Without a functioning heater, a hot tub is just a tub. Fortunately, most modern hot tubs are fitted with efficient, reliable heating systems, but these heaters can still suffer from malfunctions caused by poor maintenance, accidental damage, or simple wear and tear.
If your hot tub's heater is not working as it should, the problem may be caused by calcium build-up. Calcium deposits can seriously undermine the heating power of any hot tub heater.
How Do Calcium Deposits Cause Problems With Hot Tub Heaters?
Any water taken from a municipal source will contain a certain amount of dissolved calcium, along with other minerals such as magnesium. The amount of calcium contained within your water supply will differ depending on where you live. The municipal water in some areas contains large amounts of dissolved minerals and is known as 'hard' water.
When hard water passes through your hot tub's heating system, some of the water will evaporate, leaving behind the dissolved calcium it contained. This calcium clings to the interior surfaces of the heating system. The heating element is particularly vulnerable to these calcium deposits, and over time, your hot tub's heating element may develop a thick crust of calcium.
This layer of dried calcium acts as a heat insulator, preventing the heating element from heating the water around it. A calcium-encrusted heating element can cause your hot tub to heat water more slowly. If the problem becomes serious, the heater may only be able to raise the water temperature a few degrees.
If your hot tub heater is not heating water at all, calcium deposits may also have built up inside the heater's intake line. Calcium deposits narrow the intake line, and reduce the water flow rate, causing water to remain inside the heater for too long. This causes water to overheat, tripping the heater's safety limit switch and deactivating the heater entirely.
How Can You Fix Problems With Calcium Deposits?
if you suspect calcium deposits have damaged your hot tub's heater, check for error messages on the heater's digital readout screen (if it has one). If the limit switch code is shown, the heater is suffering from flow rate problems that are almost certainly caused by calcium deposits.
It can be more difficult to check for calcium deposits on the heating element, as this problem usually doesn't trigger an error code. You can open up the heater's casing and inspect the heating element yourself, but you risk causing damage to the heater's delicate wiring if you don't know what you are doing.
The safest way to check for calcium problems in your heater is to have a professional hot tub repair service inspect it for you. If calcium deposits are the cause of your hot tub heating woes, your chosen service can remove the deposits quickly and safely, using specialized chemicals. If the heating element is badly encrusted, it may need to be replaced, but replacement heating elements are usually inexpensive.
Hot tub repair services can also supply you with sequestering agents, which can be added to your hot tub's water supply. These agents keep calcium in its dissolved state when water is heated, preventing calcium build-up in your heater and minimizing the risk of future problems.
For more information, contact a local company like The Spa Guys.