April 2024

Categories Spacoversetc

Spa Covers Should Have Tapered (Pitched) Foam Core


The engineering of spa covers.
Made of generic, off the shelf vinyl and a FLAT foam core it didn’t take long, usually after the first decent rain, the owner’s of the covers reported that they have become very heavy (sometimes too heavy to lift). The design allowed water to puddle on top of the cover and water-log.
Flat foam core covers do NOT allow the water to run-off so they cover become heavy. Over time, the weight of the water puddling on the cover will cause the foam core to sag (bow) into the spa, exacerbating the problem ever more because the water begins to wick into the spa cover adding more weight.
Now we have MANY foam core options! But what do they mean?


Spa Covers Etc. has been an Independent Authorized Dealer of Ideal™ Spa Covers for over 20 years. Ideal™ Spa Covers practically invented the modern TAPERED foam spa cover. They use a 4″ thick foam core that tapers to 2″ thick. This means that the spa cover is 4″ thick in the center and 2″ at the edge. Like an “A” frame roof that is peaked in the middle, not only does it encourage water (and snow) to run-off, it also adds strength to the design.
The Cover Is Sewn Together…
Even with a full 2″ taper, some water will get inside the spa cover. And when the spa is heated, steam will penetrate the cover through the underside’s stitches. When you remove the spa cover, the steam will cool back into liquid water. Because of this Ideal™ Spa Covers adds a Vapor Proof Barrier VPB3000. Exclusive to the Ideal™ Spa Covers, the VPB3000 is a heavy duty plastic that is vacuumed-sealed around the foam core ensuring that moisture does NOT come in contact with the foam. This eliminates the problem FLAT foams have with retaining water weight.
When water from rain / snow lands on the Ideal™ Spa Covers, due to the 2″ taper, water runs-off quickly. Any water that does penetrate the vinyl simply bypasses the sealed foam core and goes through the drain holes located on the bottom of the spa cover.
NEW – The Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover 5″ x 2″ 
The ONLY spa cover with Three Inches of taper!
Exclusively @ Spa Covers Etc. https://www.spacoversetc.com/
The “Other Guys” Common Foam Cores:
3.5″ x 2.5″ – only 1″ of taper.
4″ x 2.5″ – only 1.5″ of taper.
Watch Out For The Bigger Is Better Gimmicks!
5″ x 3″ – Yes it has a 2″ taper, BUT it weighs 25% MORE!
6″ x 4″ – This is CRAZY! Same taper BUT 50% more weight!
Categories Spacoversetc

Things to Consider When Purchasing a New Spa Cover



Depending on your climate and the type of spa consider these points when purchasing a new spa cover. Portable spas/ hot tubs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is important to have the cover fit properly in order to retain heat and keep debris and moisture out of the spa. Spas that measure 96″ x 96″ or smaller use a typical two-piece design containing two panels sewn together and fold in half. The foam core is 48″ wide x 96″ long. If we put two together we get 96″ x 96″ square. Depending on the size and shape of your spa we will cut/shape the cover to fit your needs.

If the length is longer than 96″it will require a third panel. We refer to this as the three-piece design. We will take the length of the cover in inches and divide that number equally by the number of panels. All three panels will be equal. Two panels sewn together and fold in half. For convenience the third panel attaches with a Velcro flap. If the width of the spa is over 96″ (up to 120″) AND the length is also over 96″ you will need the over-sized three-piece spa cover.We can accommodate the width of a spa up to 120″.  As far as the length of the spa cover is concerned, we add panels until we have the proper length. Basically any size spa!

You will need a tape measure for shapes such as square, round, octagon, hexagon and rectangle to determine the size. For shapes such as oval, stretched octagon and free formed spas (e.g. kidney bean shape) will require a template in order to fit properly.

A carpenter’s square is needed for radius corners (rounded corners).

***Remember to measure the area that you want the cover to rest, NOT the length of the water. The cover sits on the edge of the spa. It does NOT fit into the spa or float on the water. In ground Gunite/ plaster spas should have a minimum of 3″ to 4″ perimeter around the spa for the cover to rest onto.

What foam density?
What is the difference between 1.0# and 2.0# foam?
The density is a measurement of the degree of compactness of the foam inside the spa cover. The density is one of the main things to consider. Density and thickness Do NOT go hand in hand. Just because a cover is thicker does not mean it more dense.

Ideal™ Spa Covers are available in the following:

Standard – 1.0 lbs. foam (4″ x 2″ tapered) R-12 value
The Deluxe – 1.5 lbs foam core (4″ x 2″ Taper R-17 value
Heavy Duty 2.0 lbs. foam (4″ x 2″ tapered) R-19 value
Super Foam 5″ x 3″ R-22 value
Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover – 1.5 lb foam (5″ x 2″ tapered foam) R-15 value.
The R-Value has to do with the energy efficiency and cost savings of using the spa. Spa covers with higher R values are more energy efficient. If the spa is outdoors or if you live in a colder climate the R-value of the cover is more important than if your spa is indoors.

