Spa Owners Corner

We are committed to providing our owners with the Absolute Best Hot Tub Ownership Experience®. That means you can count on us to provide tools and information that you’ll find useful as a spa owner, as well as unparalleled customer care if you ever need us along the way. Visit either our Santa Cruz or San Jose store locations for advice and products to make your spa ownership easy and care free.

FAQ Spa Owners

Please note: You’ll find even more troubleshooting help in your Owner’s Manual

My Spa Is Not Heating

The most common reason your spa has no heat involves clogged filters. If they’re dirty or need replacing, the heater will shut off because it needs a constant flow of water to operate properly.

Remove the filters and give them a good cleaning. Even if they look clean, body oils and other small particles could be clogging them. Hose off the loose debris, spray on filter cleaner, let it work for 10 or 15 minutes, then hose it off. If the filters are non-Tri-X and more than three years old, replace them. Tri-X filters which are found in the 220Volt Highlife spas should last 5 years. If in doubt about which you own, give us a call.

There are times when filters need a deep soak using GLB Filter Cleanser. This will remove hard minerals and metal stains that might not be removed with the spray cleaners.

If you still have no heat. Hit the reset button on a 110Volt spa plug or turn your breakers off on a 220volt spa. Leave off for 10 or 15 minutes and see if heat returns when you turn them back on. Resetting breakers involves turning them off all the way, then pushing them back on. We recommend checking your 110Volt GFCI plug monthly by pressing the ‘test’ button, then reset.

If you still have no heat, you’ll need to call the office for a service call. Be sure you have done all of the troubleshooting steps outlined in your owner’s manual. If you have lost that, go to then select owner’s manual and download a new one.

Water is not clear

Usually, cloudy water indicates that the water does not have enough sanitizer or the pH or alkalinity is out of balance. First test the water using a test strip to check the balances. Water that is out of balance can often become cloudy. If any of the ranges do not match the recommendations for your water care system, use the appropriate product to restore the correct range. Once brought back into balance, the water should clear on its own. Refer back to the original start up sheet you were given at time of delivery. If you need a new ‘how to’ sheet, please contact customer service by email and we will send one to you:

If the water’s pH and Alkalinity are balanced, check for off color and/or musty smell. If you detect either, it’s likely caused by either a low ozone flow, not properly shocking the water on Ozone systems or a need to ‘boost’ with our salt water hot tubs. To remedy: add Enhanced shock granules on Ozone systems and recheck to get a 5- 10 ppm reading after 1 minute on a new test strip. Run the jets for 10 minutes and rotate the jet selector lever(s) to make sure all of the jet lines are cleaned out. Be sure to run sanitizer through the water fall if you have one!

If you are on ACE Salt Water System, follow the instructions that came with the unit and ‘boost’ your system.

If the water does not clear up after these steps, use a Spa Clarifier and run the jets for 10 minutes. This will help trap ultra-fine particles in the filters which can then be rinsed out with just spraying them with water.

Once the water is clear, check your ozone system or output settings on your Ace salt system to help prevent cloudy water in the future. Refer to our water care sheet for weekly maintenance.

My Ozonator has stopped bubbling

If you don’t see any bubbles, it is likely the venturi has clogged with minerals. Cleaning the venturi is something we recommend on a yearly basis. Contact store for directions. The second most common cause is dirty filters. Make sure you have cleaned them well before calling for a service appointment. IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU CAN HAVE BUBBLES AND NO OZONE. If you do not smell ozone and the water looks & smells bad, your Ozonator may be needing replacement.

How often should I drain my spa?

We recommend every 8 months – 1 year depending on size of the spa and your use and water quality in order to get rid of the build-up left behind by chemicals called Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) that accumulate in your water over time. If you prefer to have us do this for you, we offer a Valet service. Call the office to set this up and we will do a complete drain, clean and rebalancing of your chemicals.

Can I drain the hot tub and leave it empty for a period of time?

Draining the hot tub is not recommended. In the winter you risk freeze damage, in the summer you risk biofilm buildup. It is always best to leave the tub full and running on its lowest heat setting, with plenty of chlorine to keep it sanitized while you’re not using it.

If you must drain the tub, purge the system first by using Pipe Cleaner, then drain. Leave the spa cover on at all times. When re-filling, you will need to run a super shock level of chlorine through the plumbing to kill any bacteria that may have established in the jets.

How often do I change out the AG+ cartridge that came with my spa?

