savings of at least $138/month in electricity for the swim spa alone. Of course, gas use will go up, but I don;t think the swim spa will use more than 1 therm a day at about $1.10 per therm. The video clips are in the swim spa forum.
  14. For those of you on the Hot Tub forum as well, this may look familiar. Posting this in case it helps anyone else getting killed by their electric bills. I keep the swim spa at 88*F all year long and the hot tub around 103*F all year long. I will say up front, this may or may not be to code in your area. the workings in the swim spa itself the workings around the water heater in the barn next to the swim spa and hot tub.
  15. Do you have this hooked up to a GFCI like they say to do? My H2X would always cut out and not run the motor until I took it off. A contractor pal of mine who is also an electrician said his home water fresh water well tank pump would do the same thing. The starting and stopping of the motor can trip the GFCI.
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