The plumbing and power of your hot tub is just as important (if not more) than any physical feature you choose for your spa. The plumbing and power are responsible for ensuring the water moves around your hot tub and gets where it needs to be – through the filter, the hot tub heater and the jets. There is a lot of work involved in a hot tub plumbing system and there are many types to choose from.
Generally, there are three materials you can use in the plumbing of your hot tub or spa: PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), copper and galvanized plumbing. Below you will find a brief description of each in order to help you determine which is best suited for your hot tub:
PVC - PVC is a plastic pipe often used for plumbing systems in swimming pools. This type of material is manufactured in a number of different strengths, depending on its use. PVC piping comes with a number scheduled on the front which is used to identify its strength. The higher the number, the heavier and stronger the pipe will be. PVC itself is not designed to carry water over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride); however, is capable of carrying water warmer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are thinking of using PVC in your hot tub or spa, you will want to make sure it is chlorinated.
Copper - Copper used to be a very popular material for pool, hot tub and spa plumbing; but since the introduction of PVC, it has seen a major decrease in popularity. Copper is considered very expensive, especially when compared to PVC. For this reason many hot tub owners are converting to PVC instead of the traditional disinfectant when it comes to their plumbing. Copper has been known to corrode from exposure to spa chemicals - PVC is also superior in this manner. If you decide to use copper, it is important to know that it is made in three thicknesses. Each thickness is identified through a letter: K represents a thick wall, L a medium wall and M represents a thin wall.
Galvanized - Galvanized plumbing is an iron pipe which is covered with zinc and other mixed metals to prevent corrosion. This type of plumbing is considered inferior to the other forms of plumbing because of its heavy weight. Because the surface of galvanized metal is so rough, calcium build-up inside the pipe has been known to be a problem.
In addition to the plumbing options available, many potential hot tub owners are also concerned with the amount of power consumed by their hot tub or spa. Generally, it is difficult to determine the amount of power consumed on a regular basis without knowing the make or type of hot tub or the amount of time you have it running regularly. On average, most hot tub owners spend approximately a dollar a day to operate their tubs.