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Spa Thermal Blanket, Is It Worth The Effort?


Nat
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I am considering getting a floating thermal blanket like the one here:

http://www.spadepot.com/shop/ThermoFloat-7...t-P130C637.aspx

I am thinking about one mainly for the energy savings (live in Northern Virginia) during the winter. The company selling this blanket also says it promotes longer spa cover life.

Does the use of these thermal blankets really save that much on electricity use and/or help the cover to last longer? How much of a hassle are they to remove and keep clean while you use the spa?

Are they worth buying?

Thanks.

--Nate

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This was a recent previous discussion... you may want to look below or in the Chemistry forum. One user discovered some water test indicators that said it was preventing off-gassing and effecting his pH... can't remember the particulars. There was plenty of advice like flipping it up onto itself for a half hours after adding chlorine or shock. Nothing bad that would make you NOT get a blanket, just fine tuning how it can affect the water chemistry

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I have only owned my tub for a month now, so I am a novice here. BUT... I purchased the same spa blanket you are looking at (I live in NW Illinois). Yes, that particular blanket is only 1/8" thick, and yes, it does bunch up a bit when the jets are on. However, whenever I'm running the jets (either for cleaning cycle or soaking) the cover and blanket are completely removed anyway, so bunching isn't really a problem for me. I purposely bought the 1/8" thick blanket as I figured it would be easier to remove and fold when not in use. I've seen pictures of a 1/4" thick blanket, and it appeared to require "rolling" it to store (too stiff to fold?).

To remove the blanket, I simply pull it towards me then fold it back onto itself so it is in half still floating on the water. Then I fold that half left to right and drape it over the cover which is stored vertically in a "cover caddy". The only minor issue is it can collect scum which I wipe off before placing it back on the water.

Since the tub and blanket are new, I can't say if it will add to the cover life, but I can say there is definitely a lot less water run off from the bottom of the cover when I first lift the cover.

I had the tub for about 1 1/2 weeks before getting the blanket. Haven't noticed any difference in water clarity. Still looks great! Go for it.

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I purchased this very same blanket and have experienced some minor chemistry issues as a result. You can click

http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10440

to see my problems and chem geek's response. I am still playing with the chemistry and the blanket positioning to see exactly how I want to resolve the problem.

Also, my spa has a cycle where it runs the pumps for 1 minute once per day, causing turbulence. This turbulance caused the blanket to bunch-up...just as Dr. Spa mentioned. I am also working on jet adjustments in an attempt to minimize this.

So, bottom line...I'm having a few issues, and have not yet worked them all out. I do think they can be worked out, I just need to keep working on them until I find the solutions.

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I purchased this very same blanket and have experienced some minor chemistry issues as a result. You can click

http://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10440

to see my problems and chem geek's response. I am still playing with the chemistry and the blanket positioning to see exactly how I want to resolve the problem.

Also, my spa has a cycle where it runs the pumps for 1 minute once per day, causing turbulence. This turbulance caused the blanket to bunch-up...just as Dr. Spa mentioned. I am also working on jet adjustments in an attempt to minimize this.

So, bottom line...I'm having a few issues, and have not yet worked them all out. I do think they can be worked out, I just need to keep working on them until I find the solutions.

Thanks fdegree! Your post is the one I was referring to... isn't this forum great? It's great to listen to all the granular detail from folks who already own this or that. I mean there really is no perfect solution, it's one thing or the other usually... a compromise. Like you can be advised to buy a heavier cover, but in fact it's then bulkier to take off and store. That could be a problem if you were somehow physically limited (height, strength, age?) ...and how could you foresee things like having to perhaps hosing off some scum each time... all considerations which would be key to meeting a goal of saving money or saving time etc.

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Thank you all for your replies. Another idea I have is to just place a rigid foam insulating board on top of the spa cover. I noticed that there is a one-inch uninsulated gap in the cover in the center, to allow it to fold. Alot of heat comes thru here.

This is the material I was thinking of using:

http://www.owenscorning.com/around/insulat...s/insulpink.asp

If pink is not your color, another manufacturer makes it in blue.

