Vortex Spa User Manual

This article is designed to provide instructions on how to operate and maintain your vortex spa.

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This article contains the following topics:

 

Safety instructions and warnings

When installing and using this electrical equipment, basic safety precautions should be followed, including the following:

1. READ AND FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS.
2. WARNING: To reduce the risk of injury, do not permit children to use this product unless they are closely supervised at all times. KEEP SPA COVER LOCKED WHEN NOT IN USE.
3. THIS APPLIANCE MUST BE INSTALLED BY A QUALIFIED SERVICE TECHNICIAN. All electrical connections must be performed by a licensed electrician and must confirm to all national, state and local electrical codes in effect at time of installation.
4. The appliance must be connected to a suitably rated and weather protected power supply.
5. The supply line should be a dedicated power circuit and means for disconnection must be incorporated in the fixed wiring in accordance with your local wiring regulations.
6. Means for disconnection from the supply mains should have a contact separation in all poles that provide full disconnection under over-voltage category III conditions.
7. The appliance should be supplied through a residual current device (RCD) having a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30mA.

8. If the supply cord is damaged, it must be replaced by the manufacturer, its service agent or similarly qualified persons in order to avoid a hazard.
9. The appliance is not intended for use by young children or infirm persons unless they have been adequately supervised by a responsible person to ensure they can use the appliance safely.
10. Young children should be supervised to ensure they do not play with the appliance.
11. In order to avoid the possibility of hyperthermia (heat stress) occurring it is recommended that the average temperature of the spa pool water should not exceed 40oC.
12. The control box, heater, pumps and other electrical items should only be serviced by a qualified spa service technician.
13. Do not operate electrical appliances within 1.5m of the spa.

 

Spa pool safety rules

1. This spa pool is a heated water environment and if you are concerned that it may adversely affected you it is your responsibility to seek a medical advice.
2. NEVER PUT HEAD UNDER WATER. 
3. All children must supervised by an adult.
4. Do not use the spa pool area while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (certain medications
may produce adverse effects).
5. It is safer not to use the spa pool alone.
6. It is recommended that you use the spa pool for no longer than 15 minutes at a time.

Note: It is the owner’s responsibility to display all required safety notices within view of the spa.

 

Important general operating instructions

The following operating and maintenance instructions are very important and must be followed carefully. With proper care and maintenance your spa will provide you with years of satisfaction with minimum effort.

1. The filtration pump should be operated for a minimum of four (4) hours per day for cleaning and filtering of the spa water (your spa has been configured to 4hrs by default). Information on adjusting filter duration can be found in the control panel’s instruction manual.
2. The length of time required to heat your spa to the desired water temperature will vary, depending on the air temperature, season, and wind velocity.
Therefore, this is something each owner must adjust to their desired liking. We highly recommend using the hard cover to minimize heat loss and to protect your spa when not in use.
3. The replaceable filter cartridges are trouble free and easy to clean. A routine cleaning is the best practice. Cartridges should be removed and hosed down weekly using a water hose with pressure nozzle. Make sure all pumps are turned OFF before removing the cartridge(s) for cleaning. In addition, at least once a month the cartridges should be removed and soaked in a filter cartridge cleaning solution for a minimum 30 minutes (or as directed by the cleaning solution’s instructions). After soaking, the cartridges should be thoroughly rinsed using a water hose with pressure nozzle. The frequency of soaking required varies with amount of spa use.
The more the spa is used the more often the filters should be cleaned.
4. If your spa is fitted with a Purezone micro filter, this does not require cleaning. However, this filter should be replaced at least every 3 - 4 months, or as required dependant on amount of spa use.
Note: DO NOT add any SPA SHOCK chemical to your spa water if using the Purezone micro
filter, only use spa sanitiser and pH balancers.
5. Keep the spa water level at least 50mm above the skimmer at all times. Never allow the water level to drop below the bottom of the skimmer opening. If the water level is too low, the skimmer will allow air into the water lines of the pump, causing it to lose its prime (water -flow). Running the pump without water flow will damage the pump seal assembly and could result in further equipment damage, which will not be covered by the product warranty.

