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Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/2/19 8:48 p.m.

The house I bought had a massive deck with a hot tub built in. It's been nonoperational for years and years and is not worth trying to fix.

Additionally the deck immediately around it was in rough shape and it was an odd rectangular shape of 84x78.

We've been looking at new hot tubs for a few weeks seriously. I was wanting a salt water system as my military injury would really benefit from hydrotherapy and daily chemical doing didn't sound too great to me. The local dealers all carried chlorine/bromine only and the one place at the county fair was unimpressive.

We found out that there was a hot tub and spa show at the Portland expo starting today, so we ran down there to see what was up and they were selling Master Pro tubs. A standard size is 84x84 and we looked at all the options in that size and settled on a 7-passenger Twilight called the 7.25.

My main reason for getting this particular model was the neck jets for hydrotherapy. I have six herniated discs in my neck along with cervicalgia, arthritic protrusions, and never damage and frankly finding pain relief is my main driver in day to day life. The position was extremely comfortable, and there's three different jets I can plug and play in the system.

So we came home and started prepping the deck for the slightly bigger tub. We removed the have rails and ensured everything else was clear from the driveway to the deck.

Then the Sawzall came out...

Much better!! Now we're digging up all the dirt outside of the concrete pad. The movers are taking out the old pos and then setting the new one down in it's spot. I have to hook up the 240v and fill it with water. I'll trim the deck piece I cut and do all the repairs under it, then reattach everything later.

cdeforrest
cdeforrest Reader
8/2/19 9:03 p.m.

Heh that old one looks like the 'free' hot tub I took on several years back. Excavated the hillside for it and ended up putting on a small addition to the house where the tub was to go.   Now I have more hillside to gnaw away at. 
maybe I should stick to car projects..

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/2/19 11:04 p.m.

So we have up for the night. The concrete pad that the original got to is on is 81.5" x 90.5" so we added pavers to one side just in case they got a little testy about it.

We dug out the dirt, laid in the pavers one at a time, and backfilled and leveled.

That added 11" to the short side, but really it shouldn't even be an issue. The new tub is 82" wide at the base so a 1/4" of overhang on each side should be a non-issue. We're just going for some extra peace of mind here.

We also cleared all plant life in the way including a stump. There shouldn't be many issues getting the new one in.

So the remaining to do list includes disconnecting the 240 from the current tub, figuring out if the new one will turn the corner after the gate in the side yard, and draining the swamp in the old pos.

By all means, please give advice. We have no berking idea what we are doing!!

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
8/2/19 11:19 p.m.

Your back will love it.

I've got a herniated disc and my wife has ankle issues from falling off horses.

The amount we save on not buying pain meds more than pays for the hot tub electric bill. Best thing I ever did.

If you have a motorcycle, nothing is better after a long day out than a soak in the hot tub.

Ok, maybe the only thing better is sitting in the tub with a cold beer, watching the snow fall and thinking "I wonder what the peasants are doing right now?"

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
8/2/19 11:26 p.m.

As for advice, the delivery company will probably slide it in on a big plastic slider on it's side. They're quite light when the insulation isn't soaked.

If you need parts, don't bother with the spa manufacturer. Everyone uses off-the-shelf pieces so once you figure out what brand of jets and what control unit it uses, replacing broken bits will get much cheaper. My Beachcomber tub uses Balboa controls (very common) and Waterways jets (super common).

Don't buy your chemicals from the spa store, they're usually stupid expensive. I buy everything from Spa Depot in Olympia, WA. Their prices are great and they ship fast.

Don't mess around with all those weird "less chemical" or "chemical free" sanitizers or a salt system. We tried three or four systems on our old tub and ended up going back to good old bromine on our new tub.

Most of those alternative chemical systems want you to shock the system right before you get in anyway which insures there are no bugs even if the sanitizer isn't working.

Check to see if you can pop the headrests off easily. We opted for no headrests on our new tub because they can get kinda gross if you don't stay on top of cleaning them. 

That's all I got.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/5/19 9:13 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Dude, thank you! That was a gold mine if information. Olympia is less than an hour's drive away.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/5/19 9:17 a.m.

So this weekend was racing and I didn't get much time to work on the hot tub replacement. We had to drain the old one, so we started with that.

My shop vac is a 2hp 5gal unit that I bought at a garage sale 12 years ago for $10, but it's a trooper!

It took a lot of fill and dumps, but eventually we got the entire EPA Superfund of a site cleaned up.

New one comes this afternoon after work. I'm getting an electrician out to do the GFI box add on with kill switch to be up to code and hook the new one up. It was more expensive than my Porsche, so I don't want to do anything dumb to it.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
8/5/19 9:40 a.m.
Javelin said:

So this weekend was racing and I didn't get much time to work on the hot tub replacement. We had to drain the old one, so we started with that.

My shop vac is a 2hp 5gal unit that I bought at a garage sale 12 years ago for $10, but it's a trooper!

