Be wary about pump sizes, energy “star ratings” and running cost claims
Be aware that a 4.8 BHP (brake horse power) pump is exactly the same as a 3 HP pump. No government body has ever given efficiency ratings to individual spa brands so where star ratings are shown they’re simply being “made up”. Some manufacturers promote running costs that don’t include heating. Other manufacturers base their claims on incorrect power rates and unrealistic assumptions. And a few brands promote “low amp” filter pumps but as they run 24 hours a day they actually cost you more. If claims are made, ask how they are calculated. The only things that effects running costs are:
- If you are able to use a heat pump (which offers savings of up to 75%)
- The amount of insulation (how many layers, how thick etc)
- If the spa have a Spa Net “smart controller”
- The size of the gap between the cabinet panels and spa shell
- The size of the heater (the quicker the spa heats the sooner the pump turns off)
Are “salt water” swim spas better?
Salt can only be used to sanitise water when it is transformed (by a salt chlorinator) into chlorine. If you are using your swim spa cold then this is suitable but if you are wanting to heat it then this form of chlorine does not suit hot water (and you’ll have to add extra chlorine or bromine). Also, the form of chlorine generated by a salt chlorinator can be very corrosive to your heater element.
Do UV “sterilisers” work?
This form of water treatment is only successful when the water has enough contact time with the UV bulb. The standard UV system with a chrome/ stainless metal tube is only designed for water flow from a tap and will NOT kill germs – especially in a large body of water. You also need to know that you will have to replace the UV bulb yearly at significant cost. Unless you fit a large, more expensive system like “Ultrazone” unit (that combines U.V. and Ozone to create hydroxyl radicals – the most powerful oxidiser available), then don’t expect any benefits, only maintenance costs.