Tutor Library



The "How Does It Work?"

information  Library


Gatsby/Imperial uses 2 rating of heaters and a variety of sizes and styles.

Simply stated, the heater is an element that when electrical current applies to it, it resists the current and doing so creates heat. Because the element resides in the spa water you can destroy an element in less than a year or with water care, extend the life to over 5 years. The average is 3-5 years.

Since the element is in the water, it's the #1 cause of the gfci popping. You must replace to correct. Sometimes you see corroding heater posts, sometimes on the element itself, and many times the "short" is hard to see. But is short what is happening is electrical current is leaking from the heater element to the water and the gfci is sensing it and shutting off the spa. That is GOOD. Means you will not be shocked or electrocuted.

The ratings of the heater is designed to match the current you supply the spa with the heater current draw.

The most common spa is designed to operate on 220-240vac. You should expect about 5 degrees per hour.

The most common heater is the VERTICAL heater. Its a canister to the right of the control box. The other style is the HORIZONTAL heater which lays flat below the control box.

The VERTICAL heater comes with or without a pressure switch and either 4.0 or 5.5kw elements. The most common is the 4.0 or 5.5kw with a pressure switch. If your spa doesn't use a pressure switch you can still order this heater and just don't use it. The price of the heater is the same.

To ID whether you have a 4.0 or 5.5kw heater you read the label on the heater. To ID whether you have a pressure switch or not is simple. Heaters with a pressure switch have an extra cord coming from the heater and plugging into the control box. This socket will be labels PS or Pressure Switch. Again, it's better to get a heater with and not use then to order the wrong one.

With advice from us that we offer upon request after you order, we can walk you through the replacement.

Why did it last such a short time?   This is a common question so I'll cover it. The element is designed to be in balanced, quality spa water. I see heaters lasting 7-8 years. That tells me the owner takes care of their water and it's from a good source. I would expect to get about 4-5 years on a heater. If lower, first look at your own water checking habits. Very, very often when repairing a spa with a local customer they will insist they check the spa water weekly but by the end of the conversation they admit they check occasionally and probably didn't get it right. That is why I always recommend a good relationship with a local spa store that knows the local water. They will help, which leads me to the 2nd reason heaters fail: water source.

In parts of Denver the water is HARD; others soft. HARD minerals attach to the element and cause it to fail. With a local, quality chemical source they can walk you through dealing with local water. If you have pure surface water deposits aren't a big problem but most of us don't have soft water so it is. But this again helps us to understand having a local retailer walking you and checking your work will give you longevity with your heater. One OEM of heaters claim if the customer keeps their water quality HIGH that the heater will last for a long, long time.

See Here For Heaters

Copyright 2019 Clear Creek Spa
  - All Rights Reserved