Whether you already have a hot tub on your deck or patio, or you are considering purchasing a new model, you may have questions. This list of Frequently Asked Questions, and answers, is meant to assist you. We believe that well-informed buyers will choose a hot tub. Feel better, spend more time together, and relax. Visit our store to ask about how easy it is to own a hot tub.
What should I consider before buying a hot tub?
Do I have to use chlorine in my pool or spa?
NO. There are several alternatives to chlorine. One alternative for pools is to use bromine. It is, however, costly and somewhat difficult to keep in pools, so unless it is an indoor pool or one that is primarily covered, we do not recommend it. Another alternative is a salt-chlorine generator. While this isn't an "alternative" to chlorine in the truest sense of the word, it is a much more comfortable and natural way of chlorinating the pool. Another alternative is Baquacil, which is the only "true" alternative to using chlorine. In fact, Baquacil and chlorine are completely incompatible. If you were to add chlorine to a Baquacil-treated pool or spa it would turn to gelatin! Baquacil uses polymer chains, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia, the same basic sanitation used by hospitals. For spas, bromine is a more viable option since you are dealing with a much smaller body of water that is covered most of the time. BaquaSpa, similar to the Baquacil product for pools, is another option that works very well in spas. Another popular alternative for spas is Ozone, but this usually has to be coupled with some other type of sanitizer since Ozone is primarily an oxidizer. A final option for spas is a Nature 2 system in which you use silver and copper ions to kill both bacteria and algae, but this has to be coupled with an oxidizer.
During construction, who is responsible for removing excess debris and cleaning up my yard?
We are. If either Johnson Pools or our subcontractors leave garbage, we will keep it neatly piled or remove it immediately. We do not consider our customer's yard a garbage can.
How much should I spend?
What can I do to assure my family's safety?
- Check to be sure that the hot tub you buy is listed by a recognized independent testing agency such as ETL.
- Use a qualified electrician to connect the electrical service to the hot tub.
- Make sure the cover comes with a locking system to prevent unauthorized use. Many hot tubs feature locking control panels, as well.
- Keep appliances and other electrical devices away from the hot tub area.
- Always observe the warnings about hot tub use by small children, pregnant women, people with certain health conditions and people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What about the warranty?
Do I need pool service or can I take care of my pool myself?
Since pool care is primarily about preventative maintenance, it requires diligence and consistency. It requires approximately 30 minutes per week without fail. We like to say that if you are the type of person who changes your own oil and filter on your automobile you are a good candidate to maintain and care for your own pool. You will need the support of a qualified water testing center at your local pool store, like Johnson Pools, to help you solve problems that may arise with water chemistry. If, however, you are not able to provide this diligence and consistency, then pool service is the way to go. If you choose to have Johnson Pools service your pool, all you have to worry about is using your pool. While Johnson Pools weekly service contracts start at $90/month, the cost difference if you factor in the chemicals the average pool owner buys per year is as little as $40-$50 per month. Plus, you have the added benefit of having a professional service technician maintaining your pool and its equipment on a weekly basis.
Will you be responsible for landscaping my entire yard or are you just a pool builder?
We specialize in pools, so we like to work "from the coping in" and focus on the pool and its related issues. We can, if you would like, contract the decking (or hardscape) of your pool, but this is not our specialty. If you choose to have us do so, we add on to the price of the bid to manage that portion of the project, so you are generally better off dealing directly with the concrete company. As far as landscaping goes, we do not contract the landscaping but we would be happy to refer you to landscape contractors we often work with. By focusing on just building, remodeling, and servicing pools we believe it makes us a better company. We are not overstretching our boundaries or our resources by trying to do too many things. By focusing on pools and pools alone, we have become an expert in our field.
Is it installed inside or outside?
Do I need to install plumbing?
How do I clean the water?
How often do I clean the spa?
What precautions should I take if I'm leaving on vacation?
When a customer comes into our retail store with a problem, the four words we hear more often than not are, "I went on vacation…" If you are leaving for even a week's time, it pays to have Johnson Pools or another pool service provider come by for a one-time service call. If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, it may be cost-effective for you to sign a one month service contract with Johnson Pools or another service provider, as the monthly rates are less expensive than the one-time service fees.
How is the temperature controlled?
How many jets are adjustable?
Is the price you quoted the final price, or are there any potential add-ons or hidden costs?