Tapered Foam
Simply put….water will not run-off a flat cover. The water tends to puddle in the center of the cover causing it to gain weight and wear prematurely. Spa covers made by Ideal™ Spa Covers have two inches of taper for maximum run-off of rainwater and snow melt. In the center they are 4″ thick and taper to 2″. Spa covers of yesteryear were either flat or 3.5″ to 2.5″ with only 1″ of taper 50% less than our spa covers.  Recently (March 2014) Ideal™ Spa Covers released its newest design. The Ultimate Waterfall spa cover. This cover has 3 inches of taper, 50% more than any other spa cover! It is 5″ thick and tapers to 2″. For more information about the Ultimate Waterfall spa cover visit Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover

Spa covers that are NOT specifically stamped “Meets ASTM Certification”…. are not safety covers. In order for a spa cover to meet this certification the spa cover must submit their spa cover to a lab for independent testing and the cover must meet the standards. The cover must have four(4) locking tie downs with keys. Spa covers are meant to cover the spa Not to be walked on or sat on.

VPB 3000 Vapor Proof Barrier Vs.  the other guys covers.

If the foam is exposed to moisture it will become water-logged! The VPB 3000 completely eliminates this problem. The VPB 3000 is a special proprietary blend of plastics that is wrapped around the foam and vacuumed sealed to protect the foam from steam that will penetrate the stitches when the cover is on a hot spa. Steam that gets into the vinyl stays separated from the foam due to the VPB 3000 and when the steam cools/ turns into water it drains out of the drain holes located under the cover.
Other spa cover companies use a simple polyethylene plastic and tape it shut. The plastic is porous and will allow steam to penetrate into the foam. When the steam cools it becomes water again and is trapped inside the plastic bag forever. Only a vacuum sealed spa cover done by professional machines (not a hand held unit) can guarantee that the cover is be safe.

For more information about spa covers, visit us @ Spa Covers Etc.
Categories Spacoversetc

Spa Covers Frequently Asked Questions



If properly maintained, the spa cover shouldn’t crack during the warranty period. Cleaning the cover and regular use of 303 Aerospace Protectant will stop slow fade by 95% over 5 years. Ideal™ Spa Covers feels that 4-6 years is s good life expectancy of a spa cover that has NO maintenance and constant exposure to the sun. Our customers have reported back that they got up to 10 years with monthly cleaning of the spa cover and 303 Aerospace Protectant used every other month.


If you know the Make, Model, and Year the spa was made (not purchased), Spa Covers Etc. can use the spa manufacturer’s dimensions and compare those to the dimensions that you get from measuring the spa. Spa Covers Etc. does not provide the dimensions for the customer unless we physically measure the spa. It is not very common, but the spa manufactures have been known to change the dimensions of a model mid-year which can cause a great deal of confusion. Additionally it is very common for customer to keep the brochure for the spa at the time of purchase. The dimensions provided on the brochure usually are rounded off to the nearest inch which can cause the cover to be the wrong size. AND the brochures do not mention the size of the radius corners or cut corners, so you will need to provide this information.
Spa Covers Etc. has put together a helpful guide:

How To Measure A Spa


  • The skirt covers the fiberglass on the outside of the spa protecting it from UV rays.
  • The skirt does NOT provide any type of seal. It is for UV protection and looks.