The Silver Ion cartridge is an important product for your water care. By preventing bacteria from breeding, it allows the ozone system to work more efficiently and creates an unfriendly environment for things to grow. Also, by replacing this unit every 4 months, you will use less Enhanced Shock since the water will stay cleaner. If you choose NOT to replace it, remove it after 4 months and dispose. If left in the spa longer than 4 months it can cause jets to clog up, which is not covered under warranty. If you want to make sure you have this important part of your water care available when needed, we offer an AutoShip program. At no additional cost to you we will ship it every 4 months. Call the store to set up this convenient program. We simply need a credit card to get you started and we’ll handle the rest.

Can I use any other chemicals in my system?

First of all, it’s important to use water care products made for spas instead of the much stronger pool chemicals that can damage your hot tub and even make the water unsafe for bathing. We absolutely do NOT recommend using Chlorine Tablets or even Bromine tablets in our spas which are set up primarily to be ‘chemical free soaking’ tubs. Chlorine tablets will result in water that is very acidic and aggressive on you and your tub.

Our stores offer specialty products which are designed to give you the freshest smelling/feeling water available. We do not use standard chlorine which can linger in the water for days, resulting in soaking in chemicals rather than pure natural water. Also we have found that many discount chemicals from big-box stores include more fillers and often sit around for a year before you purchase them. This results in less than ideal water care.

We care about your experience which starts with quality water, easy maintenance and a safe environment for you and your family.

(Thanks to Olympic Hot Tub of Washington for helping with this information)

Ag+ Auto Ship Program

What can we do to make your life easier? How about automatically shipping your Ag+, Silver Ion Cartridge, directly to your home?

  • No more wondering if it is time to replace your Ag+.
  • No more driving to the store to pick one up.
  • And best of all, it will not cost you a penny more to have it delivered directly to your mailbox!

Our new Auto-Ship Service will set you up on a four month cycle. We will ship a new Ag+ cartridge (the best way to maintain water quality) every four months and you will be charged only the store price, plus tax for the cartridge. (shipping is FREE)!

Enroll in the Auto-Ship Program

Online form to enroll in the program

Freshwater® Valet Service

If you live in Santa Cruz or Santa Clara County, we offer a complete Freshwater® Valet Service for your existing Hot Spring Spa.Let us take the work out of taking care of your hot tub.

Our drain & clean Freshwater® Valet service includes:

  • Drain, refill & balance your spa water
  • Cleaning interior & exterior surfaces
  • Cleaning the filter with ‘Filter Cleaner” product
  • Conditioning the cover with UV Protectant
  • Checking over the system for any obvious service issues. If issues are noted we will leave you a detailed list of service needs.
  • Check ozone system function (additional work available if needed at time of drain and clean for the Ozonator such as cleaning and replacing venturi.)

Call for details and pricing in your area. Monday – Friday 9 – 5pm 831-425-7727

Spa cover replacement

Spa CoverWe all know how important covers are for maintaining heat and keeping debris out of the tub. In addition to being unsightly, heavy, water logged covers do little to provide energy efficiency and make it difficult to enjoy your tub.

We offer replacement covers for all hot tubs, regardless of the manufacturer.

If you are looking for a cover for your Hot Spring® product, (Fantasy, Limelight, Hot Spot) we suggest using the OEM covers available only through Watkins Manufacturing for the perfect fit.

All covers are UL listed, ASTM approved and will provide the maximum efficiency available anywhere. Covers come with a two-year manufacturers warranty and are completely equipped to work with your Watkins cover lifters with built-in inserts on all replacement covers.

We can deliver the new cover, remove your old one and reinstall your lifter within our service area, or you can pick your cover up at our Santa Cruz location and drop off your old cover for disposal for a small fee.

You can also pick your cover up at the San Jose store. (No disposal service from that location.)

Owners Manuals

Please visit the Hot Springs site to find manuals for your Watkins spas.

Owners Manuals

Services For Our Customers in Santa Cruz County and Santa Clara County:

  • Retail Sales
  • Delivery and Installation
  • Service
  • We service all Watkins Mfg. Spa products.
  • Parts and Supplies
  • Relocation Services

We Move Spas! Give us a call to discuss costs, availability and details.

Santa Cruz Store - 707 River Street.
(831) 425-7727
Open Mon-Fri 9-5 Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4

San Jose Store - 1002 S. De Anza Blvd.
(408) 996-9693
Open Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4