Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spa Covers - Frequently Asked Questions | Spa Covers Etc.


Spa Covers Frequently Asked Questions


My Old Spa Cover Faded and Cracked. What Can I do In The Future To Protect The New Spa Cover? 
If properly maintained, the spa cover shouldn't crack and regular use of 303 Aerospace Protectant will stop slow fade by 95% over 5 years if used properly. Ideal Spa Covers feels that 4-6 years is s good life expectancy of a spa cover that has NO maintenance and constant exposure to the sun. Our customers have reported back that they got up to 10 years with monthly cleaning of the spa cover and 303 Aerospace Protectant used every other month.

How Do I Measure The Spa Cover? The Old Cover Didn't Seem To Fit Correctly.
If you know the Make, Model, and Year the spa was made (not purchased), Spa Covers Etc. can use the spa manufacturer's dimensions and compare those to the dimensions that you get from measuring the spa. Spa Covers Etc. does not provide the dimensions for the customer unless we physically measure the spa. It is not very common, but the spa manufactures have been known to change the dimensions of a model mid-year which can cause a great deal of confusion. Additionally it is very common for customer to keep the brochure for the spa at the time of purchase. The dimensions provided on the brochure usually are rounded off to the nearest inch which can cause the cover to be the wrong size. AND the brochures do not mention the size of the radius corners or cut corners, so you will need to provide this information.
Spa Covers Etc. has put together a helpful guide How To Measure A Spa

What Is The Skirt And What Is The Purpose?
Most portable spas (above ground spas) have a bit of fiberglass that extends past the lip of the spa and meets the wood cabinet. This area would be exposed to the sun if the spa cover didn't have a skirt to cover it. Fiberglass and Acrylic spas don't do well in direct sunlight so they are covered when not in use. The spa cover rests on the lip of the spa providing a 3"-5" "seal" all the way around the spa. The skirt (flaps) hang straight down covering the exposed area of the spa, protecting it from harmful UV rays. The skirt does NOT provide any type of seal. It is for UV protection.

Which Foam Do I Want?
With all the choices it can be difficult to decide which foam type is best for your scenario. Ideal Spa Covers is the OEM of spa covers for: Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, Sundance Spas, Dimensions One Spas, Cal-Spas and more. Because the are the OEM they know exactly to what specs the covers was made and what foam type came standard with your cover. When it is time for a replacement Spa Covers Etc. will ask questions in order to determine wich foam type is best for your climate, safety needs, etc.
Standard Foam - 1.0lbs foam core with a 4" x 2" tapered core. This is the most common cover for spas located in Southern California and most southern states. 
Deluxe Foam - 1.5lbs. foam core with a 4" x 2" tapered core. Many spa manufacturers have gone to the Deluxe Foam in order to have less inventory on hand. Instead of using the 1.0lbs for the southern parts of the country and the 2.0lbs for the colder, northern states, many companies default to the 1.5lbs. as a way to cover every scenario with one cover model If the current spa cover uses a 1.5lbs foam and you decide to purchase a 1.0lbs foam core to save money, be aware that the insulation value of the 1.0lbs foam is less and you will use more electricity to keep the spa heated.
Heavy Duty Foam - 2.0lbs foam core with a 4" x 2" tapered core. This upgrade is recommended for any area that gets ANY amount of snow or temperatures below 40F degrees. All spa covers sold by Spa Covers Etc. can handle a snow load of 300lbs but the Heavy Duty can handle almost double that! Did you know that your spa is equipped with a freeze control? That's right! Your spa will turn itself on and begin to heat the water automatically if the spa gets below 40 degrees. With a higher insulation the spa heater will run less frequently and you will notice the savings $$$. With the Heavy Duty Spa Cover you will have twice the foam density as the Standard Spa Cover.
ALL spa covers for in-ground spas are Heavy Duty or Super Foam only.
Super Foam - A 5" x 3" Spa cover with a twist! Many times in life you hear "Bigger IS Better" and sometimes this is true. But ask yourself, why do I need a spa cover this thick? The answer: You probably do NOT need it. The Super Foam Spa Cover uses a core that is 25% thicker than the Standard cover. It DOES provide a stronger cover with a higher insulation. But it comes with added weight compared to the 4" x 2" spa covers.
Both types of cover has a FULL 2.0" of taper (slope) which encourages the water to run-off quickly. In reality the Super Foam should be purchased based on the scenario not just because it is Bigger. For example the spa is built-in (in-ground) and you have a dog that insists on laying on the spa cover because it is warm. Over time the Standard cover may sag. This is less likely with Super Foam. Or maybe you want that extra confidence because you have children and you want to keep them safe. A Super Foam cover may be the hot ticket!

The Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover - The ONLY 5" x 2" spa cover! With a FULL 3.0" of taper (slope) water will run-off the Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover faster than any other spa cover. ADDITIONALLY... the new stitch design has eliminated over 1/3 of the stitches from the topside of the cover so water can't penetrate the cover from above. The new design is stronger than any other cover and designed like no other cover! Great for any area! Get a lot of rain? This is the cover for your spa.

pictured above: The Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover with OVER 2 Feet of Snow.
If the 4"spa cover is good, is a 5" or 6" cover better?
Not necessarily. Chose the spa cover based upon your spa's scenario. What type of climate do you have? Do you have a cover lifter on the spa? You are getting older, do you have to manually remove the cover by hand? Thicker spa covers are heavier and may cause problems when removing/ replacing.over.
Density of the foam and the taper are the most important things to consider about the foam core. The higher the density, the higher the insulation. If the foam doesn't have a decent taper it will puddle and take on water weight. The 5" and 6" spa covers available today still use the 2" taper but they do it with a thicker cover (and it is heavier). A question that comes to mind: do these 5" and 6" covers do anything different when it comes to sewing the cover together or are they same as the lighter spa covers? This will make a difference n the long run. The heavier cover will be dropped, dragged across the deck / cement, and will be more likely to tear due to its own weight especially when the vinyl becomes older and the foam has retained water wight. Buy a spa cover that best fits your needs, NOT what the cover company tells you is the best!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Why Should Your Spa Cover's Foam Be Tapered? | Spa Covers Etc.

Tapered Foam Vs. Flat Foam
by Spa Covers Etc.

In the early years of the hot tub industry there wasn't much thought put into the engineering of the HOT TUB COVER.

In the beginning, spa / hot tub covers were made of generic, off the shelf vinyl and a FLAT foam core. It didn't take long, usually after the first decent rain, the owner's of the covers reported that they have become very heavy (sometimes too heavy to lift). The flat foam core design allowed water to puddle on top of the cover and because ALL spa covers are sewn together, there are SEVERAL punctures (holes) in the vinyl dew to the stitches which allow water into the cover itself. This can water-log the foam core.

Flat foam core covers do NOT encourage the water to run-off so the cover becomes heavy. Over time, the weight of the water puddling on the cover will cause the foam core to sag (bow) into the spa, exacerbating the problem ever more because the water begins to wick into the spa cover adding more weight. 

Now we have MANY foam core options! But what do they mean?

Ideal Spa Covers Uses 4" x 2" Foam Core
Spa Covers Etc. has been an Authorized Dealer of Ideal Spa Covers for over 20 years. Ideal Spa Covers practically invented the modern TAPERED foam spa cover. They use a 4" thick foam core that tapers to 2" thick. This means that the spa cover is 4" thick in the center and 2" at the edge. Like an "A" frame roof that is peaked in the middle, not only does it encourage water (and snow) to run-off, it also adds strength to the design.

And Because The Cover Is Sewn Together...
Even with a full 2" taper, some water will get inside the spa cover. And when the spa is heated, steam will penetrate the cover through the underside's stitches. When you remove the spa cover, the steam will cool back into liquid water. Because of this Ideal Spa Covers adds a Vapor Proof Barrier VPB3000. Exclusive to the Ideal Spa Cover, the VPB3000 is a heavy duty plastic that is vacuumed-sealed around the foam core ensuring that moisture does NOT come in contact with the foam. This eliminates the problem FLAT foams have with retaining water weight.

When water from rain / snow lands on the Ideal Spa Cover, due to the 2" taper, water runs-off quickly. Any water that does penetrate the vinyl simply bypasses the sealed foam core and goes through the drain holes located on the bottom of the spa cover. 

NEW - The Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover 5" x 2" 
The only spa cover with 3" taper! Exclusively @ Spa Covers Etc.

The "Other Guys" Common Foam Cores:
3.5" x 2.5" - only 1" of taper.
4" x 2.5" - only 1.5" of taper.

Watch Out For The Bigger Is Better Advertisements!
5" x 3" - Yes it has a 2" taper, BUT it weighs 25% MORE!
6" x 4" - This is CRAZY! Same taper BUT 50% more weight!

Its all about the TAPER & Density. Bigger Isn't Always Better.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How Much Are Spa Covers? | Spa Covers Etc.

How Much Should I Pay For A Spa Cover?

