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Highland® Spas FAQs

Highland® Spas FAQs

1. What is the difference between a hot tub, a whirlpool, and a spa?
Answer: These terms are often times used interchangeably within the industry, but here is a brief history to explain the differences.
•Hot Tub: Originally referred to as the old wooden, barrel shaped tubs, which were popular in the 1960’s. These were rather simple in design and typically could seat two to three people at one time.
•Whirlpool: When companies started to put jets on the wooden round hot tubs they called them whirlpools for marketing purposes.
•Spa: The industry moved away from wooden hot tubs in favor of molded fiberglass shells. They were also plumbed to allow many more jets and other therapeutic benefits. This new type of hot tub was called a spa.

2. What makes a Highland® Spa better than other spa brands on the market?
Answer: Highland® Spas are designed from the ground up to be ‘no excuse’ spas that offer an unmatched combination of quality, performance and value.

3. How often will I use my spa?
Answer: Your spa is a great place to relax, rejuvenate your body and connect with family and friends. If you find the right spa for your needs, you will use it often. Some owners use their spa once a week while others find they use it every day!

4. What is required to maintain a spa?
Answer: With a quality spa, you should only need to spend a few minutes a week to balance your chemistry and clean your filters.

5. Is there a ‘chemical free’ way to treat my spa water?
Answer: No… Regardless of what system you choose to maintain your water quality you’ll need to regularly shock your spa, balance the PH and Alkalinity and occasionally adjust other things such as your water hardness. There are many types of sanitizing systems on the market and your local spa dealer can find the perfect fit for your budget and needs.

6. What is CD Ozone?
Answer: Ozone is similar to oxygen (O2) in the air, however it has an extra molecule that is created through the Ozone Generator (O3). When circulated in your spa plumbing lines, Ozone will sanitize the water, greatly reducing the amount of chemicals needed to maintain your spa. CD stands for Coronal Discharge and is the type of Ozone generator commonly used in modern spas. CD Ozone kills any organic matter in your spa upon contact. The biggest advantage is that it is tried, tested and reliable. The CD ozone generator needs to be replaced about every five years but the replacement is easy and inexpensive.

7. What is a UV Light Sanitizer system?
Answer: This type of system is used at bottling companies and aquariums. It works by a UV light that ‘neutralizes’ the organic matter but does not kill. It prevents organisms from reproducing but is highly dependent upon additional sanitizers. This technology is newer to the spa industry and has mixed reviews. The bulb also needs to be replaced every season. These bulbs contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly.

8. What is the ideal temperature for my spa?
Answer: Most people enjoy a spa between 100° and 102°. The temperature can be adjusted from about 80° to 104°, with 104° being the maximum safe limit.

9. How long does it take to heat a spa?
Answer: A 220v spa will heat up at a rate of 6-8 degrees per hour. A 110v spa will heat up at a rate of 1-2 degrees per hour.

10. If my spa is not working properly who do I call?
Answer: You should always contact your Highland® spa dealer. They can troubleshoot any problem and quickly have your spa working properly.

11. How much does it cost to operate a spa?
Answer: Spas are typically very energy efficient and on average cost about $15 per month to operate.

12. Will I need a plumber to install my spa?
Answer: No. Spas are self-contained and do not require exterior plumbing.

13. Do I need a permit to install a spa?
Answer: You might need an electrical permit, and your Highland® Spa dealer can help you find an electrician. It is also good to review any homeowner’s association guidelines.

14. What are the electrical requirements to hook up my spa?
Answer: Most often you will need to have a hard wire 220v line installed by a licensed electrician. Some smaller spas will have a 110v option, but the 110v line should be a dedicated circuit. Always review your local regulations and the owner’s manual for current installation information.

15. Which is better a 110v spa or a 220v spa?
Answer: A 110v spa initially appears to be more economical, because it does not require additional electrical work, but the advantage is short term. The 220v spa costs less to operate because it is more efficient. The heater and pump can work simultaneously, keeping the temperature more consistent. The pump in a 220v spa is usually larger, which allows more efficient performance and therapy.

16. Can I use a spa indoors?
Answer: Yes! You’ll need to measure the spa to ensure it will fit through your door but many people put them in sun rooms, walkout basements and other indoor areas of their home.