6. It is your responsibility to regularly check and maintain the chemical water balance of the spa pool to ensure it remains within reasonable pH (acid/ alkaline) limits (7.4 - 7.6 pH). Unbalanced water chemistry greatly accelerates corrosion and may lead to early product or component failure. Product or component failures caused as a result of poor water chemistry maintenance will NOT be covered by the product warranty.
7. Your spa may be equipped with an ozone or uv sanitiser and a Purezone micro filter to assist with water sanitization and filtration, however your spa water will still require regular treatment with some form of chemical spa sanitiser. Consult your local spa dealer for advice on regular water testing and treatment procedures.
8. You should empty and clean your spa at least every 3-4 months. Performing a pipe and jet degrease before draining is recommended. Drain the spa water and use a liquid cleanser free of abrasives to clean your spa. Fill with regular tap water and chemically treat the water before use, for a clean and healthy spa.
9. CAUTION: Cover must be kept on spa at all times spa shell is empty, direct exposure to sunlight can damage plastic parts and interior surface, jets, or any other interior components. Damage resulting from the above will not be covered under warranty.

 

Basic Installation Information

Your new portable spa must be placed on a uniformly flat and level surface. A concrete pad 100mm thick is recommended. We recommend you contact your local council for up to date fencing regulations and requirements. If your spa is located near sprinklers, adjust or cap them so as not to hit the siding of the spa.

 

Initial start up procedure

1. 15 amp spas are supplied with a power cord but must be connected to a weatherproof 15A outlet. 32 amp – 60 amp spas must be hardwired directly to your house supply. All electrical connections must be performed by a licensed electrician and must confirm to all national, state and local electrical codes in effect at time of install.
2. DO NOT turn power ON to the spa until it is filled with water.
3. Remove the cabinet door panel on the electronic keypad side of the spa and check that the pump(s) and heater barrel unions are tightened (NOTE: It is possible for these connections to become loose during transportation). Also check that all T-handled gate vales are pulled UP in the open position.
4. Ensure that the external drain valve is firmly tightened and the jets are in the open position.
5. Remove each filter from the spa and insert your garden hose down the filter lines for at least 5 minutes each. This will flood the pipework of the spa and help prevent air locks in the pipework.
6. Your spa should be filled until the water level is at least 50mm above the skimmer (a water fill level is marked on the side of the filter area).

7. Once spa has been filled with water to the correct level, plug the power cord into the power point and switch the power ON. If the spa is hardwired, switch the spa ON at the isolation switch. Any switches should be located within 3 metres of the spa.
8. The filtration pump will start immediately after the power is turned on. ENSURE YOU SEE WATER CIRCULATING. If water is not moving, switch the spa off and refer to the troubleshooting guide in this manual: PUMPS RUN BUT NO WATER MOVING.
9. Once you have the water circulating, adjust the water temperature to the desired level and set the time (please refer to separate instructions provided for the control panel).
10. Add and adjust your chemicals to the spa water following the chemical start up procedure supplied to you by your spa dealer.
11. Ensure that the hard cover is fitted to the spa as this will greatly reduce heat up time.

 

Start up or refill checklist

Remove spa cabinet side panel (on keypad side) to access
equipment bay

1. Check Barrel Unions are tight Barrels unions are the connections between the pumps and heater and the plumbing of the spa. If they become loose, this can cause water loss. It is important to check the tightness of these unions periodically, and especially when spa is first delivered. The unions are designed to be re-tightened by hand. Rotate the locking nut clockwise to tighten.
2. Check valves are open T-handled valves enable the water flow to be closed to allow removal of spa equipment for servicing without the need to empty the spa water. The T handles must be pulled UP to be OPEN and allow water flow, and they should be secured open with clips.

Note: If you see water escaping from beneath your spa, the barrel unions should be the first thing you check. LEAKS FROM BARREL UNIONS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE SPA’S WARRANTY.

