Spa Tec-Blog


DIY: Replacement Electronic Control System for Soft Heat Saunas Now Available

  Today we renovated a Soft Heat Sauna. Original problem was that the unit just would not heat up. After testing the system I determined that the Electronic Control box had failed. After some research, I found out that Soft Heat the sauna manufacturer had gone out of business and no parts were available. I then contacted several manufactures and found one that one built a system that would directly replace the Soft Heat Electronic Control Box and Digital Display Panel, while reusing the original power supply cord, limit switch and lamps.
This System saved the customer a lot of money since they did not have to pay for new lamps and labor to retrofit the existing ones. All the lamps plug in exactly the same way to the Control Box and the smaller Digital Display Panel comes with a 5" wide by 7" tall Adapter Plate to fit the existing Control Panel hole. Mount the new Temperature Probe, plug the cord into the power supply and it was back to enjoying the sauna. Contact Spa Tec or Click for further details on how you can obtain this replacement System. Happy Hot Sauna! Jeff at

Original Control Panel
New Control Panel. Click to Enlarge.
New Control Box with Digital Control Panel and Adapter Plate. Click to Enlarge.
Lamp Plug Connections View. Click to Enlarge.
Power Supply View. Click to Enlarge. Available in 120 volt and 240 volt input.

1971 Jacuzzi Hot Tub with Suzanne Somers Advertisement

PictureSuzanne Somers (Standing), a little known actress at that time, was a Jacuzzi spokeswoman in 1971.
History: In 1968, Candido Jacuzzi brought to market the first self-contained, fully integrated whirlpool bath by incorporating jets into the sides of the tub. Dubbed the "Roman Bathtub", the jets used a 50-50 air/water ratio to improve the experience. The Jacuzzi became a symbol of a luxurious lifestyle. Hundreds of thousands of Jacuzzi portables were installed, both indoors and outdoors, at recreation centers and private homes. In the early 1970s, the company produced larger units with built-in heating and filtration systems. This was the beginning of the spa industry as we know it today, and it firmly associated the Jacuzzi name with the tubs. Suzanne Somers, then a model, was used in some of the first Jacuzzi print advertisements. The integrated design allowed for easy installation and portability, and thousands of homeowners installed the units. As the industry matured, the company's product line expanded with models that worked in multi-use configurations as hot tubs, whirlpool baths, or both. These models could be installed indoors or outdoors. Happy Hot Tubbin! Jeff at


Kohler Spa still going strong after 33 years in operation

PictureClick to enlarge
Today was a vintage day. A service call came in for what I was told was an older Kohler Spa inside a home in North West Grand Rapids. To my surprise it was older in fact it was probably the oldest residential Kohler Spa I have had the pleasure to work on. A "Kohler Super Spa" was the factory name custom installed in 1980 from a local plumbing company. I know 1980 wasn't that long ago but it was for the Spa industry and the start of the soon to be Portable Hot Tub manufacturing boom times. This Spa was not portable meaning it was not a one piece unit that could be moved, hooked up electrically and filled with a garden hose.  Yes spas can be and still are installed this way today. The shell is one piece but had to be installed into a floor or deck, inside or outside,  to be stable. The equipment (Pumps, Filter, Heater and Controls) were installed in another location, this one had it's equipment in the basement beneath the unit with the necessary plumbing pipes attached. One of the most unique features of this unit was the Optional Table that was mounted to the main water pump suction assembly in the bottom of the tub. The repairs needed were some tweeking to the function control relays, which run the jets and bubbles, and the Heater had a limit sensor problem which was taken care of. I did find out from the owner that he had spent $4000.00 in 1980 to have this unit installed.
Happy Hot Tubbin! Jeff D,

Check out an Original Advertisement below.

1981 Advertisement for KOHLER Super Spa



At the edge of your imagination lies a new frontier of comfort. The Super Spa. Installed indoors or out, with optional fixed or floating teakwood table. A practical alternative to a swimming pool, serving as both hot tub and whirlpool. Shown in Sequoia, one of a variety of exciting colors. For those who prefer their comfort with a different slant. Kohler's Spa Ville D'eau features a chaise lounge and modified triangular form with gently contoured sides. For a full-color catalog, contact your Kohler dealer listed in the Yellow Pages or send one dollar to: Kohler Company, Dept. SPA AH4, Kohler, Wisconsin 53044.


Jacuzzi originally installed with out access to equipment

 Spa Tec was called into action for an older jetted bath tub that had leaked and ruined the drywall ceiling below it. Upon arrival I felt the disappointment that had taken place, which was described to me from the contractor hired to rectify the situation. He also asked if this happens a lot? I explained that I have been repairing all brands of whirlpool, jetted and air bathtubs for a great many years and no it does not happen allot, but when there is a leak it's a big problem. 

  The drywall ceiling in a garage below the tub was crumbled and what hadn't fell was sagging in quite a large area under the tub. This was a mess in deed. The contractor cut out a large area of the ceiling and the wood sub-floor under the tub which was in need of replacement. 

 Prior to calling Spa Tec, the contractor had a plumber out to figure out what happened and the plumber explained to him that the faucet and drain were okay and that's as far as he goes. He said to call a Jacuzzi repair company. They got our number from a local plumbing distributor.

 After my initial inspection of the unit, I explained to the contractor and the owner, who was now home, that a pump union had cracks in it and was the cause of the leak. Replacing the union and the necessary plumbing fittings was impossible to reach thru the access hole in the ceiling below. The tub was completely encased in beautiful marble with no access to the equipment in the bathroom and the only way to re-plumb it was to cut out some marble. The homeowners jaw dropped and his eyes rolled back into his head after a moment of silence he said ok. I explained to him after the repair was made and water tested the marble should be installed with 100% sanded silicone in the color needed, for setting it and grouting the joints so if access was needed again some day the marble could be removed with a razor blade.