17. Will my spa make a lot of noise?
Answer: You will hear some sound from your pumps when the spa is operating, but most of the sound is the moving water. A properly insulated spa will reduce your energy costs and also muffle the sound of the pumps. Noise is not a concern on most spas.

18. What kind of foundation do I need for my spa?
Answer: Spas, when filled, are very heavy and need a solid and level foundation. Never put a spa on an uneven foundation or a foundation that could shift over time such as paving stones. A poured concrete pad is best but there are many other good options. You can also put your spa on a deck or on a portable foundation called a ‘spa pad.’ It is very important that you consult with your spa professional on the correct foundation for your application and install to the manufacturer’s requirements.

19. Do I need to reinforce my deck if I buy a spa?
Answer: Usually, no. Most decks built within the past 10 years are rated to hold 100lbs per square foot. While a spa that is filled with water will weigh a few thousand pounds, nearly all spas are designed to offer a distributed weight of about 90lbs per square foot. Many times a larger spa will have less weight per square foot than a smaller spa. Consult a building professional, especially if you have an older deck, a deck that is very high off the ground or has any decay or damage. It is possible that your deck can be reinforced or repaired without too much trouble or expense.

20. Can I add a stereo to a spa after it has been delivered?
Answer: No. A spa stereo has to be fitted into the hot tub at the time of production. An outdoor speaker system is a possible alternative for existing models.

21. Can I connect a wood heater or gas line to my spa?
Answer: No. Adding a wood heater or gas heater would increase your operating cost with no increase in energy efficiency. Most importantly, it is potentially dangerous and will void your warranty.

22. How often should I drain and refill my spa?
Answer: You should drain and refill your spa two to three times per year. Most people opt to do this in the spring and the fall.

23. Can I use my spa in the winter?
Answer: Absolutely! A Highland® spa offers year-round enjoyment and therapy for the entire family.

24. If my spa is outdoors, how do I winterize it?
Answer: You’ll need to drain the spa, vacuum out any remaining water and pour ‘RV Antifreeze’ into your water lines to prevent freezing and damage. RV Antifreeze is non-toxic and will not be a concern when you refill your spa in the spring.

25. What is the best spa brand on the market?
Answer: Like shopping for the best car, the best spa for you is the one that fits your budget and your needs. Some questions you should consider are:
•How many people do I want to fit in the spa?
•How often will I use the spa?
•Is the pump and motor performance sufficient?
•What is the quality of the structure and what is the average life of the spa?
•Does it have insulation and of what kind?
•What are the operating costs?

26. What does a “good” spa cost?
Answer: If you have a budget that is between $5,000 and $10,000, you will be able to find a great spa that will give you the performance and features you desire.

27. What makes a $10,000 spa better than a $3,000 spa?
Answer: A spa is not a disposable item and neither is your $3,000. It is wise to do some homework to find the best balance between value and quality. Spas can be manufactured to fit a specific low price point. To cut corners manufacturers could reduce the insulation, use less expensive building materials, plumbing and electrical components could be inexpensive, and the cabinet frames and the spa shell could be of lesser quality. All of these factors will impact the life of your spa. Your Highland® Spa Dealer can assist you in finding the best balance for your budget, and can help you understand the value of a Highland® Spa versus a less expensive model.

28. Can I move my spa if I move to another home?
Answer: Yes! Spas are self-contained and can be moved. Any moving company can assist you, but it is recommended that you first contact your local spa professional. They will have the experience and equipment needed to move the spa quickly without damage.

29. I’m really tempted to buy my spa online – How much trouble can I get into?
Answer: Not all spas are the same and it is impossible to determine quality simply based upon pictures online. A quality spa can last for decades but a poor quality spa may last only a few years. Typically, your local dealer has knowledge of different brands, has seen many sample models at trade shows, and has display models in his showroom. Using your local dealer’s industry knowledge can end up saving you thousands of dollars. When you invest in a spa, you’ll have many questions, need advice and will want to get various accessories for your spa. Your local pool dealer has the experience to help you with any questions you have before and after the sale.

30. Why should I buy from a local spa store?
Answer: We strongly suggest that you work with a local spa professional. They are equipped with the proper tools and experience. The most important decision is which local spa professional you are going to hire to recommend, install, and stand behind the purchase of your new spa. Nothing else is more important.