Friday, January 30, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
When we moved to Tahoe and were looking for our first place to rent, a house with a hot tub was selected. A year later when the landlord wanted to turn his rental into a vacation rental, we found another house with a hot tub. By this time we had become seriously addicted to our daily soaks.
This most recent (year and a half) move, found us in a house without a tub. OMG!! We thought we could get by without one, but who were we kidding, we were junkies by now. The thing with hot tubs are they are rather permanent installations. With my rate of moving every year or two, this fix was not going to be easy to come by.
Enter the Spa 2 Go. Made by Comfort Line Products (CLP), the inflatable hot tub holds 250 gallons of hot water, seats four, sets up and take down in minutes, and cost about $700. PERFECT!! http://www.clpusa.com/spa2gochecklist.html I did question the durability of the tub, but my sore muscles silenced my doubt.
The tub arrived, and as promised, 250 gallons of hot water was soon produced. But it is not without it share of problems. So here goes my list of issues:
-weak heater, will take about 2 days to get 40 degree tap water hot, about a degree an hour
-in cold weather, while in use with cover off, it drops about a degree every 15 minutes
-the inflatable tub developed a "bulge"
-pump unit clogs and stops spinning, needs clearing
-connector fitting breaks and requires some rigging
-cover not UV resistant and tears
-can not keep temp when snow accumulated on it or cold rain
-temperature sensor corrodes and sends an OVERHEAT warning, and shuts system down
This last issue was terminal. I contacted CLP, if under warranty (12months) they could send me another power pack (heater/pump unit) for $89 shipping and handling. Mine was past due (15 months). A refurbished unit was about $300 with no warranties, and a new unit was $400. I ask for a schematic, and was denied. So I took the thing apart to see what was wrong.
CPL use to sell parts to outside vendors. But now they do not. All service is done through their partner company/shop http://www.oceantis.biz/services.html. This is a good site with many trouble shooting info. The customer service rep, Candy, would not sell me a temperature sensor. I finally found a company that use to service CPL products. They however stopped since they can not get parts anymore. I did however find that they had a few sensors in their back stock. You might want to check with http://www.novacompanies.com/. They provided me with a part number: stg-1120, $26.50, I ordered two. The part that came however did not look like my original. It even came with it's own fittings. The electrical plug on one of them did not fit my control circuit board either. But I cut and soldered the old one in place. This makes me think that any two wire temperature senor will work. As long as you figure out how to make a water tight mount. http://spapartsnet.com/Electronic-Temp-Sensors/32016_1424_1_1.html
I installed the temp sensors and tested the unit in my tub. Everything seemed to work. I then proceeded to replace all the parts. I however was not able to fit the cover back on properly. The final 1.5 inches or so is blocked. I just left it as with the cover sitting. I do have a wooden box I built around the power pack to protect it from the elements, so I am not too concerned. I can not however use the air jets (which i don't use anyways) with the cover half on. Oh well. At least I got my tub of hot water again.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
There is a great website that is working to end hunger worldwide including in the US. All you need to do is click the button on the website and the value of 1.1 cups of food will be given to the hungry. You can click everyday!! If you clicked every work day for one year you would be donating 286 cups of food and it only costs you a few seconds a day.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A ski drill is special due to it's shoulder, which sets the depth of cut. Its shoulder also acts like a bushing guide for the jig.
Monday, January 19, 2009
So what do local Tahoeits do when it is cold out but there hasn't been new snow for weeks. What else but to go search for Back Country Ice. My experience with ice skating however is much more limited. Other than the hundreds of hours logged watching Olympic ice skating, my only real world ice skating experience is Valentines day at Squaw 2 years ago. I thought that I was doing well and got the hang of it. But if anyone who has skied backcountry will tell you, that SHIT is HARD!! Variable backcountry conditions make you long for the next time you could lay your edges on some corduroy. The same can be said about back country ice.
The section of beach near our work has a large shallow bay. Over the last few weeks, I have been watching it ice over. Today I finally braved the ice. Tough but well worth the effort.