With all the choices it can be difficult to decide which foam type is best for your scenario. Ideal™ Spa Covers is the OEM of spa covers for: Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, Sundance Spas, Dimensions One Spas, Cal-Spas and more. Because the are the OEM they know exactly to what specs the covers was made and what foam type came standard with your cover. When it is time for a replacement Spa Covers Etc. will ask questions in order to determine which foam type is best for your climate, safety needs, etc.
Standard Foam – 1.0lbs foam core with a 4″ x 2″ tapered core. This is the most common cover for spas located in Southern California and most southern states.
Deluxe Foam – 1.5lbs. foam core with a 4″ x 2″ tapered core. Many spa manufacturers have gone to the Deluxe Foam in order to have less inventory on hand. Instead of using the 1.0lbs for the southern parts of the country and the 2.0lbs for the colder, northern states, many companies default to the 1.5lbs. as a way to cover every scenario with one cover model If the current spa cover uses a 1.5lbs foam and you decide to purchase a 1.0lbs foam core to save money, be aware that the insulation value of the 1.0lbs foam is less and you will use more electricity to keep the spa heated.
Heavy Duty Foam – 2.0lbs foam core with a 4″ x 2″ tapered core. This upgrade is recommended for any area that gets ANY amount of snow or temperatures below 50F degrees. All spa covers sold by Spa Covers Etc. can handle a snow load of 300lbs but the Heavy Duty can handle almost double that! Did you know that your spa is equipped with a freeze control? That’s right! Your spa will turn itself on and begin to heat the water automatically if the spa gets below 40 degrees. With a higher insulation the spa heater will run less frequently and you will notice the savings $$$. With the Heavy Duty Spa Cover you will have twice the foam density as the Standard Spa Cover.
ALL spa covers for in-ground spas use Heavy Duty or Super Foam by default.
Super Foam – A 5″ x 3″ Spa cover with a twist! Many times in life you hear “Bigger IS Better” and sometimes this is true. But ask yourself, why do I need a spa cover this thick? The answer: You probably do NOT need it. The Super Foam Spa Cover uses a core that is 25% thicker than the Standard cover. It DOES provide a stronger cover with a higher insulation. But it comes with added weight compared to the 4″ x 2″ spa covers.
Both types of cover has a FULL 2.0″ of taper (slope) which encourages the water to run-off quickly. In reality, Super Foam should be purchased based on the scenario not just because it is Bigger. For example, the spa is built-in (in-ground) and you have a dog that insists on laying on the spa cover because it is warm. Over time the Standard cover may sag. This is less likely with Super Foam. Or maybe you want that extra confidence because you have children and you want to keep them safe. A Super Foam cover may be the hot ticket!


The ONLY 5″ x 2″ spa cover! With a FULL 3.0″ of taper (slope) water will run-off the Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover faster than any other spa cover. ADDITIONALLY… the new stitch design has eliminated over 1/3 of the stitches from the topside of the cover so water can’t penetrate the cover from above. The new design is stronger than any other cover and designed like no other cover! Great for any area! Get a lot of rain? This is the cover for your spa.

pictured above:
The Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover with OVER 2 Feet of Snow.
Not necessarily. Chose the spa cover based upon your spa’s scenario. What type of climate do you have? Do you have a cover lifter on the spa? You are getting older, do you have to manually remove the cover by hand? Thicker spa covers are heavier and may cause problems when removing/ replacing.over.
Density of the foam and the taper are the most important things to consider about the foam core. The higher the density, the higher the insulation. If the foam doesn’t have a decent taper it will puddle and take on water weight. The 5″ and 6″ spa covers available today still use the 2″ taper but they do it with a thicker cover (and it is heavier). A question that comes to mind: do these 5″ and 6″ covers do anything different when it comes to sewing the cover together or are they same as the lighter spa covers? This will make a difference n the long run. Due to its weight, the heavier cover will be dropped, dragged across the deck/cement. It is more likely to tear, especially when the vinyl becomes older and the foam retains moisture. Buy a spa cover that best fits your needs, NOT what the cover company tells you is the best!
Categories Spacoversetc

Spa Covers Etc. – About Us (Formerly Discount Pool Supply)



Discount Pool Supply was established in 1997 by Chris Graham, a mobile Pool and Spa Supply “On Wheels”.
From 1987 to 1997 Chris worked as the store manager for Allred’s Pool Supplies in Laguna Hills, Mission Pool & Spa Supplies in Mission Viejo and Sierra Pool & Spa in Lake Forest, Ca.. 
Chris realized that certain needs were not being met by the traditional swimming pool store. The main thing that was not offered as a service is HOME DELIVERY. As a “mobile” swimming pool store, Discount Pool Supply, is able to sell products such as Custom Vinyl Spa Covers, a product that is very big and bulky and may be difficult for a customer to transport to their home. And since you can’t bring your pool or spa to us, we make house calls. This ensures that you get the correct replacement parts for your pool or spa and potential future problems are able to be fixed before they become a major problem.

For information about spa covers visit Home of Ideal™ Spa Covers.

NOTE*** As of Jan 2019 Discount Pool Supply has changed its name to Spa Covers Etc. due to the fact that there are a lot of Discount Pool Supplies throughout the USA.
Our website is :https://www.spacoversetc.com/

Same Owner, just a new name!
Categories Spacoversetc

Ideal Spa Covers vs. The “Other Guys”



Ideal™ Spa Covers have over 20 points of reinforcement. Chris Graham, owner of Spa Covers Etc., in Orange County, Ca. would like to share some of those points with you.
Ideal™ Spa Covers are CUSTOM MADE to order. Every spa cover order is made to the customer’s specifications, choice of color, and choice of foam core density. Our spa covers are NOT generic sizes “that will work”. All spa covers are made by hand using industrial grade machines enabling us to make the strongest, longest lasting spa cover, in a wide variety of custom sizes and shapes.


