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Pneumatic vs. Electronic Pneumatic (or air) controls were the original types of controls used on hot tubs, introduced in the 1960s. Though these controls prove to be quite dependable, they have a short life expectancy due to the wear and tear they endure as a result of regular usage. Pneumatic controls work on the principle of relays, meaning that every time the spa is turned on, a spark occurs. The more arcs that occur, the more the relays wear down. This eventually leads to a service call

In the 1980s, electronic controls were introduced to provide consumers with more benefits, such as digital temperature display and automatic shut off features. However, early electronic controls received numerous complaints due to weather and moisture affecting their performance. It was feared that the electronic control would malfunction after a short amount of time and would be very expensive to repair. The spa industry realized that consumers wished to enjoy the benefits and features of electronic controls, but wanted better reliability.

By the mid 1990's, some manufacturers answered this problem by offering highly reliable electronic controls that utilized "Zero Crossing Technology." "Zero Crossing Technology" eliminates arcs. Once a button is pressed, the connection is made instantaneously. It is similar to the technology found in remote controls for televisions.

We believe that electronic controls provide greater advantages over pneumatic controls due to the features that electronic controls offer There are a variety of features available on electronic controls that can provide many benefits, including safety, enjoyment, and cost savings. We recommend looking for the following features in an electronic control system.

Automatic Shut Off. Turns off the spa and its components when you forget. The automatic shut off feature is designed to automatically turn off the spa's pumps, blowers, and lights within a set period of time; usually within twenty minutes for pumps and blowers, and within two hours for lighting. It is an excellent cost saving measure, especially if someone forgets to shut the pumps off after they leave the spa. In addition, it will help to extend the life of your equipment

Fault Display. Displays a digital readout of problems with your spa. This diagnostic feature indicates problems on the display screen, acting as a troubleshooter for your spa. If a problem should occur, this feature allows you to call the manufacturer with the specific problem, often resolving the problem over the phone and eliminating prolonged down time. This can often eliminate the need for unnecessary and costly service calls - especially important if the warranty has expired..

Panel Locking. Prevents unwanted guests from using your spa. This feature deactivates the control panel. The hot tub will still maintain the heat and filtering, but nothing else will operate. This prohibits anyone from using the spa or changing the spa's settings when you are not present. This is an excellent safety measure for homes with young children, as well as acting as a deterrent to unwanted "guests" using outdoor spas.

Temperature Locking. Keeps your water temperature at a constant. This feature allows you to program your hot tub to maintain a chosen temperature. This assures that your hot tub will always remain at the selected temperature each and every time you use it. This is also perfect to protect children and others who cannot handle high temperatures

Remote Operation. Control your outdoor hot tub from the comfort of the indoors.

Some manufacturers offer secondary remote control panels that can be installed up to 100 feet away from your hot tub. This feature allows you to check, monitor, and control your hot tub from inside your home. This is ideal for those with outdoor hot tubs in colder climates.

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