September 20, 2019 by phicks2012
My 20-year old spa has held up very well without my biting the proverbial bullet and paying through the nose over the decades for professional maintenance. It really has, but recently it sprang a leak. It was just a pinhole leak, but it was squirting water dangerously close to electrical and electronic components, which is NEVER a good thing, and nothing we tried would plug or stop the leak. Nothing. Not glue, not Flex Seal or Tape, not epoxy, and not anything else either.
The shell itself wasn’t leaking, but there was a totally superfluous shut-off valve underneath the tub that probably was meant to be used for SOME purpose. There must have been a reason it existed, but it never was used in 20 years, and when its gasket went bad water started escaping around the valve handle. Simple, right? Just replace a little rubber gasket —- only that was impossible because the valve stem and handle had been glued in place and the offending gasket was completely inaccessible. Brilliant. That’s why we tried all of the glues, adhesives and sealants.
It turned out that the only way to fix the problem was to cut the pipe and replace the whole section with a valve-free section — assuming we could get the right plumbing parts to connect it. Unfortunately, the thread pattern on spa parts is NOT the same as the thread pattern on regular plumbing parts (color me shocked), so I had to go on an Epic Quest to find the right ones! I looked in numerous hardware and home improvement stores, and even locally in spa supply shops, but to no avail. They carried standard plumbing parts, or spa chemicals, but not what was needed.
I finally DID find them on-line from a company specializing in PVC– the main ones anyway — but, after we were SURE we were finally done, we discovered that the little bushing that allowed the pressure gauge to be screwed into the old pipe section could not be reused because — Yep, it was glued in place. That meant I had to go on another Epic Quest to find THAT part.
I found it at the end of August — finally, and again on-line!! A 40¢ part with $5 (plus change) postage and handling fee. Gotta just LOVE THAT, huh? Anyway, I ordered four. The other three will probably never be used, but who knows!??
We were pretty sure this was absolutely the LAST part we’d need to make the repair, and it looked as though we might actually have been right this time! If so, and if nothing else went wrong, then I figured that at the first HINT of cooler weather the spa would again be usable by indolent soakers looking forward to massaging turbulence.
Of course, I didn’t wait that long. 😉
P.S. So far so good!!