 I do not blame the original installer for not supplying access in the bathroom due to the layout and who wants to look at an access panel in a completely marble encased tub. The ceiling damage beneath the tub is going to be reconstructed with an access panel which I do recommend, so the underside of the tub could be inspected for problems before they get out of hand. If your the proud owner of such a fine bath having your tub inspected periodically by trained eyes is worth not having big problems later.

Happy Hot Tubbin, Jeff D.

View of tub and shower.
View of access hole cut into marble.
The repair was able to be completed thru this hole.
I like the fill spout.

Tile problems can be eliminated with the correct products for installation

Completed Tile Repair
  Some tiles were missing from this cement pool and spa combo which really looks bad.
  Spa Tec was originally called for service on the functions of the spa not working. After completion, we were asked "Do we know anyone that would repair the tiles that were missing". I replied that Spa Tec has been repairing tile for quite some time and would be happy to remedy the situation. In looking more closely at the repairs needed I soon realized that the tile has been repaired before with caulking that was not holding up well essentially that was the problem. The homeowner said "The tiles are repaired about every other year and it's time again". I described what I was finding and advised the owner that inferior products were previously used here and that's why the problem returns. If the correct products are used to set and grout the tile problem areas will be gone.  Happy Hot Tubbin, Jeff D. -

Whirlpool (Jetted) or air bath tub equipment access panels make service possible.
Click to enlarge. Jacuzzi Fuzion Dual 7260 Salon Luxury Bath.
Gorgeous two person Jacuzzi Model - Fuzion with dual pumps and LCD programmable controls.
 Whirlpool (jetted) bath tub equipment will need service someday and planning ahead saves the owner and technician a major hassle to accomplish the repair required to make the unit functional again.
 Access to the equipment and plumbing on this Jacuzzi in Jenison, MI. was very well thought out on this unit. I particularly liked the front tub access - removable panel. The two plastic access panels in the bedroom wall were sufficient for this repair, however I would recommend another completely removable wall panel painted the wall color to blend in. The panel could be particle board with trim that has hidden screws for removal.
 Future service possibilities could include: Electrical surge(spike) type damage, Varmint damage, Mechanical parts failure and Leaks of all types.
 From Spa Tec's point of view complete access is a must and anything less was not a well planned installation. A little spent now will save a lot later. This homeowner's access plan worked out great. 
 As the new owner of such a luxurious unit or any unit with plumbed features, whether your installing it or having it installed, consult the manufactures installation manual and take it to the next level for your own piece of mind in the future...
Happy Hot Tubbin, Jeff D. -

Jacuzzi Chromatherapy Lighting system.
Jacuzzi J5 LCD Control Panel.
Jacuzzi front access a technician could not ask for more.
Jacuzzi rear access panels provided in a bedroom wall make further access possible. This home owner was thinking.
Jacuzzi view thru a plastic access panel.

Bring the life back to your hot tub opposed to bearing the expense to replace it.

Click to enlarge
 This mid 90's constructed hot tub had seen better days: Non functional, un level and just plain old. The homeowner had a problem.
  Spa Tec has the ability to renovate the unit for about one half the cost of replacing it, or remove it and rebuild the deck with "No hot tub anymore" was on the table.
  With the homeowners consent the job at hand was started and completed with in 30 days which includes a couple weeks lead time for orders to arrive. It turned out great.
  Job details: Remove and replace outdated equipment with 2012 state of the art digital electronic driven control system, new higher efficiency water pump, new shut off valves unions and pipe works (insulated), reuse the forced air blower and ozone sterilizer which had been replaced a few years back and tested good, enclose and weatherproof all equipment in a self contained custom made, treated lumber compartment under the deck with a new substantial access door in the deck floor to accommadate easy entry. Remove all wood skirting, re level vessel and surrounding deck structure with new support posts, replace skirting with Trex transcend brand composite decking in their "Lava rock" color which was chosen by the homeowner. Custom size and color order of a new "Made for Michigan" climate spa cover. Install spa cover lift assistant for simple operation. Update power supply breaker to meet code with a Ground Fault circuit breaker (GFCI) for safety and inspect the supply wiring which passed. Fill and test for use/ pass. Orientate homeowner on new system operation and admire the smile on their face.
Happy Hot Tubbin, Jeff D. -

Not working,unlevel and rotten wood definitely needs help.
A new cover is on order custom made to fit.
View of Trex composite cabinet and new cover with lift.
Spa cover lifts are a must have. Benefits include: ease of operation and the biggest factor is any water inside the cover completely drains out for long cover life.
Click pic. to enlarge.
  Some repair jobs are just inspirational to me. I always appreciate how beautiful Michigan is. However, this would be a top ten for me, relaxing and admiring Lake Michigan while soaking in a perfect running 100 plus degree Jacuzzi with a glass of wine and an approaching sunset.
  Pictures never can completely capture the overall visual contentment I felt while working on this unit, let alone the sounds of cresting waves and wildlife songs in the back ground were like music to my ears.
  After the job was completed I walked a short distance to the edge of the dune grass seen in the photo and was surprised to see at least a 150' drop down to the sandy shoreline. Yes, the owner did have a  winding staircase to access the beach.
  View looking west from Muskegon, MI.
  Job details: Electronics replacement due to electrical surge caused by wind damage  to the homes power supply lines. Not only was the hot tub damaged but inside the house had major appliance, video and audio damage as well.
Happy Hot Tubbin, Jeff D. -