Ideal™ Spa Covers has been in business over 25 years. This has made for a great relationship between Ideal™ Spa Covers and the manufacturer of the Vinyl. Over the years the formula of the Vinyl has been “tweaked” to meet the needs for our spa covers. This allows us to offer the Highest Grade of Marine Grade Vinyl that is unique to Ideal™ Spa Covers. Our proprietary formula for Vinyl has been treated with mold and UV inhibitors protecting it from the elements. With proper spa cover care, our customers have reported that Ideal™ Spa Covers last 6 to 8 years on average and up to 10 years when using 303 Aerospace Protectant every month after cleaning the spa cover.
The type of Vinyl used is the MOST important thing about a spa cover! If you use cheap Vinyl… who cares if it gets water-logged if the Vinyl is already torn/ faded? Many spa covers use a type of Vinyl that is meant to be used on furniture. This type of Vinyl will deteriorate quickly and have issues with mold due to its properties. Most Vinyl (even Marine grade Vinyl) is usually used as a type of fabric on furniture (e.g. chairs). This type of Vinyl has a soft “cotton-like” fabric on the underside.When exposed to moisture, this will be a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Our Vinyl doesn’t have this fabric underside.
UV protection is also a major concern. Even a boat that uses Vinyl for the seats is usually indoors or under a tarp when it not being used. A Vinyl spa cover is exposed to the elements 24/7. In addition to adding protection to our formula, we recommend using 303 Aerospace Protectant every month, this will reduce slow fade by 95% over fiver years! Vinyl has pores similar to the pores in skin. If these pores are allowed to become filled with dirt the vinyl will no longer be able to expand and contract with the heat of the day. Eventually the plasticizes will dry out and the Vinyl will lose its pliability and become hard and brittle. Eventually the Vinyl will tear and your spa cover will water-log the next time it rains.


When the spa cover industry was in its infancy a lot of things were done wrong. It was Ideal™ Spa Covers that standardized the use of tapered/ sloped foam. In the beginning the foam was 3″ flat foam or a foam with only 1″ of taper, 3.5″ to 2.5″. Ideal™ Spa Covers comes standard with 2″ tapered designs of 4″ x 2″ (1# and 2# foam). And also offers Super Foam 5″ x 3″ (2.5# foam).
Ideal™ Spa Cover recently introduced a great new design… the Ultimate Waterfall spa cover featuring 5″ x 2″ design. The only cover with 3″ of taper…50% more than the others! The new design also incorporates a seamless design around the top edges so that no moisture can penetrate the cover from the top. Heavy rains and snow melt will water-log this cover. Click for more information about the Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover .


Protecting the foam from becoming water-logged should be a simple concept and standard on all spa covers. Unfortunately it’s not.
For Ideal™ Spa Covers the concept is simple. Ideal created a Vapor Proof Barrier. A proprietary blend of 4 mil thick plastic, wrap it around the foam panel and vacuum seal it by machine. When a spa cover is on a heated spa IT WILL PICK UP MOISTURE. The steam rises up through the stitches of ALL spa covers. Because our spa covers use the VPB 3000 Vapor Proof Barrier the steam remains separated from the foam. As it cools, it condenses back to water and drains out the drain holes. In my experience of selling this cover since 1997 I have found this is ALL that is required to keep an Ideal™ Spa Cover from water-logging.
The “other guys spa covers” advertise a few “interesting” options. They suggest “double wrap” of the cover. The problem with this idea is two-fold…
If the steam can penetrate their regular, run of the mil, off the shelf , polyethylene plastic, what good will putting a 2nd layer around it do? Nothing, it will just delay it. The plastic is actually porous to the point that steam can penetrate it, but it will hold water. In actuality the steam will still penetrate the first layer of plastic and then become trapped forever between the sheets when the moisture condenses. The foam at this point isn’t water-logged, technically… but the cover is getting heavier.
In addition to the VPB 3000 being an unique formula of plastic the Ideal™ Spa Cover also uses industrial grade machines to vacuum seal the plastic. Vacuum sealing of the plastic removes the air between the VPB 3000 and the foam.  And sealed with an industrial strength machine ensures that the seal will be done evenly throughout with the proper pressure providing a seal that is 100% sealed. Some “other guys spa covers” just tape the plastic closed. This is the worst thing that you can do! You are just guaranteeing that the steam is going to get trapped the first time the cover is on the heated spa consequently its just going to get worse from there.
My favorite “interesting” option is a spa cover that offers NO barrier from the steam. In fact they make no attempt to protect the foam from moisture. Be it steam or water. The design I am referring to uses a “mesh web” bottom material. Ideal™ Spa Covers uses industrial strength sheet of double ply poly-laminate with drain holes. The mesh-web bottom design exposes the unsealed foam to moisture and they acknowledge this and say it will just run out. If you have ever owned and had to replace an old spa cover you know how badly they can water-log and that they never really dry out. And they sure don’t dry out over night while the cover is on the heated spa.