With so many spa cover companies to choose from, how do I decide? 

When purchasing a new spa cover you should ALWAYS have the option to make it custom! You may be able to call your local pool supply and find one in stock but it is probably one that another customer ordered and did not pick up. For example you may be looking for a 96" square cover with rounded corners in Blue. The pool supply has a 96" square cover but it doesn't have the radius corners. Yes, technically, it will cover over the spa. BUT it wont "FIT" like the original. And it probably will not be the color that you wanted.
When you call Spa Covers Etc., YOU will have the option to make the cover custom!
Spa Covers Etc. sells spa / hot tub covers by Ideal Spa Covers. The covers are made to order and custom made.

Lets compare spa covers up to 96" 
Most portable spas such as Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, Sundance Spas, Cal-Spas, Hot Springs Spas use the size of 96" as the standard. This means that, in general, the spas do not exceed sizes OVER 96". Yes there are spas that are larger but they are referred to as Swim Spas. For this comparison we will compare covers that are 96" and SMALLER. 
A spa cover measuring up to 96" is made by pairing two (2) pieces of foam together. The size of the foam is 48" x 96" (4 feet by 8 feet) when two (2) pieces of foam are paired together the final size is 96" x 96". If the spa is smaller, the foam is cut to fit (or in some cases a smaller piece of foam is used in order to maintain the 4" x 2" taper.

So, a 96" spa cover should cost the same as a 60" spa cover as long as we are comparing apples to apples. 

The Difference In Price Is In The Marketing Tactics

Let's compare The "Standard" Cover from Ideal Spa Covers sold by Spa Covers Etc. with "the other guys"
The Standard cover is 4" x 2" with a 1.0lbs foam core. 

Spa Covers Etc  has made a chart showing a side by side comparison of the entry level covers
After looking at the chart you realize that the price is a Bait N Switch. The cover doesn't have any color options. Only has a 1 year warranty. Only available in a 2.0 inch skirt (The only time I sell a cover with a 2.0" skirt is for spas that have been installed in the ground. AND to top it off it is NOT certified as an ASTM spa cover. This is NOT legal in California.

For a personal education, feel free to call Chris, owner of Spa Covers Etc. @ 949) 496-2883

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover - The ONLY 5" x 2" Thick Spa Cover | Spa Covers Etc.

Ideal Spa Covers has patented an ALL NEW Designed Spa Cover!

The new design is the only spa cover to feature a 5 inch thick foam that tapers to 2 inches. In addition to the new foam, the spa cover features a new way to sew the vinyl. Ideal Spa Covers has eliminated approximately 50% of the stitches from the topside of the cover protecting areas that are prone to damage from moisture.

The 5" x 2" is the  ONLY spa cover with 3 FULL inches of taper (slope) which allows water to run-off faster than the competition!

The 5" x 2" is GREAT for areas with snow! The extra taper helps shed the snow (think of the houses back east with pitched (sloped) roofs.)

The new stitching design helps to prevent rain from penetrating through the top of the spa cover with approximately 50% less stitches.

The new stitching design makes it possible for the cover to be available in a TWO-TONE Color scheme.

For more information and pictures visit us

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spa Covers Etc. - About Us (formerly Discount Pool Supply

Discount Pool Supply

Established 1997 

 In 1997, Chris Graham established Discount Pool Supply, a mobile Pool and Spa Supply "On Wheels". From 1987 to 1997 Chris worked as the store manager for Allred's Pool Supplies in Laguna Hills, Mission Pool and Spa Supplies in Mission Viejo and Sierra Pool and Spa in Lake Forest, Ca.. 
Chris realized that certain needs were not being met by the traditional swimming pool store. The main thing that was not offered as a service is HOME DELIVERY. As a "mobile" swimming pool store, Discount Pool Supply, is able to sell products such as Custom Vinyl Spa Covers, a product that is very big and bulky and may be difficult for a customer to transport to their home. And since you can't bring your pool or spa to us, we make house calls. This ensures that you get the correct replacement parts for your pool or spa and potential future problems are able to be fixed before they become a major problem.
Discount Pool Supply repairs pools and spas in Orange County, Ca.
For information about spa covers visit Home of Ideal Spa Covers .

NOTE*** As of Jan 2019 Discount Pool Supply has changed its name to Spa Covers Etc. Due to the fact that there are a lot of Discount Pool Supplies through out the USA.
Our website is :
Same Owner, just a new name!

Ideal Spa Covers Vs. the "other guys" spa cover | Spa Covers Etc.

