A hot tub heater is a type of electric device that uses hot water to provide a hot bath. Aside from being used in the home, they also have their own distinct characteristics.
The chemistry of hot water can vary widely depending on the environment and the number of people in the tub. Also, different components can affect the lifespan of a spa heater.
Air Bubbles and Air Pockets
Air bubbles and air pockets are the main enemies of most spa heaters. They can reduce the element life and cause bubbles to form.
The air that comes into contact with the element can cause the outer sheath to rapidly heat up, which then breaks the protective shield.
Spa pumps are designed to minimize air leakage and are not designed to allow air to be drawn through the heater. Also, ozone injectors are not placed before the heater to reduce the lifespan of the unit.
Bad Hot Tub Chemistry
Poor hot tub water chemistry can damage components such as the heater's components and cause a slower, but still deadly, death. Water that is naturally high in calcium can also contribute to a slower, but still premature, death.
This process occurs when water has a low pH level and is excessively chlorinated. It can also cause corrosion on certain metals.
Hard Water Problems
Hard water areas, such as those found in wells, can cause mineral deposits and metals to build up on a hot tub's surface. This can create a white coating on the heater element.
This layer will slow down the heat transfer and cause a longer heater run time. It's also bad for your overall efficiency and will eventually kill the element.
High Flow Heaters
A high flow heater has a built-in hi-watt density element that needs a minimum of 22.5 gallons of water to keep it cool.
When flow is restricted to less than 22.5 gpm, the high density element runs hotter than intended, and the heater element life is shortened.
HWS heaters are often defined by their shapes like Flow Thru, Canister, & L-shape. There are also various types of heaters that are designed to work seamlessly with each other.
Low Flow Heaters
These heaters are designed to work in vertical installations. However, they can also be made with a longer, cool running low density element (lwd) to operate in higher flows. It makes sense that low flow heaters & spa pumps are paired because they are both low flow and require less material & labor. Also, they require less energy to operate.
Some repair technicians are trying to save money by installing a high flow heater into a plumbing system. This method works for a while, then suddenly catches on fire. Be sure to confirm that the heater is the proper one for your spa.
If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!