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Frequently Asked Questions


Spas


Q: What's the difference between a Hot Tub and a Spa?

Answer: The term "Hot Tub" originally referred to the wooden, barrel-shaped tubs, which became popular in the late 1960s. Early hot tubs were fairly simple devices, which basically held hot water and had enough room for one or two bathers at a time. When the industry began building tubs of molded fiberglass or with thermoplastic shells, they were given the tag "spa" to differentiate them from their wooden cousins. The wooden hot tub has evolved over time to include such amenities as seating, jets, filters, and most of the features associated with a spa. In fact, the phrase "hot tubbing" can be taken to mean soaking in either type of vessel.

Q: What are my choices in selecting a hot tub or spa?

Answer: Decide if you want a take-anywhere type lightweight portable spa or a full size acrylic spa. Full size acrylic spas are by far the most popular today due to the wide selection, ease of installation and low maintenance. The full size acrylic spa, which most often consists of a shell with a wooden or synthetic skirt, usually sits atop a deck or on a concrete slab. These units have the advantage of built-in pumps and electrical systems, so set-up is a snap.

Q: How do I find a quality brand of spa?

Answer:Take the time to look at various brands. Ask about warranties. Quality products will carry ironclad warranties against defects that will cover the shell, motors and control units. Reputable manufacturers will not be shy about disclosing specifications. Check for either the ETL or UL rating.  "Look under the hood." We cannot stress this enough. If the workmanship inside the access door of the spa looks shoddy, this tells you a lot about what you cannot see.  In these time of rising energy costs, make sure the spa skirt is properly insulated and try to stay away from foam-filled hot tubs.

Q: Should I install my hot tub spa inside or outside?

Answer: Each location has its pros and cons. Outside installations may compromise some of your privacy, but you can add a gazebo, shrubbery, or an umbrella to minimize peering eyes. The outside experience of lounging in bubbling hot water while enjoying the fresh air and view can be exhilarating. It should be noted for those of you who have not experienced it, hot water raises your body's core temperature, so you will normally not feel cold even when exiting a hot tub outdoors in the dead of winter. Inside installations will add humidity to the air in your home. It is imperative that proper ventilation be maintained to control this moisture and to prevent mildew and other damage. If you decide on an inside installation, be sure to take into account the draining and filling of the unit. There are two other important questions: will it fit through your doorway, and is your flooring strength adequate? Keep in mind that a typical 3-person spa weighs about 2500 pounds filled with water. On the plus side, your spa will also be fully protected from the weather.

Q: Do I have to install plumbing for my portable spa?

Answer: No. Above-ground portable spas are normally filled with a garden hose. Hard plumbing is optional, but very rarely used since it is unnecessary.

Q: Should I use a 110-volt or 220-volt electric heater?

Answer: We recommend using the 220v option whenever practical, especially on full-sized spas. A 220v system offers the advantage of faster heating which reduces your "tubbing down-time" factor. There is also more amperage available to operate multiple motors, jets, lights, etc. A properly hard-wired 220v system has no cords to trip over or become unplugged. Contrary to popular misconception, there is no significant cost difference in heating with 110v system versus a 220v system. For a truly "portable" installation, 110v is generally more practical. Consult a qualified electrician for your wiring needs.

Q: Is it expensive to operate a hot tub spa?

Answer: It doesn't have to be. A primary cost is heating the water. A modern, well-insulated unit with a quality insulated cover will cost about $20 per month even in cold climates.

Q: What is meant by the spa pump's horsepower (HP) rating?

Answer: Spa manufacturers use two different ratings for their pumps: "Continuous Operating HP" and "Brake HP". Continuous Operating is the amount of HP the motor is capable of producing while the spa is in operation. This is the meaningful rating. Brake HP is the momentary HP the motor produces at startup, before dropping to Continuous HP. Brake HP is marketing hype.

Q: What's the story on ozonators?

Answer: Ozonators are electric-powered devices for helping to sanitize spa water by introducing a form of oxygen called ozone into the water. When they first arrived on the spa scene, many people thought they were a panacea for water disinfecting. Although this has proven to be an overstatement, ozonators do have their place, and will help reduce chemical amounts needed. Since ozone has no residual sanitizing ability, it only works while the spa is in operation. Ozonators must be used in conjunction with another sanitizer such as bromine or chlorine as well as a shock treatment. 

Q: Can I save money by using an ozonator?

Answer: Yes, the use of an ozonator will cut down the amount of conventional sanitizer needed. The reduction will vary from 25% to 35%, depending on spa usage and amount of run time. These devices use electricity to run, but the amount is really quite minimal.

Q: Is there an easier way to remove my spa cover?

Answer: Use of a cover removal device will allow one person to remove the spa cover with ease, and without back strain. These devices come in a variety of models, from simple slides to more elaborate units, which allow for easy lifting and out-of-the-way storage of your spa cover. Today's cover lifts are lightweight and durable, usually made from aircraft grade aluminum with stainless fasteners. They are easy to install as well, usually requiring little more than a screwdriver to set-up.

Q: What are the power requirements for the new lightweight "take anywhere" portable spas?

Answer: These spas a designed to plug right in to a standard wall outlet. In outdoor locations, your electrical code may require a GFCI protected circuit. 

 

Gazebos


Q: You have so many gazebo models to choose from. What are the general differences between the gazebo collections?

Answer: We have both synthetic and natural wood gazebos. The Fraser gazebo collection is our synthetic wood gazebo collection made of ultrawood which is beautiful and very durable. Our other gazebo collections are made of natural wood. Our Blackcomb gazebo collection is made of natural wood and is based on our coastal grey colour design. The Vista and Supreme gazebo collections are based on hip roof gazebo designs with metal or wood roofs. The Chalet and Resort collections are based on traditional gable roof designs with either metal or translucent roofs.

Q: What sizes of gazebos are available?

Answer: We offer a variety of sizes of gazebos. We have 10 feet by 10 feet gazebos. We also have 10’x12’, 10’x14’, 12’x12’, 12’x14’, 12’x16’, 12’x18’, and 12’x22’.

Q: Are the gazebos pre-stained or coloured?

Answer: In regard to the Fraser gazebo, the ultrawood colour is mixed in with the actual formulation of the ultrawood material and does not require further maintenance or staining. All our natural wood gazebos are pre-stained. Our Blackcomb collection has a solid grey colour stain. All of our other gazebo collections have a translucent Sikkens natural stain colour.

Q: Do your doors slide or swing open?

Answer: We have both sliding doors and French Door options available on our gazebos. Some models have both types of door options others only have one or the other.

Q: Can you install the gazebo or do I have to install it?

Answer: We have three options available to you. You are welcome to pick the gazebo up from our store. We can deliver the gazebo to your home and you can install the gazebo yourself. We can also provide full service including deliver and installation of the gazebo at your home.

Q: Do you offer spa and gazebo packages?

Answer: We offer the largest variety of spa and gazebo packages in Greater Vancouver. We have over 35 spa and gazebo packages available for you to choose from.

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