decide, if a hot tub liner is the best option? Vinyl Hot Tub Liners serve two purposes: make
the hot tub water tight and separate the wood
from the effects of the water and the chemicals.
A new vinyl liner can add new life to an old
wooden hot tub. If problems arise, refer to
the Spa Problems Page,
as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into
various categories. Scroll down the page and click on the linked
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
► Hot Tub Needs A
We have a 3 1/2 year old wooden hot
tub which is used twice a week or less. We have maintained
it with chlorine granules, non-chlorine shock, sodium
bicarbonate, and "enzyme". There is a copper ionizer in the
system, as well. In the past year, we have noted that the
wood surface is deteriorating, with lignin building up on
the surface and floating in the water. Additionally, purple
crystals have appeared and will not go away. They coat the
surfaces and stick to the filter. Having read that the
purple crystals are probably copper cyanurate, I turned off
the copper ionizer, but it didn't change anything. I have
not measured cyanuric acid level. We needed a water pump
replacement, so have drained the spa. The surface of the
wood cannot be scraped clean, and sanding doesn't work on
damp wood. I am planning to let it dry a few days, then sand
it, clean the filter and flush the lines, then refill and
start over. Dry wooden tubs tend to leak, so I don't want it
all dry. How can I avoid these problems in the future? Thank
you very much.
Jack S., Berkeley, CA, 10/24/2016
I think that the time has come for you to add a vinyl liner
to your hot tub. It will stop the leaks, make control of the
chemistry easier and add years of life to the tub. It may
not have the look you want, but it would be the right thing
to do. It will probably have to be custom made. On the plus
side, you will find the water chemistry easier to maintain.
It is important to monitor the copper content. There are
many models of the ColorQ Digital Water Analyzer and several
are designed, for use with ionized pools, spa or hot tubs. I
hope the advice helps.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster,
A Hot Tub Liner?
Alan, I bought a custom fit liner for
a wood hot tub that I built. When putting the liner in, how
does a person wrap it over the top all the way around a
tub? It keeps slipping off on the opposite side. Is it a
two person operation? How do installers do it?
J. F., Pawnee Okla., 3/7/2013
I'm no expert on this, but it does seem like you could use a
second person or else use duct tape to secure it as you go
around the tub perimeter. It will be necessary to secure the
liner in place with a cap, strap or band around the top. The
hot tub liner should have to stretch a little to conform to
the walls of the tub. I suggest that you ask the supplier
how much of an overhang has been allowed for. I hope that I
have been of assistance. Enjoy the tub.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/7/2013
► Hot Tub
Liner And Seats?
Once you install a liner in a wood
tub, what do you do about seats? Thanks.
Bruce B., 5/11/2009
A hot tub liner serves two purposes: it keeps the water
away from the wood and it keeps the water from leaking
out. You don't have the same issues with the seats. I
suggest that you discuss possibilities with the hot tub
dealer. Enjoy the tub.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/11/2009
Thanks for your reply. But if you
screw the seats to the tub, through the liner, isn't the
integrity of the liner then compromised and the possibility
of leakage increased. I'm trying to salvage my leaky wood
tub by lining it?
Bruce B., 5/12/2009
I did check this out! You will have to screw through the
liner to attach the steps. However, to maintain the
watertight conditions you should use some silicone caulk.
Put a dab into the pilot holes, and some behind the liner
and in front of the liner around the holes. That should
prevent any leakage. Enjoy the new look.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2009
► Bumps In
We purchased a house a couple of years
ago that had a wooden hot tub (spa) in the back yard that is
several years old. We have done a reasonable job of ensuring
the water alkaline, pH, etc. are OK. However, over the past
month, we have noticed that there are small bumps on the
inner walls of the tub. We can feel them, but you can't see
them through the water. It feels like you can scratch them
off. Can you tell me what they might be and how we should
treat the tub? Thanks.
Mark H., 4/6/2007
Obviously, something is happening to the wood. It is a
natural product that is filled with water, so such things
are not unimaginable. I am not an expert on wood and there
are several popular ones used to make hot tubs. I am not
sure what you can do or even if something can be done. You
might have to consider a hot tub liner. Vinyl liners will
help preserve the wood, make repairs less likely and will
keep the tub water tight. I hope that I have been of
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/6/2007
► Adding A
Vinyl Liner To A Wooden Hot Tub?
I have a wooden hot tub and it is
beginning to show its age. There is some leaking and some
rough spots. Would it be possible to get a liner made to fit
this tub? Thanks in advance for the help.
Jeff. N., 3/2/2009
Getting a liner made to fit your hot tub is no problem, but
you will have to find a company that makes custom liners.
Good luck and I hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/2/2009
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