Ideal™ Spa Covers are certified to be safety covers for children under the age of 5 years. For Example, when the spa cover is locked it prevents drowning because the child cant crawl under the spa cover. All Ideal™ Spa Covers (96″ x 96″) are certified as a safety cover ASTM 1346-91 when ordered with four (4) locking tie-downs. Recently you may have tried to sell or refinance your home and found out that your spa is NOT compliant with local safety regulations. You may have been told that a fence will be required and/ or door alarms on the patio doors. An Ideal™ Spa Cover w/ Tie Downs will solve this expensive problem. When used properly our spa covers will pass the ASTM requirement and have the required ASTM # stamped on every cover. If it doesn’t have the ASTM stamp the cover will not pass inspection.


Ideal™ Spa Covers are simply better than the competition because of the quality of the craftsmanship and use of the highest quality materials. And by taking the next step to work with the manufacturer’s of the materials, Ideal™ Spa Covers surpasses the quality of the competition with its use of proprietary blends. Forcing the “other guys spa covers” to produce an inferior spa cover. On the outside “theirs” appears similar to Ideal™ Spa Covers, but on the inside “they” sell you a Model T and Ideal sells the “Cadillac of Spa Covers”.


  • Tear Free Padded Handles (slightly offset) Made of same material/ color as spa cover. Fiver layers thick for added strength. (Not Nylon. Nylon rots in the sun)
  • Double Reinforced Folding Hinge – Allows for strength at the hinge (keeps foam panels pressed firmly against each other preventing heat loss through hinge). NO need for “full length thermal seal do-dad thing-a-ma-jig” the other guys are selling.
  • Dual Purpose Heat Seal Gaskets – When the spa cover is on the spa the gaskets eliminate loss of heat at the spa edges. When the spa cover is taken off, the gaskets double as a great resting place for the cover. Simply place the cover upright and rest on the padded gaskets.
  • Commercial Grade Nylon Zipper – At the beginning of the summer it is a good idea to take the foam out of the vinyl and let everything air out for a few hours. While the foam is out, wipe off the VPB 3000 plastic barrier. It may have moisture on it as well as mildew. A high quality zipper will enable you reassemble the spa cover easily.
  • Double Ply Poly-Laminate – The bottom of the spa cover is NOT the same as the colored portion of the spa cover. Since the bottom of the spa cover will be exposed to harsh fumes from the sanitizers it is important to have a strong material to withstand the abuse. We use a light grey color since the fumes will “bleach” out the color eventually.
  • LIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE – Call Spa Covers Etc. 9am to 6pm (PST). Chris, the owner will answer all of your questions about spa covers. And since he has been in the business for over 25 years he can answer all of your pool/spa questions as well. For more information click here: Spa Cover Information.
Categories Spacoversetc

Liquid Chlorine or Salt Pool



Why do they call it a Salt Pool? Isn’t it just a device that generates chlorine from salt?

TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) is a measurement of ALL things that come into contact with the water when a chemical is added it leaves behind “salts”. When a swimmer swims they sweat just as much as they would if they were running. The difference is that it is all washed away by the water. Sweat is salt. If the wind blows dust into the pool it will add to the TDS. If the birds “drop” into the water this adds the TDS. And Urine adds to the TDS.

Fresh water is anything from 250ppm to 1000 ppm

Saline Solution (eye drops) 15,000 to 30,000 ppm

Sea water is 30,000 to 40,000 ppm

If the TDS is higher than 2500 ppm in a swimming pool we recommend draining the pool.

(In the pool industry we usually get complaints about the pool tasting salty at 5000 ppm)

If the pool has a high concentration of swimmers at one time and the TDS has tested at or above 2500 ppm, the usual source of the “salty taste” is from sweat floating at the top of the water level. (Sweat doesn’t sink).


*** Note there are many types of ways to make chlorine. This ONLY compares Liquid Chlorine to a Salt Pool.  Dry Chlorine is very different.

Liquid Chlorine:

In Every gallon of liquid chlorine is a POUND and a HALF of salt. The chlorine manufacturer has a giant storage tank that they use to make liquid chlorine. It uses water and salt NACL. The tank uses a low voltage charge to polarize the NA (sodium) and the CL (Chlorine) using a negative charge the can separate the two elements and make what we call liquid chlorine (Sodium hypochlorite). Notice the Salt and chlorine in the words of sodium hypochlorite?

Over the course of time as more and more chlorine is added, water evaporates leaving the TDS from the tap water behind. When you add more water, more TDS are introduced to the pool. Adding chlorine and other sanitizing chemicals contributes to the rise of TDS.

A commercial pool may need to be drained annually depending on how many people use the pool over a course of the year. Hotter summers will require more chlorine and all will make TDS rise faster.

Fresh water out of the tap (today 9/6/2013) is 486 ppm. At 2500 ppm draining of the water is recommended.

