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chayos00

Hot Tub Heating Up From The Sun

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Hey guys, so I am new to this site. I tried searching the net but could only find subjects on how to heat your tub using solar methods. So I have a new LA Spa's Palomar hot tub that we got a few months ago. I live in Tucson, AZ where it's now hitting 100's each day. So the hot tub is in our back yard exposed to direct sunlight all day long, our backyard is south facing. I have a built in surround on the east and north side of the tub, with the maintenance panel on the west side. So the sun is only hitting the tub a bit on the west side from the afternoon sun and the fence on the south side is about 2 feet away so it's "shaded," so most of the sun hits the tub from the cover.

(Image from when the surround was just finished, as I was cleaning up the tub. The landscaping around it has been finished with rock.)

9009032764_50abb62b2f_b.jpg

So the last 2 weeks the tub has been getting above 106, when the thermostat has been set to 59 (lowest setting) for the last 1-2 months because of solar heating. Each night I have to open the tub to let it cool off and get back down to the mid 90's. It can gain about 6-12 degrees a day from the solar exposure. As you can imagine from the cooling method I have to refill the tub from evaporation about once every two weeks.

So now that you know my setup, here's my question. The cover is brown and so is the siding of the tub. The cover is their factory one that is 3" in the center and 1.5" on the sides. Do I need a thicker cover to resist the heat buildup? I know other people in town who also have tubs in Tucson that are in direct sun exposure but don't have near the solar heat buildup.

Do I need a thicker cover? If I do then I will get the thickest cover that is possible for heat resistance. Also if that's the case, can you guys point me to a manufacturer/distributor for a new cover?

Not sure if this would be asked, but I am running bromine in my tub.

Thanks in advance!

Jason

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The heat buildup id not from the sun as much as it is from your pump, the casing of which gets about 180F and can heat the interior of your spa, especially in summer months.

Se your controller to filter the spa only after sundown, and that will help considerably.

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I did have the filtration set to 12 hrs for about the last two weeks, as I had neglected to check the levels in the tub and from the bromine levels showing zero I had a milky/cloudy water situation. After shocking the tub and using a water clarity product the water is pristine again. So I left the filtration higher to ensure that during the issue the water was being mixed around with the fresh chemials.

So this morning I reset the filter times to 1 hour duration 4 times a day. Not sure the timing between each cycle yet, I have not been able to find docummentation for that spec yet. This morning my tub was at 96 degrees. So I'll see how much it raises while at work. Also my filter cycle times are listed to start at midnight (12am).

My tub also has their 24hr circulation pump for the ozone generator. The mechanical filtration goes through tub pump 1 on low speed (2 speed pump).

I was thinking about cutting the hot tub's circuit breaker one morning to see without any possible electronics heating anything, how much will the tub truly absorb from solar heating.

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You will find the heat buildup from the sun to be negligable, even in AZ.

We repairmen run into the "My spa is overheating" complaint every summer, it's just happening to you earlier.

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You will find the heat buildup from the sun to be negligable, even in AZ.

We repairmen run into the "My spa is overheating" complaint every summer, it's just happening to you earlier.

LOL, at least I know its not the heater doing it! ;-) We have been seeing temps above 100 for the last several weeks and night time temps no lower than about 70. So I am sure that doesn't help.

I am suprised that you guys don't think it has anything to do with the cover. I was sure that played part it the heat buildup. Also as it is hot out here and I have not gotten in the tub for 2 weeks, what would be an ideal length of time to run the filter system? Keep in mind it has a 24hr recirculation system with ozone.

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Having both a two speed filter pump and a 24 hour filter pump is unusual, are you certain it is not a two speed pump running 24 hours a day? Because that would certainly cause the problem. A 24 hour circ pump is typically about the size of a soda can, and emits very little heat.

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Having both a two speed filter pump and a 24 hour filter pump is unusual, are you certain it is not a two speed pump running 24 hours a day? Because that would certainly cause the problem. A 24 hour circ pump is typically about the size of a soda can, and emits very little heat.

Some circ pumps do a great job of transfering much of the energy back into the water which is gerat for most of the year but at times and in certain cities it can become an issue. That is why we have a summer timer circuit in Hot Spring spas so that you can shut down the circ pump during the middle of the day in places like Vegas, Phoenix ... where you will get a runaway heat situation otherwise.

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The question about the cover can be simply answered in that the better it insulates heat, the better it keeps heat out as well as in.

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Having both a two speed filter pump and a 24 hour filter pump is unusual, are you certain it is not a two speed pump running 24 hours a day? Because that would certainly cause the problem. A 24 hour circ pump is typically about the size of a soda can, and emits very little heat.

Some circ pumps do a great job of transfering much of the energy back into the water which is gerat for most of the year but at times and in certain cities it can become an issue. That is why we have a summer timer circuit in Hot Spring spas so that you can shut down the circ pump during the middle of the day in places like Vegas, Phoenix ... where you will get a runaway heat situation otherwise.

So my spa does have 3 220V pumps on it. Which i have pics of below. Today I checked the spa temp after I got home. It was 96F when I left this AM and @ 5pm it was up just 3 degrees to 99F. So that's an improvement. (12hr filtration down to 4hrs) Tonight I will leave it open over night to cool down and then cut the breaker off in the morning and then see how much it heats up with just the solar heating.

http://www.laspas.com/build-a-spa.php?model_id=8 Here is the link to the spa that I have. I have the SE model which includes the specs for the LS & ES specs. I do not have it fully insulated with their "winter package" I kind of wish that I would have now... oh well.

