Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Spa Cover Care for your new Ideal Spa Cover | Spa Covers Etc.

Ideal Spa Cover Care

The Sun is a Killer!

If you keep the spa cover clean it will last for many years. Have you owned a spa cover in the past only to have it wear out in just a few short years? Did you ever clean it? Did you put any type of protectant on it?

At least once a month the spa cover needs to be cleaned. Using a high pressure garden nozzle and a gentle liquid soap (Ivory. Palmolive, Dawn liquid soap) wet and wash the spa cover. Use a sponge to lift the dirt once the soap has been applied. Do NOT use any abrasives (SOS pad). Rinse and dry the spa cover to prevent hard water stains. This is best done early in the day before the cover has had a chance to warm up in the sun.

Every month we recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant to prevent slow fade by 95% over the next 5 years. Your spa cover will love you and you will love how the old cover looks new. Simply spray on the 303 and wipe of excess. The 303 Aerospace Protectant has a SPF 40, its like sunscreen for your stuff!

For more information about spa/ hot tub covers and 303 Aerospace Protectant visit us @Spa Covers Etc - Home Page

Spa water chemistry - Using Bromine | Spa Covers Etc.

Spa Water Chemistry

Bromine: Chemical used to sanitize water. A level of 3.0 to 5.0 ppm should be maintained.

pH (potential Hydrogen): A scale of 1 to 14 that measure the alkalinity of the water. A reading below 7.0 equals acidic water and will cause etching of the plaster, staining and corrosion to the metal pipes and heater and could be irritating to swimmers. If the pH is above 8.0 the water will be cloudy, scale will build up along the tile and in the pipes. The filter will become clogged and circulation will diminish. A high pH also makes chlorine less efficient but Bromine works OK at a pH of 8.0. In A Fiberglass spa keep the pH at 8.0 or above.

Acid Demand: If the pH is above 7.8, use the #3 test solution 1-drop at a time to determine how much acid is required to bring the pH down to the ideal range of 7.4 to 7.6. Count the number of drops and compare against the chart in the test kit to determine how much acid. NOTE*** Dry acid is preferred when adjusting spa water.

Total Alkalinity: This is a buffer for the pH. The ideal range is 80 to 120 ppm. If the Total Alkalinity is above 120ppm the pH will drift up (above 7.8) and the demand for acid will be higher. If the Total Alkalinity is below 80ppm the pH will drift below 7.4 and Base will be needed to raise the pH on a regular basis. The pool will also be prone to blue stains.

Base: When the pH is below 7.4, a Basic (opposite of acidic) product will be added to the pool to raise the pH. The name of this product is Soda Ash. This should not be needed and only used if the chemicals are allowed to be out of range for extended periods of time.

T.D.S.: Total Dissolved Solids can be tested at the local pool store. Check every other month. The maximum reading is 2000 to 2500 ppm, if above 2500 ppm drain pool. T.D.S. is a measurement of ALL dissolved particles in the pool. Everything leaves some particles behind. Chemicals, dirt, people etc. all leave some TDS and over time the measurement rises. Liquid chlorine is the biggest contributor to this reading. When the pool has a high T.D.S. level people may complain the pool “tastes salty”. A high T.D.S. level won’t cause damage but will make the chlorine a lot less efficient and the cost of chemicals will be more.

Conditioner: Made from Cyanuric acid and is used to preserve chlorine levels in the water. The ideal range is 40 to 80 ppm. This chemical is added when the pool is filled and on a periodic basis. Test for this chemical with a Cyanuric acid test kit. Not used with Bromine

Algaecides: Kills algae. Identify the color of the algae and the location of the algae. Common colors in California are Green algae, Yellow (mustard) algae, and Black algae.

Scale: Deposits of calcium on the tile and plaster, caused by high pH.