 

3. Check drain valve is closed and firmly tightened. Please refer below illustration showing the valve being closed.

4. Check all jets are open. Water flow to most jets can be turned on or off by rotating the jet face clockwise (on) or anti-clockwise (off). Check to ensure all jets are open before filling with water.

5. Fill water to correct level in spa.
The spa should be filled until the water level is at least 50mm above the skimmer A
water fill level is marked on the side of the filter area (refer picture below).

Note: Always remember to remove the filters and fill spa through filter pipes

 

Getting to know your spa

Your new Vortex portable spa has many features to help adjust and customize the water flow to your chosen configuration and enjoyment. Individual jets can be turned on and off, aeration to water flow can be adjusted, water can be diverted to certain specific zones and jets of the spa or mixed throughout, and waterfalls and fountains can be turned on and off. The following pages and pictures will give you a brief overview of how to adjust and use some of the various features.

Filter Cartridges
Most spas are equipped with two or three filter cartridges
(depending on pump configuration). The filter cartridge
that is connected to your filtration pump is as shown in the
picture to the right. This filter will do most of the hard work
in keeping your water clean. Please ensure that you rotate
the filter that is installed in this position.
Note: Filter cartridges may require replacement or cleaning more frequently depending on length and frequency of regular spa use.


Removing filters
To remove filters simply unscrew the cartridge in an anti-clockwise direction and pull out from spa pool.


Reinstalling filters
When reinstalling filters first hold the cartridge underwater until the air stops bubbling (at this point most air has been removed from the cartridge). Then screw the cartridge back into place in a clockwise direction.


Note: DO NOT screw the cartridge back into place excessively tight. Only screw the cartridge until it no longer spins freely. The suction from the pumps will pull the cartridges in further once operated. If the cartridge is screwed in place excessively tight before pump operation, the cartridge may be difficult to remove or could even cause the filter thread connection to twist or break the next time the cartridge is removed and breakage is not covered by warranty.

 

Operating spa control valves

For instructions on how to operate your spa control valves, please click here.

 

Instructions for draining your spa

Please review the video below on how to drain your spa:

 

Spa pool maintenance

If you own a spa pool or hot tub, it is important to understand that it requires a certain amount of owner maintenance to ensure it operates properly and that the water remains clean and healthy.
The water treatment requirements for a spa pool differ from those for a swimming pool, because you are dealing with hot water. Hot water requires different treatment to prevent the growth of bacteria and algae.

The correct use of chemicals will maintain the water in a clean and healthy condition. The parameters that need to be regularly checked are, total alkalinity, pH and sanitiser level. Your local spa retailer should be able to supply a suitable test kit and advise on its correct use. It is advisable to test the water on a daily basis.

Changing the water
The spa water should be changed every three to four months, or remove and replace approx 30% or 1/3 of the volume of water every three to four weeks.
Total alkalinity
The total alkalinity should be in the range of 90 - 150 ppm (parts per million). A spa or hot tub with low total alkalinity would require constant adjustment of the pH.
To raise total alkalinity, add sodium bicarbonate in small quantities. To lower the total alkalinity, add acid (Dry Acid – Sodium Bisulphate) in small quantities. Test in one hour.

SPECIAL NOTE: Do not mix chemicals. Do not add water to the chemicals, only add chemicals to the water.
The pH level
pH is the measure of the acid/alkaline level of the water. It is important to maintain the correct pH level as it effects the action of other chemicals. The pH is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. Seven is neutral, below seven is acidic, and above seven is alkaline. Incorrect pH levels can cause poor sanitiser efficiency, eye and skin irritations, corrosion of metal fittings, cloudy water and formation of scale on the pool walls and fittings. The pH should always be above 7.0 (measured at room temperature, not hot) to avoid possible corrosion of equipment. However, it should not be higher than 7.8, as this would reduce the efficiency of the sanitiser.