The Ideal Spa Cover is #1

All spa covers are NOT created equal!

Ideal Spa Covers have over 20 points of reinforcement. Chris Graham, owner of Spa Covers Etc., in Orange County, Ca. would like to share some of those points with you.

Ideal Spa Covers are CUSTOM MADE to Order. Every spa cover order is made to the customer's specifications, choice of color, and choice of foam core density. Our spa covers are NOT generic sizes "that will work". At Ideal Spa Covers all spa covers are made by hand using industrial grade machines enabling us to make the strongest, longest lasting spa cover, in a wide variety of custom sizes and shapes.

Ideal Spa Covers uses a proprietary blend Vinyl. Exclusive to Ideal!

Ideal Spa Covers has been in business over 25 years. This has made for a great relationship between Ideal Spa Covers and the manufacturer of the Vinyl. Over the years the formula of the Vinyl has been "tweaked" to meet the needs for our spa covers. This allows us to offer the Highest Grade of Marine Grade Vinyl that is unique to Ideal Spa Covers. Our proprietary formula for Vinyl has been treated with mold and UV inhibitors protecting it from the elements. With proper spa cover care, our customers have reported that Ideal Spa Covers last 6 to 8 years on average and up to 10 years when using 303 Aerospace Protectant every month after cleaning the spa cover.
The type of Vinyl used is the MOST important thing about a spa cover! If you use cheap Vinyl... who cares if it gets water-logged if the Vinyl is already torn/ faded? Many spa covers use a type of Vinyl that is meant to be used on furniture. This type of Vinyl will deteriorate quickly and have issues with mold due to its properties. Most Vinyl (even Marine grade Vinyl) is usually used as a type of fabric on furniture (e.g. Chairs). This type of Vinyl has a soft "cotton-like" fabric on the underside. When this is exposed to moisture it will be a great place for mold and mildew to grow. Our Vinyl doesn't have this fabric underside. UV protection is also a major concern. Even a boat that uses Vinyl for the seats is usually indoors or under a tarp when it not being used. A Vinyl spa cover is exposed to the elements 24/7. In addition to adding protection to our formula, we recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant every month, this will reduce slow fade by 95% over fiver years! Vinyl has pores similar to the pores in skin. If these pores are allowed to become filled with dirt the vinyl will no longer be able to expand and contract with the heat of the day. Eventually the plasticizes will dry out and the Vinyl will lose its pliability and become hard and brittle. Eventually the Vinyl will tear and your spa cover will water-log the next time it rains.

Ideal Spa Covers uses virgin EPS foam. It is tapered for maximum runoff of rain-water

When the spa cover industry was in its infancy a lot of things were done wrong. It was Ideal Spa Covers that standardized the use of tapered/ sloped foam. In the beginning the foam was 3" flat foam or a foam with only 1" of taper, 3.5" to 2.5". Ideal Spa Covers comes standard with 2" tapered designs of 4" x 2" (1# and 2# foam). And also offers Super Foam 5" x 3" (2.5# foam).
Ideal Spa Cover recently introduced a great new design... the Ultimate Waterfall spa cover featuring 5" x 2" design. The only cover with 3" of taper...50% more than the others! The new design also incorporates a seamless design around the top edges so that no moisture can penetrate the cover from the top. Heavy rains and snow melt will water-log this cover. Click for more information about the Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover .

The VPB 3000 Vapor Proof Barrier - Exclusive to Ideal Spa Covers

Protecting the foam from becoming water-logged should be a simple concept and standard on all spa covers. Unfortunately it's not. 
For Ideal Spa Covers the concept is simple.We create a Vapor Proof Barrier. We use a proprietary blend of 4 mil thick plastic, wrap it around the foam panel and vacuum seal it by machine. When a spa cover is on a heated spa IT WILL PICK UP MOISTURE. The steam rises up through the stitches of ALL spa covers. Because our spa covers use the VPB 3000 Vapor Proof Barrier the steam remains separated from the foam. As it cools, it condenses back to water and drains out the drain holes.
In my experience of selling this cover since 1997 I have found this is ALL that is required to keep an Ideal spa cover from water-logging.
The "other guys spa covers" advertise a few "interesting" options. They suggest "double wrap" of the cover. The problem with this idea is two-fold...
If the steam can penetrate their regular, run of the mil, off the shelf , polyethylene plastic, what good will putting a 2nd layer around it do? Nothing, it will just delay it. The plastic is actually porous to the point that steam can penetrate it, but it will hold water. In actuality the steam will still penetrate the first layer of plastic and then become trapped forever between the sheets when the moisture condenses. The foam at this point isnt water-logged, technically... but the cover is getting heavier.
In addition to the VPB 3000 being an unique formula of plastic the Ideal Spa Cover also uses industrial grade machines to vacuum seal the plastic. Vacuum sealing of the plastic removes the air between the VPB 3000 and the foam. Very important because the air around us has moisture in it. And on a very humid day there can be a lot of moisture trapped next to the foam. When the air is heated and cooled inside of the spa cover this trapped moisture will condense into water and be trapped forever. And sealed with an industrial strength machine ensures that the seal will be done evenly throughout with the proper pressure providing a seal that is 100% sealed. When done by hand with a "seal-o-meal" hand-held sealer uneven pressure can cause burns in the plastic and incomplete seals which will cause the cover to fail prematurely and water-log. Some "other guys spa covers" just tape the plastic closed. This is the worst thing that you can do! You are just guaranteeing that the steam is going to get trapped the first time the cover is on the heated spa. And its just going to get worse from there. Over the years I have seen many design "tweaks", most of which involve copying the Ideal Spa Cover design. My favorite "interesting" option is a spa cover that offers NO barrier from the steam. In fact they make no attempt to protect the foam from moisture. Be it steam or water. The design I am referring to uses a "mesh web" bottom material. Ideal Spa Covers uses industrial strength sheet of double ply poly-laminate with drain holes. The mesh-web bottom design exposes the unsealed foam to moisture and they acknowledge this and say it will just run out. If you have ever owned and had to replace an old spa cover you know how badly they can water-log and that they never really dry out. And they sure don't dry out over night while the cover is on the heated spa.

Certified Safety Cover ASTM f 1346-91

Ideal Spa Covers are certified to be safety covers for children under the age of 5 years. Spa covers are not intended to be walked on or sat on. The spa cover when locked is supposed to prevent drowning by preventing the child from crawling under the spa cover. All Ideal Spa Covers (96" x 96") are certified as a safety cover ASTM 1346-91 when ordered with four (4) locking tie-downs. Recently you may have tried to sell or refinance your home and found out that your spa is NOT compliant with local safety regulations. You may have been told that a fence will be required and/ or door alarms on the patio doors. An Ideal Spa Cover w/ Tie Downs will solve this expensive problem. When used properly our spa covers will pass the ASTM requirement and have the required ASTM # stamped on every cover. If it doesn't have the ASTM stamp the cover will not pass inspection.

In a Nutshell....

Ideal Spa Covers are simply better than the competition because of the quality of the craftsmanship and use of the highest quality materials. And by taking the next step to work with the manufacturer's of the materials, Ideal Spa Covers surpasses the quality of the competition with its use of proprietary blends. Forcing the "other guys spa covers" to produce an inferior spa cover. On the outside "theirs" appears similar to Ideal Spa Covers, but on the inside "they" sell you a Model T and Ideal sells the "Cadillac of Spa Covers".

A few of the other things Ideal Spa Covers incorporates into their cover

  • Tear Free Padded Handles (slightly offset) Made of same material/ color as spa cover. Fiver layers thick for added strength. (Not Nylon. Nylon rots in the sun)
  • Double Reinforced Folding Hinge - Allows for strength at the hinge (keeps foam panels pressed firmly against each other preventing heat loss through hinge). NO need for "full length thermal seal do-dad thing-a-ma-jig" the other guys are selling.
  • Dual Purpose Heat Seal Gaskets - When the spa cover is on the spa the gaskets eliminate loss of heat at the spa edges. When the spa cover is taken off, the gaskets double as a great resting place for the cover. Simply place the cover upright and rest on the padded gaskets.
  • Commercial Grade Nylon Zipper - At the beginning of the summer it is a good idea to take the foam out of the vinyl and let everything air out for a few hours. While the foam is out, wipe off the VPB 3000 plastic barrier. It may have moisture on it as well as mildew. A high quality zipper will enable you reassemble the spa cover easily.
  • Double Ply Poly-Laminate - The bottom of the spa cover is NOT the same as the colored portion of the spa cover. Since the bottom of the spa cover will be exposed to harsh fumes from the sanitizers it is important to have a strong material to withstand the abuse. We use a light grey color since the fumes will "bleach" out the color eventually.
  • LIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE - Call Spa Covers Etc. 9am to 5pm (PST). Chris, the owner will answer all of your questions about spa covers. And since he has been in the business for over 25 years he can answer all of your pool/spa questions as well. For more information click here  Spa Cover Information.