The price we quote is the price you pay. However, if you ask to have changes made during the design or construction phase of the process, the price can go either up or down. Also, in our bid there are some allowances. One is an allowance for excavation time because that is the biggest unknown in the construction process. We allot a certain amount of time for excavation based on our many years of experience, but that may change based upon what we run into once the digging begins. The second allowance is for tile. The per linear foot price we quote covers all of the 80+ tile patterns we offer. If, however, you would like a custom tile not offered by Johnson Pools, this cost can go up. The same rule applies to the coping. The allowance we give in the original bid is generous enough to cover most typically used materials such as a pre cast coping stone or a bull nose brick. If, however, you choose to use, for instance, a Connecticut bluestone or an Arizona flagstone and have it cut, milled, and manipulated, we will back out the allowance from the original bid, have you pay for the materials, and we will be happy to install it for you.
As a salesperson, will I see you during the construction process to make sure I'm getting what you sold me?
We will be with you every step of the way from design, through construction, to completion. At completion, we will instruct you on the use of your pool and either set up a service contract with Johnson Pools or instruct you on caring for the pool yourself. You will always have access to the person you originally met with (either Matt or Stan) to make sure you're getting everything you were promised.
What does the pump's horsepower rating mean?
Is the spa full foam insulated?
What is hydrotherapy?
How do the jets and jet systems allow me to customize my hydrotherapy experience?
Isn't a bigger pump going to give me a better massage?
Efficient plumbing, better jets and flow control are more important than horsepower. A lower horsepower pump in a more efficient spa will produce just as much jet power as a higher horsepower pump. And remember, you are looking for a comfortable but strong massage, and not looking for acceleration up a mountain road or a punishing hot water experience!
What's the purpose of a circulation pump?
How long before I want to use the hot tub should I start heating it?
I understand that the heater is usually the most vulnerable component of any spa. How is yours different?
Can any hot tub on 120V electrical service?
Are there special precautions I should take before I have a pool party?
Other than making sure the pool is balanced, the chlorine level is adequate (if not on the high side of the accepted range), and all screens and baskets are emptied, there are not any special precautions you need to take. After the party, however, you would want to run the filtration system overnight and either manually add chlorine or, if you have an automatic chlorine dispenser, run this overnight as well. This will expedite the process of getting the pool back in shape for use the next day and thereafter.
Does an automatic pool cleaner really cut down on maintenance?
ABSOLUTELY. A good pool cleaner will do much of the work for you. There are two basic components to pool care: one is the water chemistry balance and the other is the physical cleaning of the pool. By automating a large portion of the physical cleaning you will obviously spend less time and simplify the process of maintaining your pool. We like to say that a pool without a cleaner is like a kitchen without a dishwasher.
Does it matter where I buy my pool chemicals?
Like the old adage says, "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is." When you buy pool chemicals at bargain prices from discount stores or your local supermarket, make sure you know what you are getting. All chemicals sold must have a list of their ingredients, so read the labels carefully. In those ingredients it will list the active ingredients and the inert ingredients. If you are buying chemicals with a high content of inert ingredients, those inert ingredients AREN'T DOING ANYTHING! You want to be sure you are getting chemicals with the higher active ingredients because that is what's giving you the "bang for your buck".
How long can I expect it to take to build a pool?
Generally we tell customers it takes 6 to 8 weeks from the time construction begins. In some instances it can take longer because we can be held up in completing the pool due to coordination with concrete contractors, landscaping contractors, or other subcontractors. We do all that we can to work in conjunction with these other contractors in order to streamline the process and minimize the amount of time it takes to build your pool.
How long will it take before I can use my new pool?
Once a pool is completed and full of water, the startup procedures can take up to one week before you and your family can be swimming and enjoying your new pool.
What is the best way to insure pool safety for my children and animals?
The best way is with an automatic cover. With an automatic cover, once the cover is closed and the key is removed from the locking mechanism that opens and closes the cover, no one is getting in the pool without scissors or some other sharp object. Fences can also be used, but these can be climbed or jumped. Aside from the safety considerations, there are other benefits of an automatic cover, as well. One is the overall cleanliness of the pool since the cover will keep most debris out of the pool. Another is the insulation of the pool. Ninety percent of the heat loss in a pool is through the surface of the pool, so by keeping the cover on the pool when it is not in use you will greatly increase the daily temperature during the swim season and extend the amount of time you can comfortably enjoy your pool.
How do I keep my kid's hair from turning green?
It is a myth that chlorine turns hair green because chlorine is a bleach. Rather, it is the presence of copper in your water that turns hair green because of the blue tarnish of copper combined with yellow (or blonde) hair. To prevent this, you can use a sequestering agent, which will help keep the copper ions in solution and prevent them from sticking to hair or other pool surfaces.