Higher TDS readings are not harmful as long as there is a chlorine reading above 1.0 ppm. Higher TDS readings DO cause the pool to require a bit more chlorine. High TDS may cause cloudiness to the water.

Salt (generator) Pool:

This is exactly the same thing as a liquid chlorinated pool.

The difference is that in a Salt Pool, the owner of the pool owns the salt generator (the machine that makes the chlorine) and your pool is the storage tank.

Initially when the pool is filled, depending on the size of the pool, about 200 to 500 pounds of salt will be added to the water, dissolved, and when the salt generator is turned on it will do the following:

The water in the pool must be circulated (on the customers dime) in order for salt to be introduced as chlorine and mixed throughout the water. Approximately every 4 hours the unit will reverse polarity and separate the NACL into Salt and Chlorine and then reverse and turn itself back into NACL Table Salt. The strength of the chlorine in the water is determined by the setting on the salt generator and the length of time that the pool is running.

Over time more salt will be required and this will add to the TDS.

Neither a freshly filled salt water pool nor a pool that is sanitized using liquid chlorine should have a “salty” taste. However, over time both pools may develop some sort of taste. This usually is when the pool needs to be drained. A TDS test can confirm this.

Note**** Do not confuse the above description of a salt pool with a pool filled with salt water. A salt water pool is a relaxation pool in which the salt level is that of the Dead Sea and you actually float on the water. You can’t swim in this type of pool.

Remember Sea Water is over 30,000 ppm. A pool is usually under 5000 ppm.

Now that you know a Salt Pool is the same thing as liquid chlorinated pool you should ask your pool professional about things like the initial cost of a salt generator, annual maintenance costs, how often do you add more salt,  and how long do they last? Compare this to the cost of liquid chlorine (at about $4.00 per gallon) and you can make an educated decision.

For more information visit our website @ Spa Covers Etc.

NOTE*** As of March 2022, a case of chlorine (4 gallons) has been reported to cost over $30.00. If you use a case of chlorine and you probably do in the summer a salt generator may be for you!

Categories Spacoversetc

Spa Water Chemistry – Bromine Tablets



Maintaining the spa water chemistry with Bromine can be very effective chemical used to sanitize water. Always maintain a level of 3.0 to 5.0 ppm

pH (potential Hydrogen): A scale of 1 to 14 that measure the alkalinity of the water. A reading below 7.0 equals acidic water and will cause etching of the plaster, staining and corrosion to the metal pipes and heater and could be irritating to swimmers. If the pH is above 8.0 the water will be cloudy, scale will build up along the tile and in the pipes. The filter will become clogged and circulation will diminish. High pH makes chlorine less efficient but Bromine works OK at a pH up to 8.0. In A Fiberglass spa keep the pH at 8.0 or above.

Acid Demand: If the pH is above 7.8, use the #3 test solution 1-drop at a time to determine how much acid is required to bring the pH down to the ideal range of 7.4 to 7.6. Count the number of drops and compare against the chart in the test kit to determine how much acid. NOTE*** Dry acid is preferred when adjusting spa water.

Total Alkalinity: This is a buffer for the pH. The ideal range is 80 to 120 ppm. If the Total Alkalinity is above 120ppm the pH will drift up (above 7.8) and the demand for acid will be higher. If the Total Alkalinity is below 80ppm the pH will drift below 7.4 and Base will be needed to raise the pH on a regular basis. In addition, the spa will be prone to blue stains.

Base: When the pH is below 7.4, a Basic (opposite of acidic) product will be added to the spa to raise the pH. The name of this product is Soda Ash. This should not be needed and only used if the chemicals are allowed to be out of range for extended periods of time.

T.D.S.: Total Dissolved Solids can be tested at the local pool store. Check every other month. The maximum reading is 2000 to 2500 ppm, if above 2500 ppm drain pool. T.D.S. is a measurement of ALL dissolved particles in the pool. Everything leaves some particles behind. Chemicals, dirt, people etc. all leave some TDS and over time the measurement rises. Liquid chlorine is the biggest contributor to this reading. When the spa has a high T.D.S. level people may complain the spa water “tastes salty”. A high T.D.S. level won’t cause damage but will make the chlorine a lot less efficient and the cost of chemicals will be more.

ConditionerMade from Cyanuric acid and is used to preserve chlorine levels in the water. The ideal range is 40 to 80 ppm. Test for this chemical with a Cyanuric acid test kit. Not used with Bromine

Algaecides: Kills algae. Identify the color of the algae and the location of the algae. Common colors in California are Green algae, Yellow (mustard) algae, and Black algae.

Scale: Deposits of calcium on the tile and plaster, caused by high pH.