NOTE: If the pH level needs to be increased, add soda ash; to reduce the pH level, add dry acid. Wait for one hour and test again.

Sanitising the spa
Sanitising your spa is essential for safe, healthy water, free of harmful micro-organisms. The most commonly used sanitiser for spa pools is a form of chlorine (Lithium Hypochlorite). Ozone or UV may also be used, but because there can be no residual, a form of chlorine must be used in conjunction with it.

The amount of disinfectant required depends on a number of factors, including, water temperature, the frequency of use and the number of people using the spa. It is most important to always keep the sanitiser level at 2.00 to 3.00 ppm. In very hot water the sanitiser can be used up very quickly, and should be checked regularly whilst the spa is being used.

After heavy use of the spa or on a weekly basis, the water should be shock dosed with sanitiser. Be sure to check the level again before use. If the spa or hot tub is not being used, add sanitiser every second day to prevent contamination.

Recommended Levels

Sanitiser (Chlorine)  2.0 – 3.0 ppm
Total Alkalinity         90 – 110 ppm
pH Level                    7.4 – 7.6

NOTE: It is important to note that if the right pH and sanitiser levels are maintained, viruses and bacteria should not survive in the water. In terms of general hygiene, it is important to keep the filter and pump clean. Clean the filter regularly and where ever possible always shower before spa use. IMPORTANT: Not maintaining your water chemistry can void parts of your spa warranty.

 

Pump maintenance

The pumps in your spa are high performance motors that require regular checking. It is a requirement of your spa’s warranty to check the pumps every four (4) months for signs of leaking or corrosion.

Any sign of leaking or calcium build up at the bottom of the pump between the plastic wet end and metal part of the motor indicates that the seals of your pumps are worn and need replacing. It is recommended that you contact your local spa dealer to arrange a service of your pump before the motor develops further problems. Pump seal corrosion and wear is generally caused
by incorrect pH and alkalinity levels within the spa, or heavy use /excessive dosage of sanitisers such as Chlorine or Bromine. In order to avoid problems, please follow the water chemistry instructions provided to you by your dealer.

 

Barrel union maintenance

Barrels unions are the connections between the pumps and heater and the plumbing of the spa. They are used to enable easy removal of the spa equipment in the event of servicing. However over time with vibration from pumps and water flow, and ageing of o-ring seals, it is possible for the unions to work loose.
If they become loose, this can cause water loss. It is important to check the tightness of these unions periodically. The unions are designed to be retightened by hand. Rotate the locking nut clockwise to tighten.

NOTE: If you see water escaping from beneath your spa, the barrel unions should be the first thing you check. LEAKS FROM BARREL UNIONS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE SPA’S WARRANTY.

 

Shutting down your spa

We firmly recommend that you NEVER leave your spa empty for a period of 2 weeks or more, leaving your spa empty can cause damage to the pumps, heater element and shell. In most cases you are better off turning the temperature of your spa down to the minimum setting and maintaining your PH & Alkalinity levels to ensure they stay within recommended readings.

If for some reason you need to empty your spa for a period longer than 2 weeks we recommend the following.

1. Empty your spa as per the drainage instructions in the owner’s manual.
2. Once the spa is empty, open the cabinet door to gain access to your controller and all pumps.
3. Undo the barrel unions that connect the plumbing to the spa controller/ heater and pumps. Undoing these unions will allow any excess water in the pipework of the spa to be drained. Without following this process stagnant water will sit in the pipework and cause damage to the seals in your pumps and your heater element and control sensors. (Damage related to incorrect water chemistry is not covered under the manufacturers warranty)
4. Once the spa pipework is empty of water, carefully re-connect and tighten the unions ensuring that the O-ring seal is seated correctly.
5. Hop into the spa and using a sponge and bucket, soak up any residual water remaining in the spa.