How to maintain Spa Water Chemistry
Using Bromine Tablets

Items Needed:
  • Bromine Test strips
  • 1” Floating Bromine Dispenser
  • Bromine Tablets (1”)
  • Sodium Bromide (1 oz added each time spa is drained and re-filled)
  • Leisure Time “Metal Gon” (Add 1 pint bottle each time the spa is re-filled)
  • Non-Chlorine Shock (often sold as Renew) (individual 1oz packets or 2lb bottle)
  • pH increase (Raises pH. Often sold as Spa Up)
  • Spa clarifier (Look for a product that is a 4 in 1 and contains enzymes)
  • Foam Down

Where to Buy: Purchase these items from a POOL SUPPLY…..NEVER PURCHASE SPA CHEMICALS FROM HARDWARE STORES!!!  Their products aren't as good.

Weekly Maintenance:
Test spa water with test strips (designed for use with Bromine)
·   Dip test strip in water and hold flat for 15 seconds and compare colors to chart.
(For best results do this out of direct sunlight)

Check the reading of the pH and Total Alkalinity first.
pH: Measurement of 7.4 to 8.4 is ideal for Bromine. If it is higher don’t worry. If it is lower add 1 cap-full of Spa Up, allow water to circulate for 15 minutes and re-test. Repeat if necessary (up to 3 times. If you cant get it to come up either drain spa and re-start or bring sample of water about 1 pint to your local pool supply and ask them to test it for free). If the water tends to be lower than 7.0 each time you test the water it is probably time to drain the spa water and start fresh.
Total Alkalinity:  Readings of 110ppm and above are desired. If the readings are below 80ppm drain the spa.
If the pH and Total Alkalinity are OK then proceed.

With a Bromine sanitized spa it will be very simple to maintain fresh clean water.
If the Bromine has a reading of 5.0 or better you have plenty of sanitizer.
If the Bromine Level is too high just remove floating bromine dispenser (the floater).
If the Bromine level is below 3.0, Verify that the floater has tablets (3 to 4 (or the equivalent of lots of little pieces of bromine)) and the floater is set to # 3 or # 4. (On the side of the floater are numbers, Close the floater until these numbers are exposed. Lock in place with locking ring.) Add tablets if necessary.
Adding 1oz of Non-Chlorine Shock (Renew) will instantly activate the Bromine in the water and you will have a healthy Bromine Reading (above 3.0).
Always wait 15 minutes before you add additional chemicals and always add chemicals with the filter on.
·       Dedicate a bathing suit to the spa and NEVER wash it. Laundry soap causes foaming.
·  Add just a small shot of Foam Down if spa has Excessive foam (may cause cloudiness)
·  The Spa Cover is ESSENTIAL…. It prevents the sun from burning out the Bromine
·  Test the water 1 time per week and again before using it
·  Add 1 oz of Spa Clarifier each week to help the filter (preventative maintenance).
·  Using high pressure garden hose clean filter pleats each month
·  Drain Spa 3 to 4 times per year (it’s just a big bath tub).
·  Always add the chemicals to the water…never add the water to the chemicals!!!
·  Keep at a 2lb. container of Spa Up on-hand and hope the pH just stays high and that you do not need to add it at all.
·  Circulate the spa for approx. 3 hours per day
·     Don’t try to balance the pH. Its just too hard to do. Just keep it at 7.4 to 8.4 and if it goes higher don’t worry. Only pH BELOW 6.8 is bad for both your skin and the spa equipment
·         Trust your instincts…. If the water looks good and SMELLS good then you are probably OK. But if it SMELLS bad or is Cloudy or Discolored there is definitely a problem!
·  There may be strong fumes when you remove the cover if the spa is heated but that should go away immediately. Choking and coughing are not normal.
·   Bromine should be LESS of an irritant than Chlorine.
For More Info Call Spa Covers Etc. 949) 496-2883

Liquid Chlorine or Salt Pool | Spa Covers Etc.

