Each warranty is assessed individually, and abides by each manufacturer's Terms. For equipment in direct contact with water, there are some specific & unique circumstances due to the fact that corrosive water can quickly damage equipment, within a matter of weeks. As we've said in our Basic Warranty & Returns information, we always err on the side of the customer, even when the manufacturer or it's Agents dont. :-)
Some signs & causes of damage that likely won't be covered by warranty:
- Metal corrosion - Spa equipment really only uses Stainless Steel, Bronze, Copper, Incolloy, Cupro-Nickel, Teflon-coatings and Titanium material for things like Impeller shafts, Mechanical Seals, Heater Elements, Heater Tubes, Heat Exchangers, etc.
- The only real cause of damage to these is due to corrosive water...Generally low pH (Acidic water). Humans often don't even notice the water having a low pH.
- On gas heaters, this can be the source of green or blueish water. This is from dissolved copper, and is the source of "green hair."
- On electrical heaters, this can show as signs of dissolved Teflon, crevice corrosion, pitting, leaking at terminals, etc. Often causes Errors and Tripping Power.
- Plastic Corrosion - many plastic parts are made of things like ABS & Glass-filled Nylon.
- Nylon in particular shows signs quickly of damage. This shows up as lightening of the plastic, glass fibres being exposed, or general dissolving. (eg, can be scraped with a fingernail)
- Jets also show signs of plastic damage by lightening, sloughing, or brittleness. (commonly causing jets to pop out, as the retainer tabs snap off.
- Other signs - O-rings, gaskets, seals & sensors.
- O-rings, gaskets and seals can also show signs of corrosive water in the form of Dissolving, becoming "gummy", cracking, hardening, etc. When any of these things occur, they may leak.
- Optical sensors often show signs of cloudiness or cracking.
- Signs of Calcium can also appear on equipment
- Testing for Corrosive Water on Equipment
- Corrosive water can be shown by testing the materials with specialized kits where it is suspected. Manufacturers don't always do this, as they are pretty fair, but in cases where there is a disagreement, they will certainly do so.
- Common causes of Corrosive Water.
- Bromine tablets / powder: This is by far the biggest source of corrosive water. Bromine itself is very acidic. It can make the water look absolutely sparkling. If not kept in check by regularly emptying and refilling the spa *AND* most importantly, by keeping the pH and Total Alkalinity up it can become corrosive very quickly. Many manufacturers will instantly void warranty where signs of bromine are used.
- Chlorine tablets: Trichlorisocyanuric acid ("Trichlor") should NEVER be used in a spa. It is simply far too strong, and extremely corrosive. No warranty will be valid by any manufacturer where this is used.
- Generally low-pH: usually overdosing with Acids. Low pH makes Bromine & Chlorine more effective, but also damages everything else.
- "Cheap" Calcium-based chlorine. Some of the cheapest chlorine on the market comes as a powder, and is called "Calcium Hypochlorite." This can be as much as 70% calcium, which never comes back out of the water. The only way to remove it is by emptying water.
Spas should be tested weekly with a testing kit, or strips. We have some general Chemical Usage "Cheat Sheets" here.