Extending the season
Customers want to maximize the time they spend in their outdoor oasis and a drop-in hot tub is the perfect way to allow them to enjoy their backyard into the winter. Even when the pool is closed, the hot tub can remain open. As the snow begins to melt in March, the hot tub can be opened before the pool thanks to the two separate plumbing systems, which offers homeowners flexibility when it comes to using the pool and/or hot tub.
For those clients looking to use their hot tub year-round (or close to it), it is preferable to have a drop-in hot tub without the spill-over feature. This is because there will be water displacement each time the hot tub is used, which results in having to constantly add water to the hot tub throughout the winter. Therefore, if the client plans on using the hot tub throughout the year, it is a good idea to suggest they do not select a spill-over model.
Maintaining three-port valves
Lubrication is the most important measure to take when it comes to maintaining a three-port valve. The gasket must be lubricated with pure silicone; most other lubricants are petroleum based, which can dissolve the gasket and create leaks.
Lubrication should be done when operation feels stiff, or at least every six months. This is especially important for motorized valves because the motor will strain against old, sticky gaskets until the diverter and shaft break, or the motor burns out.
Keep in mind, three-port valves, like any valves, can leak. Leaks can also occur inside the valve with no visible external evidence. Should this happen, the water is no longer being completely diverted in the intended direction, but rather slips past the diverter seal to the closed side of the valve. As a result, the hot tub will either drain or overflow for no apparent reason.
The cause might be a diverter that is not aligned precisely toward the intended port. In this case, the diverter should be removed to make sure the shaft has not separated or become loose.
With a motorized unit, ensure the motor is clean, free of rust, and able to perform a precise one-half turn each time. In most cases, however, the diverter gasket has likely worn out or become too compressed to stop all water from passing through. Bypass leaks also result when the diverter itself has shrunk or become warped. This happens, in some cases, when the hot tub water is extremely hot or the system ran dry and overheated. This type of shrinkage can be difficult to detect, as it does not have to be extensive to cause a bypass leak.