Salt Pool vs. Liquid Chlorine Pool

TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) is a measurement of ALL things that come into contact with the water. When a chemical is added it leaves behind “salts”. When a swimmer swims they sweat just as much as they would if they were running. The difference is that it is all washed away by the water. Sweat is salt. If the wind blows dust into the pool it will add to the TDS. If the birds “drop” into the water this adds the TDS. And Urine adds to the TDS.
Fresh water is anything from 250ppm to 1000 ppm
Saline Solution (eye drops) 15,000 to 30,000 ppm
Sea water is 30,000 to 40,000 ppm
If the TDS is higher than 2500 ppm in a swimming pool we recommend draining the pool.
(In the pool industry we usually get complaints about the pool tasting salty at 5000 ppm)
If the pool has a high concentration of swimmers at one time and the TDS has tested at or above 2500 ppm, the usual source of the “salty taste” is from sweat floating at the top of the water level. (Sweat doesn’t sink).

Now we compare Liquid Chlorine to a Salt (generator) Pool.

*** Note there are many types of ways to make chlorine. This ONLY compares Liquid Chlorine to a Salt Pool.  Dry Chlorine is very different.

Liquid Chlorine:
In Every gallon of liquid chlorine is a POUND and a HALF of salt. The chlorine manufacturer has a giant storage tank that they use to make liquid chlorine. It uses water and salt NACL. The tank uses a low voltage charge to polarize the NA (sodium) and the CL (Chlorine) using a negative charge the can separate the two elements and make what we call liquid chlorine (Sodium hypochlorite). Notice the Salt and chlorine in the words of sodium hypochlorite?
Over the course of time as more and more chlorine is added, water evaporates leaving the TDS from the tap water behind. When you add more water, more TDS are introduced to the pool. Adding chlorine and other sanitizing chemicals contributes to the rise of TDS.
A commercial pool may need to be drained annually depending on how many people use the pool over a course of the year. Hotter summers will require more chlorine and all will make TDS rise faster.
Fresh water out of the tap (today 9/6/2013) is 486 ppm. At 2500 ppm draining of the water is recommended.

Higher TDS readings are not harmful as long as there is a chlorine reading above 1.0 ppm. Higher TDS readings DO cause the pool to require a bit more chlorine. High TDS may cause cloudiness to the water.

Salt (generator) Pool:
This is exactly the same thing as a liquid chlorinated pool.
The difference is that in a Salt Pool, the owner of the pool owns the salt generator (the machine that makes the chlorine) and your pool is the storage tank.
Initially when the pool is filled, depending on the size of the pool, about 200 to 500 pounds of salt will be added to the water, dissolved, and when the salt generator is turned on it will do the following:
The water in the pool must be circulated (on the customers dime) in order for salt to be introduced as chlorine and mixed throughout the water. Approximately every 4 hours the unit will reverse polarity and separate the NACL into Salt and Chlorine and then reverse and turn itself back into NACL Table Salt. The strength of the chlorine in the water is determined by the setting on the salt generator and the length of time that the pool is running.
Over time more salt will be required and this will add to the TDS.
Neither a freshly filled salt water pool nor a pool that is sanitized using liquid chlorine should have a “salty” taste. However, over time both pools may develop some sort of taste. This usually is when the pool is to be drained. A TDS test can confirm this.
Note**** Do not confuse the above description of a salt pool with a pool filled with salt water. A salt water pool is a relaxation pool in which the salt level is that of the Dead Sea and you actually float on the water. You can’t swim in this type of pool.
Remember Sea Water is over 30,000 ppm. A pool is usually under 5000 ppm.

Now that you know a Salt Pool is the same thing as liquid chlorinated pool you should ask your pool professional about things like the initial cost of a salt generator, annual maintenance costs, how often do you add more salt,  and how long do they last? Compare this to the cost of liquid chlorine (at about $4.00 per gallon) and you can make an educated decision.

For more information visit our website @ Spa Covers Etc. 

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 6pm (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.

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

Spa Covers Etc.
(Formerly 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.

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!