Monday, March 05, 2012

#50. or, it's a fricken miracle, i think

  a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away..................

                                                   .............i started working on my hot tub.

    Some of you know this story. Saga really, of my broken, leaking hot tub. My trials and tribulations are well documented over on my facebook page. I think though, that they might be over.......maybe.

  We own a hot tub. Actually, it's a Soft tub. We bought it used about six years ago. Basically, a soft tub is a styrofoam shell with the tubing running in that with a vinyl covering over it. There's a heating unit that attaches to the side with a couple hose clamps. While it does have a seat in it, it doesn't have the fancy molded seating that you get in those top end hard bodied tubs. The good thing about a soft tub is that you can just plug them into any wall outlet, they don't need to be hard wired into the electrical panel. If you could get it down the stairs, you could put this thing in your basement. Although they do create a lot of humidity, so i probably wouldn't recommend that. Unless you also have a grow-op in your basement, the humidity might be a good thing? We went with the soft tub because it was the most affordable option for a couple approaching middle age, raising three boys. It also made sense to us not to put out a lot of money for something that we might only use until the fad wore off. Turns out, we're pretty happy with it and probably would rather spend the extra money that a more traditional tub would cost, going to Mexico or someplace equally tropical. But that's just us. One other thing about a soft tub is that it takes about 3 days to get it up to hot tubing temperature. Once it's there, it stays there pretty nicely and you can spend an hour or so easy without any significant temperature loss. They are just slow to heat up.

  Last year, just into the new year, we did some significant house renovations. It turned out, that for a time, the door that we have our tub right beside, became the main entrance. Also, during that time, in the confusion of rerouting some of the electrical  wiring, the receptacle that the tub was plugged into became disconnected for a while. Like, at least 4 or 5 days before i noticed it. Plus, during that time it was really cold out, around minus 25 degrees Celsius. By the time i discovered there was no power to the tub, it had dropped in temperature significantly. I got the power to it back on and started it up again but after that it had a slow leak. It leaked down to where we couldn't really use it any more, then we just drained it and that's the way it stayed until the end of summer.

  Over the course of time, (7 or 8 years)  the vinyl liner will shrink a bit from the chemicals used to treat the water. I suspected that the liner might have developed a crack in it from the shrinking, so we measured it up and ordered a new liner. It took about 3 weeks to get it made and have it installed. we brought it home and filled her up with water. The liner cost about $800, and we haul treated water from town to use in the tub. It costs about 5 bucks to fill the tub. The next morning, i went to check on the progress and discovered there was only about half the water left in the tub. It ended up that a hose blew off in the pump unit. I fixed it, replaced all the clamps in the unit, refilled the tub, and tried again. After a couple days, it was obvious the tub still had a slow leak. We drained it out again, i lifted the liner, cut into the styrofoam to the tubing and discovered that the original problem was that an improperly glued fitting had let go and caused the slow leak.  I ended up having to order a completely new jet body, glued it all into place, repaired the styrofoam, reinstalled the new liner, filled the water again, and discovered there was still a slow leak.......BAHHH!

  With what i spent on parts, water, and time repairing this thing, i probably could have just kicked in a little more money right off the bat and had a brand new one and my problems would have been gone. That and i could have spent the winter hot tubing.

  Pretty much annoyed with the whole thing, i walked away from it for a couple weeks. After that, for another week, i was a little afraid to even lift the cover to take a look. Partly because i didn't want to see a tub, half full of water again, partly because i was a little afraid of what sort of eco-system would be living in the pool of 40 degree water after being unattended for three weeks. When i finally screwed up my courage to take a look, to my surprise, the water level hadn't changed, i inspected it all around the bottom, and it seem to be dry. Even the water didn't look all that bad. A couple days treating brought it right back to comfortable levels. It just might be a miracle. wife wants me to renovate the main bathroom in the house. I think i'm going to board it off for a couple months in the hopes that when i go back, it will all be done. It's worth a try.


No comments:

Post a Comment