1983-1993 1994-2002 2002-Present Gatsby Spas Spa Siding




Quick Tutor on HOW your Hot Tub works:

FIRST understand that your spa operates one of two designs.

The reason this is important becomes apparent when problems arise. You have either a 24/7 circulation pump or a JET pump uses a LOW speed that filters and heats the spa.

a. The most common design is with a circulation pump AND jet pump(s). Most hot tubs are built this way. There are basically 2 ways to determine which your spa is. First, remove the front access panel and LOOK. does the spa have a small pump? Or does it have a "U" shaped heater attached to the back of the control box? Or does it have a free standing 15" steel heater? If any of these are true, you have the most common setup. The circulation pump runs 24/7 and heats the spa and filters the water.

You can also know that just simply watching your spa with JETS OFF will tell you which you have. If you see water moving and hear a small motor running, then you have the primary design of circulation pump and JET pumps.

The SECOND side is the JET pump side. If you have the small circulation system, you also have a separate JET system. What this side does is pull water through the filters, pass 1, 2, or 3 JET pumps and back into the spa. Each pump is a ZONE. Most pumps are 1 speed but some are 2. If you have JET issues, then you focus on the jet pump.


b. The least common setup is actually the most common industry wide. The #1 jet pump does dual duty. It both filters the water and heats. When you want JET action, most have a second speed. Its also possible to have a second JET pump that only powers a specific zone of jets. The heater on this setup is horizontal and attached to the control box. Its about 15".


The reason knowing which of the above is your situation is it helps focus on possible issues. Often customers say "its not heating but all the jets work" when they don't realize the small circulation pump is NOT working. But they keep saying  "the jets work".  Yes, they get JETS but the heating pump or heater or flow switch is not operating.



Topside Control:

Larger spas may have an LCD topside. Most have a LED. The difference is in the display. LCD have a light gray background and at night have a backlight. LED have a black background and red/orange display.

Most customers accept the default settings. On some models you can set the a display time and filter times/length.

Your spa is designed to be as easy to operate as possible. Most spas all you need to be concern is any error codes that might be displayed.

You will have Jet buttons that will operate the jet pumps your have. Spas with more that one jet pump usually have "zones" that a particular jet will operate. Some are jet pumps are two speed.

Jets and lights have automatic "time out" features. What this means that the component will only operate for a set time, usually 15 or 30 minutes. After that they turn off. All you need is to press the button again. The reason for the time out feature is to avoid leaving the spa with a component on and that component runs continuously for an indifferent length of time.


Air Control/Button:

Your spa will have air control buttons. Some are actual buttons, some are rocker buttons, and some have a dial. But they all do the same thing. The air control either allows air to be pulled into the jet or not. Over time, any of these can wear down and either allow no air to flow to the jets or all air. Some customers in cold climates will make it a habit to close the air control when spa is not in use to lower amount of cool air being injected into the spa. Lastly, there is no "pump" that forces the air into the spa's jets. Its caused by the venturi affected discussed under "Jets" category



There are 3 types of jets: spinning, nozzle, and open. Spinning have some mechanism that causes a swirling water action. Nozzel is simply a nozzel you can point. Open is a jet face that allows only full water flow.

On most spas the jet consist of two sections. First is the body. The body comprises the housing, oring, level ring, and nut. The housing goes through the spas shell with the oring on the flange. On the plumbing side of the spa the level ring is placed and then the nut. When nut is tighten, the oring or gasket seals the housing into place. Once the housing is installed and piping connected, the spa will be watertight.

Two types of piping attaches to the jet housing. First most have a 3/4" incoming water. Second is a 3/8" barb fitting for incoming air.

NOTE: The incoming water is determined by the jet pump that services it. The incoming air is dormant UNTIL the jet is installed. This is the reason: The jet stem is designed in tandom with the housing to create what is known as the venturi affect. Water volume is reduced and then enlarged and this creates suction. So when water is moving through the jet it creates suction. This suction sucks air down the air line. The air control button controls how much air is allowed to be sucked. Some think there is a small "air pump" that forces air into the water. There is not. Air is sucked down the air line and mixed with the water and thus bubbles.

The nozzle/jet part of the jet snaps into the housing. These jet nozzles are NOT designed to be removed and clean. It typically on installed and snap and locked into place. Most common removal of the jet to replace is turn the outer collar of the jet fully counterclockwise and then a little pressure and the tab that holds the jet in place will break or bend.

Lastly, water volume. Most jets can have water volume adjusted. Its simply a matter of turn the outer collar all the way to the left or right.



Some models use different level of lights; from a simple bulb to a complex light show. On most spas its either a simple light or the waterfall and footwell light are syncronized and multicolor. On the multicolor spas, by touching the mood light button on/off/on/off/on will give you a variety of colors and sequences. See your operation manual for more information.

On spas with cup holder lights and jet lights and such, the spa has a central light unit called a DCU. Its purpose is to sync all the light colors


Footwell/Suction Fittings:

The spa is designed to draw water from the footwell and the filter. Doing so gives a thorough water turnover and helps keep the water clean.


Control Box:

Your spa has a "control box" underneath next to the pumps. Usually the side panel with the topside control is where this is located. On all spas except those using the new T-1000 control box, components inside the control box can be replaced by a qualified person.



Common production use 3 styles of heaters. First and most common is the "U" heater. It is attached to the back of the control box and the piping is about 3/4" diameter. Second common is a 15" heater attached to the bottom or back of the control box. Newer models use a separate, free standing heater also 15" long.


Circulation Pump:

Most Hot Tub use the "circulation pump" design. Most of these use a small circ pump either 230v or 115v. Spas that use the small circ pump also use the "U" heater. On some new models, the circulation pump is about the size of a JET pump. On these, the spa uses a free standing heater. All circ pumps are made to be operated 24/7.


Jet Pumps

All spas have 1, 2, or 3 jet pumps. Spas with 1 jet pump usually have a 2 speed jet motor. Spas with 2 or 3 jet pumps may have either 1 or 2 speed jet motor.

On ONE jet pump systems, the low speed of the pump motor is used to filter and heat the spa. The high speed is used for JET action. On TWO or THREE pump systems, these will always have also a small circ pump for heating. So 2 or 3 Jet Pump spas the Jet Pumps are only used for JET action

Spa with 2 or 3 JET pumps will have "Zones". These zones feed water to certain jets within that zone.



Spa typically use standard PVC schedule 40 piping on all rigid and flex hoses. The fittings and the jet housings are also this rating. The soft plastic used is either 3/4" or 3/8" and designed for use in hot tubs.



Some filters are patented design. There are some aftermarket designed filters but most have a cheaper paper and not exactly like OEM.


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