Items Needed:

  • Bromine Test strips
  • 1” Floating Bromine Dispenser
  • Bromine Tablets (1”)
  • Sodium Bromide
  • Leisure Time “Metal Gon”
  • Non-Chlorine Shock (often sold as Renew) (individual 1oz packets or 2lb bottle)
  • pH increase (Raises pH. Often sold as Spa Up)
  • Spa clarifier with enzymes
  • Foam Down

Where to Buy: Purchase these items from a POOL SUPPLY…..NEVER PURCHASE SPA CHEMICALS FROM HARDWARE STORES!!!  Their products aren’t as good.

Weekly Maintenance:

Test spa water with test strips (designed for use with Bromine)

  • Dip test strip in water and hold flat for 15 seconds and compare colors to chart.
    (For best results do this out of direct sunlight)

Check the reading of the pH and Total Alkalinity first.

pH: Measurement of 7.4 to 8.4 is ideal for Bromine. If it is higher don’t worry. If it is lower add 1 ounce of Spa Up, allow water to circulate for 15 minutes and re-test. Repeat if necessary up to 3 times in 24 hours.  Drain spa if it will not stabilize.

Total Alkalinity:  Readings of 110ppm to 160ppm are ideal. If the readings are below 80ppm drain the spa.

If the pH and Total Alkalinity are OK, proceed to next step.

With a Bromine sanitized spa it will be very simple to maintain fresh clean water.

A reading of 5.0 or better, you have plenty of Bromine.

If the Bromine Level is too high just remove floating bromine dispenser (the floater) for 24 hours and retest.

A Low level of Bromine (below 3.0 ppm). Verify that the floater has tablets 3 to 4. Set to # 3 or # 4 on the side of the floater are numbers. Close the floater exposing the numbers. Lock in place with locking ring. Add tablets if necessary.

Adding 1oz of Non-Chlorine Shock (Renew) will instantly activate the Bromine in the water and you will have a healthy Bromine Reading (above 3.0).

Always add chemicals with the filter on. Always wait 15 minutes before you add additional chemicals


  • Testing the water is important. Test the water one time per week and most importantly before using it
  • Dedicate a bathing suit to the spa and NEVER wash it. Laundry soap causes foaming.
  • Adjust a small shot of Foam Down if spa has Excessive foam (may cause cloudiness)
  • The Spa Cover is ESSENTIAL…. It prevents the sun from burning out the Bromine
  • Add 1 oz of Spa Clarifier each week to help the filter (preventative maintenance).
  • Using high pressure garden hose clean filter pleats each month
  • Drain Spa 3 to 4 times per year (it’s just a big bath tub).
  • Always add the chemicals to the water…never add the water to the chemicals!!!
  • Keep at a 2lb. container of Spa Up on-hand and hope the pH just stays high and that you do not need to add it at all.
  • Circulate the spa for approx. 3 hours per day
  • Don’t try to balance the pH. Its just too hard to do. Just keep it at 7.4 to 8.4 and if it goes higher don’t worry. PH below 6.8 is bad your skin and the spa equipment.
  • If the water looks and smells its probably OK to use the spa. If it smells bad, is cloudy or discolored there is definitely a problem!
  • When the cover is removed strong fumes may be present. Choking and coughing are not normal.
  • Bromine is considered to be less irritating than Chlorine.

For More Info Call Spa Covers Etc. 949) 496-2883… ask for Chris

Categories Spacoversetc

Why Do I Need a Hot Tub Cover?



A hot tub cover has many benefits. If your spa / hot tub is made of fiberglass or acrylic, you MUST cover it because the sun’s UV rays will damage all areas above the waterline. “Spider web” type cracks will begin to appear and they will eventually turn into cracks that cause the tub to leak. For more information about portable spa covers click here https://www.spacoversetc.com/portable-spa-covers/

Plaster Spas (aka Gunite)

Plaster spas (a type of cement) does not require a cover to protect it from the sun. The tile @ the waterline is designed to protect the plaster as the water level fluctuates from evaporation. But plaster spas do benefit from a cover and may be required by law in your state. For more information about plaster spas click here https://www.spacoversetc.com/in-ground-spa-covers/

Reasons To Cover Your Spa / Hot Tub

1) Local state ordinance may require that your cover is ASTM approved to be a child safety cover that is lockable.
2) Portable spas / hot tubs use electric heaters and are NOT able to raise the temperature of cold water to 104 degrees without a cover.
3) Users of portable spas / hot tubs generally set the thermostat to 90 degrees and when they are ready to use the spa it is already warm. It should take about 20-30 minutes to raise the temperature to the ideal setting of 104 degrees. This would NOT be possible without an insulating cover.
4) Prevents evaporation
5) Prevents the sun’s UV rays from destroying the sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, etc.).
6) Keeps dirt and debris out of the water (and rain).
7) Keeps animals out of the water.
8) Designed to prevent children under 5 years from entering the spa unknowingly (when all 4 locks are locked).
9) Keeps energy cost down!
Categories Spacoversetc

When Is It Time to Replace Your Hot Tub Cover?