6. At this point it is a good time to clean the water line on the spa if required, you can use a nonabrasive cloth with some mild detergent. (Be sure to rinse any detergent from the spa before re-filling.)
7. Our recommendation is to leave the cover off for a period of time to allow the shell to dry. (As per warning instructions on the shell, do not expose the acrylic shell to direct sunlight for extended periods of time)
8. Once you are satisfied that there is no excessive water in the spa and that it has been cleaned to avoid bacteria growth, you can place the cover on the spa for protection.

NOTE: It is recommended that you lift the cover from time to time over the course of the shut down to allow the spa to breathe.

 

Troubleshooting

Note: Repairs are subject to warranty conditions, which have been provided with your spa. If you are unsure of your warranty coverage, please contact the service department or your local dealer.

 

Heat pump connection instructions. (If Purchased)

1. Turn off spa and close shut off valves to the circulation pump and controller. (Marked 1 on the diagram)
2. Consult the Spa Net installation guide to connect power and control wire.
3. Remove existing plumbing between circulation pump and SV controller. (Marked 2 on the diagram)
4. Fit the new 40mm circulation pump union supplied and point it in the direction where the heat pump will be located.
5. Cut holes into the cabinet where the pipe will run into the heat pump, be sure to cut the holes at a height that allows the pipes to remain even and supported on the cabinet.
6. Run 40mm pipe from the circulation pump to the inlet of the heat pump.

7. From the outlet of the heat pump, run 40mm pipe to the inlet of the SV Controller using the supplied union to make the new connection.
NOTE: You must use PVC hard pipe on the outside of the spa, flexible pipe may only be used internally.
8. Open the shut off valves. (Marked 1 on the diagram)
9. Undo the top outlet on the heat pump to bleed air out of the system.
10. Close it once water comes out and then switch on the spa.
11. Make sure the circulation pump is flowing and is free of any air locks.
12. Depending on the installation, purezone filters may create a flow error, we suggest replacing this filter with a standard paper version.

 Parts supplied:

• 1x circulation pump barrel union.
• 1x 40mm 90 Degree Street elbow.
• 1x SV barrel union.

Tools and parts required:

• 40mm or larger hole saw
• PVC Pipe Glue
• Hacksaw
• 40mm hard pipe (The amount of pipe or fittings required will depend on
your installation)

(Depending on the installation of your heat pump, your pure zone filter may need to be replaced with a paper filter, if you receive a flow error, shut down the spa and replace the pure zone with a paper filter before re-starting, if problem persists please ring the service number).

Note: The heat pump must be installed at least 1.2 metres from the spa pool and no further than 3 metres from the Circulation Pump.

This document is to be considered a guide only. Before installing your heat pump, please consult the Spa Net installation and user manual in order to ensure that your heat pump has been installed to the manufacturers recommendations. Failure to install your heat pump correctly, could void your warranty.

 

Gemini heat pump connections. (If Purchased)

1. Turn off spa and close shut off valves to the circulation pump and controller. (Marked 1 on the diagram)
2. Consult the Spa Net installation guide to connect power and control wire.
3. Remove existing plumbing between circulation pump and SV controller. (Marked 2 on the diagram)
4. Fit the new 40mm circulation pump union supplied and point it in the direction where the heat pump will be located.
5. Cut holes into the cabinet where the pipe will run into the heat pump, be sure to cut the holes at a height that allows the pipes to remain even and supported on the cabinet.
6. Run 40mm pipe form the circulation pump to the inlet of the heat pump.

7. From the outlet of the heat pump, run 40mm pipe to the inlet of the SV heater using the supplied union to make the new connection.
NOTE: You must use PVC hard pipe on the outside of the spa, flexible pipe may only be used internally.
8. Open the shut off valves. (Marked 1 on the diagram)
9. Undo the top outlet on the heat pump to bleed air out of the system.
10. Close it once water comes out and then switch on the spa.
11. Make sure the circulation pump is flowing and is free of any air locks.
12. Depending on the installation, purezone filters may create a flow error, we suggest replacing this filter with a standard paper version.

Note: The heat pump must be installed at least 1.2 metres from the spa pool and no further than 2.5 metres from the Circulation Pump.
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