I could use duct tape or the like to tape sections together. On windy days perhaps bungee cords could hold the insulation board to the spa. This would add at least 50% to the R value of the existing cover and not be too expensive. Just slide it off and lay on the grass before using the spa.

--Nate

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After over five years of spa ownership, I am now using a thermal blanket. Though I have only used it for a couple of months, it definitely holds the temperature better. I haven't analyzed the savings but it has been much easier to use than I had anticipated. I have the 1/4" foam blanket from www.rhtubs.com. There are no issues with bunching, chemicals or water flow to the filter. Mine is cut to lay flat on the water. I have always avoided a blanket because I did not want to be bothered with removing and replacing it every time I used the spa but now that I have tried it, I will probably always use one.

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We use a "solar blanket" on our spa. It has nothing to do with solar energy or solar anything, it's just bubble wrap. The reason we use it is that our lid has a considerable gap on both sides where it hinges. The 1st cold night we had the spa we noticed steam pouring from these gaps. We purchased a solar cover that actually covers the whole top. We stretch it over the top and then lower the lid. The lid holds it in place and seals against the shell. No more steam leakage. I also think that this will help to prolong the life of my lid as vapors are getting to the underside. As far as chems I have had problems dialing in the Chlorine/Bromine levels and getting the Ph right, but I attributed this to inexperience having only had the spa for a little over a month. I guess it could be the solar cover. Come summer when I won't need it we'll see.

Jacuzzi J-480

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I use a solar blanket on my pool. In the summer they generate about 10 additional degrees of heat to the water, but I wouldn't use it for a hot tub because it would probably bunch by the skimmer. They also have a tendency over time to deteriorate, so you'll have little blue bubble wrap stuff getting sucked into the skimmer as well. The real thermal blankets for a tub is what Tony described. They're thick foam and will hold the heat and protect the cover. ;) I was going to buy one for my tub but was told buy a local dealer that we really didn't need them in Florida. Judging from the cold temperatures we had 3 days ago I may just buy one anyway. RH tubs is a good source if you decide to go this way. Biggz :P

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The use of a "solar" blanket in an application that can collect absolutely zero btu's from the sun is somewhat humorous to begin with.

So far as what it is doing for you and your spa is functional but limited.

The only heat loss prevention will be a reduction of evaporative loss. As far as adding any "r" value, for preventing conductive loss, no way.

Remember its original design is to transfer heat to a swimming pool from the sun.

If your ph/alk gets far out of balance or you accidentally over clorinate have fun cleaning all the little "spots" that will start to peel off the blanket.

This prevention of evaporation does help prevent the cover (foam insulating) from absorption issues and probably will increase it's life. Which is more than likely the most significant impact the consumer will realize. B)

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The use of a "solar" blanket in an application that can collect absolutely zero btu's from the sun is somewhat humorous to begin with.

So far as what it is doing for you and your spa is functional but limited. B)

Listen "Carpenter 3.1428" I don't know where you found the link to this web site, but I bet your boss wants you to quit messing about and get back to work.

And one more thing -

The B) is my signature emoticon.

Got it?!!!

Sheesh.

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Not sure why carpenter is talking about the lack of solar benefits. Why would anyone think they would get the "solar" benefits? The main cover is usually closed. It's about vapor reduction pure and simple. Also, there's a lot of empirical evidence showing that they work.

Yes, they are worth the trouble in this spa cover manufacturer's opinion.

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I believe that's Carpenter 3.1416

He's metric.

B)

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I purchased a thermal blanket (not sure it was this one) and it does work pretty good.

We soak leaving the blanket in place and only fold back the blanket for the seats we are using.

We have been in the tub during a snow fall and as it landed on the blanket and it did not melt right away. That tells me that it is holding the heat in.

I get less water build up on the bottom of my hard cover leading me to think that it prevents some of the evaporation.

I also forgot to close the cover one cold night and with the blanket it saved me some money.

The only problem I have is it rips in a few places. Could not find any adhesvie to fix it so I got out my Sail mending kit and stiched the rips solved the problem.

Make sure you take your time cutting the blanket to fit snug at the water line.

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