It took a lot of fill and dumps, but eventually we got the entire EPA Superfund of a site cleaned up.

New one comes this afternoon after work. I'm getting an electrician out to do the GFI box add on with kill switch to be up to code and hook the new one up. It was more expensive than my Porsche, so I don't want to do anything dumb to it.

You know, that would make an excellent koi pond. The seats would make great water plant shelves. Just saying...

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/5/19 9:54 a.m.

In reply to slefain :

It's yours for free. Must pick up by 6PM tonight.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/7/19 12:06 a.m.

Well today did not go as expected. The hot tub was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but the delivery truck got in an accident and got delayed. They showed up today completely unannounced with the new tub.

It took three dudes to get the old one out.

I then cleaned the concrete pad while they drug the old one off and brought the new one out back.

I didn't get a chance to snap an after E36 M3 as they were quicker than me and got the new one in as soon as I finished sweeping!

It fit like a glove in my modified hole in the deck and sat entirely on the pad.

The new cover is a tremendous improvement.

The next step is to get the electrician out to install the GFI outlet with kill switch and hook up the new tub to the existing 240v line. I still couldn't resist "trying it out"

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/7/19 12:17 a.m.

Rot tub.

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
8/7/19 12:27 a.m.

Hilarious, the 25+ year old tub we got rid of was the same "acid trip purple" as yours.

Enjoy.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/7/19 12:27 a.m.
Appleseed said:

Rot tub.

It was bad. I wish the forum had smell-o-vision...

SnowMongoose
SnowMongoose SuperDork
8/7/19 12:50 a.m.
Javelin said:
Appleseed said:

Rot tub.

It was bad. I wish the forum had smell-o-vision...

At my old old job I had the 'interesting' experience of removing a hot-tub in similar condition...
And as the rookie on the team, got to start the siphon required to remove the excess water.
So, with that in mind, I am very glad the forum does *not* have smell-o-vision.

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
8/7/19 5:39 a.m.

Congrats!  We have one that looks very much like yours, though it has a few less jets.  We've had it for 4.5 years now and really enjoy it.  Maintenance is a lot simpler than I expected it would be.  I spend maybe 5 minutes per week normally...use a test strip and add chemicals as necessary.  Learning how to balance the water takes some experience.  Top tip....add chemicals in very small amounts (as in a few tablespoons at a time) and then re-test, especially until you get the hang of it. 

Ours recently had one of the pumps starting to leak, and is now making noise so I assume it's going bad.  I'm going to try to tackle replacing it myself. Never done anything like that, hope it isn't too hard.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/7/19 5:42 p.m.

Seriously,  I thought you bought that rotted out heap. Between that and the Audis, I'd have sworn you lost your berking mind. laugh

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
8/7/19 6:52 p.m.

How many dead rats did you find?

They seem to love hot tubs.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
8/8/19 7:43 a.m.

 We started with bromine in our tub to reduce the bleach smell.  While it was nice and easy, it didn't actually work. My wife developed Folliculitis and no amount of vigilance and testing made any difference. So I went with chlorine, using a floating dispenser and tablets, and haven't had an issue since. It smells like bleach and has turned the inside of the cover yellow (from dark green) but I don't have to monitor it closely and no one gets red bumpy skin. Id rather have a bleachy tub we can use than one we cant. I've heard good things about salt water pools, maybe our next tub will go that route.   

cdeforrest
cdeforrest Reader
8/10/19 12:24 a.m.

My tub turned into the Octagon for skunk deathmatches. Apparently my yard was the place that the black n whites would throw down. Sometimes there was stink, other times a corpse. If I wasn't quick to dispose of the body, it would disappear. Circle of life, I guess. 
Hot tubs are crazy..

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/10/19 1:28 a.m.

In reply to cdeforrest :

Stop feeding booze to those goddam things.

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
8/10/19 7:44 a.m.

Let me know when it's up and running.  I'll be over to do a review for the forum.  Impartial third party, you know.

Image result for labatt six pack

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/21/19 10:05 p.m.

Electrician finally came by today and ran the new power out to it.

It was a ton of work to have done! There's now a separate box with a GCFI kill switch on the deck. Hooked up power to the tub...

Started filling it up using a special filter...

Then we turned it on!! It worked. So we started doing the chemical dance. This one uses chlorine granules and two mineral filters so it's going to be safe and sanitary but not overly harsh.

Everything seems to be working, but I've been playing "my first chemistry experiment" with it for 6 hours. Still not quite right, and the temp is only at 99*, but I'm close. So very, very close...

The rest of the back deck:

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/21/19 10:17 p.m.

Looks great!

ShawnG
ShawnG PowerDork
8/21/19 11:18 p.m.

What time's the BBQ?

CJ
CJ HalfDork
8/22/19 1:12 a.m.

I have to put the tile back on the inside of ours.  Yours looks like a much better solution, except for the whole money thing.

Looks great!

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