  1. 1/15 hp circ pump9027985363_65570545f8_b.jpg
  2. Pump 1 - Filter basket pump 2 speed 9027985721_f80e5f37f1_b.jpg
  3. Pump 2 - Jet pump 1 Speed.

9027986025_6e98a9f3d7_b.jpg

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The question about the cover can be simply answered in that the better it insulates heat, the better it keeps heat out as well as in.

I figured that would be the case. Thermal mechanics at work.

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Tonight I will leave it open over night to cool down and then cut the breaker off in the morning and then see how much it heats up with just the solar heating.

So with the cover open overnight, the tub cooled down to 89*F. I cut the breaker off so the tub was powered down during the day time from 6:30am - 5pm. Once the tub registered the temp again, it read 90*F. So you guys are way right about the tub gaining heat from the motors running.

So as of right now I adjusted the filtration to run starting at 10pm to run 4 times in one hour increments. Does anyone know of Gecko Alliances "in.xe" controller's spec for the timing between filter cycles? As that is what my LA Spa tub has controlling it. I cannot find anything in their documentation about the spacing of the filter cycles.

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I'm not familiar with LA spas, but I'd bet you can set the filtration cycles to zero, or as low as possible. I suspect the same control panel is used for several different models, some with no 24/circ pump, that instead rely on a large, 2 speed jet pump to heat the water and filter. A filtration cycle can come in handy in a spa with no circ pump.

Yours uses a 24/circ pump... so there may be no need for a filtration cycle. It's already filtering 24/7, assuming the 24/7 circ pump is plumbed through the filter.

You can download your owners manual once you identify which in.xe you have from here:

http://www.geckoalliance.com/en/conso/Products/ProductInfo/1/in.xe

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I have already looked. through their all the documents that they have for the xe controller. I have the 450 control panel. All I can find is how to adjust the settings, not even in their low level settings do they talk about the off time between cycles. Also yes the filter cycles could be set to zero, but is that really okay? I am guessing that if it it, its because of the fact that I am not really using this tub at this point due to how warm it is outside so there is not much for it to filter out, mainly just moving the water around right?

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You're likely filtering 24/7, with that little circ pump that runs almost in obscurity. Filtration cycles are typically for spas that don't have that little circ pump pump. The filtration cycles are on the control, because those controls are used across a wide platform of equipment packages and different manufacturers.

In your case, the "filtration cycle" is useless. You're already filtering 24/7

Many times, the "filtration cycle" is just a timer for the heater, and low speed jet pump. If you have a separate 24/hr circ pump, the "filtration cycle" is just a timer for the heater. It sounds as though your "filtration cycle" is also energizing one of the jet pumps, which is altogether unnecessary, and a nuisance.

Just leave it in "standard mode" (if equipped), and set the "filtration cycle" as low as possible.

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You're likely filtering 24/7, with that little circ pump that runs almost in obscurity. Filtration cycles are typically for spas that don't have that little circ pump pump. The filtration cycles are on the control, because those controls are used across a wide platform of equipment packages and different manufacturers.

In your case, the "filtration cycle" is useless. You're already filtering 24/7

Many times, the "filtration cycle" is just a timer for the heater, and low speed jet pump. If you have a separate 24/hr circ pump, the "filtration cycle" is just a timer for the heater. It sounds as though your "filtration cycle" is also energizing one of the jet pumps, which is altogether unnecessary, and a nuisance.

Just leave it in "standard mode" (if equipped), and set the "filtration cycle" as low as possible.

So on this tub, following the plumbing the heater also goes through that 24hr circ pump. So that filtration cycle as you say is just additional filtering then. I'll set the filter timing to 1 cycle of 1 hour (for the help agitating the water for my bromine floater) and just watch my levels over the next week and check on it daily to ensure the water looks and stays nice and clear.

Thank you guys for your support in figuring out what was going on! I'll keep you up to date if I have any water quality issues with this tub over the next week or two.

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So I just talked to my dealer, the 24hr circ pump runs 24hrs if you have the temp set more than 4-5 degrees lower than the set temp. If you have the tub temp set around 4 degrees cooler it runs on a combo of 2 on 4 off, or vice versa can't recall which he said now. So for now I'm going to try leaving the pump running 24rs and see how it goes. Then I will try it on the on off combo that the dealer talked about.

Also the filtration cycles get spread around the clock for the 24hr period. So it sounds like if it's set for 4 cycles then the pump starts every 6hrs.

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I had the same situation where my new spa was heating up to uncomfortable. My dealer explained that when you run the pumps, even the 24 hr circulating pump, it's still pulling the water through the un-insulated equipment compartment, which is at least the temp of the ambient air outside. Now that, with the temp of the motor, you are heating up the water throughout the day.

My Hot Spring Envoy has the summer timer. I set it to engage at 10:00 in the morning and disengage at 6:00 in the evening. Now my spa stays the wonderful temp that I set it. I also have mine covered with a canvas gazebo, so that will help some, although not as much as the summer setting keeping the pumps off during the day.

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