Typically, hot tub covers will have a life-span of 4-6 years. In addition to exposure to the elements (i.e. smog, direct sunlight, rains, snow, etc.) they are also bombarded by the fumes from sanitizing chemicals (i.e. chlorine, bromine, ozone, etc.).

  1. It has ripped, torn, or cracked.
    Over time the vinyl may crack, rip, tear or become discolored. This eyesore is not something a hot tub owner will want.
    Holes in the vinyl may result in heat escaping, ultimately causing high electricity bills. Additionally, tears at the hinge/fold will not allow the cover to sit properly on the hot tub.
  2. The Jacuzzi hot tub cover is too heavy to lift.
    After rains, an old worn-out cover may absorb a lot of water causing it to weigh much more than a new cover. Water-logged covers will wick away heat from the heated hot tub causing the electrical bill to skyrocket!
  3. It sags in the middle and puddles form during the rains.
    Cracked foam cores and waterlogged foam can cause a hot springs spa cover to sag in the center. As the center section sags the edges begin to rise, breaking the seal between the cover and the hot tub. The hot tub will not be able to maintain a constant temperature and heating costs will rise. To avoid this, get a new hot tub cover in California ASAP!
  4. Your hot tub cover stinks!
    All Ideal Spa Covers have mold and mildew inhibitors built into the vinyl to prevent foul odors from invading the hot tub. A stinky cover will deposit moldy, dirty water into the hot tub when its removed. Who wants to bathe in this?
  5. Broken Tie Downs:
    If the spa cover has broken locks, it is no longer considered to be an ASTM child-safe hot tub cover. Your homeowner’s insurance may require that you have a lockable cover for proper insurance coverage. Getting a replacement hot tub cover may be necessary.
Categories Spacoversetc

How to Order a Hot Tub Cover


Measure the spa/ hot tub (not the old cover). I do not recommend ordering using the Make, Model & Year.

Your measurements will provide the Hot Tub Cover manufacturer the exact size. Best of all, you will be able to verify that the order is correct when the hot tub cover arrives.

You will need:

  • Length & width (measured outer edge to outer edge of the spa in inches)
  • Corner dimensions – Radius (rounded) corners or Cut corners?
  • Skirt length – Protects the portion of the fiberglass/ acrylic from UV exposure.

Click here for a complete “how to measure spa” guide https://www.spacoversetc.com/how-to-measure-a-spa/


Our spa covers, Jacuzzi and hot tub covers, are available in 16 vibrant colors. All colors have UV protection built into the vinyl to help prevent fading.

Click here to see all available colors https://www.spacoversetc.com/spa-cover-colors/

Foam Core

You just need to decide which foam core is best for your scenario.

Your new spa cover will keep dirt and debris out of the water. It will protect the chemicals from U.V. exposure. If locked,It will keep children out of the spa. BEST OF ALL, it will keep the spa hot and ready to use.

Spa owners that keep the spa heated and ready to go this is the MOST important decision when purchasing a new spa cover; WHICH FOAM CORE DO I NEED? Do I need the 4”x 2” or the 5”x 3” and what’s with the 6”x 4”?

The numbers reflect the thickness and the taper (slope/pitch). Most of the spa covers that we sell are 4”x 2” meaning that they are 4” (four inches) thick and they taper to 2” (two inches) this allows for rainwater to run off the cover. The key here is the 2” (two inch) taper (I can’t believe how often I see flat foam spa covers).

Super Foam 5”x 3” is available for EXTREME situations. For instance, to protect against heavy snow loads. In-ground spas that may be stepped on may want to consider Super Foam. Note ** they are thicker but they are HEAVIER.  And the 4”x 6” is almost double the foam weight as our 4”x 2”. The main thing all of these foam types have in common is the 2” (Two inches) of taper.

You will need to choose the foam density. The 1.0lbs (one pound) foam density (aka standard) is the lightest and is recommended for warm climates.

We recommend the 1.5lbs (one & half pound) foam core for its added insulation. The price increase pays for itself thanks to the reduced heating costs.

The 2.0lbs (two pound) foam is BEST for cold climates and areas that have snow. This cover is great for in-ground applications.
Super Foam 5”x 3” is BEST suited for extreme snow climates or for dogs that insist on lying on the spa cover.

By the way, did we mention that we offer the ONLY 5”x 2” spa cover? Our cover features a full 3.0” (three inches) of taper for the BEST water run-off. Recommended for areas with rain and snow. Check out the Ultimate Waterfall Spa Cover here https://www.spacoversetc.com/portable-spa-covers/


Call today for more information 949.496.2883 – Ask for Chris

Order online (covers up to 96”) https://www.spacoversetc.com/portable-spa-covers/

For larger spa covers over 96” and for spas with free-formed shapes, please call for a quote 949-496-2883.